22/02/2016 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 22/02/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello and welcome to The Daily Politics.


The date has been announced, the big players have picked sides


Boris Johnson says he will campaign to leave the European Union,


So does Boris have bigger things on his mind?


There will be plenty of time to talk about Europe and the great future


that Britain can have outside the European Union.


Is our national security better protected inside or outside


The Prime Minister says we are safer in.


His Cabinet colleague Iain Duncan Smith says


Is George Osborne planning a ?4 billion raid on


One of his former Lib Dem colleagues thinks the Chancellor may be


about to abolish the tax-free lump sum.


And speaking of great national decisions, we speak to the director


of a new play about the relationship between Marshall Petain


But first, Westminster's most glamorous blonde has been


Boris Johnson announced his decision to back a vote to leave


in the referendum in his own newspaper, the Daily Telegraph.


And many of the other papers splashed on Boris's decision, too.


The Sun described it as a "blonde bombshell".


But others saw the move as more about Boris's own ambitions.


The Mirror said that the move was BoJo's bid for PM's crown.


The Mail said it was a "dagger blow" to Cameron as "Boris Goes


And the Independent declared the London mayor as


Speaking outside his home yesterday, Mr Johnson declared his intention


I have decided after a huge amount of heartache, because the last thing


I wanted was to go against David Cameron or the government. But after


a great deal of heartache, I did not think there was anything else I


could do. I will be advocating vote leave, or whatever the team is


called. I understand there are many of them. Because I want a better


deal for the people of this country. To save them money and to take back


control. That is really I think what this is all about.


We can speak now to our deputy political editor, James Landale. Is


this authentic RS or is it about ambition? I think it is authentic


that Boris is very much agonising over this decision for many months.


As long as I have known him, he has been agonising over Europe. I was a


journalist in Brussels, and he was a journalist there, as I was. He began


life as a very straight reporter. I remember talking to him when he


voted for Ken Clarke, a pro-European leadership candidate in the past. I


think the sense of agony is authentic. But what I think that


overlays it is a strong suspicion amongst many Conservative members


that he is not just inking about the national interest, he is also


thinking about his own interest. A lot of people think that whatever


happens, you will have aligned himself with the Leave campaign,


which will place him in good favour with Tory members who will be the


people who will choose David Cameron's replacement. And that


would be no bad thing if wished to be a process candidate in that


selection process. Even in his article where he has written about


this agonising decision, there seems to be a little bit of continuing to


hedge his bets, with implications that a comment has been interpreted,


that you could go for a second referendum, if the UK voted to


leave, which would put more pressure on Brussels for a better deal? Boris


has floated this idea before and it was squashed by the government. The


idea is that Britain would vote to leave, and that would be the only


way of getting Brussels to really negotiate properly. And then Britain


could have a second referendum once it has negotiated better terms of EU


membership. In the Daily Telegraph today, Boris Johnson nods to this,


in a very subtle way. I have to say, the Prime Minister's spokesman this


morning said, no, this is a one-off vote. If Britain votes to leave,


they will leave. A lot of lawyers and constitutional experts say the


same thing. A second referendum simply would not be possible. How


angry it is Downing Street? Obviously, publicly they are staying


relaxed. How delighted also is the Leave campaign? Number 10 Downing


Street is not happy. They know that Boris Johnson is one of those


politicians who can reach out and get those voters who might otherwise


have been swayed by the Prime Minister's arguments. Polls do


suggest that people will listen to Boris Johnson's voice. The Leave


campaign are happy because they think they have finally got a


figurehead. The question is - do people look at Boris Johnson and


think, nice bloke for London mayor, and will they listen to his


arguments on Europe? Also, if his presence means that this referendum


is shrouded in a debate about Tory leadership in the future, will Mr


Johnson's presence put David Cameron's future on the ballot paper


as well? And what impact will that have on the electorate? Will they


think, if I vote to leave Europe, does that mean we lose David


Cameron? There are lots of consequences which we might not have


appreciated yet in Mr Johnson's decision.


The PM has come back from Europe with a deal,


and it will now be up to the public whether the UK remains a member


of the EU, or whether we opt for life outside.


Later this afternoon, David Cameron will be


Each side will be trying to convince as many voters as possible


to back their cause, which has led to some unlikely bedfellows.


Prime Minister David Cameron will lead the campaign to stay in,


together with Chancellor George Osborne.


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also wants to stay in,


Campaigning for out are Mayor of London Boris Johnson,


and Michael Gove, the Justice Secretary,


who have found themselves alongside Ukip's Nigel Farage


and George Galloway, former Labour and Respect MP.


The PM says the UK will be "safer and stronger in a reformed EU"


and that his deal strengthens British sovereignty.


Boris Johnson says remaining in the EU would lead to "an erosion


of democracy" with the UK unable to control its own affairs.


Voters will decide for themselves soon enough.


The question on the referendum ballot will be...


The Prime Minister says he'd like the referendum to take place


The date of the referendum and various rules about


the administration of the poll still need to be confirmed by


The Electoral Commission needs time to choose which two


organisations will officially campaign for Remain and Leave,


and receive public funding to do that.


This so-called "designation period" could last six weeks.


There also must be a "referendum period" -


when the formal campaign takes place and various spending rules apply -


that must last a minimum of 10 weeks.


That means campaigning could begin in April.


With me now is the Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, who last night


revealed he would vote to leave the EU.


And we're joined by the Labour MP Chuka Umunna, a former member


He is campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU.


Welcome to both of you. Nadhim Zahawi, that was a surprise - I


thought you were one of those who would be wanting to remain in the


EU? I have always instinctively wanted to do the best possible


within the EU. Two weeks ago I thought we were there. 80% of the


deal was there. The last 20% is always the toughest. I thought


actually that the EU elites would listen to David, and David was


trying very hard. Unfortunately, it was -- it is with a heavy heart that


I look at it now and I do not think they have done enough. I do not


think it is a reformed Europe. You are a loyal MP, so which bits did


they fail on, as far as you're concerned? And do you feel a sense


of betrayal? No, I think David Cameron was the man who gave us the


referendum, so the nation should be grateful for that. Secondly,


importantly, we will have these differences. Michael Gove has come


out, Boris Johnson, others will come out. Many of my colleagues and


friends are on the other side. Let me give you one example. On


financial services - we are giving up a veto to allow the Eurozone


countries, the currency countries, to try to fix their currency. It is


broken. Unemployment is running at 25%, 50% a month to the youth. And


it is white to back them on, maybe give up that Vitae. But what are we


getting in return? If, whatever whatever decision they make, it


hurts our financial services, the best we can hope for is an emergency


brake and the discussion. They will discuss the pain they will deliver


on us. That for me is not enough. I would like to see better protection


for our financial services. If possible. If not, maybe it is better


that we go it alone. Have you just come to this decision in the last


few weeks? Not that long ago, you said divorce would be worse for


everyone. You really have changed your mind. Divorce is painful, as


you know. I don't, but...! We have many friends, and let's hope none of


us go through that. Chuka Umunna is getting married... I am not planning


to get divorced! Let's get back to the EU. We will wake up, the channel


will still be there, trade will still be there. We should be


confident of what we can do. 80% of our economy is service based. Do you


take the arguments which are being put forward by Nadhim Zahawi, that


actually we will have a better chance of improving our business,


our financial services industry, if we come out of the EU? No, I


disagree. I think Nadhim Zahawi takes a very downbeat view on what


British ministers and prime ministers have been able to achieve


in the past, and what they can do going forward. Take financial


services - in the main, British prime ministers have been able to


marshal a majority behind the British position on the EU council


on financial services. Actually, the only time that we have recently lost


a vote was when George Osborne was voted down when the EU was trying to


bring in regulations to end the exorbitant bonus culture we see in


the City of London. But the bigger reason. Just a minute. Because the


bankers then got salary instead of bonus, which is short-term instead


of long-term. Terrible decision. The irony of that particular decision is


that once it was passed by the European Council, Mark Hoban, who


was a City Minister under the last Parliament, and George Osborne,


seeking to take ownership, and boasting about... But the important


point... It is this issue of sovereignty. The thing about this -


you listen to what people who want us to leave are arguing for. They


say, we cannot determine any of our own affairs. I remember sitting in


the last Parliament, watching the last Tory government, the troubling


of tuition fees, we had the different benefit cuts, we had the


NHS reorganisation, one of those things which the EU had absolutely


nothing to do with. In fact of the 121 acts of Parliament which were


passed in the last Parliament, just four of them were implemented to


pass EU legislation. The majority of this stuff was determined domestic


leave. Let's just stick to financial services. Are you saying that the


City of London will always be protected from decisions which are


made within the Eurozone, by countries in the Eurozone, who will


not be looking to pass favourable laws and decisions to the City of


London, and surely if we came out we would be able to protect our


financial services more effectively? I don't think so. This goes to a


broader point, which is that ultimately if we want to continue to


trade with the EU free trade area... They will trade with us, we are the


fifth largest economy in the world! The point I am making is, one


question is, what is the model? If you say, look at Norway or


Switzerland, which trade with that area, they pay to be part of that


area, they are subject to all the rules of that area, but because they


are not in the EU... We are the fifth largest economy in the world,


soon to be the fourth. 80% of it is services, but also we sell goods and


manufacturing. The automotive sector sales across Europe. Europe will


want to trade with us. We buy more BMWs and Mercedes from Europe than


they buy stuff from us. Ultimately the world will not stop. This


scaremongering that everything is going to stop on the 24th of June is


simply not true. They will trade with us. America does very well in


Silicon Valley, where I have got experience, or in Wall Street, with


the rest of the world. The argument is not that they will not trade with


us, it is the terms on which they trade.


You were saying that we would be allowed to basically have all the


benefits of being in the club without being in the club, without


paying into it. That is unprecedented. To take your


discourse, which is that we get run over and we cannot do anything in


the club, somehow paradoxically when we leave the club, they are going to


allow us to do whatever we want. First of all, the clubs are very


different. But should you not do this from within the club? The way


you do it is to say listen, this is not good enough, we want to help you


but you have not thought seriously about reform. Look at what they do


on the Strasbourg Circus. In a world of austerity, they have to


parliaments, spending hundreds of millions of pounds on buildings when


George Osborne is cutting back on buildings. But now seems a whole,


you accused... -- Nadhim Zahawi, you accused Chuka Umunna of


scaremongering. But John Whittingdale was honest yesterday


when he said there would be an element of risk. There will be and


you do not know exactly what sort of deal you will get. Absolutely right.


But to say to you that you are scaremongering by saying we are


losing 3 million jobs is just that, scaremongering. It is not actually


true. I don't think there is anything wrong. It is perfectly


legitimate to point out the risk. I have not said that 4 million jobs


will go but I have said that the jobs are undoubtedly linked to us


trading with the EU. And it is not just what we stand to lose, it is


what we stand to gain. We know we need to balance the economy by


investing more in skills, research and of element and other things. A


lot of inward investment comes from the EU. And if we deepen the single


market, and you are talking about services, we need to do that in


digital, and independent research shows of this could create an extra


800,000 jobs in the UK. On that point. It is not just a question of


what you lose, it is... I have built a digital business and it is


ludicrous to say that we are best served just dealing with Europe. The


out of the Silicon Valley do not need the EU to be able to operate


globally. Digital business can do well over the world -- all over the


world. We need to be confident with our economy. We can go out there and


do well. But you need a big home market. I need to end it there with


some yes no answers. Hilary Benn told me he will not be campaigning


alongside David Cameron. But you will be. I have already shared a


platform with Damian Green so I think it is unlikely that I will be


asked to share a platform with him. I think it is for each and every


Labour politician to make a decision. And now seems a heart, are


you happy sharing a platform with George Galloway? -- and Nadhim


Zahawi at I am not happy doing that. Now, when it comes to national


security, would Britain be safer Yesterday the Work and Pensions


Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, claimed our membership of the EU


made us more vulnerable What we see with the European Union


is incapacity to get its act Who is to say in the next few years,


countries that have taken people from various areas are not


then going to give them leave to remain, and even passports,


as we have seen in some cases, and then in due course may well


turn up again in the UK? So these are big issues further


down the road for us, because this open border does not


allow us to check and control people We see what happened in Paris,


where they spent ages Who is to say it is not


beyond the wit of man that those might already be


thinking about that? This morning the Defence Secretary


Michael Fallon questioned that position and said we would be taking


a "big gamble" with our security No, it isn't true and I don't think


he actually quite said that. The position is, we already


have control of our We have opted out of all of the open


border arrangements in Europe. Russia invaded the Crimea,


then they started to foment The only organisation


that could deal with that wasn't Nato, which is


the cornerstone of our defence, but was the European


Union, which we were able to lead into applying


sanctions against Russia - legally binding sanctions


against trade with Russia to ensure that Russia


paid a price for that, learned that it can't behave


like that and can't ignore We're joined now by our security


correspondent Frank Gardner. Frank, how dangerous, in your mind,


is it for either side to indulge in what some people are calling project


fear and scaremongering over security issues? I don't think it's


dangerous but it is unfair on the public who deserve straight answers.


Security is not something that should be politicised or obfuscated


and confused and conflated with other issues like the economy or


migration. It stands on its own. There are several different issues


here. One is people. The other is our hands. The reason why we have


not yet experienced, and I use the word gets deliberately, the reason


why we have not yet experienced the marauding terrorist firearms attack


that Paris did last year in January and November, the main reason is


because it is much harder to get hold of powerful automatic weapons


in this country. It is not impossible and it may not always be


that way but we are protected by our coastline. We do not have the open


borders arrangement that continental Europe does. After the Paris attack


at the Charlie Hebdo offices in January, I spoke to the coordinator


of EU counterterrorism and he told me that they have strengthened their


external borders with the Balkans, where most of the stop comes


through, hard weapons, big weapons, but once they are in continental


Europe, it is difficult to stop them. That is unlikely to change


whether we are in or out of the EU but if you were looking at


counterterrorism in the EU, the police and terrorism and agencies do


not share what they know. -- terrorism agencies. In Britain, they


do. Britain's courses arrangements in terms of intelligence and


Security Committee oration are not with Europe, they are with the US


and the five eyes countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. Those are


the closest links, not with Europe. You were saying that the issue of


intelligence and geography, the fact that we are an island, to some


extent better protects us against any potential future terrorist


attack. But what about the issue of where the terrorists are coming


from? Because much has been made about links with migrants coming


from the Middle East, that there could be jihadis hidden there. There


was also the evidence that a lot of the attacks have been from


home-grown terrorists here and on the continent. I think it comes down


to numbers. If there were to be terrorists who hide themselves


amongst the wave of migrants trying to get into Europe and Britain, if


there were Isis members in there, their numbers will be small indeed.


But the fear is that these could be highly trained people who have spent


time in Syria. But the fact remains that there are more than 2000 people


in this country already, UK citizens, UK residents, living and


working here who have sympathies with or connections to international


terrorism. Nearly all of them have committed no crime but they have


been detected by MI5 and the Metropolitan Police as having those


sympathies. That is not going to change whether we are in or out of


the EU. That is a fact that is there already.


Joining me now are Conservative MP Mark Pritchard, a former member


of the National Security Strategy Committee who believes


And Gerard Batten is a Ukip MEP - formerly his party's spokesman


Welcome to both of you. You are for Remain. Why were you one of the MPs


that led the rebellion that called for a referendum in 1981? The fact


of the matter is that the majority of people in the UK were not old


enough to vote in 1975, and it is right that we should have a


referendum. I campaigned for that. And from a security point of view


you think we are better in the EU? Why? Is the is a time for Europe to


stand together rather than divide on issues of security. I saw the


Commons earlier by Iain Duncan Smith and I have a huge amount of respect


for him. But I think he is wrong to suggest that we have open borders.


We are not part of the Schengen Agreement as Michael Fallon said.


And the Paris attacks, eight of them work EU nationals. The leader of the


Paris attack was a Belgian national and as Frank Gardner alluded to, the


attack in this country, three of them were British and one was


German. Yes, we have to guard our borders from external threats but we


have a home-grown threat and the government is taking action to deal


with that. But I think it is wrong to suggest we have open borders when


we do not. It is wrong to suggest that if the public vote to leave the


European Union, that we will be safe from terrorism. I think that is a


bold statement to make. Can anyone make that statement? Was Iain Duncan


Smith right or wrong to imply we would be at more threat if we stay


in the EU? We know it is a growing threat. It is not right to say that


we do not have open borders, because although we are not in the Schengen


area, and if a European citizen wants to come to the UK, we have


open borders. There is nothing we can do to stop them coming. Not an


EU citizen but we do have border checks in France at the moment. And


those could be under threat if we pulled out. How can you have a


border checks be a threat if you are an independent country? You will


find that on the Eurostar, very seldom are people checked as they


come off the boat. We had problems with people getting on at Lille and


bypassing the checks that go on at brussels, for example. But if we


controlled borders we can put inappropriate checks for us. Frank


Gardner said the most important security arrangements are bilateral


agreements that we have with other countries, and not necessarily


membership of the EU. What do you say to that? I think he was right to


say that we have to be careful not to conflict the issue of asylum


seekers and immigration and migration from within the European


Union with the wider security issue. The fact is, as I concluded over the


last few months, as someone who sat on the committee you mentioned, and


previously on the Parliamentary assembly, our security is best


served by our transatlantic relationship, and also being a


counterbalance to France and Germany's domination of security


policy and foreign policy. If we left of the European Union, and this


is a question for Gerald, if the British people vote to leave, do you


agree that would put France and Germany in a more dominant place in


Europe? If you don't think Germany is in a dominate position now, you


should spend more time in Europe. I'm not saying that, do you think


they would be more dominant. We were an independent nation for the


thousand years before we joined. But is Britain a character to German and


French dominance? It is very much a German project. The Germans pay the


vast amount of the budget, the biggest contributors of the budget.


Chancellor Merkel, by making one statement that nobody will be


refused entry, as let in literally millions of migrants. And... Do you


support Nato? Of course I do. And do you agree that if the United Kingdom


left of the European Union, France and Germany would build up defence


structures in competition to Nato? The European Union wants to have one


seat in Nato, which is the European Union, and not one individual seat.


Do we want to give up our seat on Nato in order to bring this


together? You said about Germany opening its doors to 1 million or so


migrants. But Frank Gardner said again that actually the biggest


threat is home-grown terrorists here, rather than an unknown


quantity perhaps smuggled in. Two of the people who blew themselves up in


the sports stadium in Paris were there on forged passports. I read an


article which says that Interpol knows of 250,000 fake passports in


circulation, the tip of an iceberg. Greece and Italy are seen as


industrial producers of faked passports in the European Union so


if somebody gets into the European Union on a fake passport, we are


powerless to stop them. But you are not addressing the issue. You made a


allusion to a Syrian passports and there was only one found at the


scene of the crime. The majority were EU nationals. What would you do


about them? We also talked about... He is not answering a single


question? Our individuals have done a terrific job here. If we knew more


things about European citizens, suspecting that they could be


involved in terrorism, under the current rules we cannot stop them


coming into the country because they have right of entry. But


intelligence sharing will only come about if we are full and active


members of the European Union and if we were to withdraw, Germany and


France do not have to share it under their own internal legislation.


Now, on Friday the cross-party Eurosceptic group Grassroots Out


held a rally in Westminster to coincide with the final day


Attendees were promised a special guest speaker, but when that was


revealed to be former Respect MP and London Mayoral candidate


George Galloway, some people in the audience were


Our Adam was at the event, and spoke to some of the people


Why are you walking out before it is finished?


I wasn't too interested in hearing the last speaker,


I'm afraid. George Galloway.


Why are you leaving - it is not finished yet?


George Galloway. What is wrong with him?


I will never sit in a room with a man


I'm a member of the Christian Friend of...


We don't want George Galloway anywhere near...


Really? It was all going so well!


It is a disgrace. Anglican Friends of Israel!


This has torpedoed it as far as I'm concerned.


I am not staying here to hear George Galloway.


How did you feel when they said the name George Galloway?


I said immediately to my husband, we must go.


Erm, I don't like what I have just seen on stage.


I think any sort of association with George Galloway is wholly


inappropriate and I think a lot of people here feel the same way,


whichever side of the argument they are on.


George Galloway - it seems you're unveiling was not quite the


triumphal...? Well, not for the first time, you have misled me by


asking me to come in and talk about the referendum, but instead wanting


to talk about me. I am sure we have not misled you. Hang on. No, I won't


hang on. If you had told me that I was coming in to discuss me, I would


have said, there are much bigger issues


have said, there are much bigger occupied by van six or however many


vox pop Siew had... This is going on to the issue of the


vox pop Siew had... This is going on want to ask you this. You


vox pop Siew had... This is going on defend... I do not want to defend me


at all. You are not my judge, you are not fit to be my judge. Thank


you very much. All I am saying is, are you going to be a benefit to


this campaign...? You asked me to come into this studio, I did not ask


you. You told me you wanted to hear your views on the referendum. And I


do. So can we move on to that, please? Are you happy to link arms,


to use the please? Are you happy to link arms,


expression, with others that you do not agree with? I do not link arms


with anybody. It is a binary choice. You are in or you are out. The last


fellow you had on who said he would not share a platform with me claimed


?40,000 of the taxpayer to hit his horses in a stable. Would I really


want to link arms with him? No. But if he can bring any net jig voters


into the polling booth, and if I can bring any no voters into the polling


booth, I hope that would be... What we were trying to say about this


interview is that this interview as far as you are concerned is bigger


than people's... Tony Blair is for yes, does that mean anybody


associated with Tony Blair? It is such childish discourse. Except that


political bedfellows can sometimes lead people to say, is one being


authentic about the issue? For example, you said about Nigel


Farage, he should be disqualified from any civilised company


henceforth. But you are going to put that aside in order to campaign for


this issue, which you think is bigger... Bigger than all issues. It


will affect the future of all of our people for the rest of time. So what


do you say to those people who obviously do not feel it is bigger


than their personal antipathy towards Hugh? More the fool them. I


hope they are not going to vote for the European Union because they do


not like me. That would be a very foolish and childish thing to do.


But are you worried that you might be turning off some people who would


like to support it? But you asked me to come here presumably because you


thought I had something which some people might like to hear. And we


will get onto it. Yet onto it! We are almost finished the interview


children how do you know, I might have you on for another 15 minutes!


I very much doubt that. But if you are going to convince people of an


argument... Please stop this. You misled me into coming here today.


And every question you have asked has been about me. I am campaigning


amongst my 1 million followers on social media, on the radio, on the


television, on platforms, on the streets, for Britain to leave for a


series of important reasons, to which you have not yet turned. I


will get to it if you would just answer the one question. When have


you ever not wanted to talk about yourself? It is so childish, it is


so tabloid, it is so Daily Mail. Good forbid! Are you and Nigel


Farage going to be able to attract and keep enough support for this


campaign, which you say is important enough to override any other


personality? I don't know because the public have not voted yet. But I


am convinced that Britain should leave. So is Boris Johnson, for his


own reasons. So is Nigel Farage, for his own reasons. What is the


overriding reason for you? Because I believe in democracy, I believe


Britain should control its own events, who comes into our country,


who can be told to leave our country, what our foreign policy


should be, what our economic policy should be, should be decided by the


British people in a British Parliament. It is not rocket


science. Have you always held that position? In 1975, I campaigned... A


lot of people in the Labour Party at that time also campaigned to come


out. I leaned to the views about the EU of Tony Benn. But the last straw


for me was Greece, the crushing of democracy in Diyala, which told me,


not to tell Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, that if they attempted to


implementing the kind of policies which they believe are necessary,


and I agree, then they will be crushed underfoot by the EU


bureaucracy -- Greece -- and by the power of Europe. So you have returns


to the issue of workers' rights, which is was actually the basis of


Labour's division in 1975. So, are you disappointed that somebody like


Jeremy Corbyn is not pushing harder to look at that issue? I think the


Prime Minister's negotiation was smoke and mirrors. If Jeremy Corbyn


had been going into those negotiations, he would have raised


far more fundamental issues. I know why, given the domestic balance of


forces within the British Labour Party, why Jeremy Corbyn has been


frankly hobbled on this question. But I am clinging to the view I took


under the leadership of Tony Benn, and I will continue to do it with


all my breath, if anyone is persuaded by it, I will be happy.


There you go. You had your say, finally, on the issue.


Time now to take a look at what else is in store for the Week Ahead.


Later today, Jeremy Corbyn will address the regular weekly


meeting of his MPs for the first time this year.


Tuesday sees the deadline for an agreement on the so-called


fiscal framework between the governments in Westminster and


On Wednesday, Mr Cameron and Mr Corbyn will face each other


Will there be a new spirit of solidarity now that they


are on the same side in the referendum campaign?


On Thursday, EU ministers will meet in Brussels to discuss


Here, the Government will be presented with the latest


And on Friday, we get back in to the party conference groove


with the Greens, Ukip and the Scottish Lib Dems


all heading off for their spring jamborees.


We're joined now by Chris Hope of the Telegraph and Rowena Mason


Welcome to both of you. Let's continue, following that George


Galloway interview, where he did not really want to talk about the issue


of whether or not people were turned off by his presence at these events


- the Prime Minister used it as a threat for people wanting out that


they would be linking arms with George Galloway and Nigel Farage. In


turn, you could say they would be linking arms with Nicola Sturgeon


and Jeremy Corbyn - how would that look to Tory MPs? Of the problem is,


basically it is a binary choice, nothing to do with politics, it is


about a choice about whether you feel happy in the EU or not.


Therefore you will have George Galloway on one side, on the same


side is Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, against the other team, who


will have David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn on the same side. I don't


think it really matters that much. You have to recognise that all sorts


of politicians in this country, nothing wrong with that, it is a


democracy. The big choice in the end is, in or out? It will have people


on both sides. Is Jeremy Corbyn an enthusiastic in? Will he be a


cheerleader for the Remain camp? Jeremy Corbyn has now made it really


clear that Labour's position is that they will campaign to remain in the


European Union. There are some within the Labour Party who would


prefer him to be a bit more full-blooded about supporting the EU


and remaining in the EU. But there are others who are just very happy


that he has set aside some of his historic Euroscepticism to say that


the collective position of the party is definitely for in. How realistic,


though, is the prospect? We have seen people dividing over this issue


within the Conservative Party. How realistic is it that the Cabinet and


the Conservative Party can come back together after the result on the


24th of June? I think it is realistic for stop there will be


this reshuffle in June or July, where you might see Boris Johnson,


who has been tipped for Foreign Secretary. He may well get that job.


Certainly they want to bring the party back together. If they lose


and we voted to go out, then David Cameron's future is certainly not


assured. So there is all to play for. But there will certainly be an


attempt to bring everybody back together in some kind of unity


reshuffle after the referendum. I spoke to Hilary Benn yesterday, who


said he would not be sharing a platform with David Cameron. Is that


a hangover from what happened in Scotland? Yes, I think absolutely.


There is a really big danger for Labour. They were burnt by Better


Together with the Conservatives in Scotland. The SNP portrayed them as


this kind of Westminster elite, that it was a stitch-up by the


establishment. And so, Jeremy Corbyn and the rest of the Labour Party


will be really keen to separate themselves from David Cameron when


they are arguing to remain in the EU. And crucial to that, Jeremy


Corbyn has been very rude about Cameron's deal which he got in


Brussels the other day. Arguing that he should have focused more on


workers' rights and fighting the trade deal. It is not like they are


linking arms and making exactly the same argument. They will be putting


forward different ideas with the same aim of keeping the UK in the


EU. Thank you to both of you. And joining me now for the rest


of the show are two new MPs - Victoria Borwick for


the Conservatives and Labour's Nick Now, the Government has issued


new guidelines to local councils and other public bodies that bans


them from boycotting Israeli goods. The government says it will end


"divisive" town hall boycotts and encourage community cohesion,


but campaigners have called the changes "an attack


on local democracy". John Hilary from anti-poverty


charity War on Want is here. John Hilary - why should public


bodies be able to impose local boycotts on goods from countries


with which they have disagreements and they disapprove? I think it is


an essential part of local democracy. At the moment, we as


local taxpayers can call on our locally elected representatives and


say, we do not want our money to be given out in contracts to countries


which are complicit in the human rights abuses of Palestinians, for


example, through trading with illegal Israeli settlements in the


occupied West Bank, or indeed, we do not want our money to be given out


in contracts to arms companies which are doing deals with the Saudi


regime. Similarly, in terms of local pensions, for teachers, police


officers and government officials, aiming to their pension pots. The


government is now saying to them, you no longer have the right to


choose that your money should or should not go into these companies


which are complicit in human rights abuses. For us, it seems like an


extraordinary abuse of local democracy. You were investigated by


the Charity Commission after a complaint about allegedly


anti-Israeli campaigns, so you can hardly claim this to be part of that


campaign, can you? Our charity is promoting human rights around the


world, as well as the fight against poverty. I should make it clear for


the record - the charity, and has rebuffed all of the complaints which


were made against War on Want in the past by certain Zionist groups. I


think we are completely in the clear from the point of view of the


Charity Commission. This is not about Israel. This is about human


rights abuses being committed against either Palestinians were


indeed any other peoples by companies which are complicit in


those violations. So, should the councils continue their boycotts, in


your mind? Of course. At the local level, we surely have the right to


say where our money goes? In fact we have the obligation. The UK


Government itself has got an obligation under international law


to hold to account like the Israeli regime - and it has failed to do


that. So it is up to us as local activists and local taxpayers.


We're joined now by the Cabinet Office minister Matthew Hancock.


Why can't councils make that decision? I am all in favour of


devolution, but we cannot devolve foreign policy. Councils and public


authorities should not discrimination against different


countries that we have trade relationships with. Their job is to


provide services to local taxpayers, relationships with. Their job is to


not to try to have a localised foreign policy. But what if those


local taxpayers agree with the line the councils are taking, and have


put pressure on their local representatives to take a stand on


something like boycotting Israeli In in the case of Israel, and this


guidance is not only about Israel but of course it is about Israel,


there are some councils who wants to target a particular country. But we


have a trading relationship with Israel and the foreign office


decides our foreign policy. It is for them, not local councils, to


decide our foreign policy. There is a problem here specifically around


Israel because some people use a boycott we are really they have an


anti-Semitic sentiment. More broadly, this is a question of who


do you think should be deciding the foreign policy of this country. And


on the issue of devolution, government always likes of


devolution and they promise it in opposition and then in power, when


they do not like the decisions taken by local bodies, they try to


withdraw the power. It does look cynical. I don't think it is


cynical. Quite the contrary. We are devolving enormous amounts of power


to Scotland and Wales and areas of the country. I am involved in a


devolution bid in East Anglia and Manchester. There is an enormous


amount of devolution going on. But when you devolve, one of the ways


you get it right is by making clear what is to be done at a national


level and what is to be done at a local level. And no one is arguing


that foreign policy should be set by local governments. Shouldn't be a


national policy in terms of making a decision about boycotting goods from


a particular country? No, and Matthew Hancock is mixing two


matters. The reality is we hear a lot about mayors and local councils'


devolution, but the first moment that George Osborne approaches


something he does not like, he tries to claw power back to the centre.


And every government does that. Is it not just about those in power?


With respect, the last Labour government created the Welsh


Assembly, the Scottish Parliament, and devolved London. They are


privately happy to take investment decisions, and that is the mixture


of the answer from Matthew Hancock that does not stand up. It is for


local councils to answer the electorate. It is quite clear that


we need to treat all suppliers the same. In London, you can buy things


from everywhere, and that is the fun thing. People should be able to


choose where they buy things from. It is very artificial. Everyone


should be treated equal. We have wonderful things all over the world


and I know when I go and choose, I choose British bacon and British


apples because I want to support our farming industry. It is getting very


supposed -- very confused, saying the council should be asked where we


should procure things from. You see it as an investment decision, not


foreign policy? I think that people should be able to free trade where


we want. If we believe in localism and free trade, we should have an


open border. Ultimately, this is a question of discrimination. Do you


want to have a discriminatory policy and it seems that some people want


that, or do you want to trade openly and freely. Ultimately, do you


determine it against Israel or do you not? A final question, will you


be boycotting Brad Forrest from now on? On the great European debate,


people will take their decisions and I came into politics essentially on


the question of economic security, that is what I want to promote and


that is what I want to unambiguously answered by remaining within the


European Union. But it is for every individual to decide in this


referendum. The Chancellor is due


to unveil his Budget next month, in which we can expect to see


the results of pensions consultation One of the ideas he floated


was transforming pensions into a type of "retirement ISA",


and one former ministerial colleague has claimed George Osborne


will abolish the current tax-free Let's have a look at the Chancellor


saying he is open to radical change for pensions


in last July's Budget. We have taken important steps


with our new single-tier pension and generous new ISA,


but I am open to further radical Pensions could be treated like ISAs


- you pay in from taxed income, and it is tax-free


when you take it out. And in between, it receives a


top-up from the government. This idea and others like it


need careful and public consideration before


we take any steps. So I am today publishing a green


paper which asks questions, invites views and takes care not


to prejudge the answer. Joining us now is the former


Lib Dem Minister for Pensions, He now works for the private


pensions firm Royal London. Welcome back to the Daily Politics.


Are you convinced of the Chancellor is going to do this? I think it is


very likely. It is not definite and not even he has made up his mind.


But because this is the only option he has mentioned in the House of


Commons, people have started saying that it will be a flat rate and


there is a risk he will announce the ice and the problem with that is


that if all your money has been taxed when you put it into a


pension, the idea of a tax-free lump sum disappears. He could abolish the


lump sum without saying the words and people in future would not be


able to take advantage of the popular bit of the pension. What is


your response to that? At the moment, this is speculation. We no


wonder the Conservatives that we have a confirmed triple lock where


pensions have gone up every year and we have guaranteed that it will go


up in line with earnings and inflation. At the moment, we do not


know. Gordon Browne made himself very unpopular when he took people's


pensions. Would George Osborne make himself unpopular if he did this? I


hope not. You're not, but would it make I have no idea what the budget


is going to be. Are you making mischief, Steve Webb? On the


contrary. Everyone has jumped to the conclusion that because a lot of


people were opposed to the pensions ISA, it is off the agenda. I have


not been into the Treasury, but lots of people go in and come out saying


that the pensions ISA is on the table. I am concerned that if we go


through without people understanding, we would lose a


popular bit of the pension system that attracts people to pensions.


And we need people to want to savour for a pension. What would your


reaction be if this was announced? My worry about this is that rather


than having one single overarching savings strategy, and looking at


policy to see how savings can be encouraged in the economy, the


Chancellor sees pensions as a tax grab. That is a worry. I worry that


this is the chance about looking for if few billion pounds rather than


thinking for the long-term. What would this mean? Having a ISA would


mean that people have the money, and it is a huge gravel tax from


tomorrow to today. It is really attractive if you are Chancellor.


And chancellors have in the past looked at pensions as a fruitful way


of getting money. What would you do instead? I would publicly say that


the idea of the generous flat rate of relief, giving more help to


people who need it most, lower and middle earners, yes you might take


some away from higher earners but if you keep the tax-free sum, you can


square the circle. But he should not be taking money out when people need


more help, not less. 'Patriot' and 'traitor' are the sort


of insults likely to be thrown around over the next few months


as we discuss Britain's Jonathan Lynn's new play -


The Patriotic Traitor - deals with a decision France's


leaders made in 1940, whether to surrender to Nazi Germany


as the war hero Phillippe Petain Or whether to fight


on with the Free French 30 years ago, the high command will


write about you. Write for the wrong reasons. You are a defeatist. You


have no hope and you never had. I had. I won. Not this time. The end


of hope is the beginning of death and without hope it is impossible


for a reasonable man to have hope. In that case, there can never be


hope because it is not possible for a reasonable man to believe in God.


I believe in God and I have always been reasonable. And I give away


everything I believe in to save France. I inherited the catastrophe.


I was not responsible for it. How do you think I feel? Signing on the


dotted line, giving away my soul. I said I would take defeat on my


shoulders and I did. Tom Conti as Marshal Petain


and Lawrence Fox And here in the studio


is the author of that play, Welcome. It has sold out. Yes.


Although there may be a couple of extra performances scheduled in the


next day or two because of demand. Let's look at these two figures. If


you looked at it in black and white, Charles de Gaulle was the hero, who


fought against the Nazis, and the tan was the traitor who fought


against them. Is it more nuanced than that? --.... Petain was the


goal's mentor. They had a father-son relationship and at the end of the


war, tragically, de Gaulle out of that is on trial for treason,


something he was reluctant to do. But surely when you look back, even


now, at history, there was not a detente. Petain had collaborated and


that is how history has judged him. It is, and that is right. But from


Petain's point of view, de Gaulle was the sword and he was the


shields. He makes the point in the plate is that it was all very well


for de Gaulle to save Paris but if it was not for Petain, there would


have been no Paris to savour. Is this a revisionist look at the role


of Petain? People tried to say once that he thought he was doing what


was best for France. It is not revisionist. I think there is no


doubt in my mind that he was wrong. He collaborated with the Nazis and


he allowed all sorts of terrible things to happen but at the same


time it is interesting to try to find an explanation for what made


him so wrong, what made this French hero do such terrible things. It is


not enough to say that he was a bad guy, but why? We have said that


patriot and traitor are emotive words. The work you are most famous


for, of course, is yes Minister and yes prime minister, known and not


just here but all around the world. Did that surprise you? Absolutely.


just here but all around the world. We thought we would do six episodes


for BBC Two and nobody would watch it, but


for BBC Two and nobody would watch astonished by the increasing


success. My father once said it has been used as a textbook for


government. Have you thought of doing the job yourself? Why not?!


Wouldn't you want to be prime Minister. I would love to be but it


is a big job. I'm not sure I could. Prime minister. Perhaps the Minister


feels he is not absolutely prime ministerial calibre, Jeffrey. There


is no doubt about that, free. You feel a little hesitant. Modestly


put. There's only one fly in the ointment, you are a bit of an


outsider. Unless you can stage manage some sort of public success


in the next few days. A tall order. I am up to my neck in the Euro


sausage. Art imitating life, do you think? Are you fans? Absolutely. Do


you think it is accurate? I have not been a government minister so I


cannot comment. Look at them, distancing themselves from! I think


being in politics and being in government are completely different


things. And will this come back to the fore with Europe debate, what do


you make of it so far? The European debate? Well, I am not sure, really.


There are arguments on both sides, as Sir Humphrey would say but I have


thought about it from de Gaulle's point of view because I had been


writing about him. He wanted a free-trade area. And let's leave it


on that free trade area. Angst to all of our guests. -- thank you to


Download Subtitles