13/05/2016 Daily Politics


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Hello, and welcome to the Daily Politics.


Questions are still being asked over whether the Conservatives broke


the law during last year's General Election campaign.


At least nine police forces and the Electoral Commission


are investigating whether some campaign spending was within


the rules, while today there are new claims that mail shots


Wales is still without a First Minister, with Labour


and Plaid Cymru deadlocked over who should get the job.


We'll be asking Ukip who they're going to back.


We've been to Strasbourg to find out whether the EU's deal with Turkey


over the migrant crisis could be close to collapse.


You may or may not think much of the EU, but how European do we really


feel? I don't know, I feel I am British


and English, that's it. All that in the next hour,


and with us for the first half of the programme today is Sam Coates


of the Times, a paper which, it was once said, is read


by the people who run the country. Well, we do count the Queen


as a loyal viewer. First today, the International


Monetary Fund are in London this morning for what was meant to be


the IMF's regular review But managing director


Christine Lagarde, flanked by Chancellor George Osborne,


devoted most of the press conference to what she said was the risk


to the UK economy if it votes She was asked by the BBC's


Kamal Ahmed why the IMF felt it was appropriate to intervene


in such a heated political We do that on a regular basis


when there is a major We do that because we need


to have a dialogue with authorities that are in power, in position


and can actually take ownership of their policies and explain


to us what their policies In the case of a referendum,


that is another matter. The authorities are not going to be


removed as a result of such matters. She did not intervene because there


is an election, but she feels free to intervene even though there is a


referendum, which many people may regard as even more important. How


does that work? She is going to intervene again within a week of the


referendum debate, because they will publish a full report flushing out


all of the fire and brimstone and fire consequences that will follow.


Is that fair? George Osbourne will be delighted that his friend has


promised to deliver for the Remain side. They will not be handing off


every word she says in Burnley today, I don't think this is a


moment where there will be a big bout, but it is a building block of


the Government and Remain case, there is a clean sweep of big


international institutions that think it would be risky to vote


Remain. She has a nice way with words, she says, I have talked to


people, it is between quite bad and very, very bad if we leave. What she


says is the IMF people have seen credible forecasts that we could


lose up to 10% of our GDP if we vote to leave. Is this not getting


ridiculous? We would be more serious than the great crash of 2008, which


did not take 10% from us, more serious than the great depression,


than the First World War. More serious than since the Romans landed


on the south coast, 10% of GDP. It is more than a lot of the other


forecasts we have had. It is a forecast... She had looked at what


she called credible forecasts that range from 1.5 to 9.5. We don't know


who the 9.5 is, which is key. The way that this works... At the IMF


has been a political institution, that is how it will be attacked by


the Leave campaign. You could make the case that it missed the


financial crisis. You could say it asked Britain to change course at


the point where the economy was recovering, and it did not need to.


You can make a good case that its track record is chequered. Leave


have put out a press release reminding people that Christina God


could face criminal charges, there are no big institutions that Leave


will not aim their bazooka at. They are playing the woman, not the ball.


The question for is today is, what does former cabinet minister


and Leave campaigner Iain Duncan Smith think


Is it a) traffic wardens, b) the Treasury, c) the Britain


Stronger In Europe campaign, or d) rain on bank holidays?


And later on in the show Sam will give us the correct answer.


Let's talk about the row over the Conservative Party's


2015 election expenses, a matter which reached


It's been a slow-burning story, but it's one that showing no


signs of going away, as Channel 4 News continues


If anything it's getting worse for the Tories.


Yesterday the Election Commission took the party to court to force


the party to hand over crucial documents which had been


requested but which the party had failed to release.


In April the Conservatives admitted failing to declare ?38,000


of General Election expenses after a Channel 4 News investigation


flagged up discrepancies in their election returns.


The party blamed an "administrative error" for failing to register


the accommodation costs of activists in their Battlebus 2015 operation,


which bussed young activists around the UK to campaign in target seats.


The Electoral Commission is conducting an investigation


into this expenditure as there are strict guidelines


on spending in individual constituencies.


But the Conservatives say the Battlebus was part of a national


campaign organised by Conservative central office, and therefore


did not form part of the spending limit for individual candidates.


In total, nine police forces are investigating whether election


spending for candidates was properly recorded.


Yesterday the Electoral Commission took the unusual step of making


a court application to force the party to disclose


And this morning we learn that police have been asked


to investigate whether letters sent in David Cameron's name


during the General Election campaign were also in breach


Well, Conservatives haven't exactly been falling over themselves to talk


about this story on air, but we did get the chance to ask


the former party chairman Grant Shapps about it


As chairman of the party, you allowed the expenses


of these campaigners, who were going to local


constituencies, staying in local hotels, you allowed them to be


charged to the national campaign and not the local campaign?


I was co-chairman, but compliance was not my side, the campaigning


side was my side, but not the finance.


You were behind the battlebus business.


The campaign, but not the compliance.


You did not wonder about the charges?


I am not one to shirk my responsibilities,...


Well, we're joined now by the BBC's Ross Hawkins.


He's been looking into this story, which, as we said, is the product


of a four-month-long investigation by Channel 4 News.


We have also been reporting it regularly. Tell us about the


mailshot development. The Liberal Democrats, one in particular, he


says there is a problem with letters that got sent in David Cameron's


name. They did not mention the constituency or say vote for a


certain candidate, but they mentioned the place. The


constituency. The letter mentioned the word Torbay repeatedly, and


says, you have to vote Conservative in Torbay when the election comes.


The point being made by the Liberal Democrat is, given as there was only


one Conservative in Torbay, that was in support of the local candidate.


The Conservatives say there is no mention of that candidate, and as


far as they are concerned, this counts as national spending. The


thunder -- you have a great big limit for national spending and a


limit for local spending. The Conservatives were acting on the


basis of understanding that they have done for years, it has been


suggested to me that other parties have done this for years as well.


The Channel 4 News investigation has challenged what the law means, and


the law is fantastically vague. The test as to whether spending is local


or not is whether it is with a view to or in connection with promoting


or procuring the candidate's election. My goodness, what could


that mean? It could mean a visit from a bus, it could not. The people


who will tested the police and the courts. This is an issue of criminal


responsibility. This is the distinction, if you overspend


nationally, the actual commission investigates you, and if you get it


wrong, you could pay fines, but it is not become an act. If you


overspend at a constituency level, some of the money you have dedicated


to your national campaign should have been logged with the local one,


that is a criminal offence, you can go to jail for that, and that is why


the police are investigating. Yes, and you could lose your seat. We


have two parallel bits of law, to parallel investigates Reebok is, at


both working around the one thing will affect the other, because if


you did not get the National return right, the local one could be wrong.


A whole bunch of police forces, who do not consider the final points of


electoral law, are having to make a complex and sensitive decision about


whether to ask for more time and fun to do this. If you were the one


police force who did not bother, you risk looking a Charlie, if you are


the four factors, quite a big risk on a very high profile place. A lot


of chief constables are having to think hard about the decisions they


make. The benchmark is quite high if you are the candidate, it has to be


shown, because your agent signs of the spending in the constituency,


that you knowingly sanctioned this extra spending for it to become


criminal. You have to knowingly have submitted a full Sutton. That might


be difficult. We are not lawyers, but you can go to a court case, find


out somebody had done this knowingly, because they were


following orders, the same orders that had held for previous


elections, and people would turn around and look at those people at


HQ, on whom there would not be a legal obligation, because they were


not the ones that signed off the local return. Keep on it, we shall


see where it goes. Well, we did naturally ask


the Conservative Party for an interview this morning,


but none was forthcoming. We also asked the Labour Party


if they wanted to speak to us, But I am joined from our Leeds


studio by the Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland, he sits


on the party's campaigns committee, and from Northampton


by the professor of electoral law Can you give us a take on what


potentially are the election rules that have been broken and what are


the possible consequences? If one of the candidates did knowingly break


election law by either overspending on their election expenses or by


corruptly making a false declaration, there are quite serious


consequences. If they just overspend, they would be liable to a


fine and upon conviction they would be liable to a fine and liable to be


suspended, thrown out of politics of three years. If they made a full 's


return on their election expenses, in the way that somebody did


allegedly some years ago, they would be liable to two years in prison and


to be banned from sitting for Parliament for five years. There


would be a by-election? Yes. That may come to you, -- let me come to


you, is it not the case that all of the major parties use these


battlebus is locally but they charge them to the national spend? I don't


think that is the point. That is not the thrust of the excellent Channel


4 News investigation. They have found documentation involving


activists brought into some of these constituencies that showed up there


were indeed being asked to and giving information to campaign for a


local candidate in a local seat, and in the case of the letters


identified, it clearly says Torbay. I can tell you, from my years as a


candidate, I have always clearly been told by our party HQ that


something if it mentions the area of the constituency or the candidate,


it has to be declared on local expenses. That is a mistake that


needs to be love that. All the major parties use Battle


buses, all the major parties, but are you saying that the other


parties use these for the national campaign and the Liberal Democrats,


labour to your knowledge, whoever, they don't bus in activists to fight


for a constituency on the East Battlebuses? We don't get the vast


sums from business that the Conservatives do and we don't get


the large sums from trade unions that Labour do. It is about the


specific issue as to whether it is helping the local candidates. I


understand, an interesting and important distinction. I can see how


long this story has been running since it was first broken on Channel


4 News. Is there not a sense that the electoral commission needs to


have greater powers than the ability to access relevant data more quickly


and more easily? As I understand it, we are almost at the end of the


statute of limitations on this, they will need to ask for extra power,


for more time to investigate it? There are two points there. The


answer to your general question, should the electoral commission have


more power to investigate, most people in the investigation will say


yes but the issue about the statute of limitations, yes, under section


176 of the relevant act, representation of the people act,


the police get one year but they can go to the magistrates and ask for


that to be extended to a period of two years. That is my understanding


that that is under active consideration at the moment. Two


years is the cut-off. It's clear the police do the job properly and will


need to extend the time. How seriously are the Tories worried


about this? Perhaps not as seriously as you might think, judging from the


conversations I've had. The point that keeps being made to me is that


we think that the hurdle that the police need to prove is that people


knowingly and corruptly engaged in, as it were, fraudulent activity. If


it was the case that Conservative headquarters legal advice President,


what was believed to be the way that other parties campaigned all went


along and did similar things to this, they believe it's going to be


quite hard to mount prosecutions against individual MPs and force


by-elections. You have a slightly chequered history in terms of


electoral law enforcement in this country, the electoral commission's


own record isn't that part. I think the test is very significant. No


police force will want to be seen not to investigate, but when it


comes to charging I think that is a different matter. Let me get a


reaction from you, Mr Mulholland, to what Sam has just been saying. Those


are issues for the Conservative Party but I think the fact that they


are being dragged to the High Court because they weren't supplying


information, that shows there Zurich 's questions that need to be


answered. We need to get serious in capping donations per person per


year at ?10,000, which we want to do but the other two parties are not


prepared to do, they'll is walk away when we get to that stage in talks.


What is the significance of this complaint now about letters being


sent out in David Cameron's name mentioning the constituency? Is that


on the margins of wrongdoing or is that something that should be taken


seriously as well? I think that should be taken seriously because if


they are mentioning individual candidates in individual


constituencies, that ought to be... They don't mention the candidate but


they mention the constituency, Ross was telling us. Sorry, Professor.


The constituency... Well, I haven't seen the leaflets he was sending


out, but I think that is certainly something that there is a serious


question to be asked. The problem is, if it's got Conservatives and


the former constituency, who do you think the leaflet is in favour of?


It's not in favour of the Labour Party in that constituency. I think


even I can work that out, Professor! Can I come back to one break point?


Very briefly, please. One break point about the knowing, that is a


significant point. What I would say to that is when you look at the way


the law is tightened up following the Fiona Jones case, the


significant tightening of the law, I think knowing is going to be a lot


easier to prove than perhaps the Conservatives are suggesting. Thank


you very much to both of you for joining us, gentlemen. Sam, Grant


Shapps has gone. It is jacket hanging by sugary peg? I think Grant


Shapps is quite enjoying the discomfort that Andrew Feldman is


feeling over that and doesn't appear to be blinking at the prospect of


hanging out to dry over this I think if there were a problem with this


and there are prosecutions, I think that folds at Lord Fellman's door


which is bad news for David Cameron that he supplies funding for the


party. And they are friends going back to Brasenose College.


Now, let's talk about Wales, which is still without


a First Minister after dramatic scenes earlier this week which saw


Labour won most of the seats up for grabs at last


week's assembly election, that's 29 out of 60,


but that means it failed to secure a majority.


It meant that Labour leader Carwyn Jones needed support


from opposition groups to come back to govern as First Minister.


So on Wednesday, two candidates were put forward,


Mr Jones for Labour and Plaid leader Leanne Wood.


Labour, of course, backed Mr Jones, along with the sole Lib Dem,


whilst the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and the seven


Ukip assembly members supported Ms Wood.


Today, Labour and Plaid Cymru hold talks to try and break the deadlock.


Assembly Members are expected to meet again next week to vote again.


If there's still no decision, they have until 2nd June to decide,


Well, yesterday the Daily Politics broke the news that two members


of the Ukip group were offering to back Labour over Plaid if certain


One of them is Mark Reckless, and he joins us now.


Welcome back on the programme. So have you made up your minds yet on


who you're going to support, you get? We haven't made up our minds


because it depends how much of our manifesto, I spent months writing


policies for the 20 devolved areas of Wales, we are able to influence.


We would like to see a change of First Minister because we think


democracy ultimately requires an alternation of parties who are


leaving. When you say we, what do you mean? You're part of Ukip or a


different part of Ukip? You are divided on this, aren't you? Seven


of us in the assembly were elected which we thought was a fantastic


result. We all want to intimate as much of the manifesto as possible.


One area of that is scrapping the Severn Bridge tolls. The Severn


Bridge act predates the devolution settlement. On the southern bridge,


the toll Plaza, it is within Wales and highways were devolved. You need


the bridge to go to the other side too. You may be asking the Cardiff


assembly to make a deal over which it might not have the power. The St


David's Day agreement and the cell commission said that the bridges


would be dealt with by matter of agreement between the Welsh


government and the UK Government. Ultimately if the Welsh government


makes it its priority that it wants to scrap the tolls, there may be a


cost to the taxpayer and we think a contribution to the maintenance is


appropriate. But ultimately we hope they will abolish them. You have


seven members in the Welsh assembly. Yes. How many are supporting Carwyn


Jones and how many are supporting Leanne would? We are all supporting


Leanne Wood, we all voted for her four days ago and if there was


another vote on Tuesday with no changes, we would all voted for her


against. So there is no splinter group trying to do a deal with


Carwyn Jones? No, there are people individual parties speaking to me as


an assembly member and no doubt speaking to others. Every time I


have those conversations, I say a key part of our plans is to scrap


the Severn Bridge tolls but also develop the East West business links


and infrastructure. I think we can benefit from being linked to the


stronger economy in Bristol and also... Other than a Time for


change, what do you have in on with Plaid Cymru? We want to scrap the


tolls and we want to have the blue route for the black route for


Heathrow which will create more money to spend in Wales. We would


like to have more money for local elections. They are all Plaid Cymru


policies as well as Ukip once. If you had to guess the way it works


out, who do you think will be the First Minister? I think it's quite


likely Plaid Cymru will come to some sort of deal with Labour. I don't


think there's any need for us to negotiate with them because we will


vote for Leanne, as we showed. There is a lot of overlap in those areas


I'm talking about. To improve the east-west links and scrap the tolls.


I think it's most likely that Plaid Cymru will cook up some sort of deal


with Labour but if possible we would like the opportunity to implement as


much of our manifesto as we could and we are willing to work with


anyone in Wales to do that. Is Neil Hamilton your new leader in Wales?


Yes, he was elected by the Cabinet. I voted for Nathan Kilcourse his


opponent, but Neil won the vote and we have a Democratic party and I


respect that. So he is the leader in the assembly? Yes. What is Nathan


Gill doing now then? He is the leader in Wales. So you have two


hopes but only seven members? -- two Popes! We have a group of seven in


the Welsh assembly and we will use it for the good of the people of


Wales. And we shall keep an eye on you as you do. Thank you very much,


Mr Reckless. We know you don't need to love


the EU in order to feel European. After all, many leading Leave


campaigners have strong Boris Johnson has French


and German ancestry, with a bit of Turkish


and Russian thrown in too. So do people in this country feel


that they have a bond, a cultural affinity,


with our continental neighbours? For the mood box today


we have come to Croydon, because a lot of this referendum


is about identity. Lots of people think


about themselves as British, but do they also think


of themselves as European? I dunno, I just feel I am


British and English. Do you feel European


at all? Does it surprise you that


lots of British people I think they have a very


strong national feeling. I think they have a very


strong national feeling. Not in a bad way, but they are proud


of their country, it is OK. They are two separate


things really, I think. I think the British,


mainly because we are an island, People are definite about that,


but if I asked a Frenchman or a German or a Spaniard,


they would feel European as well. We have all trade, we have all our


holidays in Europe, so we have Would you also say


you were a European? Welsh first, then European,


I would say. "I am holding my Welsh identity


but I see myself as European," I think we are all part of a bigger


world, and you can't No, I am not a European,


I am an Englishman and This result is unexpected,


but also quite complicated. No was winning clearly to start


with, then a number of people who live here but are European,


a third of those yeses were people who are Europeans


who live in Britain... That is all Brits who don't feel


European. It is almost ending


up with yes in front. I try not to predict these things,


I did not expect this result. That was Giles with the entirely


unscientific mood box. Well, we're joined now by one


man who feels European. He's the former MEP and father


of Boris, Stanley Johnson. And by one woman who doesn't,


the etiquette expert Liz Brewer. Put aside the mood box, according to


more scientific surveys 64% of British people don't feel any sense


of European identity. You are not winning. I am surprised with that.


We have to distinguish between feeling European and separating out


from the EU. This was European identity, it was carried out by the


European Commission. They would have liked a different result. 51%


increase, 43 Ireland, 36 France. We were the least. I am related to


Boris, you have seen in the introduction his European men


launch, a French word there, and etiquette is a French word. Do I


field European? I was born in England, I am British, but if I


field European, no, I feel English. You teach etiquette, which is a


French word. We have many French words,... It might be a Norman word.


Which I don't like! You ask me a question, what do I feel? I bought


myself an apartment in Berlin, I go there, I still don't field European,


I still feel very British. You feel like a Berliner! I feel exactly the


same as I do here. Why did you buy one? Investment! I feel European


because my ancestors came from Europe. One or two came from


Britain, my mother was half French, I have turkeys and Shastri, so I


feel I am rooted in this. Where you are brought up, you have tradition,


values, a way of behaviour, and it is different, we are different from


people overseas. Culture is different. The Romans were here for


400 years, the Normans, people were speaking French here until the 13th


or 14th century. Norman French, but still pretty good French. Not if you


came from Paris! The road to Rouen! Is there anything he could say to


convince you? You could be on a sticky wicket. You start talking


European, we are multinational. Mike Russell is the fact that when we go


overseas, we conform, and we learn how to behave in their culture. I


agree on one thing, the Englishness. I don't feel British, I feel


English. On that point, we will leave them to try to convince each


other. It's time now to find out


the answer to our quiz. The question was, what did


Iain Duncan Smith say Was it a) traffic wardens,


b) the Treasury, c) the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign,


or d) rainy bank holidays? It was a well-known left-wing


critique at the time. Coming up in a moment


it's our regular look at what's been For now, it's time to say goodbye


to my guest of the day. So, for the next half


an hour we're going to be We'll be discussing


the European Commission's decision to block a major mobile-phone


merger, the EU's deal with Turkey and what's been happening


in Portugal since the crash. First, though, here's our guide


to the latest from Europe No doubt it was in your diary,


who could forget Europe Day? People came together to mark


the annual celebration of peace and unity, even Nigel Farage


was caught humming Beethoven's Back in the real world,


ambassadors were dealing with the migrant crisis,


backing a European Commission plan to extend internal border controls


for a maximum of six months. New rules were passed to make it


easier for Europol to set up units to respond immediately


to terrorist threats. US officials are cheesed off


with one warning that the transatlantic trade deal


could be scuppered by plans to ban the sale of American-made products


labelled feta or champagne. It came under strain with 11


countries showing a yellow card to the European Commission


over its recent proposal to ensure equal pay


for workers posted overseas. And with us for the next 30 minutes


I've been joined by the Ukip MEP Jonathan Arnott and the Labour MEP


Richard Howitt. Let's take a look at one of those


stories in more detail, and that's the decision by a group


of Eastern European governments to flash a yellow card


at European Commission proposals to level wage differences


between local workers and those sent abroad within the EU,


known as posted workers. It is quite hard to make the yellow


card stick? This is the third time it has happened, but this is the


democracy in Europe, national parliaments having a voice. The deal


going to the British referendum is a red card. On this issue, I and my


party want action to stop exportation of rights. We will carry


on doing that we want that to change. But the fact that there is a


democratic debate going on, one that I believe we can win, on the


fundamental principle of equal pay for workers, whichever country you


are from, that is a big detection for low paid, insecure workers in


Britain, but I expect we can win that, but in a democratic fashion.


That is what European politics should be about. What do you say on


the ability of European Parliament 's to lay down a yellow card if they


don't like what is going on? As has been mentioned, it is only the third


time it has happened. It is a difficult procedure to implement,


very clunky. It takes at least nine countries to all within eight weeks


get something through their own individual parliaments to say to the


commission, we want you to think again. On one of the previous two


occasions when this happened, on the Public prosecutor 's office, the


commission said it would plough ahead with that kind of thing


anyway. We see that time and time again. Is it likely to happen again?


We will see, but if you take that example, we need to clamp down on


tax evasion, corruption, and Europe needs to have more teeth. You have


changed the goalposts. Having MPs voting against banking regulation


and cracking down on tax havens, if that really what people want? Nobody


is saying you should not crack down on tax havens. You voted against. We


should do that at Westminster, as a British Government, not something


which should be done at EU level. You moved the goalposts, because we


were having a discussion about the democratic issue, he said how


democratic it was, I pointed out it is not that democratic for the


commission to plough on anyway, and you moved on to the issue in son of


the principal. We shall see, and we thank Jeremy Corbyn for raising


this, because we would not have known what it was. Twice. We have


now followed it. Now, the ?10.3 billion deal to marry


O2 and Three was meant to be a final reshaping of Britain's


mobile phone market. It would have left the UK with just


three major mobile But the EU's competition


commissioner had other ideas and she's blocked the takeover


on the grounds it would reduce To tell us more I'm joined


by the BBC's technology Nice to see you again. This was a


merger between two British companies, largely affecting the


British market, what is the provenance of Brussels in this kind


of merger? Deals above a certain level to get referred to Brussels.


The BT/ EE merger, which was even bigger, that stayed in Britain


because just about everything to do with it was happening in Britain. O2


and Three are to foreign companies, O2 is owned by Spanish company, it


wanted to get rid of it, and Three is owned by a Hong Kong company, it


wanted to buy it. They were both keen to have this case decided in


Brussels, because they thought Brussels would be kinder to them


than our regulator of calm. That worked! Ofcom made its views very


strongly known in Brussels, it wrote a number of stiff letters, it said,


we don't want to go down from four operators to three, and in the end


Russells agreed. That has come as a shock to the whole telecoms


industry. This is not a case of this being approved by the British


competition authorities and then being overruled by the Brussels


competition authorities, this went to Brussels and the British


authorities are pretty happy with the result? They are very happy,


they seemed worried that Brussels would let it through against their


well. The telecoms companies are cross about this, they would rather


Europe looks at the market as a whole, how many players there are in


the market across Europe, rather than just one country will stop they


feel there needs to be consolidation. They don't feel they


are making enough money in Europe. They should look at my roaming


charges and wonder why! What will be spit companies do now? Is that it


over for the merger? It probably is, although there is talk of the Hong


Kong company appealing. The Spanish company will look for another


partner. It really wants shot of this business. It will hunt around,


there is talk of virgin's owner coming in for the business instead.


This is quite good news for British consumers, it keeps up choice and


competition for mobile phone users. In a lot of ways this is the same


principle of the previous discussion we have just had. We have had to go


to Brussels to get an answer for something, and in the end of the


same thing that Ofcom wanted in the first place. I believe that should


have been a decision for the UK to take, whether we have three or four


operators in the UK. There are a lot of issues surrounding that, and it


should fundamentally be a decision for the British Government. The fact


it has been decided by Brussels is a fundamental problem. It seems it was


decided by them because that is what the companies wanted. Putting that


aside, the number of mobile phone companies we should have operating


in Britain should be a matter for the Brits? It is a proposed merger


between a Spanish giant and a Hong Kong based giant. They are a good


company, they run Felixstowe port in my constituency. But it is for the


British market. The EU should not have a view about that? But have


also stepped in and stop similar mergers in Denmark and Italy. His


point is they should not be doing that either. I can see the point,


Brussels getting involved, if it is a matter of European wide


commission, -- competition, but if this was about the British market,


should it not be left to the British competition authorities? It does not


seem that the result would have been any different, but it is a matter of


sovereignty. It is another great example where what Britain wanted


one, we do win the argument. But it is in Europe's interest that we have


investment in mobile phone technology, we have gone to 3G, 24


the next generation will be five G, and there is an issue, what will get


the new infrastructure invested in by the big companies? It is


competition, not consolidation. All of the evidence shows that. I have


no problem with competition, the Duquesne should be taking those


decisions, and I believe the decision would have been the correct


one, had we decided it in the UK. We should not have to apply to Brussels


to ask whether they will... Some of these things are good


things, why don't we just wake up and recognise it? The average


telephone user is paying ?52 less per year on their mobile phone bill


because Europe cut the mobile phone charges. Come on. Look, on my phone


network, if I'm in Switzerland, if I'm in the USA there are no roaming


charges whatsoever. It's called the free market. It's bringing prices


down not just in the EU... How much do we pay to be part of the European


single market? Now, the deal struck between the EU


and Turkey aimed at easing Europe's migration crisis has had some


success, contributing to a major easing of the flow of people


across the Aegean Sea to Greece. But it's not exactly been


without controversy. Part of the deal was to give


Turkey's 79 million citizens visa-free access to the EU,


and the promise of progress on talks But this week it's looked under


serious strain, over Turkey's refusal to change


its laws on terrorism. There were a lot of conditions to


this Visa free travel laid out by the EU.


Our Jo Coburn has been in Strasbourg, finding out more.


Migrants crossing illegally from Turkey to Greece


The one for one deal so far slowing the influx


For every migrant deported to Turkey, a legitimiate Syrian


So far, 3 billion euros in aid and the prospect of Visa free travel


for its citizens in the Schengen area if the country


The question over whether those have been reached has opened up a huge


gulf between the commission and the European Parliament.


The Turkish visa issue was debated here in Strasbourg this week.


With general agreement that the country is still falling short


A majority in this Parliament has stated clearly that we believe


that over the last years, and especially if you look


during the last 12 months, Turkey is increasingly moving away


from meeting European standards, rather than doing what one


would expect from a candidate EU country, to move towards meeting


We have great concerns for the parliament when it


comes to the rule of law, democracy, press freedom.


There are five EU benchmarks that need to be reached by Turkey.


On corruption, data protection, reaching a deal with Europol,


judicial cooperation on criminal matters


Despite high-level talks between EU officials and Turkish ministers,


some MEPs are up in arms about the whole deal itself.


I think that the best way forward is to put our own house in order,


to solve ourselves the refugee crisis by putting in place European


border and coast guards, which we don't have,


by putting in place a new European asylum system not long the Dublin


system, and putting in place new ways of legal migration.


The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been


of literally rolling out the red carpet for Turkey


in exchange for the country's help to deal with


There are many MEPs here at the European Parliament who also


believe it brings the idea of Turkey's access into the EU


That claim has been dismissed by members of her political group.


She is really fighting for a good neighbourhood.


She is really working on the issue and tries to convince Turkey,


because Turkey is an important partner in the Nato partnership.


Turkey is important as a neighbour in between this area of Syria,


But MPs sceptical of the entire European project claim its leaders


are deliberately linking the migrant deal with talks for Turkey's EU


membership because they are looking ahead beyond the current crisis.


TRANSLATION: Juncker, Schultz and Merkel want to allow


Turkey into the European Union because it will mean cheaper


labour and lower wages for workers in many countries.


MPs are due to vote on the visa free travel deal on June 28,


Turkey's president has warned that if his country is not


given the Visa waiver, he will end the migration deal.


Is this EU, essentially German- Turkey deal, is it in danger of


unravelling? Is it sustainable? Doesn't fully respect human rights?


We don't know and we are asking some very tough questions about it. Do


you have to approve it, as a Parliament? We didn't have too


approve the initial deal, our job is to scrutinise it. We also


responsible for some of the cash which goes straight through the NGO


Global to the refugees to assist them. It has stopped people dying at


sea and we have to welcome that, surely. It has improved the welfare


of people, hungry and defenceless, in Turkey. RU worried about it? Of


course I'm worried about the deal. Some have pulled out because they


don't believe international humanitarian law is being respected.


Of course I'm worried. Is there a danger that this deal will unravel,


or in your view should it unravel, should we have done this deal in the


first place? My view is that the UK should vote to leave the European


Union. So what the European Union does in its deal with Turkey is up


to the European Union. While we're still in it, I have big problems


over the VZ deal and the amount of money we're sending to Turkey and


other candidate for the European Union. We're sending a lot of


British taxpayers's money out to those countries at the moment to


help them join the EU and I see that as a massive problem. In terms of


the deal itself, if the UK weren't in the European Union, I would say


it's a matter for the EU to decide what it wants to do. With the UK in,


I have to be concerned... We're not in Schengen, though. It certainly


does mean that it's a lot easier for people to get closer to the UK. But


the roles for Turkey, the Visa free waiver for Turks, and only about 7


million Turks have passports anyway, though it's not like it really is 79


million, it still doesn't get them into this country. Are you saying


that more Turks wouldn't apply for passports? I'm sure they might, but


that's quite a prolonged... I suppose what concerns the blues


this. For a longer read, the European Union rewarded Turkey with


access shouldn't talk 's and access to the European market. As Turkey


liberalised and became more modern and democratic and so on. Now it


seems to be rewarding Turkey as it becomes more theocratic, less


liberal and more authoritarian. We've seen the Prime Minister who


did this deal with the EU come he's been shunted out of the way by the


president, who may now be putting one of his relatives in as Prime


Minister. That's not good for the EU. Ultimately he wants to change


the constitution and have even more power in his hands. I'm not going to


hide those concerns but not simply is the Umana Terry and case, but in


cost terms it's cheaper to help refugees where they are now rather


than coming into Britain. In the local election campaign Ukip ran a


party political broadcast where they said 15 million Turks would come to


Britain by 2020. It's not true. You've heard the parliamentary


negotiator in your interview say this is something they're moving


further away from and not closer to. You cannot believe the claims that


they make. No one is saying that that many people... No he didn't. So


what are you saying? What we're saying is that if Turkey joins the


European Union, and more accession chapters are being opened, there


would be more rights for them to come. We can't say how many would


come but we can say how many had the right to come. Provided we don't


veto it, of course, and that the French don't have a referendum, both


of which are quite likely. It's something that's only going to


happen if ever in the long-term... Using it in this referendum is


simply to scare people. The problem with vetoes, of course, is that once


you give it up you can't get it back. You've got to trust Cameron


not to give it up, Corbyn... Only recently the Prime Minister seemed


to be a big fan of Turkey joining the EU and it went to Portugal


because it was the third Euro country area to have to ask for a


bailout after Greece and Ireland, following the banking crash in 2008.


This was done in 2009. Portugal was the third Euro-area


country to have to ask for a bailout after Greece and Ireland


during the economic crisis of 2009. And it's still facing low


growth and struggling In the latest in our


Meet The Neighbours series, Adam Fleming has been


to find out more. I suppose this is Portugal's


Birmingham, its second city, Porto. During the Eurozone crisis Portugal


was bailed out by the EU to the tune of 78 billion euro,


?62 billion, on the condition they Portugal left the bailout


programme two years ago, They are underemployed architects


who now host walking tours First stop, a new hotel,


built with EU funds. We are not blaming this hotel


in particular, or even This hotel had over 5 million euros


in tax money from Europe. At least in Portugal there is not a


debate on this, there is not a general conversation about what are


we supposed to do with tax money. Instead, they would rather see this


old car-parts factory spruced up There will be an informal school,


some places to take care a workshop for wood


and metal in the middle. On the way, you see


a lot of empty shops. The thing that upsets them the most,


though, is how many of their I feel sad that so many people


had to go. That I don't like. Because I don't


think it's smart, as a country logic.


We desperately need those same people that we lost.


Things are looking much, well, rosier here.


One partnership owns some big port brands.


It is a British-run company that has done OK


We bought a number of businesses, we launched businesses.


People thought I was insane to be launching a five-star luxury hotel


in 2010 in the middle of the crisis, but the truth is people


want to travel, people want to explore and discover,


and this is what you can do here in Portugal.


Yes, recession is tough, but it is in those environments


where good businesses tend to do well and the weaker businesses tend


Although politics here is now more of a completed cocktail,


a coalition government led by socialists, propped up


by communists, with a right-wing president, and the European


Commission keeping a close eye on what is going on.


Adam living the life there in Portugal. The Eurozone crisis never


quite goes away, does it? At least the pain for the people most


affected. The Portuguese Socialists have struck up a good relationship


with British Labour and Jeremy Corbyn personally, and you have a


minority government there that is going to be out of the bailout


scheme this year and which has replaced a Conservative government


that brought in all the cuts but the debt went up. So it's a better news


story than we think. OK, we shall see. That's it for now. Thank you


for joining us, come back and see us soon am a goodbye for now.


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