Carolyn Quinn with the latest political news, interviews and debate.
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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.
The Government says it hasn't promised extra cash to Nissan,
after the car maker announced it would boost
Theresa May says she's delivering the 2015 Conservative manifesto,
but after the government confirms it's ditching
another Cameron policy - this time on schools.
Do the PM's policy U-turns amount to more than just a bit of tweaking?
After weeks of wrangling, the Belgian region of Wallonia
drops its opposition to a trade deal between Canada and the EU.
So what does this mean for future trade deals?
And after Jeremy Corbyn compares Theresa May with Baldrick
from Blackadder, what makes a good political insult?
We've got our guide to the top five best ever.
All that in the next hour, and with us for the first half
of the programme today, Jenni Russell, who writes for
the Times and the Evening Standard, and the Sun's political
Let's kick off with the question of what assurances the Government
gave to Nissan to ensure the Japanese company would commit
to continued investment in their Sunderland factory.
Last night, the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, insisted there was no
One of the things that we have committed to do as part
of our industrial strategy is to build on our strengths, to make
sure our universities and our research institutions work
Hang on, sorry, I must interrupt you.
Are you saying that you said to Nissan in Japan that
you, we're going to do development work on electric cars
and therefore you can do two new models here
It's a big problem, and I've referred to it
You never promised them a cheque book, nothing like that?
There is no cheque book, I don't have a cheque-book.
The important thing is they know that this is a country
in which they can have confidence that they can invest.
That was the assurance on the understanding that they had,
and they have invested their money on that basis.
We've been joined by Labour's Shadow International Trade
Hello. Would you like to congratulate the business secretary
for keeping Nissan in the UK, safeguarding 7000 jobs in Sunderland
and keeping his cheque-book in his pocket? I think it's wonderful that
Nissan is going to build two cars in the UK. There will be 40,000 people
who slept more soundly last night knowing that their mortgages were
going to be paid at the end of the month, their rents were going to be
paid, that they have jobs and security for the future. So you
would do the same? The problem is we don't know what the same is. The
question that Greg Clark so judiciously avoided answering is
what is the support and assurances that have been promised? He said in
the letter that he wrote there were some assurances. What we need to
know is, is this generally for the industry? And as Jim Farley of Ford
has said, you can't do a deal for one and not for the other. We have
to know. And actually, if there is money involved, even if its
compensation in the future, if the tariffs remain in place, we do need
to know what is happening with public money and public resources.
Do you suspect that is what has happened? I am not going to make
accusations. What I do know is what is in the public domain. Letters
were written, people were dispatched to Japan. And the chief executive of
the company had said only a couple of weeks ago, given that he needed
to make investment decisions, he had to have a deal about compensation
for any tariffs that would arise as a result of us leaving the EU. He
said Nissan Micra not invest unless the government gave compensation for
costs related to new tariffs. What will you say to Greg Clark? What
assurances are you seeking from the government today? What I am saying
to Greg Clark is, show us the letter. If this is simply a letter
that doesn't promise anything, that is unusual, out of the ordinary, or
any more than warm words about supporting the sector in general,
there is no need to hide it. What is the secrecy Gyor? This is the point.
-- what is the secrecy here? The Times reports that the letter was
regarded by Nissan as they promised they would not have to bear the cost
of punitive tariffs on car exporter if Britain leaves EU customs error
-- area. They seem to have had sight at least of this letter. You want to
see it yourself? I think the public have a right to see it. And
certainly every other business chief executive, not only in the
automotive industry, will want to see it as well. What they want to
know is why, given everybody is now behind as -- Kos exiting the EU, and
the government is saying this is a good thing that is opening
opportunities, why are we trying to bribe copies, if that is what it is?
-- companies. This is supposed to be a new opportunity for Britain
trading in the world. We think if we are having to persuade companies to
stay... Are you saying other sectors will have to be equally bribed? I am
not making an allegation of a bride, but the government has to be
transparent. Harry Cole, what do you make of it? This will come down to
the words remain competitive. Misano said the government has promised --
Nissan has said the government has promised they will remain
competitive. The government wants to support the car market and for it to
remain competitive. But go back to the idea this is nothing new, that
is the next conversation. Misano only build the plant in Sunderland
because they were encouraged to buy the government's industrial
strategy. The idea that was ever going to change remains to be seen.
You are saying it is interventionism? Whether you agree
or not, Theresa May said we need a new industrial strategy. Lo and
behold, what we are seeing here is industrial strategy. Aren't there
are dangers that if you intervene in one sector, other sectors say, what
about us? That is what is so puzzling. Those of us who didn't
want to leave the European Union because we thought it would mean a
financial hit to the country, what will the government do? Are they
going to subsidise agriculture? Are they going to turn to the city and
say, if banks cannot operate, we will compensate you for your losses?
Where do they stop? That is the problem. We do not know what has
been promised. Nissan are quite certain it will remain profitable to
be in the EU. The government may be promising Nissan that we will charge
cars that are imported into this country 10% tax and we will use that
to subsidise use. -- you. Will they do that in every sector? It would be
impossible. Is that something to take into account, maybe you could
offset one set of tariffs with another? All of us will agree that
we do not want a tariff war. Again, let's think about the wider
philosophy of the government. It is supposed to be free trade. One may
question why, if we are so in favour of free trade, we are leaving the
largest free-trade bloc in the entire world. That is nonetheless
the rhetoric of the government. One has to look at that very carefully.
You can see that the devaluation of the pound will also make Nissan cars
produced in the UK cheaper to buy abroad as well. And I think it's not
just looking at the 10% of tariffs that may be charged. It is also the
thought perhaps that if the pound keeps sinking in value, then
actually there will be a boost to Nissan sales. That may also have
played some role in the decision. That is not a good indicator for our
economy in general. It means that people think the value of UK plc has
gone down. Is it Labour Party policy that the UK should remain a member
of the single market? Its Labour Party policy that we should now
leave the EU, as the people have asked. But that we should retain the
best possible access for our companies. And let's not just make
this about the big Manufacturing brands. 60% of all people employed
in the private sector are employed in small and medium-sized companies.
We need a strategy that works for them, not just for the big boys.
Barry Gardiner, thank you. Now it's time for our daily quiz,
which today relates to the announcement that Twitter
is to close its video We thought we would take a look
at some of the most watched vines But which of these three
is the most viewed? Is it David Cameron checking his tie
before an interview? Is it Ed Miliband looking
the camera and set to music? Later in the show, we'll see
if Jenni and Harry know Theresa May insists her government
is committed to delivering David Cameron's 2015
Conservative manifesto. But over the past weeks and months,
the May government has dropped some Cameron-era policies
and tweaked others. Yesterday an announcement
was slipped out, confirming that the Education for All Bill,
which aimed to convert all schools in England
to academies, will be scrapped. How much has government policy
changed from the programme they were elected on last year?
None of the other parties could keep up with the Conservatives
when their car crossed the line first in 2015.
But government has made a number of U-turns since Theresa May
replaced David Cameron in the driving seat.
So what has the Prime Minister been tinkering with under the bonnet?
She's already changed the Government's approach
to tackling the deficit, abandoning George Osborne's pledge
A key part of the Help to Buy scheme - another flagship Osborne policy -
was also scrapped by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, last month.
The scheme will no longer offer mortgage guarantees to help people
Plans to let consumers raise money by selling their pension annuities
On education, plans were dropped last week, to make all children
resit SAT tests at secondary school if they didn't achieve the expected
And it was confirmed yesterday that the Government will no longer
be bringing forward a previously announced Education Bill to convert
schools to academies, clearing the way for
So although it looks like the same Conservative car, is Theresa May's
government now headed for a different destination?
Well, here with me to discuss this further is the Conservative
Welcome. Is Theresa May pursuing the same government programme you were
elected on last year? The broad principles are exactly the same. We
are committed to deficit reduction, driving School standards and having
greater freedom in terms of provision of school. The free school
programme will absolutely be at the centre of what the government is
trying to do. But we have to appreciate we have had a huge vote,
Brexit, very significant. You have a different chancellor, a different
Prime Minister. That hasn't happened before. The EU referendum gives
Theresa May free rein to disregard the manifesto of 2015, apart from
broad principles? The EU referendum has completely changed the context
in which government is operating. We have a series of challenging
negotiations ahead. It is absolutely fair to see a government with
different personnel have different emphases. You wouldn't expect
anything else. It is not as if we are following a cookbook recipe
rigidly in a nonreflective way. You have to have different people,
different personalities. The party evolves. What about the people who
voted Conservative because they like the look of the education bill,
which has now been dropped? You were elected to expand academy schools.
What mandate does the government now have? A couple of things. On the
education mandatory academies, that was announced in the budget this
year. Strangely. They all had to be by 2022. Nicky Morgan announced,
when she was Education Secretary before the referendum, that the
policy would be reversed. It was going to be watered down. It was
watered down to the point where people like you said it was a
U-turn. But the commitment was still there
in the manifesto, wasn't it? The second thing I want to say, after
I've been on this programme I'm going to come back to my
constituency surgery. None of them is going to mention the fact that
the manifesto commitments haven't been met on these things. Are you
sure? While much unless they've changed. He has primed them in
advance! Are usually get a list of what they are going to blog about.
None of them are saying, we are very upset with Theresa May because she's
not going to continue David Cameron's programme. What about
economic policy. You said that you are still broadly trying to tackle
the deficit. But the manifesto you were elected on clearly said, I am
quoting, the only way to keep our economy secure the future is to
eliminate the deficit entirely and start running a surplus, anything
less would be to ignore the lessons of the past, and the surplus was to
be removed into at the end of this Parliament, that is not going to
happen now, is it, with Philip Hammond's reset of the economy.
Philip Hammond has recognised the reality. I came in 2010, the plan at
that time was to reduce the deficit to something like ?20 billion by
2015. It's sad to say, but we missed every target in the last Parliament.
What Philip is saying is, there was no point in setting these targets
if, as in the last Parliament, we missed every single one. I think it
is a more responsible approach. But, you know, there has been a
significant shift in a number of policies. We could have included
Philip Hammond's plan to stop selling shares to avoid the bank to
the public. A much cooler at home to Northern Powerhouse, George
Osborne's baby. Going back on plans to curb junk food advertising as
part of the obesity strategy. People will be looking at this Government
and thinking, it is very different, this isn't exactly what I voted for.
Or are you saying, we've got a new leader, be loud and proud about it,
new leader, new policies, is that what was saying? We have a new
leader and new personalities and they have a slightly different
approach. Nobody is saying, I'm not going to break the these people
because they are not sticking to obesity strategy. Very few people
will be saying that. They recognise it as a Conservative government,
they look at Labour and the alternatives and say, no, thank you
very much. The polling suggests that Theresa May is enjoying a honeymoon
period. People are broadly supportive of what the Government is
trying to do. Are you effectively saying the manifesto isn't worth the
paper it is written on? No, what I'm saying is that if you have different
people and you have a seismic road like Brexit, it's not surprising to
see that a new leadership will have slightly different and this is
impolitic -- a seismic vote. Is perhaps the issue is to have another
general election, what do you think? I think Kwasi Kwarteng is absolutely
right. I speak not as a Tory supporter, but it is clear that the
Tories have a mandate at the moment, 40% in the polls, nobody thinks
there is any serious opposition. People who are really worried about
Brexit nevertheless do not think that any other party can takeover.
They do recognise that circumstances have changed. Whether there will be
another election is an interesting question. In many ways it would make
the reason may's wife a great deal easier if she did, with the
opposition in total disarray -- Theresa May's life. Reselection
coming up and internal rows in Labour, she would get in fact a
majority. On the other hand, we know she has said, I won't do this, I
have a mandate, will carry on. So far she has claimed that she wants
to keep her word. But the manifesto has changed. Why can't her word
change on Brexit? I think the reason may is a new Prime Minister, she is
clearing the way, she doesn't want to fight David Cameron's old baffles
or George Osborne's all battles on academies, she wants to clear the
field of battle because she is about to have a huge row over grammar
schools, she has the hammer that through the House. What does annoy
me a little bit about all of this is that when Theresa May stands up at
Tory Party conferences saying, we're going to reform capitalism and put
workers marching forwards towards Socialism together, you know! When
at Miliband even hinted that the things, people like Theresa May
stood up and said he was an economic threat to the nation committee is
dangerous, she should not be anywhere near the leaders of power.
Then they say it is all wonderful but so likes doing his policies.
People get sick of it. You know, politicians attacking others. That
is one of the classic divisions. Tories say, we're going to reform
capitalism, and people don't get along. They are the party of
capitalism, people assume they are not going to threaten it. It is only
maybe that could do things like reforming welfare and the NHS will
stop Iain Duncan Smith would have something to say about that! Labour
can do it with less criticism. That is the issue, you can always deal
more easily with things which are seen to be your natural territory
that you would defend, because people don't assume that you have
other territories. Your characterisation of the Prime
Minister's speech is exaggerated, I think! It was very much like
Miliband! She didn't say, let's march to socialism! Intervening in
the energy market was Miliband policy, workers on company boards,
Miliband policy, borrowing to invest, Ed Balls' policy. The Tories
hammered him for it. David Cameron and George Osborne were talking
about these things. They were talking about trying to make
capitalism there for a broader mass of people than just a few fat cats.
And thank goodness some people are finally starting to see that,
especially when the Brexit vote shows that people feel that
capitalism has treated them badly. Tory voters voted against those
policies are the last election. We have to leave it there. Kwasi
Kwarteng, thank you very much indeed.
There's going to be a parliamentary by-election
in Richmond, in West London, on the 1st of December.
But you've probably heard enough about that in recent days.
However, you probably haven't heard that there were three
These were not, of course, for Westminster, but
Labour held the ward of Rhyl West, in North Wales, and there were two
by-elections in Rother in East Sussex - the Conservatives
held Darwell, and Collington was gained by an Independent,
Well, some people think that these local by-elections are a good
indicator of the political parties' underlying electoral strength.
Since the local elections on 5th May, there have been 139 local
council by-elections held across England, Wales and Scotland.
So how have the parties been getting on?
The Conservatives have recorded a net loss of 14 seats.
It's bad news for Labour too - they're down eight.
Ukip aren't doing too well either - they've lost a total
But the Lib Dems, in stark contrast, have been doing very well.
And the Greens have gained one councillor.
To read the runes of these local election results, we've been joined
by Professor Tony Travers from Department of Government
Tony Travers, you are excited by all of this, I know! Bring your
excitement with you! There are local by-elections every Thursday almost
all year round. It's amazing what you learn! It looks like there is
one clear story coming out at least from this recent set. By-election
wins for the Dems. Are they on the up? Remember, almost all of these
elections will last when the Lib Dems were doing really badly during
the coalition or immediately afterwards on general election day
in 2015, it is a low base. On the other hand, they are doing much
better, better in these by-elections than in national opinion polls,
interestingly. But the other story of course is that Labour, as the
main opposition party, is really not doing well at all. So if you add it
all together, it does tell us something about the shifting sands
underneath what becomes national politics later on. We mentioned that
that Labour have lost eight councillors. The Conservatives have
lost 14. Are you saying that as part of the course for the government
party? The Conservatives have been in power for six and a half years
now, they are going in the midterm in the second time, you would expect
them to do badly in by-elections and local elections, that's what is
happening. Not bad badly, in fact, in a number of by-elections there is
a swing from Labour to the Conservatives underneath the overall
result. But the Labour, who have now been in opposition since 2010, they
really ought to be picking up not only in these local by-elections
week by week, but if you go back to the May elections, the local
elections this year, they didn't do nearly as well as an opposition
party should have done. One or two years after a general election. If
you add up the local election results, particularly once a year
when they take place altogether, there are Berry good indicators of
how well the party is likely to do at an election. That is the thing we
always look for, that read across from success in by-elections like
these across to the general election. For the Lib Dems, who are
placing so much store on these by-elections and indeed the
by-election coming up in Richmond, they were very pleased with their
results in Witney, have they got cause to not necessarily celebrate,
but to have a lot more optimism than they may have had before now? Well,
less pessimism, perhaps! LAUGHTER
In fairness to the Lib Dems, this is the way they built up. If you
remember, the Lib Dems did really badly in the 50s and 60s, there was
the old joke about how small the liberal conference was. Since then,
over 60s, 70s, 80s, they built up step-by-step, pavement politics, all
of that, they got to the point where in the 2010, after the 2010
election, there were enough of them with the Conservatives to form a
government. That proved the undoing because they were punished for that
in 2015. I suspect what we are seeing is the beginning of a gradual
build up step-by-step. The question is, how long will it take. The
by-election in Richmond-upon-Thames is Tripoli interesting, because
there is only things going on at once inside it -- Tripoli
interesting. Jenni and Harry, you will be watching that. Are you
anticipating, Jenni, that the Lib Dems could see an improvement? What
is your reading of things? The interesting question is whether it
becomes a referendum on Brexit rather than a referendum, which
Goldsmith hopes it is, on Heathrow. The problem for him is that he is
personally popular but his constituency voted heavily for
Remain. This is Zac Goldsmith who has stood down. In order to protest
about the Heathrow decision. But the one left-wing stance against him
from the Lib Dems and makes it a referendum on Brexit... A hefty
majority would overturn him. He has worked that seat for 12 years now
and built up a very strong database, I understand, of the voters and who
they are he is popular, got a whacking great majority. It is over
20,000? About 23,000. They need 17% to remain. The big test in this, can
Lib Dems drag off local issue? He has a local reputations is
officially enough to put trust in a candidate who no one has actually
heard of. Tony, what do you think? He's in a slightly difficult
position. I agree with all of that, but I think opposition parties will
try to say, vote against the Conservatives to show that we have
opposition. I think the problem the that Goldsmith, if he has a large
majority, if it were to fall, how would we read that -- the problem
for Zac Goldsmith. He is trying to campaign against the airport. If
that majority falls, which most people think it might, I'm not sure
that would look like a resounding win against the airport. Interesting
that you could have decided not to put up a candidate in that seat. --
that Ukip. How unusual is it for major parties to not field
candidates in important seats? It is an unusual circumstance, a
by-election, Jo Cox's seat was a different kind of case. I think it
is a usual, but normally in by-elections as you know, there are
17 or 18 candidates, including all of our old friends who stand in lots
of by-elections. It is an usual, but I think what in a sense Ukip are
doing here, Labour are thinking about this, whether they should make
this a fight perhaps about the EU, and about the referendum, and all of
that all over again. I think they are probably thinking, let's make
this as near as possible a binary choice. The question is, on what?
Thank you very much. Those questions will continue.
Now, how do you cut down your political enemies
Well, with the acerbic wit of a great political insult, of course.
But did Jeremy Corbyn's attempt at PMQs make the mark?
On Monday, Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister told the House,
and I quote, "We have a plan, which is not to set
out at every stage of the negotiation the details."
I've been thinking about this for a couple of days, Mr Speaker.
I think when you're searching for the real meaning
and the importance behind the Prime Minister's statement,
you have to consult the great philosophers.
The only one I can come up with, Mr Speaker, is Baldrick,
who says, "Our cunning plan is to have no plan!"
Tony Robinson afterwards said Baldrick means Baldrick!
Not perhaps the most effective political insult ever.
In fact, it doesn't make it into the Daily Politics'
At five, well, we had to start with Winston Churchill.
A politician whose stinging quips were nearly as good
His all-time classic has to be the one aimed at the Labour MP
Bessie Braddock, and what better way to come back when someone complains
how drunk you are - "Tomorrow I shall be sober,
In at number four, so who could cut Winston Churchill down to size?
David Lloyd George, of course, the man who steered Britain
He was talking about Churchill's reputation as a self-publicist,
when he suggested the British bulldog would make a drum out
of the skin of his own mother in order to sound his own praises.
At three, remember when Gordon Brown entered Number Ten with a reputation
for being a formidable Chancellor and everyone quite
Then came the election that never was and things
In the Commons, Vince Cable mercilessly summed up
The House has noticed the Prime Minister's remarkable
transformation in the last few weeks from Stalin to Mr Bean.
In at two, they called it the Rose Garden love-in,
when Nick Clegg took the Liberal Democrats into Government.
But soon found himself getting all the blame and little credit.
People called the Lib Dems the Conservatives' human shield,
David Cameron's kind of lapdog-cum-protection device
for the more difficult things that David Cameron has to do.
But, taking the top spot this week, the best political insults
are the ones that do lasting political damage.
Michael Howard was Home Secretary in the 90s when he fell out badly
with his Prisons Minister, Ann Widdecombe.
She said he had "something of the night about him."
A reputation that stubbornly stuck with him, and duly cost him
And even when he did win the leadership six years
later, people were still banging on about it.
But Ann Widdecombe herself was a little coy when asked
What does "something of the night" mean?
I've just said to you, I don't really want
Something of the night. That was one of the great insult of our time. Do
you have a favourite? George Bush putting a silver foot in his mouth.
When the great history books are written about Brexit, I think people
will look back at Nigel Farage standing in the European Parliament
and summing of really what everyone thought was, who were these
unelected Eurocrats? A bit rude, but really, who are you? Eurocrats
nobody voted for. As with so many things in the anti-Europe campaign,
it was based on a total falsity. Was -- at the back of that shot was a
man with his head in his hand who turned out to be a trained cardiac
surgeon. These people had a real jobs. What about your favourite? The
brilliant politico and -- political insults and those that get the heart
of some weakness. Churchill said of Clement Attlee was a shebeen she's
clothing. Michael foot was called Worzel Gummidge. And when Michael
foot said of Norman Tebbit he was a semi-housetrained polecat, that lost
an image of Tebbit in the public mind. Churchill to Bessie Braddock,
that was not a need political insults, that was just a classic
sexist put down of the kind Donald Trump is engaged in. I don't think
it makes it into the top five political insults.
It's time now to find out the answer to our quiz.
The question was, which of these is the most used political vine in the
UK? David Cameron is checking his tie before an interview. Is it Ed
Miliband looking moody, set to music? Or is it Michael Gove
clapping? The one that I would keep watching would be Michael blow. He
looks like a Thunderbird puppet. The seductive Ed Miliband. Do you think
there are dreamy girls who look at that? The answer is... Michael Gove.
I like Michael but that is a wonderful vine.
Coming up in a moment, it's our regular look at what's been
For now, it's time to say goodbye to Jenni and Harry.
So for the next half an hour, we're going to be focussing on Europe.
We'll be discussing trade deals, big companies' tax bills,
First though, here's our guide to the latest from Europe,
A trade deal between the EU and Canada is back on the table
after Belgian politicians agreed to last-minute concessions.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau says he is confident
Meanwhile, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway can
extend their use of border controls, which have been in place
since the summer to stem the flow of migrants.
Speaking of which, Italy may veto the EU budget unless other countries
PM Matteo Renzi said the likes of Hungary need to help out.
Big companies like Starbucks and Apple could be subject
to new EU-wide tax rules, which the Commission hopes should
stop them shifting their profits around to lessen their tax bill.
And the President of the European Parliament referred
the altercation between Ukip MEPs Mike Hookem and Steven Woolfe
Party leader Nigel Farage was not impressed.
This is completely political on behalf of the European Union.
Ive been joined by two MEPs, Patrick O'Flynn for Ukip,
Let's take a look at one of those stories in more detail -
the investigations into the altercation between Ukip MEPs
Let me ask you, Patrick O'Flynn, first of all, obviously there has
been an internal investigation by Ukip. Now we know that the president
of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has reported the altercation
to the French state prosecutors because they watched alleged
criminal activity -- there was. Is that a good thing? Another thing
Martin Shields has done is prejudice any investigation by saying that in
the parliament he had no doubt about Steven Woolfe's allegations. I find
that very regrettable. I saw the preamble. If you read the party
chairman's report thoroughly, you will see that within the room there
was general understanding that Steven Woolfe had instigated this
altercation. There was an understanding that he had said,
let's take this outside and removed his jacket. Nobody knows what
happened between the men and whether a blow was delivered? That is right.
What we do know is that the next day in the Daily Mail there were quotes
from Mr Woolfe saying that Mike Hookem had got the wrong end of the
stick and he was not challenging him to an altercation. Within the room
that was completely understood. Their work shouts. You think you
represent -- reprimand from Mike Hookem is enough? Should there be
further investigation? It is quite astonishing that you have two grown
adults who are unable to reconcile their differences in a normal way.
If you have a criminal assault taking place, wherever it is,
allegedly, then it would seem normal that the authorities would want to
pursue potential prosecutions were proven to be something that would be
worthy of pursuing a prosecution on. Presumably we cannot leave it open
to individual political parties. What does it say about the behaviour
of your party at the European Parliament? The leader of the
centre-right party group said Ukip members were behaving like ruffians.
What it says about bus is absolutely nothing. After all, several Labour
MPs got sent to prison for embezzlement in the last parliament.
I would not dream of characterising them as a party and badgers. -- a
party of embezzlers. You are an argumentative party, aren't you? We
are a party of honest, free debate. But really, trying to characterise
physical altercations or invitations, as typical of what kind
of meetings we have in the European Parliament, I can assure you it is
absolutely a typical. I would like some recognition by Steven Woolfe of
personal responsibility and regret. You're prejudicing the outcome by
saying it is his fault, aren't you? No. Mike Hookem has apologised and
expressed regret. I think Steven Woolfe should do the same. You
supporting Suzanne Evans? I certainly am. Paul Nuttall, she and
he are close. What happens, would you switch allegiance? I'm
supporting Suzanne Evans. I think she should have been allowed to
stand in the last election. We have two high-calibre candidates. You
didn't fancy it yourself? I see my role as advising, perhaps a
spokesman, advising the leader, not actually being the leader. I have
seen the pressure Nigel Farage was placed under. The sheer intensity of
the job. That is not from me. After years of negotiations,
a trade deal between the EU and Canada is on the verge
of being approved by But it has been a bumpy few weeks
for the CETA trade agreement, with politicians in the Belgian
region of Wallonia refusing to agree to the deal until
the very last moment. Ellie Price reports
from Strasbourg. The problem is even caused Donald
Tusk to warn it could be the last EU trade deal.
Ellie Price reports from Strasbourg.
It has cast a cloud over the European Union.
A long heralded trade deal that has been agonisingly close,
Ceta has been seven years in the making.
Now, in order to get the go-ahead it needs the backing of all 28
And it's got the backing of 27 of them.
And specifically the southern part of Belgium, Wallonia.
Now, that is home to around 3.5 million people, which,
when you think about it, is quite a small proportion
The Wallonian regional government, headed up by Paul Magnette,
was worried about the implications on the environment, labour laws
Concerns shared by some MEPs, who say the stalling of the deal
I think that it is a good thing for the European Union,
Not each member state has got the same possibility.
And too often we see that our interests are not covered
Others aren't so against Ceta in principle, but say this
is the latest symptom of an anti-EU malaise, and must be addressed for
I do see that this adds up to crisis after crisis after crisis.
And people see again that the Council is not able
But on trade, at the same time you see there is a lot
of discussions and a lot of question marks in the NGO world,
in the unions, but also in the public opinion.
We needed to say stop and look at it fundamentally, and that's
But those supporting Ceta say the agreement would save EU
exporters 500 million euros per year, a good deal
And one that is being held up by a small minority.
But they say the fault lies with the Belgian constitution,
and a lack of compromise on the socialist left,
If there are a number of regions which have concerns then, yes,
we should go back to the table and check, is this
But after so many concerns have been solved, after we were able
to convince so many people who had concerns,
like the German Economic Minister and the Austrian Chancellor,
to only mention two of them, I think if they understood
what is Ceta about and what is Ceta not about, then also the region
of Belgium should be able to understand this.
There is renewed hope now that the deal will be signed
But those frustrated by the slow progress point out that Canada
is about as like-minded to most EU countries in terms of public
services and environmental concerns as you can get.
If the EU had such trouble making a deal work with Canada,
it may not bode well for trade agreements with other countries
The EU had hoped to unfurl its red carpet for Canadian Premier Justin
Trudeau this week so he could sign off the deal.
When he does finally make it over, it will be too late to stop
the questions over the EU's ability to negotiate
And we've been joined by Christophe Bondy,
a former trade advisor to the Canadian government,
who worked for many years on the Ceta trade deal.
You must be mopping job row in exasperation at what is happening!
Did you think it would be a little bit quicker than it has been? We've
been pursuing this agreement since 2009, diligently, and consulting
along the way. We understood when Europe decided this would be viewed
as a mixed agreement, there could be snags and it could require, because
it would require approval at member state level as well. I think we've
learned to be patient and I think it's bearing fruit. The final
last-minute changes still need to be approved by all the member states.
Do you share the Canadian Prime Minister's confidence that that will
happen? Yes, in fact there aren't last-minute changes right now. There
is an agreement between Belgium and the EU and the war you
administration -- and will only about certain steps. Those steps
were already understood. Things that were exclusively within the EU
competency would be provisionally entered into force, but other
elements would require further ratification. They've also requested
reference to the European court with regard to one aspect of the
agreement, the investment treaty dispute resolution system. But 90%
of the agreement will be entering provisionally into force once this
last approval goes through. Dragging it down to basics though, Wallonia
wanted guarantees that this deal would lead to privatisation and job
losses -- the deal would not. And it was almost derailed at the final
hour by a group of farmers. Are you surprise that a deal of this mag
dude could come down to such a tiny element potentially blocking get --
this magnitude. In trade agreements, usually one goes from the broader,
easier issues to the last knob issues, that happens in any
negotiation, in a sense that was a microcosm. Because the European
Union past summer, it gave member states the right to approve the
agreement as opposed to being approved at European level, it gave
power to the smaller sub regions to express concerns. Farming is very
important in Wallonia. They gave them the power and they exercised
it. Putting that point to you, Patrick O'Flynn, doesn't this add-in
to those concerns that people have had about the difficulties of
securing trade deals if you have to have widespread approval and one
tiny group in one country can offset a trade deal. It's not going to be
that easy, is it? I'd like to congratulate Christophe for
concluding this deal with the EU that doesn't have a requirement of
freedom of movement, which is the majority of such deals. But I think
you're wrong to draw a parallel to the United Kingdom's position and
Canada's. I think in round terms, Canada at the moment is
approximately a ?35 billion per year and export market -- 30 5 million
euros. The United Kingdom is a 350 million export market. My point is
that a deal can be derailed by the tiniest element. We cannot just
assume that these deals are going to be so easy to strike as we've been
told. It is true that the article 50 process could get complicated and
convoluted, which is why I would prefer something that I think John
Redmond and Peter Lilley have alluded to, sort of looking in the
eyeball and say, we are quite happy to carry on with free trade, or we
will move to the WTO regime. There was a reporter at the beginning of
the week that made clear that if we moved to the WTO regime or exporters
would face ?5.2 billion worth of tariffs. But the United Kingdom
would raise theirs. Or 10% tariffs on the car industry. Our car
industry is the Nissan deal, we are very confident about the continued
good place to be to produce motorcars in the United Kingdom. Is
this a moment for the EU to think about streamlining its processors
when it comes to striking trade deals? I think there will be a lot
of questions raised about how we can make it more efficient and speed it
up. But ultimately, a lot of the process so much criticism that has
been levelled at the EU has been about the lack of democracy and
ability for people to have a say about big issues like trade. And
here we have, like Tuesday, a bunch of farmers, but ultimately be pulled
a key stake on the the outcome of a deal. People who were worried about
their livelihoods. Exactly, and the democratic structure has allowed at.
Ultimately that is something that ought to be welcomed by those who
are calling for increased parliamentary democracy within the
EU structures. I mean, they exist and they are implemented. The
International Trade Secretary here, Liam Fox, said that a trade deal
during article 52 year negotiation process requires only a qualified
majority -- the article 52 year negotiation process. But it could be
subjected to the same problem? Would have to be approved by all the
individual member states? The issue with modern trade agreements is
that, unlike old school trade agreements that deal with tariffs
and goods, these agreements are much more complex on the issue at
European level is that they spill over from purely European to member
state competency, which requires consultation and approval at times
for those of aspect of the deal. So, you know, I don't want the deal to
be struck between Britain and the EU, but in any kind of agreement
that the EU is going to be pursuing, it is going to shut on more than
just the core trade issues like tariffs. I think it's going to like
we were acquired -- likely require certainly larger consultation, and
broad approval processes. People might wonder if the EU card make a
deal with Canada, who can it make a deal with? Trade deals right now,
and this deal with Canada had it in mind, people have certainly become
much more aware of, oh, the broad range of issues that are raised in
these agreements. They deal not only with tariffs, but also trade in
services, regulatory Corporation. They don't force any regulatory
change. They just engage different economic spheres in conversation to
see if those regulatory barriers can be smoothed over three neutral
discussions. So go through mutual discussions. They don't force
privatisation either. There are a lot of misconceptions. I think a lot
of those discussions are taking place around Ceuta, and hopefully
going forward the general public will have a better sense of what
they actually entail and they will be more confident. Certainly in
Canada right now, there is a broad debate about the link between trade
and the social agenda, to help people understand and be confident
about the future, because they know that that trade agenda is also
linked to a broader system of support. So maybe make these trade
deals, explain them a little bit more before they go through this
process. Christophe Bondy, thank you.
Now, this week MEPs demanded an increase to the EU's budget
At more than 160 billion euros, it's an increase on last year.
But concern is also growing about a possible shortfall this
year, with the slump in sterling's exchange rate meaning the UK's
contribution is worth almost 2 billion euros less than forecast.
Ellie Price has been talking to German MEP Jens Geier,
who is leading the budget negotiations on behalf
She began by asking him why MEPs are asking
We are not asking for more money, we are asking for sufficient money
in order to fulfil what member states demand from
You cannot really make working for jobs and growth and trying
to cope with the migration crisis a priority and then do not handle it
like a priority in terms of giving sufficient means.
One of the problems you face is the weaker pound.
Obviously that is lowering the contributions that
How much of a problem is that for you, and what are
So the exchange rate on which the contributions
from Great Britain are measured is set on the 31st of December 2015.
And after the Brexit, as you perfectly know,
So now it costs return 10% more in pound sterling
to fulfil its obligations in euros, and that creates a deficit.
So we cannot close the budget here with red figures.
The Commission now calculates the deficit as 1.8 billion euros.
And there are three possibilities to cover that, and none of them
First, ask the British for more money.
Second, ask the other member states to cover
And third, let's find money in the European budget.
We have some time to go until the end of the year,
so maybe the British, the pound sterling recovers
a little bit, maybe there is more finance coming in.
But it would cover today about two thirds of it.
I could imagine some sort of burden sharing between the UK
Britain will leave the EU in just over two years' time, and take
Well, it will go along with the renegotiation
And that will mean that all what the EU is giving money
for is renegotiated, every contribution is renegotiated,
in terms of paying and in terms of getting the money.
So it would be a perfect possibility to just recalculate what does
the European member states want from the EU, how much money
they are ready to give, and how would be the burden sharing
So my feeling is it might be a little bit more for some,
So it could mean a major overhaul, essentially?
So Britain's leaving the EU will have a major impact
No, not so much, don't take it so serious!
Seb Dance laid out some possible scenarios. Ask Britain for more
money, get the EU nations to cover, or take money out of the EU budget.
What do you think it should be? It remains to be seen what collectively
will be seen as the best of those three options. What do you think?
Nobody wants to pay in more money. In the European Parliament, we voted
not to increase the budget because we don't believe that we should be
paying more money in real terms into the budget at this point. But I mean
obviously when we have a situation when the pound has lost so much in
its value internationally, you know, there is a lot of currency
volatility around. When that exchange rate is set, it inevitably
means that our contributions will go up if we just stick with the current
contributions. And that obviously is a problem that Brexit has posed, the
level of volatility is such that we can't be sure about what our
contributions will be. Patrick, on a point of principle, should the UK
rather than EU member states make up the rest was brought no, of course
it, some of this budget should be brought back. SAP says his -- Seb
Dance says his group voted not the increases, we voted for cuts,
cutting the salaries, allowances and travel expenses of MEPs which Mr
Schultz ruled out of order. There are so many useless things. Youth
clubs in Azerbaijan, combating hate speech in the Middle East. This is a
bloated organisation that cannot pay its bills. If you blame others for
their spending priorities, Howard and earth do you shift the focus on
them to choose one of those options which is to get us to pay more?
Ultimately they are not going to share the burden if we treat the
European Union in the way that you are suggesting. I mean, you have to
work constructively with partners, you have to work as an engaged
partner in a Single Market, as you will remember, as we still are, of
course. It would seem as an obvious point that if we want their goodwill
in the forthcoming negotiations, simply criticising them for their
current spending allocations is not going to... We pay more at every
turn. We pay 1.8 million bought just because of our economy. Thank
goodness we're leaving stop my final word from Patrick O'Flynn. Thank you
very much indeed.