16/12/2016 Daily Politics


16/12/2016

Andrew Neil with latest political news, interviews and debate.


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Theresa May returns from the EU summit in Brussels with European

:00:37.:00:42.

leaders promising "a spirit of trust and unity" in the

:00:43.:00:45.

Scotland's Finance Secretary confirms high earners north

:00:46.:00:50.

of the border will pay more tax than in the rest of the UK.

:00:51.:00:54.

The Department for Work and Pensions is 100 years old this week.

:00:55.:01:01.

We take a look back at the country's changing

:01:02.:01:04.

And Cub Scouts take over the Speaker's chambers as they

:01:05.:01:14.

And with us for the first half of the programme today,

:01:15.:01:33.

former top Lib Dem insider Miranda Green who now writes

:01:34.:01:35.

Seems like only a few hours ago I met you? It was. I slept on the

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floor. Stayed overnight in the studio, that is how dedicated she

:01:53.:01:53.

is. Ever since the Scottish Parliament

:01:54.:01:59.

was established in 1999, the Scottish government has had

:02:00.:02:02.

the power to adjust In April this year

:02:03.:02:04.

new tax-varying powers, to set the rates and bands

:02:05.:02:09.

of income tax, were given to And yesterday, in his budget

:02:10.:02:11.

statement, the Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced

:02:12.:02:15.

that from April next year higher rate tax payers in scotland

:02:16.:02:17.

will effectively pay more tax The measures I have announced today

:02:18.:02:21.

mean that the total support from the Scottish Government

:02:22.:02:36.

and through local taxation provides an increase in spending power

:02:37.:02:38.

on local government services, not at 59.6 million,

:02:39.:02:40.

but of 240.6 million or 2.3%. Which invests in education,

:02:41.:02:45.

invests in social care Presiding Officer, this is a budget

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for growth and public services for an environment

:02:55.:02:59.

and our communities. It delivers increased

:03:00.:03:05.

investment in education, record investment in the NHS,

:03:06.:03:07.

protects low income households from tax hikes and supports

:03:08.:03:10.

more and better jobs. Overall it delivers ?700 million

:03:11.:03:13.

of additional spending This is a budget for Scotland

:03:14.:03:17.

and I commend it to parliament. He had the choice to use these

:03:18.:03:29.

new powers to support economic growth and to tackle

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our underperforming economy. It is much to be regretted

:03:34.:03:37.

that he has chosen instead, to hike taxes on families

:03:38.:03:40.

and businesses in Scotland, risking choking off economic

:03:41.:03:42.

recovery and depriving Scottish public services

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of vital tax revenue. This will make Scotland

:03:45.:03:49.

the highest taxed part of the United Kingdom and as it

:03:50.:03:52.

stands, this is not This budget passes on Tory cuts

:03:53.:03:55.

to the people of Scotland. It makes Derek Mackay,

:03:56.:04:00.

no better than a Tory Chancellor. We have the powers to do things

:04:01.:04:03.

differently, let's use them. Let's stop the cuts and ask

:04:04.:04:05.

those with the broadest Let's protect local services,

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let's grow the economy Presiding Officer, Labour cannot

:04:10.:04:15.

support a budget with over ?300 million worth of cuts to local

:04:16.:04:19.

services at its heart. That was a flavour of the debate in

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Holyrood yesterday. We've been joined from Glasgow

:04:36.:04:39.

by the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Finance,

:04:40.:04:41.

Derek Mackay. Welcome to the programme. The

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Scottish Nationalists have been complaining about Tory austerity for

:04:50.:04:53.

years. Now you have the power to raise taxes and end austerity, but

:04:54.:05:00.

you are not doing it, why not? We don't want to pass on austerity to

:05:01.:05:05.

households in Scotland. If we had raised taxes, that is what it would

:05:06.:05:09.

have done, so we have taken a balance and have been freezing the

:05:10.:05:15.

higher rate. What I am not following is the Tory tax cut for many of the

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richest in terms of the higher rate thresholds. You think people on

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?43,000 are rich? It is proportionate and that is one of the

:05:28.:05:31.

points around income tax. Are they rich? People paying the higher rate

:05:32.:05:38.

are at the richer end of the spectrum. You called them rich, Tory

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tax cuts for the rich is what they said? The richest of our society

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which is 43% of the taxpayers, which is the higher end of income. What we

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are doing with income tax is take a balanced and proportionate view.

:05:55.:06:07.

Your tax regime is no different than the Tories. Basic rate is 20%,

:06:08.:06:13.

higher rate is 40%, additional rates is 45%. What is it in Westminster?

:06:14.:06:22.

20, 40, 45. We are not following the Tories in the raising of the

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threshold for the higher rate, that is a tax cut. We are not following

:06:27.:06:32.

that, we will raise that threshold in line with inflation. In Scotland

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it means that in Scotland the higher rates will start at 43,430. And the

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rest of the UK get it will start at 40 5000. That's it, that's the

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difference between you and the Tories, ?1500. That is your approach

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to austerity? What we are able to do with the divergences tax and the

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other decisions I have made is invest over ?700 million into the

:07:06.:07:11.

NHS, education, policing and infrastructure. These are sound

:07:12.:07:15.

investment and our tax proposition also focuses on social pledges as

:07:16.:07:23.

well. Things like free education, no prescription charges in Scotland,

:07:24.:07:28.

and a different approach to social care. We want to raise the necessary

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investment and revenue to invest in quality public services and that is

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the balanced approach we have in Scotland. We will raise the tax and

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spend it on things people appreciate, including a ?300 million

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increase for the NHS. How much tax by starting the higher rate a little

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earlier, how much tax to you raise? It is estimated to be ?89 million.

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80 million this year, so not great in the grand scheme of things. The

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Scottish Nationalists have said for years, it is an unequal Tory

:08:07.:08:11.

society, the rich have got to rich and the gap between the rich and

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poor is too wide. Why didn't you raise the top rate of tax to 50p? We

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are doing many things to tackle a corner -- inequality. Why didn't you

:08:23.:08:29.

raise the top rate of tax? I can tell you what we are doing. And I am

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asking you why you didn't raise the top rate of tax? We have raise the

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necessary revenue to invest in quality public services and an extra

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for my budget, as proposed to Parliament, next ?700 million for

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public services Scotland. You are cutting funding in real terms to

:08:50.:08:57.

local government? It has actually increased by over ?240 million. It

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is an increase when you look at health and social care integration

:09:03.:09:08.

and local services. Local government is being cut in real terms by over

:09:09.:09:12.

?300 million. Those are your figures. You have taken the Labour

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press release. I have your own figures here. You are not looking at

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the total package to local government and local government

:09:26.:09:31.

services which takes it to over 200 billion -- ?240 million, not a

:09:32.:09:35.

reduction, but increased to services in Scotland. You are not looking at

:09:36.:09:40.

the bigger picture. If in one hand local government is being cut by 327

:09:41.:09:47.

but in another hand you are giving 240. Overall, simple arithmetic

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tells me it is still a cut. The Institute, independent experts who

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have said the increase for local government services is even higher

:10:02.:10:06.

than the figures I gave you. What is wrong with the figures I have got.

:10:07.:10:10.

The official government spending plans. You should know better, it is

:10:11.:10:17.

only part of the settlement to local government and only part of the

:10:18.:10:21.

picture in local government services. I am giving you an

:10:22.:10:25.

accurate figure on the totality of the package to local government

:10:26.:10:29.

services. If it was such a bad proposition why hasn't it been

:10:30.:10:34.

rejected. It is a very fair and strong settlement. The partnership

:10:35.:10:41.

had this to say, Derek Mackay has used smoke and mirrors to put the

:10:42.:10:53.

SNP strategy. It is plain to see who will suffer most. You have clearly

:10:54.:11:00.

not read the rest of the press release, which says it is recognised

:11:01.:11:06.

we have moved on the package. You have to look at the wider package

:11:07.:11:11.

for local government services. They haven't rejected the offer, if it

:11:12.:11:16.

was so bad, they would have done. But the totality of resources given

:11:17.:11:20.

to local government services, shows an increase of ?240 million and

:11:21.:11:26.

independent experts are saying it is higher than that. Not that

:11:27.:11:33.

independent. You mentioned the Institute... Hold on, you have said

:11:34.:11:43.

that, you mentioned the Institute, which pointed out recently economic

:11:44.:11:47.

growth in Scotland is now only a third of what it is in the rest of

:11:48.:11:52.

the UK, why? Andrew, you will know the oil and gas sector has been

:11:53.:11:58.

impacted by the price of oil. It has impacted on our economy. It is all

:11:59.:12:04.

down to oil and gas? No, but it is a factor in our economy. We have had a

:12:05.:12:09.

strong economic performance in Scotland over the period of

:12:10.:12:14.

devolution and the term this government has been in office

:12:15.:12:20.

productivity and employment. Unemployment is rising, growth has

:12:21.:12:23.

faulted. Foreign direct investment is collapsing. Employment is in a

:12:24.:12:31.

better situation before it was and it has a good record in Scotland. It

:12:32.:12:36.

will vary, of course, but we have had a stronger position in terms of

:12:37.:12:41.

employment and unemployment... Is rising. We will lift 100,000

:12:42.:12:51.

businesses out of business rates altogether. From attacks you

:12:52.:12:55.

originally introduced. Business rates wasn't attacks. It doesn't

:12:56.:13:02.

relate to the 100,000 businesses that will benefit from the small

:13:03.:13:07.

business bonus. You need to check the facts. Don't worry, I have

:13:08.:13:11.

checked them, and we will check them even more. If you are not following

:13:12.:13:17.

Tory austerity, why are you not cutting funding to universities and

:13:18.:13:27.

the 1% cap Pompeii? We have to make sure there aren't any compulsory

:13:28.:13:33.

redundancies. Compulsory redundancies is not a Tory approach.

:13:34.:13:38.

We will offer a fair and balanced pay offer to our public sector

:13:39.:13:42.

workers, delivery of a living wage and a different policy in terms of

:13:43.:13:47.

low pay as well. We are raising extra resources to invest in public

:13:48.:13:51.

services across Scotland. Yes, taking a different approach from the

:13:52.:13:54.

Tories. It is the right thing to do and that is what the people of

:13:55.:13:58.

Scotland expect. Thank you for joining us from Glasgow.

:13:59.:14:01.

Earlier this week Jeremy Corbyn's media "grid"

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Or, appearing as the Daily Politics Secret Santa?

:14:06.:14:15.

A little later in the show Miranda will, I'm sure,

:14:16.:14:17.

Officials in Brussels have said they will maintain their position on no

:14:18.:14:41.

negotiation without notification. That is Article 50. There were

:14:42.:14:47.

snippets of what the negotiating framework might look like. Donald

:14:48.:14:54.

Tusk said the UK's exit would be approached in a spirit of trust and

:14:55.:15:01.

unity. He said the 27 other EU countries confirmed access to the

:15:02.:15:04.

single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms, freedom of

:15:05.:15:08.

movement, and people. European Parliament President Martin

:15:09.:15:24.

Schulz threatened to negotiate directly with the UK

:15:25.:15:26.

if the Parliament isn't He said during the short,

:15:27.:15:28.

informal meeting the 27 other EU countries had confirmed that "access

:15:29.:15:39.

to the Single Market requires acceptance of all four freedoms" -

:15:40.:15:41.

that's the free movement of goods, We also learnt that Britain could be

:15:42.:15:44.

presented with an exit bill of up Michel Barnier, the Commission's

:15:45.:15:50.

lead negotiator, reportedly told colleagues that the UK must pay

:15:51.:15:53.

"tens of billions" annually into the EU Budget until 2020

:15:54.:15:56.

in order to pay for the UK's share of outstanding pensions liabilities,

:15:57.:15:59.

loan guarantees and spending And we've been joined

:16:00.:16:01.

from Southampton by What do you think we have learnt

:16:02.:16:17.

about the EU's position regarding the negotiations? There are two

:16:18.:16:20.

different schools of thought in Brussels. Most of the national

:16:21.:16:25.

governments want this to be a cordial and a mutually advantageous

:16:26.:16:30.

process, where we keep most of the aspect of free trade and security

:16:31.:16:34.

and intelligence cooperation and so on. There are some Eurocrats, some

:16:35.:16:40.

figures in the commission in the European Parliament, who are more

:16:41.:16:42.

interested in making a point about European unity and they are about

:16:43.:16:48.

the prosperity of Europe because they are not answerable to the

:16:49.:16:53.

voters in any meaningful sense. It is much better for us to be talking

:16:54.:16:58.

to the 27 governments who will want to maximise the advantages for their

:16:59.:17:02.

own citizens and who will want to approach it in the spirit of mutual

:17:03.:17:08.

benefit. When it is clear Britain has to continue paying into the EU

:17:09.:17:13.

budget until we leave sometime in the first half of 2019, but this

:17:14.:17:19.

talk that we continue to pay billions into it afterwards is

:17:20.:17:24.

nonsense is it not? I do not know. Essentially there is potential for

:17:25.:17:28.

all the positive sounds that came out last night about trust and unity

:17:29.:17:34.

for enormous amounts of bitterness and rancour, in the phrase of Roy

:17:35.:17:39.

Jenkins, because it is not just a question of whether Britain has to

:17:40.:17:43.

continue to pay in, but also whether there will be equal rights for EU

:17:44.:17:48.

citizens here and Brits in the rest of the EU. That does not cost

:17:49.:17:53.

anything. There is a difference between membership of the single

:17:54.:17:58.

market and access, so I am not sure about the trust and unity ideas.

:17:59.:18:05.

They are simply words. I would say the point about the greater

:18:06.:18:08.

willingness to negotiate in good faith and in a positive sense from

:18:09.:18:12.

the other 27 nations may be so, but they have got to get this deal

:18:13.:18:16.

through their parliaments and that will be incredibly difficult over

:18:17.:18:20.

the next few years to come up with something they can all get through.

:18:21.:18:26.

What do you make of these claims that Britain, even after we have

:18:27.:18:29.

left the EU, would have to contribute billions. We have gone

:18:30.:18:33.

from it barely costs anything, it is all a lie to being faced with this

:18:34.:18:40.

bill for 50 billion. While we are members, while we are unravelling

:18:41.:18:45.

the full membership, of course we will continue to pay ourselves and

:18:46.:18:49.

we will continue to use the facilities while we are paying the

:18:50.:18:54.

subs. When we leave we will make a decision as to which, if any,

:18:55.:18:59.

continuing EU programmes we want to be part of. My own view is since it

:19:00.:19:03.

was a close vote and since people feel strongly about remaining part

:19:04.:19:11.

of Iraq must and Horizon, there is a strong case for Britain to continue

:19:12.:19:15.

to be part of those programmes. I do not think anyone would argue that we

:19:16.:19:19.

should not pay for our share of that. But things like agriculture,

:19:20.:19:24.

foreign aid and cohesion funds, there is no way that will carry on.

:19:25.:19:31.

We checked this, it is written down in a statement, why do you think

:19:32.:19:36.

Donald Tusk said access to the single market requires acceptance of

:19:37.:19:41.

the four freedoms? That is untrue. The European Union has a small

:19:42.:19:46.

number of trade deals, but it has deals with Colombia, Peru, South

:19:47.:19:50.

Korea, and they get complete access to the single market without having

:19:51.:19:54.

to pay anything or to accept pre-movement of people. That is

:19:55.:19:59.

wrong. If we want to go further than just access, if we want to remain

:20:00.:20:04.

part of a mechanism for setting common rules and so on, any

:20:05.:20:08.

institutions that we remain part of, of course we will pay our share of

:20:09.:20:18.

it. Miranda, lots of criticism of the British Government leaving a

:20:19.:20:23.

vacuum, not giving us a clear idea, not a running commentary, but a

:20:24.:20:26.

strategic overview of what it hopes to achieve and we have not had that.

:20:27.:20:33.

But on the European side, this statement by Mr Schultz of the

:20:34.:20:37.

European Parliament, if I do not get a bigger role, Parliament will do

:20:38.:20:40.

its own negotiations, that seems bizarre. Parliament does have to

:20:41.:20:46.

have a say like the other 27 notions. The European Parliament

:20:47.:20:49.

will have a vote on the deal. They have a bullish negotiator who is not

:20:50.:20:57.

shy about wading into the debate, so they are already very involved. This

:20:58.:21:04.

is a negotiation without precedent. Daniel Hammond was making this point

:21:05.:21:08.

about the attitude in Brussels being less friendly than that in the other

:21:09.:21:13.

nation states, but I think that is about right. We have this

:21:14.:21:17.

spectacularly rude figure of Jean-Claude Juncker who seems to

:21:18.:21:23.

make a lot of discord instead of harmony when he gets involved, and

:21:24.:21:28.

there is jostling within Brussels to be part of this negotiation because

:21:29.:21:33.

it is a historic moment. There is an interesting piece in the Economist

:21:34.:21:39.

saying how this is handled is being viewed with some intellectual relish

:21:40.:21:43.

in Brussels because it is so complex and it is such an interesting

:21:44.:21:47.

problem for the EU to face, defending unity whilst allowing the

:21:48.:21:52.

nation as large and as important as Britain to leave. Next year we have

:21:53.:21:57.

elections in Austria, Italy, Holland, France and Germany and each

:21:58.:22:02.

one of these elections could produce a result which results in another

:22:03.:22:10.

crisis for the EU. Are we going to have difficulty even getting their

:22:11.:22:15.

attention for Brexit? In a way that makes the point. The European Union

:22:16.:22:20.

is going through testing times. Even the most extreme supporter of the

:22:21.:22:24.

project accept that. That is why the last thing we want is to leave in a

:22:25.:22:29.

way that will cause serious economic damage to our allies who are our

:22:30.:22:34.

suppliers and customers. We do not want to leave and cause the euro to

:22:35.:22:40.

trouble up again. We want to make this a mutually beneficial process.

:22:41.:22:45.

I think most people in the other member states feel that way. There

:22:46.:22:49.

is a minority who says we need to make an example of Britain and

:22:50.:22:54.

showed that there is a cost in leaving, but that argument fails

:22:55.:22:59.

even on its own terms. If the European Union has to be held

:23:00.:23:03.

together by fear, then it is a protection racket and most of the

:23:04.:23:07.

other member states will say we want no part of this. It is more likely

:23:08.:23:12.

that we will have a process of disengagement driven by mutual self

:23:13.:23:16.

interest. The other members will look to maximise their advantage as

:23:17.:23:20.

we do, and we will retain our security and military links whilst

:23:21.:23:25.

taking back power to make our own laws. We shall see, it hasn't even

:23:26.:23:30.

started. We have just got the posturing at the moment.

:23:31.:23:34.

This week the Department for Work and Pensions turns 100 years old.

:23:35.:23:37.

It's had 14n name changes, 77 Secretaries and Ministers of State,

:23:38.:23:39.

and opened more than 700 jobcentres throughout the country.

:23:40.:23:44.

Ellie has been looking back at a century of the welfare state,

:23:45.:23:47.

with some of the people who shaped it.

:23:48.:23:50.

I got into the civil service in 1940.

:23:51.:23:53.

There's a photograph of me at my desk.

:23:54.:23:57.

A handsome young fellow there, look at that.

:23:58.:23:59.

When I started I got a pound, a little copper coin.

:24:00.:24:09.

He started working for what would become the Department of Work

:24:10.:24:19.

and Pensions when he was moved from Whitehall to the safety

:24:20.:24:22.

of Blackpool because of the Second World War.

:24:23.:24:24.

When the war ended the people wanted more from life.

:24:25.:24:32.

They realised there was more that they could have and they said,

:24:33.:24:36.

"Well, we did our best, we have won the war,

:24:37.:24:40.

The main problem was getting the people to claim.

:24:41.:24:50.

If you are as old as him, you will have found a big increase

:24:51.:24:56.

That is why they made films like this, so that

:24:57.:24:59.

people would understand what they could claim for and how.

:25:00.:25:03.

National insurance, contributions are going to build up a better

:25:04.:25:06.

It had started with a report written by Sir William Beveridge in 1942.

:25:07.:25:13.

Widely seen as the foundation of the modern welfare state,

:25:14.:25:17.

it paved the way for a national system of benefits to

:25:18.:25:19.

protect citizens from the cradle to the grave.

:25:20.:25:23.

We shall take the first step to security with freedom

:25:24.:25:28.

The department was responsible in 1973 for the rebranding of labour

:25:29.:25:38.

But a new colour scheme and the fashion choices of those

:25:39.:25:44.

who worked there wasn't enough to stop the trend of 3

:25:45.:25:47.

million people unemployed by the early 1980s.

:25:48.:25:51.

Get a national insurance application form...

:25:52.:25:54.

The 20th century saw a gradual growth of the welfare state trying

:25:55.:25:58.

to make sure the poor and vulnerable were protected.

:25:59.:26:01.

But a century later successive governments accepted it was a system

:26:02.:26:05.

that had trapped people on benefits and this incentivised

:26:06.:26:17.

Universal Credit is meant to combat that, merging six

:26:18.:26:21.

working age benefits into a single monthly payment.

:26:22.:26:23.

But despite delays and setbacks, its architect insists it will work.

:26:24.:26:27.

This is the most important programme that DWP or its predecessor

:26:28.:26:30.

The most important thing in society in my view is getting the balance

:26:31.:26:36.

right between incentivising people to live their own lives

:26:37.:26:40.

Universal Credit allows us to get the balance right.

:26:41.:26:49.

Fred is only a few years away from his own 100th birthday.

:26:50.:26:55.

I was sad to leave but it was unpleasant leaving.

:26:56.:27:01.

People haven't always been so nice about the Department

:27:02.:27:08.

of Work and Pensions, but from boxes of folders on a shelf

:27:09.:27:11.

in Blackpool the welfare state has come a long way.

:27:12.:27:18.

Miranda, the interesting thing is that the welfare state really got

:27:19.:27:29.

going in the aftermath of the Second World War and the Clement Attlee

:27:30.:27:35.

government. The public attitude has changed over the years. It has, and

:27:36.:27:43.

if you look at the younger age groups now there is a more harsh

:27:44.:27:48.

attitude that has crept in. Not to people in real need, but to the idea

:27:49.:27:53.

of lack of responsibility amongst some. It is very interesting seeing

:27:54.:27:58.

its 100th anniversary because in the last few years the debate about

:27:59.:28:02.

welfare has been dominated by competing ideas about fairness. Is

:28:03.:28:07.

it unfair some people may be claiming too much? Is it unfair to

:28:08.:28:11.

take away money from those genuinely in need? We need a much more quality

:28:12.:28:19.

national debate about whether we are actually succeeding at the moment

:28:20.:28:20.

and where we shall go next. Now, it's been 100 hundred years

:28:21.:28:24.

since the Cubs were founded to allow younger boys to join

:28:25.:28:27.

the Scouting movement. A century on it's changed a bit,

:28:28.:28:29.

not least because it's now open to girls as well,

:28:30.:28:32.

but they still have an arkala, the all important scarf and woggle,

:28:33.:28:35.

and they promise to do their best. Well, this week the Cubs came

:28:36.:28:39.

to Westminster to appeal to MPs to ask them to help tackle a lack

:28:40.:28:43.

of adult volunteers. Mark Lobel has been off

:28:44.:28:47.

practising his howl. Cub Scouts have taken over

:28:48.:28:52.

the Speaker's quarters in Parliament I feel more confident because it

:28:53.:28:59.

showed me how to be determined and carry on doing things

:29:00.:29:16.

and be resilient. Do you think it could give

:29:17.:29:25.

you the confidence to end up back in this building in a few years'

:29:26.:29:28.

time as an MP? There are now 150,000 Cubs aged

:29:29.:29:30.

eight to ten-and-a-half, but despite having years

:29:31.:29:35.

of consecutive growth, there are still 45,000 kids

:29:36.:29:38.

on the waiting list. That's because of a shortfall

:29:39.:29:41.

in adult volunteers put off by red By the way, that wasn't

:29:42.:29:45.

a wannabe volunteer, just the Labour MP Jo Stephens,

:29:46.:29:50.

who was a Brownie in the 1970s. I asked this MP, a former patrol

:29:51.:29:55.

leader at the Girl Guides It is about enabling

:29:56.:30:01.

people to volunteer. Historically people have been put

:30:02.:30:05.

off doing that because they have been worried about their liability,

:30:06.:30:08.

about health and safety, How has that rubbed off

:30:09.:30:11.

on a Cabinet minister? Does it help you get

:30:12.:30:19.

prepared for Brexit? Well, we are actually all focused

:30:20.:30:21.

on the great thing that the Cubs is and I am sure we will all be

:30:22.:30:24.

prepared for the future ahead and it is that sense of young people

:30:25.:30:27.

enjoying themselves, really finding themselves,

:30:28.:30:30.

that was the experience I had The Cubs also played a special role

:30:31.:30:32.

at the marriage of these former Cubs when this female Olympic gold medal

:30:33.:30:43.

rower married this well known wildlife TV presenter

:30:44.:30:46.

and Scout ambassador. Essentially our wedding was like one

:30:47.:30:50.

big Cub Scout jamboree. Yes, all the guests camped out

:30:51.:30:53.

the night before and the night We made a big bonfire

:30:54.:30:59.

and it was amazing. Away from these grand surroundings

:31:00.:31:04.

hundreds of Scout troops have recently popped up in areas

:31:05.:31:12.

of deprivation so the packs' confidence-building skills can

:31:13.:31:15.

be spread far and wide We've been joined by the Labour MP

:31:16.:31:17.

Jo Stevens who you saw in Mark's film there,

:31:18.:31:30.

falling off the tight-rope walk. I can confirm she walked into the

:31:31.:31:40.

studio unaided. You are still in one piece? Just about. The Cub Scout

:31:41.:31:47.

still important in British society? I think so. In the clip, I was a

:31:48.:31:56.

brownie in the 1970s. It was a bit staid and I left after about 14

:31:57.:32:00.

months. But it is more diverse, young people can learn fantastic

:32:01.:32:04.

skills that will equip them for adult hood and work in the

:32:05.:32:11.

21st-century. Interesting, opening more Cub Scouts, are they troops?

:32:12.:32:22.

The Cubs are packs. In the inner cities, more deprived areas? At

:32:23.:32:27.

Cardiff Central, we have deprived areas, we have thousands of

:32:28.:32:30.

students. The interesting thing is, it brings the student community and

:32:31.:32:35.

the permanent community together so you have lots of students

:32:36.:32:39.

participating as leaders in Cubs and scouts and they tend to stay on in

:32:40.:32:42.

the movement after they have graduated. Will you in the Brownies

:32:43.:32:48.

or the girl guides? I wanted to, but my mother wouldn't let me. The

:32:49.:32:53.

uniform had a status symbol. I was seven. Also the after-school

:32:54.:33:03.

activities, in a group solving problems together, healthy exercise

:33:04.:33:08.

and they are not on screens. Fantastic. We'll allot of those kids

:33:09.:33:14.

we saw there, go on be Scouts? Yes, they get into it, they stick at it.

:33:15.:33:20.

I have two boys, one of them went on from Cubs to Scouts, one of them

:33:21.:33:25.

didn't. They both enjoyed it. Not sure about healthy eating, they used

:33:26.:33:31.

to have Chipi night. Are they finding it difficult to get

:33:32.:33:35.

volunteers? They are, in Wales alone there is over 1000 children to go

:33:36.:33:42.

into the Cubs. Across the UK it is 5000, I think. The 100th anniversary

:33:43.:33:47.

is an opportunity to raise the profile and encourage people to get

:33:48.:33:53.

involved. You need to have survival skills, to get the badge, first aid

:33:54.:33:57.

treatment, construction of different kinds of shelter to build a fire at

:33:58.:34:01.

use basic lighting techniques and maintain hygiene in a survival

:34:02.:34:05.

situation. I think it is all worthwhile, in case there is another

:34:06.:34:07.

big economic crash. It's time now to find out

:34:08.:34:12.

the answer to our quiz. According to his leaked

:34:13.:34:15.

media "grid" what was in or d) Appearing as the Daily

:34:16.:34:17.

Politics Secret Santa. I am not actually sure. Was it movie

:34:18.:34:40.

night? I think it was Christmas jumper day. Which is the correct

:34:41.:34:46.

answer. He has been the Daily Politics secret Santa in the past.

:34:47.:34:52.

He served us all with Christmas cakes. So there we go.

:34:53.:34:53.

Coming up in a moment it's our regular look at what's been

:34:54.:34:58.

For now it's time to say goodbye to Miranda.

:34:59.:35:01.

So, for the next half an hour we're going to be focusing on Europe.

:35:02.:35:04.

We'll be discussing the EU summit, the race to become the European

:35:05.:35:07.

Parliament's next president, and we visit Sweden for our Meet

:35:08.:35:11.

First though, here's our guide to the latest from Europe

:35:12.:35:17.

European leaders met for a summit in Brussels this week discussing

:35:18.:35:27.

the migration crisis and the conflict in Syria.

:35:28.:35:29.

They also talked Brexit over dinner, but Theresa May was left out.

:35:30.:35:32.

One new face at the talks was Italy's new Prime Minister.

:35:33.:35:36.

Paolo Gentiloni took over on Monday from Matteo Renzi,

:35:37.:35:38.

who resigned after losing a referendum on political reforms.

:35:39.:35:40.

Greater European defence cooperation moved a step closer

:35:41.:35:46.

after the European Parliament passed a motion calling for a permanent EU

:35:47.:35:49.

The process for deciding who runs the railways is also set to change.

:35:50.:35:54.

MEPs approved new rules to make competitive tendering compulsory

:35:55.:35:56.

They're set to come into effect in 2023.

:35:57.:36:09.

And MEPs will be banned from taking second jobs as paid lobbyists,

:36:10.:36:12.

after they voted in proposals authored by the Labour

:36:13.:36:14.

And with us for the next 30 minutes I've been joined

:36:15.:36:31.

by UKIP's William Darmouth and Theresa Griffin for Labour.

:36:32.:36:33.

Let's take a look at one of those stories in more detail.

:36:34.:36:36.

The move to ban MEPs from taking paid lobbying jobs.

:36:37.:36:43.

I think a lot of people watching will say, how was this ever allowed

:36:44.:36:51.

to happen in the first place? It is mysterious. But this is completely

:36:52.:36:56.

irrelevant, because MEPs are still allowed to have outside jobs. The

:36:57.:37:03.

Brexit parliament negotiator, has got for outside jobs, one of which,

:37:04.:37:08.

according to the financial disclosures, pay more than 10,000

:37:09.:37:12.

euros a month. So this is meaningless. But the significance of

:37:13.:37:21.

this report is this, there has been a series of devices rammed through

:37:22.:37:28.

in order to impress dissent in the parliament. Let's stick to the

:37:29.:37:33.

lobbying side. I am going to get another opinion, is it relevant? It

:37:34.:37:38.

is, it is extraordinary and it has been our position all along, the job

:37:39.:37:44.

of MEP is your only job so you can serve your constituents properly. It

:37:45.:37:49.

is right that it has been made clear that MEPs cannot act as lobbyists.

:37:50.:37:56.

Were a lot of them doing it? No, no. Some did? We had to make it explicit

:37:57.:38:04.

that they couldn't any more. And also ex-MEPs should be able to come

:38:05.:38:08.

back and be able to lobby the institution. What about the outside

:38:09.:38:15.

jobs? It was our position that we wanted to have one job only, but

:38:16.:38:20.

because it is consensual we couldn't get to that position. Do you have

:38:21.:38:28.

another job? Being PM EP to the region like the Northwest is a

:38:29.:38:35.

full-time job. Do you have another job? No, but I am looking for one

:38:36.:38:42.

because we will be out of it in two years. Also Richard Corbett, has

:38:43.:38:46.

basically spent two years of his mandate pushing through this

:38:47.:38:52.

complicated procedural package, which is all about suppressing

:38:53.:38:57.

dissent. OK, that's not what I was asking you. I know, but it is an

:38:58.:39:04.

important question. Yes, but I ask the questions and you answer them.

:39:05.:39:06.

We have ran out of time on this now. It's not just Brexit preoccupying

:39:07.:39:09.

Europe at the moment. Meeting in Brussels this week,

:39:10.:39:13.

members of the European Council covered the gamut of big issues

:39:14.:39:15.

in their end-of-year summit, cramming some meaty subjects

:39:16.:39:18.

into just one day of talks. Following the talks,

:39:19.:39:20.

EU leaders "strongly condemned" the targeting of civilians

:39:21.:39:22.

and hospitals in Aleppo, criticising Russia and Iran

:39:23.:39:24.

for supporting the Syrian regime. Existing economic sanctions

:39:25.:39:27.

on Russia over her Crimean invasion were extended for six months

:39:28.:39:31.

but a push for extra sanctions over her support for the Syrian

:39:32.:39:35.

regime was rejected. Leaders also endorsed

:39:36.:39:40.

plans for greater defence co-operation, including creating

:39:41.:39:42.

a new mini-military HQ, battle-groups of troops from member

:39:43.:39:44.

states, and joint procurement Leaders also discussed extending

:39:45.:39:46.

a deal to pay some countries to limit the numbers of migrants

:39:47.:39:53.

coming to Europe through Pakistan, Afghanistan and Egypt,

:39:54.:39:55.

though a decision was put back Brexit only came up at the informal

:39:56.:39:58.

dinner after Theresa May had left, where the remaining 27 states

:39:59.:40:09.

discussed their negotiating Following the summit,

:40:10.:40:11.

Council president Donald Tusk spoke about how the EU could not end

:40:12.:40:22.

the Syria conflict by force. It's impossible to stop

:40:23.:40:25.

this conflict by force. The EU has no intentions and no

:40:26.:40:37.

capacities to use this kind But please stop blaming

:40:38.:40:44.

the EU because for sure the European member states,

:40:45.:40:55.

the Europeans, are not the reason why we witnessed today this tragedy

:40:56.:41:00.

in Aleppo and other parts of Syria. So, we have carnage in Syria,

:41:01.:41:14.

terrible things going on in Aleppo and the US president thinking the

:41:15.:41:18.

Kremlin tried to interfere in the US elections this year. What did the

:41:19.:41:24.

summit do? I think it should have gone further. We extended the

:41:25.:41:30.

sanctions in terms of Ukraine the six months, but didn't toughen them.

:41:31.:41:34.

I personally believe we should have. In terms of Syria we should have

:41:35.:41:38.

imposed sanctions on Russia in terms of their action in Syria. And

:41:39.:41:45.

Aleppo. We have seen intolerable suffering with people being bombed

:41:46.:41:50.

out of their homes and their local communities. Those sanctions

:41:51.:41:52.

shouldn't be against the Russian people, it should be against the

:41:53.:41:58.

oligarchs, the oil companies, the people actually taking the decisions

:41:59.:42:02.

in President Putin's government. What did this summit achieve? Very

:42:03.:42:08.

little. In Syria, everybody shares the deep concern about the suffering

:42:09.:42:16.

going on. But the EU is not the right structure to attempt to do

:42:17.:42:20.

anything about it. It should be the United Nations, it should be between

:42:21.:42:25.

the United States and Russia. Russia has a veto in the Security Council.

:42:26.:42:31.

Absolutely. It is still a forum in which they can talk. EU was the

:42:32.:42:37.

wrong structure and Donald Tusk was right. He was putting up a Nan Sally

:42:38.:42:44.

saying don't blame the EU. No one was blaming the EU. Don't you need,

:42:45.:42:52.

if you're going to have sanctions against Russia, and we have some and

:42:53.:42:57.

you think they are inadequate, but to make sure everybody is in for

:42:58.:43:03.

these, don't you need the EU? Absolutely, but we should negotiate

:43:04.:43:07.

this further. We have been witness to intolerable suffering. We have to

:43:08.:43:13.

have sanctions, not against the Russian people but against the

:43:14.:43:17.

regime. But the EU has done no more than what it has been doing already.

:43:18.:43:24.

It needs to do more. And with the UK remaining part of the EU, it is more

:43:25.:43:30.

likely we will take people to do things against delivering sanctions

:43:31.:43:34.

to Russia. We would be at the table, not stuck outside. Do you look at

:43:35.:43:43.

the summit's decision to create a mini military headquarters will

:43:44.:43:47.

cause concern in the Kremlin? No, but I would like to share that with

:43:48.:43:52.

you, we were always told we were scaremongering, suggesting there

:43:53.:43:56.

were plans for an EU army. And here they are. It makes no sense and it

:43:57.:44:01.

would do nothing but undermine Nato. Our commitment should be to Nato and

:44:02.:44:07.

not this EU fantasy army. Should the EU be developing a military

:44:08.:44:11.

capability? No, the structures we have at the moment are adequate. We

:44:12.:44:15.

need political solutions and we need to be working with the people of

:44:16.:44:22.

Syria to reconstruct their society, education programmes. It is not

:44:23.:44:29.

going to be easy, they are still at war and Bashar al-Assad is still in

:44:30.:44:34.

power. It is meaningless, how would you do it? I have been advocating

:44:35.:44:40.

strongly, that we should be having airdrops of aid into Syria. Over sky

:44:41.:44:45.

is controlled by Russian jets? There are ways of doing it with drones.

:44:46.:44:50.

No, we don't have a single cargo drone, the whole of Europe doesn't

:44:51.:44:53.

have a single drone capable of carrying cargo. There are ways of

:44:54.:45:01.

working with partners... Who has got the drones? We could work with

:45:02.:45:07.

partners to achieve it. We're not getting anywhere, so I will move on.

:45:08.:45:20.

The MEPs get to decide who will be the president of the European Union

:45:21.:45:27.

and the lucky winner also gets to represent the parliament's views to

:45:28.:45:32.

European leaders and acts as representative for foreign

:45:33.:45:34.

dignitaries. It is nice work if you get it. As usual Joe Cockburn has

:45:35.:45:43.

found out that the campaign has made a lot of MPs, or MEPs, very angry.

:45:44.:45:46.

The city of Strasbourg, viewed by many as the home

:45:47.:45:52.

But it is also known as the capital of Christmas with its famous market

:45:53.:45:56.

A mile up the road the atmosphere at the European Parliament

:45:57.:46:01.

This man, the socialist politician Martin Schultz, is stepping down

:46:02.:46:07.

His decision has triggered a fierce leadership battle over

:46:08.:46:12.

There has been something of a gentleman's agreement

:46:13.:46:17.

between the two dominant players here at the Parliament.

:46:18.:46:19.

The Socialists and the central right European People's party essentially

:46:20.:46:22.

divide up the five-year presidency post between them

:46:23.:46:25.

So by rights it should be the turn of a candidate

:46:26.:46:33.

No, says Italy's Gianni Pittella, the current leader of

:46:34.:46:37.

He wants to end the cosy arrangement of taking turns with the EPP

:46:38.:46:43.

and he is putting himself forward for the presidency.

:46:44.:46:46.

Well, you know, politics is politics.

:46:47.:46:49.

Suddenly just because Martin Schulz has decided to go back to German

:46:50.:46:53.

politics we would give up the fundamental political argument.

:46:54.:46:59.

That has infuriated the EPP who had assumed their candidate,

:47:00.:47:06.

another Italian, Antonio Gianni, would automatically get the top job.

:47:07.:47:11.

We accepted the commitment, we allowed their candidate to be

:47:12.:47:15.

President of the Parliament for the first two and a half years

:47:16.:47:18.

of term and we did everything right and we respected our commitments

:47:19.:47:21.

towards them for the whole of two-and-a-half years.

:47:22.:47:23.

We are disappointed now that all of a sudden they say

:47:24.:47:27.

we want to go to another direction and we are going to present our own

:47:28.:47:31.

candidate and we are not going to support your candidate

:47:32.:47:33.

as was agreed on paper and signed by them two-and-a-half years ago.

:47:34.:47:36.

Others are also stepping into the frame.

:47:37.:47:40.

Helga Stevens from the European Conservatives and Reformists group,

:47:41.:47:43.

which includes British Conservative MEPs, says it is time

:47:44.:47:47.

So you are standing representing the third biggest party

:47:48.:47:52.

in the European Parliament for the job of presidency.

:47:53.:47:55.

People have been very happy that I am taking a stand and have been

:47:56.:48:01.

put forward in this way, they are excited to see

:48:02.:48:05.

a different face, a new face, somebody who can bring some fresh

:48:06.:48:08.

A sentiment echoed by the smaller Eurosceptic parties who want

:48:09.:48:12.

to end what they see as an establishment stitch up.

:48:13.:48:16.

What we can see is that people want something else,

:48:17.:48:18.

they want something different and we concede that the numbers

:48:19.:48:21.

of those are growing and we see more and more referendums to come

:48:22.:48:24.

and people want to change the politics and the great coalition

:48:25.:48:27.

of the social Democrats and the Christian Democrats do not

:48:28.:48:30.

want to change anything and they want to stick to the idea

:48:31.:48:33.

that they have, an ever closer union.

:48:34.:48:36.

As MEPs leave for the Christmas break there is not much of a whiff

:48:37.:48:40.

of political compromise in the air, but deals will have to be done

:48:41.:48:43.

as none of the parties in the Parliament has an overall

:48:44.:48:46.

majority and the winning candidate will need to get more than half

:48:47.:48:48.

of the votes to be elected as president on January the 17th.

:48:49.:48:57.

And we've been joined by the Green MEP Jean Lambert,

:48:58.:49:07.

who is the European Greens' candidate for President

:49:08.:49:08.

What do you hope to achieve by running? What we hope to achieve by

:49:09.:49:19.

running as the Green Party is to open up this process. You heard

:49:20.:49:23.

about the deals that always get done, we think it should be possible

:49:24.:49:26.

that you look at people and you think they will bring something to

:49:27.:49:30.

the presidency, that maybe they can change the view of the public

:49:31.:49:33.

towards the European Parliament and have a greater connection. In terms

:49:34.:49:39.

of the process, each of the political groupings put up one

:49:40.:49:45.

candidate? They can, you do not have to. We were considering until very

:49:46.:49:51.

early on this week not putting up a candidate at all, but then we saw

:49:52.:49:54.

what was coming from the big groups and we thought, come on. For your

:49:55.:50:02.

candidacy is it not right a disadvantage considering the way we

:50:03.:50:11.

voted on the 23rd? People see this as much about solidarity. Theresa

:50:12.:50:15.

May keeps telling us we are fully engaged until we actually leave. Are

:50:16.:50:19.

you worried you might split what I might call the staunchly pro-EU vote

:50:20.:50:28.

and make way for a more Eurosceptic camp? I do not think that is likely.

:50:29.:50:34.

If you look at all of the candidates that are there, even the ones,

:50:35.:50:40.

unless you are talking about the representative of the National Front

:50:41.:50:45.

who will hopefully be out, that would be a real shock. That

:50:46.:50:50.

particular group is running a candidate. Who are you going to

:50:51.:51:00.

support? Gianni patella. The reason I am supporting him is as I said, we

:51:01.:51:06.

need a fresh approach and we need to communicate with citizens right

:51:07.:51:10.

across the EU and he is standing on a pro-jobs, progrowth,

:51:11.:51:14.

anti-austerity agenda. It is the end of any coalition and it is going

:51:15.:51:18.

with what we need for local communities right across the UK,

:51:19.:51:28.

which is jobs and growth. European candidates have been standing on

:51:29.:51:32.

that kind of platform for the last ten years and growth has been hard

:51:33.:51:37.

to see and the use of the EU, or the eurozone, are enjoying mass

:51:38.:51:41.

unemployment. Which is a fundamental problem and as you know we had

:51:42.:51:46.

supported these jobs going to the UK. I gather your party voted

:51:47.:51:53.

against it. We voted for another directive which we do not want to go

:51:54.:51:57.

into. Who are you supporting? Our own candidate. Who is he? He is...

:51:58.:52:08.

It is about to be determined. You do not know who it is. It is about to

:52:09.:52:15.

be determined. I have to say. You have not got a candidate yet. Who do

:52:16.:52:21.

you want to be your candidate? I have not decided. You do not know? I

:52:22.:52:27.

will know when the candidates are presented. What is the choice? There

:52:28.:52:32.

is a process that will be gone through. What about British

:52:33.:52:40.

solidarity and Jean Lambert? Jean Lambert will be my second choice.

:52:41.:52:45.

What has happened is the socialist group have double-crossed the E P P.

:52:46.:52:51.

We are watching this with great interest. I do not know what that

:52:52.:52:56.

means, explained that. I do not know what it means either. The EDP

:52:57.:53:07.

candidate... Is that the mainstream conservative group, a Christian

:53:08.:53:16.

Democrat type group? Tianni is an acolyte and a supporter of

:53:17.:53:21.

Berlusconi. We cannot have an establishment figure close to

:53:22.:53:24.

Berlusconi being president of the European Parliament. It would be a

:53:25.:53:31.

disaster. Whoever wins will have a role to play in Brexit. Absolutely

:53:32.:53:35.

they will and part of their job is to make sure Parliament is fully

:53:36.:53:40.

representative and involved in the discussions and we have a boat at

:53:41.:53:45.

the end of the process. Will the Green group vote for you en masse?

:53:46.:53:49.

They will certainly support me en masse, they have said that. Then it

:53:50.:53:55.

is a question of who else we can pull in from other political groups.

:53:56.:54:00.

It is important to make it a presidency that works for the

:54:01.:54:03.

parliament as well, it is not just marooned in one group. If you were

:54:04.:54:08.

to win and become president of the European Parliament, would you try

:54:09.:54:13.

to stop Brexit? It is not our role to stop Brexit as the European

:54:14.:54:18.

Parliament. That is the decision of the British people. Our role is to

:54:19.:54:22.

make sure that the European Parliament is engaged in this and

:54:23.:54:25.

our views and knowledge is fully taken into account. When do we get

:54:26.:54:32.

the result? The 17th of January. I will put it in my diary.

:54:33.:54:34.

Now, with a Christmassy-edition of our Meet the Neighbours series,

:54:35.:54:38.

Adam Fleming reports from the snowy north of Sweden.

:54:39.:54:46.

I'm in Kiruna in Swedish Lapland, 90 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

:54:47.:54:55.

They are enjoying a few hours of light before the sun goes down

:54:56.:54:58.

and does not come up again until next year.

:54:59.:55:02.

And of course all the way out here you meet an Italian.

:55:03.:55:05.

But if you love it, if you get used to this lifestyle and environment,

:55:06.:55:17.

it is hard to go back to any other lifestyle.

:55:18.:55:20.

It is not all dog sledding and the Northern lights.

:55:21.:55:22.

Kiruna is also home to the world's largest underground iron ore mine.

:55:23.:55:26.

So the entire city centre is going to be torn down

:55:27.:55:36.

3000 flats will be demolished, along with 2000 square metres

:55:37.:55:46.

3000 flats will be demolished, along with 200,000 square metres

:55:47.:55:49.

of public and commercial property, including the wooden church

:55:50.:55:51.

once voted the country's favourite historic building.

:55:52.:55:53.

Deputy Mayor Stefan is going to need a bigger map.

:55:54.:55:56.

If you imagine it going out like this.

:55:57.:56:01.

As a politician is this a blessing for your town or a curse?

:56:02.:56:04.

It is both because the blessing is that we can do something

:56:05.:56:08.

new and we are getting paid to do it.

:56:09.:56:12.

We can focus on all the new technology that we have around

:56:13.:56:15.

in the world today and doing the new, proper, environmental

:56:16.:56:21.

friendly thing to do when creating a new city centre.

:56:22.:56:24.

But the curse is that of course about 40% of the city's

:56:25.:56:29.

Down the road the new City Hall is taking shape,

:56:30.:56:38.

although the builders are sent home when the temperature

:56:39.:56:44.

First will come infrastructure like roads and water.

:56:45.:56:53.

In 2019 residents will have to decide whether to move

:56:54.:56:56.

here or take the money for their old home.

:56:57.:56:58.

It is costing an undisclosed sum, mostly paid for

:56:59.:57:00.

When it comes to other things happening here,

:57:01.:57:03.

Sweden was one of the top three destination countries for asylum

:57:04.:57:07.

And when it comes to the economy, Sweden is one of the few countries

:57:08.:57:12.

in the world experimenting with negative interest rates.

:57:13.:57:15.

And what about all those Swedish cliches?

:57:16.:57:18.

High taxes, loads of welfare, lots of leave for when you have

:57:19.:57:22.

Here are some more pictures of cute puppies, a Christmas gift

:57:23.:57:40.

And very much appreciated. When you look at the mood music coming out of

:57:41.:57:53.

Stockholm, both by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary,

:57:54.:57:57.

both social Democrats, certainly the Prime Minister, they could be, if we

:57:58.:58:02.

have got any allies, it could be the Swedes. Yes, and there is a big

:58:03.:58:08.

slice of public opinion in Sweden which is in favour of leaving.

:58:09.:58:18.

Really? That is news to me. It is news to me and I am married to a

:58:19.:58:23.

Swede. They do not want to join the euro, but they do not want to leave

:58:24.:58:29.

Europe. They are big supporters of Britain, they are not in the

:58:30.:58:33.

eurozone. I was talking to a Swedish colleagues yesterday who said it is

:58:34.:58:37.

a shame because a lot of mutual support came from the UK, especially

:58:38.:58:44.

on things like environmental standards, preventing the emissions

:58:45.:58:48.

scandal, etc. Our Swedish colleagues definitely want to remain. We will

:58:49.:58:54.

see. We will keep an eye out. That is it for now. Thank you for joining

:58:55.:58:57.

us. Goodbye. Oh, Walt. You got to call me Walt.

:58:58.:59:02.

Mr Disney was my old man.

:59:03.:59:17.

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