16/12/2016 Daily Politics


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 16/12/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Theresa May returns from the EU summit in Brussels with European


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


Scotland's Finance Secretary confirms high earners north


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


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


We take a look back at the country's changing


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


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


former top Lib Dem insider Miranda Green who now writes


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


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


is. Ever since the Scottish Parliament


was established in 1999, the Scottish government has had


the power to adjust In April this year


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


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


statement, the Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced


that from April next year higher rate tax payers in scotland


will effectively pay more tax The measures I have announced today


mean that the total support from the Scottish Government


and through local taxation provides an increase in spending power


on local government services, not at 59.6 million,


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


invests in social care Presiding Officer, this is a budget


for growth and public services for an environment


and our communities. It delivers increased


investment in education, record investment in the NHS,


protects low income households from tax hikes and supports


more and better jobs. Overall it delivers ?700 million


of additional spending This is a budget for Scotland


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


new powers to support economic growth and to tackle


our underperforming economy. It is much to be regretted


that he has chosen instead, to hike taxes on families


and businesses in Scotland, risking choking off economic


recovery and depriving Scottish public services


of vital tax revenue. This will make Scotland


the highest taxed part of the United Kingdom and as it


stands, this is not This budget passes on Tory cuts


to the people of Scotland. It makes Derek Mackay,


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


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


those with the broadest Let's protect local services,


let's grow the economy Presiding Officer, Labour cannot


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


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


Holyrood yesterday. We've been joined from Glasgow


by the Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Finance,


Derek Mackay. Welcome to the programme. The


Scottish Nationalists have been complaining about Tory austerity for


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


NHS, education, policing and infrastructure. These are sound


investment and our tax proposition also focuses on social pledges as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


necessary revenue to invest in quality public services and an extra


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the total package to local government and local government


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


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


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


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


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


have said the increase for local government services is even higher


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


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


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


picture in local government services. I am giving you an


accurate figure on the totality of the package to local government


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


strong economic performance in Scotland over the period of


devolution and the term this government has been in office


productivity and employment. Unemployment is rising, growth has


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


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


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


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


businesses out of business rates altogether. From attacks you


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


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


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


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


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


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


redundancies. Compulsory redundancies is not a Tory approach.


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


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


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


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


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


Scotland expect. Thank you for joining us from Glasgow.


Earlier this week Jeremy Corbyn's media "grid"


Or, appearing as the Daily Politics Secret Santa?


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


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


negotiation without notification. That is Article 50. There were


snippets of what the negotiating framework might look like. Donald


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


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


single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms, freedom of


movement, and people. European Parliament President Martin


Schulz threatened to negotiate directly with the UK


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


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


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


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


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


lead negotiator, reportedly told colleagues that the UK must pay


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


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


loan guarantees and spending And we've been joined


from Southampton by What do you think we have learnt


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


different schools of thought in Brussels. Most of the national


governments want this to be a cordial and a mutually advantageous


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


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


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


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


the prosperity of Europe because they are not answerable to the


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


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


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


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


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


talk that we continue to pay billions into it afterwards is


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


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


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


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


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


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


anything. There is a difference between membership of the single


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


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


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


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


through their parliaments and that will be incredibly difficult over


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Donald Tusk said access to the single market requires acceptance of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


spectacularly rude figure of Jean-Claude Juncker who seems to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and opened more than 700 jobcentres throughout the country.


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


with some of the people who shaped it.


I got into the civil service in 1940.


There's a photograph of me at my desk.


A handsome young fellow there, look at that.


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


He started working for what would become the Department of Work


and Pensions when he was moved from Whitehall to the safety


of Blackpool because of the Second World War.


When the war ended the people wanted more from life.


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


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


The main problem was getting the people to claim.


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


That is why they made films like this, so that


people would understand what they could claim for and how.


National insurance, contributions are going to build up a better


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


Widely seen as the foundation of the modern welfare state,


it paved the way for a national system of benefits to


protect citizens from the cradle to the grave.


We shall take the first step to security with freedom


The department was responsible in 1973 for the rebranding of labour


But a new colour scheme and the fashion choices of those


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


million people unemployed by the early 1980s.


Get a national insurance application form...


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


to make sure the poor and vulnerable were protected.


But a century later successive governments accepted it was a system


that had trapped people on benefits and this incentivised


Universal Credit is meant to combat that, merging six


working age benefits into a single monthly payment.


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


This is the most important programme that DWP or its predecessor


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


right between incentivising people to live their own lives


Universal Credit allows us to get the balance right.


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


I was sad to leave but it was unpleasant leaving.


People haven't always been so nice about the Department


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


in Blackpool the welfare state has come a long way.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


welfare has been dominated by competing ideas about fairness. Is


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


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


national debate about whether we are actually succeeding at the moment


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


since the Cubs were founded to allow younger boys to join


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


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


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


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


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


of adult volunteers. Mark Lobel has been off


practising his howl. Cub Scouts have taken over


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


showed me how to be determined and carry on doing things


and be resilient. Do you think it could give


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


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


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


of consecutive growth, there are still 45,000 kids


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


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


a wannabe volunteer, just the Labour MP Jo Stephens,


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


leader at the Girl Guides It is about enabling


people to volunteer. Historically people have been put


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


about health and safety, How has that rubbed off


on a Cabinet minister? Does it help you get


prepared for Brexit? Well, we are actually all focused


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


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


enjoying themselves, really finding themselves,


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


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


rower married this well known wildlife TV presenter


and Scout ambassador. Essentially our wedding was like one


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


the night before and the night We made a big bonfire


and it was amazing. Away from these grand surroundings


hundreds of Scout troops have recently popped up in areas


of deprivation so the packs' confidence-building skills can


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the permanent community together so you have lots of students


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


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


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


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


activities, in a group solving problems together, healthy exercise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


use basic lighting techniques and maintain hygiene in a survival


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


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


the answer to our quiz. According to his leaked


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


European leaders met for a summit in Brussels this week discussing


the migration crisis and the conflict in Syria.


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


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


Paolo Gentiloni took over on Monday from Matteo Renzi,


who resigned after losing a referendum on political reforms.


Greater European defence cooperation moved a step closer


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


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


MEPs approved new rules to make competitive tendering compulsory


They're set to come into effect in 2023.


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


after they voted in proposals authored by the Labour


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


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


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


The move to ban MEPs from taking paid lobbying jobs.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


basically spent two years of his mandate pushing through this


complicated procedural package, which is all about suppressing


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


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


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


Europe at the moment. Meeting in Brussels this week,


members of the European Council covered the gamut of big issues


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


into just one day of talks. Following the talks,


EU leaders "strongly condemned" the targeting of civilians


and hospitals in Aleppo, criticising Russia and Iran


for supporting the Syrian regime. Existing economic sanctions


on Russia over her Crimean invasion were extended for six months


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


regime was rejected. Leaders also endorsed


plans for greater defence co-operation, including creating


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


states, and joint procurement Leaders also discussed extending


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


coming to Europe through Pakistan, Afghanistan and Egypt,


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


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


discussed their negotiating Following the summit,


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


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


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


capacities to use this kind But please stop blaming


the EU because for sure the European member states,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Aleppo. We have seen intolerable suffering with people being bombed


out of their homes and their local communities. Those sanctions


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have sanctions, not against the Russian people but against the


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


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


likely we will take people to do things against delivering sanctions


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


European leaders and acts as representative for foreign


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


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


The city of Strasbourg, viewed by many as the home


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


A mile up the road the atmosphere at the European Parliament


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


His decision has triggered a fierce leadership battle over


There has been something of a gentleman's agreement


between the two dominant players here at the Parliament.


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


divide up the five-year presidency post between them


So by rights it should be the turn of a candidate


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


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


and he is putting himself forward for the presidency.


Well, you know, politics is politics.


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


politics we would give up the fundamental political argument.


That has infuriated the EPP who had assumed their candidate,


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


We accepted the commitment, we allowed their candidate to be


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


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


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


We are disappointed now that all of a sudden they say


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


candidate and we are not going to support your candidate


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


Others are also stepping into the frame.


Helga Stevens from the European Conservatives and Reformists group,


which includes British Conservative MEPs, says it is time


So you are standing representing the third biggest party


in the European Parliament for the job of presidency.


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


put forward in this way, they are excited to see


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


A sentiment echoed by the smaller Eurosceptic parties who want


to end what they see as an establishment stitch up.


What we can see is that people want something else,


they want something different and we concede that the numbers


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


and people want to change the politics and the great coalition


of the social Democrats and the Christian Democrats do not


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


that they have, an ever closer union.


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


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


as none of the parties in the Parliament has an overall


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


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


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


who is the European Greens' candidate for President


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


candidacy is it not right a disadvantage considering the way we


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


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


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


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


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


unless you are talking about the representative of the National Front


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Berlusconi. We cannot have an establishment figure close to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


make sure that the European Parliament is engaged in this and


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


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


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


Adam Fleming reports from the snowy north of Sweden.


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


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


and does not come up again until next year.


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


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


it is hard to go back to any other lifestyle.


It is not all dog sledding and the Northern lights.


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


So the entire city centre is going to be torn down


3000 flats will be demolished, along with 2000 square metres


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


of public and commercial property, including the wooden church


once voted the country's favourite historic building.


Deputy Mayor Stefan is going to need a bigger map.


If you imagine it going out like this.


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


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


new and we are getting paid to do it.


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


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


friendly thing to do when creating a new city centre.


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


Down the road the new City Hall is taking shape,


although the builders are sent home when the temperature


First will come infrastructure like roads and water.


In 2019 residents will have to decide whether to move


here or take the money for their old home.


It is costing an undisclosed sum, mostly paid for


When it comes to other things happening here,


Sweden was one of the top three destination countries for asylum


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


in the world experimenting with negative interest rates.


And what about all those Swedish cliches?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


on things like environmental standards, preventing the emissions


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


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


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


Mr Disney was my old man.


Download Subtitles