09/02/2018 Daily Politics


09/02/2018

Jo Coburn is joined by the journalists Kevin Maguire and Camilla Tominey for the whole programme. They examine Council Tax and how most regions are planning to put it up.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to

the Daily Politics.

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Council tax bills will soon be

hitting your door mat -

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why do 95% of councils in England

say they'll be putting them up?

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As the Brexit Secretary

accuses the European Union

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of "discourteous language",

will the government get

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the frictionless trade with Europe

that they want after Brexit if we're

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not in the customs union?

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The leader of the free world has

a hair-raising experience.

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Why is being appropriately coiffured

so important to some politicians?

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And has the European Parliament

voted to abolish summertime?

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All that in the next hour,

and with me for the duration today -

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two beautifully coiffuered guests -

the Mirror's associate

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Editor, Kevin Maguire

and Camilla Tominey of the Express.

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Welcome to the programme.

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First today -

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Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier

has been holding a news conference

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at the end of a week

of technical talks in Brussels.

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And Brexit Cabinet discussions have

been continuing in London

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as Theresa May tries to find

a compromise amidst

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divisions over what kind

of relationship the UK should have

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with the EU after Brexit.

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Here's what Mr Barnier had

to say a few minutes ago.

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On Ireland, we focused on solutions

to avoid a hard border.

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Any solution must be precise,

clear and unambiguous.

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As you know, our joint report

provides for three options.

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First, solving the issues

on the island of Ireland

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through the future relationship.

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And this future relationship

would need to avoid a hard border

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and protect north-south cooperation

and the Good Friday Agreement.

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Once again, ladies and gentlemen,

it is important to tell the truth.

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A UK decision to leave

the single market and to leave

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the customs union would make

border checks unavoidable.

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Michel Barnier. He set it out very

clearly. Unless there is a UK

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decision to stay in the single

market and Customs union, there will

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be border checks.

And this comes

after, of course, the notion that at

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the Brexit War Cabinet meetings

we've had this week, Northern

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Ireland will be on the agenda and

then was taken off as it's proven to

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contentious. The issue is

interesting in the fact that no

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party at all seems to want to have a

hard border. The UK dogs, BET you

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doesn't and neither do the Irish or

Northern Irish. At the same time,

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this is a hot potato. There's a

wider narrative around this. David

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Davis coming out strongly in the

papers this morning saying he thinks

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Michel Barnier is being discourteous

in the way the EU want to handle the

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transition talks. I think from the

general public point of view,

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there's interesting polling in the

week leading, only 8% support Brexit

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in name only. Generally people want

the government is to get on with it,

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regardless of his massive thorny

issue about Ireland. There's a sense

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of not making progress and being

blocked by Sony Michel Barnier

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before we even set out into the next

stage of negotiations.

Visit on the

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thorny issue of Northern Ireland? Of

course everyone says they don't want

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a hardboard, but people say they

don't want it, and Britain would

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like to come out of the customs

union. Will that be the issue that

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breaks these negotiations?

It may

well be. Particularly when you have

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the role of the ten DUP MPs who give

Theresa May her majority in

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Westminster. It matters more than

ever, but you cannot come out of the

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customs union and the single market

and not have a border.

They say

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there could be technical solutions,

that there could be ways, once the

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trade arrangements is finalised. We

don't know what that is at the

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moment. Once the trade deal is

finalised, there could be ways

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across that.

You could have honesty

boxes, drones, electronic beams.

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They don't want to go back to border

posts because that becomes very

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hard. There will be lots of creative

thinking but there's still going to

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be a border. We will recreate the

border by coming out of the customs

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union and the single market. There's

no question of that. The DUP and

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Northern Ireland, and remember

Northern Ireland voted to stay in

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the EU, the overall...

But the DUP

don't.

No, they were on the wrong

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side of the argument. It's on the

Irish Sea, so you can't have a

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specific deal for those counties and

say those six counties of Ireland

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are in and the rest of the UK is

out.

Do you think that, on that

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issue, it may be that the Cabinet

and Theresa May will be forced to

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concede some sort of customs union?

They may call it something

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different, but it may be a customs

union in effect beyond transition.

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The rhetoric from Downing Street

dampening all the speculation in the

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papers at the weekend was saying, we

will not be in any customs union.

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There was a nuance between the

customs union and remaining in it

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and a customs union. They've been

unequivocal. That's the only chink

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in the Lancaster house speech

armour. While she is adamant about

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the union, the 12 point about the

customs union is open to

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interpretation. That's why we've

been seeing Philip Hammond

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freelancing on the subject in recent

weeks and an adverse opinion from

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Ollie Robbins, we believe, from

Downing Street.

The War Cabinet is

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at war with itself. She doesn't have

agreement. How can you go to the

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other 27 and Michel Barnier and say

what you want when your own site is

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split?

The meetings they've have

this week, there hasn't been

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agreement, it hasn't been resolved

because Theresa May has decided

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there will be an away day.

Of course

there must be. Four hours to decide

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which's end-stage doesn't seem

enough time at all. It seems in

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principle that they've only met for

this point of time, stuff have been

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taken off the agenda. Meanwhile,

Jeremy Corbyn is tying himself in

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knots over what he has or hasn't

said to Barnier about the customs

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union. Let's make no mistake. Both

bottle parties are divided and an

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awayday is probably not a bad idea,

although the notion of some of the

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Cabinet is doing team-building

exercises, the mind boggles!

Shall

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be amazed if you can get Philip

Hammond and Amber Rudd to agree with

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Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.

Maybe it should have been sorted out

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before Article 50.

Or having been

opaque in the wake that some people

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might see it, they've managed to get

the first phase agreed. There is

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likely to be an agreement on

transition. And they'll get headline

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agreement around a trade deal, so in

the end is it as disastrous as some

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are saying?

It looks troublesome.

There is a self interest on the UK

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side. There is self interest on the

27. You're looking for mutual

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self-interest where you can come

together. We've got where we are so

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far. One, by agreeing to the 27's

timetabling. Two, paying off the £39

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billion. On issues such as Ireland,

we gave the impression that there

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wouldn't be that border to get the

DUP back onside. Now, that seems to

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be unrolling.

So much leads up to it

and it's all decided in the last few

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hours, like phase one.

Nothing is

agreed until everything is agreed.

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On that, we will move onto something

different. We will of course to

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Brexit.

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Now, could your household

bills soon be going up?

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A new survey suggests nearly

all local authorities in England

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are planning to increase

council tax from April

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as the Local Government Association

says many councils are concerned

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about balancing their books.

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Of the third of councils that

responded to this year's

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Local Government Finance Survey,

95% said they planned

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to raise council tax.

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Almost three quarters said

they planned to increase council

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tax by more than 2.5%.

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Council tax bills can rise

by up to 6% this year,

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which includes a 3% levy,

or precept, to fund social care.

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However, if bills were to increase

by more than 6% that

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would trigger a local referendum.

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93% of councils also said

they were planning to raise fees

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for services they provide,

including parking and planning.

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Councils are increasingly dependent

on money they raise locally,

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rather than central grants,

a move the government says

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will improve accountability.

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But Lord Porter, chairman

of the Local Government Association,

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has said some authorities

are "perilously close"

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to financial collapse.

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We can speak now to Ferris Cowper,

a district councillor

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in East Hampshire, one of only six

councils who responded to the survey

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who said they would not be

increasing council tax this year.

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Also joining us is Shadow Local

Government Minister Jim McMahon.

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We hope he will join us soon. He

will be in Salford.

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You're not going to have to raise

council tax. So in your mind, who is

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at fault for the situation that most

other authorities seem to find

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themselves in? Is it counsels for

not showing initiative by the

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Conservative government was lashing

the bonding?

I think there's a bit

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of a shared responsibility here, to

be quite honest. The loss of

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government grants did come as a bit

of a shock to many people. We were

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planning for this many years ago. So

I think that also council leaders

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and councillors generally have had

the opportunity to get ready for

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this bit earlier than they have

done.

What did you do?

The thing we

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did was set out to do three main

things to deal with the loss of

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those grants. We started on

efficiency programme, not a service

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cutting programme, but keeping the

services and just running them

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cheaper. Some people called

efficiency is losing services, we

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don't. Manufacturing, a man found a

huge number of senior managers, so

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we have halved the number of senior

managers. We've also started selling

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services to other councils, and

we've improved our investment

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portfolio to get better returns on

that as well.

Do you accept, though,

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that you have got an easier time of

it than many other authorities

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because you don't have to fund

social care?

Adult social care is

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one of the biggest challenges. I

noticed that Jeremy Hunt's

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portfolio, including adult social

care...

It seems only in title only.

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I think where hoping... I would hope

that if you're looking at a

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restructuring of local government

finance, which has to be the agenda

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here, a new way of doing all this,

the central government will have to

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take some of these things which are

synergistic with the health agenda.

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And you hope that's going to happen

at national level. You accept that

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because you don't have responsible

at for financing adult social care,

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you have an easier job.

I'd love the

challenge, though!

That's not the

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answer to the question.

It is

easier, yes.

Actually, the truth of

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it is that even in your area,

although you're not putting up the

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council tax bills, they could go

anyway because the county council

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could choose to do so.

Yes, the

other presetting authorities are

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very likely to put those up, but

we're doing our bit.

Listening to

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this and hearing some of the

efficiency savings that have been

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made, do you think councils have

crossed their fingers and hope

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something would come along with Siam

I suspect there isn't a single local

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authority across the UK that hasn't

been looking for inefficiency

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savings. The scale of the cuts in

central government grants have been

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enormous.

40% in some cases. You are

down to statute services and social

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care is a huge red and I'm councils

because people are older, needing

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more support, which is good. They've

been working hard and at the same

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time haven't been allowed to put up

council tax, which is great if your

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household but not great when you

don't get the service. You have to

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pay for local government, I agree,

but where you get those

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efficiencies, you make them. That is

why you have true blue sorry, very

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wealthy. When you have

Northamptonshire County Council

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close to bankruptcy the way they

have ruled out almost extra two all

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extra spending.

What's the solution?

Do you support councils putting up

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council tax to up to potentially 6%

in order to fund vital services?

I

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think most people including our

readers will support councils

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working more efficiently. Some are

better than others. At the council

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tax has gone up by 53%. I think the

statistics from the taxpayers

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Alliance suggests...

Not the

taxpayers Alliance!

They've done the

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research. 530 council bosses are

earning more than the primaries do.

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Is that right? Are you supportive of

council fat cats earning 6-figure

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sums?

You'll get a couple of extra

bins with the billions taken out of

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local...

On a sustainable basis,

what do you think the answer is?

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Should it be big central government

cuts...

It should be the little

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person.

Don't be patronising.

The

actual residence rather than fat cat

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bosses who are coining it in. Mrs

Meghan 's once had bins changed in

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Blackpool and doesn't want to face a

doubling of council tax! Which is to

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be 700 or £800, and is now 1500.

That's because councils have

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expanded exponentially.

Putting

aside... Putting aside the issue of

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how much they're being paid, which

we take your point that you think

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they are fat cats earning too much

money, but year on year, how should

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and how do councils meet the gap

between what they used to get from

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central government without putting

up council tax? What would be your

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solution?

Perhaps in the case of

social care, if it isn't taken under

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the remit of the NHS, should be

looking at more creative ways of

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managing the cost of social care?

Social care affects one in six

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households in places -- and in

places like Germany they have an

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insurance system toward against the

fact you might need social care

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costs. White that's a different

argument. I'm saying maybe we should

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look at creatives. What will it pick

up on what Camilla said about fat

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cat pay. What you pay your chief

executive Azpilicueta?

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cat pay. What you pay your chief

executive

120,000 fans a year in the

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public domain.

Is that too much?

Less than the Prime Minister.

But is

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it too much?

Its £60,000 for the

District Council of East Hampshire.

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As do you think that is good value

for money?

To have someone running

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the £40 million enterprise and 60

per year is exceptional value.

That

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sounds like good value. I like the

idea in principle and no one in the

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public services gets paid more than

the Prime Minister. If you get a big

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county council and you want a

top-notch finance director, you are

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competing against financial

companies that are paying far more.

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If you want some really really good,

it's the market that is dictating.

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The cost of social care, 4.5 billion

has been taken out. You are coming

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up with another way of paying

insurers. It might be cheaper for

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your council tax to go up a bit and

you pay for it collectively and then

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get cared, rather than going to a

rip-off company and insurance

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company that's going to charge

higher premiums are.

This works well

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in Germany and other European

countries.

Let me bring in our other

0:16:360:16:40

guest.

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Jim McMahon. I am sure you

understand the issue of council tax

0:16:450:16:51

going up in some authorities. Would

the situation be that different

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under Labour?

What we need to accept

is that council tax is very

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important, but it has limitations.

Property values are out of date now,

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by 27 years, but also there is

little relationship between the

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property values in an area and the

ability of the person to pay the

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bills. It is important but it has

its limitations. Today people are

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being asked to pay more and more for

what they see as less and less

0:17:260:17:31

because the services everybody sees

like libraries and street cleaning

0:17:310:17:35

and parks and open spaces, are

reduced to fund adult social care.

0:17:350:17:42

Do you support broadly cancels

putting up council tax to pay for

0:17:420:17:44

those services?

In the current

context the councils have no choice.

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The government was asked to go away

and find the money for social care

0:17:500:17:55

and they failed. The Secretary of

State failed to find any new money

0:17:550:17:58

when he came to the dispatch box

today. They are finding money from

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the back of the couch and our social

care services are in crisis.

0:18:040:18:08

Councils have no choice but to put

up council tax because they need to

0:18:080:18:13

fund those services. Councils have

1200 statutory obligations on them

0:18:130:18:18

and they have to meet them and they

have no choice. It is a horrible

0:18:180:18:22

situation for them.

You say it would

be different under Labour because

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they have a different tax system

related to property. The

0:18:270:18:31

conservative say and that tax system

that you set out in the manifesto

0:18:310:18:35

more people would pay more because

you would replace council tax with

0:18:350:18:40

land value tax. The average family

home could go up from £1185 to £3837

0:18:400:18:48

a year, an increase of 124%. Do you

accept there would be many more

0:18:480:18:53

people paying higher council tax in

your proposals?

We are looking at a

0:18:530:18:59

wider range of taxation and income

streams to fund local government.

0:18:590:19:04

You cannot continue to rely...

Do

you accept and your new system in

0:19:040:19:10

order to guarantee that stream of

funding that more people in bigger

0:19:100:19:13

properties, rightly or wrongly,

would be paying more?

That detail

0:19:130:19:17

would need to be worked out. We need

to agree the right balance between

0:19:170:19:22

tax raised in a local context

through council tax or business

0:19:220:19:27

rates, what is the demand for

services? And then there is general

0:19:270:19:32

taxation. Most people say it should

not be the case that your ability to

0:19:320:19:38

get social care in old age, or your

ability to get children help are

0:19:380:19:43

dependent on the values in your

area. It will continue to put at

0:19:430:19:52

risk children and people in areas

where you have not got that value.

0:19:520:19:57

Would you support the redrawing of

council tax along a different sort

0:19:570:20:00

of property revaluation M I think we

have to think much wider.

To keep on

0:20:000:20:07

banging on about what kind of tax we

are going to levy and how it will be

0:20:070:20:13

structured, it is such old-fashioned

thinking. We have to think outside

0:20:130:20:17

the box. The whole method by which

the public sector is financed has to

0:20:170:20:21

be thought through. The capability

of the public sector to generate

0:20:210:20:26

income from other sources is

important, but with services like

0:20:260:20:31

adult social care and education we

keep looking at making it bigger and

0:20:310:20:35

bigger and some things work better

if you make them smaller. We talk

0:20:350:20:40

about devolution, I am not sure what

the Labour Party policies on that

0:20:400:20:42

are. But evolving it down to lower

levels so that we can execute

0:20:420:20:51

services like social and care with a

more precise focus on what is needed

0:20:510:20:56

and save money that way.

The

government has said funding will be

0:20:560:21:01

replaced by business rates income in

the future. Will that sort the

0:21:010:21:04

problem?

Even with that it is still

not enough. Even if we went for a

0:21:040:21:11

re-evaluation, you would see a huge

geographical displacement where

0:21:110:21:15

London and the south-east would see

rapid increases because the values

0:21:150:21:19

have gone up and stagnation in other

areas where you have not seen that

0:21:190:21:23

increase. Unless you have a new

method of redistribution, you will

0:21:230:21:26

not get that. In London there are

just over 10 million over

0:21:260:21:34

65-year-olds and it will be 17.3 by

20 35. People are living longer and

0:21:340:21:40

in old age they deserve the care

they need and that should be funded

0:21:400:21:44

based on need and not on property

values in a given area. You have to

0:21:440:21:48

have that balance right.

Jim

McMahon, thank you.

0:21:480:21:53

Jim McMahon, thank you.

0:21:530:21:55

Now, MPs are rarely houshold names

but is one conservative

0:21:550:21:58

backbencher managing to break

through from relative

0:21:580:22:00

obscurity of the backbenches?

0:22:000:22:03

Jacob Rees Mogg is rarely

off our tellies, often trending

0:22:030:22:06

on social media and is a hit

with the tory grassroots.

0:22:060:22:09

He also leads the influential

European Research Group

0:22:090:22:12

that is thought to number as many

as 70 Conservative MPs.

0:22:120:22:15

But what do the public make

of a man who is spoken

0:22:150:22:18

of as future Tory Leader?

0:22:180:22:21

Emma Vardy took that

oh-so-unscientific barometer

0:22:210:22:24

of public opinion, the moodbox,

to west London.

0:22:240:22:30

The MP of this constituency, Boris

Johnson, is well known for making

0:22:310:22:34

his views clear on how he believes

we should be getting out of Europe.

0:22:340:22:39

But what do voters here

make of the new darling

0:22:390:22:42

of the Eurosceptics,

Jacob Rees-Mogg?

0:22:420:22:45

We're here to ask people if he's

a hero or a villain.

0:22:450:22:48

I just think he's a little

bit upper-class for us.

0:22:480:22:51

I actually quite like him

for being so outspoken and

0:22:510:22:54

actually passionate

about what he believes in.

0:22:540:22:57

I don't necessarily believe

in everything he says, but I

0:22:570:23:00

think you need somebody

like that to put an argument

0:23:000:23:03

across and actually stand up

for your convictions, so I

0:23:030:23:05

think he's quite a hero.

0:23:050:23:07

Why do you think he's so divisive?

0:23:070:23:09

I think it's probably

because of background and

0:23:090:23:11

culture.

0:23:110:23:15

I think he is quite

an intelligent man.

0:23:150:23:17

I think he's quite

open to discussing.

0:23:170:23:19

He's voting against everything!

0:23:190:23:21

Like disability

people, their living.

0:23:210:23:23

Brexit, all that, as well.

0:23:230:23:25

# I need a hero!#

0:23:250:23:26

Who is it?

0:23:260:23:29

Tory MP.

0:23:290:23:37

Maybe she needs to be, you know, a

little bit stronger.

0:23:390:23:41

Theresa May?

0:23:410:23:43

Yeah, she needs to be,

a little bit stronger and,

0:23:430:23:57

her case to strengthen her up a bit,

that must be a good thing.

0:23:570:24:00

I don't agree with his views.

0:24:000:24:01

He - if I've got the right

man, I think he is

0:24:010:24:04

against abortion?

0:24:040:24:05

How dare he decide!

0:24:050:24:09

Wonderful man, you say.

0:24:090:24:13

Yeah, fantastic.

0:24:130:24:15

Do you recognise the man

on the front of that box?

0:24:150:24:17

OK, I may have.

0:24:170:24:18

He doesn't exactly seem

to be a household name.

0:24:180:24:23

It's quite resonating, that.

0:24:230:24:29

He's not the type of

politician that I would...

0:24:290:24:31

I couldn't trust him.

0:24:310:24:32

I feel he's basically a villain

because he's a Tory.

0:24:320:24:34

That T-shirt's so last season.

0:24:340:24:36

He may be the man of the moment

for some Eurosceptics,

0:24:360:24:39

but here in Uxbridge, most people

told us Jacob Rees-Mogg is a

0:24:390:24:42

villain.

0:24:420:24:48

The villain of the peace for the

mood box. Has he cut through,

0:24:480:24:54

Camilla?

Definitely. If you take

yourself out of this bubble and

0:24:540:24:59

listen to the LBC on the radio,

people are literally phoning in

0:24:590:25:03

every five minutes and they want

Jacob Rees Mogg for leader. If that

0:25:030:25:07

translates on a wider UK level I do

not know, but he has gone from being

0:25:070:25:12

a rather eccentric backbencher to

someone who is influential in Brexit

0:25:120:25:15

because of being the chairman of the

European research group.

Has he

0:25:150:25:21

superseded Boris Johnson as the

darling of the grassroots Tories?

0:25:210:25:25

Absolutely. You saw that at the

Conservative Party conference in

0:25:250:25:29

Manchester. Ruth Davidson and he

seemed much more popular. In the way

0:25:290:25:35

he gets an easier ride because he is

not held to account where Boris

0:25:350:25:40

Johnson would be as Foreign

Secretary. Although he lost that

0:25:400:25:45

poll, the majority of people were

against, very few Leticia 's would

0:25:450:25:49

get more than 50%. In a general

election you can get 42% and win, so

0:25:490:25:55

he did quite well.

In terms of

people thinking he is a villain is

0:25:550:26:01

that because behind that all too

polite veneer there is a much steely

0:26:010:26:06

and less likeable character behind?

Yes.

I know him relatively well. On

0:26:060:26:14

a personal level he is a lovely

chap.

But what about the views he

0:26:140:26:18

holds?

He is a catholic and a

staunch catholic and pro-life and

0:26:180:26:24

anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage.

That for the left is classed as

0:26:240:26:28

extremist views. But we can

apparently labelled Christian views

0:26:280:26:32

extremist but not anyone else's

views without being labelled racist.

0:26:320:26:36

The more people get to know him and

his views, the less they were like

0:26:360:26:40

him. He is a character, no question.

You can imagine him with a monocle

0:26:400:26:45

coming from the 18th century. On

abortion many people do not like

0:26:450:26:49

that. You do not have to be gay to

think gay marriage is a good thing.

0:26:490:26:54

If you do not believe in gay

marriage, do not marry a gay person.

0:26:540:26:59

Let's not characterise Christian

beliefs as ray bid.

That is wrong.

0:26:590:27:05

People do not like people

interfering in their own lives.

0:27:050:27:08

Shall we take the two MPs...

I think

some people who do not agree with

0:27:080:27:14

him look at him and by the courage

of his convictions.

Anna Soubry and

0:27:140:27:21

Justine Greening said it would be a

stretch to stay in the party if he

0:27:210:27:24

became leader. Anna Soubry thinks he

should be flying out.

Anna Soubry is

0:27:240:27:36

rather marginalised. She has very

personally attacked Jacob Rees Mogg.

0:27:360:27:41

He is a good person and a committed

politician and people can see that.

0:27:410:27:45

Does he want to be leader?

He said

this week he did not and used the

0:27:450:27:52

excuses of having six children. He

has got to be ambitious. He has not

0:27:520:27:56

got into politics to be a backbench

MP. He has taken on the role as the

0:27:560:28:03

voice of the Brexit backbenchers,

the European research group. He is

0:28:030:28:07

very ambitious. I met him before he

was an MP. I wrote a few things he

0:28:070:28:11

did not like anti-invited me to a

club to have dinner to pop me round.

0:28:110:28:16

He is ambitious. He became the head

of this European research group. How

0:28:160:28:22

influential is that group?

Bus fleet

had a look into who is a member of

0:28:220:28:28

it and it is touted it only involves

about 35 MPs. I think it is more

0:28:280:28:35

like 75-100.

We think 70.

We

interviewed him when he got the

0:28:350:28:41

chairmanship and asked if it was

right that it was 100 and he said it

0:28:410:28:45

was fair. Increasingly they are

putting pressure on Theresa May and

0:28:450:28:48

to be fair to Jacob Rees Mogg, he

has put more on them in the past few

0:28:480:28:55

weeks that anyone has done recently.

What about his authenticity? Does

0:28:550:29:01

that make him appeal to certain

sections in the Tory party and even

0:29:010:29:06

admired by those who do not like

him?

That is right. He says what he

0:29:060:29:12

thinks, whether you like it or not.

He is on the backbenches and can do

0:29:120:29:16

that.

People do like that, but that

does not mean when push comes to

0:29:160:29:22

shove, they are thinking about what

is best for them in the polling

0:29:220:29:25

booth and they might not vote for

somebody from the 18th century.

0:29:250:29:30

booth and they might not vote

for somebody from the 18th century.

0:29:300:29:33

Now, why is hair so important

to some politicians?

0:29:330:29:35

Donald Trump had a hair raising

experience the other day that

0:29:350:29:38

threatened to reveal the secrets

of his blonde mane as he

0:29:380:29:40

boarded Air Force One.

0:29:400:29:42

And President Trump isn't the first

and won't be the last politician

0:29:420:29:44

to attach rather a lot of importance

to his hairdo.

0:29:440:29:47

# Hey, girl, what you

doing over there?

0:29:470:29:49

# Can't you see, I'm

spraying my hair?

0:29:490:29:51

# Baby, baby.

0:29:510:29:53

# Well, Mamma told me

not to do this.

0:29:530:29:57

# Well, if I don't

I'm gonna lose it.

0:29:570:29:59

# Gimme, gimme control,

it's got to stand on its own.

0:29:590:30:07

# When the band is

playing loud and fast.

0:30:080:30:11

That was very poor,

it was Duncan Smith's hair.

0:30:110:30:14

# What a gas.

0:30:140:30:18

# I got an inspiration

doing that hairspray,

0:30:180:30:21

the love of the nation.

0:30:210:30:24

# When the band is

playing loud and fast...

0:30:240:30:32

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant

there.

0:30:340:30:35

Conservative MP

Michael Fabricant there.

0:30:350:30:36

And we're joined now

by the one of the nation's top

0:30:360:30:38

hairdressers, Nicky Clarke.

0:30:380:30:45

It's almost like origami! Clearly,

he has an issue with the loss of

0:30:450:30:51

some hair. He's worked out this kind

of very elaborate comb over that

0:30:510:30:56

isn't like the usual comb over that

I used to see where someone has sort

0:30:560:31:01

of gone from year to year. His is

all quiffs and whatever.

It's

0:31:010:31:06

complicated.

Yeah, is held down with

an awful lot of hairspray, which is

0:31:060:31:11

why we've seen the gust of wind

has...

Wing is an impediment, I have

0:31:110:31:16

to say. Even though I don't

necessarily have an origami style

0:31:160:31:21

hairdo, outside, reporting, it's

difficult to control. What do you

0:31:210:31:23

suggest in these moments for public

exposure if you have a hairdo like

0:31:230:31:28

Mr Trump?

Where possible, work out

the wind direction! It literally is

0:31:280:31:33

like having a wind machine coming

from the wrong way. We've seen it

0:31:330:31:37

with other presenters, as well.

Hair

to politicians is important, isn't

0:31:370:31:41

it?

It is but not necessarily in the

way one would think because the

0:31:410:31:46

whole idea of this power hairdo is

not necessary. In order to be really

0:31:460:31:51

kind of perceived as quite honest

and real, you almost need to look

0:31:510:31:57

like you haven't tried too hard. I

think that's probably works with

0:31:570:32:01

hair and works with the way one

dresses, etc.

Back in the day we

0:32:010:32:06

used to call it a Bobby Charlton

comb over. If you had him in your

0:32:060:32:09

chair, what would you say? Would you

say could it short?

That's the

0:32:090:32:14

interesting thing. If there isn't

that much hair, it's very easy for

0:32:140:32:18

people to say, you're losing it,

let's put it all off. But it would

0:32:180:32:22

change dramatically the way he

looks. I think that's quite a hard

0:32:220:32:26

thing for somebody to actually do.

Also, people have to feel

0:32:260:32:31

comfortable and politicians have to

feel comfortable with the hairstyle.

0:32:310:32:35

It can be that way. We've seen it

with Prince William where he's

0:32:350:32:39

embraced the idea.

He had a number-1

shave.

He did, but it wasn't too

0:32:390:32:44

different in terms of what people

were seeing already.

But there is an

0:32:440:32:48

obsession with covering up any sort

of thinning of the hair. David was

0:32:480:32:51

accused of those shots during Prime

Minister's Questions in the House of

0:32:510:32:58

Commons, where you might have been

able to see a thinning. Does that

0:32:580:33:01

matter?

How would the public react

if he had gone off and had one of

0:33:010:33:05

the many really, really great

treatments now that you would never

0:33:050:33:11

know? You would never know, trust

me.

It's interesting that if he were

0:33:110:33:17

a woman, we wouldn't be talking like

this. If a woman had thinning hair.

0:33:170:33:21

Women are really sympathetic with

men losing their hair. I remember

0:33:210:33:25

reading a startling survey

suggesting women would rather lose a

0:33:250:33:28

breast than lose their hair because

it's so integral. I think people

0:33:280:33:31

look at men who lose their hair.

Someone like Wayne Rooney, there was

0:33:310:33:35

huge sympathy for him at such a

young age to have lost all his hair.

0:33:350:33:39

He went for the transplant.

Obviously the Donald is a figure of

0:33:390:33:43

ridicule but I found it interesting

in the Piers Morgan interview, where

0:33:430:33:48

he's poked fun at himself and say he

was hanging on in there and took a

0:33:480:33:52

bit of mockery about it because

clearly it's such a talking point.

0:33:520:33:57

He has done that before, he's

actually said that maybe when he got

0:33:570:34:00

into office that he would shave it

off, maybe one of those he hasn't

0:34:000:34:04

quite fulfilled! But, you know, and

I think recently we saw the fact

0:34:040:34:11

that he was on medication in terms

of the scalp. It's clearly very

0:34:110:34:17

sensitive.

What about a bold Prime

Minister? Mail, probably! Do you

0:34:170:34:24

think that's could ever be possible?

I don't think it has anything to do

0:34:240:34:27

with it. You're right they would be

mocked in the beginning, but I think

0:34:270:34:32

once you see those... Green

Churchill didn't do too badly.

On

0:34:320:34:37

that, we're going to finish. Thank

you, Nicky Clarke.

0:34:370:34:41

For the next half an hour we're

going to be focusing on Europe.

0:34:410:34:44

We'll be discussing Brexit of course

and, as winter bites

0:34:440:34:46

across the continent,

a proposal to abolish summer time.

0:34:460:34:48

First, though, here's our guide

to the latest from Europe

0:34:480:34:51

in just 60 seconds.

0:34:510:34:54

Turns out it's not just the Brits

who like to talk about the weather.

0:34:540:34:57

Much of Europe has faced

freezing temperatures,

0:34:570:34:59

with Parisians even skiing down

0:34:590:35:00

Montmartre and snowfall shutting

down the Eiffel Tower.

0:35:000:35:08

Frosty relations seem to have thawed

in Germany as the country looks set

0:35:080:35:11

to emerge from months of political

deepfreeze with Angela Merkel's

0:35:110:35:13

conservatives finally

agreeing a coalition deal

0:35:130:35:16

with the centre-left Social

Democrats.

0:35:160:35:17

The European Parliament

voted against proposals

0:35:170:35:20

to create a batch of pan-European

MEPs that would have allowed a vote

0:35:200:35:27

to create a batch of pan-European

MEPs that would have allowed a voter

0:35:270:35:30

in, say, Finland or Spain to be

represented by the same MEP,

0:35:300:35:33

delivering a blow to Emmanuel

Macron's plans to transform EU

0:35:330:35:35

democracy.

0:35:350:35:36

The European Parliament also voted

to remove one of its vice

0:35:360:35:39

presidents,

0:35:390:35:40

Ryszard Czarnecki, after he sparked

outrage by comparing a

0:35:400:35:42

fellow Polish MEP to

a Nazi collaborator.

0:35:420:35:46

European Commission bigwig

Jean-Claude Juncker on the other

0:35:460:35:48

hand was clearly feeling chummy

when he ruffled the hair

0:35:480:35:50

of his chief Brexit negotiator

Guy Verhofstadt

0:35:500:35:52

ahead of a Strasbourg debate

on the future of Europe.

0:35:520:35:54

"Gerroff, Jean-Claude!"

0:35:540:36:01

Right, let's talk about Germany and

the coalition that may or may not be

0:36:020:36:06

secured. What do you think will

happen?

I think it will be but she's

0:36:060:36:10

given a lot of ground. The SPD to do

particularly well in the election

0:36:100:36:15

and are extracting their prize. She

wasn't what she was. She still

0:36:150:36:19

Chancellor but not as commanding.

All political careers have to end in

0:36:190:36:23

failure at some time and you're

shuffled off and you can feel she's

0:36:230:36:25

in a much later stage. I wouldn't

say write her off, she's still...

0:36:250:36:33

The polls say she's in a relatively

strong position.

Rather head-on the

0:36:330:36:37

party, but she's not as strong as

she was. It will still be Macron in

0:36:370:36:43

France and her in Germany calling

the main shots. We'll know that when

0:36:430:36:47

they doing the negotiations over

Brexit.

If the coalition does go

0:36:470:36:52

ahead and the members have to vote

on it, where does it leave the

0:36:520:36:57

alternative for direction and -- the

AFD, that secured many seats in the

0:36:570:37:06

elections?

It leaves them knocking

on the door and Angela Merkel has

0:37:060:37:13

had a wake-up call that some of her

policies have not been popular. It's

0:37:130:37:16

a massive concession that they've

lost the finance ministry to the

0:37:160:37:22

coalition partners. Looking forward

to Brexit, I was thinking

0:37:220:37:26

psychologically, will Angela Merkel,

having gone through this enormous

0:37:260:37:29

trouble to try to secure an

agreement, that she is compromised

0:37:290:37:32

so much that she's going to get

tough on the UK when it comes to the

0:37:320:37:36

EU? Who knows what her state of mind

is. There was irony at her having to

0:37:360:37:41

go at Theresa May for not making her

mind when she herself is in this

0:37:410:37:45

hugely precarious position.

Germany

often goes through months of

0:37:450:37:51

decision-making. It is unusual to go

on for this long. And also to

0:37:510:37:55

struggle in the way that she has in

order to try to secure a coalition.

0:37:550:37:59

As it weakened Germany's position

more broadly in the EU?

I'm not sure

0:37:590:38:05

it has. Germany is such an

industrial economic powerhouse, such

0:38:050:38:08

a large country. Their electoral

system, the additional member

0:38:080:38:12

system, they are one of the

countries imposed it after the

0:38:120:38:17

Second World War and it works

towards coalitions. It's just who is

0:38:170:38:21

in the coalition. It's taken longer

than before. It took some time then

0:38:210:38:27

anyway. The Germans work these

things through, but you feel that

0:38:270:38:30

she herself isn't a commanding

figure, but I think compared to

0:38:300:38:38

Theresa May, Theresa May would love

to be in Merkel's position.

They are

0:38:380:38:43

both from Conservative background,

both have religious fervour about

0:38:430:38:46

them. About the same sort of figure

in terms of being isolated on the

0:38:460:38:52

world stage. It's interesting. Maybe

they should get together over a

0:38:520:38:55

copy.

On that, we'll move on!

0:38:550:39:02

So, the second stage of Brexit

negotiations with the EU have

0:39:020:39:06

begun with talks moving

onto the transition stage.

0:39:060:39:08

On Sunday the government confirmed

that "we are categorically

0:39:080:39:10

leaving the customs union"

and "it is not our policy to stay

0:39:100:39:13

in a customs union."

0:39:130:39:17

On Monday Chief EU negotiator,

Michel Barnier, responded by saying

0:39:170:39:21

that "barriers to trade and goods

and services are unavoidable".

0:39:210:39:23

Adding that "the time has

come to make a choice".

0:39:230:39:31

It's unclear whether

the UK will stay

0:39:330:39:34

in the customs union and the single

market during any transition period.

0:39:340:39:37

A leaked EU draft of

the Withdrawal Agreement suggested

0:39:370:39:39

that UK's access to the single

market would be restricted

0:39:390:39:42

during the transition phase

if there is a dispute after Brexit.

0:39:420:39:48

Brexit Secretary David Davis accused

the EU of using "discourteous

0:39:480:39:50

language" in the document

and Brexiteers claim that continued

0:39:500:39:52

membership of the customs union

and Single Market would render

0:39:520:39:55

Britain a "vassal state".

0:39:550:40:00

Remainers and some business groups

have called for urgent action

0:40:000:40:03

from government to address

the uncertainty with

0:40:030:40:04

the British Chambers

of Commerce saying this week

0:40:040:40:06

that their "patience

is wearing thin".

0:40:060:40:13

We're joined now from Amsterdam

by the Dutch MEP Paul Tang,

0:40:130:40:15

who earlier this week described

Theresa May's brexit strategy

0:40:150:40:18

as "stupidity", and from Brussels

by the Cosnervative MEP Dan Dalton.

0:40:180:40:24

Welcome to both of you. Paul Tang

first of all, do you regret calling

0:40:240:40:30

Theresa May's strategy on Brexit

stupidity?

0:40:300:40:36

stupidity?

Well, no. I still think

it's stupid. There are huge problems

0:40:360:40:46

with exiting not the EU but the

customs union. The customs union

0:40:460:40:51

will lead to a hard border. A hard

border between Northern Ireland and

0:40:510:40:57

Ireland and that has been an issue

before. Moreover, it will hamper the

0:40:570:41:04

trade and transport of goods will

stop it will take a big swing at the

0:41:040:41:09

factories in England. It will hit

the blue-collar workers that still

0:41:090:41:16

work in factories. They are the ones

that pay and I think it's stupid

0:41:160:41:19

that they are the ones to pay for

these ideological choices.

What was

0:41:190:41:24

your response to hearing that

language being used about the

0:41:240:41:27

strategy? And do you think the

Conservative government should keep

0:41:270:41:30

some sort of customs union

relationship on the table?

Well, no,

0:41:300:41:36

I think there's a misunderstanding

about the customs union because it

0:41:360:41:39

is often portrayed as if staying in

the customs union when you leave the

0:41:390:41:42

EU is the status quo. It's not. It

would mean that the date we left the

0:41:420:41:47

EU but stayed in the customs union,

we would lose trade access to all

0:41:470:41:51

that the EU has done trade with

around the world, in addition to not

0:41:510:41:56

been given to do trade deals

ourselves. Staying in the customs

0:41:560:41:59

union means and EU only trade

policy. We would have no

0:41:590:42:03

preferential agreement with any

other country and wouldn't be able

0:42:030:42:06

to get one. The only option for the

UK, frankly, is to leave the customs

0:42:060:42:09

union. Despite the fact there are

troubles about it it really is the

0:42:090:42:13

only option.

Do you agree with that,

Paul Tang, that we would lose access

0:42:130:42:18

to any third country agreements made

with the EU? We would be a vassal

0:42:180:42:21

state?

No, because I think the new

trade agreements are not about the

0:42:210:42:29

trade and transporting goods. They

are about services. Much more

0:42:290:42:32

important in growing part of the

economy. This is what is at stake

0:42:320:42:37

for the future relationship. I think

Great Britain, after exiting the EU,

0:42:370:42:42

can make trade agreements especially

on services. Coming back one moment,

0:42:420:42:48

we think that Turkey and the EU are

not best friends, right? But Turkey

0:42:480:42:53

is still part of the customs union

and that's an economic reason for

0:42:530:42:58

that. Because this is a way to trade

and transport goods.

Dan, is it your

0:42:580:43:05

understanding that Britain remains

in the customs union during the

0:43:050:43:08

transition period?

It hasn't been

fully discussed. The government has

0:43:080:43:15

certainly said it needs to address

the issue I just talked about,

0:43:150:43:19

losing access to third country for

our expert.

Ayew is also saying,

0:43:190:43:24

like the International Trade

Minister, that the government still

0:43:240:43:26

doesn't have a position on whether

Britain stays in the customs union,

0:43:260:43:30

despite the fact that David Davis

has said we will remain on the same

0:43:300:43:33

terms during that implementation

period?

I figured sort of answer the

0:43:330:43:40

question yourself.

Can you say it

for us? Will we stay in the customs

0:43:400:43:44

union with cyan we will stay on the

same terms as currently, but need to

0:43:440:43:47

address this issue

which is the

issue we lose access to our markets

0:43:470:43:53

with third countries which have done

deals with the EU. That is the issue

0:43:530:43:57

David Davies is trying to address

and needs to be addressed in

0:43:570:44:00

negotiations. If we get that, I

suspect we will stay in for the

0:44:000:44:03

transition.

So the position... I

take your point that this is a

0:44:030:44:07

negotiation. It hasn't been cleared

as to whether Britain will have

0:44:070:44:10

access to those countries with

agreements that have been made with

0:44:100:44:14

the EU, but is it your

understanding, just to clarify, that

0:44:140:44:17

the British government's position

during the transition is that

0:44:170:44:20

Britain would remain in the customs

union?

I'm not a spokesman for the

0:44:200:44:25

British government. My understanding

is, if we can address this issue

0:44:250:44:29

with regard to those third countries

and the ability to do our own trade

0:44:290:44:34

deals, as well, as I understand it,

the government is open to staying in

0:44:340:44:38

for that period, providing those

provisos are met.

Paul Tang, isn't

0:44:380:44:42

that the point? This is a

negotiation. Whatever has been said

0:44:420:44:45

by Michel Barnier when he says the

decision that the UK's going to

0:44:450:44:50

leave the EU single market and it

will mean border checks at the Irish

0:44:500:44:55

frontier, it's his negotiating

position. It doesn't mean it back.

0:44:550:45:02

No, I would say it is logic.

I have

not seen the alternative for the

0:45:040:45:10

border between Ireland and Northern

Ireland. I am not sure if you have

0:45:100:45:14

heard it, I have not heard it. The

customs union is the option on the

0:45:140:45:18

table and I would not throw that

option awake if I was Great Britain.

0:45:180:45:24

It is not just a matter of

negotiation, it is a matter of

0:45:240:45:27

logic. By the way just take a look

at the map. You can try to agree new

0:45:270:45:35

trade agreements, but let's face it

UK and the EU are pretty close

0:45:350:45:41

geographically and we are logical

trading partners. The first priority

0:45:410:45:45

should be to find a trade agreement

with the EU to protect jobs.

You

0:45:450:45:51

said that you are not a spokesperson

for the British Government. Are you

0:45:510:45:55

happy with the government's

negotiating position?

The government

0:45:550:46:00

has been clear from the word go.

Your answer leads me to believe that

0:46:000:46:06

the government has not been clear

because you are not sure what the

0:46:060:46:09

position is.

I am very clear what

the position is, I am not

0:46:090:46:15

representing the British Government,

I am a Conservative MEP. I am not

0:46:150:46:20

privy to the negotiations. The

government's position has been we

0:46:200:46:24

would leave the single market and

the customs union and negotiate

0:46:240:46:28

frictionless trade if possible for

the future with the EU.

Is it right

0:46:280:46:35

to use language that looks as if

Britain will be punished if the UK

0:46:350:46:39

does not stick to the letter of the

transition agreement, that somehow

0:46:390:46:43

restrictions will be placed on

Britain in terms of access to the

0:46:430:46:48

single market? Does that help smooth

the way to successful negotiations?

0:46:480:46:54

Know, normally it does not. I know

how words from Michel Barnier are

0:46:540:47:02

perceived in the UK. That is

unfortunate. It is also in the

0:47:020:47:07

perception I would say. I do not

think the EU is threatening, but it

0:47:070:47:13

is pointing out the options that are

on the table. I do not think the

0:47:130:47:17

British Government has been clear on

that, I would love it to be clear.

0:47:170:47:21

It never ceases to amaze me that the

British Government seems more

0:47:210:47:26

divided than the 27 other states.

You say that but does Michel Barnier

0:47:260:47:31

now speak for the entire European

Union? We have got you back. Can you

0:47:310:47:37

still hear me? Yes, I can hear you.

We lost you momentarily. You say

0:47:370:47:46

Britain is more divided than the EU

27, but does Michel Barnier speak

0:47:460:47:51

for the Netherlands in terms of the

draft EU text? Can we really imagine

0:47:510:47:57

a state where the Netherlands would

want to put up barriers to trade

0:47:570:48:01

with the UK? They do not want to

make it more difficult, do they?

0:48:010:48:07

Know, and I think there will be

differences but they have not been

0:48:070:48:11

exploited by the British Government.

I expect there to be differences.

0:48:110:48:15

Where you do not see the difference

is you cannot cherry pick. That is

0:48:150:48:21

the fear that keeps the EU 27

together. But when there are real

0:48:210:48:28

choices on the table I expect there

will be some sort of division

0:48:280:48:33

between the EU 27.

Camilla,

listening to Dan Dalton, what is

0:48:330:48:40

your impression of this seeming

confusion over Britain remaining in

0:48:400:48:44

the customs union during the

transition period?

The Lancaster

0:48:440:48:49

House speech and Florence

subsequently made it clear that we

0:48:490:48:52

were going to leave the single

market and the customs union. At the

0:48:520:48:56

moment they are thrashing at the end

state. Is she going to start

0:48:560:49:00

briefing against what others said

before she has got a cabinet

0:49:000:49:05

consensus only to face more counter

briefing?

We have heard David Davis

0:49:050:49:11

say it is on the same terms in the

transition period.

This is

0:49:110:49:14

confusing. You are asking me as if I

am responsible. There is a claim

0:49:140:49:22

that David Davis has lost control to

Ollie Robbins who seems to be

0:49:220:49:25

briefing we want to stay in the

customs union. There is a problem

0:49:250:49:29

with the admin of this process.

If

it was only just about admin. Is

0:49:290:49:35

this a political move by the EU,

trying to crank up the pressure?

0:49:350:49:40

Cancelling meetings they were going

to have with David Davis, using the

0:49:400:49:44

sort of language that David Davis

said was discourteous, punishing

0:49:440:49:48

Britain, trying to exert pressure?

Of course, the 27 are looking after

0:49:480:49:55

their interests like the UK is

supposed to be looking after their

0:49:550:49:58

own interests. It is as clear now as

a drunken mass brawl in a bar after

0:49:580:50:05

midnight what is happening. Theresa

May has got a warring Cabinet, a

0:50:050:50:12

warring party. She might think she

knows what she wants but she cannot

0:50:120:50:16

get it and that is why we are in

this ridiculous row over what we are

0:50:160:50:20

asking for in the transition period.

If we do not know what we are asking

0:50:200:50:24

for, how can we ever get it?

We will

find out. Thank you all very much.

0:50:240:50:29

Thank you all very much.

0:50:290:50:31

Now, the Spitzenkandidat process.

0:50:310:50:33

What do you mean you

haven't heard of it?

0:50:330:50:35

It's a word that rolls off

the tongues of MEPs almost

0:50:350:50:38

as readily as Brexit.

0:50:380:50:39

It's all about choosing

Brussels' top eurocrat.

0:50:390:50:40

Here's Adam Fleming to explain.

0:50:400:50:41

When Jean-Claude Juncker comes

to Strasbourg, he sits here.

0:50:410:50:44

He got his job through

the Spitzenkandidat,

0:50:440:50:45

or lead candidate system,

which says that the European

0:50:450:50:47

Commission president should be

the person put forward

0:50:470:50:50

by the political grouping that does

best in the European

0:50:500:50:53

Parliament's elections.

0:50:530:50:55

In 2014, that was

the centre-right EPP.

0:50:550:50:58

Juncker was their man, and that's

why this is now his chair.

0:50:580:51:03

It was opposed at the time

by David Cameron, who said

0:51:030:51:06

the choice should belong

to leaders alone.

0:51:060:51:09

Now, MEPs say they'd reject anyone

who wasn't a Spitzenkandidat.

0:51:090:51:16

The EPP group will not accept any

candidate for the future commission

0:51:160:51:22

president who was not presented

during the campaign as lead

0:51:220:51:25

candidate of a democratic party

and can bring together a qualified

0:51:250:51:28

majority in the new elected

European Parliament.

0:51:280:51:34

In Strasbourg this week,

the Liberals tried to go further.

0:51:340:51:36

A directly elected commission

President rather than someone

0:51:370:51:39

selected by party bosses

like last time.

0:51:390:51:47

They were never elected

by citizens of Europe.

0:51:520:51:54

I mean, they were just appointed.

0:51:540:51:55

In this case we have Juncker,

Jean-Claude Juncker,

0:51:550:51:58

who was appointed by the EPP.

0:51:580:52:00

EPP was the biggest party.

0:52:000:52:02

So we would get away from that

and people would stop blaming us

0:52:020:52:05

for democratic deficiencies,

if they can actually pick up

0:52:050:52:08

the list and vote for a person.

0:52:080:52:11

Others think it should

be junked altogether.

0:52:110:52:13

The European Union, its...

0:52:130:52:15

Well, it's a union of member states.

0:52:150:52:18

And it's taking away some

member states, well,

0:52:180:52:22

we have to say power in this case,

and integrate more power in Europe

0:52:220:52:25

and therefore Parliament.

0:52:250:52:26

And this, I think it sends the wrong

message and it's actually our group

0:52:260:52:30

who are concerned with it.

0:52:300:52:33

From its last legislative in 2014,

we avoided the system

0:52:330:52:35

completely and we didn't

put our

0:52:350:52:37

Spitzenkandidat on the campaign.

0:52:370:52:39

Now the debate moves

from Parliament's corridors

0:52:390:52:42

to a meeting of EU leaders

at the end of the month,

0:52:420:52:45

where there's a split

between opponents and supporters,

0:52:450:52:47

like the Croatian Prime Minister,

who I chanced doing

0:52:470:52:50

a bit of gladhanding.

0:52:500:52:53

I've witnessed this exercise already

in 2014, when I was leading the list

0:52:530:52:57

of my political party

and my political family in Croatia.

0:52:570:53:02

I think it was a cohesive element

for the elections and I feel

0:53:020:53:05

that we should continue with this

concept also in these elections.

0:53:050:53:10

Jan, how are you?

0:53:100:53:12

Good to see you.

0:53:120:53:15

So I supported it again today.

0:53:150:53:17

Surprise!

0:53:170:53:19

And who's this?

0:53:190:53:21

Someone rumoured to fancy

being the Spitzenkandidat

0:53:210:53:23

for the centre-right.

0:53:230:53:24

Can I ask a totally

different question?

0:53:240:53:26

What do you think

of Spitzenkandidat?

0:53:260:53:27

I'm sorry.

0:53:270:53:29

Do you...

0:53:290:53:31

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit.

0:53:310:53:33

OK.

0:53:330:53:35

Hmm - sticking to

the day job for now.

0:53:350:53:40

Adam Fleming reporting.

0:53:400:53:41

Adam Fleming reporting.

0:53:410:53:42

We're joined now from Brussels by

Politico Europe's Maia de la Baume.

0:53:420:53:46

I hope you can hear me. How much

backing has this got, this idea of

0:53:460:53:54

the parliament or the biggest party

in the Parliament are having much

0:53:540:53:58

more say over the candidates for the

new commission president?

The

0:53:580:54:06

European Parliament clearly supports

the idea because it basically is

0:54:060:54:08

behind the idea and the commission

also stands behind that idea because

0:54:080:54:14

it is a way to strengthen democracy

in the EU. The main challenge is for

0:54:140:54:21

European countries because a lot of

them think it would reduce their

0:54:210:54:27

power and small member states also

think it would favour big countries.

0:54:270:54:33

So the process has drawn a lot of

criticism in the EU. Some leaders

0:54:330:54:40

still think it is not very necessary

and it is also far from EU citizens'

0:54:400:54:50

concerns about the EU.

David Cameron

was famously quite unhappy about the

0:54:500:54:55

idea of Jean-Claude Juncker becoming

commission president, he did not

0:54:550:54:59

want to lose the power that nation

states have in terms of influencing

0:54:590:55:02

that decision. When you say people

are against it, who else is against

0:55:020:55:07

the idea of the Parliament having

more influence on this?

The most

0:55:070:55:14

surprising country against the

Spitzenkandidat is France. It is

0:55:140:55:18

surprising because Emanuel Macron

has always declared and supported an

0:55:180:55:23

election process that would be more

democratic and he has always been

0:55:230:55:27

very keen to make Europe much more

transparent and democratic.

0:55:270:55:35

Basically it is surprising from him

and his position is that the

0:55:350:55:39

Spitzenkandidat would clearly favour

the party in the European Parliament

0:55:390:55:44

that has won the most seats, which

means the EDP. It is the

0:55:440:55:50

Conservative Party and not Emanuel

Macron's party. We know he has not

0:55:500:55:55

said it publicly, but we know he

does not like it because it is not

0:55:550:55:58

his party.

Funny that, politicians

always like an idea unless it does

0:55:580:56:03

not go the way they would like it

too in terms of support. What about

0:56:030:56:08

directly electing a president? Will

that idea ever catch on?

That might

0:56:080:56:15

happen someday but clearly not now.

It would not be popular at all?

0:56:150:56:24

Know, the Spitzenkandidat is already

an improvement. For so many years it

0:56:240:56:27

was decided among EU leaders in

backroom deals and intense

0:56:270:56:33

negotiations and the Parliament was

not involved, so it is already a big

0:56:330:56:37

step forward that the Parliament now

could have the right to elect a

0:56:370:56:40

candidate. Maybe in a few years they

will have an elected president of

0:56:400:56:48

the commission.

Thank you very much.

0:56:480:56:50

Thank you very much.

0:56:500:56:54

Now, Yesterday MEPs voted

to abolish summertime,

0:56:540:56:56

or to ask the European Commission

to consult on stopping

0:56:560:56:59

the practice of changing

the clocks between the summer

0:56:590:57:01

and winter months.

0:57:010:57:02

Currently the EU decides

when the clocks should go

0:57:020:57:04

forward and fall back.

0:57:040:57:07

One Italian MEP wasn't

happy with the proposal.

0:57:070:57:10

TRANSLATION:

Here we are talking

about, should we abolish or not

0:57:100:57:13

abolish summertime arrangements?

0:57:130:57:16

Perhaps I can make a proposal to

colleagues here within the European

0:57:160:57:19

Parliament and that is that we move

the fingers of the clock an

0:57:190:57:24

hour back and that would mean

a saving for European citizens -

0:57:240:57:26

for Italian citizens -

of 250,000 euros that we

0:57:260:57:34

could then give back to citizens.

0:57:340:57:39

Right, your thoughts? I would love

to do it. Then the clock on my

0:57:390:57:47

boiler would not be wrong for half

of the year. We discussed this every

0:57:470:57:51

now and then. I can see the argument

for more sunlight in the morning,

0:57:510:57:55

but it is a pain.

What do you think?

My children, three under nine, are

0:57:550:58:02

already wired in the system and they

are gradually getting up a bit

0:58:020:58:06

earlier at the moment. We need the

clocks to go forward to keep them in

0:58:060:58:10

bed a bit longer. We are wired to

the system and I do not think people

0:58:100:58:15

take kindly to being dictated to by

the EU.

I have heard Tory MPs say

0:58:150:58:21

that they think, just do it. It

would make it a lot simpler.

I like

0:58:210:58:28

the way you both got in your little

calling cards.

0:58:280:58:38

calling cards. Do you think the

consultation would ever happen?

The

0:58:380:58:42

consultation?

I will not let you

consult, that is the end. Thank you

0:58:420:58:49

to all of my guests and thank you to

Camilla and Kevin for being the

0:58:490:58:52

guests of the day. From all of us

here, goodbye.

0:58:520:58:59

Jo Coburn is joined by the journalists Kevin Maguire and Camilla Tominey for the whole programme. They examine Council Tax and how most regions are planning to put it up and how this may affect local elections in May. The Daily Politics moodbox has been out in Boris Johnson's constituency of Uxbridge, asking whether the Conservative MP Jacob Rees Mogg is a political hero or villain. The second half of the programme is devoted to European politics where the Conservative's Dan Dalton and Dutch MEP Paul Tang discuss what the transition period might look like.


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