08/12/2011 Newsnight


08/12/2011

Kirsty Wark presents analysis of the European summit in Brussels. Mark Urban and Paul Mason examine the latest attempts to find a solution to the eurozone crisis.


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Transcript


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Tonight, as we go on air, the late nice horse trading and briefing has

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begun in Brussels. It is the most perilous moment for the European

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Union, since it was founded as the great bulwark against future

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war.forged out of post-war Europe. But do today's leaders really have

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a plan that can save us from what Sarkozy described today as Europe

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Sarkozy described today as Europe exploding.

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Home to a welcome he will never forget. David Cameron said he will

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wield the veto to protect Britain's interest, already two of his

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backbenchers offensively compared him to Neville Chamberlain, who

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appeased Hitler. We will be live at the summit and with politicians and

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bankers from across Europe. Also today, extreme weather ripped

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through Scotland and northern England, shutting schools,

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businesses and bridges and airports, with winds up to 165 miles an hour.

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Later in the programme we will be joined by John Prescott, just back

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from the climate change conference in Durban, to discuss with the

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climate minister whether politicians are blowing cold on

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their global warming commitments. Do you know this voice?

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butterflies, high-flyers on high winds, invisible to us they plane

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and soar. Beyond our minds' troubled conventioning. The man

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described as the greatest living poet, who has given a rare

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interview to Newsnight. Europe is a maelstrom, and tonight

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Angela Merkel warned that national interests and egos have to be put

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aside. Straight away there was discord when President Sarkozy and

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Angela Merkel failed to agree David Cameron's demands for protection

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for financial services in support of a new treaty. The mood music

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from the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, didn't lift spirits

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today, he revealed the bank wouldn't be stepping up to buy

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bonds any time soon. Once a dream to some, the prospect of a

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disunited Europe could be a nightmare. We're in Brussels. What

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is the latest you are hearing? latest is they have finished dinner,

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that has taken the usual form of people delivering their prepared

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views, as it were, now they are getting into the more serious face-

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to-face negotiations. This is either the sixth or eighth of the

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save the euro summit, depending on how you wish to count them. It is

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interesting how the rhetorical handle has to be cranked each time,

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to suggest the end of the world is nigh. There really is a very

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serious crisis out there hearing some of the language used by

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President Sarkozy today, it went to new rhetorical extremes, talking

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about the disintegration of the whole European project. It is

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interesting that it isth seems to be the feeling that kind of

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language is necessary, in order to get some of the leaders here to

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focus, to set aside, certain national priorities in the common

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good. And the very fact that this has been going on for as long as it

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has, in the view of many bankers and diplomats, drawing out the

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crisis and making it cost a lot more to solve, is evidence of

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profound dysfunction at the heart of the European Union, and in that

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sense, some of the rhetoric about how this is the most serious crisis

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since the organisation came into being, does seem to have foundation.

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Two-speed Europe, the term has been bandied about before, but the

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divide between those in and out of the euro is deepening. The

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formation of the European Economic Community in 1957 was meant to stop

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nationalism destroying the continent again.

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And to bring unity in its wake. But today, national interest appears to

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condition responses to the euro crisis.

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The people of Europe, the Governments of Europe, really, have

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got to come to terms with that, that a degree of integration, maybe

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something like the degree we have got, or maybe a little bit less

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than that, but a degree of integration can be made to work.

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But the ever-closer union, and to eventually have political unity,

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although of a federal nature, that is not going to happen.

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So the leaders convened tonight for their umpteen th attempt to resolve

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the European crisis, Chancellor Merkel of Germany was pushing her

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wishes of further fiscal integration with treaty changes.

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TRANSLATION: What is important to me is the euro will get back its

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credibility and we can change the treaties in a way that will help

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the euro lead us into a stable future. She and President Nicolas

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Sarkozy, have hammered out a measure of agreement between them,

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and say they will push ahead with just the 17 eurozone countries, if

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need be. They could be trying to intimidate Britain and other

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outsiders from getting in the way. For the UK then, the dilemma now is

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how to protect national interests from the margins.

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It is about making sure that the UK is in the room when decisions on

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the single market are taken, that goes beyond the City of London and

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the financial sector, it is about pushing forward with a common

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energy policy, a single digital market. No, no, no. Of course,

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Margaret Thatcher wasn't afraid of standing in the way of federal

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Europe, in fact, she revelled in it. That didn't result in exclusion,

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and indeed, many Conservatives were not afraid of being kept out of

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certain European conversations any way.

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As for Cameron being isolated, neither here nor there, the Foreign

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Office is always wet, they hate being isolate -- isolated, they

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hate discussions going on in any room where they are not present.

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The best thing is not to be present in the meetings, you don't want to

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be worried about that sort of thing. For David Cameron, the desire not

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to be painted as the summit's wrecker will be balanced by the

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home political advantage that he may gain from being seen as a

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defender of national interests. But that's not so different from the

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others. Everyone wants different things,

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sometimes it is like playing chess against 26 different people, rather

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than just one person, I'm not that good at chess any way, I will be

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doing my best for Britain, and I hope, if we get a good deal, that

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will be good for Britain f I can't get what I want, I will have no

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hesitation in vetoing a treaty at 27, I'm not going to go to Brussels

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and not stand up for our country. For decades, European vision rees

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extoled an ever-closer process of integration, in which national

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differences would be subsumed in the common interest, and the

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members of the EU would stand so close together that their positions

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would become almost intis tinge girbable., -- indistinguishable.

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But national leaderships are answerable to this lot, national

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electorates. There have been many points in the past where national

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interests and that of the EU have come into conflict. What has

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happened recently is the economic crisis has exacerbated those

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tensions, and this week, even countries that aspire to leadership

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of the wider block, France and Germany, have been forced to

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acknowledge that unity could crumble and that a two or even

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multispeed Europe may result. In the fight to save the single

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currency, German national interests have remained at the forefront,

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quite quit, you might say, given how much of the bill they are

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paying. But one reason that the eurozone crisis has grown so severe,

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is national concerns have frustrated common action. Firstly,

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I think euro-sceptics in our country make the mistake that they

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seem to think that British separatisim means we are the only

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ones standing up for the national interest. In all European

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negotiations every member-state stands up for their national

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interest, they have to all answer their own electorate. Chancellor

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Merkel is in that position and is that is why's in a difficult

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position. What might the community's kounders make of the

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summit -- founders make of the summit. Given the sluggish way the

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eurocrisis has been dealt with, they might vau depressing

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conclusions. We know there was an early rebuff with the meeting

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between Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron tonight.

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What is the position tonight? of reTateing their position. The

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centralish -- restating their position. The central issue that

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has to be solved in the UK context is that of trying to drive away the

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proposal tabled earlier this week by the French and Germans, of

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harmonising tax arrangements, with the idea of a financial

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transactions tax. That is clearly something the UK regards as being

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dangerous, potentially to the City and its position in global finance.

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In a way, you can say, that finding some sort of language, that allows

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David Cameron to let the eurozone people do the core business their

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way, and safeguard the UK national interest, is not the most difficult

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of the problems that this summit faces. At its core are these

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different distinctive positions of Germany and France about how this

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issue should be solved. We have heard earlier this evening that

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some language put forward in a draft document, that put forward a

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way through this one could say in a way more friendly to the French

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position, or tried to bridge the gap and create this big bazooka

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that people are talking about, this Stability Mechanism, bring it

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forward, the implementation of it, and allow, through it, the Central

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Bank to play more of a role in stablising the whole situation.

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That was put forward and has been rejected out of hand by Germany.

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That is what's reported. It is simply the case that their

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opposition to using the Central Bank as the lender of last resort,

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and the policeman, if you like, is so fundamental, they will not

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compromise that point. Those are the real core issues around those

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types of issue. In that context, the British problem, it is a

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significant one, clearly domestically and in party political

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terms a very significant one for Mr Cameron, it ought to be solable.

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We were talking about Angela Merkel's opposition to the ECB

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being a lender of last resort. What was the mood music coming from

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Mario Draghi, that he wouldn't be coming up with any more any time

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soon? He has done some tactics, he has cut interest rates to a quarter

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of a per cent. One FT journalist commented that is a quarter of a

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per cent less insane than it was before. Many observers thought they

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were crazy to raise interest rates, they have pumped a lot of money

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into the European banking system which relaxing rules. These are

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tactics, aggressive tactics adopted in the face of what? The German

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banking system needs another eight billion, the banking system is

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shaky with no strategy. The European Central Bank boss said

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today, we are not even going to try to get around the treaty. We are

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just not going to lend money to countries. That is the big stick

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that is being waved over the delegates' heads now tonight in

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that building. What exactly will the ECB be looking for, how does

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that fit? If they say we are not doing it, that makes the European

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Union have to, or the eurozone have to become a fiscal union before

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they can. I think, for the owe fish nad doughs of the build -- owe fish

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nad doughs of these dofficionados of the building, it is swinging

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back to a fund position, a fund where tax-payers in Europe are

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being exposed, rather than being exposed via the Central Bank. That

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is what they are working on, who knows if tomorrow night we will be

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swinging back to where the markets want us to be, which is the ECB,

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lender of last resort. David Cameron had barely arrived in

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Brussels when some of his backbenchers were Jacobiteing at

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Westminster. Two Conservative MPs even compared him to Neville

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Chamberlain, who, of course, tried to appease Hitler. We have had

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enough of reading of British Prime Ministers over the last 20 or 30

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years, in the days preceding a summit, that they would indeed

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stand up for British national interests, that they would ensure

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that our interests are protected. Excuse me. I will give way. And

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then, coming back from a summit, with a kind of Chamberlainesque

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piece of paper, saying I have negotiated very, very hard, I got

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opt-out from this and that, and I have succeeded in standing up for

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British interests, and that piece of paper is not worth the paper it

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is written on. That was Edward Leigh. David Grossman, evoking this

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period in history is incredibly shocking? Number Ten have called it

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offensive and ridiculous, not just for David Cameron shown as the

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apieceer, but other people in the scenario are the person being

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appeased, the Hitler figure. A number of backbenchers are in

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conflict with their leader over Europe. Why does this happen? It is

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simple. The concessions to real politic at the top are more than

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you can stomach. The euro-sceptics, like Edward Leigh and others who

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spoke in the Westminster Hall debate, feel utterly vindicated by

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what has happened in the eurozone. All the predictions they made and

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warnings they gave. They were called lunatics at the time, and

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yet they feel utterly vindicated by what has happened. What is worrying

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for David Cameron in all of this, is the mistrust of the European

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project has spread to him. Why? I could give you loads of examples

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why they feel let down by him. I will give you one. Back in October

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when they were told not to vote for a referendum, they were told, don't

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worry, I will go to Europe, they will have to renegotiate a treaty

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and I will then use that as an opportunity to exercise our might

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in that scenario, and repatriate powers. Now they are told, now's

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not the time. It would almost be rude for us to do that. In that

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case, what do the euro-sceptics and the backbenchers do next? If there

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is Anne greeplt, and hearing from Mark it is not clear -- an

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agreement, and hearing from Mark it is not clear, they will scrutinise

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it before the Commons statement and next Thursday, I hear, that the DUP

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might be using their opposition day debate maybe to make a bit of

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mischief. We will see what motion they put down and how many

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Conservatives attempt to vote for it. We will be hearing again

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towards the programme from Mark on the latest developments. Is this

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likely to be the start of a whole new Europe. Joining me now to

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discuss it is the former principal economist at the European Central

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Bank, and the British Conservative MEP, Sophie Hannah, and from

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Brussels, I'm joined by cash Cash, I'm joined by my guests here in

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Brussels and in the studio. Do you distance yourself from any

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idea that there is a Chamberlainesque moment for David

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Cameron, do you think an apology is necessary? You should be very

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careful in this game of making ridiculous parallels, which damage

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your case. The only parallel that I think would be a fair one is the

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whole country, the whole establishment was backing the wrong

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policy the CBI and the TUC, the European thing is falling to pieces,

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to go beyond that and imply we are dealing with Hitler is ridiculous.

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You think they both should apology guise, on the record? I think if

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you listen to what he said, he didn't said David Cameron was like

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Hitler, if that was his intention I'm sure he would want to take that

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back. Tell me, you have been listening to what David Grossman

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was saying here, this whole era, this whole way of talking about

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Germany, it is very dangerous, isn't it? Do you know, first of all,

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I think the whole era of talking about this has split -- and these

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splits in the Tory Party is missing the point. Talking about Cameron

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and the backbenchers, backbenchers reflect what their constituents

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want them to do, the reason they are concerned about this, is

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because the people who are coming to their surgeries are telling them.

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:17:09.:17:09.

It is not just Conservatives, all parties supporters are angry about

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how power has gone out to Europe. Do you think a deal can be reached

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in the next 48 hours? I just pick up firstly on that last point about

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democracy, these are the elected leaders of 27 democracies. It is

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not technocrats, they are elected and accountable leaders, coming

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together to try to deal with a common problem. In particular the

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problem of excessive debt in a certain number of countries that

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risks destablising the system in the eurozone and beyond. That is

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what they are here to do. Richard n Italy and Greece elected prime

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ministers have been toppled in favour of technocrats. That is what

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the system has come to, in order to keep it together you have a

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national Government with the sole purpose of doing what Europe tells

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it to. Dan, you know perfectly well that the Greek Government was

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toppled by the Greek political system, the Greek parliament, which

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elected a new Prime Minister, the same in Italy. Nobody in any other

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country can impose a Government on one of the fellow members of the

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European Union. That is a myth. Having sorted that out, my original

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question, do you think there can be some sort of deal, the bones of a

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new treaty, worked out in the next 48 hours? I think they are work on

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a package, some elements will involve decisions that can be taken

:18:32.:18:36.

immediately on the basis of the existing treaties. Other decisions,

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probably remember a treaty amendment and will take a longer

:18:40.:18:47.

period of time. -- it is about which elements require a

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fundamental change to the treaty. Will it lead to a two-speed Europe,

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will there be the 17 and then the 10 at the moment? On questions

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relating to the currency we already have 17 countries that share a

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currency and ten that don't. It is natural those who share a currency

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have to take some decisions together. They may want to take

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more decisions together or impose more disciplines on themselves.

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That doesn't detract from the rest of what the European Union does.

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Even in the economic sphere, the bulk of policy making will be at

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the level of the 27. Trade policy, competition policy, the common

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rules for our Common Market, the world's largest single market,

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which is so important for all of us. Let's deal with this. All that is a

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matter for the 27. For the 17, it is perfectly possible the 17 could

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agree a deal on a new fiscal rules, a new way of working without David

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Cameron having any say so, that is the fact isn't it? I don't think so.

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If you speak to anyone in the hall they tell you there is no prospect

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of that. It would be the same as with the Social Chapter and other

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things, the idea that they would start from scratch now, with a

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completely new legal structure, new institutions, hiring new staff, at

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the same time we are told we have to do this tomorrow because of the

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immediacy of the crisis, simply not the case. Britain has an incredibly

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strong position. If I'm wrong about that and the 17 will go ahead and

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form a European economic Government in Richard's phrase, that is surely

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good for Britain. It would mean the political bits of integration would

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shift to the 17, leaving the EU as much more of a free trade area,

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that is what my constituents would feel much more in accordance with

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our national interest. All of this is predicated on a number of things,

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being a former ECB banker, picking up on what Paul Mason was saying,

:20:39.:20:43.

this is put together so ECB can take a bigger role and be the

:20:43.:20:49.

lender of last resort? It does go together. If tonight or tomorrow we

:20:49.:20:53.

hear about a move to stricter fiscal rules, it would give some

:20:53.:20:58.

rules for the ECB to intervene more specifically in the bond markets.

:20:58.:21:02.

What we heard from Mr Draghi today that they are not ready yet to be a

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fully fledged lender of last resort here in the UK, from the Bank of

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England, or in the US from the Federal Reserve. If there were

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credible fiscal rules the ECB would be ameanable to do more than it has

:21:13.:21:19.

so far. What about the idea of a separate fund, a taxpayer-funded

:21:19.:21:23.

fund? Mr Draghi seems to have ruled that out, he didn't seem in favour.

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The idea of this would be, especially if the IMF is involved,

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then we get the conditionality, that this money is only released if

:21:31.:21:34.

Governments do respect some objectives, which is one of the

:21:34.:21:39.

main issues with the ECB, that it doesn't want to bail out

:21:39.:21:42.

Governments. But coming to you again on that, there would have to

:21:42.:21:47.

be new rules, wouldn't there, for the ECB to become the lender of

:21:47.:21:53.

last resort? The ECB is the lender of last resort to banks already.

:21:53.:21:57.

Qet is whether it can buy up Government debt. Remember it is an

:21:57.:22:01.

independent bank, politicians can't tell it what to do. Though it does

:22:01.:22:05.

take its own decisions by majority vote, internally, by the way, there

:22:05.:22:10.

is no veto here, as to what it should do. In function of the wider

:22:10.:22:14.

economic and political situation. I'm sure if a deal is reached now,

:22:14.:22:18.

it will make it easier for the bank to do something. This is all about

:22:18.:22:23.

getting the bank to become involved directly, isn't it? That is the

:22:23.:22:27.

bottom line? To become more involved. It already is to a degree,

:22:27.:22:32.

as you know. But actually, you know, this has to happen, doesn't it?

:22:32.:22:37.

This is yet another bank bailout. This is yet another tax on ordinary

:22:37.:22:41.

people, to rescue some very wealthy individuals from the consequences

:22:41.:22:45.

of their own bad investments. We began by bailing out banks, now

:22:45.:22:48.

whole countries, whether through a fund or printing money, it is all

:22:48.:22:52.

the same thing. The EU has responded to this crisis at every

:22:52.:22:57.

step with the same policy, bailout and borrow, you don't help an

:22:57.:23:00.

indebted friend by pressing more loans on them. The other member

:23:01.:23:05.

states of the EU are indeed lending money to those countries that have

:23:05.:23:08.

excessive deficits and having problems borrowing, to give them

:23:08.:23:13.

time to turn the corner. They are treating a debt crisis with more

:23:13.:23:17.

debt. It is not tax-payers' money or grants, it is loans, with rate

:23:17.:23:21.

of interest, so the countries get their money back with interest.

:23:21.:23:30.

Every time that policy fails... plea come in. If the EC -- Marie

:23:31.:23:35.

come in. If the ECB doesn't come in there is no point in a change to

:23:35.:23:40.

the treaty? The ECB is the only institute that can do something now.

:23:40.:23:45.

So all the cards are in Mario Draghi's hands moment? They act

:23:45.:23:49.

together, the ECB takes into account what Governments agree on.

:23:49.:23:53.

The fiscal rules are medium term, not an impact tomorrow. Let's look

:23:53.:23:58.

at a possible outcome, would you like to see a deal done in Europe?

:23:58.:24:03.

If that deal means sacrificing the prosperity of the eurozone states

:24:03.:24:06.

to the maintenance of the single currency, then I think that would

:24:06.:24:10.

be worse than the alternative. I think we now need an orderly

:24:10.:24:14.

unbundling of the euro, we need to recognise the monetary union is the

:24:15.:24:19.

disease rather than the cure and in keeping it together we are treating

:24:19.:24:22.

the tumour rather than the patient. We will have more from the summit

:24:22.:24:25.

later in the programme, as the leaders, we hope, start to give

:24:25.:24:28.

their press conferences. In a moment we will be talking

:24:28.:24:31.

about the very heavy weather in Scotland and the north of England.

:24:31.:24:36.

Today it has been making headlines, and there is a red alert at the Met

:24:36.:24:40.

Office, in a far off, much warmer country, talks about climate change,

:24:40.:24:44.

which end tomorrow, have been less prominent on the radar. With little

:24:44.:24:47.

sign of movement from the key players in Durban in South Africa

:24:48.:24:52.

over the last ten days, and with the Keothavong agreement due to

:24:52.:24:58.

come to -- Kyoto agreement due to come to an end next year. In a

:24:58.:25:07.

moment I will put that to Lord Prescott, who negotiated the Kyoto

:25:07.:25:13.

deal, and my other guest, now my science editor is with me now.

:25:13.:25:17.

This is the point where the real negotiation begins with ministers.

:25:17.:25:21.

There are some signs of progress. Just to remind you, climate

:25:21.:25:25.

scientists will tell you if politicians want it avoid the worst

:25:25.:25:28.

effects of climate change, emissions need to peak by 2020 and

:25:28.:25:33.

then start to fall. Looking back two years ago to Copenhagen, the

:25:33.:25:37.

broad aim of finding a global agreement with legally binding cuts

:25:37.:25:40.

in emissions, that is not really what they are talking about here.

:25:40.:25:46.

The aim is to find something beyond the first phase of Kyoto, it won't

:25:46.:25:49.

happen in Durban, negotiators are playing a longer game now. America

:25:49.:25:54.

is taking a tough position tonight. The EU has said it will agrow to a

:25:54.:25:59.

second phase of Kyoto, beyond the first phase of Kyoto, if China and

:25:59.:26:03.

the basic countries, the other countries, Brazil, South Africa and

:26:03.:26:08.

India, if they agree now, that they will at some point, sign up to

:26:08.:26:12.

legally binding targets. There is some talk of China signing up. On

:26:12.:26:17.

money too there is movement. This fund to help developing countries

:26:17.:26:20.

to cope with climate change, it is already processed, at this point it

:26:20.:26:25.

is about who will get on to which committee rather than how the money

:26:25.:26:28.

could reach vulnerable countries. Do you sense a change in mood and a

:26:28.:26:33.

backing off as far as the UK is concerned? There is no tried and

:26:33.:26:38.

trusted technique for moving to a low-carbon economy. That is the

:26:38.:26:42.

problem. In times of economic gloom it is even harder to persuade

:26:42.:26:46.

people that is a shift that is worth making. Some of the

:26:46.:26:50.

coalition's messages on this have become muddy. This began with the

:26:50.:26:53.

Chancellor, George Osborne's speech at the party conference, tauing

:26:53.:26:58.

about moving away from this idea of vote blue, go green, what he said

:26:58.:27:03.

then was the UK would cut carbon emissions no slower but no faster

:27:03.:27:08.

than fellow countries in Europe. In the Autumn Statement, choose to go

:27:08.:27:13.

compensate heavy industry for some of the costs of climate change

:27:13.:27:15.

policies, and labels environmental policies as a burden to British

:27:15.:27:20.

Industry. Those calling for a shift to the low carbon economy will say

:27:20.:27:24.

the mixed message is not needed to inspire confidence in investors,

:27:24.:27:28.

you won't get the money even if you have the skills and technologies.

:27:28.:27:32.

Amongst consumers there is a signs there is a paling of enthusiasm for

:27:32.:27:38.

green matters. There was a survey out yesterday, the British Social

:27:38.:27:43.

Attitudes Survey. The results showed 37% of people surveyed think

:27:43.:27:46.

that many of the claims about environmental threats are

:27:46.:27:51.

exaggerated. That is up from 24% ten years ago. 26% of people are

:27:51.:27:54.

saying they would be willing to pay higher prices to protect

:27:54.:27:57.

environment, down from 43% a decade ago.

:27:57.:28:03.

You suggest those kind of attitude surveys, that drop there in

:28:03.:28:07.

exaggerated problems with the environment, means people are less

:28:07.:28:10.

persuaded or more pragmatic because of their pockets? Because they are

:28:10.:28:13.

talking about whether they are prepared to pay. We are seeing it

:28:13.:28:17.

in the business community, where climate change priorities are

:28:17.:28:21.

moving down the agenda. We are joined by John Prescott and Greg

:28:21.:28:26.

Barker joining us from Durban. Do you sense an attitude change in the

:28:26.:28:31.

UK? No, I think the UK are making a strong argument, actually, for

:28:31.:28:34.

keeping the Europeans on-line with getting a proper agreement on the

:28:34.:28:41.

second period of Kyoto. I did the meeting with him and the Chinese

:28:41.:28:44.

negotiator, it was clear, I think they are moving towards an

:28:44.:28:48.

agreement. What is the agreement? One, to recognise that the values

:28:48.:28:54.

and the principles embodied in Kyoto II, will continue, and

:28:54.:28:58.

therefore up to 2015, under the Cancun principles, we are working

:28:58.:29:03.

in that direction. When you look at the change in mood in George

:29:03.:29:06.

Osborne's statement, that basically, doesn't want environmental matters

:29:06.:29:11.

to be a burden to British businesses and he's also given a

:29:11.:29:17.

tax break to energy service industries. It was said that does

:29:17.:29:21.

not mean clear mood music for investors? Tombly we are moving on

:29:21.:29:27.

in terms of green economic d actually we are moving in --

:29:27.:29:31.

actually we are moving on in terms of green economics. These talks are

:29:31.:29:34.

very important. I went to Germany in September to see how Germany

:29:34.:29:38.

manages to reconcile the fact that they have the largest renewable

:29:38.:29:42.

energy sector in Europe, but are also a manufacturing powerhouse.

:29:42.:29:47.

The fact is, Germany has just as much ambition as we do, here in the

:29:47.:29:54.

UK, but, they give a total exemption to the enity-intensive

:29:54.:30:00.

industries for paying for their climate policies and renewable tax.

:30:00.:30:02.

As a result they have seen manufacturing flourish and making

:30:02.:30:06.

big steps to decash onise their economy. We need to be a little

:30:07.:30:11.

more sensible, we need to recognise...let me just finish this

:30:11.:30:15.

point. We need to recognise that it is not helping the planet if we

:30:15.:30:18.

just export jobs and businesses into other parts of the world. The

:30:18.:30:24.

really difficult, tough thing is to decarbonise your economy. But at

:30:24.:30:27.

the same time, recognise that you need to grow, advance manufacturing

:30:27.:30:32.

and retain an industrial base, it is not easy, and we need to be a

:30:32.:30:36.

more sophisticated policy to achieve that. You were the one you

:30:36.:30:38.

said yourself, you need a clear policy going forward, you are the

:30:38.:30:45.

one who said we need the low carbon economy, but what is happening is,

:30:45.:30:48.

pragmatic position, which is not clear to inward investors about

:30:48.:30:53.

what your policy is? We have got a great deal of policy. We are of

:30:53.:30:58.

course going for a slight hiatus. You are sending mixed messages?

:30:58.:31:03.

we are going through a slight hiatus because we are in a period

:31:03.:31:07.

of policy transition and electricity market reform. That

:31:07.:31:10.

will reform the electricity industry to the largest extent

:31:10.:31:17.

since privatisation in the 1980s. All driven to move us to a

:31:17.:31:22.

decarbonised basis. There is a lot in flux. What investors really want

:31:22.:31:27.

is certainty, that is why we are bringing forward things like the

:31:27.:31:35.

carbon floor price. People in times of economic need, John Prescott,

:31:35.:31:38.

don't put environmental issues as a priority, did you know that? They

:31:38.:31:42.

do need to know more. The polls showed that. We are not educating

:31:42.:31:45.

enough about the difficulty. Perhaps they don't want to know

:31:45.:31:48.

because it is too difficult? Perhaps they don't want the fear

:31:48.:31:51.

they are hearing about. What about moving to a low-carbon economy.

:31:51.:31:56.

What we have to change considerably is the way we do things. The man

:31:56.:31:59.

who produced the extreme weather report you were almost referring to

:31:59.:32:05.

there, he actually joined with me to launch a million, wait Kirsty,

:32:05.:32:09.

sometimes you have to explain this, a million homes to be lit up using

:32:09.:32:12.

solar power in India. In this country the smart metres, which the

:32:12.:32:17.

Government is actually doing to reduce the demand. Or indoing

:32:17.:32:22.

something which I found there, this is paper wine bottle, 10% less

:32:22.:32:26.

carbon in its production. We have to look at a major change in

:32:26.:32:29.

consumption and production. In the short-term, in the next two or

:32:29.:32:33.

three years, when a lot of families are facing an economic nightmare,

:32:33.:32:38.

frankly, they may in their heart of hearts believe they should do their

:32:38.:32:41.

bit, sometimes it is a bit too hard? We have to take the long-term

:32:42.:32:45.

view. What is the nature for the British economy, it has to be low

:32:45.:32:47.

carbon, there is an agreement between myself and what the

:32:48.:32:51.

Government is doing to get the targets. How do you make the

:32:51.:32:54.

transitions difficult? To tell people it is better in ten years

:32:54.:32:57.

times, we have to go on that policy. You believe the Government is doing

:32:57.:33:02.

the right thing? They are doing a number of things, cutting back on

:33:02.:33:06.

supsidies on solar we could argue about, allowing nimbus to decide if

:33:06.:33:11.

they want a windture bin, when wind is a new energy, they shouldn't

:33:11.:33:14.

allow that. There was plenty of extreme weather

:33:14.:33:17.

in the UK, there is no suggestion that climate change had anything to

:33:17.:33:20.

do with it. Right across what was once described as north Britain,

:33:21.:33:23.

Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northern England, have had, and are

:33:24.:33:29.

still having a day and night of violent storms of power outages.

:33:29.:33:35.

The disruption to schools businesses and travel was enormous.

:33:35.:33:39.

From the heavens this is what the storm looked like over Scotland

:33:39.:33:47.

early today. Down below the cold reality blew in, a normal life for

:33:47.:33:51.

hundreds of thousands of Scots was temporarily suspended. With

:33:51.:33:54.

shorelines battered and the Forth Bridge closed for most of the day.

:33:54.:34:00.

The wind force reached 165 miles per hour in the Cairngorms, 50,000

:34:00.:34:04.

people were left without power. In a decade Britain hasn't seen worse

:34:04.:34:11.

storms than this. The north of England was buffeted, the lorry was

:34:11.:34:15.

upended on the A66 in Yorkshire. Two people had to be rescued when

:34:15.:34:21.

their car was swept into the River York in Northern Ireland. In bane

:34:22.:34:27.

bridge wind were 80 miles an hour and in Wales. It was Scotland that

:34:27.:34:30.

suffered most, police advised against all travel in the centre of

:34:30.:34:36.

the country. This was Helenburgh on the Firth of Clyde, up river

:34:36.:34:40.

schools were closed north of Glasgow and the west. Consequently

:34:40.:34:44.

this school bus was empty, the driver unhurt. In Aberdeen, car

:34:44.:34:48.

owners had a lucky escape when a wall collapsed. We felt the

:34:48.:34:52.

rumbling and the bang of the building that collapsed. Very scary,

:34:52.:34:59.

we all got a scare. In Edinburgh the Hibs football

:34:59.:35:03.

training session had to be abandoned. In north Ayrshire, a

:35:03.:35:07.

wind farm burst into flames. Tomorrow, it is expected to be

:35:07.:35:14.

calmer, with snow and ice. Just before we came on air I spoke

:35:14.:35:19.

to the deputy First Minister, Nicola sturpblg sturpblg and I

:35:19.:35:24.

asked her how -- Sturg eon and asked her how bad it was? This is

:35:25.:35:29.

only the third time in ten years we have seen wind speeds like this.

:35:29.:35:32.

There is significant disruption, in all of the circumstances we have

:35:32.:35:39.

coped as well as could have been expected. Did the Resilience

:35:39.:35:43.

Committee, model from these extreme conditions? We model for various

:35:43.:35:47.

scenario, over the course of yesterday we were getting regular

:35:47.:35:50.

advice from the Met Office, the police, and took decisions based on

:35:50.:35:55.

that advice. I think the decisions we took, particularly last night,

:35:55.:35:59.

around school closures, proved today to be absolutely the right

:35:59.:36:04.

decisions. I have just come from the latest meeting of the

:36:04.:36:09.

Government Resilience Commit year, it will meet at ministerial level

:36:09.:36:12.

tomorrow morning. What about the pressure on the

:36:12.:36:16.

emergency services? The emergency services have coped extremely well

:36:16.:36:20.

today, the police have been first class as you would expect. The NHS

:36:20.:36:26.

has coped extremely well in general, there has been some damage,

:36:26.:36:31.

particularly to a hospital in Fife, that had part of its roof blown off

:36:31.:36:34.

today. Transport authorities, both road and rail, have also coped

:36:34.:36:37.

extremely well. There has been massive effort today.

:36:37.:36:41.

Just briefly, what about the impact on the economy today? That is

:36:41.:36:45.

likely to be significant. But employers have taken the right

:36:45.:36:50.

decisions, many employers allowed their staff to go home early. The

:36:50.:36:54.

public has, by and large, heeded the advise that was different, and

:36:54.:37:00.

I thank them for their patience and their forebearance. That has meant,

:37:00.:37:03.

although there is significant disruption, we have coped as well

:37:03.:37:08.

as could be expected. You say it is moving north but also blizzard

:37:08.:37:12.

conditions as well? The wind is moving north, the areas up north

:37:12.:37:16.

are likely, over the remainder of tonight and into the early hours of

:37:16.:37:20.

the morning, to see 90 miles per hour wind. Because the pefrpures

:37:20.:37:24.

will be lower, there is also -- temperatures will be lower, there

:37:24.:37:27.

is a significant risk of snow and business standard conditions, that

:37:27.:37:32.

is why we continue to monitor the situation very closely indeed.

:37:32.:37:36.

We will be live at the Brussels summit in few moments with some

:37:36.:37:43.

ministers who have just left dinner. First, poets laureate are the

:37:43.:37:48.

public's face of poetry. To raise awareness about the art. There is

:37:48.:37:55.

one poet routinely described as one the greatest writing, but whose

:37:55.:38:04.

critical acclaim supersedes his public -- sales.

:38:04.:38:13.

He rarely gives interviews, but first Steven Smith had to find him.

:38:13.:38:17.

When you are looking for England's greatest living poet, you might

:38:17.:38:24.

begin with the landscape, he so memorably described.

:38:24.:38:29.

An ancient land, full of strategy. This man's work has been called

:38:29.:38:33.

"serious" even "difficult", he himself has kept a low profile,

:38:33.:38:39.

almost to the point of invisibility. All in all then, he cuts an

:38:39.:38:48.

agreably forbidding figure. It turns out all we had to do was

:38:48.:38:57.

ask, in his new house outside Cambridge, Geoffrey Hill, 79, has

:38:57.:39:05.

struck a rich seam of wrielting. have been writing -- Writing.

:39:05.:39:10.

have been writing for 60 years. Then I felt happy if I managed to

:39:10.:39:14.

write seven peoples in a year. I feel unhappy if I haven't written

:39:14.:39:18.

seven peoples in a week. Really, that is extraordinary? Yeah. What

:39:18.:39:25.

do you put that down to? I have pondered this, and I have got some

:39:25.:39:30.

very secret ideas and theories as to what it may be due to. Wild hors

:39:30.:39:34.

wouldn't drag them out of me. I will -- horses wouldn't drag them

:39:34.:39:42.

out of me. I will write it on my death bed, like an old lady

:39:42.:39:52.
:39:52.:39:56.

donating her dand lion recipe to her -- dandolion recipe to her kin.

:39:56.:40:01.

I will put it down in the autobiography. Can I explore it?

:40:01.:40:07.

It is not to do with being happier generally? No, no. It is a mystery?

:40:07.:40:12.

It is a mystery. It is all a mystery. You know, you just won't

:40:12.:40:18.

tell me? I think I know. I think I know.

:40:18.:40:25.

"as to the ant, when chance disturbs state, divisions huge,

:40:25.:40:32.

minute, crude, delicate, like egg and spoon, white grub rice grain,

:40:32.:40:41.

she works her reach with pitch and stretch, staid in that giant

:40:41.:40:47.

flesh." My reputation is that of a solemn intellectual. Really I'm a

:40:47.:40:53.

kind of rip roaring fantasist. I like getting on to a bench and

:40:53.:41:01.

standing on one leg. In fact,the current Oxford Professor of Poetry,

:41:02.:41:05.

credits a perhaps unlikely influence on his work. I was in a

:41:05.:41:10.

shop in Leeds the other morning, said excuse me can you help me out,

:41:10.:41:15.

he said, sure which way did you come in. I allowed my love of the

:41:15.:41:21.

comedians to get into my poetry. future scolars of your work, should

:41:21.:41:27.

have your stuff open on the one land and Ken Dodd and Frankie

:41:27.:41:31.

Howard's material on hand. They would see a connection. I hope so,

:41:31.:41:37.

yes, I will leave a lot of heavy hints. The way a comic will often

:41:37.:41:43.

think to stregs the grammatically unimportant -- stress the

:41:43.:41:47.

grammatically unimportant words. It brings out a quite equisite sense

:41:47.:41:54.

of the individuality breaking through the formula.

:41:54.:41:59.

Why haven't we heard more from Geoffrey Hill, the Bard of an

:41:59.:42:03.

arkaiback Albion, we have simply been looking the wrong way. He has

:42:03.:42:06.

plenty to say on Shakespeare and rap, for example.

:42:06.:42:12.

From my relatively marginal experience of that, I don't think

:42:12.:42:17.

any of the rappers I have heard, have the potential of great poetry

:42:17.:42:22.

in them. I think that Shakespeare of this century, would certainly,

:42:22.:42:30.

would certainly learn from rap, yes. "the butterflies, high flyers on

:42:30.:42:40.
:42:40.:42:42.

high winds, invisible to us, they plane and soar. Beyond our minds'

:42:42.:42:45.

troubled conventioning, and do not err.

:42:45.:42:54.

What do you hope to do with the professorship of poetry? I welcome

:42:54.:43:04.
:43:04.:43:09.

the opportunity to go over, once a term, and perform one thousandth as

:43:10.:43:15.

well as Ken Dodd! I think he just might manage that. We go back to

:43:15.:43:21.

the summit in Brussels. Mark has grabbed a guest.

:43:22.:43:26.

Yes I have Lucinda Creighton, the Irish Europe minister, who has just

:43:26.:43:31.

come from inside the negotiations, is the atmosphere behind there, as

:43:31.:43:34.

they say in diplomatic speak, business like, is it a frank

:43:34.:43:40.

discussion going on there? Most certainly. I think at the outside

:43:40.:43:45.

there was a mood of deep concern, quite frankly, over the course of

:43:45.:43:51.

the day, and obviously we came, myself and our Taoiseach from the

:43:52.:43:58.

EPB summit in Marseille directly to Brussels, it was clear there was a

:43:58.:44:02.

wide divergance of views. Now, I think, from what I'm hearing this

:44:02.:44:07.

evening, leaders are moving closer together, and they seem to be a

:44:07.:44:11.

little bit more upbeat and a bit more optimistic this evening.

:44:11.:44:17.

what point in a summit like this, do people move past these opening

:44:17.:44:20.

salvos, these positions and really begin to drill down. Do you see

:44:20.:44:24.

evidence already occurring tonight, or will it all happen tomorrow?

:44:24.:44:28.

think there will be progress tonight. I suppose at what stage in

:44:28.:44:31.

the night I'm not sure. Certainly I think when it gets after midnight

:44:31.:44:38.

people get down to business and want to start moving forward. The

:44:38.:44:42.

soundings we are hearing from the meeting room tonight is that is

:44:42.:44:46.

what is happening. It is business like, they are going through the

:44:46.:44:50.

texts of proposals from Herman Van Rompuy, teasing out the issues and

:44:50.:44:55.

findings areas where they can find common ground. Briefly, Irish

:44:55.:45:00.

concerns about the possible fraings transfers tax, similar to the UK.

:45:00.:45:05.

Is that a done deal or is it still possible for the UK and Ireland to

:45:05.:45:08.

knock it out of the picture? don't think it is a done deal,

:45:08.:45:13.

there are more than just the UK and Ireland, there are a lot of member

:45:13.:45:17.

states with concerns about the tax proposal. From Ireland's

:45:17.:45:20.

prospective, we would certainly not like to be separated from the kufpl

:45:20.:45:25.

in that regard, that the eurozone would do something different to the

:45:25.:45:32.

EU27. There is an argument of putting it into the context of a

:45:32.:45:36.

global situation. Do we want to disadvantage Europe, vis a vis the

:45:37.:45:40.

rest of the world. That is all from Brussels tonight, we will be back

:45:40.:45:43.

tomorrow. That is all from Newsnight tonight.

:45:43.:45:53.
:45:53.:46:13.

Wherever you are, baton down the Wherever you are, baton down the

:46:13.:46:22.

hatches, good night. Hill low, after an incredibly

:46:22.:46:25.

stormy Thursday, there are quieters conditions on the way for fli. Icey

:46:25.:46:29.

conditions to start the day in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the

:46:29.:46:35.

North West of eing lan. A weakening band across England. That will be

:46:35.:46:39.

aityure during the afternoon, appearing in the parts of North

:46:39.:46:43.

Wales. To the south plenty of sunshine. A colder day than we had

:46:43.:46:46.

today, temperatures held down in single figures. If you look at the

:46:47.:46:50.

strength of the wind, it is breezeyo and the wind continue down

:46:50.:46:54.

through the day, plenty of sunshine and dry weather. The weakening band

:46:54.:46:59.

of rain, sleet and hill snow, not just affecting northern England,

:46:59.:47:02.

but North Wales and Northern Ireland to begin the day. For the

:47:02.:47:04.

afternoon there is plenty of sunshine, for much of Scotland it

:47:04.:47:10.

is a Wighter day, thankfully, lots of dry d a brighter day, lots of

:47:10.:47:14.

dry and cold weather, the snow showers here could create blaze

:47:14.:47:18.

standard conditions over higher ground. Wet weather will move

:47:18.:47:22.

through plan Chester, not a constant all-day rain. In parts of

:47:22.:47:26.

Scotland to begin the weekend, snow, sleet and wind returning. Fine

:47:26.:47:30.

weather, not just for Friday, but for Saturday, before things change

:47:30.:47:36.

Kirsty Wark presents analysis of the European summit in Brussels. A former European Central Bank economist, Newsnight's Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban and Economics Editor Paul Mason examine the latest attempts to find a solution to the eurozone crisis.


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