06/04/2016 Newsnight


06/04/2016

With Evan Davis. The Dutch say no in their Europe referendum vote, will it affect the UK debate? Plus the latest on the Tata steel crisis and buying guns on Facebook.


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Transcript


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A referendum vote that goes against the EU.

:00:07.:00:08.

What message are European voters trying to send?

:00:09.:00:15.

It's was not a vote about Dutch membership, and two thirds

:00:16.:00:18.

of the country stayed away from the polls,

:00:19.:00:20.

but the No campaign here will still take

:00:21.:00:22.

Should we have hope or fear for the future of the British steel

:00:23.:00:30.

industry, with Sanjeev Gupta the front runner to buy it?

:00:31.:00:37.

It was done on the back of an envelope because we didn't have

:00:38.:00:43.

access. It started a week ago, so we don't have any access to the data.

:00:44.:00:48.

So you have done a back of the envelope calculation? Yes.

:00:49.:00:49.

Also tonight, how to buy a Kalashnikov on Facebook.

:00:50.:00:51.

We found a number of portable defence systems, shoulder fired

:00:52.:01:03.

anti-aircraft systems. These are basically a threat to civilian

:01:04.:01:04.

aviation. And I'll show you mine,

:01:05.:01:06.

if you'll show me yours. We'll discuss how far

:01:07.:01:08.

is transparency the answer to the questions raised

:01:09.:01:13.

by the Panama Papers. Well, a blow to the EU

:01:14.:01:22.

tonight in a public vote. A Dutch vote on the EU

:01:23.:01:27.

treaty with Ukraine. Normally it wouldn't

:01:28.:01:35.

come to a referendum, of signatures can get

:01:36.:01:37.

it on to the ballot, And according to exit polls

:01:38.:01:40.

in the vote today, the Dutch have rejected that Ukraine Association

:01:41.:01:44.

Agreement. But one can only suspect that wasn't

:01:45.:01:47.

really what the voters It's being seen by those who want

:01:48.:01:50.

Brexit as a key test of public Nigel Farage has been out

:01:51.:01:54.

in the Netherlands campaigning. How does it play into the debate

:01:55.:02:02.

around our referendum? Alex Forsyth is our correspondent

:02:03.:02:06.

in Amsterdam and joins us now. Start by giving us the school, the

:02:07.:02:16.

margin of victory for the rejection of people and the turnout. The

:02:17.:02:20.

results are still coming in but we've had the exit poll and as the

:02:21.:02:23.

results have come in they seem to confirm it, a turnout of 32% which

:02:24.:02:29.

is significant because the threshold required to make the referendum

:02:30.:02:34.

result valid was 30%. It has just snuck over that. In terms of the

:02:35.:02:39.

result, the exit poll suggests 64% of voters who went to the polls have

:02:40.:02:43.

rejected the idea of ratifying the deal between the EU and the Ukraine.

:02:44.:02:50.

What that means in reality is still questionable because 27 other

:02:51.:02:53.

countries in the EU have backed the deal, the European Parliament has

:02:54.:02:58.

backed it. Now the Dutch Foreign Minister Mark Rutte has said that we

:02:59.:03:02.

will have to look at this again, that the no vote cannot be ignored.

:03:03.:03:08.

He will talk to the cabinet in the Netherlands and to the EU and decide

:03:09.:03:12.

how to progress without -- the Dutch Prime Minister. Although this was

:03:13.:03:17.

ostensibly about the Ukraine deal with the EU, there was a bigger

:03:18.:03:22.

issue, a test of your scepticism in the Netherlands because this was

:03:23.:03:26.

triggered by the Eurosceptic campaign, using a new Dutch law

:03:27.:03:29.

which was designed to promote democracy to get a petition

:03:30.:03:33.

signatures to get the referendum to happen and they say that the result

:03:34.:03:37.

is a victory showing that people are frustrated about the EU and they are

:03:38.:03:43.

not prepared to take it any more. Commenting on the Brexit debate here

:03:44.:03:46.

and how much the Dutch Eurosceptics are aware of what's going on here

:03:47.:03:50.

and how they are timing this against British events. And by being Anglo

:03:51.:03:54.

centric in thinking that way? Is the British vote playing a role in Dutch

:03:55.:04:01.

politics? Undoubtedly it is, I was at the campaign event in a town

:04:02.:04:07.

north of Amsterdam a couple of days ago and Nigel Farage was there. It

:04:08.:04:11.

was a Eurosceptic rally, organised by the people behind the reference

:04:12.:04:16.

campaign but he was greeted with a very warm reception, people knew who

:04:17.:04:20.

he was and the sentiment was that, we want a node in the referendum,

:04:21.:04:24.

which they see as giving a bloody nose to Brussels, as giving a signal

:04:25.:04:30.

to the UK that you can do the same -- a no vote. As you might expect,

:04:31.:04:37.

the Brexit camps in the UK have left on the result of ready saying that

:04:38.:04:41.

it shows that we aren't alone in our concerns about the EU in terms of

:04:42.:04:46.

its expansion and what they see as its democratic shortcomings. By

:04:47.:04:50.

trying to use this result to embolden the Eurosceptic campaign

:04:51.:04:54.

and it might do that but this is a singular result, on paper to do with

:04:55.:04:59.

the Ukraine. Although it plays into the Eurosceptic argument and will be

:05:00.:05:02.

seen as a boost to the Brexit campaign in the UK, one might argue

:05:03.:05:06.

that its impact on the public could be fairly limited in Britain. Thank

:05:07.:05:07.

you for joining us. Daniel Hannan, the prominent

:05:08.:05:09.

eurosceptic, is on the And Michael van Gaal ten is funded

:05:10.:05:26.

at yes campaign joins us -- Michael van Halten. What do you make of

:05:27.:05:30.

this? In every referendum, people have voted against Brussels, we had

:05:31.:05:34.

one in Greece and in Denmark and now the Netherlands. People have had

:05:35.:05:37.

enough of a remote and self-serving bureaucracy. A funny question but

:05:38.:05:43.

wiped wouldn't people vote -- why wouldn't people vote against

:05:44.:05:49.

muscles, given that this is an issue that people don't know much about?

:05:50.:05:54.

-- against Brussels. Isn't it telling how you put the question? It

:05:55.:05:58.

assumes that the European system lacks legitimacy and public support

:05:59.:06:03.

and that of course we would want to kick it. Like in a by-election, the

:06:04.:06:08.

incumbent government always loses them because people want to keep

:06:09.:06:11.

them on their toes. But the idea of Europe is that we would all get

:06:12.:06:16.

along better, that the Schengen group would soothe those animal

:06:17.:06:19.

cities but in reality, Europe isn't working. I don't think that this

:06:20.:06:23.

vote was really about the Ukraine agreement, which I voted for in the

:06:24.:06:28.

European Parliament. On almost every metric the European Union has failed

:06:29.:06:32.

to deliver what it promised, greater prosperity and national cohesion.

:06:33.:06:37.

You have to agree that every time the voters are given a chance to

:06:38.:06:41.

vote on anything European, they vote against it, don't they? Absolutely,

:06:42.:06:49.

there is a big problem for Brussels and the EU in terms of how we

:06:50.:06:53.

communicate with citizens on European issues. It has to be said

:06:54.:06:58.

that in this election, the referendum today, only one third of

:06:59.:07:03.

voters took the trouble to vote and actually much of the debates during

:07:04.:07:06.

the referendum campaign has been about the referendum law itself.

:07:07.:07:10.

This was the first time that we have had a referendum under this new law

:07:11.:07:14.

and two thirds of voters stayed at home. Many people who support the

:07:15.:07:19.

agreement stayed at home. The discussion will be about the EU, but

:07:20.:07:24.

also about how we conduct politics. A lot of people supporting Britain

:07:25.:07:29.

staying in the EU will say, goodness gracious, basically, if the Dutch,

:07:30.:07:32.

one of the original six members, one of the original three, the Benelux

:07:33.:07:37.

concept, the core of Europe, if they are showing such satisfaction with

:07:38.:07:42.

the project, this is really a very serious problem -- such

:07:43.:07:49.

dissatisfaction. It is clear that it is a problem for Dutch politics and

:07:50.:07:55.

politics in the EU. Issues that ten, 20 years ago could be taken behind

:07:56.:07:59.

closed doors and were self-evident now being questioned by people and

:08:00.:08:03.

that is a healthy process, but one that politics has not become

:08:04.:08:06.

accustomed to. Politicians do not know how to discuss and sell these

:08:07.:08:10.

issues to the voters and that is something we have to address. Can

:08:11.:08:17.

this be seen as a kind of anti-elite vote, as much as an anti-European

:08:18.:08:21.

vote? Everywhere you see voters, like in the US, choosing outsiders,

:08:22.:08:27.

and there is a bit of that? There is an element of that, people look at

:08:28.:08:32.

the Brussels project, they see politicians and the big banks and

:08:33.:08:36.

the big arms companies and the establishment and a feud diplomats

:08:37.:08:39.

and civil servants and they say, what's in it for everybody else, a

:08:40.:08:44.

valid question to ask. We have democracy because we have got away

:08:45.:08:48.

from self-serving oligarchies. It is a should aim -- it is a pity that

:08:49.:08:55.

people see Brussels going in the opposite direction. Is it going to

:08:56.:08:58.

play much in the British debate? Only in the sense that we are not

:08:59.:09:02.

alone, almost every referendum now, France, the Netherlands, Denmark,

:09:03.:09:11.

goes against British integration, it is not a British eccentricity. If

:09:12.:09:15.

the British were to vote to leave the EU, would there be pressure for

:09:16.:09:19.

a membership referendum in another lens? No, there is still massive

:09:20.:09:24.

support for membership of the EU in the Netherlands and people clearly

:09:25.:09:27.

saw it as a separate issue. People voted because they felt that the

:09:28.:09:32.

Ukraine was not the right country to do a deal with. The Dutch

:09:33.:09:37.

overwhelmingly support membership of the EU. Thank you for joining us.

:09:38.:09:40.

Now before we leave the subject of Europe, just time

:09:41.:09:43.

will make its most important political decision for a generation,

:09:44.:09:52.

whether to leave or remain in the European Union.

:09:53.:09:56.

Some have made up their minds, but if you are struggling

:09:57.:09:59.

through the quagmire of competing arguments,

:10:00.:10:02.

Over the next two months, Newsnight will be devoting a series

:10:03.:10:07.

of special programmes to some of the key issues,

:10:08.:10:11.

like migration, security, the economy and sovereignty.

:10:12.:10:18.

Only you can decide how you will vote but we can arm

:10:19.:10:21.

you with some of the information you need to make a choice,

:10:22.:10:24.

so join us for the first of these special shows this Monday.

:10:25.:10:32.

The starting gun has now been fired on the future

:10:33.:10:36.

Tata Steel said today the sales prospectus for its UK operations

:10:37.:10:40.

will be released on Monday, and they are then looking

:10:41.:10:42.

The Business Secretary Sajid Javid was in Mumbai today,

:10:43.:10:50.

talking to Tata Steel, and stressing that he's

:10:51.:10:51.

talking to other companies who are potential buyers.

:10:52.:10:53.

The most prominent of those, some would say the only show

:10:54.:10:56.

in town, in fact, is a company called Liberty Steel

:10:57.:10:58.

It's a newish company which has recently acquired some other

:10:59.:11:04.

But can this bid realistically herald a new era for British steel?

:11:05.:11:08.

Our policy editor Chris Cook reports.

:11:09.:11:18.

What links the Palm, this development in Dubai, and offers

:11:19.:11:24.

above a sandwich shop on the Isle of Man, and the troubled Tartar

:11:25.:11:29.

steelworks at Port Talbot? The answer is the man who hopes to turn

:11:30.:11:33.

those steelworks around, Sanjeev Gupta, the head of Liberty. Today,

:11:34.:11:40.

the Business Secretary was in Mumbai to talk to Tata about the prospects

:11:41.:11:46.

of selling the steelworks on. One company that has come forward,

:11:47.:11:52.

Liberty International, which has an interest in the British Steel

:11:53.:11:55.

industry. I met with them, that is one example. What I would like to

:11:56.:11:59.

see is many more coming forward and I hope that is what happens. Sanjeev

:12:00.:12:05.

Gupta's company recently took over part of Scotland and before that, a

:12:06.:12:12.

plant in Newport. For a spell that thought the plant was running, he

:12:13.:12:15.

paid the staff for three months and gave them half pay for 15 months. We

:12:16.:12:22.

have had a good experience, our members were there over the

:12:23.:12:26.

transition period, short time workers and they were supported

:12:27.:12:29.

through the process and we've been able to work constructively with him

:12:30.:12:33.

and with the company which I think bodes well for any future

:12:34.:12:37.

arrangement. What does Sanjeev Gupta plan to do? A brief the local MP

:12:38.:12:43.

earlier today. In the end he would like to close down the blast

:12:44.:12:47.

furnaces because he believes they are high cost. And replace them with

:12:48.:12:52.

an electric arc furnace, which he would build from scratch on the

:12:53.:13:01.

site, which uses scrap steel and import slab steel from elsewhere in

:13:02.:13:03.

the world, potentially Brazil for example. They are the key elements

:13:04.:13:10.

of his proposal. He also talks about keeping one blast furnace open

:13:11.:13:15.

through the transitional period, and possibly even for longer. There are

:13:16.:13:19.

some issues, the plan is hardly complete. The analysis has been done

:13:20.:13:26.

on the back of the envelope because we haven't had access. This started

:13:27.:13:30.

a week ago, we haven't had access to the data. So what you have done is a

:13:31.:13:34.

back of the envelope calculation? Yes. The fact that he does not seem

:13:35.:13:39.

across the details now may come back to hurt him, he has two conveys the

:13:40.:13:43.

Treasury to help him and there is another reason why it Whitehall

:13:44.:13:47.

might not want to give him assistance, this is the week that

:13:48.:13:53.

the Panama Papers came out and offshore businessmen are not the

:13:54.:13:56.

flavour of the month. That is a category that Sanjeev Gupta falls

:13:57.:14:01.

into. I'm not referring to the fact that his registered address is at

:14:02.:14:06.

the Palm in Dubai. He also has a holding company on the Isle of Man,

:14:07.:14:11.

liberty is UK is registered here in the rooms above Tasty Bite on the

:14:12.:14:21.

north of the island. That is not his main holding company, that is in

:14:22.:14:25.

Singapore, and that is where Liberty Steel's ownership leads. Sanjeev

:14:26.:14:29.

Gupta will have to answer questions about what is onshore and what is

:14:30.:14:33.

offshore pretty quickly. There are more simple questions. 60% of the

:14:34.:14:38.

workforce in Port Talbot is employed in the heavy end, managing the blast

:14:39.:14:44.

furnaces and parts of the process that are closest to that. And of

:14:45.:14:49.

course, a model that possibly looks at closing down the blast furnaces

:14:50.:14:54.

causes concern because of the impact on jobs. There are not many other

:14:55.:15:00.

takers for the Port Talbot works although a management buyout is

:15:01.:15:04.

quietly being worked on. Right now, saving our steel is far from

:15:05.:15:06.

straightforward. While we are on the subject

:15:07.:15:08.

of business, here is remarkable story about the trade

:15:09.:15:10.

in weapons, trade online. And I'm talking real weapons

:15:11.:15:16.

here like Kalashnikovs or even surface-to-air missiles and above.

:15:17.:15:18.

Traded via Facebook, of all places. Not here, you'll be relieved

:15:19.:15:22.

to hear, we are talking about a market in Libya, a country

:15:23.:15:25.

already awash with weapons. Colonel Gaddafi was an obsessive

:15:26.:15:41.

buyer of weapons. During his 40 years in power he spent an estimated

:15:42.:15:47.

$30 billion on arms, like a compulsive shopaholic, he bought up

:15:48.:15:49.

anything he could get his hands on from the humble Kalashnikov to tanks

:15:50.:15:58.

and mortars, missiles and minds. When rebel forces toppled his regime

:15:59.:16:03.

five years ago, Qaddafi's tightly controlled stockpiles were thrown

:16:04.:16:07.

open. Today these weapons are largely concentrated in the hands of

:16:08.:16:13.

rival militia groups but in this lawless and divided country, it's

:16:14.:16:16.

getting easier for anyone to get their hands on a gun or even

:16:17.:16:20.

something bigger. Newsnight has been given access to data that shows how

:16:21.:16:25.

arms are being traded openly on the Internet. Researchers have been

:16:26.:16:29.

tracking weapons sales on a number of different online platforms. A

:16:30.:16:35.

rocket propelled grenade launcher, offered for sale on Facebook.

:16:36.:16:38.

Another seller comment on the picture that he has more missiles

:16:39.:16:43.

for sale. Over a period of the year, the researchers monitored more than

:16:44.:16:48.

1300 weapons sales, on just a handful of pages, most of them

:16:49.:16:55.

closed the secret Facebook groups. The research was commissioned by the

:16:56.:17:00.

small arms survey, a group that tracks weapons proliferation around

:17:01.:17:05.

the world. We spoke to one of the investigators in Libya who wanted to

:17:06.:17:10.

remain anonymous for his own safety. Basically the dealer comes with the

:17:11.:17:15.

gun in the trunk of his car, and other phone calls, they meet at a

:17:16.:17:23.

certain place, usually a public place, and they do the transaction

:17:24.:17:28.

not so public, it's quite discreet, 100% cash. Much of the trade is in

:17:29.:17:34.

small arms, pistols, rifles, the kind of thing an individual might

:17:35.:17:39.

want to buy for personal protection, especially in a country as lawless

:17:40.:17:45.

as Libya. But not all of it. More worryingly, the researchers also

:17:46.:17:48.

found evidence of bigger weapons being bought and sold online. They

:17:49.:17:54.

trekked nearly 100 separate trades in what are known as light weapons,

:17:55.:17:58.

that is light as opposed to heavy artillery, but make the mistake,

:17:59.:18:07.

this is serious stuff. Traditionally they were small arms, rifles,

:18:08.:18:11.

machine guns, there were significant systems that could have impact,

:18:12.:18:17.

terrorist use, including anti-tank weapons. One seller offered this

:18:18.:18:25.

anti-aircraft gun for 85,000 Libyan dinar, about ?45,000, truck

:18:26.:18:34.

included. These are the kinds of weapons the rebels used to overthrow

:18:35.:18:37.

Colonel Gaddafi, the kinds of weapons you would buy if you want to

:18:38.:18:48.

wage an insurgent campaign. These man portable air defence systems up

:18:49.:18:52.

perhaps the most worrying, hand-held surface-to-air missiles that can

:18:53.:18:55.

take a passenger plane out of the sky. The researchers found two

:18:56.:19:00.

systems for sale, this reusable shoulder head launcher, on offer for

:19:01.:19:07.

between 4000 and 8000 Libyan dinar, or about 2000 to ?4000. We found a

:19:08.:19:19.

number of shoulder mounted anti air missiles, they are basically a

:19:20.:19:22.

threat to civilian aviation. Researchers believe that people

:19:23.:19:27.

wanting to buy these weapons are a number of the militia but they are

:19:28.:19:32.

also more worrying implications. Can see that the weapons are leaking out

:19:33.:19:37.

and given the flow we already see of human trafficking, and other illicit

:19:38.:19:41.

flows across the water into Europe, it's not beyond the realm of

:19:42.:19:43.

possibility we could see some of these weapons going across the water

:19:44.:19:50.

into Europe. Most of the weapons tracked by the researchers came from

:19:51.:19:54.

Colonel Gaddafi's Arsenal although some had been shipped to Libya

:19:55.:19:59.

before or after the revolution. In this country it is difficult to

:20:00.:20:04.

define this trade in legal terms, it is certainly unregistered and it's

:20:05.:20:07.

definitely against Facebook policy. In a statement, they told us:

:20:08.:20:27.

at the moment this appears to be largely internal trade, that is to

:20:28.:20:33.

say the weapons are being bought and sold by Libyans, most likely for use

:20:34.:20:39.

in Libya. But the ease-of-use and anonymity the Internet offers

:20:40.:20:43.

suggests threat of these weapons is spreading beyond Libya's borders.

:20:44.:20:47.

While we talk about what the leaked Panama Papers tell

:20:48.:20:50.

us about tax avoidance and evasion, there is another angle.

:20:51.:20:53.

If I'm evil or if I'm a tax evader or even just imagine I'm

:20:54.:21:01.

the Prime Minister of Iceland, I tend to prefer my private

:21:02.:21:03.

And our society has been complicit in allowing the rich and

:21:04.:21:21.

powerful to have their secrets because we allow

:21:22.:21:24.

everybody to keep their finances to themselves.

:21:25.:21:27.

Well all of a sudden the culture of privacy or

:21:28.:21:30.

secrecy, call it what you will, that culture is under threat.

:21:31.:21:32.

Really because of the data stick, the

:21:33.:21:35.

technology of data storage and data search, has made it easier than ever

:21:36.:21:39.

before to dump terabytes of secrets into the public domain.

:21:40.:21:41.

And now we have seen it done, you wouldn't want

:21:42.:21:44.

your life to depend on data that had been leaked.

:21:45.:21:46.

So do we welcome this new world of transparency?

:21:47.:21:51.

The Prime Minister certainly says he does.

:21:52.:21:53.

You're going to have so much information about what we do,

:21:54.:21:57.

how much of your money was spent doing it and what the

:21:58.:22:00.

This cloak of secrecy has fuelled all manners of

:22:01.:22:05.

questionable practice and downright legality.

:22:06.:22:06.

And work with us to spread this abridged transparency around

:22:07.:22:09.

Is it fair to say the Panama whistle-blower has done more

:22:10.:22:16.

to prise open the murky world of offshore companies than the Prime

:22:17.:22:19.

But let's ask why would we want for transparency, why not and how could

:22:20.:22:30.

we achieve it? There is enforcing the tax rules,

:22:31.:22:40.

the difference between legal appointment and illegal evasion is

:22:41.:22:43.

you should have no reason to hide the legal ploys. But we also like

:22:44.:22:50.

transparency in order to know where people's money comes from. We can

:22:51.:22:54.

all ask the question had that person get to be so rich. President Putin's

:22:55.:23:01.

cellist friend, we can see just how good a cellist he must been to gain

:23:02.:23:09.

his wealth. So is there and I commit against transparency? He is one

:23:10.:23:14.

offered by the Chief Executive of HSBC to MPs went emerged he was

:23:15.:23:20.

hiding his fortune offshore. My question was why you felt the need

:23:21.:23:27.

is a Hong Kong domiciled person to create a Panamanian company. There

:23:28.:23:35.

was no tax purpose, it was... It was purely to give me privacy within my

:23:36.:23:40.

own company. Is that a good enough reason? I suppose you might say that

:23:41.:23:44.

as well as the bankers, kidnappers and crooks would be interested in

:23:45.:23:49.

his private wealth data. But let me ask, do you think everyone who wins

:23:50.:23:54.

the lottery should have to take the publicity box? Using your own salary

:23:55.:23:58.

should be published so I can look it up, like I can look up your house on

:23:59.:24:02.

the land Registry but the site to find out who owns it and at what

:24:03.:24:07.

price they bought it? If all that sounds bonkers, it is exactly what

:24:08.:24:11.

those crazy Scandinavians do already. Sweden, Norway and Finland,

:24:12.:24:17.

everyone's income and tax details are published online. But that

:24:18.:24:21.

Scandinavian example does give us a clue into how we get more openness

:24:22.:24:27.

if we wanted. We would need a wholesale change of culture we from

:24:28.:24:30.

the principle that my business belongs to me, and that's a pretty

:24:31.:24:36.

big shift. Think of all the concern around procedure and encryption and

:24:37.:24:42.

how we want the government to stop finding out staff to stop that is

:24:43.:24:47.

what we want to do as well as distributing data sticks to

:24:48.:24:48.

whistle-blowers. Earlier I spoke to Tom Macan,

:24:49.:24:52.

the former governor of the British Virgin Islands,

:24:53.:24:54.

who thinks we need more I began by asking him

:24:55.:24:57.

what legislation he would seek The legislation has to be passed

:24:58.:25:00.

by the Virgin Islands House of Assembly and I think it needs

:25:01.:25:04.

to involve a public register, so that anyone can gain access

:25:05.:25:07.

and find out just who owns what. Because that is rather

:25:08.:25:18.

difficult at the moment. In your experience, did the British

:25:19.:25:19.

government push very hard The British Virgin Islands,

:25:20.:25:22.

the clue is in the name, isn't it? Did the British government tell

:25:23.:25:31.

them, look, we want a bit There was pressure throughout my

:25:32.:25:34.

time towards the running of an efficient and legitimate

:25:35.:25:39.

financial services sector. But I can't say that it enjoyed

:25:40.:25:46.

ministers' sustained attention And indeed the system, as it runs,

:25:47.:25:53.

is indeed reasonably well monitored. The weakness comes at the end stage,

:25:54.:26:01.

knowing exactly who owns what. The fact that this information

:26:02.:26:10.

is only available to the agent, probably the legal firm,

:26:11.:26:16.

in the Virgin Islands. Could the British government,

:26:17.:26:21.

and I haven't really managed to hear a clear answer on this,

:26:22.:26:25.

could the British government told the richest Virgin Islands,

:26:26.:26:28.

you are going to do this, because we tell you you have

:26:29.:26:30.

to do it? It would be possible for the British

:26:31.:26:33.

government to obtain an order in Council, which is the basis

:26:34.:26:40.

on which the BVI constitution exists and the order in Council

:26:41.:26:46.

could give an instruction. This would be the nuclear option, it

:26:47.:26:51.

has only been done twice recently. That was to abolish

:26:52.:26:54.

capital punishment, and to abolish discrimination,

:26:55.:27:00.

legislation forbidding But I can't say that it enjoyed

:27:01.:27:04.

ministers' sustained attention There was an extent to which this

:27:05.:27:24.

was rather meaningless because there had been no capital

:27:25.:27:26.

punishment for half a century, and the laws making homosexuality

:27:27.:27:29.

is a criminal offence had So this would be a very major

:27:30.:27:31.

departure from current practice. Let's discuss this issue

:27:32.:27:36.

of transparency versus secrecy with the Guardian's Polly Toynbee,

:27:37.:27:38.

and the tax lawyer James Quarmby who leads the private wealth team

:27:39.:27:40.

at Stephenson Harwood LLP, James, first of all, things have

:27:41.:27:54.

changed. Even today as we speak, the law here has changed about who owns

:27:55.:27:59.

companies. How significant is the change? Extremely, because we are

:28:00.:28:04.

the first country to introduce a fully public register of companies.

:28:05.:28:10.

That's not just who owns the companies but the people behind

:28:11.:28:14.

those companies. And the one behind the one behind that? It will trace

:28:15.:28:19.

all the way through, they have come up with a concept called persons of

:28:20.:28:26.

significant control. Because it gets ridiculous after a while, if

:28:27.:28:29.

somebody has a 2% interest in the company, there is no point reporting

:28:30.:28:33.

that. Say you have persons of significant control, whoever they

:28:34.:28:38.

are, wherever they are, whatever they are hiding behind, they are

:28:39.:28:41.

going to be reported. And that works for companies. The FT are reporting

:28:42.:28:49.

that David Cameron, in 2013, obstructed a similar idea as regards

:28:50.:28:57.

the trusts. And I think the Cameron defence is that they wanted to make

:28:58.:29:00.

sure it worked on companies they thought trusts different.

:29:01.:29:08.

This comes from the money-laundering directive in the EU. What the EU was

:29:09.:29:16.

saying is, let's extend this to trusts. Most of the EU don't have

:29:17.:29:21.

trusts, so it is England that invented them. They are saying that

:29:22.:29:26.

there are hundreds of thousands of trusts and most of them are so

:29:27.:29:30.

mundane that requiring the trustees to report them becomes a complete

:29:31.:29:37.

intrusion into your life. Before we go on to the general principle, the

:29:38.:29:43.

British government's commitment to openness, Cameron has talked about

:29:44.:29:47.

it all the time, do you buy it? He has talked a wonderful talk, he has

:29:48.:29:52.

been lyrical about the corruption and how he's going to have sunlight

:29:53.:29:57.

everywhere. We'll wait and see. What is coming in today is more minor

:29:58.:30:02.

than it looks because there is nobody to check it, companies put in

:30:03.:30:05.

their own reports, companies house do nothing with it. Banks who know

:30:06.:30:10.

who the owners are are not required to tell companies house who are the

:30:11.:30:17.

beneficial owners. I think there is a lot of wriggle room. What's more,

:30:18.:30:23.

Cameron at this moment in Europe is blocking the blacklisting a lot of

:30:24.:30:26.

these treasure Island is that we administer, these tax havens --

:30:27.:30:35.

Islands. He is telling his MEPs to block these things. Let's talk about

:30:36.:30:42.

the principle, James, give us a legitimate reason why people should

:30:43.:30:47.

have financial secrets, why they should be disguising their ownership

:30:48.:30:50.

of assets at all? I want to challenge your use of the word

:30:51.:30:55.

secrets and talk about privacy. There is a point at which

:30:56.:30:59.

transparency becomes intrusive and a bad thing. You want some good

:31:00.:31:04.

reasons? Let's look at all of the publicity we've had about online

:31:05.:31:10.

identity theft. We're all told, be careful how much information you

:31:11.:31:17.

give away, right? But that's not what is causing the super-rich to

:31:18.:31:21.

have these companies in the Channel Islands? It is more complicated,

:31:22.:31:25.

people are advocating that details of your wealth, if you want to take

:31:26.:31:30.

the Scandinavian model, in Sweden they publish your tax returns, so

:31:31.:31:34.

they know how much you learn, how much you give to charity. That's

:31:35.:31:39.

going to provide criminals, conmen, opportunists of the worst possible

:31:40.:31:44.

kind the leveraged to have a go at you. Polly, you are laughing? I'm

:31:45.:31:52.

sorry! Criminals, they are the people sorting their money away,

:31:53.:31:57.

there is no good reason why anybody should have offshore accounts. It is

:31:58.:32:02.

easy to set up a company here, it is much more expensive and complicated

:32:03.:32:07.

to do it there. You are hiding things, almost by definition, apart

:32:08.:32:10.

from a fewer cases. You believe that all of it should be available for us

:32:11.:32:17.

all to see? As you say, it would be a monstrous culture shock and people

:32:18.:32:20.

would feel that they have had their clothes ripped off them, but once we

:32:21.:32:25.

have got used to the idea and took up the Scandinavian idea, I think

:32:26.:32:32.

people would realise, knowing what the person next to you earn is, are

:32:33.:32:35.

you owning the same, especially women who often paid less... We

:32:36.:32:43.

talked about asking what somebody's salary is. The whole point about it,

:32:44.:32:50.

I have published it before, so has George Mumby in the Guardian, the

:32:51.:32:56.

point about it is, what is my salary, I will come if you will! --

:32:57.:33:04.

Monbiot. Let's be open. The point is, like paying your taxes, you do

:33:05.:33:08.

it because everybody else does and if somebody doesn't, they stop

:33:09.:33:11.

paying their taxes, everybody else starts to say, I know these

:33:12.:33:16.

billionaires who have their money salted away in tax havens, why

:33:17.:33:21.

should I pay? Why are we focusing on billionaires? Ordinary people would

:33:22.:33:25.

be impacted. Because they have the tax havens. Hold on, we're obsessing

:33:26.:33:30.

over the rich and famous and notorious, I want to talk about the

:33:31.:33:34.

60 million people who would be affected by the intrusion of having

:33:35.:33:36.

their financial affairs posted on the Internet. Let me ask you, would

:33:37.:33:43.

you nail your bank account on your front door for the public to see? If

:33:44.:33:47.

everybody else will, absolutely. You are happy to do it, but do you want

:33:48.:33:54.

to force that on other people, who wants to keep their affairs secret

:33:55.:33:58.

and that isn't fair. What is happening now, most people pay their

:33:59.:34:05.

tax and they feel that there are fears that smack their affairs are

:34:06.:34:10.

not very secret but it is the mega rich offend people, and increasing

:34:11.:34:15.

the late -- increasingly they are getting away with it. The Panama

:34:16.:34:20.

Papers frightens people, people with a reputation to lose know that it

:34:21.:34:23.

can be hacked and they had better not do it any more.

:34:24.:34:26.

It's been distressing to read about the murder of Angela Wrightson

:34:27.:34:28.

in recent days, mocked, tortured and killed at her own home

:34:29.:34:32.

in 2014, by two girls, one aged 13, one 14.

:34:33.:34:37.

The two are both 15 now, both have had lives appropriately

:34:38.:34:44.

described as chaotic, both spending time in care, and it seems

:34:45.:34:48.

the pair of them together, were far more unpleasant

:34:49.:34:50.

They will be sentenced tomorrow, but what is the best way

:34:51.:34:54.

You obviously can't call them victims in this case,

:34:55.:34:57.

but can you treat them like ordinary murderers?

:34:58.:34:59.

Let's discuss this with Laurence Lee, the solicitor

:35:00.:35:02.

who represented John Venebles during the James Bulger case

:35:03.:35:04.

in 1993, and Amanda Holt, a criminologist at the University

:35:05.:35:07.

If I can start with you, Lawrence, first of all, is our system is

:35:08.:35:20.

well-designed to deal with these kinds of cases, do you think? Let me

:35:21.:35:26.

say from the outset, good evening, let me say from the outset that most

:35:27.:35:30.

young people in society are well bought up and we are dealing with a

:35:31.:35:36.

very small minority. This is a debate that has raged for years

:35:37.:35:40.

about whether they are victims of society. There was a case of the

:35:41.:35:48.

police officer who was killed, the guy who did it, Clayton Williams,

:35:49.:35:55.

was found guilty of manslaughter and his solicitor said he was a victim

:35:56.:35:58.

of society, which hasn't gone down very well. But as far as these young

:35:59.:36:05.

girls are concerned, they are in the minority but I wish I knew the

:36:06.:36:10.

answer to the problem. Let me put it to Amanda. How do you think or do

:36:11.:36:15.

you think a 13-year-old should be treated the same as an 18-year-old

:36:16.:36:19.

for committing the same crime? I don't think they should, we should

:36:20.:36:25.

take into account the kind of vulnerabilities that children have.

:36:26.:36:31.

They don't have the cognitive immaturity as an adult, which is why

:36:32.:36:34.

we don't let anybody vote who is under 18 or buy cigarettes and

:36:35.:36:41.

alcohol, or consent to sex. The age of criminal responsibility is

:36:42.:36:46.

incredibly low in England and Wales, anomalous compared to the other

:36:47.:36:50.

rights that we get. Answer that point, would you treat a 13-year-old

:36:51.:36:57.

the same as an 18-year-old,? You can't treat them in the same way. I

:36:58.:37:02.

have banged on about the age of criminal responsibility for years.

:37:03.:37:04.

Maybe my views are slightly different from others'. The age of

:37:05.:37:11.

common responsibility is in my view correct for grave crimes there may

:37:12.:37:17.

be a two tier system. I think New Zealand has a two tier system for

:37:18.:37:23.

the grave crimes, ten, but for minor crimes, maybe 13, 14. The courts

:37:24.:37:28.

shouldn't be cluttered but it would be wrong to increase the age of

:37:29.:37:36.

criminal responsibility. The Bulger killers could never have been

:37:37.:37:40.

prosecuted. What kind of sentence, how do you decide to sentence

:37:41.:37:44.

someone who is 13, and does it make a difference that they have had a

:37:45.:37:49.

difficult background? You have to take their background into account,

:37:50.:37:52.

and different disadvantages. That isn't suggesting that we should let

:37:53.:37:58.

them off the hook. The other thing I'm concerned about, these debates

:37:59.:38:02.

emerge when we have a case of such extreme horror, even young people

:38:03.:38:05.

who are engaged in criminal activity, all of them, 99% of them

:38:06.:38:11.

would be appalled at the horrendous crime but it is always these crimes

:38:12.:38:14.

that are at the forefront of people's minds when we have these

:38:15.:38:19.

debates and I think that is worrying because we have this idea of a young

:38:20.:38:26.

people committing crime rather than the other crimes that people commit

:38:27.:38:30.

and often grow out of. In a sentence, what kind of discount,

:38:31.:38:35.

what kind of sentence are you talking about for such a crime? You

:38:36.:38:42.

have to take each case and look at the context, I can't comment on this

:38:43.:38:46.

particular case. I don't think I can gladly say, this is for this and

:38:47.:38:51.

this for that. With adults as well, we have to look at the

:38:52.:38:56.

circumstances. Redemption, do you believe in redemption, for evil

:38:57.:39:00.

children? Yes, because if you look at the Bulger killers, at the time

:39:01.:39:05.

it appeared that Thompson, who was the other lad, would reoffend more

:39:06.:39:12.

likely than Venables, but Venables did. But it seems that Thompson has

:39:13.:39:20.

redeemed himself. It's impossible to say at ten how you will turn out.

:39:21.:39:24.

Those two boys pressed the self-destruct button. It appears

:39:25.:39:28.

that Thompson has come out better, as it were. Thank you for joining

:39:29.:39:30.

us. We leave you with the burning

:39:31.:39:31.

question in the tech world - who is going to be top dog

:39:32.:39:36.

in the emerging world Last week we saw the best known

:39:37.:39:39.

contender, Facebook's Oculus Rift. Now it's the turn of

:39:40.:39:52.

their big rival, the HTC Vive. The Vive's big sell is that you're

:39:53.:39:54.

not confined to the sofa, you can walk around

:39:55.:39:57.

and even touch things. Here it is with the help of some

:39:58.:39:59.

old fashioned green screen, so that we can see what the people

:40:00.:40:02.

with the headset see. Any questions? Can I go first? Go

:40:03.:40:17.

crazy. Go and get it! He actually gets it! It makes you feel you are

:40:18.:40:25.

pulling the strings back. Turn left! No way! My goodness, so cool. O!

:40:26.:40:38.

Look at this thing. Ooh!

:40:39.:40:44.

With Evan Davis. The Dutch say no in their Europe referendum vote, will it affect the UK debate? Plus the latest on the Tata steel crisis and buying guns on Facebook.


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