09/05/2016 Newsnight


The latest on the EU referendum campaign, and the views of Tracey Emin. The programme hears from Yanis Varoufakis and also looks at Labour's performance in the local elections.

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Newsday is coming up at midnight, now it is time for Newsnight.


Project Fear steps up a gear, with warnings of conflict in Europe


Really, the idea leaving Europe will create another war is beyond belief.


Liam Fox will tell us whether Brexit means war or peace in Europe and war


Eurozone finance ministers gathering.


Syriza's former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis,


will be here to talk us through Brussels' Groundhog Day.


And artist Tracey Emin on why she's an inner not an outer.


We don't suddenly run away from Europe because we're in a crisis.


We're on the brink of World War III with an invisible enemy.


If any time Europe should stay together it's now.


The elections of last week are out the way, and so now it's all


And the arguments are now flying thick and fast.


Some would say they are thick, and fast and loose with the facts.


We have had some significant interventions, though.


Yesterday, leading Leave campaigner Michael Gove spelled out clearly


that he thinks if Britain does leave the EU, it should be out


Today, the Prime Minister went in hard on security - the danger


He was widely criticised for hyperbole.


And Boris Johnson retorted that the EU itself had helped create


Now, these exchanges are interesting,


It's hard to argue an intellectual point with your colleagues


without arousing incipient feelings of personal dislike.


It's what makes this campaign so different to anything since,


well, the last Europe referendum four decades ago.


Here's our political editor, Nick Watt.


It must be Europe day, the EU's annual celebration


of seven decades of peace, if not exactly harmony on the continent.


It took the most prominent exits aborted to give a rendition


of Europe's national anthem, but today actually marked the


resumption of Tory hostilities on Europe.


The Prime Minister opened a speech on the EU's role


in underpinning UK security with a swipe at the Leave campaign.


The leavers have noticed that a number of European countries


have negotiated separate trade arrangements with the EU.


They call this collection of countries


It is a patchwork of arrangements, all of them far inferior to what we


They have gone on to suggest Britain might join this nonexistent zone


Even the Albanian Prime Minister thought that idea a joke.


Today marks the moment when the Cabinet War


The Prime Minister is not amused with Michael Gove.


He believes his great friend and leading light of the Vote Leave


campaign gave the impression in private he would not campaign


against him in the referendum, and when he decided to do so he


I understand Michael Gove is saying he does not


If I was the Prime Minister, I think I would be disappointed


Michael Gove is one of the great intellectual powerhouses of this


government, and he has chosen to, as it were, take opposite sides to


the Prime Minister and to do so with a vengeance, but this is business.


At the end of this, personal feuds and disagreements will be forgotten.


Hard words that have been exchanged will be put in the back pocket


and we will come together and move forward.


Michael Gove's allies were dismissive of what they saw


What you are seeing is a certain amount of panic


on the part of the Remain campaign headed by the Prime Minister.


The idea of leaving Europe creating another war is beyond belief.


It came after the Prime Minister broke the old John Cleese rule,


don't mention the war, as he invoked memories of Churchill's


stand in 1940 to demonstrate the dangers of isolationism.


Winston Churchill saw an argument for a United States of Europe.


He did not want us to be a part of it.


The grandson of Britain's wartime leader believes he would


The last thing he would want is to stand apart from Europe


There is something not British in my view about wanting to leave.


I think he would not think it is a good thing to leave.


I think he would have wanted to stay.


Today saw the opening of the Eurovision Song Contest week


The final will be a model of friendly competition with no


David Cameron will hope that whatever the result


on his big night, it will not be nil points for Conservative unity.


We hope to talk to Liam Fox about the Conservative Party and security


There has been the late vote in the house.


There are some other politics going on, of course.


Labour still working out whether to be relieved or distraught


Our political editor, Nick Watt, is with me.


Parliamentary Labour Party met today.


Before the meeting took place, there was a meeting between Jeremy Corbyn


They had a 30-minute discussion in his offices in Westminster.


It was described as friendly and constructive.


They talked about issues they have in common and


are vital to the mayor, transport and housing, then they moved to


Sadiq Khan gave what was described as a barnstorming speech, basically


reading out his article at the weekend when he said Labour will


only win if it attracts non-Labour voters, if it is pro-business,


I am told by a source that at one point he said we can only


change people's lives in office, and at that point he glanced


Do you think things are coming down in the Labour Party?


The Jeremy Corbyn camp are convinced things are coming down.


They say you have the Sadiq Khan victory in London


The first major European city with a black mayor.


They would say these are increased turnouts


and that Jeremy Corbyn is reaching voters.


They will say they are making progress


Critics agree there will be no coup, but they do not believe


Jeremy Corbyn has had success in the elections.


There were MPs who raised pretty testy questions to Jeremy Corbyn


at one point when he said Labour had done well in Wales.


Peter Hain said, "But our vote went down by eight percentage points,


One person said Jeremy Corbyn talked about how Labour had done


well, citing Labour-strong areas, and this person said it was


We will get back to Liam Fox when he gets here.


Over the course of the campaign, we are giving airtime to ordinary


people to set out their view of the Leave versus Remain dilemma.


When I say ordinary people, I mean extraordinary people who are


We saw the Scottish billionaire Tom Hunter last week.


And today's contributor is the artist Tracey Emin,


I really enjoy having my British identity, I'm totally London,


And when I go to France or Germany, or wherever I go in Europe,


I flaunt that to the best of my ability and I'm not ashamed of it.


I'm also very proud and happy to be part of Europe, especially being an


artist and being within a creative industry, in terms of export.


You know, being an artist, I work with Europe constantly.


A lot of my collectors, a lot of the museums are in Europe.


I just think it's absolute insanity to come out of Europe,


We are on the brink of World War III with an invisible enemy.


If any time Europe should stay together it's now.


Britain hasn't had a war with any country in Europe since 1945.


There's a really big reason for that.


And he obviously wants to be the next Prime Minister.


But how can we have a Prime Minister that doesn't want to be part


It doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever.


Another thing that's very worrying is young people.


Young people get very excited by change, and they don't know


the full argument, they don't remember what it was


And of course, like everything, there is the ups and downs.


We don't suddenly run away from Europe because we are in a crisis.


People don't understand the catastrophic effects if we come


out of Europe, and the lack of confidence that other countries and


It won't make us look strong and independent,


it will make us look weak and fragile, because we will be.


Few people think Europe has covered itself in much glory over


the last year, as migrants and refugees have come to the


In a new book called The New Odyssey, the Guardian's


migration correspondent, Patrick Kingsley, calls it pitiful and makes


the case for Europe to take more responsibility for those who come.


The book takes us through human stories that aim to make refugees'


experiences more real and more personal.


As is David Goodhart, director of the Integration Hub


Patrick Kingsley, describe what you think should happen.


A refugee from war-torn Syria comes through Lebanon, gets


The issue is that whether we like it or not, people will keep on coming.


We need to create a system that allows Europe to uphold ethical


standards while at the same time making the system more manageable,


because at the moment we have a chaotic process in which people


I suggest that we give people an incentive to stay put


in the Middle East in the short-term and we do that by creating legal


and formal means for people to get to Europe in the long-term.


At the moment there is no incentive for people to stay put in Turkey,


Rather than taking a boat across the Mediterranean.


What numbers and how will we choose which people come?


Do you take every number who want to get on a plane and get to Europe?


What I suggest is we take far more by legal means than currently.


We take small thousands of people, and that is not enough because it is


not persuading people there is a legal means to get to Europe, and as


Somebody who is a middle income person in Nigeria who pays to sail


across the African route into Italy and get into Europe that way,


First, it is a small minority of people coming to Europe last year.


The majority were Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis, from war-torn countries.


Not everyone from Nigeria is an economic migrant.


But third, if they do not have a right to asylum, they should be


sent back, but let's not pretend they are the majority


David Goodhart, what do you make of the argument?


I think what Patrick says and the refugee lobby, it is well meaning.


I think they underestimate our ability to control borders


when the political will is there, and overestimate our ability to


There is a good example of the first point.


Between Patrick finishing his book and it being published, we have


discovered we can control the flows through the eastern Mediterranean.


They have done that because we have done the dirty deal


with an authoritarian Turkey, and that is not very pleasant.


But it was a necessary thing to do to break momentum.


It was also the fence at Macedonia that made it difficult to get


That is also about brain drain from the countries that are sending


people here, or that people are coming from.


When in a country like Eritrea the story becomes you


can only have a good life when you leave the country,


Last summer, when so many people were coming,


and according to the number two in the EU, 60% of the people coming


That is creating an unsustainable flow into Europe and problems.


Your book effectively makes this point, that a lot of us believe,


you can't stop people with ever taller fences.


David's talking a short-term scenario.


We have seen a deal which has stopped people coming -


There's a much wider sea between France and England.


If you look at a longer term scenario, you look at the history of


migratory patterns towards Europe over 30 years, when you put up one


against around the Spanish enclaves in Morocco people kept coming.


Third fence, Canary Islands people came here.


No, we had a deal in the western Mediterranean that worked perfectly


well, in some ways it's a model for what's happening now.


It is not ethical to attract all those people as Angela Merkel


We are not helping the most vulnerable.


The people coming are the most educated, often,


Often the most affluent too, they can afford to pay the traffickers.


David's saying that we should off-load this problem to


86% of refugees are in the developing world.


In the short-term any country can deal with a huge influx of people.


Can you really expect a country as dysfunctional


as Lebanon to take on one million refugees when we can't take on afew


No, but people want to stay, if they can, to stay as close


If they can't put their children in schools, they will vote with


We do have obligations to the people in wretched situations.


We do not have to default to come and live in Shepherds Bush.


We can help by becoming better at building temporary towns with


clinics, schools, with jobs too, so that people can stay


in the neighbourhood without losing all hope.


The EU should take over from the UNHCR or work together to


That's been the strategy for five years with Syria.


We wouldn't have even 850,000 people come by irregular means last year


In the last few days, Kenya has said they won't take any more refugees.


They're disbanding the ministry for refugees,


They have the largest refugee camp in the world.


This country has had to deal with the brunt of the European policy


of outsourcing refugee care. We should be helping those countries


Patrick, in your book you go through the case of a Syrian who is off to


Sweden, is it a moral duty to resettle him permanently in Sweden?


Or would it be reasonable for Europe to say,


we will give you temporary sanctuary until things improve back home?


It might be the people of Europe would be less reserved about this


if they didn't think it was a million permanent settlers,


I don't know if it needs to come to that.


As David says, they want to remain close to home.


Only when the situation becomes unviable close to home do they want


They want to go back to Syria and rebuild Syria in the future.


Really, personally I think we should leave it up to the people


I suspect it won't come to saying well, you have to stay three, four,


As Britain debates Brexit, students at the University of Lincoln have


voted for Lexit - leaving the National Union of Students.


It's not the only college to have put the question


The dissent is down to the election of a new NUS


She's made various controversial comments,


calling the University of Birmingham a Zionist outpost, for example.


And as a black students officer, she has worked on campaigns,


A left-wing student body, hardly man bites dog in the news stakes.


But it will be a big issue if others follow Lincoln.


Shelly Asquith is vice-president of welfare at the NUS.


Is it true that the NUS executive is much more left-wing than the average


I don't think that's necessarily the case.


Our conference is the largest democratic event


That's who elected myself and our new Student Union president.


Those delegates had a mandate from tens of thousands of students


We are maybe seeing a shift in the political outlook


of students and young people across the UK as this Government


wages war on their bursaries, grants, triples tuition fees.


Do you think it's reasonable for a student body that thinks you're


worried about things like, that just don't bother their students, is it


reasonable to say, hang on, we're paying ?50,000 or something to be


part of the NUS, we just don't feel you're representative.


Do you hear what those disaffiliating universities


As you say, I was out on the campus Exeter today and speaking


The response I was getting was largely really positive.


When we go and sell the benefits of NUS to students,


There's been scare stories recently, people are talking about how much


What students don't know is that the benefits are greater than the cost


they pay in their affiliation fees, Lincoln makes ?150,000 whereas it


only affiliates a fraction of that in the resources it gets from NUS.


That's not always completely apparent.


They have the larger benefits of being part of union, our lobbying


We need to make those things clearer.


Something like 20% to 25% of students are calling to are


basically identifying themselves as Conservative.


Are they represented by the NUS or should they say,


frankly, I don't feel represented by it and I don't want to be part


I don't know about those figures of which students consider


Obviously, we're not a party political union.


We have a range of politics. You have political views on everything.


The president is to the left, let us say.


We have a Tory who just was elected as well.


The referendum today at Lincoln, there was less than 13% turnout.


The margin which decided the vote was less than 1% of students.


It happened right in the middle of exam time.


I'm concerned that there's a small minority of students that


are taking this position, compared to our conference,


We need to make sure we're engaging with the membership as much


as possible in coming weeks as these referendums arise


and talk about the great benefits of being part of a collective union.


Well let's return to the row over the EU and security.


In a moment, we'll speak to Liam Fox, the former Defence


Secretary, and a leading campaigner for Britain to leave the EU.


But first, let's get a taste of the back and forth


First, the Prime Minister raised the spectre of war in Europe,


Serried rows of white headstones in lovingly tended Commonwealth war


cemeteries stand as silent testament to the price


that this country has paid to help restore peace and order in Europe.


Can we be so sure that peace and stability on our continent are


I would never be so rash as to make that assumption.


The Leave side rather took exception to Mr Cameron's


suggestion that voting to leave could have dire consequences.


Here's former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.


I think it very, very curious that the Prime Minister is now calling


this referendum and warning us that World War III is about to break out


I think that is not the most powerful argument I've heard.


Everybody knows that peace in Europe over the last 60,


70 years has been guaranteed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.


So let's ask Liam Fox to weigh in here.


Five Nato secretary generals have written a letter this evening


expressing concern that Britain might leave the EU, saying the


impositions of sanctions on Iran and Russia, led from within the EU by


the UK, has been a striking example of the importance


What's going on here is that your side keeps talking about Nato,


yet when you talk to the Nato people they say stay in the EU.


First of all, you have to accept as the Prime Minister said today,


there's no reason why we couldn't get some relations


in the issues you mention on sanctions for example, in bilateral


arrangements, or even through some EU arrangements themselves.


I think that you need to look at this picture in the round.


I'm not one much those who says that everything that the EU has done has


I personally believe the ability to bring Spain,


Greece and Portugal from military dictatorships was one of the things


It was able to act as a beacon for those countries under


the Soviet Oppression and show them there was an alternative future


But I don't think that the European Union understood the significance of


the fall of the Berlin Wall and I think it stuck to an old trajectory


set in the 1950s, in a world which is very different, and again those


very positive elements I mention, you have the great EU disaster that


was the Balkans, 100,000 dead because of Europe's dithering


and the inability of the European Union to get its act together.


You have to look at them on both sides.


As far as Nato's concerned, my worry is that you have far too few


European countries pulling their weight inside Nato, seeing the EU


as some sort of soft option for them in terms of defence, with the US


therefore having to carry 72% of Nato's budget this year.


Do you think it will get better if we leave the


EU, that the Europeans will put more into Nato if Britain isn't there?


One of the things people argue is that


by us being there, we are making the case that ties Europe to Nato better


But there's another argument that is stronger, that is that while Britain


is there, us being the fifth biggest military budget


in the world, it gives the EU the belief that it's got capabilities


There are those in the European project who've always seen Nato


as an impediment to the concept of ever closer union, because it


Britain outside the European Union would make it clear that


the European Union itself has very little defence capability.


It needs to have that, as well as its contribution to Nato,


it ends the pretence of what's a dangerous delusion.


I don't want the whole debate to be just what other people are saying.


It's interesting the Times tomorrow morning is carrying a letter from 13


former US secretaries of state and defence and national security


advisors to say that the Britain's place and influence in the world


would be diminished and Europe would be dangerously


That's Republicans, Democrats, you have George Schultz who worked


The entire defence and security establishment that you want us to be


part of and are relying on as a substitute or complement to the


I think that a lot of those people are from very different era


I can understand why they would have thought that then.


We're entering into a different period in terms


I happen to believe that the United Kingdom outside the European Union


would actually give an impetus to the political aspects of Nato, which


I think they would give a bit of a kick to some of those European


countries who seem to believe that we can do the heavy lifting


in terms of hard power and they can do the soft power elements.


That's not how it works in the world.


If you want to be a peacekeeper, there has to be a peace to keep.


Can you explain what Boris Johnson's point was today.


He made the argument that the EU, far from creating security,


He said it was an example of policy making on the hoof,


pretensions with the defence policy caused real trouble.


There are those who think the EU's arrangements with Ukraine were


provocative from a Russian perspective.


Other Leave politicians have made the point,


but a lot of people are saying that's just a blatant argument that


Yes, the point I'm coming to is that it doesn't matter


whether it's true or not. I want to know whether you believe it.


But is it the case that Europe provoked Putin and thus caused


instability or do you think Europe was doing a good thing


by trying to help Ukraine, if it wanted to leave the Russian ambit?


It was seen as provocative by Russia.


My view is that Russia has no right to determine what they call their


near abroad, in other words, having a veto on the security policies


You are completely at odds with Boris Johnson on this


I don't think the two things are mutually exclusive.


I just don't think that Russia has a right to have the opinions that


it has at the present time about its neighbours, countries are


Just as Poland or the Baltic states have a right to self-determination,


Just a quick last one, is your hope that if Britain leaves,


other countries will also leave and that the EU may dismantle?


Michael Gove has called it a democratic liberation


Is that conducive to stability in Europe?


I want those who are in charge of Europe


at the present time recognise that they're going in a fundamentally


flawed direction, they're creating the rise of nationalism across


Europe with extreme political parties getting more powerful.


We're seeing a whole generation of young Europeans sacrifices on the


altar of the single currency, with the social problems that brings and


is likely to bring security problems in its wake, and that's before we


get to the mass migration that's made easier


I hope that a British exit would actually bring to the senses those


taking Europe in the wrong direction before they bring


I hope that Britain can actually, for the third time in a century,


Greece has gone quiet since its referendum last year on the euro.


You'll remember that it voted to reject the conditions being imposed


That vote didn't have much effect, and the country is now accepting


That's because Greece wanted to stay in the euro,


and it needed the money to do so, and it came with strings attached.


The Syriza government split, so now Prime Minister Tsipras is still


in charge, relying on right-wing MPs to impose austerity measures.


Another summer, and yet again Athens has been beset by strikes,


protesting against more austerity for the


struggling Greek economy, a cycle the country can't break out of.


Yesterday the parliament voted for a new round


of austerity and pension changes designed to appease the IMF


They say Greece has to make changes to access the next slice


What the Greeks really want is debt relief, something that would ease


the burden permanently rather than just let them borrow more to pay


It seems a long time ago Syriza, the most radical party, was elected.


One of its leading lights was Yanis Varoufakis, rock star


He tried to get a better deal from the EU but failed.


that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party face.


He has moved onto other things, not least advising the Labour Party


His latest economic adviser, Yanis Varoufakis.


He was the Greek Finance Minister who left his economy in ruins.


That is Labour's policy in two words -


Is it better in or out of the euro now?


But once we were in, getting out is not going to take you to where you


Because you do not have a currency to do value,


it is not like you have your own currency, you have to create it.


It is the equivalent of announcing it before it happens,


Once you are in, you better try to make it work.


The government had no choice because it has not been in a position to say


That is not quite right, my policy in the ministry was a campaign


I was saying something anyone should have said, that is, I am not going


to take another penny of your money unless I can guarantee there is


It does not mean you are getting out, you are saying if we don't come


to a rational, honourable agreement, we will default.


The third day in the ministry, the president threatened to me that


until and unless we sign up to the previous failed fiscal policy


that we were elected to challenge, our banks would be closed anyway.


David Cameron has to make up his mind.


Is it true, and I believe it is, that the Eurozone has used this


in order to keep Greece in the debt prison, or is it true I


Are you on the side of the protesters today?


Would you be there in the streets if you were there?


What is happening now is an assault on logic.


Whenever logic is assaulted, you end up with people suffering.


The truth is that they are willing, what Greece wants is debt relief,


a write-off of some of the debts to get itself


They have started talking about it today for the first time because who


If you read the letter the managing director of IMF sent to


the finance ministers a few days ago,


what she was she was saying was precisely what I was saying


They are doing it the wrong way round, they are


The reason why one needs in the debt deflation spiral, debt


We hear the high surplus targets


and they think, they are going to tax us, and they do not invest.


You need debt relief is so you can have a target to attract


investment to allow growth and allow you to recover and repay debts.


Now they are imposing an exorbitant 3.5%


What is the point of debt relief if we are destroyed by austerity?


There is a discussion to be had about whether


they want to see action, reform, liberalisation, before they yield.


What is really going on, there is a titanic battle between


And at the same time Paris versus Berlin.


A little mouse that is being squashed, Greece,


while the elephants tussle to work out their differences.


If you are on the left, as you are, is it not a capitalist club?


Pretending there is an alternative to capitalism tomorrow is not to


We are facing a debt deflation crisis in most of Europe.


Britain, thankfully, is not in the euro, so you are not


in the same mire as the rest, but you are not out of the woods.


Brexit will do two things - first it will fail to restore


your sovereignty to the House of Commons, while at the same time...


Second it will speed up the process of disintegration of Europe.


There is no doubt Brexit will start a chain reaction


of either formal or informal detachments and the results will be


a deflationary vortex from which the British economy will not survive.


Because you are part of the single market.


Get out of the single market, of which is the latest Michael Gove


To his credit, because there is a logical coherence in what he


The process of disentangling Britain from the single market will be


I am glad Michael Gove is being logically coherent, but do you


really believe the Tory government and Boris Johnson would do this?


It is hard for me to see that happening.


Tomorrow the show will be from Boston in Lincolnshire,


and we will take a look at perhaps the most impassioned


Hello. We started the new week with very differing fortunes across the


UK. I will show you


The latest on the EU referendum campaign, and the views of Tracey Emin. The programme hears from Yanis Varoufakis and also looks at Labour's performance in the local elections. Presented by Evan Davis.

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