28/01/2016 Question Time


David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Stamford, Lincolnshire. He is joined by Patrick McLoughlin, Jess Phillips, Angus Robertson, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Moray MacLennan.

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Tonight we are in Stamford in Lincolnshire and this is Question


Time. And a big welcome, with whether you're watching or listening


to all our audience here and to our panel tonight, the Conservative


Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, the Labour MP elected


last year one of the rising stars of the new intake, Jess Phillips, the


Westminster leader of the Scottish National Party, Laura Robson, the


columnist for the Independent, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, and the boss


of the advertising firm Graham Satchell, who worked on last year's


election campaign, Aaron Lennon. APPLAUSE.


-- advertising firm M Saatchi. Thank you. The as ever get stuck


into this debate from home. You can join it on Facebook, on Twitter, you


can follow us at BBC Question Time. If you want to text comments, go to


83981. Press the Red Button to see what others are saying. Our first


question tonight. The average worker pays 20% tax


but Google pay only 3%. Why is it one rule for multinational


corporations and another Jess Phillips? Well, if Google are


only paying 3% tax, that's completely and utterly up fair. At


the moment... APPLAUSE. At the moment, we have


absolutely no idea what rate of tax Google are paying, because it seems


to be shrouded in secrecy. When the Ministers were asked, they said they


didn't know. The average taxpayer will tell you at what rate they pay


tax. I think Google should have to do the same. It should be fair. I'm


sure the Conservative on the panel will say it is great for the country


Google are paying, because they didn't pay anything for all those


years, Labour didn't bother to get anything... Don't do his work for


hem. When everybody in this room and in the world is being asked to


tighten their belts, have less care hours, pay more VAT, why are


companies like Google getting a bung?


APPLAUSE. What do you think? I think the gap between the rich and the


poor has never been larger than it is now. Unless we do something to


address it, this is going to continue. I think it is deeply


unfair. Aaron Lennon? Let me ask you a question. If you were asked, you


were told you can pay any tax rate you wanted, would pay more than you


are paying at the moment? I would guess you would probably say I would


put something into my pension, I might give some to my children, I


might pay less than die at the moment. That's the choice Google


has. The law says they can pay pretty much, with a little legal


shimmy here... But Google have a choice... They do what they like.


The law needs to change. I'm surprised at Google. Two years ago I


was doing Question Time in Corby. I said that the point Google should do


the right thing. The argument is they will do what's best to their


shareholders, they have to make a profit. The best thing for their


shareholders is sustainable proof societies people like you, like


them, they look after their customers and that includes paying


the right amount of tax. Do you think it was a major success when


George Osborne announced this? No, it was move forward. The much more


important thing is what happens in the future and whether the deferred


profit is effective so that going forward they'll be paying hundreds


of millions of tax which they should be at 20% rate, not a 3% rate.


Yasmin Alibhai-Brown? I'm surprised you are that confident. Goodness me,


this shinning keeping, bring back the old, Rowntrees and Cadbury's,


they had a conscience. Do these guys know anything about ethics and


social responsibility? They are really smart. They've already said


they haven't a presence in London. Have you been there? You must have


been wined and dined there. Amazing places. And I don't think Labour can


get away with saying yes we should have done it then. They were


completely inthrall. Peter Mandelson saying, do you remember, we are


intensely relaxed about the filthy rich. They started it. In that sense


I agreed for a change with the Prime Minister when he said it started a


long time ago. But what would you do, change the tax rules? What


France is doing, what Italy is doing. You don't know what they are


doing. Their arrangements. They haven't changed them yet. I would go


with what the European Commission is suggesting, the OECD is suggesting


is, stop being this internal competition. We should stop being a


tax haven for these companies and we should stop subsidising the very


rich. APPLAUSE. Patrick McLoughlin? Well,


we have started to receive tax from Google, which is something that


hasn't happened for the ten years they've been established here. So in


that position the Chancellor was right to say it was a move in the


right direction. Of course I would like to see Google making more


payments to the country, and employing more people in this


country. They do employ 3,000 people, top end jobs. They are doing


a lot of investment in this country as well, which is good for the


long-term economic future of the country. But I believe in a low tax


base. I believe in attracting companies here. I believe when those


companies are here they should pay their tax, which is rightly


collected. But companies can and have found ways around paying


taxation and we've made a lot of changes to corporation, to the


taxation system that will make them pay more over the years to come.


Nasty newspapers are saying that there've been 20 meetings with


Google big shots... I didn't have that with my taxes. I have had many


meetings with with companies. I'm surprised you believe everything you


read in the newspaper. I know you write in them but you shouldn't


believe everything you read. Try to clarify from the Tory Party's point


of view, which you are representing. The Chancellor says it's a major


success. Boris Johnson says it is derisory, Anna Soubry the Business


Minister said it doesn't sound a lot of money. What's the truth? The


truth is it is a move in the right direction. There is more for them to


pay and I want them to pay more in the future. Would you call it a


major success? The fact they've not paid any tax and have now paid ?123


million, it is a move in the right direction. Doesn't the fact that we


accept such a small amount from such a large corporation send out a


dangerous message to all the corporations paying a minimal amount


of tax? APPLAUSE. And you, Sir. It amazes me


from members of the panel who've actually said, blamed it back on


previous Government as well, the fact is it is still taking six years


of the Tories and the cohorts, the Liberal Democrats, OK we keep


blaming the Blairites and the rest of it. The problem is definitely


seated in this last Tory Government, two governments, rather. Laura


Robson? Robson? Lump lump Angus Robertson? Is this a simple matter


to be resolved? We have to recognise the UK has the most advanced tax


laws in the world. It is a matter of companies and all of us paying our


fair share of taxes. Governments should simplify the tax code. Let's


not kid ourselves. The City of London is advertised around the


world as a place to do business and in large part because people can use


tax wheezes to get out of their taxes. Point one. And let's not walk


away from the responsibility the UK has amongst its crowned depend sis,


a series of island near and far, who make most of their money through tax


wheezes. What could the British Government do about that? The UK


Government has a responsibility to work with the crown depend sis and


close down these tax loop holes. I have never felt as much anger around


tax issues as I have in the last couple of days on this issue. The


idea that any of us could decide we are just going to pay 3% in tax,


that you can pick up the phone and the Chancellor of the Exchequer will


meet you personally to discuss what tax rate you want to pay. This is


totally and utterly unacceptable. APPLAUSE. This first opportunity


I've had to speak on this subject. Let's clear the decks on this


subject. Let's have the issue properly investigated. Because if


the homework has been done and if the 3% is justified, and there's


some transparency, we could have some faith in ow things are being


managed on our behalf by the British Government and the HMRC. I want a


European Commission investigation into this. Patrick McLoughlin? The


NAO can investigate it and may well look at this. The since 2010 we've


made over 40 changes to the tax laws to close leap holes left behind when


you left office. Investment companies cut their tax bill by


flipping the currencies. We stopped this in 2011. Yes we want those


companies based in this country to pay their fair share of tax. We will


pursue them if they are not. Silence, Patrick. Nobody believes


you. Let's hear from members of the audience. I think the point that the


Tory member is making there is a small point. It is a drop in the


ocean what they've got from Google. And last year there's a lot of other


companies out there that are not, Google is in the forefront, Facebook


last year paid less tax than I did. It is really wrong. Google says


Governments make tax law, tax authorities, HMRC, enforce the law,


and Google complies with the law. That's the Google position. Is it


possible to do? Absolutely. It is important to remember just yesterday


there was a case taken up in the appeals court on the bedroom tax. We


are coming to that later. Don't talk about that. We may not come to it


but we may come to it. APPLAUSE. Isn't one of the


fundamental problems with this the fact there is a revolving door with


the HMRC and big accountancy firms. You run a big company, what do you


say so that point? I would like to make a point. There is another way


to some of this. It is not through the law but the law is the best way


to do that. It is referring to your anger is to take that anger to the


companies. Google and Facebook understand this very well. It is


their business. If you go online, if that anger goes online, they


understand that sentiment changes quickly. That will make them change.


How do you find out anything if you don't use doingle? We all use


Google? I wasn't say boycott, but use their product against them.


There is an argument I've heard that Google pays a lot of tax in the


United States. The problem sit pays most of its tax in the United States


and not in other European countries. Is that true? That's part of the


problem with multinational companies. You need international


agreements as to where tax is liable. The sales are, to the


advertising industry are in the UK. They book them in Ireland. Therefore


the tax is not paid in the UK. It shoot, a lawyer has to be


internationally agreed. And the first stage is transparency.


Transparency. Can I pay my taxes through Ireland? If you are clever


you could. The woman on the gangway. I think it is more a question of


legislation. Legislation. I'm not going to say Labour or the Tories


are to blame. It is being sorted now. What Mr Saatchi said is right,


what we are looking for between business, and I run a small


business, and I know percentage-wise I paid a higher percentage last year


than Google did. It is not going to bother me now, it's done. They are


going to pay more going forward. But we need balance between what we are


asking the general public to pay and what we are asking companies to pay.


We have paid out a lot more. We've got other companies like Tesco


who've made billions in profits. Yes, paid the first share of taxes


but we've subsidised them through tax credits. I'm not saying tax


credits are a bad thing, they've been needed. But if we can get


companies to not only pay their fair share of tax, their fair share of


wages, we will get equilibrium. That's what we need.


APPLAUSE. In fairness, you might mistake him


for Mr Saatchi but he is actually Mr McLevel and.


He runs the Saatchi show! I think we have to show the public how the tax


system works, let's bring out the HMRC investigation, and what I want


to know how much of the taxpayer's money does it cost to get this


minimal amount of tax. What was it that was agreed? Is that


confident shall? The direct negotiations between HMRC and the


company are confident shall. But there could be an audit. roux


Parker was asked... This happened in the last Parliament. We found that


every single action of HMRC was reasonable. It is up to the NAO.


They do not need advice from me. I'm sure that the pressure will come on


them to do it. Well, I am sure that Boris Johnson


would like it and Anna Soubry would like it.


I don't know about George Osborne. One more question.


Lots of good things come from paying tax, the NHS, education, our Social


Services, so I think it is disappointing that a company like


Google whose strap line was: Do no evil, are not leading the way.


You sir? It is not often that I agree with Yasmin Alibhai Brown...


She never knew that! However, tonight, you have won a fan. She is


quite right in what she is saying about the working class being


fleeced in this country for income tax by the Tory party and the fact


that the Tory Party is fleecing the working class and that the


multinationals are getting away with blue murder. Patrick McGloughlin,


you should know better, you are an ex-miner and you should remember


your roots. I don't need reminding about my


roots. You, sir? I'm sure that Google does


not have to wait an hour waiting to speak with the Tax Office! I


understand that they have their own a advisor to speak to, so I don't


know why we don't know more about their business and they have been


allowed to get away with such low taxes in the first place.


If you live in Bradford, near Bradford and would like to come to


the programme in West Yorkshire, you are welcome. And the week after


that, if you are in or around Llanelli in Wales, we would like you


to come too. The details are on the screen. I


will repeat them after the programme.


Can Britain afford or cope with taking more refugees? Can Britain


afford or cope with taking more refugees? What is your view? I I


think it would be the right thing to do, whether or not we can afford it


when we have so many of our own on the streets unable to pay the bills


and feed their children, I think we have to weigh up what is important


and what can go before we make room for what matters.


Andrew roberedson? Is it right, it is. We are hearing that we are going


to do soak about the children, the unaccompanied children in Europe, or


in surrounding countries, they have been trying to flee war. I am often


reminded of the role that the UK played in the 1930s when it took in


more than 10,000 Jewish children on the Kinkeder transport.


It is worth remembering the same debate took place at that time and


people said: Can we afford it, should we do it? The lessons of


history are yes, we had to do it, we did it, I think we should take the


same attitude now. The UK has taken in far, far less than our European


neighbours. We are facing the biggest calamity that has befallen


this country, in the movement of people through war and desperate


situations, it is incumbent on us to do everything that we possibly can.


APPLAUSE. What kind of number? The truth is


that this is between the parties, a game of numbers. Some people say


20,000 over the next five years, like the Tories do, then Jeremy


Corbyn says 3,000 from across the Channel. There are 1 million people


in Europe. So what would your estimate be? What balance? How do


you decide? We have problems here, how many can we afford to absorb in


this country? The honest answer is that we don't know the scale of the


crisis as it is ongoing. What we know, it has been 1 million in the


last year. We know when the spring and the summer come, more people are


going to come as well. We know that the situation in Libya is getting


worse. We are beginning to hear that on our screens now. It is not just


about people being displaced from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. Libya is


going to come back into the equation. What is an easier thing to


answer, the specific question: Do I think that the UK, a state of more


than 60 million people, could this country take in 3,000 children? The


answer is yes. All of them.


APPLAUSE. Yes, please? I wanted to comment


that I thought that the Prime Minister's comment at Prime


Minister's Questions was shameful in the way how he referred to migrants.


I think he continues to incite hatred and prejudice. He should


apologise. For a "bunch migrants"? Should he


apologise for saying "bunch migrants"? I don't think that is the


description of what Jeremy Corbyn surrounded himself with... They have


people that have faced much worse than you have face faced in your


life. Are a moral nation, we need to


fulfil our Morell responsibilities. I am part of a government that


meets, our numbers, the first government to do that.


We are are the second biggest bilateral donor in the humanitarian


crisis to Syria. More than any other country is doing, more than ?1.1


billion. We have sent in the Royal Navy to bring back people so they


are not drowning and don't get into terrible danger. They are in


terrible danger where they are. They are scared.


The simple fact is we don't know the numbers. Assangeus said, it was a


million last year. There was something like 12 million displaced


in Syria alone. We are co-hosting in London along with the Germans and


the UN conference on Syria, where to make progress. This is something not


just one country alone can do. How do you decide? How do you answer


the question of how many more refugees Britain can absorb? Is it a


malter of money? Welfare? Facilities? As a Government, what


are you doing when you sit down to say you will take 25,000 over five


years? Part of the money is given to camps in supporting the Syrian


families in the camps, so as I said, we are the second biggest donor


after the United States. You said that.


But you heard the appeal in the interruptions from the right here,


that there are hundreds of thousands of millions of people... We have


said that we would do 1,000 before Christmas, that was done. Fulfilled.


We have said we will take more of the displaced children. We said they


should be taken from the camps. Not necessarily those brought into


Europe. Jess Philips? The answer to the


question is of course we should take as many as we can.


What does that mean? The way to decide how to afford it is to look


at our areas. I live in Birmingham, if Birmingham City Council takes a


genuine look at what school places are available, housing is available.


Looks wholesale at where to fit in more and tightened our belts we


could take a certain number. That number needs to feed in. I bet there


are not any living in whit Which? In David Cameron's constituency. But it


is the poorest of the country that has to suffer the effects of


migration. I want everyone of every part of the country to look at what


they can offer. There are 4,000 children who have settled in Italy,


have gone missing, expected to have been trafficked for sex, those are


children. Imagine if that was your children. We should take our fair


share of the 26,000 children in Europe, in the UK that is 3,000.


There should be no question. APPLAUSE.


The woman there. Yes, you. That's it.


Yes, I'm just completely, I just think it is a disgrace. The Tory guy


there, to keep saying all of these figures, we have given this, given


that. That is not the point. It is what you guys are saying. We have


basically slammed the doors on these people. I have come back from


Lesbos. I have seen the shoes on the beach of babies, babygros, it is


happening every day. People are drowning in the seas. With the


Schengen and the pressure on Greece, how are they going to control their


borders? It is a complete joke. The Tory Government should be absolutely


ashamed of themselves. APPLAUSE.


Of course the UK can afford and can cope with more refugees. It is easy


to say that we should take more. We should take displaced children. We


should take them from the camps both in Europe, and in Turkey, Lebanon


and other places. The more difficult question is, is that the kindest


thing to do, to take as many as possible, to your shoes on the beach


point - it will encourage more shoes on the beach. That is the dilemma


that we have. I completely disagree. Have you been


there? At the moment, there are 6 million more refugees waiting to


come. Is the kindest thing to do is to get more people on boats drowning


on their way? No, it is not. And there is a slightly trickier when it


comes to taking 3,000 children... Angela Merkel summed... She is being


ostraciszeed. I am helping with the crisis, I am


serving in the Mediterranean. The key word that comes back is


desperation. The people are desperate to get back to the UK


because of what we are offering them. We are offering very good


things, they need that. But that point is correct. Is that the best


way to help them? Their desperation is putting them in horrible


situations where they are fighting for their lives to get across an


ocean, and really, what can we do to improve their lives where they are


coming from, so that they are not desperate to cross the seas, put


themselves in life-threatening situations or to go through forests,


freezing to death on the land side of things to get to through all of


these places in Europe, as we are offering aid, which is fantastic but


it is the element of giving them a fish, rather than teaching them how


to get a fish. Yasmin Alibhai Brown? Yesterday was


Holocaust Remembrance Day. This month we have seen Europe, the UK,


painting the doors of asylum seekers red, putting wrist bands on them and


the worst of all, Denmark... Suggesting that they are going to


take their few precious bits that they managed to smuggle out.


Remember the lessons. Remember how the Nazis took our gold teeth. The


answer to the question asked: When Jewish migrants were taken, and this


is the biggest crisis since then, this country had nothing, nothing at


all. We are still the seventh richest country in the world. I so


agree with Jess. If it was people, ordinary people across Europe, they


have been amazing. They are turning up at the camps. A musician e-mailed


me yesterday. A young female British musician who goes to Calais, she


said she watched a four-and-a-half-year-old whose heart


just stopped beating. It gave up. Now, I'm sorry, we have to do


better. No refugee ever fails unless we are talking about a wedge of


criminal, I am not talking about them. Most refugees, the IMF has


said this, they work harder than anybody else.


But I think I have a policy idea. Why don't we let people in just so


they can life and do what we do with them when we have student loans,


once they start earning enough, they pay back a section of the earnings,


even if we say after five years you have to go back. What is your view


of the numbers? That is the issue between the parties? Turkey has 1


million. The whole of Europe has 1 million.


I think Britain should have at least 60 to 70,000.


Of the most vulnerable. I think you are wrong on Turkey.


They are hosting over 2 million Syrians at the moment.


Exactly. Is it an example of Germany of how


mass immigration does not work. The woman in Cologne and the woman


unfortunately killed in Sweden, don't you think that they are scared


as well? I couldn't agree with you more,


there's obviously been, the very rapid nature of lack of cohesion has


been caused. However, there is violence against women and girls


that you are describing, a very similar situation to what happened


in Cologne could be described on Broad Street? Birmingham every week,


where women are bated and heckled. We have to attack what we perceive


is a patriarchal culture, but we should be careful not to rest on our


laurels when two women are murdered every week in this country.


APPLAUSE. Anyone who does doubt that Britain should take more, in other


words feels there's a problem, there was a lot of applause when the young


man spoke. Anyone else who takes that


was a lot of applause when the young man spoke. Anyone else who takes


that view? It is all very well taking a lot of these children in,


but who is going be left to build Syria up again? So what do you think


should happen? The government policy is to put the money into the camps


near Syria. Do you think they are right? All the time we've got


immigrants coming here, I'm afraid I think it just encourages more.


Europeans went all over the world. Europeans took over continents. Do


you remember that? Australia, New Zealand, South America, North


America. How is it that we can now deny just safety? Those people want


to go back when it's safe. The man up there and then we'll move on.


APPLAUSE. You Sir. There are a few fundamental issues at play here.


Firstly there've been three different terms used for these


people: Asylum seeker, refugee and migrant, all of which appear to be


disparaging. The Conservative gentleman spent 15 minutes pitching


his party. And had they got the right amount of tax from Google we


could afford to bring these people in?


APPLAUSE. He says he doubts it, but on to another question. We are


halfway through the programme. What will be the single-most


important factor that influences voters in the upcoming


EU referendum? You're an interpreter of electoral


mood, Moray MacLennan. What do you think will be the single most


important factor to influence voters when it comes to say, should we


remain or leave? I hate to bring it back to migration, but there was


news today, most of you heard it, that David Cameron's famous rabbits


our the hat, one of them was potentially produced earlier, to


limit migration. That will be a core issue in the up-coming referendum. I


think that most people, I think most people will accept that Britain is


probably better off economically trading, having the lack of tariffs


to trade with Europe. What they don't want is migration or


sovereignty to be impinged on. If he can produce those two rabbits out of


the hat it will be difficult for the Let's Leave Europe group to win. I


think it will come down to that at the end of the day. There'll be the


concern, are we nailing our colours to the mast of a sinking is ship in


Europe as well, and that is the other point of view. It will be a


very emotional argument and the staying in will be a rationale


argument. I think it depends on the deal the Prime Minister can strike.


Three weeks away is the council meeting which may well decide this


matter. It depends on the agreement of the 27 other members of the


European Union. If we can get that agreement we'll have the referendum


and everybody in this room will have an equal vote and we'll decide


whether to stay in. From my personal point of view I hope the Prime


Minister can get an agreement. It is important that we stay within the


European Union. That's what I would like to see, but it does depend on


getting the right deal. I think Europe itself is moving too far too


fast. We've had to learn some of the lessons in the past when Governments


have promised referendums on European treaties and not given


them. So I'm pleased that one of the things we've done as a result of the


last Government was to ensure that any future treaty change which


affects this country can only be taken after a referendum. The Prime


Minister has a good record on negotiating in Europe. He cut the


European budget and I'm hoping he'll be able to achieve the right


negotiations in the next few weeks. So it looks like you are going to


vote to remain in the EU. Is the current deal in the Cabinet that you


are allowed to say you are in favour of staying in but not to say you


want to leave, not yet. Only when the referendum is announced can you


say that? The Cabinet is fully supportive of the Prime Minister in


these renegotiations and Ministers will have an opportunity to take a


different deal if it is not good enough. You said everyone in this


room will have an equal opportunity to vote, but we are 16, we won't.


What's your opinion on 16 and 17-year-olds voting in EU referendum


like they did in the Scottish. How did you vote on that one Patrick?


Against, I'm not in favour of extending the voting age to 16. I


want it the same as votes for a general election. I'm sorry for


those people who are going to miss out who are 16. You are just an old


fogey. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, what do you think will be the single most


important question? As Murray said, we should think about what it would


mean for so much of our economy and our agriculture and so on. It's been


good for us actually. The problem is that the remain in the EU campaign


is so utterly incompetent and hopeless. In what way? Lord Rose


didn't even remember the name of the campaign this week and he's supposed


to be leading us to this? I have to give it to the Exit group, they are


doing it much better. But the big issue is the one Blair raised this


week. Scotland will leave the United Kingdom. Is that what you want? I


think that Scots are very pro-European. I didn't detect people


shouting no, don't let them go, but... Don't go, Scotland, stay with


us. You Sir in blue. My question is this. The UK science funding in this


country has got worse over the last five years. We are one of the worst


in the G8 and it is getting worse. The lowest funding in what way? By


GDP we get the lowest funding research. At the same time the


European Union has gained a massive appetite for science funding, has


increased its funding. By pulling out we risk losing all of this money


and that's my livelihood, it is the livelihood of people in Cambridge.


Newark has loads of science. How can we risk that? Jess Phillips? To go


back to the original question the biggest thing will be fear. About


the pennies in our pockets, our jobs, houses. People tend as they


did in the Scottish referendum to when it comes down to it go for the


status quo because they are fearful. The other fear is immigration. That


will go for the Out campaign far more. I agree with Yasmin


Alibhai-Brown. Neither of the campaigns are floating my boat, if I


was completely honest at the moment. I don't think they speak to normal


people and normal people's interactions. You hardly hear them


at the moment. They haven't started. Nobody talks about how 2 million


people every year go off into Europe. Do you want to queue for


longer when you go through passport control? I don't want to queue for


longer. I don't want to pay more for my mobile phone in France. They are


talking up here like men in suits talking about this much money, that


much money. It is all boring, to be honest.


APPLAUSE. Does it bore you? You find it all boring? Is it not extremely


dangerous for significant figures and forums categorically state their


intention to stay in the EU when the full negotiations haven't been told?


It lowers the need for policy makers in Brussels to give us the best deal


possible. What do you make of that, Angus Robertson? I don't think that


the negotiations by the UK Government are actually dealing with


any matters of profound substance. It is not a major renegotiation. If


it were it would lead to treaty change. The Prime Minister is


professionaling a three-card trick. He's trying to... Sorry, beside me


there's a voice saying we don't know that there may not be treaty change.


Let's watch that space. I very much doubt that the negotiations will


lead to referenda in Denmark and in Ireland. I think what the Prime


Minister is trying to do is assuage those people who are not sure about


the EU. To say there's been a change, look we've reformed it. I'm


a pro-European. I think the EU needs to be reformed. It is not perfect.


It cannot manage the borders properly. It can't deal with the


refugee crisis, the biggest crisis since the Second World War. It is


going to be a difficult pro-European case to make. The question asked was


what will be the single most important factors? Jess and I have


written down the same thing. It will be fear. The word I've written after


it, hope. I think that those of us who think it is a better thing that


we work together in Europe as sovereign states, trying to teal


with our challenges together, I think is the case we should be


making. I tell you, I don't want Scotland to become independent


because England votes to leave the EU. I want Scotland to be


independent and within the EU and the rest of the UK. Do you think it


might trigger independence of Scotland if England votes to leave?


I think it will profoundly change opinion in Scotland for many of


those who during the referendum campaign on Scottish independence


were promised by the no side vote no to Scottish independence, because if


you don't you will be outside the EU. And there were a number of


people who went, we don't want that. People's point about being fearful.


And the other outcome is an entirely believable prospect. Today is the


first time that the average of polls in the UK is 50-50 and heading in a


no direction. My last word on the subject is I hope that the campaign


that is run to remain within the EU is a positive campaign based on hope


and not on fear, which was the campaign that was run against


Scottish independence. APPLAUSE. You were involved in that.


In the no campaign. What's your take on the way this is going to be


fought out in the PR and publicity and the various views. I think


there'll be a lot of numbers thrown this way and that. Sorry about that.


Man in suit talking numbers. But there will. Uncertainty will play


very strongly for staying in. We don't know what would happen if we


chebd out. As the Hotel California thing, the you can check out but you


can't leave. We would have to renegotiate with Europe. What would


that look like? Uncertainty will play strongly for staying in. The


emotional point you made, not made strongly enough by the no campaign,


independence and staying with the UK is an emotional issue. There is


nothing wrong with that. Should wins that emotional argument will be key


as well. Have you within hired for the campaign? Not as yet. We are


waiting by the phone. APPLAUSE.


APPLAUSE Pot which campaign would it be?


Imagine we hope it might be the Prime Minister's campaign.


Let's move on to another question. Why is it cheaper to travel from


Sheffield to Essex, via air, and via Berlin, than on Britain's railways?!




Well, this is the teenager Jordan Krovment ox who flew from Sheffield


to Essex, via Berlin and spent several hours sightseeing in Berlin,


and saved ?7, including buses from Stansted to Essex, at the same time


he found you can fly from London to Manchester via Milan, for ?33 but it


was ?131 via train and from Bristol to Newcastle, via Dublin and it was


?74. It is like the tax system, too


complicated. It is in your lap! When you are


young you have lots of time to go travelling, and when you are pushing


a blog, it can help you find these schemes, it shows that there is a


way to get cheap flights across Europe. On the more serious question


of train travel, we see the revolution in this country on the


railways, 27 years ago there were 750 million People using the


railways, lass year it was 1. 64 billion. I can see cheaper tickets


if you pre-book. There are lots of changes afar as train travel is


concerned. I think it is very good value with the cheaper tickets.


Also, with the massive investment we are doing in the railway, it means


that the places like King's Cross and St Pancreas, which used to be


awful places to go, are now destinations in their own right and


you can add to that Birmingham New Street Station, which used to be


awful but it is fantastic. I celebrate the ?38 billion we are


investing in the railways and on the new East Coast Main Line you will


get the new trains. But you have not answered the


question about why it is... But I gave you a good answer for my job!


You said if you had lots of time. Actually, as a working woman, I


don't have lots of time. But from Stanford we are 40 miles from


Nottingham, Cambridge and Lincoln it takes an 1. 20 minutes to get to


Cambridge, 1. 30 minutes to Nottingham and 30 minutes to get to


Lincoln. So as a commuter, you cannot do it. It is impractical for


us to get to work. That is why we are investing.


. But you are not investing. We are


improving the railways. I accept that there are more improvements to


make. I want to see it happen. The man next to you.


I would like to know why it is you allow the network operators to hide


the cheaper price tickets. Stan formed to Birmingham return is ?65.


But if I get two different returns I can save myself ?20. Those are


hidden. It is only because a member of staff told me do it that way I


was able to save ?20. Get in touch with Jordan Cox. Jess Philips? I got


on a train from London to Birmingham. It cost ?168. I did not


get a seat. So when the Transport Minister says that is good value for


money, I paid ?168 to stand up for hours. There are ridiculous offers


to find if you have hours to spend looking at which way to go but the


main thing is that many people are priced out of the market of


travelling at the times that they need to go to work. That is


unacceptable. APPLAUSE


Your Labour's Transport Secretary. I am.


Under Jeremy Corbyn, what is your policy? Well, there is a need to


look at renationalising rail services. Many exist, the French


government are benefitting from them...


APPLAUSE. You are in favour of


re-nationalisation? I am in favour of looking at the contracts when


they come up about what is the best value for the consumer in the


market. Let's not pretend when the railways were nationalised that they


were perfect and running on time and everybody got a cheap ticket, we


have to consider it as an option. Moray MacLennan? There is a simple


solution to this: Spend the ?30 billion which would be spent on HSR


so that you can get to Birmingham or London quicker, and deploy that


money in regional railways. APPLAUSE.


Lincolnshire is a rural County, the further east it is harder to get


anywhere on any form of public transport. It is not just the


tickets but the trains do not exist. They do not run on weekends, you


cannot get between pish and Lincoln, outside of the hours of 9-6 from


Monday to Saturday. Do you believe the successive


governments? Yes it is a problem. The railway lines are closed. The A


16 has been closed and turned into roads it is not helpful for people


who cannot afford cars or don't have access to a car, they cannot get to


places. You on the left? You mentioned money


invested in railway services, why did it not happen six years ago, we


would not have this discussion now? You mean if Labour could have done


it? Well, five-and-a-half years. Patrick McGloughlin? Briefly, we


have been been investing. I have spoken about King's Cross and St


Pancreas. It is always in London. The proof of the matter is we are


always talking about transport in London. Heathrow... We have to


increase the capacity. Moray MacLennan, the reason is so that we


can improve the capacity. 20 years ago when the railways were operating


under British Rail, there were 19 services a day from London to


Manchester. Today there are 47 services a day from London to


Manchester. That is the kind of change... But you can't afford to


get on it. I accept more regional services are very important.


I think that it is true, that some of the rebuilt stations are


wonderful and all of that. But one thing that is absolutely


indisputable, there are some people who need to take the trains at peak


times and what they are being charged is just criminal. They have


no choice. They do not have flexible time. People are really spending


such a percentage of their earnings on rail travel and that is unfair.


We are supporting the rail industry, more than we support the motorcar


industry... But you are not supporting the passengers. More than


the bus transport, more people go to work on the bus than on the train.


Can I bring us back to the question about the young man who went via


Berlin. There is a difference in buying tickets where you can get


cheap flights and they are easy to find on the internet, then you can


go where you want. But not as easy to find cheap options on the


railways. I came from London, I had to stand for the first part of the


journey, the train was late. That is an experience that most of the


people in the audience here will share. You deserve a better service


in this part of the world but there is more to be done to end the


Byzantine pricing structures that we have, and I don't understand why the


rail operators are not prepared... As people are wanting to travel by


train. If you can get a seat a hot cup of coffee. This is a bones. But


that is what we should expect. Where is the scale of ambition. Talk about


HS #26789, it was supposed to be joining up Britain but where is it


ending? It is not even getting to Scotland. So much more needs to be


done, Patrick. Indeed. I agree. I want to take this question from


Alison Jones. Where and when is the most appropriate place to wear your


pyjamas. This is because a head teacher is


saying that parents are coming in to school in pyjamas and dressing


gowns. Is that right? I think that the head was so right. I don't even


wear my pyjamas in my kitsch, I am so proper. Only in the bedroom.


Patrick McGloughlin? The only place to where them is in private!


Jess Philips? The Labour Party love it when people wear pyjamas on the


school run. No, I think that the mum has to do the school run under a


stressed circumstances, I look at woman wearing slippers and I feel


sorry for them rather than loathing them. I spend 20 minutes a morning


shouting get your shoes on over and over again. It is better if people


don't wear their pyjamas but let's not be too judging.


Have you ever? I have may have been to a drive-through in a dressing


gown. You don't get out of the car! And you, sir? I don't think I should


be advising people on what they are wearing. I will hold my advice.


Moray MacLennan? I think a designer pyjama is OK. Nothing wrong with


that at all. Anyone like to comment? I have three


kids under six, I think it is perfectly acceptable. Trust my, by


the time you get there, sometimes, you have no idea what you are


wearing. And would you go to the mativity


play and the parents' evening? They might have thought it was fancy


dress, who knows. Anyone else with a view on this? I


sleep naked so I would not... We won't go there.


A happy note to end on. Thank you for shipping that with us! Our time


is up. We are in Bradford next week. The week after that, we are in


Llanelli in Wales. To come to either of the shows go to the website on


the screen there. If you are listening on Radio 5


Live. You can continue the debate of course. As every it is on Question


Time, Extra Time. My thanks to all of the panelists. Before I go, I


have been chairing Question Time for many years. I have worked with six


editors in all of that time. One was Chancellor cry Cou are, tauld, who


died recently. He was clever, wit, he was very brave, he was an


inspiration to work for, I would like to dedicate this Question Time


to his memory. I think he would like it. Thank you all for coming to


Question Time. Good night.


David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Stamford, Lincolnshire. He is joined on the panel by Conservative transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, Labour's Jess Phillips, SNP leader at Westminster Angus Robertson, Independent columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and the boss of advertising firm M&C Saatchi, Moray MacLennan.

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