18/02/2016 Question Time


18/02/2016

David Dimbleby presents from Stratford-upon-Avon. Panellists include Justine Greening, Lisa Nandy, John Nicolson, June Sarpong and Theo Paphitis.


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Transcript


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Here we are in Stratford-upon-Avon, and this is Question Time.

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And a big welcome to our audience, to all of you watching or

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listening on the radio, and of course to our panel.

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Tonight, the Conservative International Development Secretary

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Justine Greening, Labour's Shadow Energy Secretary Lisa Nandy,

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the SNP MP and culture spokesman John Nicolson,

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the broadcaster June Sarpong,

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and the businessman and former star of Dragons' Den Theo Paphitis.

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As I always say, you can join in this debate from home.

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You can do it on Facebook, on Twitter - #bbcqt,

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you can follow us @BBCQuestionTime.

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You can text comments...

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All the details are on the screen.

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And push the red button and see what others are saying.

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But let's take our first question from Christopher Walsh, please.

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Has David Cameron really done enough to persuade the British public

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that we should remain in the European Union?

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-This is assuming he gets everything he has been asking for, yes?

-Yes.

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Yes. Theo Paphitis.

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If he wins all his points, has he done enough?

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Well, so far, what I've seen from both sides is Project Fear.

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From my perspective, I am not really sure where I am

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at the moment. I'm sort of reasonably well-read,

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I have unprecedented access to people in the know,

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I am in business

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and at the moment, I just have not got a Scooby-Doo which side

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to go on.

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Certainly, so far, it just seems - I hate to say this -

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but like a big pantomime.

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When will we be told facts?

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Not scaremongering that the world is flat

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and if we leave the EU we're going to fall off the edge, you know,

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which are the sort of things we are hearing.

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Or, in fact, Brexit is the best thing since sliced bread

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and we're going to be ever so rich if we leave tomorrow morning

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and it will be so much easier. The sun's going to come out

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and we will all be looking great and feeling happy.

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There's been no facts, just scaremongering from both sides.

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But you are a successful businessman,

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apart from your Dragons' Den life.

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-That wasn't that bad!

-LAUGHTER

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Surely you have a considered view about in Europe or out,

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as a businessman?

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I have a view, but it is not a view that I am prepared, at the moment,

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to put a cross on the ballot box to say, "We are off,"

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or, "We are staying,"

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because there's just not enough facts coming out.

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As for this renegotiation, I don't know if it is just me but I am

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struggling to see why it makes any difference to why

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-we are in or we are out.

-Right...

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So, Justine Greening, it's a pantomime,

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Theo says, what is going on in Brussels tonight and tomorrow.

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I don't think it is at all.

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I think the Prime Minister is trying to get the best possible

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deal for our country, which is what he should be doing.

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It's potentially a deal that can see us

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have a much better place within Europe.

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And indeed, what's interesting, some of the debate tonight

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is going to be from other countries, leaders around the table

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who want some of the things that

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Cameron is managing to negotiate for Britain.

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But at the end of the day, I think

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it is going to be about what is in Britain's interests -

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how do we want to stay influential in Europe,

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what is the right future for us?

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And it's going to be up to everybody in this room,

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the whole of the British people, to have their say.

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As you say, I don't think we have really got into the debate yet,

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but it has to be about what we want as well as what people don't want.

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And you are right to say we must make sure it is not simply

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some kind of Project Fear, where both sides set out the risks.

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I think there is no black-and-white solution.

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There's going to be pros and cons whichever side people go,

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whichever way our country goes.

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But the bottom line is we are all going to have to make our own

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minds up, and hopefully this time tomorrow

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we might have a clear idea what

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Britain's deal is that the Prime Minister has managed to get.

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The question that Christopher Walsh asked was, even if

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he got all the things he is saying he wants to get, would that

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be enough to persuade you, for instance, to remain in the EU?

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I've said I think it's the basis for a good deal

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and if we can get it I would prefer it if we could stay in.

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I think, in the end,

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for me, it is about interest and influence -

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interest in terms of jobs

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and influence in the sense that the discussions and decisions

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that happen at EU level do impact us whether we like it or not,

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and I would prefer to stay around that table being able to

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-have our say and stand up for our country.

-OK.

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It will be really interesting to hear what you all have to say.

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I'll just take one more member of the panel

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and then we will come back. Let's hear Lisa Nandy's view of this.

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I think he will come back with some kind of deal.

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I don't think it will do enough to convince

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the Euro-sceptics in his own party,

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I don't think anything could do that.

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But my concern is that it won't do enough to convince

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people in the country who are particularly concerned about jobs.

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The Europe that they need to see is the Europe that has delivered

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us many of those workplace rights, a Europe where our Prime Minister is

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pushing to make sure that employers can't undercut wages using

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cheap labour,

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a Europe where we work together, collaboratively, to stop

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companies like Google playing us off against one another and avoiding

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paying their fair share of taxes,

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and a Europe in the end where we work

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together in our shared interests to

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tackle the big challenges that we face.

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Because whether it's climate change

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or mass movement of refugees or international terrorism,

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these are all things that demand more cooperation from us, not less.

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What about the things being negotiated, which Theo

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described as pantomime? Do you think it's pantomime, what we're seeing?

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I would describe it as tinkering, when we need a Prime Minister who

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is going to fight for a Europe that works for people

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and not a Europe that works for big business.

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Jeremy Corbyn, that would be?

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That's the Europe that would stand up for Britain's interests

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and give us influence in the coming centuries.

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And that's Jeremy Corbyn?

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That is exactly what Jeremy Corbyn was arguing for in Brussels today.

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OK. You, sir, at the back, in the blue shirt.

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I think we should have a Prime Minister

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that fights for the UK, not Europe.

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Do you think David Cameron is fighting for the UK?

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I don't know.

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I'm sitting on the fence with Theo. We just don't know.

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You... The lady here in the front.

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What makes anybody think it's going to be any different?

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Our country's infrastructure cannot cope with any more mass migration.

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If Turkey joined the EU, no matter what David Cameron gets us now,

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it's not going to be enough.

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-So will you vote out?

-Out. Definitely out.

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You're a definite out. June Sarpong, what are you?

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Well, I am definitely in, I am part of the campaign to try

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and keep us in.

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I come at this from a different perspective, I am not a politician

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and I don't run a big business, like Theo.

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-It's not all that bad!

-I wish I did, but I don't.

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But...I care about the future

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and I don't want to live in the past.

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And I think Britain is stronger in Europe for three reasons.

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The first reason is economically - we will be poorer

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if we leave Europe. We will,

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because three million British jobs are linked

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to those we trade with in the EU.

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-APPLAUSE AND DISSENT

-Yes, they are! Yes, they are.

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So therefore if we leave, we could be putting those jobs at risk.

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-That's not Project Fear, that's Project Truth.

-Can you justify that?

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-Yes.

-Come on, I'm listening.

-Yes...

-I'm here to be convinced.

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Those are government statistics, not mine.

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-No, they're not...

-I didn't make them up.

-They're not.

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I'm here to be convinced.

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-Who has come up with three million job losses?

-The government.

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-They haven't.

-They didn't say three million job losses,

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they've said that three million jobs are linked to our trade

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with other EU countries.

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And five million jobs are linked...

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Five million jobs in the EU are linked directly with the UK economy.

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APPLAUSE

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Fact.

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-And where did you get that statistic from?

-Where does that get you?

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Where does that come from?

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No, where does that get you?

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Basically, we need each other.

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It is not a case of if we leave, they're going to...

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They're going to flood the Channel Tunnel and say,

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"You can't deal with us any more."

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-They need us more than we need them.

-No, they don't.

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Why would we want to leave a leadership position

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in the biggest trading bloc in the world? Why would we do that?

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Why would we want to limit the chances for our younger generation?

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The biggest trading bloc in the world?

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Have you seen the decline of the EU GDP figures?

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Still 50% of our foreign direct investment comes from Europe, Theo.

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You've got to realise...

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You are a businessman, Theo...

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-A very good businessman...

-And I know the true figures.

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The fact remains, the EU is the only trading bloc that is declining

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while the rest of the world is actually growing.

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But while it still accounts

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for half of our trading, it makes sense for us to stay there.

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-John Nicolson.

-I feel a bit rude interrupting.

-Sorry, John!

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Look, we should be clear about what we are getting

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and what we are not getting. We are not getting a treaty change.

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So anything the Prime Minister comes back with can be

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rejected by the European Parliament, so we can go into this referendum

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and vote on something which the European Parliament can then reject.

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It is important to recognise that.

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Can the Council of Ministers not override the European Parliament?

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-Possibly.

-More likely than not, I think.

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But still, we are voting for something

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which could then change subsequently.

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We are also voting for something that could be

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overturned in the European courts.

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There could, for example, be a challenge.

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So it's all very vague, and the reason it is very vague is because,

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I agree, it is a pantomime.

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It is about internal Conservative Party politics

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rather than really changing Europe.

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But nevertheless, you will vote on it.

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I will vote, I will vote and I will vote to stay,

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because I think we are getting terribly

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absorbed in a lot of the minutiae of this rather than the big picture.

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Last week, I was in Berlin,

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and I think what Parliament really misses is the statesmen.

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It's the elder statesmen, it's the Ted Heaths, Denis Healeys,

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it's the Jacques Chiracs, people who

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have a memory of war and remember what this whole project was about.

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It was about peace in Europe, the iron and steel community,

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growing peace in Europe and stability

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between these warring factions.

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And what's been achieved in Europe is an extraordinary thing.

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And can I just make one point, David?

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Which is about something, if you remember, called subsidiarity.

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Do you remember that word?

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Because the Prime Minister says he is in Brussels at the moment

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and one of the things he is trying to stop is Britain being

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sucked deeper into European integration.

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John Major tried to do that,

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and he tried to do that in a way which has hoisted the Tories

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with their own Europe petard, because he broadened Europe.

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He was keen for Romania to come in, and Bulgaria...

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And what was the inevitable consequence of that?

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A huge amount of immigration.

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And you're not in favour of those countries being in the EU?

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I am in favour of those countries...

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Why do you criticise him for allowing it?

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Because he's so clearly not achieved what he set out to achieve.

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I'm completely consistent...

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Turkey would like to be a member as well. From your point of view...?

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Turkey's...more complicated.

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I'm not sure about Turkey.

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I wouldn't necessarily reject Turkey coming in,

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but when you think of what the European Union did in giving

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hope to the ex-communist countries,

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integrating the ex-fascist countries,

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it's been an extraordinary success.

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OK, let's go back to the question about Cameron...

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and the negotiations and

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whether the negotiations, which were described

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at the beginning as a pantomime, whether they are enough to

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persuade people. You, sir.

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Yes, it is all smoke and mirrors

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and he has no chance of delivering anything.

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It's jam tomorrow.

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We have to get control back of our borders.

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As far as the comment you made about business,

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the trade deficit with Europe - our deficit is 88 billion.

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Do you think Europe will stop doing business with us?

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And you, sir, let's have a wide range of views from an

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audience of mixed opinion, yes...

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With regards to the question of is David Cameron going to get

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a deal, absolutely he will, but will it be in Britain's best interest?

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Probably not.

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It will be another David Cameron manifesto

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full of "no ifs, no buts", promises that he will not

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deliver on.

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-Are you voting yes or no?

-Absolutely no.

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Regardless of what he does?

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-Absolutely.

-OK. Anybody want to vote yes, regardless of what happens?

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You, sir, in the pink there.

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Isn't the bottom line here sovereignty

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and the UK being in control of its own destiny?

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-JUNE:

-And currency as well.

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The man there in the turquoise shirt, the short-sleeved shirt on...

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If that identifies you.

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The Prime Minister gave an interview today where he said

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he was battling for Britain.

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By the weekend, we might find out that he's buckled for Britain.

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Yes, you, sir, in the middle there.

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Just to take the gentleman on the left there - his point...

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He said that Europe was established to stop war.

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It wasn't. It was established as a European free-trade association.

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And that's what we voted for!

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If I may, you said you were in Berlin.

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I think people in Berlin, at least their leader, needs reminding,

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when she keeps telling this about preventing war,

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their country started the last two wars.

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DISQUIET

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Lisa Nandy.

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I would just say to the gentleman there,

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I really do disagree with you.

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The EU was established to make war not only unthinkable

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but materially impossible.

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I think that on that basis it has been a success.

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It hasn't done that, we've had...

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I wanted to take on this point that a number of people have

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mentioned about sovereignty.

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It's absolutely right to recognise that we need more democratic control

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within the EU.

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But surely nobody would think, in today's world, that we

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will have more control over the major issues that affect us,

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like trade and jobs, like climate change,

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like international terrorism, by turning our back on the EU?

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We need more cooperation

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and need to be right at the heart of Europe

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so that we make sure that Britain is shaping

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the nature of that cooperation and not being dragged into it...

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-They don't listen to us...

-..on someone else's terms.

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Justine Greening.

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Firstly, the Prime Minister has been very clear

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he wants to get a good deal, but if he can't get one today,

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tonight, he won't accept a deal

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that is not good enough for our country.

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The second thing is, we do need to look at what Europe needs to

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be for the future, rather than just looking at the past.

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There is no doubt that in my area in international development

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we have done huge amounts of work in Syria, but we have seen

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the impact of that much closer to home here in Europe,

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and it makes sense for us

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to try and work in partnership with other countries in Europe on that.

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But the bottom line is this - we have had Question Times over

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the years, we have had debates over the years.

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What is different now is you are all going to get,

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we're all going to get to have our say, for the first time ever.

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So whether or not you think the PM's going to get

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a good deal, whether or not you think he is,

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the bottom line is we get to decide as a country,

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and surely that is something we should be able to agree on?

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It's a massive step forward and it is the right thing that

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after all these years

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people here in our country get to have their say.

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OK. Just before we go on...

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We heard a number of voices on the out side.

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I want to hear from people who would like to remain.

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Just a couple of people who would... You, sir, yes.

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Britain is not a beggar, you know.

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The Prime Minister should stick on his points

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and whatever he wants - he can have that from the European Union.

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So he should stick, for the Britain,

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for Westminster, to make it safe for our children in future.

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OK. And you, sir... On the right. Yes.

0:17:160:17:19

I think... A lot of attacks have been made against David Cameron

0:17:190:17:22

but in my lifetime it's the first

0:17:220:17:24

time I have seen a British Prime Minister

0:17:240:17:26

stand up to Europe and challenge them on their principles.

0:17:260:17:29

We can argue whether these are long-term changes

0:17:290:17:32

but the process of negotiation has begun and I am voting in

0:17:320:17:35

because I believe that once this first change is made,

0:17:350:17:39

hopefully other European leaders will be brave enough to stand up

0:17:390:17:42

and make more reforms in Europe.

0:17:420:17:44

And you on the gangway there.

0:17:460:17:49

Lisa Nandy is right, how can we ever be able to trade with the EU

0:17:490:17:54

if we can't be part of it

0:17:540:17:56

and we can't be the big player which affects it from the middle?

0:17:560:18:01

Why would we want to go out and lose that power?

0:18:010:18:05

Is that regardless of what Cameron comes back from Brussels with?

0:18:050:18:10

-Yeah, because...

-It doesn't affect you one way or the other?

0:18:100:18:13

It does affect it, but if we go out of Europe we won't have that say.

0:18:130:18:17

If you had just had a referendum...

0:18:170:18:19

Cameron just saying,

0:18:190:18:20

"We'll have a referendum without any renegotiation.

0:18:200:18:24

"Just want to know, cos we haven't asked you since 1975..."

0:18:240:18:26

Well, you weren't born in 1975... LAUGHTER

0:18:260:18:29

"We haven't asked you, we are just going to ask you again,

0:18:290:18:32

"without any attempt at changing anything."

0:18:320:18:35

-Would you have still voted in?

-Yeah.

-Yeah. OK.

0:18:350:18:37

We will have more of this as the weeks pass, I've no doubt,

0:18:370:18:41

but let's just take this as a coda to it,

0:18:410:18:43

from Andy Chilton, please. Slightly off-beam and quickly, I think. Yes.

0:18:430:18:47

Was actress Emma Thompson's description of Britain

0:18:470:18:50

as a "cake-filled, misery-laden, grey old island"

0:18:500:18:53

a fair reflection of

0:18:530:18:55

our country or just another example of metropolitan elitist snobbery?

0:18:550:18:59

LAUGHTER

0:18:590:19:01

She said she felt European even though she lived in Great Britain.

0:19:060:19:09

"I'm living in Europe. Of course I am, as it were...

0:19:090:19:12

"A tiny little cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe."

0:19:120:19:15

-Erm, is that how you see Europe, June?

-No.

0:19:150:19:20

-I mean Britain.

-No, not at all,

0:19:200:19:22

I see Britain as a fantastic Victoria sponge.

0:19:220:19:25

I have to say, the one thing that I am slightly anti-EU on,

0:19:250:19:30

being a pro-EU campaigner,

0:19:300:19:33

is I see far too many French tarts in our bakeries!

0:19:330:19:37

-SHE LAUGHS

-Or Tatins!

0:19:370:19:40

So rather than Emma's description, I would say I think we are a fantastic

0:19:400:19:44

Victoria sponge and I completely disagree with her on that one.

0:19:440:19:47

OK. Theo.

0:19:470:19:48

I don't actually recognise that description of the United Kingdom.

0:19:490:19:53

We've got our problems.

0:19:530:19:55

We have got our down sides, we've got the odd bit of rain,

0:19:550:19:58

-but at the end of the day...

-"Misery-laden, grey"?

0:19:580:20:01

No, I think she's been in LA for too long.

0:20:010:20:03

That's her problem.

0:20:030:20:04

All right. Lisa?

0:20:040:20:07

We have our fair share of rain in the Northwest, I can tell you that.

0:20:070:20:10

But I don't recognise that description of Britain.

0:20:100:20:13

I much prefer the celebration of Britain that we saw

0:20:130:20:16

Danny Boyle put on during the Olympics opening ceremony -

0:20:160:20:19

a Britain that has worked over the centuries to strive,

0:20:190:20:23

to work together and stick up for people

0:20:230:20:26

and to defend values of social justice around the world.

0:20:260:20:29

That's why I want to see us stay in the EU,

0:20:290:20:31

cos I want to see us not just have global influence

0:20:310:20:34

in past centuries but in the coming centuries as well.

0:20:340:20:37

OK.

0:20:370:20:38

Poor old Emma Thompson, anyone want to come to her defence?

0:20:410:20:44

-No.

-Nobody.

0:20:440:20:46

LAUGHTER

0:20:460:20:47

-I want to.

-As a Scot...

-I want to come to her defence.

0:20:470:20:51

Her politics isn't great, that said.

0:20:510:20:54

I notice that she said she had lived in Great Britain and Scotland.

0:20:540:20:58

-Er...

-LAUGHTER

0:20:580:21:00

Maybe she knows something about the next referendum that I don't!

0:21:000:21:05

Look, one of the problems, I think, for people like Emma is that

0:21:050:21:08

she's in the public eye. And she sometimes says things,

0:21:080:21:12

and then you have all these very po-faced journalists,

0:21:120:21:15

of which I used to be one, who then listen to what she says,

0:21:150:21:19

make it into a big banner headline

0:21:190:21:21

and blow it up out of all proportion.

0:21:210:21:23

I suspect she probably regrets saying it.

0:21:230:21:25

Is it the worst thing she could say?

0:21:250:21:28

I doubt it. She seems very English to me. Proud of being English.

0:21:280:21:31

I wish she would lead a campaign...

0:21:310:21:34

Actually, since we are talking about cake names -

0:21:340:21:37

to revert from "cupcakes" to good old-fashioned "fairy cakes".

0:21:370:21:40

-Oh, yeah!

-OK.

0:21:400:21:42

-What is wrong with a fairy?

-What is wrong with a fairy cake?

0:21:420:21:45

This is getting wildly out of hand!

0:21:450:21:47

Justine Greening, you are International Development Secretary,

0:21:470:21:50

you go around the world and hear people talking about Great Britain.

0:21:500:21:53

Do they think about Great Britain that it's a "tiny little

0:21:530:21:56

"cloud-bolted rainy corner of sort-of Europe"?

0:21:560:21:58

I think they all know it rains in Britain quite a lot.

0:21:580:22:01

But in the end, I think most people recognise that it's a unique

0:22:010:22:04

country with an amazing history.

0:22:040:22:06

We do some of the best comedy in the world

0:22:060:22:09

and we should be really proud of that.

0:22:090:22:12

I don't know - maybe Emma was having a bad day.

0:22:120:22:15

But I'm sure that...

0:22:150:22:17

We are quite proud of Emma Thompson, aren't we?

0:22:170:22:20

-JUNE:

-We are.

0:22:200:22:22

I'm sure she loves our country as much as the rest of us do.

0:22:220:22:24

At least, I hope so.

0:22:240:22:25

We wouldn't have nothing to talk about, would we, if she

0:22:250:22:28

-didn't say something.

-Or if it didn't rain.

0:22:280:22:30

We would, we've got have masses to talk about...

0:22:300:22:32

When it comes to her comments, if it wasn't for Britain,

0:22:320:22:35

would she be in the position she is now?

0:22:350:22:37

The hint is in the name, isn't it? GREAT Britain.

0:22:370:22:40

OK. Now, look... We had better get on.

0:22:400:22:43

Just before we go to the next question,

0:22:430:22:46

a reminder about where we will be. Next week it's Poole,

0:22:460:22:49

and the week after that it's Liverpool.

0:22:490:22:51

Funny verbal twist there. All the pools!

0:22:510:22:54

We made a list of pools - Welshpool, Hartlepool, Ullapool,

0:22:540:22:58

Blackpool, Pontypool, you can...

0:22:580:23:00

Anyway, it's Poole and Liverpool.

0:23:000:23:03

The website says how to get to us.

0:23:030:23:05

I'll give that at the end again.

0:23:050:23:07

David Haugh, please.

0:23:070:23:09

Do you agree with the Pope that

0:23:090:23:11

Donald Trump is not a Christian?

0:23:110:23:14

Let's deal with this one.

0:23:140:23:16

The Pope said today on his aeroplane

0:23:160:23:19

on his way back from Mexico

0:23:190:23:21

that a person who thinks only about building walls, referring to

0:23:210:23:25

the wall between Mexico and the United States, is not a Christian.

0:23:250:23:29

And Trump replied, the Pope would only wish and pray that

0:23:290:23:33

Donald Trump HAD been President if the Vatican was attacked by Isis.

0:23:330:23:38

I don't know... John Nicolson?

0:23:380:23:40

Um, who knows what is in Donald Trump's dark soul?

0:23:410:23:47

LAUGHTER

0:23:470:23:48

I don't think it's for me to say whether he's a Christian or

0:23:480:23:51

whether he's not a Christian.

0:23:510:23:53

He certainly doesn't seem to abide by some of the basic tenets

0:23:530:23:57

of Christianity, as I understand them - love thy neighbour

0:23:570:24:00

being one, for example, the Good Samaritan being another.

0:24:000:24:04

Doesn't seem to be too engaged with that. He's a dreadful man.

0:24:040:24:09

And...

0:24:090:24:11

The good thing is...

0:24:110:24:13

If he gets the nomination he will get absolutely

0:24:130:24:16

whipped in the general election because the problem with the

0:24:160:24:19

Republicans these days is in order to win the Republican nomination

0:24:190:24:23

you've got to go so far to the right that it makes it almost impossible

0:24:230:24:27

for you to steer back to the centre and to win a general election.

0:24:270:24:32

That's why, when we look at American politics, the Democrats just

0:24:320:24:36

keep winning because America is no longer a white, male country.

0:24:360:24:42

If you go out of your way to alienate Muslims and Mexicans

0:24:420:24:46

and gays and every other conceivable minority, you cannot bring

0:24:460:24:51

together the coalition necessary to win an election.

0:24:510:24:54

And I'm so looking forward to the night of the election

0:24:540:24:58

-and watching the smirk wiped off his face.

-Mm.

0:24:580:25:02

It's a bit of a tricky one for you because you welcomed him,

0:25:110:25:14

Alex Salmond welcomed Trump to Scotland build an enormous

0:25:140:25:17

golf course on a nature reserve

0:25:170:25:21

and now you want to ban him from coming to Scotland.

0:25:210:25:25

No, I don't want to ban him.

0:25:250:25:26

I mean, there is an argument that the Home Secretary should be

0:25:260:25:29

consistent with the people that she declines to let into the country.

0:25:290:25:33

But I know you like this question, David,

0:25:330:25:36

because you have asked it before.

0:25:360:25:38

But of course, it's very important to remember

0:25:380:25:40

that the person that first...

0:25:400:25:41

What question have I asked before?

0:25:410:25:43

The question about Donald Trump being welcomed by the SNP.

0:25:430:25:46

It was in fact the Labour Party that made him

0:25:460:25:48

a trade ambassador for Scotland.

0:25:480:25:50

I just think it's worth putting that on the record.

0:25:500:25:53

Alex Salmond, I heard him saying he was wrong to have supported him.

0:25:530:25:57

But the party that made him a trade ambassador was the Labour Party.

0:25:570:25:59

But look... He's a businessman.

0:25:590:26:01

Once upon a time he worked in business

0:26:010:26:03

and he provided jobs for people.

0:26:030:26:04

And of course, in Scotland we want jobs.

0:26:040:26:06

-But I certainly don't support him as a politician.

-Theo Paphitis.

0:26:060:26:10

I'm just staggered that they are even treating him seriously,

0:26:100:26:14

to be honest with you.

0:26:140:26:16

I've been watching the hustings on television

0:26:160:26:19

and some of the things that he has been saying,

0:26:190:26:21

you just wonder, you just wonder

0:26:210:26:23

what he has to say for people to say, "Stop!

0:26:230:26:27

"This man has got to go!"

0:26:270:26:29

because he keeps pushing the boundary every single time.

0:26:290:26:33

And you just think, he's going to push it...

0:26:330:26:36

I just actually believe it's a publicity stunt and he's hoping at

0:26:360:26:40

some stage he can get off the wagon and go back to doing

0:26:400:26:43

what he's doing.

0:26:430:26:44

It seems the American people just keep encouraging him. It's amazing.

0:26:440:26:49

Justine Greening?

0:26:490:26:51

I suspect that ironically this is exactly what Donald Trump loves.

0:26:510:26:56

-More publicity.

-Yeah.

0:26:560:26:58

And he then gets to say something outrageous on the back of it.

0:26:580:27:01

The serious point is that he is in this seemingly leading

0:27:010:27:06

position in the Republican race.

0:27:060:27:08

And I think, as much as we might think some of the things

0:27:080:27:11

he says are funny, a bit of a joke, actually,

0:27:110:27:14

the American election for president is no joke.

0:27:140:27:18

And I think we have to wait and see how things work out.

0:27:180:27:22

But I do hope that by the time we get the two final frontrunners

0:27:220:27:25

from the Democrats and the Republicans, they are people who

0:27:250:27:28

are serious politicians with serious proposals and that we move away

0:27:280:27:32

from this almost reality-TV style of contest that we've seen so far.

0:27:320:27:36

Because we need the person who is in that role of president

0:27:360:27:39

to be someone,

0:27:390:27:41

frankly, who is going to be helping us to solve problems...

0:27:410:27:44

-The most powerful man in the world.

-..not creating them.

0:27:440:27:48

But does it worry you that American democracy,

0:27:480:27:50

the democratic process, can produce Trump at this stage,

0:27:500:27:54

with this amount of support?

0:27:540:27:56

I think the problem is, unlike here in the UK

0:27:560:27:58

where there are lots of seats that are marginal seats, they switch

0:27:580:28:01

between the parties - I won a seat from Labour and I'm a Conservative -

0:28:010:28:05

there are far fewer of those in the United States.

0:28:050:28:07

So what happens is the real contest is becoming the candidate

0:28:070:28:11

for your party for the state or the seat that you're going in.

0:28:110:28:16

And what that means is that people tack off to the extreme.

0:28:160:28:18

And actually, one of the good things about the British system is

0:28:180:28:21

A - we have first-past-the-post.

0:28:210:28:23

B - we do have seats that switch regularly during the election.

0:28:230:28:27

That means people representing those communities have to

0:28:270:28:29

stay on their toes and do it well, otherwise people simply get

0:28:290:28:32

someone from an alternative party.

0:28:320:28:34

OK. June Sarpong.

0:28:340:28:36

I think, before we get to whether or not he is a Christian,

0:28:360:28:39

the question is whether or not he's a human being!

0:28:390:28:42

SHE LAUGHS

0:28:420:28:43

APPLAUSE

0:28:430:28:46

I think he is absolutely frightening

0:28:460:28:49

and the fact he's got this far should scare us all very much.

0:28:490:28:53

I'm hoping, just as Theo said, at some point people are going

0:28:530:28:58

to wake up and say, "You know what? This isn't a joke any more.

0:28:580:29:01

"This is serious. There are jobs at stake. There are lives at stake."

0:29:010:29:04

And in terms of what this means about national security,

0:29:040:29:07

this man is a threat to all of us and he needs to go.

0:29:070:29:12

Lisa.

0:29:120:29:13

-I don't feel at all qualified to...

-Judge his religion...?

0:29:130:29:16

Whether he's a Christian or not.

0:29:160:29:17

Do you think the Pope is qualified to judge?

0:29:170:29:20

LAUGHTER

0:29:200:29:21

I'm sure the Pope is a lot more qualified than I am.

0:29:210:29:24

What I would say is that anyone who preys on people's insecurities

0:29:240:29:28

and does it at the expense of some of the most vulnerable people,

0:29:280:29:31

not just in his country, but in the world, isn't fit to lead.

0:29:310:29:34

And before we get a bit preachy and complacent about ourselves,

0:29:340:29:39

we should reflect on the fact that we have a Prime Minister who

0:29:390:29:42

just recently stood up at the dispatch box and referred to

0:29:420:29:45

people fleeing persecution in Syria as a "bunch of migrants".

0:29:450:29:49

I'm saying this not just because I was appalled

0:29:490:29:52

by what David Cameron said, but because I think

0:29:520:29:56

there are times in this country when we stray into that level of debate

0:29:560:30:00

ourselves and we should always be vigilant to make sure that we don't.

0:30:000:30:04

Because as we're seeing in America, you know, you start with

0:30:040:30:07

something that looks like just adding a bit of colour to politics,

0:30:070:30:11

you start with something that looks like a bit of a sideshow

0:30:110:30:14

and what you end up with is that it gathers pace and then

0:30:140:30:17

at the end it has real and profound consequences for people's lives.

0:30:170:30:21

And whether Trump gets the nomination or not,

0:30:210:30:23

whatever happens next, there will be people who have already suffered

0:30:230:30:27

as a result of what that man has said and done.

0:30:270:30:30

OK. APPLAUSE.

0:30:300:30:32

HE COUGHS Yes, you, sir.

0:30:320:30:34

I lived in the United States in the early '80s

0:30:360:30:39

and at that stage Ronald Regan was president,

0:30:390:30:42

which was scary enough.

0:30:420:30:43

But I think the recent endorsement of Donald Trump by Sarah Palin was

0:30:430:30:47

a new low for American politics

0:30:470:30:50

And I think that the sensationalisation

0:30:500:30:53

and the cheap rhetoric

0:30:530:30:55

is a poor excuse for good government and good governance.

0:30:550:30:59

OK. The woman there in the spectacles,

0:30:590:31:01

I will come to you and then we will go on. Yes, up there.

0:31:010:31:04

So you mentioned democracy in America.

0:31:040:31:07

I don't think that the issue is Trump, it is the actual system.

0:31:070:31:11

The system isn't democratic at all

0:31:110:31:13

and if you listen to a lot of his supporters, they are not as

0:31:130:31:17

much listening to what he's saying. Their main reason for supporting him

0:31:170:31:21

is that he has money and that he's not listening to pressure groups.

0:31:210:31:25

So the issue is how much American politics is run by money.

0:31:250:31:29

-People aren't really listening to what he's saying.

-OK.

0:31:290:31:32

And you...

0:31:320:31:34

I think, in all honesty, I think it does make the general population

0:31:350:31:40

wonder just how farcical politics itself is becoming.

0:31:400:31:45

That probably has a greater bearing

0:31:450:31:47

on any other politician in the world.

0:31:470:31:50

If they're trying to be serious and they are seeing this kind

0:31:500:31:53

-of farcical thing going on, then...

-It damages our politics as well?

0:31:530:31:58

Absolutely it does, yes.

0:31:580:31:59

Let's go to another question -

0:31:590:32:01

Annabel Matharu, please.

0:32:010:32:03

Stratford-upon-Avon has two excellent grammar schools.

0:32:030:32:07

Is it now time to remove the barriers that prevent new

0:32:070:32:10

grammar schools from opening?

0:32:100:32:12

This is a big issue here, Stratford-upon-Avon,

0:32:120:32:14

which has two very successful grammar schools, as you say.

0:32:140:32:17

But the issue is whether there should be more of those

0:32:170:32:20

and whether they damage the education system as a whole?

0:32:200:32:24

Justine Greening...

0:32:240:32:26

The Conservatives did allow a grammar school to grow,

0:32:260:32:29

put another grammar school in a nearby town,

0:32:290:32:32

but refused to allow brand-new grammar schools to start.

0:32:320:32:36

What's your policy on it? What's your view of it?

0:32:360:32:41

I think, broadly, what you have seen happening

0:32:410:32:43

over the last five to six years is

0:32:430:32:45

more and better schools, better-qualified teachers,

0:32:450:32:48

more children... Around 1.3, 1.4 million more children

0:32:480:32:52

in good or outstanding schools.

0:32:520:32:54

So our education system is doing a better job now than it has in the

0:32:540:32:57

past of preparing children for being successful in life and for work.

0:32:570:33:01

And in terms of what is the best school to do that, we have been more

0:33:010:33:04

flexible in allowing grammar schools to expand.

0:33:040:33:07

But in the end, from my perspective, it's less about that and more

0:33:070:33:12

about the teachers that are in the school,

0:33:120:33:14

whether they feel they can do the

0:33:140:33:16

best possible job, whether children have the right learning environment.

0:33:160:33:20

We tried to free up the system by allowing more free schools to

0:33:200:33:24

set up, so people with different ideas about how schools

0:33:240:33:27

should run can give those a go.

0:33:270:33:29

But it should be less of an argument about structure

0:33:290:33:32

and more about the substance

0:33:320:33:34

and the quality of what children are learning in the classroom.

0:33:340:33:37

-What do you think?

-Well, I had two children.

0:33:370:33:39

One went to the local comprehensive school

0:33:390:33:42

and my daughter went to the girls' grammar school in Stratford.

0:33:420:33:45

For me, it was a case of finding

0:33:450:33:47

the right school for the right child.

0:33:470:33:49

And my daughter, who was quite academic,

0:33:490:33:51

really thrived in that academic environment,

0:33:510:33:54

and I think this one-size-fits-all in education

0:33:540:33:57

isn't necessarily right.

0:33:570:33:58

We have to find the right school for the right child.

0:33:580:34:01

I think that's an important point. I went to my local comprehensive,

0:34:010:34:05

but we have tried to make sure parents have got more choice.

0:34:050:34:08

And having a wider variety of schools

0:34:080:34:10

means there is going to be more choice on people's doorstep now

0:34:100:34:14

than we have seen in the past, which is a good thing.

0:34:140:34:17

But you think the policy should change?

0:34:170:34:19

-There should be more grammar schools?

-I do, yes, definitely.

0:34:190:34:22

Theo, what do you think?

0:34:220:34:24

I think we've got to accept one big fact,

0:34:240:34:26

that not all children are the same.

0:34:260:34:29

APPLAUSE

0:34:290:34:31

And what we need to do is find choice and freedom of choice

0:34:350:34:39

and allow people to choose schools

0:34:390:34:41

that are right for their kids. I am dyslexic,

0:34:410:34:43

so I would have been a total waste of time in a grammar school.

0:34:430:34:46

In fact, I would have been negative in a grammar school,

0:34:460:34:49

I went to a comprehensive school.

0:34:490:34:50

But there's other children who will thrive in a grammar school.

0:34:500:34:54

But I think we need to be able to accept that we are all

0:34:540:34:56

very different and we've got to get the right school for our child.

0:34:560:34:59

We can't just shoehorn everybody in some mythological school that

0:34:590:35:03

just does one thing and produces the same character at the end.

0:35:030:35:06

But hang on, your comprehensive school would have had

0:35:060:35:09

people of all abilities, wouldn't it?

0:35:090:35:11

The point about the grammar school is you select, at 11 or whenever,

0:35:110:35:14

a number of children to go away and have that kind of education.

0:35:140:35:17

That's the difference between the comprehensive

0:35:170:35:19

-and grammar school system.

-Well, not in practice, no,

0:35:190:35:22

because the local grammar school would have taken the other kids,

0:35:220:35:25

er, and the kids at my school were more vocational, more practical,

0:35:250:35:30

and in fact a lot of the kids in my school went on to apprenticeships.

0:35:300:35:33

And that's what suited us.

0:35:330:35:35

But you think it was better for your school not to have the more

0:35:350:35:38

-academic children in it.

-I think we just...

0:35:380:35:40

Not to have the more academic,

0:35:400:35:42

but we majored in different things that actually rocked our boat,

0:35:420:35:45

-that we were interested in, that worked for us.

-OK.

0:35:450:35:49

But to put a child in a situation, or a challenging situation,

0:35:490:35:52

where it's not right for them, it's not... We're all so very different.

0:35:520:35:55

-Lisa Nandy.

-Well, I really disagree with pretty much everyone

0:35:550:35:59

who's spoken on this so far

0:35:590:36:01

because I think that comprehensive schools like the one I went to

0:36:010:36:04

aren't just factories, actually,

0:36:040:36:06

they are capable of dealing with the fact that they have different

0:36:060:36:10

children in them. And the point's been made that

0:36:100:36:12

not all children are the same,

0:36:120:36:14

and that surely is the reason why we shouldn't allow

0:36:140:36:17

the expansion of grammar schools,

0:36:170:36:18

because children develop at different rates,

0:36:180:36:21

they come from very different backgrounds,

0:36:210:36:23

and we know the evidence is very clear that children who come from

0:36:230:36:26

more deprived backgrounds often end up catching up later

0:36:260:36:29

in terms of their academic achievements. And I think

0:36:290:36:32

we do a real disservice not just to those children, actually,

0:36:320:36:35

but to all children when we seek to divide them in that way,

0:36:350:36:38

because the greatest thing that my comprehensive school gave to me

0:36:380:36:42

was the chance to meet and get to know children from all

0:36:420:36:45

different backgrounds and of all different abilities

0:36:450:36:48

and I think that's what we should be aiming for,

0:36:480:36:50

to give a good chance to every child,

0:36:500:36:52

not just for social advantage

0:36:520:36:54

-but for social enlightenment as well.

-OK.

0:36:540:36:59

Yes, you.

0:36:590:37:00

-In the third row from the back.

-Are the panel totally unaware...

0:37:000:37:03

No, the woman in the third row. I'll come to you in a moment. Yes.

0:37:030:37:06

Yeah, you made the point that it's kind of almost

0:37:060:37:09

sectioned off areas of society, so the elitist go to grammar schools,

0:37:090:37:13

the non-elitist perhaps go to comprehensive.

0:37:130:37:16

I come from a non-elitist family, I go to a local grammar school,

0:37:160:37:19

I travel about 40 minutes a day to get there.

0:37:190:37:22

My sister went to her local comprehensive.

0:37:220:37:24

She's achieved just as much as I've achieved,

0:37:240:37:26

she's accomplished everything she wanted to accomplish and so have I.

0:37:260:37:30

I think it's wrong in a way to say that it is...

0:37:300:37:32

You know, "I got to mix with a whole range of people

0:37:320:37:35

"because I went to a comprehensive."

0:37:350:37:37

I've mixed with an equally versatile and variant array of people

0:37:370:37:40

and I've been to a grammar school and my sister

0:37:400:37:43

and I have accomplished just as well as each other.

0:37:430:37:45

-So you're in favour of keeping the grammar schools?

-Yeah, definitely.

0:37:450:37:49

You don't think you could have got what you got from the comprehensive?

0:37:490:37:53

I think you get different things.

0:37:530:37:55

I wouldn't have done particularly well at a comprehensive -

0:37:550:37:58

I like quite small environments -

0:37:580:37:59

whereas my sister thrived on mingling

0:37:590:38:01

and lots of different people, socialising.

0:38:010:38:03

I think it's a different learning environment.

0:38:030:38:05

Man at the back.

0:38:050:38:07

Are the panel totally unaware

0:38:070:38:08

that there's a national teacher shortage?

0:38:080:38:11

We can't recruit teachers, we can't hold on to teachers,

0:38:110:38:15

and our further education system is so underfunded it's falling apart.

0:38:150:38:20

And where do you stand on the grammar school issue?

0:38:200:38:22

You think it's relevant in that context?

0:38:220:38:25

Secondary schools were perfectly fine for me

0:38:250:38:27

-and they should be perfectly fine for everybody else.

-OK.

0:38:270:38:30

Erm... SOME APPLAUSE

0:38:300:38:32

-John Nicolson.

-Erm, it's a great question.

0:38:340:38:37

My grandma left school at 12 and my mum left school at 14.

0:38:370:38:43

Education has absolutely transformed my life and my prospects.

0:38:430:38:48

There is nothing more important for us as a society, I think,

0:38:480:38:51

than education, but I think 11 is far too young to choose.

0:38:510:38:56

You're not formed at 11, and we all develop at different rates,

0:38:560:39:01

so the idea of taking an 11-year-old child and saying, "Look,

0:39:010:39:05

"you should go to a grammar school because you're bright,

0:39:050:39:08

"and you're not quite so bright,

0:39:080:39:10

"and therefore you're not going to a grammar school," I think

0:39:100:39:12

sends out all the wrong signals, because you're absolutely right...

0:39:120:39:15

You're...

0:39:180:39:19

You're absolutely right, children are all different,

0:39:190:39:22

but then adults are all different as well, and we don't segregate

0:39:220:39:26

adults, and I don't think we should segregate children.

0:39:260:39:29

One of the great joys of the comprehensive school system is

0:39:290:39:32

that children mix with people of different abilities,

0:39:320:39:35

from different backgrounds and different ethnic groups,

0:39:350:39:38

different social classes,

0:39:380:39:40

and that prepares them for the rest of their lives, because we're

0:39:400:39:43

going to spend the rest of our lives mixing with very different people.

0:39:430:39:46

Do you mean bright or academic?

0:39:460:39:49

I take exception to that, do you mean bright or academic?

0:39:490:39:52

Well, a bit... Well, obviously academic.

0:39:520:39:54

Well, no, they're different words, totally different words.

0:39:540:39:57

They are, but try teaching that to a child,

0:39:570:39:59

because if at 11 you're told that you're not going into that class,

0:39:590:40:03

you're going into another class, you won't make that distinction,

0:40:030:40:06

you'll just think you haven't made the grade, and it's wrong

0:40:060:40:09

-to treat children like that.

-That's the generalisation.

0:40:090:40:11

The woman in green up there, I want to hear from the audience.

0:40:110:40:14

Now, I teach in a non-selective local school.

0:40:140:40:17

When I say local, it's actually 15 miles from here, but because

0:40:170:40:20

of the boundaries we actually fall into the same category.

0:40:200:40:24

Now, it seems to be the opinion of everybody I've heard so far

0:40:240:40:28

that if you've got local grammar schools they somehow

0:40:280:40:31

detract from the other schools in the locality.

0:40:310:40:34

It's absolutely not true.

0:40:340:40:36

My school is one of the top schools in the country

0:40:360:40:39

and we are totally non-selective,

0:40:390:40:41

and yet a lot of the students go to the local grammar schools here.

0:40:410:40:45

So do you have any view

0:40:450:40:46

about whether it's desirable to have more grammar schools?

0:40:460:40:49

Are you saying they can live perfectly well cheek by jowl?

0:40:490:40:52

I think they can live perfectly well side-by-side and I think

0:40:520:40:55

academic children deserve the right to have a more academic one and...

0:40:550:40:59

APPLAUSE OK.

0:40:590:41:02

And the... Thank you.

0:41:020:41:04

The woman in the...black dress with the white spots.

0:41:040:41:08

Erm, a few of the panel have mentioned about the importance

0:41:080:41:12

of choice, and while I agree with that,

0:41:120:41:14

in that all children are different

0:41:140:41:16

and will thrive in different environments, as a parent myself,

0:41:160:41:20

what I want to know is whatever my local school is there is

0:41:200:41:23

a good standard of education and my child will get a good education,

0:41:230:41:27

and, yes, it is nice to have choice

0:41:270:41:29

but actually wherever children go to school we want them

0:41:290:41:33

all to be getting that good standard of care, of education,

0:41:330:41:36

wherever they go and whatever the choices.

0:41:360:41:39

-June Sarpong.

-Well, I think

0:41:390:41:41

that grammar schools do not address one of the biggest problems

0:41:410:41:44

we have in our education system, which is

0:41:440:41:47

the low literacy rates of boys from poor communities.

0:41:470:41:51

Our education system is completely failing them.

0:41:510:41:54

So grammar schools help the gifted children,

0:41:540:41:57

but what are we going to do about the whole generation of young boys

0:41:570:42:00

from poor families who are completely being left to just...

0:42:000:42:05

just squander because we are not investing in those?

0:42:050:42:07

-And I think that's what we also need to be looking at.

-OK. You...

0:42:070:42:10

-And this government needs to be addressing it.

-You, sir.

0:42:100:42:13

I think I'm reasonably well qualified to talk about this

0:42:140:42:18

because I taught in one of those grammar schools.

0:42:180:42:21

I've also been in about 100 schools over the last five years

0:42:210:42:25

as a supply teacher.

0:42:250:42:26

And one of the things that I would say

0:42:260:42:29

is that there are three key things about this.

0:42:290:42:32

One is that you make sure that you get the very best people to be

0:42:320:42:37

the head teachers and that they have around them a really good

0:42:370:42:41

team of senior teachers who can support them in everything they do.

0:42:410:42:46

But that would apply to all schools, private, grammar or comprehensive.

0:42:460:42:50

Very much so. Secondly, more important than this,

0:42:500:42:53

teachers are getting buried under paperwork

0:42:530:42:56

and they are being forced by league tables and Ofsted to comply

0:42:560:43:02

to all sorts of rules which are just plainly against education...

0:43:020:43:07

But again, sorry, this would apply to private and grammar

0:43:070:43:11

-and comprehensive schools.

-Absolutely.

0:43:110:43:13

The question is about whether grammar schools are desirable.

0:43:130:43:16

Well, personally I...I think that it really doesn't matter particularly.

0:43:160:43:22

The most important thing is that the system is changed radically

0:43:220:43:28

and very soon, before all the teachers that the gentleman

0:43:280:43:31

at the back referred to, who are leaving the profession...

0:43:310:43:34

I know why they're leaving the profession,

0:43:340:43:37

because they're actually sickened off by what is going on.

0:43:370:43:41

Irrelevant whether we have academies,

0:43:410:43:44

grammar schools, comprehensives.

0:43:440:43:46

Make sure that the teaching profession is valued,

0:43:460:43:51

because it is a very important profession and it is one that

0:43:510:43:55

people should look up to, not try and slate,

0:43:550:43:57

-and this is very important.

-But would you...

0:43:570:44:01

-would you abandon testing of schools, would you...?

-Yes!

0:44:010:44:05

-Definitely.

-You would abandon all of that?

-Definitely.

0:44:050:44:08

-There are systems working...

-APPLAUSE

0:44:080:44:11

There are systems working in Europe which don't test

0:44:110:44:15

children to the nth degree. This is getting ridiculous, people are...

0:44:150:44:19

-JOHN NICOLSON:

-Finland, for example.

0:44:190:44:21

Teachers are now teaching to the exam.

0:44:210:44:24

I've been in a really good school in Northamptonshire

0:44:240:44:27

for the last four weeks.

0:44:270:44:29

The senior teachers there say that we are playing the exam game

0:44:290:44:35

because we know that we've got talented

0:44:350:44:38

pupils in our school who've just got to be schooled through the exams.

0:44:380:44:42

-That's not education.

-All right, well...

0:44:420:44:45

That's nothing like it!

0:44:450:44:47

-APPLAUSE

-Nothing like it!

0:44:470:44:50

Well, a lot of these new tests were introduced by Michael Gove

0:44:540:44:57

when he was Education Secretary, Justine.

0:44:570:44:59

What do you make of what he's said?

0:44:590:45:01

I think we've got to make sure that

0:45:010:45:03

if we are measuring schools that it is worthwhile and it allows

0:45:030:45:07

parents to have meaningful information so they can get

0:45:070:45:10

a sense of how their child is doing,

0:45:100:45:12

but also how the school overall is doing.

0:45:120:45:14

Go to the school and then you would realise what it's really about!

0:45:140:45:18

Just go into the school, speak to the head teacher,

0:45:180:45:20

speak to the people who are really in charge and then you will know.

0:45:200:45:24

You will feel its pulse.

0:45:240:45:25

You are right and I have spent ten years as a school governor

0:45:250:45:29

in my local community as well.

0:45:290:45:31

The key to this is,

0:45:310:45:32

as I said to the response before, is making sure there is a learning

0:45:320:45:36

environment and that teachers can get on with their job, but we need

0:45:360:45:40

to make sure parents have got the kind of information they

0:45:400:45:43

need to know about how the school is doing and how their child is doing.

0:45:430:45:48

What I did want to say was there are lots of places in Britain

0:45:480:45:52

where we are seeing our schools radically improve and get better.

0:45:520:45:56

I am an MP in London and we've really seen London schools

0:45:560:45:59

come on in leaps and bounds over recent years.

0:45:590:46:02

We now need to make sure we understand how that

0:46:020:46:05

kind of progress is happening and why.

0:46:050:46:08

I agree, a lot of it is about leadership

0:46:080:46:10

and the senior leadership team around a head teacher.

0:46:100:46:14

I have a fantastic school in my constituency

0:46:140:46:17

called Ronald Ross which has transformed over the last two

0:46:170:46:20

years and it's because of that.

0:46:200:46:22

We know what works, the question is how can we make sure that in

0:46:220:46:25

schools that are failing - and some can be in affluent areas as well -

0:46:250:46:28

how we don't accept that?

0:46:280:46:30

And if we need to change leadership we should.

0:46:300:46:33

You have to engage the parents.

0:46:330:46:35

We need to make the parents feel they are involved in the school,

0:46:350:46:39

they have an engagement with the school, because that transforms

0:46:390:46:43

the quality of education for children,

0:46:430:46:45

if parents don't feel locked out.

0:46:450:46:47

We have ten minutes left. I want to move on to another point

0:46:470:46:52

unless anybody wants to desperately come in with something.

0:46:520:46:56

Yes. You've spoken already tonight, haven't you? You, sir.

0:46:560:47:00

I would say, I work in what would be a comprehensive school,

0:47:000:47:04

-now an academy. I've worked there for ten years.

-As a teacher?

0:47:040:47:08

No. That is an important thing. I was in business.

0:47:080:47:11

I now work as an enterprise manager, a work experience manager helping

0:47:110:47:16

people, our students, to link with the world of academia and business.

0:47:160:47:21

Yes, grammar schools are desirable. I went to one.

0:47:210:47:24

My old comp, now an academy, is desirable.

0:47:240:47:27

I work there every day and work with fantastic colleagues...

0:47:270:47:32

Do you think there should be more grammar schools than there are?

0:47:320:47:36

Personally, I think there should be more schools.

0:47:360:47:40

There should be more schools, quite honestly,

0:47:400:47:43

either grammar or whatever.

0:47:430:47:45

The point I'm trying to say is - what you have all said is brilliant

0:47:450:47:49

because it's getting that for the right thing.

0:47:490:47:52

The only test that you need is that the student comes out of that

0:47:520:47:56

school well prepared for life.

0:47:560:47:58

Whatever school gives them that is the best school.

0:47:580:48:01

Last quick point.

0:48:010:48:03

APPLAUSE

0:48:030:48:05

Very briefly, if you would.

0:48:070:48:08

What I've heard during this discussion is segregation, elitism.

0:48:080:48:12

What I keep hearing - grammar school, comprehensive, academy -

0:48:120:48:16

far too many levels of separation.

0:48:160:48:18

We have faith schools, comprehensive, grammar -

0:48:180:48:22

all we are encouraging is segregation.

0:48:220:48:24

Separating societies and isolating young people in establishments

0:48:240:48:29

and expecting them to come together as adults,

0:48:290:48:32

and they will have challenges then.

0:48:320:48:35

APPLAUSE

0:48:350:48:37

You are against faith schools, you're against grammar schools...

0:48:370:48:42

We have too many. What's next? We keep separating.

0:48:420:48:45

Next we might have segregation in councils,

0:48:450:48:49

in the NHS, for example.

0:48:490:48:50

Why is there a need to separate and have all these separations going on?

0:48:500:48:56

OK. Thank you very much for that.

0:48:560:48:58

-Can I say...?

-No. Be brief.

0:48:580:48:59

Equality of opportunity -

0:48:590:49:01

that is how you stop segregation in the long term.

0:49:010:49:04

Kids coming out of school feeling like they all have a great chance

0:49:040:49:07

of being successful in our country wherever they start.

0:49:070:49:11

That goes without saying.

0:49:110:49:13

Nick Rendell, your question, please.

0:49:130:49:16

My 87-year-old mother pays just over 50% more than me for electricity.

0:49:160:49:21

Why has Ofgem been so hopeless at protecting the vulnerable?

0:49:210:49:25

Why is your 87-year-old mother paying 50% more than you?

0:49:250:49:29

-Well, she's not any more. I changed it at the weekend.

-Right.

0:49:290:49:33

You could protect her rather than Ofgem!

0:49:330:49:36

I only discovered it at the weekend and we've sorted it out.

0:49:360:49:40

My point is really, I think someone who is 87 is maybe...

0:49:400:49:43

her eyesight is not as good.

0:49:430:49:45

The internet is the only way you can get really good prices.

0:49:450:49:50

I don't give a damn how much the people in this room pay because

0:49:500:49:52

they can all access the market, perfectly easily access the market.

0:49:520:49:56

70% of the population choose not to change their utility prices,

0:49:560:50:00

which is their lookout.

0:50:000:50:02

I'm concerned about people who don't have internet access,

0:50:020:50:06

can't access the sainted Martin Lewis' website

0:50:060:50:11

to get the best prices on the market,

0:50:110:50:13

which is lower than the standard rate price

0:50:130:50:17

which 70% of the population pays.

0:50:170:50:19

Lisa Nandy is the Shadow Energy Secretary. What do you say?

0:50:190:50:23

The energy market is not competitive enough.

0:50:230:50:27

I would say that it can be incredibly confusing

0:50:270:50:29

and it makes it difficult for people like your mum who aren't

0:50:290:50:33

necessarily on the internet, like you said,

0:50:330:50:35

can't necessarily weed out where the best deals might be found.

0:50:350:50:40

Actually, I do care about everybody else as well because it has

0:50:400:50:44

become increasingly clear in recent years that most of us are getting

0:50:440:50:48

ripped off by the energy market and the way that it works at the moment.

0:50:480:50:53

Today, we saw British Gas announce a leap in profits of 31%.

0:50:530:50:58

Yet we have seen a dramatic fall in the wholesale price of gas

0:50:580:51:02

and those falls have not been passed on to consumers.

0:51:020:51:06

There's a body called the Competition and Markets Authority

0:51:060:51:09

that was commissioned to look at the way

0:51:090:51:12

that the energy market is working.

0:51:120:51:15

That found that consumers had been overcharged to the tune

0:51:150:51:18

of £1.2 billion a year every year between 2009-2013.

0:51:180:51:23

The truth is, the Energy Secretary says she has been crystal clear

0:51:230:51:28

that the companies need to change their behaviour.

0:51:280:51:31

But the energy companies have been crystal clear

0:51:310:51:34

they are not listening.

0:51:340:51:36

When she wrote to the Big Six, only two could be bothered to reply.

0:51:360:51:41

I think we need real action to bring proper competition into this market.

0:51:410:51:46

Next month the CMA will report.

0:51:460:51:48

They said last year that we should have a safeguard tariff to

0:51:480:51:52

make sure that people, particularly the vulnerable,

0:51:520:51:55

get the best deal in the market.

0:51:550:51:58

They got a lot of kickback from the industry on that.

0:51:580:52:01

What I want to see next month is some really bold proposals

0:52:010:52:04

that give us real competition, that give us decent deals.

0:52:040:52:07

I want to see a government that is prepared to step in and act

0:52:070:52:11

and not just lecture the energy companies who aren't listening.

0:52:110:52:14

So we're all getting ripped off

0:52:200:52:22

and the energy companies ignore your Energy Secretary.

0:52:220:52:26

First of all, I have to point out

0:52:260:52:28

if we had what Labour wanted at the last election

0:52:280:52:30

we would have had an energy price freeze which would mean a cap...

0:52:300:52:34

Cap, which means it couldn't go above a certain amount.

0:52:340:52:37

..we wouldn't see the kind of falls we are seeing now.

0:52:370:52:40

That is not true, you know that.

0:52:400:52:42

This government had the CMA look into this situation

0:52:420:52:45

and more than that, though, as you will know,

0:52:450:52:47

we've brought through legislation that means simpler tariffs

0:52:470:52:51

and energy companies having to flag up to people

0:52:510:52:54

when they are on a more expensive tariff than they ought to be.

0:52:540:52:57

"What has it achieved?" is my question to you.

0:52:570:53:00

It's a lot more than you achieved over 13 years which saw competition

0:53:000:53:04

exit the market, and we're trying to get competition back into it.

0:53:040:53:08

-Not true.

-It's not quite so straightforward

0:53:080:53:11

to say this problem has arisen now.

0:53:110:53:13

We are making sure Ofgem has teeth,

0:53:130:53:16

making sure the market operates effectively,

0:53:160:53:18

making sure consumers do know whether they are on the best

0:53:180:53:21

tariff or not and making the tariff simpler.

0:53:210:53:23

That is why that gentleman knows his mother is

0:53:230:53:26

not on as good a tariff as she should be.

0:53:260:53:29

-The tariff system is mad.

-What?

-The tariff system is mad!

0:53:290:53:32

Which is why it's been simplified.

0:53:320:53:34

If you try to find what you're paying per kilowatt-hour,

0:53:340:53:37

it's virtually impossible.

0:53:370:53:39

I've never known a market that can be so mismanaged.

0:53:390:53:43

I think again, I don't think it's the companies.

0:53:430:53:46

I think it is Ofgem who have structured the system.

0:53:460:53:49

If you go on to the website, you try and find how much you pay

0:53:490:53:52

per kilowatt-hour and the tariffs are buried so far away

0:53:520:53:56

-it's virtually impossible to find it.

-You at the back.

0:53:560:54:00

I think the regulators need to be brought to book.

0:54:000:54:04

The companies, while they are in private hands,

0:54:050:54:07

will try to maximise their profits.

0:54:070:54:09

It's up to the regulators to control that

0:54:090:54:11

and to stop people getting ripped off.

0:54:110:54:13

All those British Gas customers that haven't had a price decrease

0:54:130:54:16

should get a rebate today.

0:54:160:54:19

John Nicolson?

0:54:190:54:20

You need a PhD in Applied Maths to understand the tariffs.

0:54:200:54:24

Maybe that is what we should teach 11-year-olds to help them

0:54:240:54:29

later in life.

0:54:290:54:30

It is disgraceful that old people are shivering in their homes

0:54:300:54:34

and scared to turn on their energy supply.

0:54:340:54:38

It is disgraceful. It has gone on for far too long.

0:54:380:54:41

We don't have a functioning system of competition.

0:54:410:54:44

One of the problems, of course, is that people don't switch.

0:54:440:54:47

They don't switch because they can't understand

0:54:470:54:50

the benefits of switching.

0:54:500:54:51

Many of them stay with the old utility companies that have

0:54:510:54:54

been privatised and so a lot of people are paying

0:54:540:54:57

much more than they need to.

0:54:570:54:58

They get little help from the government in understanding it.

0:54:580:55:02

One of the disgraces, of course, is when energy supplies

0:55:020:55:07

come down in price, those are not passed on to the consumer.

0:55:070:55:13

When they go up, then they are passed on to the consumer

0:55:130:55:16

as quickly as the energy companies can possibly do.

0:55:160:55:20

So they are rascals, the energy companies.

0:55:200:55:23

They need to be called to heel

0:55:230:55:26

and they need to be strictly regulated.

0:55:260:55:29

Theo Paphitis... Do you come to the defence of the energy companies?

0:55:290:55:33

We have a minute or two left.

0:55:330:55:35

We talked about the regulator.

0:55:350:55:38

They have to be called to account here.

0:55:380:55:41

But each company has their tariffs.

0:55:410:55:45

They have got more details on our usage than we have.

0:55:450:55:48

They know exactly what we're spending.

0:55:480:55:51

It's not rocket science for them to automatically put

0:55:510:55:55

everybody on the right tariff that's best for them.

0:55:550:55:58

But for some reason, they don't wish to do so.

0:55:580:56:01

It's down to the regulator.

0:56:010:56:02

-They could be instructed to do so.

-It's dead easy.

0:56:020:56:06

We have legislated for energy companies to have to be clear

0:56:060:56:11

with people when they are not on the right tariff.

0:56:110:56:15

They are saying it's not happening.

0:56:150:56:17

You don't have to be clear or notify them -

0:56:170:56:21

you don't have to do anything.

0:56:210:56:23

It's really, really easy, this.

0:56:230:56:25

-You just do it.

-June.

-I'm with Theo.

0:56:250:56:28

OK. All right.

0:56:280:56:29

You, sir, there on the left. We have to come to an end.

0:56:290:56:34

I know it's Stratford-upon-Avon, so I might be in the minority.

0:56:340:56:39

Why don't we nationalise the energy sector?

0:56:390:56:41

Because it should work for the benefit of the people.

0:56:410:56:46

That ship has sailed, unfortunately.

0:56:460:56:49

That ship has sailed. The last point here.

0:56:490:56:52

I have a friend who moved to Spain, they get the winter fuel allowance.

0:56:530:56:58

How can that be?

0:56:580:57:00

Again, that's something that we are changing and announced

0:57:000:57:03

I think at the last Budget that we are not going to be paying

0:57:030:57:07

the winter fuel allowance to people living in countries like Spain.

0:57:070:57:11

The person there. Yes, you.

0:57:110:57:13

Do you not think that the government should be helping smaller

0:57:130:57:17

energy firms to grow so that bigger energy firms

0:57:170:57:20

don't have a monopoly over the market?

0:57:200:57:23

Especially because what we really need to see is a lot more

0:57:230:57:26

competition in where our energy comes from.

0:57:260:57:29

What this government did when it attacked renewables

0:57:290:57:32

and removed overnight the subsidies for solar and wind energy and taken

0:57:320:57:36

away the tax relief for community energy projects has meant that more

0:57:360:57:40

power is given to the Big Six energy companies

0:57:400:57:43

and taken away from people.

0:57:430:57:45

Brief point.

0:57:450:57:47

Labour and the Tories blaming each other.

0:57:490:57:52

One thing they could have controlled in office

0:57:520:57:55

was the level of tax on fuel, whether it is gas,

0:57:550:57:57

electricity or petrol.

0:57:570:57:59

None of them ever seem to bother to do it.

0:57:590:58:01

When it comes to green taxes,

0:58:010:58:04

that is part of the reason why

0:58:040:58:07

fuel prices, energy prices are so high.

0:58:070:58:10

-We have to stop.

-I would agree with Piers Corbyn, not Jeremy!

0:58:100:58:16

Yeah, we might go into that another time.

0:58:160:58:19

A whole new debate.

0:58:190:58:20

Our energy has not run out, has it? But we have to stop, the time is up.

0:58:200:58:24

Now, where will we be next week? Poole in Dorset.

0:58:240:58:28

Julian Fellowes, who wrote Downton Abbey, will be on the panel.

0:58:280:58:31

That's all I know for the moment.

0:58:310:58:34

The week after in Liverpool, where we always get a good programme.

0:58:340:58:37

If you want to come to Poole or Liverpool, go to our website

0:58:370:58:41

or call us:

0:58:410:58:43

On Radio 5 Live this debate goes on, on Question Time Extra Time.

0:58:450:58:49

From here, my thanks to all our panellists

0:58:490:58:51

and to all of you who came to Stratford-upon-Avon to take part.

0:58:510:58:56

Until next Thursday, from Question Time, goodnight!

0:58:560:59:00

David Dimbleby presents from Stratford-upon-Avon. Panellists include Conservative international development secretary Justine Greening, Labour's shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy, the SNP's John Nicolson, broadcaster June Sarpong and businessman and former Dragon Theo Paphitis.


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