David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Chelmsford. On the panel: Nicky Morgan MP, Emily Thornberry MP, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP, Roger Helmer MEP and Mark Littlewood.
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Tonight we're in Chelmsford, and this is Question Time.
Good evening and welcome to you,
whether you're watching or listening.
On our panel tonight,
the Conservative Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.
Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary, Emily Thornberry.
The SNP Trade and Industry spokesperson at Westminster,
Ukip's leader in the European Parliament, Roger Helmer.
The director of the think-tank the Institute Of Economic Affairs,
Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
Don't forget you have, at your service at home,
Facebook, text or Twitter, to comment on what's said here.
There are the details on the screen.
Let's have our first question from Graham Bartlett tonight, please.
Why is this Government cutting corporation tax
at the expense of the disabled?
The result of yesterday's Budget.
Well, we aren't doing that.
Let's push back on that immediately.
Yesterday's Budget was about putting the next generation first.
It was about continuing to repair the damage done to our economy
by the Labour Party when they were in government.
What we've found, in terms of corporation tax, for example,
is that if you lower the rates, actually, you get more money in.
And that's a good thing
for all the things we want to spend our money on,
like, in my case, obviously, schools and education. But...
Sorry, can I just check one thing? You say we're not doing that.
You do agree with Mr Bartlett you are both cutting corporation tax
and making savings on the disabled?
No. Because I agree about the corporation tax.
But we are not making savings on the disabled,
because we are, at the moment, consulting on making some changes
to the way that Personal Independence Payments...
What's the figure of £4.4 billion saving
from January 2017 to do with it
if it's not to do with making a saving?
No, no. It's about less, but overall
the amount of money we are spending on disability benefits
actually rises throughout the Parliament.
By the end of this Parliament, we will be spending £3 billion more
on Personal Independence Payments than we were in 2010,
or the equivalent benefit - Disability Living Allowance.
We spend £50 billion on disability benefits in this country.
That's more than we're spending on, for example, police and defence.
It's more than the schools budget.
Sorry, I don't want to stop you again,
but the Institute For Fiscal Studies,
who we know are sort of great gurus on this,
say that 370,000 people could lose up to £3,500 a year
as a result of these measures you're taking.
Are you saying nobody's going to lose out?
No. What we are saying is
that this is about the way that people's needs are assessed
and making sure that the benefit is targeted
absolutely at the right people.
Personal Independence Payment,
I know as a constituency Member of Parliament,
having constituents who claim it, who go through the system,
is there to help people to live independently.
It's about making sure the money we are spending -
we are spending more, as I say, on disability benefits -
is going to the right people to help them with the right needs.
And I think, overall, you know,
we want there to be control of the welfare budget,
that's something we've made very clear in our manifesto.
We also made very clear we're not going to balance the books
on the back of the most vulnerable and the disabled.
And we absolutely still hold to that promise.
Mr Bartlett, does that answer your question? Has she got it right?
No. They're targeting the disabled at the expense of the corporations,
who are getting away with it.
They should pay more money
so we can have better facilities for the disabled.
-But they will pay more money.
I'll come back to you, Nicky.
Well, you're right, Graham. Of course they are.
They're targeting those who they think won't be able to fight back.
They're going to change the rules
so that if you need assistance in going to the loo,
assistance in getting dressed,
then they will look again
at how much Personal Independence Payments you can get.
And that's going to cost the disabled £67 a week.
It is outrageous.
And this idea that, "Oh, we're cutting corporation tax
"in order to be able to gather in more money,"
I mean, what kind of Alice In Wonderland world are we living in?
You know, are we saying, oh, we're cutting corporation tax
and so, therefore, people won't fiddle
their corporation tax any more?
Shouldn't we actually be making sure
the corporations and the very rich pay their taxes
and we make sure that we look after the most vulnerable in this society?
This Budget is about choices
and, frankly, I think that George Osborne
has shown his true colours here
by picking on those who can't fight back.
How much did you raise corporation tax by when you were in Government?
-Do you remember?
-No, I don't remember. I don't remember. But...
-I don't think you did raise it, did you?
-Yes, but they're cutting it.
I mean, what are you saying?
And at the moment, you know, what are we doing?
We're actually cutting corporation tax down
to the same rate as Google might be prepared to pay it?
What kind of...? I mean, this is not right.
All right. Mark Littlewood.
Well, listen, I want lower, simpler taxes.
I'm a low-tax kind of guy.
I think that helps the economy, it helps employment,
it helps economic growth.
And ultimately, if you can find the sweet spot,
it helps Government revenues as well.
We have previously had taxes that are so high
that you don't actually get as much revenue as you might off them.
So I don't mind corporation tax going down.
But I do mind this...
Politicians of all stripes have got to work out
how they're going to make savings.
We are still, after six years of so-called austerity,
having a Government that is living well beyond the means of taxpayers
to the tune of tens of billions of pounds a year.
Most independent experts believe that George Osborne
only has a 50/50 chance, possibly worse,
of balancing the books by 2020.
So we've got to find some savings.
But...what the Conservatives have extremely unhelpfully done
is to ring-fence core constituencies,
largely of Conservative voters -
for example, affluent pensioners
still receiving their winter fuel allowance.
And if you ring-fence huge areas of Government spending,
then the axe falls unfairly.
And I would have thought
about the last thing you should be looking to cut
is assistance to the disabled.
But if you've ring-fenced so many other things,
2% on defence, 0.7% on international aid,
then you get these arbitrary cuts in spending.
So let's get taxes down,
that's the right way to boost our economy,
but let's actually put all Government departments on the table
for efficiencies in savings.
That's the only way I think we will balance the books in 2020.
Nicky Morgan, just pick up briefly on what Mark said, would you?
That you've ring-fenced so many things
you end up going for areas that perhaps you shouldn't go for.
Well, we certainly have, obviously, set out protections,
but I think they are areas which are very important. So...
-..2% defence spending,
0.7% on international aid,
our health budget.
Affluent, middle-class pensioners -
they're protected and ring-fenced by your Government.
-But it's true.
The Prime Minister has made a clear commitment to pensioners
about benefits which they rely on hugely and are very important.
Things like bus passes, for example, and Winter Fuel Payments.
But I think this is completely the wrong argument to be having.
The point is, actually, over the course of the last six years,
we have brought things under control.
We are much closer to living within our means.
If you look at the Budget book, you can see we're much closer
to spending what we are raising in taxes.
We have got further to do,
and the Chancellor has been honest about that.
And we're dealing with the particular issue that arose.
The person there in the fourth row.
I'd like to know why there's two different rules -
one for corporations, and one for ordinary people.
And why the Conservatives are so happy
to try and appease the corporations by cutting taxes,
whereas individuals are being forced to pay their taxes,
the disabled are being forced
to reduce their standard of living,
yet corporations, we're so happy for them to reduce it,
when some companies are trying to avoid paying taxes altogether.
All right. And the woman over there on the far right, yes.
You said that you ring-fenced the spending on the healthcare,
but the NHS is on its knees.
It can't meet its demands. It doesn't need ring-fencing.
It needs more money.
By cutting corporate taxing and ring-fencing the NHS,
it's sort of like saying that you appreciate Google
more than you appreciate the NHS.
So why don't you invest?
And by cutting disability benefits, by cutting social services,
all you're doing is bringing the NHS down to its knees.
The NHS won't be around for another couple of years
-if you continue to do this.
-Nicky, I'll come back to you,
but, Roger Helmer... Then I'll come back to you.
Well, Nicky has said that this is a Budget for the next generation.
And, of course, it's no such thing.
It's a Budget for the next three months.
Because George Osborne's job, and his boss' job,
depend upon them winning the referendum
and they are throwing everything, including the kitchen sink,
at that project.
Coming back to the specific question...
Hang on, what is it in this Budget
that will help win the referendum, in your view?
Well, there are tax reductions for large numbers of smaller businesses,
so there's quite a range of people there
who will be helped by the Budget and...
-And middle-income and richer people...
..who the Conservatives are hoping to keep on side.
But the point I would like to make is that I agree with Mark
that lower corporation tax is not about making gifts to companies,
it's about making Britain an attractive place to invest,
an attractive place to build factories,
create jobs and all those things.
Where I think George Osborne has got it dramatically wrong is,
as the questioners have been suggesting,
is to pick on the disabled.
There are all sorts of groups in society
you might want to look again at the benefits they get,
but the disabled...?
And whereas for a single disabled person
the loss of £3,500 a year, for them, is an enormous amount of money,
according to the statistics I've seen, over the next five years,
the total saving for the Government
is of the order of £4.5 billion.
Well, if we leave the European Union after 23rd June,
we'll get that amount of money back in three months.
George Osborne has failed on debt, on deficit, on growth,
on trade and exports.
He's failed on everything
and he wants the disabled people of this country to pay for it
and it is not on.
Tory austerity - which isn't working - is a choice, not a necessity.
Penalising the disabled people by having £4.4 billion of cuts
on money they should be getting is a choice, not a necessity.
And to say this is for the next generation is highly questionable.
In fact, George Osborne mentioned the next generation, I think,
at least 18 times in his speech yesterday.
What has he done for the next generation?
He doesn't want 16- and 17-year-olds to vote.
He's cut student maintenance allowances.
He's cut allowances for student nurses.
He's cut allowances for 18- to 21-year-olds who are unemployed
who need housing benefit.
That is not somebody who's planning for the next generation,
that's someone who's planning for himself.
And the time has come to call time on this Chancellor,
because the disabled people of this country cannot take any more.
The Resolution Foundation, having looked at all the figures,
have come to the conclusion, which is one with which I agree,
the top 10% of households in this country
will be 20 times better off
as a result of yesterday's Budget.
-Tasmina, do you...?
-We have to look at ourselves as a country
and think, is this where we want to go?
Is this a reflection of ourselves?
Why are we not looking after the people who need our help the most?
The Government has a majority of 12.
We hear today that 20 Conservative MPs
have written to say that they're very concerned
about the disability changes.
Do you think that it'll get through,
or do you think it will be rejected by the House of Commons?
Because, presumably, the SNP will use its strength to vote against it.
Absolutely, and without a doubt.
And I'm very pleased to see
that there are voices across the House of Commons and in Government,
on the Government benches, who are voices of reason,
to see that this is absolutely not the right way forward.
The Government faces another difficulty
and another defeat, potentially.
Nicky Morgan, do you think the Chancellor will lose the vote?
Well, first of all, we've got to finish the consultation
and the conversations that we're having with MPs,
but also with disability groups and others
before we even bring any legislation forward.
Can I just pick up the point that the lady in the audience made
about the taxes for businesses and the taxes for individuals?
Sorry, can I just come back to that other thing?
Are you saying this is just for consultation,
this wasn't an announcement on saving money?
It was in the Budget speech.
No, no, it wasn't in the Budget speech, actually.
What are we talking about, then?
Just something you were half-thinking about?
No, no, there's been an independent review that has happened.
Proposals have been put forward
and we are continuing the conversation about this,
to make sure, as I said in my original answer,
that the Personal Independence Payment
is targeted at the right people.
-Is that how you see it? Not in the Budget?
-No, I don't see it.
I remember Cameron saying that, on Personal Independence plans,
he said, "This is our measure and we will enhance and safeguard it."
That's what he said before the general election,
-and he has gone back on his word.
-Hang on a second. But...
-No, no, that is what he said before the election.
The Prime Minister didn't deliver the Budget yesterday,
the Chancellor did. This is a measure...
Oh, they don't talk to each other?
This is a measure that is still being discussed in Government.
And, as I say, it's about making sure that the welfare spending...
So he didn't say, "Look, George, I promised not to do anything
"to personal independence plans.
"In fact, I promised to enhance and safeguard it,
"so please don't touch it"? He didn't tell them that?
If the entire Budget's up for discussion,
I'm very interested in having this discussion now,
because that certainly wasn't how it was played.
And indeed, Graham Ellis, one of your own members,
who was on the executive of the disabled group
in the Conservative Party, actually resigned as a result of that.
There are serious issues surrounding this.
He said he couldn't possibly fathom being a member of a party
that was going to have such a terrible impact
-on the disabled people.
-That's why we're still discussing it.
Disabled people in this country
have committed suicide as a result of some of the cuts
that have been brought forward by this Government.
-It is unforgiveable.
-The woman here in the front.
The lady said about the suicide...
With the disabled people,
with them having their money cut,
surely there will be more distress?
Because people can't get anywhere, they get depressed even more,
it'll cost them more,
and then, as you say, they commit suicide.
So, you know, they're making it worse for them.
-People's mental health issues, absolutely.
-Hold on, Tasmina.
Just clarify this,
and then we must just talk about the corporation-tax part of this.
This £4.4 billion saving by 2021...
on disability -
you're saying that is not a policy? That just doesn't exist?
It's a fantasy?
No, no, it is something that has been put forward.
There has been a review, there has been a suggestion.
We are not ready to bring the legislation forward.
Can I just ask you, then, how does it square
with what the Prime Minister said before the last election?
"We haven't created this to undermine it.
"We want to enhance and safeguard it.
"The most disabled should always be protected."
Well, that's exactly what I'm saying.
There's been a suggestion
of a change in the way the personal independence needs are assessed.
And that's something we all continue to discuss.
So is it all up for debate? Can we argue other things, too?
Are there other things that...?
I'm sure you'll argue lots of things, Emily.
The Budget is merely a suggestion, is it?
Can I just answer the question?
Hold on. All right. One at a time.
Corporation tax and personal tax - I think this is really important.
I do think that if you bring down taxes on companies -
we want them to set up and we want them to invest in this country,
we want them to employ people.
But I should also just point out
that yesterday the Chancellor also said
that the income-tax personal allowance
is going to go up again in April, and it will go up again next year.
31 million people are going to be paying less tax -
individuals, as a result of changes introduced under the last government
and in the current government.
We're also introducing the National Living Wage,
so that people's wages will be going up, too.
So to say that we are somehow ignoring individuals
and focusing on business is not right.
But, of course, we need people to come to this country to invest,
because they're the ones that are going to employ people.
What about the employment support allowance cut by £30 per week?
-What about that?
-Can we just clarify one thing?
Because it does sound, from what you're saying -
I don't know whether I'm misinterpreting this, Nicky...
You've got 20 Conservative MPs opposed to this policy,
written to the Chancellor -
it sounds as if you may be saying that this £4.4 billion saving
isn't actually now going to happen.
On reflection, the opposition to it is so great
you may have to reconsider.
Wouldn't the Chancellor have even more difficulty balancing the books?
Then let me just hear the answer to the question.
Well, we are absolutely still engaged in a discussion on that
with both Members of Parliament,
as I say, with disability groups and campaigners, very much.
That's political speak for, "We aren't going to do it."
This is clearly an issue about...
This is another £4.4 billion that has to be found from somewhere else.
Hang on a second. People can't have it both ways.
They can't, on the one hand say, "You can't make this change,"
and then say, "You're not going to."
-That's not what we said.
-We have a track record, as a government...
Tasmina, you must let her just finish her sentences. Like I must!
We have a track record, as a government, of making savings.
They're difficult decisions to make, as ministers,
but they are the right thing to do
for exactly the reason, when we stated this discussion,
that we want to live within our means as a government.
That's what we ask people to do in their lives.
-It's what we should do as a government.
-The woman in pink there.
Yes. If we've decided to cut corporation tax
to make the UK an interesting place and a good place to invest in,
hasn't David Cameron shot himself in the foot
by actually bringing along an EU referendum
where, actually, we could be outside Europe now
and less attractive to business?
Emily Thornberry, can you answer that?
I mean, I agree with you. Of course I do. But, you know, I...
You mean you agree with her that cutting corporation tax
is a good idea to encourage business? That's what's she said.
No, what she said was, if we're going to cut corporation tax
in order to make the UK more attractive,
then surely an even bigger threat is leaving the EU?
And I agree with that.
I think that leaving the EU is a threat to inward investment,
and at a time when we're not getting
enough inward investment into this country -
is one of the many problems that we have.
You know, the borrowing has gone up by 35 billion since November.
You know, the Chancellor was saying one sum
and then a few months later it's £35 billion more.
And it seems like we've got another £4 billion to add on top,
given the U-turn we've heard tonight.
But we have a Budget that doesn't actually address the real issues.
The real issues are people's wages are not going up
at the same rate as prices,
we have a housing crisis and we're not getting enough houses built,
we're not getting enough investment into our country.
You know, our growth is slowing down,
our tax burden, as a whole, is going up,
and very rich people and big businesses
are not paying their taxes.
And what would Labour do about all this?
The first thing... I mean, I can talk all night
about what we would do instead. So, let me not.
-One thing we would do...
-On the issues that the Chancellor...
You wouldn't have cut taxes?
One of the things that I would do is I would invest in homes.
-I would invest in more houses.
Nicky's going to tell you that's what she's going to do.
If we were to be doing something in order to save money later,
how about building some homes for the younger generation?
Where are our kids going to live if we don't build them homes?
And if we want to cut the budget,
if you want to cut the amount of money we pay out on benefits,
how about building some homes so that rents are no longer so high
so we don't have to pay out so much money in housing benefit?
-Let's address the corporation tax.
-Let's stick with corporation tax.
The big question I would have for George Osborne, if he were here...
He's not in the audience anywhere, is he? No.
What is the point of, on the one hand saying,
"We are going to be really decisive
"and we are going to lower corporation tax,"
and on the other hand say,
"Yes, but we're withdrawing an awful lot of tax allowances and so on,
"so that, in effect, you drive them up again"?
And I think that's a rather curious situation.
It's not my job to come to the defence of George Osborne,
but I understand that he has at least made some moves
to prevent large companies from exporting tax.
And that is absolutely right and he should have done it long ago.
Just stick with tax, Mark, and then we'll move on.
On corporation tax, do you agree with Roger
that he's given with one hand and taken away with the other?
He has somewhat, yes.
Because his new target is to reduce corporation tax to 17%,
but to make it harder to offset your previous losses
against your current profits.
So that's the allowance he's got rid of.
I can understand why people get furious about corporation tax,
because I can see, on the face of it,
that it looks like there's a big cheat going on.
But we're going to have to modernise our tax system.
This was a tax that was brought in in the 1930s -
a much simpler time.
When you are now dealing with companies
that have an algorithm in Los Angeles,
their website hosted in Holland,
the intellectual property registered in Singapore,
it's very difficult to work out precisely
where the economic activity is taking place.
Back in simpler times
when we just went to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker
on the high street,
it was much easier to work out where economic activity was taking place.
Do you agree with the woman in pink when she says
we need to get corporation tax down to get business into Britain?
Yeah, I would abolish corporation tax altogether.
I want to encourage all companies to come here, invest,
employ people who, by the way,
then pay income tax and VAT when they go out to the shops.
And the problem is, I think, if you don't abolish it,
these huge internet multinational companies
have different IP registered all over the place,
perfectly rationally, intelligently,
and it's the little guy with the little corner shop
who actually gets penalised.
It's the smaller companies that get penalised.
Isn't that another argument for the EU?
I mean, isn't it about time
the countries of the EU actually stuck together
and said to these large companies, "You must pay your taxes,
"and we, the EU, will not let you get away
"with not paying your taxes any more"?
I would prefer our taxes to be set
by our democratically elected parliament
rather than the European Commission.
But if we were able to club together
and make sure that they did it properly?
The European Union has proved itself completely incapable
of dealing with issues like that.
It is fantasy to think that they help.
OK, we'll come to the European Union maybe in a moment.
It will be no surprise. Yes, you.
Is cutting corporation tax a last-ditch attempt
to keep the big businesses, like HSBC, in our country,
because we're scared that we will actually leave the EU?
-Is that what you think it is?
I'm asking, is it?
It's that I thought it could well be.
Are they trying to appease companies like HSBC
to keep their big, huge headquarters here,
because they're worried they'll actually leave if we leave the EU?
Nicky Morgan, briefly, is that the argument?
No, I think it is about making sure that companies know
that Britain is a good place for them to invest and to employ.
I mean, companies like HSBC and others,
they employ a lot of people in this country
who, as Mark says, then pay their personal taxes.
Emily and I are not going to agree on very much tonight,
but I think the one thing we can agree on
is that, actually, we should stay in a reformed EU.
Just to answer the lady's question...
There isn't a reformed EU to stay in!
Which reformed EU?
Nicky, please. Which reformed EU? There is no reformed EU.
There is a reformed EU.
I'm not a seer about the way this programme will go,
but there just might be a question on Europe.
So let's take another aspect to headline from the Budget.
But before I do, let me just say about Question Time's plans.
We're off the air for Easter.
If you want to come to Question Time,
we're in Ilford, curiously -
not far from Chelmsford -
on April 7th.
Ilford. We call it East London,
to separate it from Chelmsford, Essex.
And then in Doncaster the week after that.
That's April 7th and then 14th April 14th.
And you can apply. The details are on the screen now,
the television and the website.
But I will give them at the end in more detail.
Just so you know, cos you'll be extremely welcome.
Jennie Stanton, you're very welcome, too. Can we have your question?
The sugar tax will add about 25p per bottle of soft drink.
Will that really deter parents from buying it?
This is a disastrous, pernicious,
unfair, regressive tax
that will do absolutely nothing to help public health.
The economic evidence is pretty clear on this point.
Wherever these things have been tried,
whether it's been on sugar or sugary drinks,
in, say, Mexico, when it's been on a fat tax,
tried in Denmark, it actually gets you virtually zero of the way
towards improving public health.
-Well, because for example, people will trade down brands.
So rather than buying perhaps a premium brand of cola,
you will simply switch to buying the local brand
or a less-recognised brand,
quite possibly consuming still more sugar.
So people switch their shopping habits.
And what really appalled me about seeing this in the Budget
was politicians on both sides of the House,
Conservative and Labour, sort of congratulating themselves
that they have brought in a new taxation
which is going to hit you in the pocket.
It's all very well for Nicky to say your income tax is going down,
but your shopping bill is going to go up
on the grounds that this will help public health. It won't.
And I was particularly upset
to see the Labour Party warmly applauding it.
This is a tax that is regressive and hits the poorest hardest.
To actually see the Labour opposition
almost warmly applauding George Osborne for bringing it in
I thought was absolutely horrific.
So this is a bad tax, it's going to the poor,
and it will do nothing to improve the health of our children
or, indeed, the adult population.
So what can be done to reduce the cost of healthy food?
Well, everybody always looks at the food side of it.
I think the real problem is exercise, actually.
Calories, generally going down.
Sugar consumption is generally going down year-on-year in Britain.
If there is an obesity epidemic,
it is not being caused by sugar consumption going up at all.
It's caused by us having a sedentary lifestyle.
So don't play football on your PlayStation,
go and play it in the park, is what we've got to tell our kids.
Man in the yellow shirt, yes. Go on.
I have to disagree with the man who just spoke,
because we tax alcoholic drinks because they are unhealthy.
Why not tax sugary drinks? Because they're definitely unhealthy.
George Osborne would have absolutely loved
all of the headlines about this Budget to be about the sugar tax,
but they weren't, and events took over from it.
However, I would say, in terms of public health,
whilst I don't believe it will stop people from drinking sugary drinks,
not least children,
it will raise awareness, in terms of health issues,
which is an important effect of it.
We need to do something about obesity in this country.
Is this going to be the answer? Absolutely not.
Can it be part of an answer? Yes, it can,
in terms of how we encourage the people of this country
to try and eat better.
And one of the ways we are doing that in Scotland
is by free school meals,
which we have for primary-one-to-three children,
where they're guaranteed a healthy meal every single day.
-And that's now being extended in the next year.
Please, it's worthwhile listening. I'm talking about children.
We're actually talking about the sugar tax, soft drinks,
not about Scotland's policy on meals for children.
Why not raise awareness of it?
Don't raise a tax to raise awareness of it,
just raise awareness of it.
It's a bizarre way to set your tax policy.
But I will finish my answer, because it's important.
We were talking about health in the main.
And in the main, Nicola Sturgeon has also confirmed that,
in the next parliament, we'll be also ensuring
that children that go to nursery get a meal a day.
And what we need to be looking...
I am sorry, look, it's all very well to sit here
and talk about Scottish policy on children.
What is your answer to Jennie Stanton's question?
Is it going to make a difference?
I'm saying it will, in terms of raising awareness.
That was the first part of my answer.
Well, then, that's fine. That's all we need.
I'm just amazed by Tasmina.
-She is prepared...
-It has to be part of a health initiative.
Hang on, the chair has just given...
You are prepared to apply a regressive tax
which affects lower-income, poorer people disproportionately,
merely so that you can have the satisfaction of raising awareness.
I think that is tragic, coming from a left-wing...
That's not what I said at all.
Well, that's exactly what you said.
Word for word, that is what you said.
Nicky Morgan, you come to the defence of it.
I do think it's the right thing to do.
And I have to say, I've had my mind converted on that,
because I think behaviour does need to change,
and I think that there is an issue about wider health and exercise
and everything else.
-But when I looked at the figures...
-What converted you?
Was it the Prime Minister changed his mind,
-you thought you'd better stay alongside him?
It hasn't worked in other countries.
Of course I always support my Prime Minister. Of course I do. But...
-Whichever way he goes, you'll be with him?
-No, no, no.
Look, we debated this, I think, when I was on a previous Question Time.
It was one of the warm-up questions.
But, you know, the biggest single source of sugar intake
in young people's diets is sugary drinks.
And when you've got one in ten young people
starting primary school obese,
and it rises to two in ten leaving primary school obese,
there is clearly an issue in this country.
So what about latte macchiatos, and all those things I don't understand,
that are absolutely full of sugar?
The medical evidence is that, actually,
in spite of the sugar in those sort of drinks,
actually, the milk and presumably the calcium and everything else
is still beneficial to people.
-But let me say to you one other thing.
-Not if it's full of sugar.
Well, look, Roger, there is medical evidence.
And that's how this policy has been developed.
Oh, come on. That's an excuse.
-Why have you frozen cider duty and beer duty,
which are considerably worse for you than a cup of lemonade?
So you're going to increase...
We're talking about young people's health.
They're not drinking cider and beer, one assumes.
So you want an 18-year-old to switch
from drinking Coca-Cola and start drinking cider?
That's the economic incentive you've set up in your Budget. Ridiculous.
The other thing...
One at a time. One at a time.
The other thing is the drinks industry has got two years
in which to reduce the sugar content of its drinks,
in which case there won't be a tax on those drinks.
And we've seen that some companies -
because we're on the BBC, I won't mention names -
but there are some companies that have already done that
and that behaviour has changed.
And, therefore, those drinks are healthier for young people.
It is perfectly possible to do it.
So what will George do for his £520 million
if, in fact, people are going to change their habits
and stop consuming sweet drinks?
Well, that's something that, obviously,
we will look at as part of the Government.
-Another part of the Budget that's a suggestion.
The woman up there. And then I'll come to you, Emily.
This tax might never actually be paid
if recipes are changed and sugar is dropped.
So that money should be going into sports in primary schools -
As Mark said, really, exercise is key to reducing obesity.
So if that tax isn't raised,
then the sport in school won't increase.
And that will be three years in the future, so what happens now?
I mean, I think, again, it just shows, I think,
that this Government is just making it up as it goes along.
I mean, in 2012, after the Olympics,
there was supposed to be the sports premium.
And yet, at that stage, the Government cut back
on the two hours a week that young people were supposed to spend
doing physical education.
And now we're saying, well, we're going to have a sugar tax
and the money from that sugar tax is now going to pay for PE in schools.
I mean, I support a sugar tax as part of an overall strategy,
as part of an obesity strategy.
The government keeps talking about
being about to have an obesity strategy.
He's put it off, I think, five times.
The Prime Minister is supposed to be the person who's leading on it.
We still await this obesity strategy.
It does seem to me that part of it has to be getting kids more active.
The difficulty is, we are in a changing society.
And to be quite honest,
we all know that at home, kids are tending not to go out as much,
they tend to be in front of computers much more,
which makes the job at school being that much more important
to make sure that kids get active and actually enjoy being active.
And that's a really important part of it.
But as part of the sugar tax, we also, I think,
have to look at advertising.
I think we have to look at the fact that you can have cartoons,
you can have personalities, endorsing, you know, sugary drinks.
And as the guy said in the middle here,
you know, who's there to promote carrots?
You know, you don't get the same sort of publicity.
It does seem to me...
Can I suggest parents are perhaps there to promote carrots?
Of course, parents. But do you know what?
There are poor children being born today
who will not live as long as their parents.
We have to do something about the obesity in our society.
We must tackle it. We can't just keep talking about it.
OK. Let us talk about it a bit more with our audience.
The woman there first of all.
If the policy is successful
and manufacturers convert their sugar into, say,
saccharin or aspartame, what would the impact be?
-Because I thought they were meant to be more unhealthy?
And you, sir, in the yellow waistcoat.
Instead of the sugar tax, isn't it time that this,
all of us, in fact, swallowed the bitter pill
of a dedicated tax to help fund the NHS?
And the woman in the spectacles there at the back.
For me, the sugar tax is a real red herring.
I think a far more worthwhile policy would be helping children
to learn how to cook and teaching them more about nutrition.
Because people are getting fatter
because they don't have the time or the inclination to cook properly.
OK, and you up there.
The person up there at the back.
Surely it's about time to educate parents
not to give children sugary drinks.
They ought to start promoting giving them tap water,
which is a lot cheaper.
So it doesn't matter if you come from a poor background,
or sort of what income you have,
-water is cheap.
And you, sir, on the gangway here. Yes.
Yes, the issue is consumption, not production.
And if the government was sincere about the health of the children,
they would actually legislate
to limit the amount of sugar in the drinks in the first place
and not just apply a tax that won't affect very many people.
Good points. Can we go on?
Let's go on to another question, then.
Amber Finch, let's have your question, please.
Will forcing schools to become academies raise standards,
or will it just be the same school with same problems just rebranded?
Very interesting. We've had a lot of questions about academy schools.
And the policy is that all schools, within six years,
are going to be academy schools.
Will it raise standards,
or will they just be the same schools with the same old problems?
Emily Thornberry, you kick off on this.
-I think that the way...
-It was Labour policy,
it should be said, wasn't it, to start with?
Labour's policy was to introduce academies
where a school was failing.
And, as part of a larger package, was to make a school an academy
as an attempt to try to raise standards.
What the government is doing
is they have introduced, on the basis of dogma,
they have decided that all schools should be academies,
whether they want to be academies or not.
And most primary schools do not want to be academies.
Eight out of ten primary schools are either good or outstanding.
You know, so why do they need to be made academies?
Why do they need to be made academies?
What do they lose by being an academy?
Just for the sake of people who are not up to speed on this.
So if you're an academy,
it basically means you're a stand-alone school.
So the head teacher, who's having problems with not enough staff,
with 8% cuts to their budget, you know, a whole range of problems,
problems about attainment, all kind of crises,
the new Sats, which the government have introduced
without giving any proper details,
the new GCSEs, the new A-levels...
All these different things, that head teachers have to deal with.
Instead, they have to stop doing all of that,
they have to go off and find some trustees,
they have to set themselves up as an independent school.
If they're a small primary school in a village,
where they've got, let's say, 120 kids,
they're not going to be allowed to be an academy by themselves.
So they're going to have to find themselves another school
to become an academy with,
or join one of these dreadful academy chains,
which the Chief Inspector has said
some of them are worse than some of the worst local authorities.
You know, it's not just me, Nicky, who criticises the academies
and the way in which you're insisting
all schools become academies.
If you listen to the spokesperson
from the Local Government Association, who's a Tory,
I mean, he is quite astounded
that you're insisting on all primary schools,
all schools becoming academies.
He says it defies reason
that councils are being portrayed as barriers to improvement,
given that 82% of council-maintained schools are good or outstanding.
So what they're doing is,
instead of actually dealing with the problems that they have,
and they have a number of problems -
not enough maths teachers, not enough physics teachers,
the number of pupils going up,
the amount of money going into the budgets going down...
Instead of addressing any of that, they decide to simply follow dogma
and make all schools - force all schools to - become academies.
-It's not thought through.
Just a reminder that it was...
It was, nevertheless, Labour that started the ball rolling.
But only for failed schools.
This is like Lansley.
Why would it do better for failed schools?
Because when you had tried everything else, in the end,
what you would do is allow a school to be essentially reborn.
You would put in support from elsewhere,
you would put in additional money,
you would quite often put in...
You would help rebuild the schools.
And then you would put focus on that school
and it would be given a great deal of support and assistance.
Instead, what this government's doing
is allowing all the school, forcing all the schools
to become independent, without that sort of support.
Yes, academisation does absolutely raise standards.
We've got 1.4 million more children in schools rated good or outstanding
than we had in 2010.
And what we see is that, actually, having a sponsor,
having somebody else running the school than a local authority,
absolutely does drive school improvement.
-There is no evidence.
-Hold on. You had a long go.
-Let her answer.
-There is plenty.
-There is no evidence.
-Emily, do let her just answer.
There is plenty of evidence.
Results in primary sponsored academies,
they're improving faster than local-authority schools.
We see that in secondary converter academies,
their proportion of GCSEs being passed
is higher than in local-authority schools.
-You're using jargon about converter schools.
-I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
Just to clarify.
-If a school is made to become an academy...
..does it have to look for a sponsor
or can it just find a group of trustees and they do it?
They can do it both ways. So if a school wants to convert...
And what we've seen is many schools become academies on their own
in the course of the last six years,
because they're strong enough to do that.
But if there is a problem, if a school has been failing,
or if its pupils are not making the progress that they should be,
then we will find them a sponsor.
And supposing a head teacher is happy
with his or her own arrangements within a council,
why are you forcing them to become academies?
Well, because we know...
What we're seeing in the system is more collaboration,
more schools working together.
And the ultimate thing is,
we believe the people who are best capable of running schools
are the heads, the teachers and the governors.
And if they say they don't want to be academies?
Well, we think... We do want all schools to become academies.
I mean, that's the direction of travel.
We don't have the capacity
to run two different systems in this country -
some local-authority, some academy schools.
Academy schools are hugely successful. There are...
And some are not.
Well, where they aren't, Emily,
actually, we will intervene much more swiftly.
You have a school in your own constituency
which languished in local-authority control in special measures
for six years.
That will not happen with the academy system,
because we will intervene much more swiftly to turn them around.
It's a universal policy, in other words. Roger Helmer.
I don't pretend to know a lot about education.
But I do know a lot about managing large groups of people,
because that's what I used to do before I got into politics.
You may think you've got the greatest idea in the world
And there are similar comments that can be made
about the health service and the junior doctors.
Isn't it part of your job
to sell your ideas to people instead of just saying,
"That's what you've got to do"?
To get them on board, so they're enthusiastic?
But we see that. People are adopting the academisation,
people are converting voluntarily.
And if you go to schools up and down the country,
as I do, day in and day out,
you see fantastic heads and teachers running their schools,
working with other schools,
making a difference to the young people in their charge.
That is what I want to see.
And at the end of the day, Roger, as Secretary of State,
people do expect me to set out my vision for the education system,
to lead and to work with others.
That's exactly what our white paper today is all about.
It's answering the questions that we started in the last government
and saying, "This is where we are headed.
"We are all going towards this place."
All right, let's hear..
But what is absolutely clear is
you are insisting on people choosing the route that you've set
and not having a choice whether to become academies or not.
We are reaching a tipping point, as I say,
and, actually, we want to run one system
where the money goes directly to the schools,
-and it's the schools that manage themselves.
-I think we've got that.
Let us hear from the audience. You, sir.
I'm sorry, this is just not going to solve the crisis
in recruitment, in retention in schools,
which is getting worse and worse
and will not change unless you make significant steps
improving the workload and the pay of teachers.
All right. And the woman there.
By turning schools into academies,
are we passing off the government -
using that to pass off responsibility for failing schools
-to the local authorities and the trustees of the schools?
-Is that what you think?
-I do, yes.
-Do you want to answer?
-No. Absolutely not.
What we are saying is the Department for Education,
me as Secretary of State -
we have these eight regional school commissioners around the country -
absolutely get involved in schools that are failing.
The whole purpose of the Education Adoption Act that we just passed,
that got Royal Assent yesterday,
is about identifying schools, both maintained and academies,
that are failing, or are coasting, and actually intervening swiftly.
Can I just come back to the point
the gentleman made about teacher recruitment?
Because it is very, very important.
The biggest thing that improves the life chance of young people
is the quality of the teaching
and having enough great teachers in the classroom.
And if you look at the white paper that we published today,
the whole thing is about setting out
and supporting teachers as professionals.
It's about making sure that they are absolutely in control,
that we've got the best teachers in our classrooms,
and they're supported by their head teachers.
Is anyone here - you've got experience of this around here -
in favour of the academy schools?
You are, sir.
You've spoken already. You've spoken already, too!
Anybody else who has not spoken already?
Well, OK, go on, then, quickly, you in pink there.
-And then I'll come to you.
-It's moving forward.
And it's taking schools to the next level.
And I think the Conservatives are doing a great job
-in making that move.
Of course, education is devolved to Scotland.
But we're always very keen to learn from good practice
for our systems up north as well.
But in terms of these academies,
I can't help but think,
because they are being imposed upon rather than through choice,
that we may well be creeping towards a system where,
depending on where you live and who is running your school,
will depend on the type of education that you get.
And, you know, education for our young people
must be based on absolutely their ability to learn,
not their ability to pay or where they might live.
But, Nicky, you can't help but find yourself in a situation
where, if every school has to be an academy,
whether they like it or not,
you will have some schools who are more willing to do it than others.
You will have different terms and conditions in different schools.
You will have an issue in terms of recruitment
and in terms of the breadth of pupils
who are going to those schools.
Then, why wouldn't you get that with local-authority control?
-Why don't you get that with local-authority control?
Well, with local authority control you can be guaranteed there is,
in terms of a comprehensive education system, David,
you can be guaranteed that everyone can benefit from the same education.
What can happen in certain areas,
particularly if people don't want to do it...
Because, remember, this is not through choice.
You can apply for free schools if you wish in Scotland through choice
and people make applications,
but that's because the parents and the head teachers want it to happen.
You have a different set of circumstances
where that is imposed upon you.
And what we need to make sure that we're protecting national pay,
we're protecting national terms and conditions.
What we don't have is different terms and conditions
across different schools, because it's the children that will suffer.
OK, I think you've made the point.
The more I hear these sort of debates,
the more I become more and more persuaded
that we've got to get politicians and bureaucrats
out of our education system altogether.
I am, therefore, sympathetic
to the direction of travel that Nicky is going in.
I'm sympathetic to it. I don't necessarily sign up to all of it.
But I'm sympathetic to it.
Because I don't really want local-education authorities,
politicians, meddling in it.
The one thing I hope we don't swap out
is if we remove the local bureaucracy,
I hope that's not replaced by central diktats being issued
by the Secretary of State for Education,
however charming and well-intentioned she may be.
We have got to let teachers teach again.
We are having political arguments that lead to endless form filling,
tick boxes, incredibly prescriptive national curriculums
about exactly what each pupil needs to learn when.
Let's put our faith back in the teaching profession.
Let them design the curriculum.
Let them work out what happens in the classroom.
More power to the teachers, less to the politicians,
and we'll have a much better education system in the UK.
All right. One more point from you, sir.
The point made here...
When you came to being Education Secretary in 2014,
you said - September, at the Conservative conference -
you said you were going to reduce the teachers' workload.
We have taken steps absolutely to do that.
What about the extra hour, Nicky?
Is that going to help teacher recruitment?
It doesn't have to be run by teachers.
The whole point about extracurricular activities
is that other people can come in and run the sport.
We have absolutely made a commitment of not introducing changes
midway through the year, lightening the Ofsted load, we've more say.
There are three working groups looking at the things
that teachers most complain about -
marking, data collection and lesson-planning.
and I'll have more to say about that next week.
Can I just raise a point?
There are some parts of the country where all these schools,
in an area where you have grave concerns about education standards,
they are all academies.
And you have nothing, no you have answer
to how to raise the standards there.
If you're only way of raising standards, as you say,
is by turning a school into an academy,
you know, you don't have the answers.
You need to read the white paper,
because that is exactly what we cover in the white paper.
I'm a bit weird - I have.
And what you've got is, in order to be able
to get more teachers into the profession,
you're setting up a website.
You're setting up a website.
We have had four years
with more teachers leaving the profession
than we've had coming into the profession.
You have a crisis,
in terms of recruitment and retention of teachers.
Yes, you may have more teachers than ever,
but you have more pupils than ever.
We have these ginormous great schools,
we have, you know, so many children in classes of more than 40,
and you're not addressing that.
It is becoming like Andrew Lansley
and the health service all over again.
Nicky, I'll give you a sentence or two.
We have a challenge in teacher recruitment,
but particularly because there are certain subjects...
Please, don't interrupt each other. Please. Or we'll never get anywhere.
Just let each other speak.
Fewer people took them and studied them to A-level and beyond
under the last Labour government
and, therefore, that has led to issues around teacher recruitment.
Doctor Catherine Gouveia, please.
I think it may be our last question. Let's have it.
Thank you. I'm a junior doctor,
my husband works in financial markets,
yet between us we find it difficult
to evaluate the pros and cons
of making a voting decision in the EU referendum.
Have the public been well prepared to vote in this referendum?
Right. When you say, "I'm a doctor and my husband works in finance,"
you mean that... we ought to understand it?
That's saying a lot!
Mark Littlewood, the question is an important one,
and we get it all the time.
The pros and cons of the EU referendum.
Have the public been prepared to vote?
Do they know enough? Has enough been said? Is it clear enough?
Your go. Fire away.
By June 23rd, I'm pretty sure you and your partner
will be heartily sick of another 99 days
of people fighting about the European Union.
Look, I think this is going to be a major decision
that is going to have an impact on the UK
for potentially generations to come.
I don't have an issue
in which I have a different opinion to my partner,
I have an issue in which I have a different opinion
to be the one I had 20 years ago.
You were a federalist?
Yeah, I was a former keen pro-European.
I love the idea of a European Union
that is liberal, democratic,
a brotherhood of man, light-touch regulation.
And if that European Union does exist
somewhere in a parallel universe,
then that's great for that parallel universe.
Oh, it's reformed. Nicky's already told us.
But it doesn't exist here.
So you're going to have to, just as you do in a general election,
or I think this decision is more important, however,
you're going to have to listen to all sides of the debate
and you're going to have to decide who you trust
and what, in your heart and your head, feels right.
And I think it is absolutely right and proper
that this decision is being batted to you, the electorate,
not the politicians on this panel.
-What, you that it was right to have a referendum?
And it wasn't just to save the Conservative Party
from its divisions?
I'm sure it was to save the Conservative Party
from its divisions.
But even if that was the trigger for it, I'm delighted that we've got it.
Finally, at last, after decades of arguing about it,
you, the people, are actually going to decide
on the future of our nation.
-And your vote - decided?
-I will vote to leave.
You're going to vote to leave. All right.
And even if you find it boring and technical
and there's mudslinging involved,
I just implore you, do your best
to try and make the best judgment you can.
Because what you do on June 23rd
will have an impact for a very long time to come.
And it's been noticeable, Emily Thornberry,
that the Prime Minister and the people around him
who want to remain have been vociferous,
and Labour's been strangely silent about this whole issue.
Not speaking out. Why is that?
I don't think we're not speaking out.
-We never hear you.
-Well, all right.
You know, well, let's talk a bit louder.
Labour is in favour of remaining in the European Union
because, over and above everything else,
we need to make sure that people have jobs,
and we need to make sure
that we have investment coming into this country.
And we believe, at a time when there may be cold winds
blowing through the economies of the world in the near future,
we must stay in the European Union.
It is to the advantage of all of us.
Do you believe the ground has been well prepared?
And that's why I asked you the question about Labour.
Do you think the issues have been spelled out
in a way that somebody with a busy life, a professional life,
listening to the arguments, can make up their minds?
I think that jobs and investment are two very important reasons.
I think that if we were to go off as an island
off into the Atlantic all by ourselves,
I think we would be putting ourselves at risk.
I think the world is getting to be a smaller place
and I think we've talked about it tonight -
you know, some of these multinational companies
do not care about national borders any more.
We need to be able to remain within the European Union
so that we are big enough to stand up to these companies.
And also there are issues such as climate change
which do not recognise national borders.
We need to be able to work within a bigger union.
That's why we are safer.
I think we are in one of the safer corners of the world
and we should keep it that way.
Do you think the arguments have been well put?
I think the arguments have been very much focused
towards the economic side, but what about the cultural side of things?
So I think that we as a nation, and in Chelmsford in particular,
I feel like we're very naive about other cultures.
And surely by leaving the EU
we would become more naive
because we wouldn't learn about the other cultures in Europe.
All right. And at the very back there,
do you think that we are being well prepared for this vote?
I don't think we're being very well prepared at all.
I haven't heard - purely because I'm 17 -
I haven't heard much about how it's going to impact
the next generation at all.
All right. And you, sir, up there on the gangway.
I'm a little bit more concerned that the politicians don't know
whether we should stay in the EU or leave the EU.
And I'm a little bit concerned that having a Prime Minister
that's so set on staying in the EU, when we have the chance to leave it,
will create more economic uncertainty if we do vote to leave.
All right. Roger Helmer.
Well, what we get is, we get people, as in this audience,
saying, "Tell us the facts."
Now, what we're looking at is the future,
two years, five years ahead,
and nobody can be sure what is going to be happening
two years or five years ahead.
Although we have a pretty clear idea of the sort of trade terms -
it can't be worse than WTO trade rules -
and we will get a free trade deal which will be better.
But the question I would put to those who want to stay in,
what is the European Union going to look like in five years' time?
In five years' time, those million migrants in Germany,
if they've stayed in Germany,
will have a right, under free movement,
to come to any other member states, including to Britain.
And right as we speak,
there is this European Council going on today and tomorrow,
where they're discussing this absolutely bizarre deal with Turkey,
where Turkey takes one person back from Greece
in exchange for Greece taking one migrant from Turkey.
And we're paying 6 billion euros for the privilege.
And we are fast tracking visa-free access to the Schengen area.
And we've agreed to fast-track Turkish membership.
Turkish membership is 75 million Turks.
Now, I'm not going to suggest for a moment
that 75 million Turks are coming to Britain.
But it is quite reasonable to suppose that several million
might move to Western Europe in the interests of...
All right. The woman there.
Three in. Yes.
I think it's amazing
how inarticulate the politicians are with this.
I think if you were to ask people why to stay or why to go,
you would have better conversations in the pub
than you would hear in the House of Commons,
and ones which people would understand.
I work in marketing
and I think they're two of the worst campaigns I've seen.
I think you should be very clear
about what we would gain if we stayed
and what we would be losing if we left.
Those are the two questions we need answering before we can vote.
Thank you, David.
If I may go back to the lady who asked the initial question,
is the ground well prepared? No, it's not.
It certainly isn't yet.
And that's one of the reasons why
we didn't want to have the referendum so close,
because we want to give the people of this country
an opportunity to have a national conversation.
One which we enjoyed in the Scottish independence referendum,
where all of the arguments, for and against -
and, of course, there are two sides to every story -
are played out, so people can make an informed decision
based on fact, not based on fear.
What we've seen at the moment, however,
is men in suits involved in this debate from beginning to end,
and there need to be more women involved in this debate.
And I think we'll see... We will have a changing face of this debate
when this happens, because we need to see and think about
what membership of the EU means for women,
what it means for young people, for farmers and fishermen.
All of the sectors that make up our society
should have a say in this debate.
We shouldn't try and stifle the debate
by saying people are going to be bored by it,
this is a matter of great importance.
And to the lady who's 17 at the back,
I voted for you to have a vote in this referendum -
you should most certainly be having one.
Nicky Morgan, can you pick up the point that Tasmina made
that this is being done in a rush? Why is it being done in such a rush?
No, I don't think it's being done in a rush.
But I think we've got time to debate the issues
between the end of February or the middle of February,
when the Prime Minister negotiated the deal,
right through to the 23rd of June.
And from the lady who talked about the campaigns,
I mean, I think this is what we want to see, the conversations happening.
-It shouldn't be happening just in Westminster.
Yes, I must come back on Emily's point. She's worried about jobs.
I'm worried about jobs, too.
I'm worried about the jobs we've lost in the steel industry,
the jobs we've lost with aluminium plant closures,
the jobs we've lost in the chemicals industry
and the fertiliser industry.
-All as a direct result of European policies...
..which have driven up energy prices. Look at the facts.
We have to stop. We've run out of time.
Way run out of time. I'm so sorry to those of you who had your hands up.
We will come back to it, but it won't be in Chelmsford.
I know. What can be done?
Question Time is back after Easter, on 7th April.
We're going to be in Ilford.
Come to Ilford. We have on the panel
the novelist, the author of Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh,
and the Daily Telegraph columnist Allison Pearson.
I don't know who the politicians are going to be yet.
And the week after that we're going to be in Doncaster.
So if you want to come to either Ilford or Doncaster,
there are the details on the screen.
You can phone us or you can go to our website.
If you phone us, it's...
On Radio 5 Live, of course, this debate carries on into the night.
But my thanks to our panel
and all of you who came to Chelmsford to take part.
Until a fortnight or so from now, from Question Time, goodnight.
David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Chelmsford. On the panel: Conservative education secretary Nicky Morgan MP, Labour's shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry MP, the SNP's trade and industry spokesperson Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP, Ukip's leader in the European Parliament Roger Helmer MEP and director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Mark Littlewood.