15/07/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news and debate, including interviews with Liberal Democrat minister Jeremy Browne and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.

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Coming up on Sunday Politics in the East Midlands:


a Tory MP it warns the Lib Dems not to cut up rough over boundary


changes. Will European rules save our pig


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1793 seconds


Hello, I'm Marie Ashby and my guests in the East Midlands this


week are two of our members of the European Parliament, Lib Dem Bill


Newton Dunn and UKIP's Derek Clark. Coming up:


Is the Eurozone crisis really a good opportunity for us to


renegotiate the terms of our EU membership?


And our farmers say the EU is making a pig of a job of enforcing


new rules on animal welfare. First, seven of our region's


Conservative MPs this week put the knife into Lib Dem ambitions to


reform the House of Lords. One of them, Andrew Bridgen, is with me


now. You've made your point. But at what


cost? David Cameron is apparently incensed and the Lib Dems are


warning that if the Tories don't come good with Lords Reform,


they'll withdraw support for those boundary changes your party so


desperately wants. Yes, I don't think you can give in


to blackmail. Is that how you would describe it? Absolutely. The


boundary changes will not be confirmed until one year this


October, if we give in to those blackmail threats we will come back


here again and again because blackmailers always come back. It


is not fit point of principle. This is not about reform of the House of


Lords, it is about the abolition of the House of Lords. You can see by


the ropes on Tuesday night there was no consensus. Andrew says they


will not give in to blackmailers. He was elected on a Tory manifesto


saying he would reform the House of Lords so he is defying his own


league and manifesto. I am in favour of reforming the House of


Lords by looking at retirement age or a test to see if you are


mentally agile and there are a lot of ways that numbers can be reduced


but this is quite different. This also threatens the primacy of the


House of Commons, I was not elected to see their how was denigrated.


This is a very important point. It is an unstable constitution do have


one chamber that makes all the rules. Every other country where a


has a written constitution that is a safeguard. You need a safeguard


and Britain does not have one. is absolutely wrong. The upper


chamber is not elected, it is a revealing and revising chamber that


analyses decisions made in the House of Commons. You're talking


about a major change to undermine our constitution. We did not have a


constitution! Your party wants a hybrid house. The yes. Why? All the


wailing traditionalist, I have got to admit that we are looking a bit


old fashioned. We are the only party -- we are the only country


apart from one other in the world that has an unelected second


chamber. I think that is wrong in the modern era. We would suggest


400... 200 Upper House elected, Lord's or senators, call them what


you will. Does this offer a better way out? Another 100 appointed,


plus bishops and 12th... Others. That is another option, isn't it?


Is elected Halsall Lords will be cut down and they were her staff


and offices but it will cost more than the other system. This current


system has an unelected appointed Upper Cheyne in Canada and Germany


so we are not the only country with up. It is not a legislature, it is


a revealing chain and it works well. There is much more discussion do


have on this. Well, Andrew Bridgen is also one of


a number of Conservative MPs who see the crisis in the Eurozone as


an opportunity to renegotiate the terms of our membership of the EU.


This week they called for a reduction in EU spending for a


start. Is this really the time we should be you negotiating this when


you look at the mess the Eurozone is in? Our relationship with Europe


will change. They are going to have to change their relationship. Full


fiscal union will change our relationship with Europe. It is in


our joint manifesto, our coalition agreement to get how was back from


Europe, if not now, when? Would you like to name it how you would like


to bring that? No one says anything? I would bring back the


social chapter straight away. We read the -- we need reform of


farming policy and fishery policy. Those have devastated our fish


stocks. Do we pay too high a price for our membership? No, we do not.


We are a family of nations and in every family there is a give-and-


take. No one has it all their own way. If you're outside on your own


you have your own way but you have no significance and no influence.


We want to be a part of the family so we are a rich cut -- we are one


of the richer countries so we should pay in. How far would you be


prepared to take this? Are you happy to leave Britain on the


sidelines? We are in the gladiatorial contest and we are


sitting in the stalls watching people being eaten by the Lions,


would you rather be a spectator or a participant? This is a huge


crisis. We are the second biggest net contributor after Germany and


we get very little out of this relationship. We get an enormous


amount out of it. Terry Kharkiv shaking his head. -- Derek Clark is


shaking his head. We just want to get out but we do not mean we will


pull up the drawbridge and go home with no deals. It means we go one


as we work before there was a European Union, trading with all of


those countries. I come from Bristol and I have seen it happen


all the time with ships in the harbour. What relationship the one


with Brussels? We do not need one. We just need to get out. After that


we will restore or continue our trade links. We will maintain items


of common interest but what more do you want? Some people wonder why


you turn up in Europe if you think that? We are there to try and draw


dip -- attention to its deficiencies. The enormous weakness


of the UK position is that Britain could technically leave -- the UKIP


position. We would have no stay over the rules of trading with the


rest of Europe. We would have to adapt to the rules that the rest of


Europe make. There is no problem with that. Of course there is.


sorts of country's trade with the European Union. I went to a


motorbike factory not long ago and asked them, how would you get on


with satisfying the different requirements for your bikes across


the world? It is not a problem. We know where they're going and we


just put the bits on that they want and take the bits of that they


don't want so there is not a problem with the in the different


requirements. It is totally unacceptable to a large proportion


of my electorate for the EU budget to increase every year when we have


to deal with our deficit for the European gravy train to carry on


and keep expanded and expecting more money. The last increase was


an extra �750,000 a year from my constituency which I did not


support when it went through the Commons and I will support no more


increases. Thank you very much for joining us in the


Next, you won't find many fans of the EU among our pig farmers. 13


years after they accepted improved welfare standards, their European


competitors have finally been ordered to do the same. But being


the EU, it's not that simple. Jane Dodge reports.


It makes for uncomfortable viewing. Pregnant pigs kept in cages so


narrow they can't turn round. They're known as sow stalls.


But you won't find them on this pig farm in Arnold, or any other farm


in the UK. Sow stalls were banned in 1999 on animal welfare grounds.


I think they are fairly barbaric ways to keep a very intelligent


animal and we have never ever had our fouls installed at all. -- our


sows installs. 13 years after it was banned in the


UK, the rest of Europe is finally playing catch up. From January next


year it'll be illegal to use sow stalls across the EU. But several


countries have already said they won't be ready to comply with the


ban. And look at the small print and


you'll see it's only a partial ban. Farmers in the rest of the EU will


still be able to put pigs in sow stalls for up to four weeks. It


leaves farmers like Richard worried about his future. The cheaper


European pork will continue to be imported, particularly with the


exchange rate helping it and it will undercut our attempts to


produce peeks under our present high welfare conditions. -- pigs.


In an attempt to reassure farmers like Richard some of the larger


retailers have said they won't buy pork from those EU countries


flouting the ban. UK retailers have a vigorous system of thought


traceability which means they know exactly which farm or even which


building within the farm the meat has come from. There are no issues


for UK retailers about being confident of the need to have good


produce. So who are the countries not ready


to ban these sow stalls? We did ask, but the European Commission wasn't


able or willing to name names. But it insisted those who don't


comply will be punished. We are saying right now to the member-


states that the sure if you do not comply it on 1st January then by


much you will get a letter from the commission saying that you have to


compile and we will keep on reminding you that you have to


comply and then the procedure will the one. -- go on.


But hen farmers say they've heard it all before. At the start of this


year the European Commission imposed another ban, this time on


the use of cramped cages for laying hens. Yet they're still in use in


nine EU countries, none of whom have been punished yet.


Roger Hosking, a hen farmer in Etwall in Derbyshire, believes


it'll be the same for the ban on sow stalls. When somebody says in


Europe we will enforce this, there is not the political will to do it


because people want cheap food and there is not any money available


for inspectors to go round and check up what is happening because


they have got other things they could be doing with their money


rather than putting pig people out of business. It will not happen.


But animal welfare organisations are keen to reassure farmers that


the EC will enforce the law. nations are not complying they can


take them to court and they can give them finds and so


realistically, these will be of an extent that the farmers and the


nations that are not complying they will have to pay attention and


comply eventually. But by the time that happens it may be too late for


Richard Blant. After 40 years in pig farming he's now thinking of


selling up. With us now the chairman of the


National Pig Association, Richard Longthorp.


The EU Commission cannot identify the country at the moment that have


said they will not -- have said that they will comply with these


rules, are you any the wiser? course there are a lot of promises


from various people about what will happen. At the end of the day this


is a real test, it is a test of the integrity that are making the new


law. It is a test of those people to implement and enforce the law


and a test of the integrity of the people who will be selling the


pigmeat from those big farmers we have heard about. Isn't this one of


the things that exasperated -- excess Greece people most about --


exasperated the people most the way we are not sure which countries


will drag their feet? It is exasperated but they have another


five months to do it so it is natural we cannot be exactly sure.


One of the jobs of MEPs like us will be to put questions and make


sure the commission are up to the task of finding out what is going


on and reporting back to was. That is what we can do. All we really


want, and he is a note of controversy, we need more power was


in Brussels soap they can intervene in these countries and go directly


to the farms in Romania or Bulgaria and point out they are not doing it


and punish them with a fight. that work? More effective power was,


perhaps. I am not sure about more powers. We are told that the


countries that might not comply include France, Italy and Poland.


What should MEPs like Bill and Derek be doing? What pressure


should they put on this? They should bring pressure to bear on


the commission to find out exactly what the committee intends to do in


terms of finding out those which are not complying and what they are


going to do about enforcing it. What will happen to those people


who were not complying. They should know that now. That is the issue.


They should know it now as we are speaking but I don't believe they


do. Derek, what are you doing about this issue? Once again we have got


the UN forcing something. What is all this end forcing, and forcing


them forcing. I want to know from a pig farmer, weather and the pigs


really do need a revision of their quarters? Is it necessary? Did you


see the pictures on the film? DDC the pens that they are putting? Did


you think those conditions were acceptable? Well, I don't know. It


was a very short clip and it is difficult to see if the pig is


suffering or not. In this country farmers are complying with those


rules and that is the issue. If we do it, why shouldn't they? Yes, it


is going back to the situation with eggs. How many products are support


-- imported from the 10th that are kept in the small cages which are


illegal. There is all this enforcement but it does not really


work. The you have any work they will that -- do you have any hope


they will make more progress on this than they did on the Henie


she? Well they have had the bitter experience of the fiasco around


hems and we have asked them all this year and we continue to press


them so I hope that they will do a better job this time around.


Fingers crossed. When it comes to the EU rules it seems as though we


are the ones that apply them and other countries can just get round


them or not comply. That does not seem fair. It is a generalisation


but there's a lot of truth in it. That is why I would like to see a


group in Brussels who can go where the rules are not being forced and


say, come along with me, you will be lapped up and punished or will


you obey the rules? Let us be more specific about the problems? Take


the loss of the jobs at Bombardier in Derby. Our Government stuck to


the letter of the Thames Link bidding process where other


countries would take into account the social impact of losing. They


mull did their bit in the light of all those social requirements so


they got the contract. Bombardier did not. Why, I do not know.


Perhaps they are not first enough in EU requirements and I don't know


where they did not do that. There has been other countries who have


been offering bribes to countries to give them the contract. It has


boosted a bank balance which is one of the criteria that the government


said was the reason for government contracts, they had a good strong


bank balance. A Labour MP this week tabled a motion that would require


social and environmental criteria to be considered in all future


contracts, are you with a? Yes, I am sorry to say she did not ask me


to sign it, which would have been a good idea. She ought to have away


support. She has not asked us, that is a mistake. This could stop a


East -- this could stop a future Bombardier fiasco happening again.


We are all about putting pressure on people, we are not a


dictatorship, we are about democracy and powers. If you put


pressure on people, they might just move so it is worth trying.


Time marches on and it goes even faster in our Sixty Second round-up


of some of the other political stories in the East Midlands this


week. Labour have denied Tory allegations


that they're snubbing the Queen by not inviting her to open Derby's


new council house. Labour say they want a community champion to do the


honours. The MP for Nottingham South, Lilian


Greenwood, laid into Grantham MP Nick Boles at PMQs. He's called for


free bus passes and other pensioner concessions to be means-tested.


Where, she demanded, did the Prime Minister stand? At the last


election I made a very clear promise about bus passes and


television licences and winter fuel payments, we are keeping all those


policies. Leicestershire Conservatives have


elected Nick Rushton as their acting leader. It follows the


resignation of David Parsons, who's facing a police investigation over


his expenses for trips to Europe. Nottingham City Council is spending


�1 million to create another 160 jobs for young people.


And finally, a national survey by Nottingham Trent University


suggests most young people are interested in politics, but,


surprise, surprise, they've little It could be worse, Derek. At least


politicians are above bankers when it comes to public esteem. Not in


the UK press over the last few years, know they are not. With all


of these dwindling and the second homes and all of the rest of it. I


have to say, for once I think the EU have got something right. People


like Bill and myself get a flat 300 euros a day allowance for being


there and that covers everything. You don't have to put in a receipt


for a Mars bar and you just pay for your hotel and your meals and if


there is anything left over then it is for you. Encouraging feature


going back to the survey is that at least these students have a real


interest in politics. It is their world. Derek and I have got grey


hair and we will soon be retiring. It is terrific that these kids are


interested but they should get involved and try and takeover and


do a better job than half. We want young people to beat interested and


involved but they should not go straight into politics. They should


Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including interviews with Liberal Democrat minister Jeremy Browne and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.

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