15/07/2012 Sunday Politics East Midlands


15/07/2012

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:

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

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changes. Will European rules save our pig

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1793 seconds

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

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

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

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Is the Eurozone crisis really a good opportunity for us to

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renegotiate the terms of our EU membership?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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boundary changes will not be confirmed until one year this

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

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here again and again because blackmailers always come back. It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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system has an unelected appointed Upper Cheyne in Canada and Germany

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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farming policy and fishery policy. Those have devastated our fish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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sidelines? We are in the gladiatorial contest and we are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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dip -- attention to its deficiencies. The enormous weakness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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with satisfying the different requirements for your bikes across

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

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

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

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requirements. It is totally unacceptable to a large proportion

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

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

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

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

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

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increases. Thank you very much for joining us in the

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

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years after they accepted improved welfare standards, their European

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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sows installs. 13 years after it was banned in the

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

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

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

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ban. And look at the small print and

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

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

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leaves farmers like Richard worried about his future. The cheaper

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European pork will continue to be imported, particularly with the

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exchange rate helping it and it will undercut our attempts to

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

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

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

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

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traceability which means they know exactly which farm or even which

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

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

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produce. So who are the countries not ready

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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year the European Commission imposed another ban, this time on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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But animal welfare organisations are keen to reassure farmers that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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selling up. With us now the chairman of the

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National Pig Association, Richard Longthorp.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:45:39.:45:45.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:47:00.:47:06.

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

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

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

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

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

:47:25.:47:27.

the letter of the Thames Link bidding process where other

:47:27.:47:32.

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

:47:33.:47:36.

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

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

:47:42.:47:45.

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

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

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

:47:57.:48:02.

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

:48:02.:48:06.

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

:48:06.:48:12.

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

:48:12.:48:15.

social and environmental criteria to be considered in all future

:48:15.:48:20.

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

:48:20.:48:25.

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

:48:25.:48:30.

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

:48:30.:48:35.

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

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

:48:38.:48:42.

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

:48:42.:48:47.

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

:48:47.:48:51.

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

:48:51.:48:54.

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

:48:54.:48:59.

week. Labour have denied Tory allegations

:48:59.:49:02.

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

:49:02.:49:08.

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

:49:08.:49:12.

honours. The MP for Nottingham South, Lilian

:49:12.:49:15.

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

:49:15.:49:17.

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

:49:17.:49:26.

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

:49:26.:49:30.

election I made a very clear promise about bus passes and

:49:30.:49:36.

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

:49:36.:49:37.

policies. Leicestershire Conservatives have

:49:37.:49:39.

elected Nick Rushton as their acting leader. It follows the

:49:39.:49:42.

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

:49:42.:49:45.

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

:49:45.:49:47.

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

:49:47.:49:49.

And finally, a national survey by Nottingham Trent University

:49:49.:49:52.

suggests most young people are interested in politics, but,

:49:52.:50:02.
:50:02.:50:05.

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

:50:05.:50:15.
:50:15.:50:15.

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

:50:15.:50:20.

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

:50:20.:50:24.

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

:50:24.:50:30.

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

:50:30.:50:35.

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

:50:35.:50:40.

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

:50:40.:50:45.

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

:50:45.:50:48.

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

:50:49.:50:53.

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

:50:53.:50:57.

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

:50:57.:51:04.

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

:51:04.:51:08.

interested but they should get involved and try and takeover and

:51:08.:51:13.

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

:51:13.:51:17.

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

:51:18.:51:21.

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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