13/04/2014 Sunday Politics East Midlands


13/04/2014

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with political news. Including a debate ahead of the European elections with members of UKIP, Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.


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Aternoon folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics. As MPs head off for

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their Easter break, campaigning for the European elections in six weeks'

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time gets underway. In a Sunday Politics special, we'll debate the

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issues at stake on May 22nd with senior party figures from the

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Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, and UKIP. And as ever

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we'll be discussing the week ahead with our panel of top political

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commentators. And in the East Midlands: Protestors

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gather in Nottinghamshire to fight any moves to begin fracking here.

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And, feeling hard up? New figures say we've had the biggest fall in

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wages in the newspapers which some claim are

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politically slanted and not impartial about informing people of

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local services. So all that to come between now and

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quarter to four and for the next thirty minutes or so we'll be

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debating the European elections. Here in the studio we have Syed

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Kamall, leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, Richard

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Howitt, chair of the Labour group of MEPs, Sarah Ludford, deputy leader

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of the Lib Dems in Europe, and Patrick O'Flynn, UKIP's director of

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communications. Welcome to you all. In a moment, all four will give us

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their opening pitch for the elections. A little earlier they

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drew lots to decide who'll go first. And that privilege goes to Syed.

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Before that, though, here's a quick reminder of what all the fuss is

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about. The vote to choose members of the

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European Parliament takes place on Thursday the 22nd of May. The same

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day as local elections are held in England and Northern Ireland. The UK

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sends 73 England and Northern Ireland. The UK

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sends NTP is to Brussels. And the vote is a form of proportional

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representation. In total, there are 751 MEPs from the 28 member states.

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What do they do all day? The European Parliament's power has

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grown. A vet of the EU commissioners and they can amend, approve or

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reject nearly all EU legislation and the EU budget. Some laws MEPs have

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been responsible for include price caps on mobile phone chargers,

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banking regulation and cover food regulation two -- labelling.

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Syed Kamall, you have 30 seconds. Europe cannot go on as it is. Europe

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needs to change. And our relationship with Europe needs to

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change. Only the Conservatives have a plan to deliver that change and of

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the British people and in-out referendum. Labour and the Lib Dems

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will not and UKIP simply cannot. Only the Conservatives will offer

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the three yards, with Conservative MEPs working alongside a

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conservative Prime Minister. For, really is and above all a

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referendum. Sarah Ludford is next. Your choice is simple. If you think

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Britain is better off in Europe, vote for the Liberal Democrats. The

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Lib Dems are the only party of Ian, fighting to keep Britain in Europe

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and in work. There is nothing patriotic about UKIP's desire to

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pull-out. That is playing Russian roulette with Britain's economy and

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jobs. The Conservatives are flirting with exit and Labour lacks the

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courage to speak up. Thought Liberal Democrat on May the 22nd to say in

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Europe for jobs and security. Sarah Ludford. Next, Richard Howitt from

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Labour. The European elections are about who represents you. They are

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not a referendum on a referendum. Labour MEPs believe in putting jobs

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and growth first. A guarantee to help young people into work,

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reforming energy markets so that bills are brought down for good.

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Labour believes in reform in Europe, but within. It is David Cameron who

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is risking your job and Britain's prosperity because of divisions in

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his own party. Labour MEPs put British interests first. Our fourth

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opening statement from Patrick O'Flynn. The EU is old hat. It is a

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declining regional trade bloc in an era of global trade. It is a

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20th-century political project designed to prevent conflict in

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Europe that is now reawakening old hostilities. It is an attempt to

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force on the European people European this as their primary

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collective identity. It has hollowed out British democracy and now we do

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not even control our own borders. That is why you should vote UKIP.

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That is the opening statements. Let's get on with the debate. Why

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should people vote in the selections? If you vote UKIP, we can

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deliver an earthquake that will rock the foundations of British politics

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and the European political class. We can send a signal to Europe that

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Britain has had enough, that Britain wants to retain its nation state

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status and regain political power and the ability to forge trading

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deals across the world. Britain leading Europe to freedom twice in

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the last century through bloodshed. We feel that a UKIP win in those

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elections could help Britain set an example to lead European nation

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states back to free assembly again. Syed Kamall, isn't it the case that

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many Tory voters will vote you clip to keep you honest, to keep your

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feet to the fire? Whatever you think of the European Parliament or the

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EU, the fact is that the European Parliament as equal power with the

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28 governments of the EU. When David Cameron delivered the first cut to

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the EU budget, the first ever cut, he needed a strong team of

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Conservative MEPs working alongside him. But many of your supporters

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will vote for UKIP for the reasons I gave. Many will vote Liberal

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Democrat. Not very many. Many of our supporters will vote for us because

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we are the only party trying to change the EU and offer reform. We

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have offered renegotiation and a referendum. And how would you vote

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in such a referendum? We have no idea whether he would vote yes or

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no. Let him answer. I will answer that question. If the EU continues

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on this road, towards a United States of Europe, and if there was

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no change at the time of the referendum, then I would probably

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vote to leave. You have no confidence in David Cameron? We

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Javier Culson opportunity to read negotiate our relationship with

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Europe and the Conservatives are at the forefront of that agenda. David

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Cameron have not given a list of demands. He said that if things do

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not change, he will probably vote to leave, is that right? If at the time

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of the referendum, things had not changed, I would vote to leave and

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we have a golden opportunity to perform the agenda. Richard, the

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last time the British people had a say on this was over 40 years ago.

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Under a Labour government. Which was deeply divided on the issue. And

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that was a say on the common market. Today's EU is a very different

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animal from the common market. Why can we not, under another Labour

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government, have another vote? First of all, we want it to be more than a

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free trading area. We make no apologies about that. But in the

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elections because this is half of Britain's exports and investment. If

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you care about your job and business, you cannot hear from the

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party of government that they probably want you to leave because

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the CBI, the engineering employees in Federation and the chimp of

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commerce, 80% of them say it is necessary to stay in. So why not

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give us a vote? When David Cameron says he wants to repatriate social

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powers, he means takeaway maternity rights and holidays. If the case is

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so strong, why not give us an in-out vote? David Miliband has said that

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there will be a referendum if there was a proposal to change powers. Why

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wait? This is based on a series of reforms. Labour has a set of

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reforms. David Cameron is silent about what they would be. That is

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because he knows that if he put them forward, they would either be

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unsatisfactory to his Eurosceptic backbenchers and he would be out of

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a job, or they would be unacceptable to European leaders. Why is your

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leader missing in action? Ed Miliband is unable to say even the

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positive things that you are saying. He has run away from the argument.

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He actually said there would not be a referendum in his time.

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For a conservative to say they will have a referendum but not give the

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reforms, it is a mistake. Nick Clegg gave Nigel Farage a huge opportunity

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in that debate. He said that the Eurosceptic view was to leave

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Britain like Billy no mates. I can say that he is the best qualified

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person to say that. Sarah Ludford, you have said that lots of people

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are going to vote Lib Dem but that is not what the polls are saying.

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You are 7% in two polls this morning. Eclectic's decision to

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champion Europe has been a disaster for you. You face wet out. We swayed

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a lot of people our way with Nick Clegg's debate. Where is the

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evidence? We are the only party that is completely united, saying that we

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are wanting to stay in. It is essential because formally and jobs

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are supported by our trade with the EU. Linked to the EU. We are finding

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a lot of moderate conservative voters are actually fed up with the

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Tories being split and divided all over the place. Syed Kamall saying

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that we might vote in rout. -- in or out. We are consistent. A poll in

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London showed that 18% would vote for us. I am delighted about that.

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London is not the whole country, it may surprise you. We need to move on

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to immigration, an important issue. We are a member of the EU and the

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rules say that with a few caveats, our fellow EU citizens are free to

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come here if they want. Why can we not just accept that? Britain has a

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proud record when it comes to immigration. We have been open to

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people across the world for centuries. But we welcome people who

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come to our country to contribute to pay taxes and two wards are a

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society positively. But there are three real concerns that we have to

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address. The first one is numbers, and secondly people who may come

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here not to work but for benefits, and thirdly, getting a hang of the

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numbers. I think it is shameful that only this week the office for

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National said that they did not collect sufficient figures under a

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Labour government. 350,000 extra people came in and they did not

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count the numbers. That is the size of a city like Cardiff. That is

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shameful. 350,000 came from all over the place. Do you accept the free

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movement of peoples within the EU? I accept and am open to people who

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want to come here and contribute. In the same way... Do you accept the

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free movement of peoples within the EU? In our manifesto, we have said

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it is an issue for reform. We have to make sure that people are coming

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here to work and contribute positively, not simply to come here

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and take advantage of the system. I will tell you what else is

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shameful. What is shameful is David Cameron making a pledge to the

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British people on an issue that they really care about, to bring net

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immigration down to the tens of thousands a year, having no means of

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fulfilling that pledge. And we see now it is back up to 212,000 a year

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because we have no volume control and no quality control from

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immigration from our neighbours. And that is a disgrace. How could UKIP

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address that issue? Because we would leave the EU. How? Tell me how. You

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do not have a single member of Parliament. He will not get a single

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member of Parliament. How are you... ? TUC are hoping to get an

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MEP. What do you say? -- he is here today hoping to get an MEP. All of

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-- almost 2 million Brits live and work in the rest of the EU. Is that

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worth having? The majority are wealthy, retired people. Why do not

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object to bilateral agreements with countries with similar living

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standards to us. France, the Netherlands, that works fine. But

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these three people want Turkey to join the EU, 75 Na Li and people

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running our country, only 10% of which... Syed Kamall is Michael year

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to say whether they are in favour of free movement for work, not for

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benefits... That is what I'm saying. You said you were unable to

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be clear. That leaves 2 million British people absolutely unsure as

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to whether they would have a right to continue to live in other

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countries. It is a two-way street. You are putting those people in a

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state of uncertainty. EU migrants have been good for the British

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economy and contribute far more than they take out in services and

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benefits. One in seven businesses were founded in -- by migrants. And

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they cannot just turn up and claim benefits. The coalition government

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has legislated to make sure that they cannot claim for three months.

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They will not be able to claim for more than six months. Richard

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Howitt, Jack Straw said it was "A spectacular mistake for Labour to

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allow EU migrants from Poland and Hungary to work in the UK from

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2004." Why should we trust a party that makes spectacular mistakes and

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hasn't apologised for it? We accept it is a mistake and I apologise. We

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make a firm commitment for new EU states we will put down transitional

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controls. When I listen to the Conservatives and UKIP trying to

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re-write history, saying immigration was out of control, uncontrolled,

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open door, we hear it over and over again. It is not true. Anyone who

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was around at the time... Come on, Richard. Hold on, you undercounted

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by 350,000. You were letting 2 million in over the years, an

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under-counted by 350,000 people you didn't know came in. You should have

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tightened the benefit rules. The Conservative MEP today has, in four

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years in government in Britain, is trying it blame the previous Labour

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Government over the fact they won't count people in or people out.

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Yvette Cooper - it is not easy for people to come to the country and

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benefits are changing, changing the habitual residence test and we are

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going to say that migrants can't come and claim child benefit if

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their children are outside the country. Labour a has shown they

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have listened to concerns but we say it is a stronger, better, country

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because it is diverse and multicultural snoo.d this is fantasy

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politics from all the Peters. They are committed to a system with no

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volume control and no quality control. You talk about benefits as

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if it is only out of work benefits. In work benefits cost a lot of money

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for the British taxpayer. Big businesses bring in minimum wage

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workers. It is ?5,000 per perschool place What are you going to do? Have

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all the pensioners come back to Britain? How will will you fund the

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health care? Do you really think Spain and pour tu ghal their current

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situation, are going to turn their backs on British property owners

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with wealth? -- Portugal. They might not wanting pensioners to use their

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health service. Pensioners often come back to Britain to use the

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health service. You have shown it represents wealthy people's

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interests. A second Conservative Party. Hang on a minute... Blue

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collar wages were down. They want it character for the National Health

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Service, have cuts that go farther and comprehensive education. This is

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a debate on the wider politics between Conservatives and UKIP and

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Labour will... You can't both talk time. UKIP - they haven't thought it

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through, thousand they will have trade access in the EU, hasn't

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thought how they will have trade deals that the Liberal Democrats

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support, like with the United States: Would you have a cap on

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non-EU immigrants? We are not in favour of a cap. No cap on either.

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No. Well it is a target. It is a moving feast, as it were. Would you

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have a limit on non-EU limits? We have limits on quality. We have

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people who are skilled migrants coming in. Lip its? . By quality,

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not by quantity. -- Limits. How do you do that? We need to move

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on to foreign affairs. Should we pool more sovereignty to

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give the European Union more clout in foreign and defence matters? I'm

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Labour's defence and foreign affairs spokesperson. No we don't need to

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pull more powers into Europe. As we undertake this live debate there are

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guns being fired in Ukraine as we speak. Europe is facing, for the

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first time, since the end of the Second World War, Armies crossing

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national borders and floatening peace. Doesn't it -- threatening

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peace. Doesn't it need to come together of the We don't need more

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powers. We need political will. With Vladimir Putin, in my view, he has

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-- we have fallen short in the sanctions. But it is Europe, not

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Britain. Remember Putin calling Britain little England a small

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island with no influence. Labour doesn't agree with that. But if

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that's the mindset that allows someone like Vladimir Putin to send

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troops across borders threatening peace, it is worrying. And when we

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have, in UKIP a party that say they admire Putin and support his

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policies, that is no recipe for how Europe should be wrong. I was

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waiting for that. Let me ask him. We don't admire Putin as a leader...

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Oh. No we don't. What Nigel Farage said, was he admired him as a

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political operator. Testifies Franklin D Roosevelt who said a good

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foreign policy was speaking softly but carrying a big stick. The EU

:20:15.:20:20.

shouts its mouthed off while carrying a matchstick. It is fantasy

:20:21.:20:24.

that you wiebl it stand up to Putin over the Ukraine. -- that you would

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be able to stand up. Do you admire what Putin is doing in the Ukraine?

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No. What matters in foreign policy is the outcould. We have a terrible

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outcome in the Ukraine, like Syria, and Georgia... What would UKIP do?

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What u skip would do, would be to keep our people safe -- UKIP.

:20:44.:20:48.

How? And not commit our Foreign Office and troops Foreign wars.

:20:49.:20:55.

Patrick O'Flynn. You brought up this issue of foreign wars. Now Nigel

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Farage said in previous debates that Britain should leave the EU because,

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"We have had enough of endless foreign wars." Which wars has the EU

:21:05.:21:10.

taken us into? The EU has ban very important factor in the push towards

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trying to get military intervention in Syria, for example. What wars has

:21:14.:21:23.

the etch U taken us into it -- EU. Fortunately the EU doesn't have its

:21:24.:21:28.

own army yet. It has wanted to sign up to an expansionist agenda. Did it

:21:29.:21:35.

want Iraq? No, that was Labour. UKIP opposed Iraq, so did most of the

:21:36.:21:40.

mainline Europeans. Germany was against Syria and Libya. No EU

:21:41.:21:46.

policy. We had an Anglo French deal on Syria. A by lateral deal. A

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European dimension. No, buy lateral. We have a European Union that wants

:21:52.:21:57.

to expand ever-more into other people's spheres of influence. If we

:21:58.:22:01.

are going to stand up to what Putin is do, which obviously Nigel Farage

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has no intentions of doing, you have to get your act together on economic

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sanctions and diplomatic force and in trade matters, in supporting

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eastern European countries. Sayeria, who and whose army? And NATO and

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working transatlanticically, is important through NATO. I will come

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to you in a moment. Nick Clegg said that the idea of an EU Army was, "A

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dangerous fantasy that is simply not true ""Why then, are we already

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working on etch U-owned and controlled drones -- EU-owned and

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the President of the European Parliament has said that the

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majority of MEPs want the EU to have "deployable troops." He is not

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speaking for me or Liberal Democrats. The EU does not and will

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not have an army. Our defence is mainly shaped through NATO. He is

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President of the Parliament What we must do is to get equipment which

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can operate together. We waste an awful lot of our spending in Europe

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because we duplicate equipment. We don't get the bang for our bucks

:23:07.:23:11.

that we should. It is a useful role for the EU, to get equipment working

:23:12.:23:15.

together. That doesn't make sense. You say military equipment, a NATO

:23:16.:23:21.

job. No, the EU, there is a kind of dimension of the EU members of NATO,

:23:22.:23:26.

in working together on a common quument o o so they can talk to each

:23:27.:23:31.

other -- on common equipment, so they can talk to each other. The EU

:23:32.:23:36.

has a role but not an army. So a European defence agency, that helps

:23:37.:23:39.

our defence industries and those jobs are extremely important and

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would be threatened if the Conservatives and UKIP took us out

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of Europe but it is 100 years since the start of the fist world war.

:23:49.:23:52.

Remember that Europe was set up to try to get a secure peace within

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Europe T succeeded. Now look on Ukraine but also on the southern

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borders to the Arab Spring countries in North Africa. It is more

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important than ever that we work to keep keep peace and stability on our

:24:06.:24:09.

borders. Can I say to Syed and the Conservative MEPs. You talk about

:24:10.:24:13.

the three Rs, I have a fourth, retreat. If you take us out of the

:24:14.:24:17.

European Union, it will be the worse retreat by Britain since Gallipoli.

:24:18.:24:24.

Let him answer If he wants answers -- the British Parliament is the

:24:25.:24:28.

right place with a British Foreign Secretary to decide our foreign

:24:29.:24:32.

policy. You say that, but can I quote David Cameron, this is germain

:24:33.:24:37.

to what you are saying, David Cameron said "There is no doubt that

:24:38.:24:42.

we are more powerful than Washington, Beijing and Delhi,

:24:43.:24:46.

because we are a powerful player in the European Union." Do you agree?

:24:47.:24:49.

He is saying that there are times when it comes to international

:24:50.:24:52.

foreign affairs when you have to cooperate with partners. Often they

:24:53.:24:56.

are EU partners but often they are not. The problem we have...

:24:57.:25:01.

Washington have made it very clear that it wants Britain to talk

:25:02.:25:07.

through Brussels. No, not at all. Talk through the French and

:25:08.:25:12.

Italians, come on, wake up? Through the EU collective. I'm vice chair of

:25:13.:25:17.

the EU delegation. I hear it from the American counterparts. They want

:25:18.:25:20.

the EU to get itself together and not least on Ukraine. Why should our

:25:21.:25:26.

sovereignty be at the behest of... ? I want to hear from Syed calm

:25:27.:25:29.

amplgts the British Parliament is the right place to decide our

:25:30.:25:32.

foreign poll sinchts sometimes we work with our European partners,

:25:33.:25:37.

sometimes we work with our non-European partners. It is our

:25:38.:25:40.

choice to pull sovereign trito work together. G, we move on to our foirt

:25:41.:25:47.

area. We hear a lot in this country about MPs expenses. Snted the real

:25:48.:25:54.

scan dalt MEPs gravy train. -- isn't the real scandal, the MEPs gravy

:25:55.:26:00.

train? You all have your snouts? The trough? I don't think so. There is

:26:01.:26:06.

transpancy. The way we use our expenses is online and anyone can

:26:07.:26:10.

ask to examine those. We have actually voted to reform MEPs'

:26:11.:26:16.

allowances. We regularly vote but unfortunately the majority in

:26:17.:26:19.

Parliament don't. Have you voted to cut them? Yes. By how much? About

:26:20.:26:26.

5%. A 5% We hoped to have economies I never fly except across the

:26:27.:26:30.

Atlantic. Difficult to do it any other way. I didn't swim.

:26:31.:26:38.

But we voted for economy flutes. We voted for European Parliament policy

:26:39.:26:43.

of transparency which other groups haven't. UKIP don't turn up to vote.

:26:44.:26:47.

They don't earn their salaries. Dhoent do anything. They should hand

:26:48.:26:53.

their salaries and allowances back. You can't ause UKIP of being on the

:26:54.:26:56.

gravy train and the other that we don't claim our attendance allowance

:26:57.:27:02.

because our MEPs are not there. Your attendance allowance is if you are

:27:03.:27:06.

there, you are saying we don't turn up You are in the building and claim

:27:07.:27:10.

the allowances. You are not an MEP, UKIP are so ashamed of what their

:27:11.:27:14.

MEPs have done in Brussels, they didn't field a sitting MEP for

:27:15.:27:19.

today's debate. I think each party decides who it wishes to field. I

:27:20.:27:23.

have the honour of being the UKIP representative. I would say by going

:27:24.:27:29.

in the past few weeks, xeeming to me saying - we are sick of the others.

:27:30.:27:36.

-- people saying to me. : We are quite excited. Can I ask Patrick

:27:37.:27:41.

O'Flynn. He says he touched a chord and his party is strong in the polls

:27:42.:27:46.

today, between 18% and 20%. Haven't you also struck a chord with hip

:27:47.:27:51.

crasscy. Two of your MEPs were jailed for expenses and benefits'

:27:52.:27:56.

fraud. Two more asked to pay back ?37,000 for using European funds.

:27:57.:28:00.

Nigel Farage has boosted about getting ?2 million in expenses and

:28:01.:28:05.

he went on to employ his wife as a secretarial allowance after telling

:28:06.:28:08.

other members not to People who do wrong and break the law, go to ja. I

:28:09.:28:15.

have no time. -- go to jail. People who spend money they are not

:28:16.:28:18.

entitled to should pay it back and that's right. But what UKIP does and

:28:19.:28:23.

the good UKIP MEPs do, is use the allowances they are given to pursue

:28:24.:28:27.

the political agenda they put up when elected which is to get Britain

:28:28.:28:30.

out of this superstate. Instead of using it for parliamentary work.

:28:31.:28:37.

Very interesting. Richard Howitt. We were the first British political

:28:38.:28:41.

party to have independent audits of our MEPs' expenses, from 1990, way

:28:42.:28:47.

before the expenses crisis blew up. The Maria Miller scandal has of

:28:48.:28:51.

course hit David Cameron and the Conservative Party hard as it should

:28:52.:28:55.

do. But you are right, even in my own region you have UKIP candidates

:28:56.:29:00.

and councillors who have been charged with fraudulently filling

:29:01.:29:03.

out election papers and other shot lifting. Another independent inquiry

:29:04.:29:08.

found he made racist comments. We had a European candidate last week

:29:09.:29:12.

in Hertfordshire who got a parking ticket from the police and called

:29:13.:29:17.

the police fascists. These people aren't here.

:29:18.:29:23.

I'll let you have a quick reply. We can bring up parochial cases. Let

:29:24.:29:27.

him answer. Not so long ago a Liberal Democrat councillor was sent

:29:28.:29:31.

down for firebombing, I don't say they are a bunch of arsonists, but

:29:32.:29:36.

now I think, Nick Clegg might have burnt some cactuses, once. I'm glad

:29:37.:29:43.

you pronounced that word carefully. Syed Kemal, the EU's auditors, they

:29:44.:29:48.

are strongly critical of the EU's financials saying "Errors permist in

:29:49.:29:54.

all main spending areas", the financials are poorly managed. It is

:29:55.:30:00.

a shambles And that's something that all parties agree on. As we agree on

:30:01.:30:06.

expenses, the British parties are at the forefront of transpancy. Every

:30:07.:30:09.

year when we vote for the discharge of the budget, the Conservatives

:30:10.:30:13.

also vote for it but we don't get enough MEPs from other countries to

:30:14.:30:16.

investigate in favour. The Liberal Democrats have put forward to make

:30:17.:30:19.

each Finance Minister, George Osborne and his counterpart to sign

:30:20.:30:25.

a declaration to say all EU money is properly spent in my country.

:30:26.:30:29.

Funnily enough they don't want to do that but I look forward to you

:30:30.:30:33.

confirming that George Osborne will sign it. All the time we hear it is

:30:34.:30:39.

about the money we pay in, about ?150 per family per year. What about

:30:40.:30:44.

the money that comes back? ?1. 5 billion that comes to Britain's

:30:45.:30:49.

regions because of being in Europe. I myself helped to negotiate a fund

:30:50.:30:53.

to help Britain's food banks to ensure so. Poorest and most

:30:54.:30:57.

destitute people... Isn't it our money that went there first. Can I

:30:58.:31:01.

tell you the Conservative-led Government have blocked us from

:31:02.:31:04.

claiming that money. If you want to have the clearest choice at these

:31:05.:31:07.

European elections, it is between... Tell us why. It affects our rebate.

:31:08.:31:18.

Tony Blair gave away our rebate. He is quite right. Lib Dems fought to

:31:19.:31:25.

make sure that we apply for money to help with flooding. That is what the

:31:26.:31:29.

Tories were blocking. If you want the clearest example at the European

:31:30.:31:33.

elections, the Conservative Party and MEPs blocked the cap on bankers

:31:34.:31:38.

bonuses, and then blocked a Labour victory to get money for free

:31:39.:31:44.

banks. We need to move on to the future. It is important and people

:31:45.:31:51.

are watching. The EU's Justice Minister says that we need to build

:31:52.:31:54.

a United States of Europe with the commission as its government. Is she

:31:55.:32:01.

right? Not at all. But the future, if we take the next ten years,

:32:02.:32:07.

thinks about climate change and the fact that we are not going to hit of

:32:08.:32:10.

the two degrees target. Europe has led and needs to lead towards

:32:11.:32:15.

getting a new sustainable world. It is the political will to use these

:32:16.:32:19.

powers, so she is wrong. It is about the threats from abroad. Labour

:32:20.:32:23.

reforms like getting a commissioner for growth and rebalancing the

:32:24.:32:27.

budget, reforming the common agricultural policy, all of those

:32:28.:32:31.

things will need to happen to make Europe more democratic and open. But

:32:32.:32:38.

against the rise of Brazil and China... We do not need more

:32:39.:32:43.

treaties and powers. We need more action with more Labour MEPs. Sarah

:32:44.:32:48.

Ludford, you would sign up to that? No. Unless they do not think that

:32:49.:32:53.

should concentrate on institutional matters. What we need to do is

:32:54.:32:59.

concentrate on making Europe progrowth and competitive and create

:33:00.:33:03.

more jobs in a competitive world. We need more trade deals to open up our

:33:04.:33:09.

exports, we need to streamline the EU. We need less red tape and

:33:10.:33:14.

Liberal Democrats have done a lot on that. We need better scrutiny of EU

:33:15.:33:18.

legislation at West Munster because the national parties... More powers

:33:19.:33:26.

or less for the EU government? In some areas, I would like to see it

:33:27.:33:35.

slimmed down. Including, I am not sure whether the EU should be

:33:36.:33:38.

funding food banks. I think that is a national responsibility. Dearie

:33:39.:33:44.

me. The EU have to concentrate on the economy and climate change. This

:33:45.:33:49.

is the coalition talking. If we want to fritter away political capital on

:33:50.:33:53.

things which are interfering in national matters, then we do not

:33:54.:33:57.

have the support to tackle those big challenges. Would you still want to

:33:58.:34:02.

join the Euro one-day? Now is not a good idea. We wanted the Eurozone to

:34:03.:34:11.

still be sound, which is why... Did not ask you that. Do you want to

:34:12.:34:15.

join the Euro one-day? If it is a success and it did the economy. Now

:34:16.:34:19.

is not the time but in principle, the idea of a single currency has

:34:20.:34:27.

advantages. That was a yes. We are not ruling it out for ever but not

:34:28.:34:31.

in the foreseeable future. It is not on the horizon. What would our

:34:32.:34:36.

relationship be with Europe in the future if UKIP got its way and we

:34:37.:34:41.

left? We would be trading partners with Europe and we would seek

:34:42.:34:45.

partnership in specific serious. I'd tell you what, can I just say...

:34:46.:34:50.

Would we be Norway? We would be stronger than Norway because we are

:34:51.:34:53.

the biggest export market in the Eurozone. We can negotiate a bespoke

:34:54.:34:58.

trading agreement reflecting our enormous importance. Not on

:34:59.:35:02.

services, which make up 80% of the economy. We are the biggest export

:35:03.:35:08.

market in the Eurozone. Our biggest exports are services and they would

:35:09.:35:12.

have to agree to free trade and services. They still have not. Can I

:35:13.:35:17.

read you something? Let me read you something. There would be a free

:35:18.:35:22.

trade agreement in place the day after our exit. Germany would demand

:35:23.:35:27.

no less. Who said that? Not somebody from UKIP, but Digby Jones. Mr

:35:28.:35:33.

business. He is talking about goods, not services. Norway has that

:35:34.:35:37.

and they have no say. You would have to accept the EU rules without any

:35:38.:35:42.

say. No MEPs are commissioners. Let me give you another. Enough. One is

:35:43.:35:47.

enough. Syed Kamall, is it not looking forward pretty much Mission:

:35:48.:35:54.

Impossible for Mr Cameron to get anything like the repatriations of

:35:55.:36:01.

powers that would satisfy your irreconcilables? My father was a bus

:36:02.:36:08.

driver in the 50s and one of the reasons I am here today is because

:36:09.:36:11.

he told me that you can achieve anything if you work hard. He said

:36:12.:36:14.

to me, do not listen to the doubters. When people tell you that

:36:15.:36:18.

something cannot be done, it is a sign of their limitations, not

:36:19.:36:22.

yours. They said that we could not pull Britain out of the bailout

:36:23.:36:25.

mechanism but we did it. He said we could not be to a -- veto European

:36:26.:36:30.

treaty and we did that. They said we would never cut the budget and we

:36:31.:36:36.

did that. The first ever. But overall, we are paying more into the

:36:37.:36:40.

European budget. And they are not sticking to it. More, not less. They

:36:41.:36:45.

say that we cannot achieve reform but we have achieved reform and we

:36:46.:36:48.

are at the forefront of that. Science's father came to Britain

:36:49.:36:53.

because Britain was open and looking outward. What the Conservatives now

:36:54.:37:04.

have, with leaderless Cameron, is an inward looking attitude. They are

:37:05.:37:10.

allowing the rise of UKIP. They are putting so much at risk. People

:37:11.:37:15.

should vote Labour. We are going to have to stop now. No point talking

:37:16.:37:19.

because we are about to finish. I think you all for a spirited debate.

:37:20.:37:25.

I'm sure Nigel Fries and Mr Clegg will have learned a lot about how to

:37:26.:37:28.

debate. -- Nigel Farage. It's just gone 3pm, and you're

:37:29.:37:31.

watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who

:37:32.:37:34.

leave us now for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up here in twenty

:37:35.:37:35.

In the East Midlands: As protestors set up camp, could the fracking

:37:36.:37:51.

bonanza be about to start? We'll hear from the boss of a drilling

:37:52.:37:55.

company with plans for our region and the people determined to stop

:37:56.:38:02.

him. How are you going to regulate when you drill a mild downturn left

:38:03.:38:08.

and trial `` drill down for another mile.

:38:09.:38:11.

And are we worse off than the rest of the country? We'll be looking at

:38:12.:38:15.

claims that wages have fallen further here than anywhere else in

:38:16.:38:22.

the UK. The wages are up. I don't think wages are going up at all. In

:38:23.:38:28.

some city regions, we are very lucky to have a job.

:38:29.:38:31.

Hello, I'm Marie Ashby and my guests this week are Jessica Lee, the

:38:32.:38:35.

Conservative MP for Erewash, and Jon Ashworth, the Labour MP for

:38:36.:38:39.

Leicester South. And first, it's been the political story of the week

:38:40.:38:43.

and the East Midlands has had a big part to play. The resignation of the

:38:44.:38:46.

Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, in yet another expenses row. The whole

:38:47.:38:49.

process began with a formal complaint to Parliament from the

:38:50.:38:52.

Bassetlaw MP, John Mann, who made strong demands for the Culture

:38:53.:38:56.

Secretary to go. When she did, the subsequent reshuffle saw

:38:57.:38:58.

Loughborough's Nicky Morgan promoted within the Treasury and given the

:38:59.:39:01.

role of Women's Minister, which gives her a seat in the Cabinet.

:39:02.:39:09.

Jessica Lee, what's been your reaction to the week's events? I

:39:10.:39:20.

think the promotion of Nicky Morgan, who is a very talented MP,

:39:21.:39:28.

and she will do a great job, is a positive outcome. Before John and I

:39:29.:39:37.

were elected, the expenses scandal, I remember watching it and being

:39:38.:39:42.

horrified. I do think it is going to take time for the public to trust

:39:43.:39:46.

all additions again about this matter. You are stepping down at

:39:47.:39:54.

this term of Parliament. Is this kind of hounding putting you off?

:39:55.:40:05.

No. I enjoy being an MP but I really enjoyed the law and my background is

:40:06.:40:14.

being a barrister. I really see my future in the law. It is a difficult

:40:15.:40:19.

decision but I'm very lucky to have served a great community. I still

:40:20.:40:25.

have another year so it will be business as usual. John, any

:40:26.:40:33.

sympathy for Maria Miller? Not at all. The way in which she did her

:40:34.:40:38.

apology to the House of Commons was quite frankly insulting. Then the

:40:39.:40:43.

way in which people suggested it was because of her role in press

:40:44.:40:46.

regulation was offensive. When people are really struggling at the

:40:47.:40:51.

moment, to see this Cabinet Mr carrying on like this, it sticks in

:40:52.:40:54.

peoples throats. David Cameron should have intervened sooner.

:40:55.:41:01.

Protestors from all over the country are gathering in the East Midlands

:41:02.:41:04.

to fight plans to carry out fracking. They've set up camp in

:41:05.:41:07.

Nottinghamshire, convinced that the first application to start drilling

:41:08.:41:10.

is only weeks away. Fracking's a controversial new technique to drill

:41:11.:41:15.

deep underground. It uses high pressure water and chemicals to

:41:16.:41:18.

release gas. Large parts of the East Midlands are said to be rich in

:41:19.:41:21.

potential shale gas, with licences covering many parts of

:41:22.:41:23.

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire already granted.

:41:24.:41:28.

In a moment, we'll be speaking to the Chief Operating Officer of a

:41:29.:41:31.

company looking to carry out fracking here, but first, Helen

:41:32.:41:34.

McCulloch's been to the protestors' camp near Retford to meet the people

:41:35.:41:41.

keen to stop him. In a word in the north

:41:42.:41:44.

Nottinghamshire a protest camp is growing. I came down from Scotland.

:41:45.:41:55.

I heard they were setting up here. At the moment they are objecting to

:41:56.:41:59.

extract methane gas from below the ground. But with this area petition

:42:00.:42:04.

league `` potentially rich in Shields gas it could become the new

:42:05.:42:08.

battle ground in the fight against fracking. The first application

:42:09.:42:14.

could come as soon as the next two weeks. Protest is here are making

:42:15.:42:19.

their plans. These companies make mistakes. They are using some

:42:20.:42:24.

horrible chemicals and the operation will miss `` mess with everything.

:42:25.:42:44.

This woman from the Green party is a regular visitor to the camp. She

:42:45.:42:50.

shares of the campaigns `` she said `` she says their campaigns. This is

:42:51.:42:57.

a joke. David Cameron says we are going to have robust measures but

:42:58.:43:05.

that means lies. There is no regulation. Tell me how you're going

:43:06.:43:12.

to regulate when you drill a mile down, turn left and drill down

:43:13.:43:16.

another mile. The Green party is strongly opposed to fracturing and

:43:17.:43:22.

wants to see the money spent instead on renewable energy. Solar energy

:43:23.:43:28.

worldwide produces more jobs than the fossil fuels injury combined.

:43:29.:43:31.

This is enormous. These are local jobs. Here in the East midlands we

:43:32.:43:37.

could have more wind farms and we could invest in tidal power. We have

:43:38.:43:43.

got the sea surrounding us so why are we not investing in technology

:43:44.:43:49.

that already exists and which would produce a lot of local jobs? To

:43:50.:43:55.

produce just 10% of the gas we need in this country, we are talking

:43:56.:44:01.

about 300 wells every year for the next ten years. That is 3000 wells

:44:02.:44:09.

drilled over ten years. But fracking companies have the backing of the

:44:10.:44:12.

Prime Minister and are casting their eyes over the Prime Minister. ``

:44:13.:44:18.

over the East Midlands. Well, if fracking does go ahead, it

:44:19.:44:22.

looks like there'll be lots of protests along the way. Let's speak

:44:23.:44:25.

to John Blaymires, the chief operation officer of IGas, which has

:44:26.:44:28.

an exploration and development licence for the north of our region.

:44:29.:44:32.

So John, first of all, where are you with your plans? We have licences in

:44:33.:44:42.

the region and we actually operate already some 20 oil fields in the

:44:43.:44:47.

area and these oilfields have been there for decades producing and

:44:48.:44:57.

wells being drilled. This is not something new we are talking about.

:44:58.:45:01.

There is a long history in the area of oil. But what about fracking? The

:45:02.:45:09.

first thing that has to happen is we have to explore and establish the

:45:10.:45:13.

presence of shale gas and ascertain whether it is economic clear track.

:45:14.:45:20.

That will entail at some point having to get the gas to flow and

:45:21.:45:24.

our expectation is that that will happen in 2015. What do you say to

:45:25.:45:30.

those protesters who say that fracking is not safe? We need to

:45:31.:45:39.

understand a few things. First of all, we are highly regulated. We are

:45:40.:45:54.

a very highly regulated industry. Can you regulate a pipe that is

:45:55.:45:59.

miles underground? The protesters say it is not possible. It is. The

:46:00.:46:08.

health and safety executive and the environment agency and the local

:46:09.:46:12.

planning officers and the local communities in which we operate

:46:13.:46:15.

watchers and monitor us on a daily basis. Jessica Lee, parts of your

:46:16.:46:21.

area in Derbyshire have the potential to produce this shale gas.

:46:22.:46:25.

Would you like to see it in your area? There are no specific plans in

:46:26.:46:34.

our area but people need reassurance and information. People need that

:46:35.:46:39.

knowledge so they understand the process. That is really in Portland.

:46:40.:46:47.

That is when MPs will have to take the lead. David Cameron has said

:46:48.:46:51.

communities will get a share of the profits from any temp back in those

:46:52.:46:56.

communities. There is a that make sense? They will get 1% of the

:46:57.:47:09.

revenues and that can amount to several million pounds per site over

:47:10.:47:15.

the life of that site. The government has also put in place

:47:16.:47:31.

business rates. That will be a huge boon for the local communities. The

:47:32.:47:37.

industry has undertaken to make those contributions to make sure the

:47:38.:47:40.

communities will get some benefit from this. The whole idea behind

:47:41.:47:45.

this is to ensure that wells the exchequer gets attacked the industry

:47:46.:47:49.

will pay, the local communities will get a share of that to reflect the

:47:50.:47:54.

fact they have this going on in their communities. Is that enough

:47:55.:48:03.

for you? It is a reasonable suggestion that communities should

:48:04.:48:06.

get some of those benefits but there are bigger questions. The regulatory

:48:07.:48:17.

regime needs to be strengthened. People have concerns about the

:48:18.:48:22.

chemicals used and everybody knows that these tremors have taken

:48:23.:48:31.

place. Are we going to have tremors in the East midlands? As a

:48:32.:48:36.

consequence of temp back, the answer would be no. `` fracking. Let's also

:48:37.:48:48.

put into context, it has happened once before, but let's put it into

:48:49.:48:53.

perspective. Professor Richard Davis in a report he issued preferred to

:48:54.:48:59.

it as the equivalent of jumping off a stepladder so we have to put some

:49:00.:49:05.

of this into some context. Particularly in the area, you are

:49:06.:49:11.

looking at an industry that historically has had these kinds of

:49:12.:49:21.

tremors on a regular basis. So we just need to get used to it then? I

:49:22.:49:31.

am not quite sure that's the case. We should not frighten people until

:49:32.:49:39.

we've got the facts. That is why the industry and representatives need to

:49:40.:49:44.

be clear what the facts are. People need to be well informed. The point

:49:45.:49:49.

about revenue going to the community is important but the most important

:49:50.:49:57.

thing is information. We as an industry have an obligation and one

:49:58.:50:05.

of our undertakings is about public engagement. It's about being

:50:06.:50:10.

transparent. We have to build the trust of the local communities in

:50:11.:50:17.

which we work. That is essential. And that could happen in 2015. Are

:50:18.:50:24.

you for it or against it? I figure need to know more. We have a problem

:50:25.:50:30.

with energy supply in this country so gas will have to be part of that.

:50:31.:50:35.

I personally think Cole should be part of it and I hope the government

:50:36.:50:42.

sorts out the coal mines. I think there is a role for gas but a lot of

:50:43.:50:46.

people in my constituency have raised concerns with me about the

:50:47.:50:51.

regulatory regime and whether this is environmentally safe. What you

:50:52.:50:56.

think about the protests we have seen? First of all, everyone is

:50:57.:51:12.

entitled to their own opinions. I support that in a sense because it

:51:13.:51:16.

is part of a democracy. The issue is often about trying to deal with the

:51:17.:51:24.

facts and that is the key issue. What we find when we engage with

:51:25.:51:28.

people and start talking about the facts is that people become more

:51:29.:51:31.

reassured. New figures just released say that

:51:32.:51:34.

the East Midlands has seen the biggest fall in take home pay in the

:51:35.:51:40.

country. According to the TUC, there's been an 8.7% fall in wages

:51:41.:51:43.

here since 2010. It found that the average weekly wage in the region

:51:44.:51:47.

had fallen by ?45.50, compared with a national average fall of ?40. The

:51:48.:51:50.

figure's even worse when compared with some of our neighbours. Workers

:51:51.:51:53.

in Yorkshire and Humberside have seen a ?35 fall and in the West

:51:54.:52:00.

Midlands, it was ?38. Of course, those figures were

:52:01.:52:03.

compiled by the TUC, who are hardly likely to say things are rosy. Other

:52:04.:52:07.

reports have suggested that wages are beginning to rise. So how are

:52:08.:52:15.

you feeling financially? Here's Des. The TUC say we're ?45 worse off

:52:16.:52:21.

since the recession but other reports say wages are on the up.

:52:22.:52:25.

Let's find out what people in Loughborough think. Our wages on the

:52:26.:52:33.

up? I think the wages are at and we are not in recession. I don't think

:52:34.:52:41.

wages are going about all. In some situations, we are very lucky to

:52:42.:52:47.

have a job still. Jobs are very hard to come by. Are we worse off or I

:52:48.:52:53.

wages on the up? We are on the up. Minimum wages on the up. Everybody

:52:54.:53:00.

else's wage has to stay the same. I don't think the recession is over.

:53:01.:53:06.

Some reports say wages are on the up and some on the down. I think they

:53:07.:53:11.

are on the down. I think they are on the increase. But the cost of living

:53:12.:53:21.

is rising. Wages at or down, let's ask Barry? I still think they are on

:53:22.:53:27.

their way down. Nobody has got any me spend. Our wages on the up or on

:53:28.:53:37.

the down? I would say on the up. People seem happier and that is

:53:38.:53:41.

always a good sign. Jon Ashworth, people in Loughborough

:53:42.:53:45.

very split there. Some say things aren't improving, some seeing wages

:53:46.:53:49.

going up. Maybe it's just taking a bit longer for improvements to reach

:53:50.:53:54.

everyone? People are really struggling. When you look at the

:53:55.:53:59.

different statistics, it shows you that actually people are worse off

:54:00.:54:04.

because wages have not been increasing when inflation has.

:54:05.:54:10.

People are ?1600 worse off under David Cameron. One person said they

:54:11.:54:19.

didn't think the recession was over. We have to look at confidence and

:54:20.:54:24.

people have to feel that confidence. We had the Derbyshire

:54:25.:54:27.

and Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce

:54:28.:54:32.

condone to speak to a group of MPs and the business community they were

:54:33.:54:36.

saying that people at `` that things are on the up in terms of new jobs.

:54:37.:54:45.

We have over a million new jobs in the private sector and the business

:54:46.:54:48.

community was saying what follows from that is an increase in wages.

:54:49.:54:54.

These representatives were confident that would be the next step. The

:54:55.:55:02.

coalition says when you take tax cuts into account 90% of us have

:55:03.:55:06.

seen their income in `` an increase in our income of 2.5%. The coalition

:55:07.:55:12.

is talking about income tax, but it is not including the increase in

:55:13.:55:18.

National Insurance or VAT. Pensioners are paying more tax. The

:55:19.:55:21.

coalition are not in straight with you. There is a bigger tax burden

:55:22.:55:29.

under the Tories. You are worse off under David Cameron. That is not a

:55:30.:55:36.

surprise in reply. We have taken the poorest people in the country out of

:55:37.:55:39.

income tax altogether. This definitely makes a difference to

:55:40.:55:43.

people 's lives. Pensioners have been well supported. Giving people

:55:44.:55:52.

more responsibility over their pensions. The country is on the

:55:53.:55:57.

right path. Business confidence is up. But this is an issue that could

:55:58.:56:07.

settle the general election result. I think people take the view that

:56:08.:56:14.

the economy is central to a general election and the indicators at the

:56:15.:56:17.

moment is that the ball are cautiously optimistic as to the

:56:18.:56:21.

direction the country is going in. Unlike John, I would say it is

:56:22.:56:26.

because the government has protected the poorest in society. We have to

:56:27.:56:33.

create jobs and look at exporting around the world. Our saving ratios

:56:34.:56:47.

are falling. The reason for this bit of growth is because of an increase

:56:48.:56:51.

in consumption. But it is all on credit cards. Raising the minimum

:56:52.:56:56.

wage has got to be a step in the right direction though. I think the

:56:57.:57:04.

chamber of commerce are neutral and they say we need to be optimistic at

:57:05.:57:09.

this stage that it doesn't mean to say that we don't look out for our

:57:10.:57:12.

constituents and make sure people are being looked after. Some people

:57:13.:57:23.

would say the living wage is more important. Why aren't you

:57:24.:57:27.

concentrating on that? The living which has come into the debate

:57:28.:57:35.

nationally. At the House of Commons, the speaker made an announcement

:57:36.:57:39.

that everybody working in the House of Commons would get the living

:57:40.:57:43.

wage. I think there is an issue with it but I would concentrate on the

:57:44.:57:46.

overall picture which is about supporting businesses and helping

:57:47.:57:53.

people get back into work. I think there are positives for the country.

:57:54.:57:58.

As the economy grows, surely wages will rise. I think wages will

:57:59.:58:04.

probably rise but the problem is you well I've had three or four years of

:58:05.:58:16.

stagnation. George Osborne said he was going to have growth

:58:17.:58:21.

straightaway but actually he has failed because he has put the 80 at

:58:22.:58:26.

and has put taxes up and he kept too deeply in the early stages.

:58:27.:58:30.

Time now for a round up of some of the other stories from the week with

:58:31.:58:34.

our Political Editor, John Hess, in 60 seconds.

:58:35.:58:41.

And your starter for ten. Which East Midlands MP has complained that the

:58:42.:58:44.

final of University Challenge was an all male, all Oxbridge affair? No

:58:45.:58:54.

conferring. Richard the Lionheart. No, in fact it's the Ashfield's

:58:55.:58:57.

Gloria De Piero, Labour's Shadow Minister for Equality. And for a

:58:58.:59:01.

bonus, which East Midlands MP is now backing David Cameron after writing

:59:02.:59:04.

a letter of no confidence? Yes, North West Leicestershire's Andrew

:59:05.:59:07.

Bridgen. He's changed his mind because he says the PM has

:59:08.:59:10.

engineered dramatic improvements in Britain's fortunes. Elsewhere, the

:59:11.:59:13.

Government has answered the question of whether it will help the mining

:59:14.:59:17.

industry with a "yes". Well of sorts, offering ?10 million towards

:59:18.:59:20.

the phased closure of Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire. We are

:59:21.:59:28.

keeping open the prospect of a private buyer. If they see an

:59:29.:59:31.

economic case they are free to do so. But unions say the money could

:59:32.:59:36.

have been used to access more coal seams and give the pit another four

:59:37.:59:45.

years of life. So back to women again and the lack

:59:46.:59:49.

of them. Maybe the universities need to have a quota! Did either of you

:59:50.:59:53.

fancy pitting your wits on University Challenge back in the

:59:54.:59:57.

day? I am not sure that would help to have tight quarters but all

:59:58.:00:06.

universities, all girls do very well at school. I don't think it is the

:00:07.:00:13.

way to go but we should see more women in public life. We should have

:00:14.:00:27.

Jessica in there. I am resuming my law career and we have never had a

:00:28.:00:30.

lady Lord Chief Justice. Thanks to my guests, Jessica and

:00:31.:00:34.

Jon. That's the Sunday Politics in the East Midlands. Now, back to

:00:35.:00:35.

Andrew Neil. risk. We have run out of time. --

:00:36.:00:39.

particular candidates. Back to you, Andrew.

:00:40.:00:49.

The sun's out, Ed Balls has run the London Marathon, and MPs leave

:00:50.:00:52.

Westminster for their Easter break. Let's discuss what's coming up in

:00:53.:01:02.

the Week Ahead. We will get more of what we have

:01:03.:01:07.

just seen. Let's look back on the debate. What did we learn from the

:01:08.:01:12.

argument is? That it is going to bore and irritate whole lot of

:01:13.:01:15.

people, this election campaign. Four parties shouting at each other about

:01:16.:01:19.

things that most people do not know much about. They know very little

:01:20.:01:22.

about how the European Parliament works, what an MEP is supposed to

:01:23.:01:30.

do. A lot of heat and not a lot of light. I've updated well, all of

:01:31.:01:36.

them, but the net effect is not going to encourage people to go out

:01:37.:01:40.

and vote and not many do. One thing that struck me was that on Europe,

:01:41.:01:48.

the Labour and Lib Dem positions are not that far apart. They are pretty

:01:49.:01:52.

much the same. And yet the knocks lots of each other. I suppose they

:01:53.:01:56.

feel that they had to do that because that is the format. I'd

:01:57.:02:01.

agree with Polly. Their word UKIP and the Tories to attack two we try

:02:02.:02:07.

to make it exciting, and we know the issues are important. But people out

:02:08.:02:11.

there have not heard of these individuals. It is not very

:02:12.:02:16.

exciting. That is worrying because these are huge national questions

:02:17.:02:20.

for us. We need to find a way of making it more fun. People may not

:02:21.:02:26.

know these MEPs, they may not know the detail of the debate, but it is

:02:27.:02:31.

an issue on which people have strong opinions. It is a visceral thing for

:02:32.:02:35.

many people. Especially on the immigration issue. The debate took

:02:36.:02:37.

off and became more vociferous at that point. To a large extent, you

:02:38.:02:44.

wonder whether not only this European election but the eventual

:02:45.:02:48.

referendum will be a referendum on the issue of immigration and free

:02:49.:02:52.

movement. If we did not learn much from the argument, the thing we did

:02:53.:02:55.

learn is that the structure of these televised debate influences the

:02:56.:03:03.

outcome. One of the reasons that Nigel Farage did well in the debate

:03:04.:03:09.

is that in a two-man debate, each man has as good a chance as the

:03:10.:03:13.

other. If it is four people, one man can be ganged up on. Patrick O'Flynn

:03:14.:03:18.

did well for a man who is not an elected politician yet. At times, 40

:03:19.:03:22.

came under attack and did not hold the line as well as you would

:03:23.:03:25.

expect. Does that create a perverse incentive for the main parties to

:03:26.:03:29.

agree to a four way debate before the general election? I do not think

:03:30.:03:34.

the David Cameron has nearly as much to worry about from a televised

:03:35.:03:38.

debate in the run-up to the elections than his spin doctors

:03:39.:03:41.

believe. When you put him up against Ed Miliband, and we have not

:03:42.:03:45.

actually seen Ed Miliband in that format, I think he will come off all

:03:46.:03:51.

right. This is an election which the polls would have us believe that the

:03:52.:03:56.

battle for first place is between UKIP and labour. It certainly is.

:03:57.:04:02.

Obviously, it is neck and neck and we will not know until we are

:04:03.:04:05.

closer. And it matters a lot to both of them. If Mr Miliband does not

:04:06.:04:11.

come first, that is not good news for the main opposition at this

:04:12.:04:16.

stage. Except to some extent all of the people will put it to one side

:04:17.:04:21.

and say that this is a bizarre election. A plague on both your

:04:22.:04:27.

houses, let's vote UKIP. It is not clear how much that translates into

:04:28.:04:33.

the next election. It is not too disastrous for Labour. It would be

:04:34.:04:38.

better if they came first. If Mr Miliband comes first, not a problem,

:04:39.:04:43.

but it becomes second and UKIP soars away, what are the consequences? I

:04:44.:04:48.

think there is a widespread expectation already at Westminster

:04:49.:04:51.

that UKIP is very likely to come first. If Ed Miliband fails to come

:04:52.:04:57.

first, there will not be a great deal of shock in the West Mr

:04:58.:05:01.

village. Else think what is remarkable about Ed Miliband is that

:05:02.:05:04.

despite consistently poor personal leadership approval ratings, the

:05:05.:05:10.

overall Labour poll is consistently very high. We have seen that budget

:05:11.:05:16.

blip, it seems to have taken us back to where we were before. Leadership

:05:17.:05:22.

is not everything. Mrs Thatcher was miles behind James Callaghan but in

:05:23.:05:25.

the end, it was the party politics that mattered more. If Mr Cameron

:05:26.:05:30.

comes third and the Tories come third, maybe a poor third, is it

:05:31.:05:35.

headless chicken time on the Tory backbenchers? It has often been said

:05:36.:05:40.

that the Tory Party has two modes, complacency and panic. You will see

:05:41.:05:46.

them shift into panic mode. By June, I think. Many of the stories in the

:05:47.:05:52.

sun will be about David Cameron's personal leadership and his grip on

:05:53.:05:56.

the party. There will be pressure on conference by the time that comes

:05:57.:06:00.

around. It is a natural consequence of being the incumbent party. The

:06:01.:06:07.

Lib Dems are 7% in two of the polls today. It was widely thought that in

:06:08.:06:11.

the first and second debates, Nigel Farage won both. In retrospect, was

:06:12.:06:18.

the challenge strategy a disaster for Mr Clegg? I do not think it was

:06:19.:06:24.

because he had nothing to lose. But he is lower in the polls than when

:06:25.:06:31.

he started. He has not lost a great deal. The polls were quite often

:06:32.:06:37.

that low. I think it was a good thing to do. It raised his profile.

:06:38.:06:42.

It made him the leading party in. That may be a difficult place to

:06:43.:06:46.

be. That is how you end up with 7% in the polls. The reason he is

:06:47.:06:51.

fighting with Labour is that he knows very well that all he has to

:06:52.:06:54.

do is to get his votes back that have gone to Labour and labour have

:06:55.:06:58.

to fight hard to make sure that they do not go back. Every party looks to

:06:59.:07:04.

where it is going to get it support. If it is a wipe-out for the

:07:05.:07:08.

Lib Dems, and they lose all their MEPs, not saying that is going to

:07:09.:07:14.

happen but you could not rule it out for, are we back in Nick Clegg

:07:15.:07:19.

leadership crisis territory? One of the astonishing things about this

:07:20.:07:23.

Parliament is the relative absence of leadership speculation about Nick

:07:24.:07:27.

Clegg will stop at the first couple of years, his position seems

:07:28.:07:30.

tricky, but maybe that is because Chris Hughton is gone and he was the

:07:31.:07:34.

only plausible candidate. This cable is not getting any younger, to put

:07:35.:07:37.

it delicately. That was not delegate at all! And we have reached a

:07:38.:07:42.

desperate stage where Danny Alexander is talked about as a

:07:43.:07:45.

candidate. That was not delegate either! Maybe he is holding onto

:07:46.:07:49.

power the lack of alternatives. If they ended up with no MEPs at all,

:07:50.:07:55.

and a less than double digits score... With Danny Alexander, it is

:07:56.:08:02.

clear that Scotland, one way or another, will be moving further

:08:03.:08:04.

away. You could not have the leader of a national party be a Scot. But

:08:05.:08:11.

he does not have the following in the party. I'm glad you're liberal

:08:12.:08:15.

attitudes to immigration extends to me. I would not have been here for

:08:16.:08:20.

43 years. There will be leadership talk after that holes. It has been

:08:21.:08:26.

bubbling in the background, but you have to talk to the grass roots

:08:27.:08:31.

activists. -- after the polls. The grass roots activists are

:08:32.:08:36.

despairing. If things are bad, they lose their network of activists, who

:08:37.:08:39.

they need to fight the next election. I think you mean, not that

:08:40.:08:43.

you could have a Scot, but that it would be more difficult to have a

:08:44.:08:47.

Scot from a Scottish constituency. Absolutely. I think a Scottish

:08:48.:08:53.

constituency, so many things will be different. Or to hold the great

:08:54.:09:00.

offices of state. Let's come onto the Crown Prosecution Service is. It

:09:01.:09:04.

is an English institution. Where does the CPS and after losing yet

:09:05.:09:07.

another high-profile case come this time Nigel Evans? They had nine

:09:08.:09:12.

counts against him and they did not win on one. It is obviously very

:09:13.:09:19.

embarrassing. They will have a bit of explain to do but I guess the

:09:20.:09:21.

threshold for bringing these cases is high. There has to be considered

:09:22.:09:25.

at least a 50-50 chance of actually winning the case. We do not know

:09:26.:09:31.

what went on behind the scenes when they weighed up whether to bring the

:09:32.:09:34.

case. Nigel Evans makes an interesting point about whether it

:09:35.:09:38.

is legitimate to bundle together a number of stand-alone relatively

:09:39.:09:44.

weak accusations, and when you put them together to militantly, the CPS

:09:45.:09:48.

uses that to make a case. Is that a legitimate thing to do? He was a

:09:49.:09:52.

high-profile figure, not just because he was a Tory MP. He was the

:09:53.:10:00.

deputy speaker of the House. And yet the CPS are certainly the police, to

:10:01.:10:05.

begin with they did not have that many people to testify against him.

:10:06.:10:10.

And then they trawled for more. You wonder if they would have done that

:10:11.:10:13.

if it was not for the fact that he was a public figure. The trouble is,

:10:14.:10:16.

they are dammed if they do and dammed if they do not. Particularly

:10:17.:10:20.

with politicians and the reputation they have these days, if there is

:10:21.:10:23.

any suggestion that they let somebody off because they are a

:10:24.:10:26.

high-profile politician, and they are saying that about Cyril Smith,

:10:27.:10:33.

that is the accusation. A strange story. Most unlikely and very

:10:34.:10:36.

bizarre. But that is the accusation. If there is any with of that, I can

:10:37.:10:41.

see why the CPS says, we better let the courts try this one. Also, they

:10:42.:10:46.

are in trouble overrated cases because their success rate on

:10:47.:10:54.

bringing people to court for rape is so thin. When it looked as if his

:10:55.:10:57.

accusers were not really accusing him, it looks quite weak. You cannot

:10:58.:11:00.

help but feeling that they are falling over backwards now in

:11:01.:11:05.

high-profile cases because of their abject and total failure over Jimmy

:11:06.:11:10.

Savile. I think this is exactly the kind of case that happens when you

:11:11.:11:13.

are trying to make a point or redeem a reputation or change a culture.

:11:14.:11:18.

All of these big things. As opposed to what criminal justice is supposed

:11:19.:11:22.

to be about, which is specific crimes and specific evidence

:11:23.:11:24.

matching those crimes. The CPS has no copper a fleet joined in this

:11:25.:11:28.

list of public and situations that has taken a fall over the past five

:11:29.:11:32.

or six years. We have had Parliament, the newspapers, the

:11:33.:11:35.

police will stop I think this is as bad a humiliation as any of those

:11:36.:11:38.

because it is Innocent people suffering. You are the most recent,

:11:39.:11:42.

being a lobby correspondent in Westminster, and we now see on

:11:43.:11:47.

Channel 4 News that basically, Westminster is twinned with Sodom

:11:48.:11:52.

and Gomorrah. Yes. I know. Is this true? It is all rather the red. I do

:11:53.:11:58.

not move in those circles. And you were in the lobby at one stage? Not

:11:59.:12:03.

that long ago. Is it right. Is it right to be twinned with Sodom and

:12:04.:12:06.

Gomorrah? I'll ask him for his opinion. Being technically a member

:12:07.:12:13.

of the lobby, I can observe some of this stuff. And what surprises me is

:12:14.:12:18.

that journalists, when the complain about Sodom and Gomorrah, write

:12:19.:12:23.

themselves out of it. It is as if it is just MPs. We are unalloyed and

:12:24.:12:28.

unvarnished. Actually, the fact is it has always been a bit like Sodom

:12:29.:12:32.

and tomorrow. Of course it has. Think about how we have had wave

:12:33.:12:36.

after wave of stories and scandals. But less of it recently. It was I

:12:37.:12:40.

think that attitudes have slightly changed. I'll also think that if you

:12:41.:12:45.

get 650 people in any organisation and you put that much scrutiny on

:12:46.:12:51.

them, you will find an awful lot going on in most people's officers

:12:52.:12:57.

of a scurrilous nature. Even in the BBC

:12:58.:14:01.

In 2013, the public voted for a portrait of

:14:02.:14:03.

At times he's interesting, at times he's very funny,

:14:04.:14:12.

My life is a very happy life and I'm a very happy person.

:14:13.:14:19.

Will you feel nervous when this is unveiled?

:14:20.:14:21.

I suppose being the centre of attention but for ever.

:14:22.:14:25.

Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew chairs a special debate ahead of the European elections with representatives from UKIP, Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.


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