13/04/2014 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


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


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


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


time gets underway. In a Sunday issues at stake on May 22nd with


senior party figures from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal


Democrats, and UKIP. And as ever we'll be discussing the week ahead


And coming up here: New jobs, commentators.


And coming up here: New jobs, economic growth and the Giro - we'll


hear from the Enterprise minister, Arlene Foster.


And we discuss the symbolism of Martin McGuinness in Windsor with


the Victims' Commissioner, Kathryn Stone.


the Victims' Commissioner, Kathryn newspapers which some claim are


politically slanted and not impartial about informing people of


local services. So all that to come between now and


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


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


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


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


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


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


their opening pitch for the elections. A little earlier they


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


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


about. The vote to choose members of the


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


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


sends 73 England and Northern Ireland. The UK


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


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


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


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


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


been responsible for include price caps on mobile phone chargers,


banking regulation and cover food regulation two -- labelling.


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


needs to change. And our relationship with Europe needs to


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


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


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


the three yards, with Conservative MEPs working alongside a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Labour. The European Ludford. Next, Richard Howitt from


about who represents you. They are not a referendum on a referendum.


Labour MEPs believe in putting jobs and growth first. A guarantee to


help young people into work, reforming energy markets so that


bills are brought down for good. Labour believes in reform in Europe,


but within. It is David Cameron who is risking your job and Britain's


prosperity because of divisions in his own party. Labour MEPs put


British interests first. Our fourth opening statement from Patrick


O'Flynn. The EU is old hat. It is a declining regional trade bloc in an


era of global trade. It is a 20th-century political project


designed to prevent conflict in Europe that is now reawakening old


hostilities. It is an attempt to force on the European people


European this as their primary collective identity. It has hollowed


out British democracy and now we do not even control our own borders.


That is why you should vote UKIP. That is the opening statements.


Let's get on with the debate. Why should people vote in the


selections? If you vote UKIP, we can deliver an earthquake that will rock


the foundations of British politics and the European political class. We


can send a signal to Europe that Britain has had enough, that Britain


wants to retain its nation state status and regain political power


and the ability to forge trading deals across the world. Britain


leading Europe to freedom twice in the last century through bloodshed.


We feel that a UKIP win in those elections could help Britain


We feel that a UKIP win in those example to lead European nation


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


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


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


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


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


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


Conservative MEPs working alongside him. But many of your supporters


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


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


we are the only party trying to change the EU


we are the only party trying to have offered renegotiation and a


referendum. And how would you vote in such a referendum? We have no


idea whether he would vote yes or no. Let him answer. I will answer


that question. If the EU continues on this road, towards a United


States of Europe, and if there was no change at the time of the


referendum, then I would probably vote to leave. You have no


confidence in David Cameron? We Javier Culson opportunity to read


negotiate our relationship with Europe and the Conservatives are at


the forefront of that agenda. David Cameron have not given a list of


demands. He said that if things do not change, he will probably vote to


leave, is that right? If at the time of the referendum, things had not


changed, I would vote to leave and we have a golden opportunity to


perform the agenda. Richard, the last time the British people had a


say on this was over 40 years ago. Under a Labour government. Which was


deeply divided on the issue. And that was a say on the common market.


Today's EU is a very different animal from the common market. Why


can we not, under another Labour government, have another vote? First


of all, we want it to be more than a free trading area. We make no


apologies about that. But in the elections because this is half of


Britain's exports and investment. If you care about your job and


business, you cannot hear from the party of government that they


probably want you to leave because the CBI, the engineering employees


in Federation and the chimp of commerce, 80% of them say it is


necessary to stay in. So why not give us a vote? When David Cameron


says he wants to repatriate social powers, he means takeaway maternity


rights and holidays. If the case is so strong, why not give us an in-out


vote? David Miliband has said that there will be a referendum if there


was a proposal to change powers. Why wait? This is based on a series of


reforms. Labour has a set of reforms. David Cameron is silent


about what they would be. That is because he knows that if he put them


forward, they would either be unsatisfactory to his Eurosceptic


backbenchers and he would be out of a job, or they would be unacceptable


to European leaders. Why is your leader missing in action? Ed


Miliband is unable to say even the positive things that you are saying.


He has run away from the argument. He actually said there would not be


a referendum in his time. For a conservative to say they will


have a referendum but not give the reforms, it is a mistake. Nick Clegg


gave Nigel Farage a huge opportunity in that debate. He said that the


Eurosceptic view was to leave Britain like Billy no mates. I can


say that he is the best qualified person to say that. Sarah Ludford,


you have said that lots of people are going to vote Lib Dem but that


is not what the polls are saying. You are 7% in two polls this


morning. Eclectic's decision to champion Europe has been a disaster


for you. You face wet out. We swayed a lot of people our way with Nick


Clegg's debate. Where is the evidence? We are the only party that


is completely united, saying that we are wanting to stay in. It is


essential because formally and jobs are supported by our trade with the


EU. Linked to the EU. We are finding a lot of moderate conservative


voters are actually fed up with the Tories being split and divided all


over the place. Syed Kamall saying that we might vote in rout. -- in or


out. We are consistent. A poll in London showed that 18% would vote


for us. I am delighted about that. London is not the whole country, it


may surprise you. We need to move on to immigration, an important issue.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


National said that they did not collect sufficient figures under a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


because we have no volume control and no quality control from


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


object to bilateral agreements with wealthy, retired people. Why do not


countries with similar living standards to us. France, the


Netherlands, that works fine. But these three people want Turkey to


join the EU, 75 Na Li and people running our country, only 10% of


which... Syed Kamall is Michael year to say whether they are in favour of


free movement for work, not for benefits... That is what I'm


saying. You said you were unable to be clear. That leaves 2 million


British people absolutely unsure as to whether they would have a right


to continue to live in other countries. It is a two-way street.


You are putting those people in a state of uncertainty. EU migrants


have been good for the British economy and contribute far more than


they take out in services and benefits. One in seven businesses


were founded in -- by migrants. And they cannot just turn up and claim


benefits. The coalition government has legislated to make sure that


they cannot claim for three months. They will not be able to claim for


more than six months. Richard Howitt, Jack Straw said it was "A


spectacular mistake for Labour to allow EU migrants from Poland and


Hungary to work in the UK from 2004." Why should we trust a party


that makes spectacular mistakes and hasn't apologised for it? We accept


it is a mistake and I apologise. We make a firm commitment for new EU


states we will put down transitional controls. When I listen to the


Conservatives and UKIP trying to re-write history, saying immigration


was out of control, uncontrolled, open door, we hear it over and over


again. It is not true. Anyone who was around at the time... Come on,


Richard. Hold on, you undercounted by 350,000. You were letting 2


million in over the years, an under-counted by 350,000 people you


didn't know came in. You should have tightened the benefit rules. The


Conservative MEP today has, in four years in government in Britain, is


trying it blame the previous Labour Government over the fact they won't


count people in or people out. Yvette Cooper - it is not easy for


people to come to the country and benefits are changing, changing the


habitual residence test and we are going to say that migrants can't


come and claim child benefit if their children are outside the


country. Labour a has shown they have listened to concerns but we say


it is a stronger, better, country because it is diverse and


multicultural snoo.d this is fantasy politics from all the Peters. They


are committed to a system with no volume control and no quality


control. You talk about benefits as if it is only out of work benefits.


In work benefits cost a lot of money for the British taxpayer. Big


businesses bring in minimum wage workers. It is ?5,000 per perschool


place What are you going to do? Have all the pensioners come back to


Britain? How will will you fund the health care? Do you really think


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


a debate on the wider politics between Conservatives and UKIP and


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


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


thought how they will have trade deals that the Liberal Democrats


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


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


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


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


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


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


on to foreign affairs. Should we pool more sovereignty to


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


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


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


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


first time, since the speak. Europe is facing, for the


Second World War, Armies crossing national borders and floatening


peace. Doesn't it -- threatening peace. Doesn't it need to come


together of the We don't need more powers. We need political will. With


Vladimir Putin, in my view, he has -- we have fallen short in the


sanctions. But it is Europe, not Britain. Remember Putin calling


Britain little England a small island with no influence. Labour


doesn't agree with that. But if that's the mindset that allows


someone like Vladimir Putin to send troops across borders threatening


peace, it is worrying. And when we have, in UKIP a party that say they


admire Putin and support his policies, that is no recipe for how


Europe should be wrong. I was waiting for that. Let me ask him. We


don't admire Putin as a leader... Oh. No we don't. What Nigel Farage


said, was he admired him as a political operator. Testifies


Franklin D Roosevelt who said a good foreign policy was speaking softly


but carrying a big stick. The EU shouts its mouthed off while


carrying a matchstick. It is fantasy that you wiebl it stand up to Putin


over the Ukraine. -- that you would be able to stand up. Do you admire


what Putin is doing in the Ukraine? No. What matters in foreign policy


is the outcould. We have a terrible outcome in the Ukraine, like Syria,


and Georgia... What would UKIP do? What u skip would do, would be to


keep our people safe -- UKIP. How? And not commit our Foreign


Office and troops Foreign wars. Patrick O'Flynn. You brought up this


issue of foreign wars. Now Nigel Farage said in previous debates that


Britain should leave the EU because, "We have had enough of endless


foreign wars." Which wars has the EU taken us into? The EU has ban very


important factor in the push towards trying to get military intervention


in Syria, for example. What wars has the etch U taken us into it -- EU.


Fortunately the EU doesn't have its own army yet. It has wanted to sign


up to an expansionist agenda. Did it want Iraq? No, that was Labour. UKIP


opposed Iraq, so did most of the mainline Europeans. Germany was


against Syria and Libya. No EU policy. We had an Anglo French deal


on Syria. A by lateral deal. A European dimension. No, buy lateral.


We have a European Union that wants to expand ever-more into other


people's spheres of influence. If we are going to stand up to what Putin


is do, which obviously Nigel Farage has no intentions of doing, you have


to get your act together on economic sanctions and diplomatic force and


in trade matters, in supporting eastern European countries. Sayeria,


who and whose army? And NATO and working transatlanticically, is


important through NATO. I will come to you in a moment. Nick Clegg said


that the idea of an EU Army was, "A dangerous fantasy that is simply not


true ""Why then, are we already working on etch U-owned and


controlled drones -- EU-owned and the President of the European


Parliament has said that the the President of the European


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


our defence industries and those jobs are extremely important and


would be threatened if the Conservatives and UKIP took us out


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


right place with a -- the British Parliament is the


Secretary to decide our foreign policy. You say that, but can I


quote David Cameron, this is germain to what you are saying, David


Cameron said "There is no doubt that we are more powerful than


Washington, Beijing and Delhi, because we are a powerful player in


the European Union." Do you agree? He is saying that there are times


when it comes to international foreign affairs when you have to


cooperate with partners. Often they are EU partners but often they are


not. The problem we have... Washington have made it very clear


that it wants Britain to talk through Brussels. No, not at all.


Talk through the French and Italians, come on, wake up? Through


the EU collective. I'm vice chair of the EU delegation. I hear it from


the American counterparts. They want the EU to get itself together and


not least on Ukraine. Why should our sovereignty be at the behest of... ?


I want to hear from Syed calm amplgts the British Parliament is


the right place to decide our foreign poll sinchts sometimes we


work with our European partners, sometimes we work with our


non-European partners. It is our choice to pull sovereign trito work


together. G, we move on to our foirt area. We hear a lot in this country


about MPs expenses. Snted the real scan dalt MEPs gravy train. -- isn't


the real scandal, the MEPs gravy train? You all have your snouts? The


trough? I don't think so. There is transpancy. The way we use our


expenses is online and anyone can ask to examine those. We have


actually voted to reform MEPs' allowances. We regularly vote but


unfortunately the majority in Parliament don't. Have you voted to


cut them? Yes. By how much? About 5%. A 5% We hoped to have economies


I never fly except across the Atlantic. Difficult to do it any


other way. I didn't swim. But we voted for economy flutes. We


voted for European Parliament policy of transparency which other groups


haven't. UKIP don't turn up to vote. They don't earn their salaries.


Dhoent do anything. They should hand their salaries and allowances back.


You can't ause UKIP of being on the gravy train and the other that we


don't claim our attendance allowance because our MEPs are not there. Your


attendance allowance because our MEPs are not there. Your


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


before the expenses crisis blew up. course hit David Cameron and the


Conservative Party hard as it should do. But you are right, even in my


own region you have UKIP candidates and councillors who have been


charged with fraudulently filling out election papers and other shot


lifting. Another independent inquiry found he made racist comments. We


had a European candidate last week in Hertfordshire who got a parking


ticket from the police and called the police fascists. These people


aren't here. I'll let you have a quick reply. We


can bring up parochial cases. Let him answer. Not so long ago a


Liberal Democrat councillor was sent down for firebombing, I don't say


they are a bunch of arsonists, but now I think, Nick Clegg might have


burnt some cactuses, once. I'm glad you pronounced that word carefully.


Syed Kemal, the EU's auditors, they are strongly critical of the EU's


financials saying "Errors permist in all main spending areas", the


financials are poorly managed. It is a shambles And that's something that


all parties agree on. As we agree on expenses, the British parties are at


the forefront of transpancy. Every year when we vote for the discharge


of the budget, the Conservatives also vote for it but we don't get


enough MEPs from other countries to investigate in favour. The Liberal


Democrats have put forward to make each Finance Minister, George


Osborne and his counterpart to sign a declaration to say all EU money is


properly spent in my country. Funnily enough they don't want to do


that but I look forward to you confirming that George Osborne will


sign it. All the time we hear it is about the money we pay in, about


?150 per family per year. What about the money that comes back? ?1. 5


billion that comes to Britain's regions because of being in Europe.


I myself helped to negotiate a fund to help Britain's food banks to


ensure so. Poorest and most destitute people... Isn't it our


money that went there first. Can I tell you the Conservative-led


Government have blocked us from claiming that money. If you want to


have the clearest choice at these European elections, it is between...


Tell us why. It affects our rebate. Tony Blair gave away our rebate. He


is quite right. Lib Dems fought to make sure that we apply for money to


help with flooding. That is what the Tories were blocking. If you want


the clearest example at the European elections, the Conservative Party


and MEPs blocked the cap on bankers bonuses, and then blocked a Labour


victory to get money for free banks. We need to move on to the


future. It is important and people are watching. The EU's Justice


Minister says that we need to build a United States of Europe with the


commission as its government. Is she right? Not at all. But the future,


if we take the next ten years, thinks about climate change and the


fact that we are not going to hit of the two degrees target. Europe has


led and needs to lead towards getting a new sustainable world. It


is the political will to use these powers, so she is wrong. It is about


the threats from abroad. Labour reforms like getting a commissioner


for growth and rebalancing the budget, reforming the common


agricultural policy, all of those things will need to happen to make


Europe more democratic and open. But against the rise of Brazil and


China... We do not need more treaties and powers. We need more


action with more Labour MEPs. Sarah Ludford, you would sign up to that?


No. Unless they do not think that should concentrate on institutional


matters. What we need to do is concentrate on making Europe


progrowth and competitive and create more jobs in a competitive world. We


need more trade deals to open up our exports, we need to streamline the


EU. We need less red tape and Liberal Democrats have done a lot on


that. We need better scrutiny of EU legislation at West Munster because


the national parties... More powers or less for the EU government? In


some areas, I would like to see it slimmed down. Including, I am not


sure whether the EU should be funding food banks. I think that is


a national responsibility. Dearie me. The EU have to concentrate on


the economy and climate change. This is the coalition talking. If we want


to fritter away political capital on things which are interfering in


national matters, then we do not have the support to tackle those big


challenges. Would you still want to join the Euro one-day? Now is not a


good idea. We wanted the Eurozone to still be sound, which is why... Did


not ask you that. Do you want to join the Euro one-day? If it is a


success and it did the economy. Now is not the time but in principle,


the idea of a single currency has advantages. That was a yes. We are


not ruling it out for ever but not in the foreseeable future. It is not


on the horizon. What would our relationship be with Europe in the


future if UKIP got its way and we left? We would be trading partners


with Europe and we would seek partnership in specific serious. I'd


tell you what, can I just say... Would we be Norway? We would be


stronger than Norway because we are the biggest export market in the


Eurozone. We can negotiate a bespoke trading agreement reflecting our


enormous importance. Not on services, which make up 80% of the


economy. We are the biggest export market in the Eurozone. Our biggest


exports are services and they would have to agree to free trade and


services. They still have not. Can I read you something? Let me read you


something. There would be a free trade agreement in place the day


after our exit. Germany would demand no less. Who said that? Not somebody


from UKIP, but Digby Jones. Mr business. He is talking about


goods, not services. Norway has that and they have no say. You would have


to accept the EU rules without any say. No MEPs are commissioners. Let


me give you another. Enough. One is enough. Syed Kamall, is it not


looking forward pretty much Mission: Impossible for Mr Cameron to get


anything like the repatriations of powers that would satisfy your


irreconcilables? My father was a bus driver in the 50s and one of the


reasons I am here today is because he told me that you can achieve


anything if you work hard. He said to me, do not listen to the


doubters. When people tell you that something cannot be done, it is a


sign of their limitations, not yours. They said that we could not


pull Britain out of the bailout mechanism but we did it. He said we


could not be to a -- veto European treaty and we did that. They said we


would never cut the budget and we did that. The first ever. But


overall, we are paying more into the European budget. And they are not


sticking to it. More, not less. They say that we cannot achieve reform


but we have achieved reform and we are at the forefront of that.


Science's father came to Britain because Britain was open and looking


outward. What the Conservatives now have, with leaderless Cameron, is an


inward looking attitude. They are allowing the rise of UKIP. They are


putting so much at risk. People should vote Labour. We are going to


have to stop now. No point talking because we are about to finish. I


think you all for a spirited debate. I'm sure Nigel Fries and Mr Clegg


will have learned a lot about how to debate. -- Nigel Farage.


It's just gone 3pm, and you're watching the Sunday Politics. We say


goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now for Sunday Politics


Scotland. Coming up here in twenty minutes,


Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland. After the gloom


and doom of austerity, is the Northern Ireland economy finally on


the turn? The biggest ever job creation project, backed by Invest


NI, was announced on Thursday. The Enterprise minister Arlene


Foster joins me live from her constituency.


And a right royal affair - with the focus on Sinn Fein's participation


in the state visit of President Higgins to Britain, victims of IRA


violence say they feel forgotten. -- some victims.


The Victims' Commissioner Kathryn Stone is with me.


And joining me to discuss all of that and more are commentators Paul


McFadden and Professor Rick Wilford. Creating a vibrant economy was the


number one priority of the Executive, now it looks like the


strategy could be paying dividends. How do we sustain the recovery? The


enterprise minister Arlene Foster joins me now. 1000 jobs announced


for Belfast last week. Nobody would suggest that is not good news, but


are these the high end well-paid positions we need to be securing for


the local economy in future? I think what you see through the jobs


announced last week is the continuation of our desire to create


more jobs for people in Northern Ireland, and they came out of the


jobs fund, which was created at the start of the recession to make sure


that we had an appropriate level of jobs available. The jobs fund was to


try and help companies create jobs, they didn't necessarily have to be


high-value jobs, but you will see us now moving to a situation of higher


end jobs and indeed we have been bringing in those higher end jobs as


well in the jobs fund, because our priority as well as building a


vibrant economy is to rebalance the economy and bring a higher level of


job creation into Northern Ireland. We saw an interesting contribution


from the new chairman of the CBI, he said our higher energy costs are


undermining our competitiveness. I do except that the higher energy


costs are very much a challenge, and the are a number of things we need


to do to tackle them. the are a number of things we need


huge amber -- huge constraint on our energy system caused by the fact


that we are not able to have the North-South interconnector. That


costs the consumer in Northern Ireland ?7 million per animal, and


overall it costs ?30 million on the island. -- per annum. At present we


have occurred straight on our system, and religiously it taken off


our system. -- we need to see that constraint taken of our system. That


ties in with what the new chairman of the CBI was saying, he says the


CBI wants to see that second North-South interconnector is


happening as soon as possible. When can we expect it? As I understand it


planning has been -- a planning application has been put into our


system, and then there is a similar one going into the Republic of


Ireland's planning process, so we want to make sure we can assist in


any way to make sure that that goes through as quickly as possible,


because the sooner we have the North-South interconnector, the


faster that those savings can be passed onto consumers, both and


business. Are you satisfied that all parties in the Executive are


committed to making that happen? There is some dispute as I


understand it as to whether or not the interconnector should be


overground or underground, and underground is more expensive of


course. I do understand that those living close to the root of the


interconnector will have concerns, that some of


interconnector will have concerns, that they want the interconnector


pot underground but that again would add to costs. Some estimates believe


it would be as much as three to five times as expensive to put in place,


and any cost, and this is something I don't think that people understand


fully, any cost that is incurred in relation to the North-South


interconnector is then passed on to the consumer, so if that were to


happen it would be passed onto the consumer, and as well as that there


is some technical problems aligned with the underground laying of


cables for such a long distance as well. So we believe the best way is


to get on with this North-South interconnector and certainly we


would hope all of the parties in the Executive support that view. Any


further delay of course could simply compound the situation that we are


in, it could work of further investment. What some commentators


have been saying is that data centres are hugely dependent for


example on energy and energy use. And the price of energy matters a


lot to them. That is why at Microsoft and Google, high tech


employers, simply cannot make the numbers add up. That is why we not


seeing investment companies like that. They are more likely to be


looking at the corporation tax issue as opposed to the energy costs


issue. We believe that is why we have seen them locate in places like


Dublin, and indeed an enterprise zone has now been allocated as a


pilot enterprise zone in Coleraine, and we're hopeful, in fact we know


there is going to be a data centre in Coleraine, the cause we invested


in the transatlantic link between America and Northern Ireland. So we


have invested very heavily in our telecommunications links, it is


important we also have the appropriate electricity support as


well, and we're working hard with the regulator and the systems


operator to make sure that we do have the appropriate level in days.


What about the challenge facing you and your Executive colleagues as far


as East versus West in terms of invest that? We know that the


difference between unemployment East and West of the Bann is huge. This


must be an issue you are sensitive to, but how do you encourage


companies to come to Northern Ireland and secondly encourage them


to invest West of the Bann? That is about partnership, working with a


particular regions involved, and if you take my own region for example,


we have developed what is called a smart region proposal, whereby we


are putting ourselves between the public sector, the private sector,


the south-west colleges, hospitals, we are all working together to have


a proposition to try and draw in inward investor that, but also


supporting our indigenous companies as well, and I think that is


important because I think some of our best examples of growth have


been our indigenous companies. When you say there has been little or no


investment in the west of the province, I think for example of


weather has been. We're trying to draw in more inward investment, but


also really support our indigenous companies because they have given us


a lot of growth. You have got a pretty big brief in enterprise trade


and investment, including tourism, and I know that is something you are


passionate about. The Giro d'Italia is on its way, and we have seen the


build up to that of the expectations. But there are still


challenges as far as tourism is concerned, like for example securing


a greater breadth of direct flights into and out of Northern Ireland.


That remains something in your inbox, doesn't it? Very much so, and


the Giro d'Italia's coming very soon, we have the circuit of Ireland


Rally, the Northwest 200 happening. We have been concentrating


Rally, the Northwest 200 happening. bringing large-scale events to


Northern Ireland. Delighted that the Irish open is coming back to


Northern Ireland next year, with Royal County Down, so we have been


spending a lot of time building up our events strategy over this past


period of time, but of course we need direct flights in? I spent a


lot of time also talking to tourism sector and indeed I will be wishing


the number one priority in that respect, and that is Canada. We


believe there should be a Canadian leg. There has not been for some


time, and it is one I am very strongly of the view that we will be


able to see over the line in the next period of time. Finally, Peter


Robinson's speech yesterday afternoon, he talked about reaching


out to non-core Unionists. Looking for converts to Unionism. Who is he


thinking about? He is talking about those who traditionally from their


background may not have seen themselves as Unionists in the


past, but increasingly are seeing themselves as such in the future


because they see Northern Ireland's place in the union as being of


benefit to them personally and of benefit to the whole of Northern


Ireland in general. We will continue to reach out, we will be positive


about Northern Ireland's place in the union, it is what we will enter


the next period of election saying, because we believe it is best for


all of the people of Northern Ireland.


Arlene Foster, thank you for joining us.


Thank you. Let's see what my guests of the day


make of that. Paul McFadden and Rick Wilford are with me.


make of that. Paul McFadden and Rick Rick, the whole issue of securing


investment, securing jobs. But not just any jobs. File U-boat jobs.


Some have been critical that this is about achieving targets, more than


achieving quality investment. -- valuable -- valuable jobs. Arlene


mentioned the jobs fund, but they are not the sort of high end jobs


you were talking about. I was away for a few days last week but when I


came back and look at the Belfast Telegraph poll of young people, two


out of three say they see their future out of Northern Ireland. Our


greatest strength is the human capital and the skills and


intelligence that young people have. capital and the skills and


We cannot afford for two out of three people to move out of Northern


Ireland. We have two market jobs that are attractive to them. -- a


jobs market that is valuable and attractive to them. I don't think


these kinds of announcements like we heard last week guarantee that, they


are relatively low-paid, yes, they are jobs and they are welcome, but


it is not really the kind of platform we need to retain our best


and our brightest. So it is a valuable investment on one level,


Paul, ?18 million in salaries and wages per annum, but at the same


time not the kind of high end jobs we need to be attracting? I think we


need to upscale the available workforce here, and the minister


mentioned reasons why Company is like Microsoft and Google might move


to Dublin and places over the border. -- we need to up-skill. In


terms of doing something about it, the minister mentioned the


enterprise zone, the pilot enterprise zone, which was for


Coleraine, and we will see what the outcome of that is, whether it


delivers jobs of the quality and quantity we would like to see, and


whether that can be rolled out to other areas which are in greater


need. You live and work in the North West, what about that East versus


West debate? Two Martin McGuinness mentioned the possibility of other


announcements coming in the future, and we will wait to see what is


delivered. I wanted to say something about the enterprise zones. She's


been tried for many years -- these have been tried. Their record is


patchy at best. They tend to suck in investment from the immediate area


rather than creating new jobs. It's been a right royal week for


some. Gareth Gordon looks back at the week in 60 seconds.


All eyes on Britain this week for the first Irish presidential state


visit. We have a fresh canvas on which to sketch our fresh hopes and


to advance our overlapping ambitions. We will remember our


past, but we shall no longer allow our past two inch near -- in snare


our future. Leading figures attended a banquet at Windsor Castle, but


must focus was on this man. I will observe the protocols. Lord Tebbit,


injured in the writing bombing, -- Brighton bombing. It is highly


dangerous for Lord Tebbit to make those kinds of remarks given the


security situation. Could the era of free prescriptions be over? Many of


us who receive free prescriptions can well afford them, and at the


same time there are many out there who require drugs and specialist


drugs and drugs for cancer, and we cannot afford to buy them.


Loyal toasts, state banquets and another handshake with the Queen.


Martin another handshake with the Queen.


state visit by Michael D Higgins "will be noted for its spirit of


generosity and peace-making". But for all the pageantry and symbolism,


not everyone was happy at the Deputy First Minister's presence at


Windsor. Relatives of people murdered by republicans demonstrated


outside the castle, including a group representing victims of the


Birmingham pub bombings. Who is thinking about us? As it seems to


us, it appears that our politicians wish that they had buried ours


alongside our dead. Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was one of 21


people killed in the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974.


With me now is the Victims' Commissioner Kathryn Stone.


With me now is the Victims' talk about Lord Tebbit's comments.


He appeared to invite or say that he would support an attack on Martin


McGuinness. But at a time like this week, do victims feel forgotten in


the bigger debate? I don't think victims should ever be historical --


ahistorical postscript to any of this, we need to think very


carefully about how we can support victims through these frugal times.


Last week was a very important, historic, culture is significant


since -- culturally significant week. It demonstrates how the past


and present collide, as Julie Hambleton was protesting outside


Windsor Castle and feeling left out of everything going on. Another


historic and significant thing was Seamus Daly being taken into


Dungannon court charged with offences in relation to the Omagh


bomb. So there was another example of how the past is colliding again


with the present and how we need to think about supporting victims


through all of that. That is a case we cannot discuss, but clearly the


point that you make is correct. To what extent you feel that Lord


Tebbit's comments were representative of how victims might


feel and how victims may then have felt about the reaction that I got


on Thursday night from Theresa Villiers who said what he had said,


was shocking and unacceptable and highly dangerous?


There is much to celebrate about what happened this week, many people


are very congratulatory and celebratory about it, and that is


proper, but there is not a great deal to celebrate or beacon


structure later read about is paralysed or indeed if your child


was shot by a stray black -- plastic bullet fired by somebody in the


British Army. These are very difficult times for victims. There


will be victims who said that despite the pain they continue to


feel, they cannot hold the process back. You hear such a huge range of


opinion from the victims that you meet some who would perhaps feel


that Lord Tebbit was speaking for them, some who would feel that they


absolutely was not speaking for them. If we think about some of the


groups in England, justice for the 21 who Julie Hambleton represents,


groups in England, justice for the and Colin and Wendy Parry, their


views are diametrically opposite. Collett and Wendy Parry do an


enormous amount of work in trying to counter extremism and terrorism.


--: And Wendy Parry. -- Colin and Wendy Parry. We have people who say,


let's move forward, let's put all this behind us, and others who say,


absolutely not. What we want is acknowledgement, truth, justice, and


some people also want reparation for what happened to them? --


reparation. It is impossible to achieve both


those desires, that is the difficulty presumably for you as the


Victims' Commissioner. I don't think that moving forward in terms of


society and peace and reconciliation that moving forward in terms of


the needs and the wants of victims. I think we can do an awful lot, and


I think there have been a number of very serious attempts to put on the


table things that could support Vic Thames, for example -- and it is


very frustrating for victims to know that politicians are wanting to hear


their views and taking their views in in forming processes, but then


nothing happens in that. We had a range of politicians who wanted to


meet with us, after the process we have not seen any that are major


differences of opinion within the offices of this First Minister and


Deputy First Minister on a huge range of issues. The thing that has


affected their unanimity of voice, unanimity of purpose on the victim


affected their unanimity of voice, 's pupils issue? For our experience


we have had a very positive experience. The First Minister


Deputy First Minister accepted the 55 recommendations made about the


victim 's pupils and survivors' service within a week, and have


committed to giving Vic and the very best services they can.


Thank you for joining us. A few final thoughts from my guest


commentators. Rick, let us talk about the lessons


that we should take out of the experience of the past week, with a


presidential visit to the UK, and Martin McGuinness's part in it. What


for you are the key point is we need to take on board? It is another


success for statecraft on behalf of both the British and Irish States,


that they pulled this off, both the British and Irish States,


another sign a few like that we are beginning to move forward, we are


taking relatively small steps, symbolically very important.


Relating that to the victim 's pupils issue, I don't say there is


any necessary contradiction, I don't think that the two unnecessarily


contradictory. There is statecraft on the once -- and and on the other


hand -- there is the low politics in terms of meeting the needs of


survivors, and that is the priority. I think it is a case of both and


rather than either or. You take the fact that for example there is still


controversy about who constitutes a victim exactly. There is this kind


of kernel of anxiety and conflict over this issue. But we can model


on, and -- I think, -- model on. The idea of a republican leader going to


Windsor Castle dressed in white tie and tails, standing for the national


anthem would have been anathema not just to Republicans but nationalists


a few years ago, but I was struck by a line of the Queen saying we are


entering a period of historical resonance. I think we are living in


a time of political resonance, and the things we saw happening, words


back up by deeds, I think we kind of guide us through maybe the next few


weeks, months and years. I thought it was a very interesting and


significant week. We're taking a break for a couple of weeks for


Easter, but we'll be back on Sunday May fourth. For now, bye-bye


particular candidates. Back to you, Andrew.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


things that most people do not know about how the European Parliament


works, what an MEP is supposed to do. A lot of heat and not a lot of


light. I've updated well, all of them, but the net effect is not


going to encourage people to go out and vote and not many do. One thing


that struck me was that on Europe, the Labour and Lib Dem positions are


not that far apart. They are pretty much the same. And yet the knocks


lots of each other. I suppose they feel that they had to do that


because that is the format. I'd agree with Polly. Their word UKIP


and the Tories to attack two we try to make it exciting, and we know the


issues are important. But people out there have not heard of these


individuals. It is there have not heard of these


exciting. That is worrying because these are huge national questions


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


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


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


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


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


wonder whether not only this European election but the eventual


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


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


learn is that the structure of these televised debate influences the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


think there is a widespread expectation already at Westminster


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


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


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


despite consistently poor personal leadership approval ratings, the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that low. I think deal. The polls were quite often


thing to do. It raised his profile. It made him the leading party in.


That may be a difficult place to be. That is how you end up with 7%


in the polls. The reason he is fighting with Labour is that he


knows very well that all he has to do is to get his votes back that


have gone to Labour and labour have to fight hard to make sure that they


do not go back. Every party looks to where it is going to get it


support. If it is a wipe-out for the Lib Dems, and they lose all their


MEPs, not saying that is going to happen but you could not rule it out


for, are we back in Nick Clegg leadership crisis territory? One of


the astonishing things about this Parliament is the relative absence


of leadership speculation about Nick Clegg will stop at the first couple


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


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


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


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


desperate stage where Danny Alexander is talked about as a


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


case. Nigel Evans makes an interesting point about whether it


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


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


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


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


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


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


begin with they did not have that And then they trawled for more. You


wonder if they would have done that if it was not for the fact that he


was a public figure. The trouble is, they are dammed if they do and


dammed if they do not. Particularly with politicians and the reputation


they have these days, if there is any suggestion that they let


somebody off because they are a high-profile politician, and they


are saying that about Cyril Smith, that is the accusation. A strange


story. Most unlikely and very bizarre. But that is the accusation.


If there is any with of that, I can see why the CPS says, we better let


the courts try this one. Also, they are in trouble overrated cases


because their success rate on bringing people to court for rape is


so thin. When it looked as if his accusers were not really accusing


him, it looks quite weak. You cannot help but


him, it looks quite weak. You cannot falling over backwards now in


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


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


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


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


to be about, which is specific crimes and specific evidence


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


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


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


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


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


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


Channel 4 News that basically, Westminster is twinned with Sodom


and Gomorrah. Yes. I know. Is this Westminster is twinned with Sodom


true? It is all rather the red. I do not move in those circles. And you


were in the lobby at one stage? Not that long ago. Is it right. Is it


right to be twinned with Sodom and Gomorrah? I'll ask him for his


opinion. Being technically a member of the lobby, I can observe some of


this stuff. And what surprises me is that journalists, when the complain


about Sodom and Gomorrah, write themselves out of it. It is as if it


is just MPs. We are unalloyed and unvarnished. Actually, the fact is


it has always been a bit like Sodom and tomorrow. Of course it has.


Think about how we have had wave after wave of stories and scandals.


But less of it recently. It was I think that attitudes have slightly


changed. I'll also think that if you get 650 people in any organisation


changed. I'll also think that if you and you put that much scrutiny on


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


of a scurrilous nature. Even in the BBC


In 2013, the public voted for a portrait of


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