31/01/2016 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers are joined by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Steve Baker, Lord Digby Jones and businessman Richard Reed.

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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


George Osborne called it a "major success".


Google say they're paying what's due.


But Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell's not impressed -


we'll ask him how he'd get big business to pay more tax.


David Cameron says he wants an emergency brake on access


to welfare benefits for EU migrants to be applied immediately


But will that be enough for the PM to clinch a deal and head


And coming up here... if we stay in or we get out?


As MLAs prepare to vote to make changes


at the Assembly, not everyone's happy.


We'll hear from the man behind the Opposition Bill,


plus the Alliance Party and the SDLP.


And taking time out from their protracted negotiations


with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs over how much tax


they should pay on their enormous fees - the best and the brightest


political panel in the business - Nick Watt, Polly Toynbee


and Janan Ganesh who'll be tweeting throughout the programme.


First this morning, George Osborne hailed Google's back tax bill


Since then the settlement's been condemned as too lenient by -


among others - Boris Johnson, The Sun, Rupert Murdoch


and the Labour Party, which has accused the Chancellor


of offering the internet giant "mates' rates".


In a moment, I'll be talking to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.


First here's Google executive, Peter Barron, defending the company


on the Andrew Marr Show this morning.


What I would say is that in the UK we pay corporation tax at 20%.


It's absolutely the same corporation tax rate as everybody else,


Yes, but you keep coming back to this point about sales.


We are taxed as corporation tax dictates on the activities,


the economic activities of Google UK.


So, we pay corporation tax in the UK at 20%,


and, actually, globally, our effective tax rate over the last


five years or so is round about 20%, which is very close to the UK rate,


And I'm joined now by the Shadow Chancellor,


Welcome. What single step would you take to make sure that companies


like Google, Apple, Amazon, pay a fair and appropriate level of tax?


Openness and transparency. I want the information about how this deal


has been arrived at and I want them to publish in the future there tax


records. So that we can have openness and transparency, see what


is fair. The Chancellor said this was a major success. But we cannot


tell because we have not got the information. Would you extend that


to British major companies publishing their tax? Six out of ten


of the UK's biggest companies are not paying any corporation tax. Yes,


I would. The suggestion has been put forward about the FTSE 100. That is


a good idea. There would be no commercial disadvantage. Do you


think that transparency would be a major step forward? It is one step


forward. We want country by country reporting as well. I supported


George Osborne on as negotiations in Europe with that. We're not going to


get enough. I found quite angry making this morning that we have


allegation -- allegations that their Conservatives were voting their MEPs


to vote against this. I find that frustrating. I want HMRC to be


properly resourced so they can do the job. There are too many job


cuts. We have lost too much expertise. There is time now to


start thinking about how we review our tax system. The Treasury select


committee has undertaken a review. Corporation tax is levied on


profits. Even if you got your transparency, you would quickly find


that the concept of profits that can be moved around geographically, they


can be manipulated depending on costs, would you consider replacing


corporation tax with, for example, a tax on corporate sales? Revenues are


less malleable than profits. That is one of the issues to be addressed.


Nigel Lawson has done an article to that effect. One of the most


important things is to secure international agreement. We cannot


have the situation where companies are shopping around the world to


find the lowest tax regime and inventing company structures to


enable that to happen. But if you had a tax on the revenues, it would


not happen what they moved around. Revenues are revenues. You would


levy a tax on the revenues in the UK. That is why it is worth looking


at. It might be a combination of that and economic activity as well.


One professor said if you raise corporate taxes too high, companies


may move to island macro or elsewhere. Do you accept there has


to be a limit? There has to be a limit, there has to be some


reasonableness. If we can get international cooperation, you can


avoid this development of virtual tax havens taking place. Would you


want a common rate of corporation tax? Not necessarily. You would like


to make sure that what you charge is reasonable and fair and you would


expect those companies to abide by that. I listened to the Google


representative this morning. The reputational damage to Google is


immense. The savings they have made in taxes not worth the reputational


damage. Let's move on to the other big issue, Europe. And membership.


How did you vote in the 1975 referendum? Against. In the 1983


Labour manifesto it claimed that a commitment to radical socialist


policies was incompatible with membership of the European Union. It


proposed withdrawal. Did you agree with that at the time? I did at the


time. That is long gone. We're within Europe. We are working within


Europe with other parties to see how we can make Europe fair,


particularly with regard to the rights of workers. Take this tax


issue. We need to be in Europe to ensure we can secure fair agreement


on tax. That is why, by remaining within, we have got to remain within


with their own reform agenda, that is one of the issues we need to


reform. To take that phrase radical socialist policies, you are


committed to radical socialist policies. How is that now compatible


with remaining in the EU when it was not in 1983? Because we have


demonstrated with the work we have undertaken within the EU that we


have secured some benefits. Employment rights. In addition,


there are real opportunities now where we can work with others to


secure that radical change. Withdrawal from Europe at the moment


would not be beneficial. It would lose jobs. It would undermine the


benefits we have gained in terms of employment. That is why we want to


work to reform it. The issue that I have got with the Prime Minister, we


will see what he comes back with... On the social Europe issue, you want


a more social Europe. In France you have got a socialist government that


has moved to the right. In Germany, a centre-right government. Other


countries have either the hard right in power or the hard right at the


top of the polls. Where is your social Europe in that? That is why


we will work with socialist and social Democrats. I think you will


see in the coming years that a wider debate is taking place. In some way


the referendum debate will enable us to then look at those ideas.


Wouldn't it be fair to say that like Jeremy Corbyn, you are pretty


lukewarm about our membership of the European Union? I signed up to


remain within the EU. That does not mean to say that we accepted as a


perfect institution. We want to see reform. I come back to the tax


issue. Unless we get international cooperation, particularly across


Europe, we will not solve this problem. You have got a Eurosceptic


track record. Kate Hoey, a leader -- leading Labour Eurosceptic, she said


that you and Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted with Eurosceptic


MPs on the EU. That is true, isn't it? On a number of issues, because


we were frustrated with the slow pace of reform. That does not mean


we are in favour of coming out. It is better to argue from within to


secure a commonality of agreement. Do you broadly support the changes


that David Cameron is trying to renegotiate? I don't know what they


are yet. Let's see what he comes back with. My fear is if he does not


treat this issue seriously and it is just about party management, he


could blow it. We could be outside of Europe and have the economic


penalties as a result. Even if he comes back with something you do not


regard as satisfactory, you will campaign to stay in? We will


campaign for our own agenda. The government wants to get this done by


the end of June. Will you cooperate with that timetable? We will see


what he comes back with. Let's have it as soon as possible. We want the


debate to take place. Delaying it would not help. We want the debate


to start now. It would be better for him to come back fairly soon. Get


the debate going. Even if the campaign overlaps with important


elections in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Wales? That is the


problem but it will overlap with something. Immigration is good to be


a huge issue. The IMF says that almost 4 million immigrants will


arrive in the EU between 2015 and 2017. Almost 4 million. Should


Britain take a fair share of that? I think is important we cooperate with


our European partners to make that we can accommodate those that need


to come to this country. In addition, that we have systems in


place that protect wages, so that immigration is not used to undermine


wages. But should we take a fair share of the 4 million? I think we


should. We should cooperate with others and carry the burden. The


majority of Britons want us to rise to it and ensure we assist others


and that others are not suffering, and that we do not stand on one side


when people suffer. Could you give an indication of how many? Young not


at this stage. That would be a matter to negotiate with our


European partners. Should we volunteered to be part of the EU


quotas system? Mrs Merkel and others want 160,000 to be relocated through


Schengen. Should we be part of Schengen? Should we be part of the


160,000? We should be doing more in terms of assisting refugees coming


from Syria. We should be doing more to help those in desperate need.


People are drowning in the Mediterranean. We cannot stand


aside. This country has a history of receiving refugees. People watching


this would want some sort of idea of numbers because numbers are


important. It is important. That is why we need to get into these


negotiations quickly and come back with practical proposals. In 2013


you told a gathering of the people's assembly at a rally on immigration


that they should be open borders? I was arguing then... There was


re-search looking at the long-term structure of the globe. Inevitably


in this century we will have open borders. The movement of peoples


across the globe will mean that borders will almost become


irrelevant by the end of the century. We should be preparing for


that and explaining why people move. Conflicts, poverty and destitution,


and also climate change. In our policy-making we should be working


now to see how we address that. It will mean that we need to look at


how we resolve conflicts, how we make the world more equal and also


how we tackle climate change. In that way we can deal with the


reality of the world, which means that people are not forced to move


but there will be movement. Total open borders? At the end of this


century that is what will occur. People are ignoring borders already


as they fly from Syria. We should be making sure that if there is no


forced movement, we look at the push and pull factors. Conflict


prevention, the tackling of inequality and policies that tackle


climate change. In that way we can cope with the global pressures with


regard to population movement. To do that, for a Labour government to


prepare for that, would be loosening controls as you move towards that?


No. What I am saying is if you look at the analysis of what is happening


over the next 75 years, the movement of people is such that borders are


very difficult to maintain. That will happen by the end of the


century. We should be opening up the debate of how we handle that. One of


the issues we have to tackle is why people are moving. It is about


conflict and climate change. It is about poverty as well. That means


greater equality not just in our country but across the globe. I


wanted to talk to you about Google and the EU. I hope you will come


back and give me an interview on economic policy. Let me finish with


a taster? Back to Professor Blanchflower, he said about you and


Mr Corbyn that you have to accept the realities of capitalism and


modern markets, like it or not. No more silly stuff about companies not


being able to pay dividends if they do not do X or Y. Do you accept


that? That is why I appointed him as an advisor. I wanted objective


advice. I have established the architecture for the future


development of economic policy. Are you going to accept his advice


on that? We will listen to his advice and take it on board. But we


will also listen to other advisers. But those advisers, what's the point


of them if you will not listen? We will test every policy we put


forward. On that one, we are hoping that we would avoid any need for


that by introducing as we come into covenant a real living wage. In the


meantime, we want to campaign with shareholders so they pressurise


their companies to abide by a real living wage. I think there is an


alliance to be built there. Is it party policy that if companies don't


pay what you regard as a living wage, until it's made mandatory,


that they shouldn't be allowed to pay dividends? it's one of ideas we


have floated for discussion. We have put it to the economic advisers to


get their view. Angela Eagle said it's unworkable. That's why it's


open for discussion. It's a really good campaigning tool for us to work


with shareholders to make sure they exert their influence to ensure


their companies, on things like the living wage and paying their taxes


as well, to make sure their companies are acting appropriately.


John McDonnell, I hope you come back to continue the debate with us. I


certainly well. So, David Cameron once dismissed


the idea of an emergency This morning, Downing Street


is indicating that a brake on welfare benefits for EU


migrants might be acceptable if it was applied immediately,


but only as a stop-gap measure. This evening, the Prime Minister


meets EU Council President Donald Tusk as he tries to broker a deal


ahead of a crunch summit of European leaders next month -


but will the fractious leave campaigns be in any position to take


advantage if he's seen to fail? Right now the future of Britain


inside or outside the European Union You might think it started here


in Brussels, or that the media's massed ranks are awaiting


the outcome in the European Parliament in Strasbourg,


or that we are hovering with baited breath for a decision


in our own Parliament, but no. This week the decision was made


in Havering, in Essex. In this chamber right now,


Havering councillors are debating If they do, of course nothing


will change, because the smart among you know, no council,


not even the British Parliament, Nevertheless Havering Council


deliberately didn't deliberate on the leisure centre


or meals on wheels. However the Prime Minister meanwhile


was hurrying for a deal on wheels - not with councillors,


but with 27 EU member states. It's his plan to block in-work


benefits for EU migrants for four years that's getting


the bumpiest ride. The EU counter proposal


of an an "emergency brake" on access to benefits - if a country can prove


it's welfare system's under strain - has not gone down well


with Eurosceptics back home. They are saying we are


allowed to go to Brussels, and ask their permission


to change the benefit rules, David Cameron still wants that


benefit ban, and knows accepting the emergency brake as is would only


accelerate any campaign to leave. We want to end the idea


of something for nothing. It's not good enough,


it needs more work, I believe we've got to put


country before party, country before personality, vote


for freedom, and vote for leave. In Havering they aren't waiting


for a date or a settlement. The Prime Minster knows Brexit


supporters are eyeing his own Cabinet to see who might be tempted


do the same. Michael Gove might come


out for leave. Boris Johnson, though


it's rather doubtful, might just possibly come out


for leave, to vote for leave. Theresa May, who almost


certainly is preoccupied And finally, Sajid Javid,


the Business Secretary, who has the most


Eurosceptic record of all. But it's very difficult,


when you are a government minister, and you've got real feelings


of loyalty to your party and your Prime Minister,


to depart from the line. And a lot of pressure,


moral pressure, if you like, A Havering Borough MP thinks that


kind of pressure is wrong. I think that this is a decision


that we all have to make And it shouldn't impede


on people's political careers. People should be able


to make up their own minds, and not worry about whether they are


going to be sidelined or punished Those who do out themselves for out,


will need campaign wizards who can Which, of two battling groups,


that is yet undecided, but so far both have seen a bad


spell of personality clashes and darkening moods way over


the heads of most grassroots The chance of winning over


undeclared MPs is the magic What we did discover,


it's like the dementors slowly sucking the people up out


of the air, body I do think that there will be


a coming together now, probably for very good reasons,


there have been divisions But I think this campaign will not


be just politicians. It's about the people


versus the elite in many ways. In fact, you have a referendum


really in many ways when politicians Meanwhile back in Havering...


is they want to do. party motion is therefore


carried by 30 votes to 15. So, councillors in Havering have


voted for a motion that says Now, there are plenty of councillors


who said they don't have any business debating this,


they have far more important things But what it might show


is that for some people - and in this case,


an official elected body - never mind what the date is,


and never mind the renegotiation, they would like to make


clear their views right now. I'm joined now by the Conservative


MP, Steve Baker, co-chairman of Conservatives for Britain


and a director of the Vote Leave If the Prime Minister can get an


agreement that there will be a break in welfare payments for migrants the


day after the referendum, isn't that a powerful thing to take to the


country? It's not powerful at all. Bernard Jenkin is the Conservative


director of Vote Leave, but we have been told by the OBR that it


wouldn't make much difference even if the Prime Minister got this


break. They would only take one case brought forward by activist lawyers,


and we would expect the European Court of Justice to strike down such


a measure. We think it's a red herring, and as John Redwood said, a


bad joke. They have ended up trying to manufacture the appearance of


success out of very little. As things stand at the moment, there's


nothing the Prime Minister would bring back that would make you want


to stay in? I've been clear through the whole period that most of us


want to end the supremacy of the EU in the UK. Make our own laws in


Parliament. The prime ministers had something similar about the European


Court of Human Rights. Demanding an opt out from the charter is subbing


the Prime Minister has had to give up. So money inconsistencies. The


answer is no. I expect a good number of colleagues to join me and


campaign to leave at this stage. How many Tory MPs will campaign for out?


Of the 150 on the list who have expressed interest, and about a


fifth have made up their minds, I think about 50-70. No more than 50


or 70 Tory MPs campaigning on your side of the referendum to leave?


That would be my expectation at this stage. John McDonnell said he wanted


to get this out of the wear it, the referendum. Didn't sound to me like


Labour would join with the SNP on delaying tactics for the referendum.


Would you like the referendum to be later? Realistically we are


campaigning out to leave the EU and we have secured our objectives for


the campaign. But there is a good case to be made that a June date


would trust us. There are elections in neigh, and I think there's a good


case for a delay until September. I would prefer the government brought


forward a measure that went through the Commons without a row, but if


Labour and the SNP and conservative colleagues wish to put something


through, then we will be able to what's the biggest beach from the --


beast on the cabinet you would like to get? I haven't ruled anybody out.


But I'm happy to go into the campaign without any Cabinet big


beasts. It would be surprised this point if Chris Grayling didn't join


us. He would count as a big beast, leader of the house. People know


which Cabinet members are discussed. Theresa May? She made a speech on


immigration which would be difficult to recalibrate with the EU. It's a


matter for her. You've given up on Bryce Johnson? He occasionally


flirts with it in the press. But he's a typical conservative, he


loves Europe, he would like Europe to be different, but we'll see what


he does when the comes. The different leave campaigns, it's


flawed with blood, when will you stop knocking lumps out of each


other? I'm not knocking lumps out of anybody and I regret this week that


we've had distractions from the core aim of leaving the EU and I regret


they have got their way to the press. Everybody involved needs to


reach a resolution, everybody involved wants to move on and I hope


we do so quickly, let's fight a winning campaign. You are not the


director of Vote Leave but you are on the Parliamentary planning


committee for Vote Leave, so you are associated. Did you agree with the


attempts to get rid of the two full-time people running it, Dominic


Cummings and Matthew Elliott? This is a matter for the board. Do you


agree with whether they should have gone? At this stage it's very late


in the day to make such a profound change. But given the severe


concerns of my colleagues, it is clear there will have to be material


changes in Vote Leave in order to carry parliamentarians with the


campaign. What this material change mean? There has to be a greater


degree of involvement with planetary and so they think they are shaping


the campaign to win over those voters we need. Will there be a


merger in the end? Surely that's what all of you need, you are up


against the government, is huge machine, don't you need to be


united? It's a David and Goliath battle and we need to be united. The


process of unity will come through designation. Realistically, leave.


EU is looking at the Courville, where as Vote Leave knows we need


the swing vote. -- looking at the core vote. I'm confident that Vote


Leave can and will win the referendum. I wouldn't give away the


mop in case there is more blood to wipe up.


One of David Cameron's four key demands in his EU


renegotiation concerns competitiveness.


The Prime Minister says the burden of regulation on businesses is too


high, and that the EU needs to strengthen the single market


and accelerate trade agreements with America and China.


Arguments about the economic costs or benefits of membership will form


a large part of the referendum campaign, with both sides keen


Those campaigning to remain within the EU say our membership


is worth ?3000 to every household in Britain.


It's based on a CBI claim that the UK's economy is 5% bigger


They also claim that 3 million jobs are linked


to trade within the EU, that 45% of UK exports of goods


and services go to the EU, and that the value of


trade with the EU is ?133 billion higher than it would be if we left.


Those who argue we would be better off if we left claim that


regulations imposed on business by the EU cost over


They say the 3 million figure on jobs is


dependent on trade with the EU, not membership.


They argue that the trade would continue if we voted to leave,


because we currently import more than we export from the EU.


So its members would want free trade to remain.


They further point out that the importance of UK trade


They cite ONS figures showing that the proportion


of UK exports heading for the EU fell from 54.8% in 1999


But an analysis by the House of Commons Library in 2013


of numerous studies into the economic


impact of EU membership found no consensus either way,


So, which side will manage to convince voters?


I'm joined now by the former trade minister Digby Jones


and Richard Reed, who founded Innocent Smoothies,


who is campaigning for Britain to stay in the EU.


Welcome. Digby Jones, the EU accounts for 45% of our exports. Why


would you risk any of that? That will not change. Because in the


morning after any referendum result, Germany, it is pivotal on Germany,


would immediately want some form of tariff free arrangement with


Britain. They make a million cars they sell in Britain a year. 75 to


80% of all the trains in this country are built in Dusseldorf. We


do not know for sure? No. Germany does it and the others follow. There


are many arguments to stay in. But the one thing we should kill now is


that not one job in Britain is at risk because of EU membership. Not


one. There would be a free-trade agreement because we are so


important to Europe. And by the way that does not mean there are not


other reasons why not -- why we might not want to be in or out. I


get so frustrated when people talk about jobs at risk. It is rubbish.


That is very easy thing to call total nonsense. It is clear that if


your biggest market is suddenly interfered with, that it will not


somehow affect trade, does not make sense. You know more than most


people that businesses need certainty. What we have right now is


unfettered access to the largest market in the world. The fact that


we want to start playing around with this and that is good for business,


it does not make sense. I do not see the added value in belonging to a


club that fetters small businesses in this country every day.


I am a small business. I have done it for years. This is a colossal


opportunity. If you are an entrepreneur in the UK. You're


making it sound like it makes it more difficult. It makes it much


easier because it is one set of regulations and 500 million


consumers. If you have a shop, would you want 60 million people walk by


our 500 million people walk by? You can achieve that through a


free-trade agreement. You get the sales prevention team in Brussels


marching valiantly towards 1970, trying to save this is how you will


lead your small business in Hartlepool. But we all know that


Sutherland Europe, compliance is a voluntary event. We all know that


the French do not obey these rules. Then we and northern Europe, we are


by no means the best, we obey this stuff. And a small business who


doesn't have lobbyists in Brussels, and you know this... I know this.


Britain loves a bit of regulation. You are absolutely right. If we come


out and you say we will still trade, we will still have to comply with


the regulation. That is the condition of free trade. We will not


avoid regulation. The regulation is there whether we are in or out. If


we are in, we get to influence the regulation. We get to have the voice


heard. You tell that to the money men in the City who have seen


legislation come down from Brussels. You see what happens when we're not


there when the big decisions are made. You think we have no


influence? We're one of the three big forces in Europe. We are one of


the three biggest economies in Europe. Digby Jones, I want to ask


you this. You assume we will still have unfettered access to the single


market. But it has been pointed out by Richard Reid that that means we


would have to meet by Richard Reid that that means we


would have to meet the conditions of getting into the single market.


Could there be other costs? Free movement of people may be a cost.


That is a price Switzerland and Norway pay. Let's Explorer that. I'm


concerned this referendum is going to become a referendum purely on a


migration on the street, when we ought to be discussing how can


European Union reform and improve the life of an unemployed


25-year-old in Madrid and a single mother in Athens? How can the power


of Britain, economic and otherwise, how can it be seen as a driver to


get the standard of living up? If you base your economy on exporting


our lives and importing BMWs, you will go bust. They are asking Europe


to subsidise the growth of our lives, in the hope that for some


reason on skilled people in Europe will do this. You are going to get


on skilled people in Europe coming to rich countries instead of


actually getting skilled people in Europe being marketable in northern


Europe. You can only pull that off with reform. We should not be


campaigning to stop these people coming. We should be campaigning to


get the skills base of Europe up so they get wealthy, but more


importantly, they are more marketable in our market. The


British government has enough trouble getting the skills base


right in Britain without trying to get it right in southern Europe.


Richard Reid, you say that we are in the club that we can influence the


rules. Let me put the question. The British have been on the wrong end


of EU majorities on these rules more than any other country that is a


member of the EU. We really get away on these things. You are joking. We


have got the best possible setup. We are part of the EU. We said no to


the euro, no to Schengen, no to force migratory bird it is. Why so


many majority votes? This is a macro decision. Once in a generation. We


have got to get it right. The big picture is it is a colossal


opportunity and we have got the best version of the deal. When you and I


were arguing cases about whether we should join the euro years ago, I


can remember sitting in television studios and being told the world was


going to end and we were going to go to Armageddon and back if we did not


join the euro. We made the right decision about the euro. This


interview has come to an end. I thank you both.


It's just gone 11:35 - you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now


Coming up here in 20 minutes, we'll be hearing from our political panel.


Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland.


It's all change on the hill as MLAs vote to cut their numbers,


reform their departments and perhaps establish an official opposition.


So, will it create a new super-efficient Stormont?


Or will we scarcely notice the difference?


We'll hear from the independent MLA who's behind the push for change


Plus - there's still no official date for polling day,


but election fever is catching in the Republic.


All things are on the top. I think people are a little bit more


positive about everything. And with their thoughts on that


and more, my guests of the day are Felicity Huston and Chris


Donnelly. Not fit for purpose


and in urgent need of reform - just some of the criticisms that


politicians themselves have directed MLAs have been busying themselves


with a number of bills which will reduce the number


of Assembly members, merge Executive departments


and establish a formal opposition. So, will it be enough to improve


Stormont's image and create With me are the Independent Unionist


MLA John McCallister and councillors Nichola Mallon from the SDLP


and Nuala McAllister Welcome to the programme. John


McCallister. Private members bill has its consideration stage on


Tuesday, do you think it will ultimately steal the established of


an effective opposition at Stormont Guzman I certainly hope so. I think


that broader package you mentioned at the start of the programme of


changing the departments, ultimately the reduction of MLAs to 2021 and


the opposition bill. All that is about how would you start to create


this idea of a collective government with an agreed programme for


government, moving in one direction and held to account by a robust


opposition that ultimately gives voters a choice and the ability of


toys and change for a future elections. There are a lot of


amendments from other parties. Sinn Fein is opposing every cause of the


deal Lyman stage. Sinn Fein ride back from November told me they were


likely to oppose every clause on the grounds that they had agreed fresh


start and they were certainly pushing Bible had in England's first


start that had improved the provision for opposition from -- it


is there and it is being debated. All of the parties and I say this


including Sinn Fein, they have engaged with me on the bill, it has


been very useful. Michael Allen. Sinn Fein is opposed, will be SDLP


-- Michael Allen. The SDLP has worked quite closely. John has to be


commended for bringing this bill forward. If you look at the glaring


weakness in the system, there is a lack of openness and transparency


with the budget process in particular. The bill with the


amendments make good inroads into trying to address that. You're not


happy with the notion of it petition of concern, what changes do you


think needed? We think it is worth quite considerably from what it was


intended to be. We have tabled an amendment. If someone has a petition


of concern and will be scrutinised to see weather it has adverse impact


on human rights and equality. So, you think it has been abused but you


don't want to get rid of it altogether? Know because


unfortunately we believe we won't be in a place where there won't be a


misuse of power, or domination of sectarianism so unfortunately we


have two retained the safeguards for minority rights and we believe we


are doing is the right way and the right and effectively. As far as


opposition is concerned, your current party before he was bodied


said there was no place called opposition but he made a speech yet


last week in which he seemed to suggest opposition would be a good


idea, does that mean the SDLP is moving in that direction? I think he


was clear that after this they should be an official opposition but


we are fighting this election to be in government. With caster, what is


your position on this? We have been quite constructive, working along


side him and we will be supporting him. On the hell out of the bill


is... By party would have major concerns about the petition of


concern. I would not like to see that mechanism being used to


actually slapped down the bill. It would be a great embarrassment to


the party who do use it and I hope the petition of concern is not used


because something that creates more accountability and scrutiny is a


good thing for the public. And is it a possibility that the Alliance


Party could opt if the bid is successful to take an opposition


stance in the next mandate rather than seek to be in the Executive


they currently are? No party fight an election to go into opposition.


They fight going to government and to govern for the best the people.


Whenever that happens after the election then Alliance will say what


the position is then. But you do support the notion of an effective


opposition even if you might opt for hope that you are not out


yourselves? Of course. As I said, something that creates more


accountability to hold politicians to account and then making decisions


in the Executive is nothing but a good thing. The other piece of


legislation that I talked about in the introduction of the reduction of


members bill, your party has tabled an amendment wanting the reduction


in numbers to come into effect this year 's election, rather than adding


21. But there is not any real prospect of that happening, do you


accept that? We are in a bizarre situation here. Politicians have


agreed to reduce the numbers from six to five per constituency but


they have agreed to hold off until 2021 or the next Assembly election.


We are pushing three the final stage of the departments but which reduces


the number of departments, so Eddie single -- decision that affects the


public, they could save ?11 million in five years, 90 new police


officers, 90 new nurses, I think the public would like that. We need to


make sure that MLAs are held accountable. John McCallister, is


that the kind of issue that leaves members of the public watching the


comings and goings, that the left hand doesn't know what the right


hand is doing. It is an open debate. The agreement in fresh start but


like I would have much preferred to see after beating this under the new


Assembly mandate, time to work out whether 90 is the right number


because changes at Westminster might also affect numbers. And that is not


self-interest? Independents like yourself are very often individuals


who tend to pick up the sixth seed. If it goes from six seats to five,


someone Microsoft could struggle to be returned. Absolutely. It is


important to have independent voices. Also we are still grappling


ride throughout the committee stage of my bill, it is always debating


this idea of how we continue to address the historic problems and


once you reduce and change the size of constituencies it can change the


make-up of those constituencies or indeed reduce somewhat the spread of


candidates across it, for example you might have more constituencies


with no nationalist representatives or no unionist representatives and


we have to ask ourselves is that a good thing, are we ready for that


and that is why I think most of the parties are reluctant to go too


fast, too soon on this issue. You are not in, Nichola Allen. Your


party touched on this. We agreed reduction in numbers, but marketing


departments, we want to set up an official opposition, changing number


of constituencies, changing Westminster. I think we need to be


cautious. We need change but we don't want to rush it too far to be


end up causing damage. You looked as if you were shaking your head, Naula


MCallister, do you not agree? The change we are opposing is what


affects politicians, it is the change in the numbers. John


mentioned the Westminster boundaries might change but... Why get a power


and an wide five years to do something. It sells itself interest


the parties and I think a lot of people can get on board with that.


We're talking about ensuring there is better inclusion because there


are members of other parties who have just one MLA and their


supporters on this issue because they know we can ensure greater


accountability and we can look alongside the departments and we can


ensure that we provide better value for money at Stormont. Forgive me


for saying, it will work quite well, this tactic, the Alliance on the


door so casually. You actually say to people who are potential voters,


we think this should change and beginning of your colours to the


mast at the zero will not change the order to do so because something


shouldn't change you shouldn't do it? Alliance have been calling this


for a number of years and just because the bike there are parties


that do this all the time and we appeal for people to get on board


with us. We're not talking about something that will create a massive


change. You can still feel the number of candidates as you wish, in


each constituency. That will not stop it but what we're talking about


is on election day it will be five, not six. John McCallister, your bill


has consideration said on Tuesday. It may go through but do you accept


if it goes through it is going to be a hugely changed version of what you


initially authored? I would suspect I can't entirely predictable, of the


land. When I the bill and worked on the bill, even as you agreed at the


time of second stage, a pretty ambitious programme of reform of


both the Assembly and official opposition of the way the Executive


worked, collective responsibility, all of those things were very


ambitious but even I don't get up on -- all of what I would like in the


bill to set. It has certainly fired up a conversation with parties,


academics and commentators in saying, this is the sort of change


we might need over a period of time and I will continue to campaign for


the change. Thank you very much. Stay with us.


Let's see what my guests of the day make of that.


Chris Donnelly and Felicity Huston are with me.


Welcome to you both. Chris, Sinn Fein sportsperson said to us this


morning the bill, John McCallister's bill is unnecessary because the


fresh start agreement has provision for an opposition in line with the


Good Friday Agreement, so that is an explanation for why republicans have


opposed each and every one of the 24 clauses in the bill. What you think


will happen on Tuesday? First of all I think John should be commended for


ensuring the issue of constitutional reform is kept through the member 's


bill on the agenda. We do know because we have a coalition with the


five parties in the Executive which is necessary because of the legacy


of the conflict but we know the consequence of that is no unifying


discerning agenda through the Executive. That is at a situation


where departments run by different parties have own agenda and that


leads to protracted deadlock the Executive table which goes on for


years over issues on education, health, local government reform. But


I think crucially and this is why I think Sinn Fein can be quite relaxed


about this, that system benefits since then and the DUP at the Leeds


parties within unionism and nationalism and therefore it will


have to be driven not by them because it is in their interests to


be able to move of the Executive to ensure that like I just wanted to


bring felicity in on the overall issue of reform. That is a package


of measures. Do they brought the make sense? Broadly, yes. Our


current political structure is one of dampest circles of hell for both


politicians. You can pinpoint a policy because you're stuck in this


horrendous... Anything that breaks add up and starts to turn us into a


normal political state, functioning state with opposition policies


implemented and people electing politicians on the basis of policy


sale breadboard, that has to be welcome and I think we will be


delighted. We will talk you later. Thank you.


Now, they haven't called it officially yet, but the Irish


election will take place in the coming weeks.


Will Enda Kenny be returned as Taoiseach?


Will there be a shift to Micheal Martin's Fianna Fail?


Can the party make the gains that put it into government in the Dail?


One area being targeted by Sinn Fein is Donegal where the party


currently holds two seats, but hopes to gain a third.


Our Political Correspondent Stephen Walker has been to the county


Over 200 commenters from Dublin, some regard this as a place apart.


... Kilometres. Elections here are also different and even before a


vote has been cast, headlines have been created. It's a case of all


teams here in Donegal. Once there to constituencies, they have now been


merged to create one. Once six TDs were elected, this time it will be


five. It fixes election race very tight and the final outcome


difficult to predict. -- makes this election race. Sinn Fein have two


TDs here at the moment. Patrick McLoughlin and Pearse Doherty. They


hope local councillor Gary Doherty can win a third seed. Old management


will be key. It is a risky strategy. Very ambitious to take these seats.


It is one that me and public have been instigators of because we


believe it is important to be in a position to lead the next


government. Why do you say it is risky? Because when you stand three


candidates and your two hours without, it is the other sitting TDs


in jeopardy. Reporter Kieran O'Donnell says Sinn Fein are in a


strong position and could take a third seed in Donegal. Anything is


possible in the selection. Guaranteed to seats. Whether Gary


Gardai makes enough for Patrick to stainless that race remains to be


seen. It is unlikely but possible. Fine Gael are running sitting TDs


Jeroen Dijsselbloem which you and they have also selected a fresh face


with a well-known name. Paddy Harte's father was a Fine Gael TD.


He says Donegal needs to be better connected and that includes


improving the a five in Northern Ireland. The last major said in that


city in the ad has not got a motorway, which is dairy. It is


essentially our capital wasn't a border. -- Barry. It is important


for the island that it Afive as a connection. The Aberfoyle...


Post-election, the Aberfoyle have made it clear who they will go into


coalition with. We will not be going into government with Fine Gael. Our


objective is to become the largest party and ensure their recovery that


Donegal can benefit from. And it brings about a fair approach to


governing the country. Voters in Donegal will have a number of


independent candidates to choose from. In other constituencies,


independents find it hard to get elected because they are up against


a party machine. But in Donegal there is an independent tradition.


Thomas Pringle became an independent TD in 2011. If he is returned he is


prepared to talk to other parties. I would bag all the things that


Donegal requires but all things old legacy in a national level. If the


party of Fine Gael or attempt to do business on with me then I would


talk to them but I support anyone would not be guaranteed. So far


there are three other independent candidates in this race. There is a


Green Party candidate. It means Donegal voters have plenty of


choice. It's a mass of elections. I think the left will do well this


time. There are just squeezing us try. Far too many of them got in


last time. All over the place. Things are on the up. I think people


are more positive about everything. The current government configuring a


job. The boundary changes and the mother of candidates makes it


difficult to predict how all the seats will fall. There are so many


things at the minute. The field will be so wide and varied. It will go


down to the wire. A lot before the last two candidates are elected in


Donegal. The boundaries may have changed here and it may look


different but when the election is finally called, the fight for seats


in Donegal will be as competitive as ever.


Stephen Walker reporting from Donegal, and two more


Independent candidates have now entered the fray -


Let's hear more from Chris Donnelly and Felicity Huston.


Chris, if the battle for seats in Donegal likely to be A microcosm of


the broader General Election campaign? I don't think so. Donegal


is unique, Sinn Fein are particularly strong there. One of


the things for republicans along the border, Dublin as well. They're


getting stronger. A three and week long campaign. Enda Kenny will be


the first Fine Gael Taoiseach to gain real action. Enough Labour TDs


for it give the coalition were Willie need a third party? The


fascinating what ifs. As Chris says, a really short, sharp campaign?


Absolutely and more of it please. I think everybody should have three


weeks. That is the way you like it? Even if political anorak like me,


that is plenty. Some real political anoraks are saying we might have a


second election to sort this out. Some are I keep praying for that.


The waiter it looks at the moment, if Labour are only said on nine or


10%, that would be enough, as happened in the early 80s, there had


to be a second election a few months it. We will see. Some people will be


happy and some will not be happy. Wheels the key again later.


Now, let's pause and take a look back at the week in 60 seconds


In or out? In London the Taoiseach made clear his hopes in the dregs of


debate. I want Britain to remain a central member of the EU and from


our island point of view, this is a really critical issue. But back in


Belfast the First Minister suggested Mr Kenny should keep it up so


himself. He is entitled to an opinion and if you are that the end


of the day it is a matter for the people of the UK. With the Assembly


election coming up in a veteran decided to bow out. After eight


years, some tough years as were the long, off with the old, on with the


new. Or not so new as a familiar face re-entered the political arena.


I am not someone who could possibly go off and have a nice life because


I would find myself shouting at the television and getting frustrated.


But what were the chances all parties doing away with election


posters? I think the chances of that happening are slim. And a warning,


always someone is listening. Mr Jim Allister... Chris Page reporting.


Just time for a quick look ahead with Felicity and Chris.


Naomi Long's turn has certainly been made pretty clear. She wants to come


back to the Assembly. She was my MP and East Belfast and one that thinks


it is great that is covering a lot of issues. She is strong on animal


welfare, a massive issue in Northern Ireland. She gets back into the


Assembly I think it will be a real plus for that and it should make


sure David Ford's performance as he is in obvious new leader. She is a


formidable politicians. It's to keep United candidate to defeat in East


Belfast so it'll be interesting to see Alliance perform with her on the


ticket in East Belfast. Arlene Foster has said Terry Wogan is a


legend of broadcasting. It is part of my life. He has been broadcasting


for so long. That is talk about themselves and the


mayoral budget. Back to Andrew. Welcome back. Let's return to the


issue of Google's tax bill. It is not just Google. Earlier I spoke to


John McDonnell and asked him what he would do to make sure that companies


like Google pay a fair and appropriate level of tax. First of


all, I want the information about how the deal was arrived at and I


want them in future to publish their tax records, the British part. So we


can have openness and transparency, we can see what is fair. The


Chancellor said this was a major success, but we cannot tell because


we have not got the information. I would suggest that the Google row


rumbles on by Google appearing with Andrew Marr this morning. There are


other companies in the frame like Amazon, Apple, big investigation by


the European Commission -- commission. And we discover that a


lot of major British multinationals do not pay any are very small


amounts of corporation tax. This issue has got a long way to go, I


would suggest? Yes, and it could end up in a transatlantic almost cold


war between the EU and the US and in particular US companies. Each side


thinks the other is trying to exploit its site disproportionately.


I wonder if eventually the people who ultimately lobby for


International corporate tax reform and clarity will be corporations


themselves. At the moment they are getting into trouble of what is


ultimately observing the letter of the law, and certainly observing


their duty to pay the legal minimum of tax, the duty they have to their


shareholders. If that is getting them into trouble, I think they have


an incentive in the long run to press for a clarity and reform


internationally, even if it means their aggregate tax payment goes


slightly upwards. The irony is that this row comes after there has been


major changes at the OECD level, at EU level, on trying to simplify and


get multinationals to pay their due tax. And yet we seem to be no


further forward than before. I wonder if people start looking


harder at corporation tax and whether that is the right way to


proceed? S there are other ways of doing it. You can do it on turnover,


sales. These large companies that are taking bigger and bigger slabs


of the British markets are not paying their tax. Think of the


people competing against Amazon. Argos, the local book shop... It is


not fair. Their sense of indignation... Then to discover that


the Conservative Party, while talking about how they are trying to


clean this up and they are doing more than Labour, which possibly


they are, meanwhile instructing their MEPs to vote against moves in


Europe, to try to get a proper European agreement on this, it will


not work unless we get a European agreement, and to find out that the


Government says one thing speaking here but secretly in the European


Parliament does something else. There are a lot of legs on this. A


lot of trouble for the Conservative Party because it plays to their


weakness, sick -- just a security and defence place to be Labour


weakness. They are in bed with the big corporations. Do you think they


are in bed with them? Politicians love meeting cutting edge companies.


They do not spend that much time with steel companies. It is a bit of


a stretch to then think that they were ever doing anything about


Google's tax returns. I think it is quite a stretch. The Google top


executive right at the heart of Downing Street, just as Andy Coulson


from the Murdoch empire was right at the heart of Downing Street. You


have got Seamus Milne at the heart of the Corbyn Empire. There is quite


a difference! It is ironic, the International rules were meant to be


cleaned up. They were meant to have done something about the double


Irish and Dutch sandwich. I speak in tongues because that is how you have


to do it these days. Unless there is a major radical change, I would


suggest, if they carry on the current way, it will be another ten


years before there are further changes? Yass and not only were the


international rules meant to have been cleared up, George Osborne


talked about how reprehensible aggressive tax avoidance is. Then


last week he said the deal with Google is a special deal. The


problem with George Osborne is he has forgotten the second part of


Peter Mandelson's famous sentence about being relaxed about people


getting rich... As long as they pay their tax. The problem for George


Osborne is that he sees everything through a 2010 lens. This deal is


much better than anything that happened under new Labour. That is


six years ago. We have moved on. People are now judging this


government on what they have done. It has been a long slow burning


campaign. The tax Justice campaign has been brilliant. UK uncut Ren


fantastic demonstrations against top shop, Vodafone, boots, people


avoiding their taxes in elaborate ways. Witty campaigns the public


saw. I think it is at the centre of it now. With other cases coming up,


Apple and Amazon, Vodafone always in the frame... Just finally, I thought


it was fascinating that Peter Borren of Google explained in effect that


the money made in Britain and other places is then sent to Bermuda,


essentially warehoused in Bermuda. It is a tax haven. If they


repatriated back to California headquarters, they would pay


corporation tax in America and they think that is too high. America


corporate tax is run about 40%. Apple has about 200 billion US


dollars in cash reserves internationally. Let's move on to


the referendum. I got the impression from listening to John McDonnell and


other Labour shadow ministers I have interviewed that there is no


appetite on the Labour front bench to delay this referendum. I think


they would like to get on with it? S they want to get on with it, then


wanted to succeed. They want the yes campaign to win. At the moment


Labour is not doing very well with it. It ought to be a great hallmark


for them. Labour is almost unequivocally pro-EU. They should be


making a lot of capital against every split Tory party and they are


not, really. It is not clear why. Maybe their hearts are not in it. It


is led by two people who voted to come out into -- 19 75. Alan Johnson


woman who is leading the campaign, does not appear to be making much


headway. Maybe they are waiting until Cameron comes back with a


package. I think they are missing a trick. The Eurosceptics want more


time. They fear if it is rushed, they will definitely lose. But for a


June referendum in the Commons, it would need Labour as well. It is


clearly not going to happen. The only thing that could stop it,


because the numbers are now not in the Commons, is if the electoral


commission, bearing in mind you have the leaders of the three devolved


administrations saying they're not happy, that is the only thing that


could potentially stop it. Now that the Labour Party is saying we should


get on with it, it looks like that will happen. People like Steve Baker


needs to be careful. They have been saying for 20 years we need a


referendum. Here it is coming down the stream and they say, we are not


sure about it. That potentially shows they are nervous about the


case. One of the most telling thing is Steve Baker said was the number


of Tory MPs who would vote to leave would be no more than 70, which is


clearly expectations management on his party that's my part. What you


have seen in the past 72 hours is expectations management on all


sides. Downing Street is dampening down expectations. We are all


massively impressed. I hope you are right that he is that clever. What


worries me is that he has been reckless. He has put things out


there that he could never get. He has not put everybody square. If not


clever, certainly cynical. Steve Baker and the sceptics are playing


down their expected numbers, even Cabinet ministers. The area where


George Osborne thinks he will make the most fundamental and important


changes as the exceptions for those countries not in the eurozone. That


gets very little coverage. George Osborne says that is the most


important thing we could get because it will play for decades to come.


The territory they are fighting on is the area where they are quite


weak, benefits reform. We will have another referendum in 2021 when


treaty change takes place and the eurozone becomes a proper monetary


union. I don't think anybody is go to do a treaty change for a long


time. The mood across Europe, particularly about immigration and


refugee is, I think nobody will want a treaty. It is all talk. I do not


see it. I don't think anybody will trust their own electorate


sufficiently at any particular point. They will look at hours with


great interest. And they will say, don't go there. Before we go, a sad


morning today. We learned that veteran broadcaster Terry Wogan has


died at the age of 77 after a short battle with cancer. Over his many


years in broadcasting, he interviewed a great number of


people, including politicians. He really is talking to Margaret


Thatcher. What do the next ten years hold for


us and for our Prime Minister? Mrs Margaret Thatcher. You ever


apprehensive? Are you ever nervous before you get up and speak? Always.


And you would not speak well if you were not. I have been answering


questions in the House every Tuesday and Thursday for ten years. And I am


still just as nervous as I was at the beginning. It requires immense


preparation. You have seen your share of trouble and strife and


success. What have been your worst moments? The worst moment on totally


was when the Argentinians invaded the Falkland Islands. I will never


forget it. With the worries and some of the terrible problems you have


had, do you have any time for personal worries? We have been very


lucky. You know Dennis very well. You both belong to Lord's Tavern is.


Everyone knows Dennis. He is marvellous! Why did your audience


laugh when you mentioned him? He is held in great affection by everyone


because he has the tremendous knack for saying things people would love


to say but they're not. Terry Wogan, one of the most


accomplished and professional, charming broadcasters in modern


times. Sadly died this morning. We learn from his family. Terry Wogan.


That is it for today. I thank all of my guests. The daily politics will


be on BBC Two from noon tomorrow and every day next week, including Prime


Minister's Questions on Wednesday. I am back your macro same time, same


place next week. We will know more about the American election campaign


by them. If it is Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.


Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers are joined by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Steve Baker, Lord Digby Jones and businessman Richard Reed. Janan Ganesh, Polly Toynbee and Nick Watt are on the political panel.

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