Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey.
Browse content similar to 20/05/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
In the west: the Tory who told us that the Euro Project would end in
tears. David Heathcoat Amory has written a book on his fight against
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1801 seconds
Europe, but what happens in the Thank you and welcome to Sunday
Politics West. Coming up in the next 20 minutes, what are we going
to do about Europe? Our biggest trading partner is in chaos
threatening jobs and living standards. Will be your way track
us down as well? As Greece decides whether to leave
the Euro, we are joined by two politicians who know what it is
like to be thrown out of the club because of both of my guests lost
their seats at the last election. They are David Heathcoat Amory and
David Drew. We are now freed from the party whips and they can say
what they really think. Welcome to you both. David on the
end, what is lifelike outside of politics? It is fine in some
respects. I miss not being in Parliament, but I have been pre-
selected as the Labour co-operative candidate so I am busy as ever and
a councillor on Stroud District. That will be an interesting time
and I am doing a PhD looking at rural politics so busy as ever.
Join the club. The other David, it was a long career that you had, you
did not want to go, but you have to. How are you finding things? I miss
it. It is a privilege to be an MP. But there is life outside politics,
I am still busy and in business now. I am the chairman of a property
company so I am doing good for the economy, helping people, paying tax
and helping the economy grow. I am also the chairman of a fund-raising
committee for the Diamond Jubilee pageant. I built a hydro scheme,
written a book. Have you had enough? That is enough for the time
being. The crisis in the euro-zone, fear
that jobs and income could be dragged into the mess. We can't say
that we weren't warned about the Euro. David Heathcoat Amory was one
of those Conservatives who banged on about Europe endlessly. Now he
has written a book. Remember this? Wiliam Hague
campaigning against the Euro in Somerset. He judged that the West
Country was a hotbed of resistance. I am delighted to be here in
Taunton as one of the first stops of the campaign. It was a passion
for one of the party's MPs at the time, David Heathcoat Amory. He is
one of the Conservatives said Mr Cameron accuses of banging on about
the Euro. The we will be submitting ourselves formally and irreversibly
to his superior political authority, something we have never done.
even resign from John Major's government on the issue. Europe was
his passion, PR skills, maybe less so. Doing my best for my
constituents. I have no comment. Well it seems his predictions were
right. Greece is burning with fury over the austerity imposed on them.
Another Euro-sceptic, Michael Portillo, with similar views got a
surprise in a TV documentary on the crisis this week. He thought
everyone would want to return to the track Maher, but they did not.
Something I would like to ask you all. He is a choice, euros or
drachma? Euro. Which would you choose? I prefer Euro. What about
you? In the end, it was not Europe that dented David Heathcoat Amory's
political career, but something closer to home. A pile of manure on
his garden. Although his expenses were more modest than most, he
claimed for his fertiliser. It may have been enough to ensure his
defeat. The questions remain, was he right about the EU? And what
does he think will happen next? Just to put the cat among upright -
- pigeons, I am joined by Ken Daly he is a Pro-Euro Conservative. We
will chat to you in a moment, but first here is the book we were
talking about. Do you feel that you have been vindicated? Frankly, yes.
It is unattractive for a politician to say I told you so and I made a
lot of mistakes, but I did get this one right. I think we are owed an
apology by those who thought this was a passport to general
prosperity in Europe. It was always a political project. Economics were
always a problem. The mess has been caused by bankers, hasn't it?
Greece has now had it and I feel very strongly that the workers, the
poorest people, are suffering the most. The bankers are OK. The
bureaucrats -- bureaucrats will not suffer, but they are sick kitchens
in Athens now because foolishly they were bought into this madcap
idea. But they don't want to go back. Well, they want someone else
to pay. They want the Germans to continue paying the bankers so they
can live happily after -- ever after. Was Mr Cameron right to say
you should stop banging on about it? At the time he wanted to
campaign on other things, but Europe is a big elephant in the
room and if we don't get this right, we will face a milk than in Europe
with unpredictable consequences. All these people have votes, you
see. There is a political revolution going on and the
political class in Europe have to get real, swallow their pride,
admit they made a mistake and then we can get back to building a
better more democratic Europe of which we can all live peacefully.
Of separate states? Separate currencies. He won the whole thing
to go under? I want a trade zone, but I don't want the fantasy that
we can all share the same currency. This isn't working, it is a
catastrophe. There is no easy way out, but we have to get back to
basics. All three your career you talked about Europe, do you have --
accept that it became an obsession? I did a lot of other things. I
served in five ministries and I wasn't solely going on about Europe
or banging on about it. It is true that the way we are governed and
who governs us is very important. This is the result for me get it
wrong. Let's bring the others into this. Ken Daly, he was right all
along, wasn't he? Absolutely not. David has been tilting at European
windmills for the last 25 years, and got it wrong most of the time.
Really? Absolutely. Europe has problems at the moment, but as you
said in your opening remarks, this is not just a Greek crisis or a
Euro crisis, it is the latest chapter in the banking collapse.
That is what has really put politicians and governments are
under pressure. The only way that Britain and the other countries in
Europe are going to tackle this is by working together across Europe
and, indeed, I hope that with Barack Obama in the States, and
they will need to do this before the Republican tea-party get him...
David -- at Tony Blair almost porters into the Euro, didn't he?
The best thing that Gordon Brown did was not get us into that. The
experiment that we have been launched into without any clear
idea of where it will end up has been a disaster. Like David, I am
sympathetic. To the Spanish, the Italians, even to allow cells
because part of the Disconnect with politics in this country is because
people no longer feel they have leadership in this country because
power has drained away. But it is still not an issue that excites
most people. We will get a full postbag after this programme
because people interested in Europe are very interested, but most
people aren't. There is increasingly an understanding about
how Europe links into a manner of other things. My critique is that I
am against the single market. I believe we must trade and have co-
operation, but the single market is something I think is impossible to
deliver and can be a dangerous. This is a good time for country is
not to work together? No, it is a time to work together, but we can
do that in the macro-economic framework. It means we have to have
strong leadership across Government's and that is hopefully
what the G8 will do this weekend. Some attempts are going to be done
to relaunch growth. At the end the West Country, do you sense that
these guys have won the argument? Not really. If you look at the
company in Wales with which I believe is trading vigorously in
Europe, there are plenty of opportunities in Europe and plenty
of jobs created in doing business with Europe. What these to overlook
completely this that until the banking crisis, the single currency
has been a massive success. We have had a big increase in internal
trade across Europe which has created many new jobs, it has
enabled businesses to increase production and reduce unit costs
and to deliver a wide range of products to consumers. This has
been an enormous increase in the standard of living of the citizen.
You don't want to believe it, but it is a truth. This is nonsense.
You can trade with people without sharing the currency. How do the
Americans and Chinese sell into Europe? By trading. They also have
the advantage of massive markets. really do think we need an apology
from those people who said this is the way forward. They were wrong.
We are not going to get out of this mess and less we have the humility
to admit we were wrong. As much as though some argument within the
Tory party, we have to elevated to now. I am not a member of the
Conservative Party. Well, for -- formally. Let's take a pause for a
minute and find that what one business thinks of us being in
Europe. We went into Wales to a company that sees more pros and
cons. Wales is better known for beauty
than industry, but tucked away, this firm is the kind of hands on
manufacturing you don't often see these days. Skilled workers
cleaning and repair printer suck -- cartridges. One in five of these
are packed off to countries in Europe. This firm thinks the EU is
essential to business. I really believe that we should stay in the
EU, the reasons are the links to the Euro. That makes our ability to
trade with Europe much easier. Imports and exports are tariff free.
We can move goods easily in and out which is critical. Last year,
exports were worth over �1 million, but that is not all. When we were
out last week, they were selling quite nice holograms out of the
Czech Republic. It is not just free trade, his company get staff and
grants from Europe. We recently received some funding through I met
to enable us to develop our website. There is free labour around the
European Europe -- union which is important. In this corner of the
West, the idea of pulling out fully or partially does not stack up.
The views from one company in Wales. Onshore others have other views.
David Drew, this week you endorse the prospect of an in out
referendum in the next government. I have long supported that, so it
is nothing new. I believe that to give people confidence, they have
some accountability of their leadership. It is about time they
have that debate. Which way we G campaign? I am against the EU.
you want out? I want out of what I see as a constraining economic
entity. David, do you think Ray should be that commitment in the
Conservative manifesto, and in out measure. People must be asked what
they think about Europe. I think we need a relationship, but the
relationship is wrong. We must establish our powers of self-
government, get rid of the Euro and build a Europe on consent. That
means a referendum of some sort in this country. If Labour had a
referendum commitment in their manifesto and the Conservatives
didn't, would you vote Labour? I will always vote Conservative
because we are the only party that can deliver this. If they are
saying it is likely they will have a vote, why wouldn't you back them?
Because they broke their word on the last promise which was to have
a referendum on the European constitution. The Liberal Democrat
and the Labour Party, together, they had a coalition them. I know
what happened and they denied us by a majority that vote to have a
referendum on the European constitution. We were denied the
promised manifesto commitment. you agree that all the parties
should be -- should reflect what the public want. If it was in or
out, what would you say? I would vote to leave. I think it is more
complicated than that, but if it came to that choice, leave and then
opt back into what we want. Daly, how would you feel about
that? There is a strong possibility that people would vote for out.
could be a crazy decision to come out. You are talking about a
financial crisis at the present time. You have to remember, when
the Euro started the pound was worth 1.60 euros. The pound has
subsequently collapsed and is 1.25 euros. * All strong. But on the
other hand it has dropped during that time. He would have a much
bigger fall if you came up. What would happen if we left Europe? At
the moment, David Cameron is crying from the sidelines saying get on
and get gross. We have no say in it because we are not part of the Euro,
we would have even less safe. Our economic livelihood depends on how
the euro-zone does. It would not be the typed political union it has
become. It needs to become a much looser confederation of states.
would campaign for alt? I would campaign for a different sort of
Euro. There is no point going on about growth. I would break the
single market currency. The Germans will not pay out. The only way that
serving European countries can grow is to get back their own powers of
self government and price themselves back into the market.
They are growing as quickly as us. The economy is collapsing. Germany
and France are doing better than us. It is not surprising Germany are
doing better. It is wrong to say that if they were not independent
they would survive better. Let's take a spin through the other
stories making the headlines this week.
There is a new man at the top of Somerset County Council, the
Conservative John Osmond became leader this week. He faces tough
decisions over cuts, but says he has a different style of leadership
to his predecessor. Allowed to go out, consult and listen to all the
people they make decisions. Caroline Spelman visited Highbridge
in Somerset to announce new money for businesses. 10 companies will
get new premises and super-fast broadband. It has been talked about
for years, but this week the Prime Minister pledged his support to the
building of the Severn barrage. has many advantages. There is a
huge amount of renewable energy that can be delivered through a
barrage. A rainbow coalition, Labour, Lib Dems and greens is to
run the council in Stroud. It follows local elections two weeks
ago when the Conservatives lost the seat making it a hung council.
Phew, that was the last week. Let's pick up from one of those stories.
What is going on in Stroud with the rainbow coalition. We are not
called a rainbow coalition, we have been in no overall control before.
We will do it again. We will see where the Conservatives want to
come from. At the moment we have a left to centre arrangement which we
call a co-operative Alliance. do you think about this coalition?
I am not too brilliant about coalitions. You need them in a
crisis, but in the longer term they do not work. I wasn't allowed rider
in my own party, David slightly on a limb about Europe. So Labour and
Conservative parties within themselves are coalitions. If you
bung them altogether, it does not work. Clear dividing lines on
needed which is why we are not a coalition in Stroud. I don't think
the present coalition will go the distance. I do, for the wrong
reasons. I just think the strains and stresses are too great. The
Liberal Democrats are crazy about Europe. They want to go into the
single currency our cells, thank God they did not have that
opportunity. He have a total difference of opinion on the