07/07/2017 Politics Europe


07/07/2017

Jo Coburn talks about European politics with MEPs Sajjad Karim and Clare Moody. They discuss the future direction and development of the EU, and what president Macron is planning.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to politics Europe. The French President

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Emmanuel Macron says Europe has lost its way and promises to hold

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democratic conventions across the EU to discuss reform. The EU strikes at

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outlying free-trade deal with Japan but with much of the details still

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to be hammered out. MEPs discuss how to plug the EU funding gap after

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Brexit. We report from Strasbourg. And just what was getting the

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commission president John Hood yorker so hot under the collar? I

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will never, I will never again attempt a meeting of this kind. Some

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may wonder if that is a promise or a threat and it is all become in the

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next 30 minutes and with me, joined by two MEPs, the Conservative Sajjad

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Karim and for Labour. Welcome. First of all, this is the round-up of the

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latest EU news in just 60 seconds. I'm under the new French President

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gave a speech saying the European Union had lost its way in the past

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ten years. The solution is a new generation of leaders like him,

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presumably. EU and Japan reached every work agreement on a free-trade

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agreement, paving the way for motor race on goods by Japanese car than

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farming product. It's the last leg for the European Parliament is all a

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sports day and lessons outside, MEPs voted to approve a 1 million euros

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aid package for Moldova, defeated a bid to give Northern Ireland special

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status within the EU following Brexit, and just ask whether they

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should be based in a single city and stopped their monthly shuttle from

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Strasbourg and back. It also got a ticking off from the President

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Juncker after a few dozen MEPs turned up to hear him speak. You are

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ridiculous. He also said he'd never again attend a meeting of the kind.

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MEPs were unsure if it was a threat or a promise. How significant is the

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trade agreement with Japan question mark isn't it just symbolic? Not at

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all, there are several factors around the trade deal and one is how

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long it's taken, which is a lesson to all of us, and every still more

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to do. How long have taken? Four years to get this far and there are

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still further processes to go through, the it's something we need

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to keep a steady eye on. It also, it is between these two enormous kind

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of economic bases and you know, where you have Japanese

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manufacturers or other companies, you know, need to keep an eye on

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this because what will happen to our trade with Japan? We will come to it

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in a moment but I mean is a symbolic in terms of PR and head of the G20

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because there's still so much to negotiate. I mean they haven't

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actually tied the deal have they? And this was arrived at the moment

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from where it would seem that there is no pulling back now. Right. Is

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another of tidying up exercise is still to do. What I found

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interesting about this was that the Japanese stated that this was a deal

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done between them and the 28 members of the European Union. So

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including... Including the United Kingdom which I believe sends a

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strong signal that the United Kingdom remains open for business

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and that we welcome this deal and we are in a position to do similar

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deals ourselves, post- Brexit. And do you agree with that? Isn't this

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than an example of what could be achieved, albeit in a shorter space

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of time if the government gets its way, a free-trade deal between the

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UK and the EU? Well, we absolutely have to land deal between us and the

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EU. They have managed to with Japan. Over four years. We have less than

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two years left in terms of the -- sorting out our exit which become

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significant in terms of thought we'd do in transition. But also to have

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an equality of the scale of the economy is when you are looking at

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the EU and Japan. We are in a different position thought of in the

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future if we are looking at just the UK to bring trade. Isn't that the

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problem? Twice as long as the amount of time that Theresa May and Davis

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Davis have at their disposal to secure trade deal between the EU? I

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think the challenges are huge and you shouldn't underestimate it. If

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it impossible to achieve? The other thing to bear in mind is it doesn't

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cover services. Any have not cover services as well. The challenge is a

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far greater than the Japanese challenge and therefore we really

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are going to have to concentrate our minds in a very short space of time

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to deliver this. Is it realistic? And if the actually concentrate our

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minds to the real issues, we are not going to get this timeline. And the

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real issues that aggression before trade and the economy or the other

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way around? The economy must come first. Immigration must be a

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secondary issue. If we do with the other way around I'm afraid our

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economy and this whole issue of meeting the deadlines is going to

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unravel very quickly indeed. But talk about Juncker, it was quite an

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outpost, he was cross, not many MEPs turned up to hear him address the

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parliament. Was it right to criticise you guys? No, I don't. He

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had a moment, that happens, we all have our moments every now and then.

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Reality is like Westminster, if people aren't in the chamber, that's

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because they are working elsewhere in the building. I was in working

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groups that morning, I have three back-to-back working groups on the

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different pieces of legislation we are working on. So the reality is

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very different from the one he was talking about here. We have Monday -

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Thursday as with Westminster to get a lot of work done and you

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concentrate on effective work rather than sitting in chambers. Do you

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agree he overstepped the mark would do you feel as president of the

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commission he was due a bit of respect from elected representatives

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like yourself to at least come and hear him speak? I think this works

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both ways. There has been a number of occasions where he should have

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actually been present in the chamber himself and he wasn't. Right. So it

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works both ways and if we are willing to accept he cannot always

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be there, he needs to be the same for us. He got a real telling off

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though from the head of the parliament. I would expect nothing

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less! Right. We will end up there. And he has apologised since. True,

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Mr Juncker? Yes. Now what will the EU look like after Brexit? It has

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been the topic of discussion amongst leaders and this week President

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Macron waded into the debate. On Monday he said that the European

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Union had to be revived by a new generation of leaders. And he

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announced that France and Germany would launch a graphic conventions

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by the end of 2017, with the aim of re- founding Europe. He insisted

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each member state would be free to sign-on or not. But there is no

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longer time for quick fixes. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has

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signalled her support for a change in Europe, one day after the Briton

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negotiations began, she told the Federation of German industry she

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was open to a joint EU finance minister. It only if the framework

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conditions are right. And she said she would discuss the eurozone by

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the budget, as long as it is clear that this will truly strengthen

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structures and do meaningful things. The debate follows on from Mr

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Juncker 's white paper outlining five scenarios the future of the EU,

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it was discussed at the Rome summit in March. That ranged from the EU

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re- focusing solely on the Common Market to foster integration between

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nations and admit all that and the Brexit negotiations, the UK will

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have to decide if it is still to join an EU wide battle group which

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Britain has committed forces to join from 2019. After the UK is due to

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leave the EU. Well, we've been joined by party. What is Macron's

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grand plan big Europe? What are these democratic conventions look

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like? Of course there are a lot of expectations on his shoulders right

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now, this was a manifesto promise appears to hold democratic

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conventions of property have still extended across the EU and I think

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this is the basis on which he constructed his own campaign when he

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was running for president here and the expectation is you can build a

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bottom-up sort of democracy and the people themselves can shape the

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priorities of the French presidency or the European Union going forward.

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If a talking shop? Is it a way of being seen to be doing something

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without any real substance? I think it is one criticism of it but what

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he hopes to achieve with these democratic conventions is to focus

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minds in Europe but more soundly and given Mr Juncker's white paper

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earlier this year when he suggested there were different methods the EU

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can pursue coming forward for reform, one of which was do less but

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more effectively, I think Macron's convention tends to stick to that,

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to ask the people what they want them to focus on. What about the new

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generation of leaders. He's new, but who else? Have the Irish president

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who is now the youngest in the EU, and I think we have, what he is

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speaking about more generally rather than just humouring his neighbours

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is the idea of rejuvenating the EU project which has the mandate he

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thinks he has. Do you think Macron will be successful in trying to

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reshape Europe, liberating the member states once the UK leaves?

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I'm not quite sure what liberating the member states looks like but in

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terms of his attitude, it was interesting watching the French

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campaign because he ran an unashamedly pro- European campaign.

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Westminster is not perfect, but a Westminster is not perfect, but a

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whole lot of institutions that are not perfect, but he ran up against a

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sort of anti- European campaign from Marine Le Pen 8181 much better than

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people thought he might do. So from that basis of looking than how he

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can re-establish a kind of enthusiasm from Europe, I think is

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his starting point and I think it is probably a good idea. How does he do

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that though? Because as Clare was saying there was anti- European

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sentiment within front as well, yes Emmanuel Macron did win

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overwhelmingly, but if you look at what it can actually do, is he going

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to bring and should he bring all the eurozone states even closer

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together? Isn't that what he is planning, more integration? And will

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it work? I admire his ambitions to what he is doing is going from a

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platform of having fought the French elections were the galvanising force

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was the fact that he had a far right extremist as a candidate against

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him, and even then the turnout was not infused enough to be able to say

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the French people felt enthused to come and back Macron on this. For

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him than the say that he can take this on across Europe wide scale, I

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believe it is really ambitious on his part. It doesn't sound like

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Sajjad thinks it could work. Is further integration for European

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countries within the EU the answer? If you take on board some of the

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euroscepticism that does exist in France, it is still divided like

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many other countries, but will it work? A lot of what is being talked

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about will take a long time to deliver, quite possibly, after we

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have left the European Union. So the big certain extent it is up to them.

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Make the choice for EU 27, they will decide how the EU 27 work best

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together. We are going to do watching from the outside. Right.

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And looking at what Macron is trying to do, if we take the idea he is

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trying to bring the eurozone countries together as they are

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looking at ideas that will actually promote bad, is going to be harder

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for the UK to negotiate its deal? I think first of all we have to

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discuss the feasibility of the project and he accepts that this is

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not something that will happen in the short or the near term. What is

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the sort of timing he's pushing on? He suggests he understands the idea

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of the eurozone budget, eurozone minister, duress and parliament will

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require a lot of backing from Germany and obviously the smaller

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states as well. Reticence on the German side is the idea that France

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needs to get its own economy in shape before Germany is willing to

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back it. The Macron has said he will take a Labour market reform or other

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economic reforms domestically first and foremost before you went to

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Germany with these ideas, and put them in force. So whether or not

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this will form part of the negotiations I in the first thing to

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consider is what Timeline is Macron and the eurozone imagine for these

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reforms? And the direction of travel if it goes down that route and I

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take your point he has a big enough job trying to reform France in terms

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of Labour reforms, it will that be a good thing or a bad thing to you

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think for the UK as its negotiating its exit? It's difficult to know

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because of course this is not just a concern for the UK, it is a concern

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for all of it has been present for many of the smaller member states in

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the EU as well, the idea that the EU's final destination will be the

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eurozone. And what matters then is if you're a small estate on the edge

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without membership of the euro, do you still form part of the EU? Does

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this is the direction that the EU looks like he is going to go down,

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the UK will not be alone in watching from the outside, thinks all member

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states will also be look and asking what will EU membership men in the

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future, will have to join the euro? It's only a surprise the close

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integration is in some ways what Macron wants, as you say,

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unashamedly pro-EU, pro- European, do you think will make it difficult

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for the UK, these negotiations? While Europe is trying to figure out

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where it is going itself, that will affect the negotiations with us. One

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of the criticisms we are currently getting is we don't know whether we

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can negotiate, how stable is the British government? It applies the

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other way as well with the vision for Europe. They don't know where

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they are going. And with Emmanuel Macron, he is a man who has fought

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one election in his lifetime, and that is to be president of France.

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He is yet to face the hard realities of medical dynamics in France, let

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alone European ones. What about the smaller members of the EU? Will

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there be a complete two-tier Eurozone emerging? There is

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resistance against that, as is noted in the five-point plan. I know that

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isn't a direction a number of EU states want to take. The EU is a bit

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like a tanker as we know. It does not turn around quickly. We are

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having a quick and negotiation in terms of the exit. I hope the exit

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takes longer if we are going to do it well. They are separate

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conversations. I don't think they will have a significant impact. You

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are talking about conventions over a couple of years or whatever, that

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will not feed into a political process impacting on the

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negotiations. The commitment to the EU battle group, how do you feel

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about that? We are waiting for announcement from the UK on that. We

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said we would provide the headquarters for that in the

:16:47.:16:51.

immediate future. But what is important is certainly from a

:16:52.:16:55.

bilateral defence point of view, we have commitments, including from

:16:56.:17:00.

Emmanuel Macron in France that that should deepen. Whether we progress

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with that to a European level remains to be seen. What do you

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think? The butter groups have been in existence for ten years but have

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never been used once. -- battle. Everything has had to have been done

:17:15.:17:25.

on a natural level. Will it last in terms of our commitment to it?

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Security and defence is one of those areas where there is a strong

:17:30.:17:34.

interest in every regard that we work together. Nato and the EU are

:17:35.:17:40.

working together more closely than they ever have done, in fact, and we

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need to be part of that. My concern is we are taking ourselves out of

:17:46.:17:51.

the leading role in it, we will be participants if we manage to get a

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deal that includes security and defence at all, and the disadvantage

:17:55.:18:01.

is we will become very much a second-class participant. Very

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briefly, are you being embraced by your colleagues in the Parliament or

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marginalised these days? Personally, everyone gets on steel. They have

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played a productive path. -- still. And people don't just say yes when

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you speak to them... You are implying they said yes immediately?

:18:26.:18:30.

We had a huge role that we played in the Parliament. Thank you. We have

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heard a lot about the financial obligations the UK may have when it

:18:36.:18:39.

leaves the EU, but once they lose one of the biggest net contributors,

:18:40.:18:46.

how may be remaining 27 countries balance the books? Big news, the

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opening of a 360 degrees recreation of the hammer cycle. They were

:19:00.:19:05.

receiving a briefing on the future size and shape of the EU's finances

:19:06.:19:10.

for a seven year period from 2020, finances that will have a Brexit

:19:11.:19:15.

shaped hole in them between ten and 12 billion euros every year. The

:19:16.:19:21.

budget commissioner explains the EU is also taking on new tasks like

:19:22.:19:25.

fighting terrorism almost so it needed more cash, what is called a

:19:26.:19:33.

multi annual financial framework, the MAFF. It could mean changes to

:19:34.:19:39.

how the budget operates. For example, could reach companies like

:19:40.:19:45.

Germany be asked to pay more? -- richer. Could countries like

:19:46.:19:53.

Bulgaria have to take out less? We need more from this country and

:19:54.:19:58.

different countries and we have to stop with all of the special

:19:59.:20:04.

conditions. Not only Britain, it was also Germany and also I think the

:20:05.:20:10.

Netherlands. There is no reason to get special treatment. The

:20:11.:20:20.

commission has mooted a European pollution tax on cars to raise money

:20:21.:20:24.

as well as visitors coming to the EU. It has been seen as a power grab

:20:25.:20:29.

by some. I think the budget should remain strongly linked with

:20:30.:20:36.

nationstates and member states as cornerstones of the EU. I am not in

:20:37.:20:42.

favour of any new revenues, any European taxes on any sources for

:20:43.:20:50.

the budget. But when the all of us have to be decided, and what role

:20:51.:20:57.

for the 751 MEPs? The 600 that will be left after the Brits are gone.

:20:58.:21:02.

Parliament has a say. Of course, we don't decide how things will be, the

:21:03.:21:09.

member states decide it. But if we don't like it, on the other hand...

:21:10.:21:16.

They have to listen to us in a certain degree. A narrow window,

:21:17.:21:20.

September, 2018, before the election, 2019, we have to have a

:21:21.:21:26.

ready package by that time to be able to tell the European citizens

:21:27.:21:30.

what we are going to do with the budget. Finally, a quick trip to the

:21:31.:21:35.

new photo booth. One thing will disappear from the financial picture

:21:36.:21:39.

altogether, thanks to Brexit, there will be no more UK rebate, so the

:21:40.:21:44.

budget will look much simpler, and that gets the thumbs up around here.

:21:45.:21:51.

A nice and cheesy smile. Allan Fleming. Any ideas how the EU should

:21:52.:21:58.

plug the gap of some 10 billion euros a year? The negotiations go

:21:59.:22:06.

on, the MFF, that is being talked about, a catchy title, it goes on

:22:07.:22:11.

for seven years. We are in the middle of a current seven-year

:22:12.:22:14.

process. Negotiations are beginning now, part of the talk recently. They

:22:15.:22:22.

have a headache and that could be to the advantage of the UK, as they

:22:23.:22:27.

will lose our money. That is where the divorce bill comes in. It is

:22:28.:22:31.

also about what comes after Brexit and what we choose, how we will

:22:32.:22:39.

contribute? We could contribute beyond Brexit. It will be a

:22:40.:22:43.

complicated sum. Do you accept that? It could well be a situation like

:22:44.:22:49.

that, and would you support it if the UK contributes to funds we want

:22:50.:22:53.

to be part of during a transitional phase? They will have to accept one

:22:54.:22:58.

thing, there will be some form of continued payments after the UK

:22:59.:23:04.

leads the EU. A figure of... I cannot put any figure on it.

:23:05.:23:10.

Negotiations are so wide at the moment. One thing is clear, the UK

:23:11.:23:17.

will have to do that, and the EU will have to learn to live with far

:23:18.:23:21.

less money than it had. That has been something it is bad at. It will

:23:22.:23:25.

have to find new ways of raising money. You said the British people

:23:26.:23:28.

would have to accept continued payments, what for? It depends. Some

:23:29.:23:34.

payments would be for ongoing programmes we take part in. Like

:23:35.:23:44.

what? Many educational programmes. Research development and so on? Yes.

:23:45.:23:51.

There will be substantial sums that will need to be paid for access to

:23:52.:23:55.

the single market. How much would you be prepared to pay? That is part

:23:56.:23:59.

of the negotiations, as I said. I cannot put a figure on it. I do know

:24:00.:24:05.

it is the largest export market, and without it, our economy is going to

:24:06.:24:10.

suffer greatly. That sounds like we won't be leaving in March, 2019, in

:24:11.:24:15.

a complete and comprehensive way, if we are still paying fines for joint

:24:16.:24:21.

EU- UK initiatives. There are many factors. We will simply, as things

:24:22.:24:27.

stand, not be ready to leave the single market in 2019. We only just

:24:28.:24:34.

started the negotiations on one element of the divorce, we are one

:24:35.:24:39.

year after the referendum and three months from Article 50. It would be

:24:40.:24:43.

astonishing if any government could achieve that complicated deal. So,

:24:44.:24:48.

yes, we will continue paying. We agreed to a multi annual financial

:24:49.:24:53.

framework going through to 2020, with the bills coming after that,

:24:54.:24:57.

and then there is the element of needing to stay within the single

:24:58.:25:02.

market. That may disappoint people in the Conservative Party, not

:25:03.:25:06.

least, and other people as well, if the UK is not out by March, 2019,

:25:07.:25:13.

completely. Revenue streams. In that film, one of the contributors said I

:25:14.:25:18.

don't want new taxes, new revenue streams, will that be unpopular with

:25:19.:25:23.

the Parliament? I think there is real resistance to that sort of move

:25:24.:25:27.

where the European Union can directly start to impose taxation.

:25:28.:25:32.

However, this is also a part of the ongoing debate in Europe today, what

:25:33.:25:37.

is the future of Europe going to be? This, actually, today, has once

:25:38.:25:41.

again become an active question. Don't forget the financial tax back

:25:42.:25:49.

on the table. As you said, we have a long and hot summer ahead of us.

:25:50.:25:54.

Thank you for being our guests today. That is it for now with

:25:55.:26:03.

regards to European politics. Bye bye.

:26:04.:26:09.

After a warm, muggy night, Sunday should bring us some more

:26:10.:26:13.

Not dry everywhere, though, some rain in the forecast too.

:26:14.:26:17.

During Saturday, there were scenes a bit like this.

:26:18.:26:20.

A lot of sunshine around, this is Ceredigion, in Wales.

:26:21.:26:23.

Jo Coburn talks about European politics with MEPs Sajjad Karim and Clare Moody.

They discuss the future direction and development of the EU, and what president Macron is planning. Plus a report on how the EU might plug the 10 billion euro funding gap after Brexit.