tv [untitled] January 28, 2013 4:30am-5:00am EST
oh in welcome the process for all things considered i'm peter lavelle facing hard realities are committing an act of selfish political following these are some of the reactions to david cameron's call for a renegotiated relationship with the e.u. and then a referendum on future membership with britain and the e.u. be better off going separate ways. crosstalk britain in the e.u. i'm joined by tony helper in london he's a journalist for the times also in london we are robert oulds he is director of the bruges group and in brussels we cross to. he is a liberal member of the european parliament and head of the german hellenic
business association tony i'd like to go to you first in london it seems to me that the britons position in the european union is equivalent to how americans feel about gun control people get really excited about it here is camera cameron playing politics is this just for his personal agenda and getting reelected in the thing more i think is a great deal of that cameron effectively offering voters a chance to decide on the e.u. membership after the next election and implicitly therefore they should vote for him at the election in order to get that chance so mr cameron is effectively trying to eliminate the threat posed by the u.k. independence party and push labor and liberal democrats into what he considers to be an unpopular position with voters of denying voters an opportunity to decide you future so the north a lot of domestic politics involved in this initiative ok before we go to robert i mean it's quite transparent isn't it i mean it's cynical politics i mean how does the average briton feel about this. or can you say that about an average agree on
this earth think i think the average briton won't really mind if the given the opportunity to decide on the e.u. . many people have commented in the run up to the speech british voters haven't had an in out question put to them about e.u. membership or in fact common market membership as it was last time they were asked to close on forty fifty years people would like to decide that question and until they are given the opportunity to do so i think that they'll back the party that says we will give it our chance ok robert so it's democracy in action isn't it absolutely finally we're going to be having a say on the european union british people have been denied that opportunity to express what they think political parties across the spectrum have promised referendums and then broken those promises and it's that's one of the reasons why we are where we are now with people saying we must get out of the european union because the political class the political parties who have all favored e.u.
integration have allowed things to go far too far and now course they are reaping the whirlwind and that is going to be a referendum and this is now what is this tour doing great labor getting any thoughts or getting ahead of ourselves we don't know if they'll be a referendum you're go if i go to you in brussels why not renegotiate britain's engagement with the european union why not. we renegotiated every time and every time on britain's behalf britain wanted we have a picture to describe the british situation in the european union it's like a train the european train passing a station and get moving on moving on the british would always try to keep the train in that station so that's the say at this level of integration and only when the train finally moves on they would jump on the last leg and run into the steering room trying to take over this that was history in the past and i think the atmosphere in europe changed we know that british behavior and we are to be honest
paired up this time we would urge the british to go for a referendum why not but not to let the the other europeans wait until two thousand and seventeen i can't see the reason for such a long period do your decision in your. territory make the right decision but do it fast and don't legislate ok tony i saw you smiling in the end we what we just heard were fighting words go ahead. while i think those it's very fair points actually the risk of mr cameron strategy is simple that the next election becomes all about europe and about nothing else and secondly people tend to answer the question that they want to answer referendum not as though the question of their asked. antipathy towards the e.u. is such that people may simply vote to go out even if the deal offered to them is a pretty good one and i don't see much incentive for the other e.u. members to seek to accommodate britain precisely for the reasons that you said that many in the e.u. and particularly in the e.u.
seventeen are members of the euro zone are pretty fed up with what they consider to be british backsliding and foot dragging they might be quite happy for britain to go out so they could go on with this kind of united states of europe robert how do you feel about that and said ok with you. well peter i think there's a danger that myself and hugo can actually agree on that i don't know if we want to do that don't do that i mean it up with the european union. so really we can have somehow there's article yes the referendum should be as soon as possible and the whole policy that david cameron has set out of renegotiation with powers coming back to the nation state and actually first he wants to train how the whole european union works with introducing flexibility for all countries while that's just not feasible because the political class in the e.u. which you go is a junior member actually supports further integration they actually support more powers going from nation states to the institutions of the you based in brussels
luxembourg and strata so. the answer is really that we have a referendum on coming out as soon as possible because powers cannot be returned not in any significant meaningful way you're going to jump in there go ahead. it's absolutely true what has been said right now it's true that we need further integration and i can't imagine that the united kingdom will go all the steps along that we need now to get out of this not currency crisis but debt crisis and mr cameron has proved in the past that he's not respecting european law i remember very well when the greeks fell into that austerity trap the debt austerity trap that was caused by the way by an i.m.f. arrow that the i.m.f. now has admitted mr cameron reacted not by we will show solidarity also by that you
have to closely we have to sorry we have to close the borders for greek citizens because we might face big migration so this was his attempt to get out of european legislation because it's legitimate to migrate from one country to another thought mr cameron has not a european conviction he should give back the elgin marbles if he wants to do such a statement but he doesn't he doesn't he when he takes on the greek text evaders he welcomes them but he wouldn't take the greek migrants who need to work so this is not a polish european consciousness if you want to leave the union you should do it that ok tony the brits have been accused period of three literally county is this cherry picking is this what the brits are doing cherry picking. we can provide a list of every country ignoring e.u. obligations and it will be quite a long list that would include germany i don't think we can set that one aside but i think the main point is correct that the e.u.
project is first and foremost a political project the present e.u. currency crisis is caused by the fact that really they haven't had a fiscal union and then for a fiscal union to be democratic there has to be a political union he's correct in that britain will never sign up to a political union will never sign up i think for monetary union so it's inevitable that the hard core of e.u. members the seventeen who now have a single currency are pretty much obligated to pursue that to its final end which is some sort of political union countries which don't sign up to that objective have to establish a different relationship with the e.u. the question then becomes whether it's in out relationship whether you're obliged to leave the e.u. in order to establish that relationship personally i don't think so i think the risk of a referendum that mr cameron runs is that voters will tell him that's exactly what they want to do and then he faces an almighty problem in on tangling british relations with the rest of europe it's not just a question of politics a question of geography even in britain came out of the e.u.
we're still only twenty miles from france ok robert dance was a very good point here i mean completely entangle is that even possible right now. well absolutely britain can trade and have economic contact with businesses and consumers on the continent just like the french wine producers or german other german car manufacturers can sell their goods to the u.k. that will continue once britain is out of the european union and actually getting out will actually be quite easy britain is along with other e.u. member states a member of the european economic area we could cancel e.u. membership attain the european economic area membership and that would keep the free movement of goods services and and capital as well as others labor for the time being until we form some new transitional. arrangements and set up a pua free trade area so trade will continue once you outside of the u. we could be out of the political union and that would be
a very good thing for democracy and for our economy a year ago was ahead it would make people you know have quite a bit. i have news for robert now because he's right trade will go on but the conditions for trade will be totally different once you don't belong any more to the entity that decides about all the rules on trade norway phrases that switzerland face the threat they cannot influence trade rules. but they cannot influence not correct any process of how the human rights works sorry sorry sorry as the lady is not in the area though that is not correct although as other economic areas countries that they are consulted on legislation they have input and of course they have their own voice in the internet and many of the international bodies that decide a lot of these regulations robert norway has mounted highly regulated we go to the break i want to watch an isolation which is totally an adoptee. the us how do you
do. please robert please tony before we go to the break it was like you were dismissive. it's very difficult to be outside a club and be affected by its rules the rules will be imposed you don't have a choice whether to accept them or negotiate them they're presented to you and it's a singular call americans the collective weight i have i don't know seventeen or eighteen. norway and switzerland do have to comply we know why don't we regulate time today you will in a year law relating to energy no way actually does that they can do that if they wish and fortunately their political establishment support so you membership wants to go along with most things but when there is something of great importance they can actually veto. all right gentlemen i want to go out we have to go i wish short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the u.k. in europe stay with r.t. . as usual.
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for children can be broken by bare touch. and only the will of life can make old pain and sores way. fragile people on r.t. . welcome back across the horror of things are considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing the u.k. and the european union. and i thought about a year ago in brussels i think this is a very interesting time for the british to call for a referendum even if it's going to be two thousand and seven in europe is still on
the mend and if we can we look at the european union and we look at the eurozone this is something but this is very bad timing because they still need to mend the process and that means more europe and that's not everyone doesn't want that right now. exactly we need more europe right now and all the measures that have been taken to tackle the debt crisis in europe at the beginning didn't seem to be coordinated but at the moment we can see that they do have a have an impact on the economies and on the societies and short britain decide to run out they are out of the decision making process they are out of influencing this democratic process of influencing rules and we saw that give you an example in the emissions trading system that was very much influenced by the city of london because the city of london is a net benefit of this trade emissions scheme carbon trading mission scheme and
outside the european union british members of parliament british commissioners british politicians in the council could not any more influence this very very important piece of legislation this was the only. real talent trading and still productive but. sorry it's driven out of two other countries which don't follow your science as india and rather china just finished carbon trading is going to shouldn't really get a good price also finish your point go ahead go ahead finish your point. what robert says is exactly my opinion i think that the emission trading system is wrong but the lobby of the city of london was the biggest lobby i ever had in this european parliament my eight years you know so you see it was the british interest of london once you're out you will be out for a long time and you can't influence it any more the financial transaction tax the
next step that might harm london it might help london we will see but in the long run of course if you can't influence the rules you will lose ok tell me what that is on the go ahead go ahead tony there's a dishonesty right at the heart of this debate which is that europe always talks about more europe and the need for rules and regulations but the fundamental british objection the thing that's driving britain out of the e.u. is democratic accountability and nobody in the other european institutions wants to talk about the fact that people in their member countries were never really asked whether or not they want a single political state which is the general direction of travel of the year at the moment all these cuts are going to be asked that question and we pretty much know the answer but nobody else is being asked whether they do want but if they did they would be much more parents of britain so they could have some democratic influence on e.u. institutions that it would be a democratically driven project instead of what looks increasingly like
a bureaucratic dream project ok robert i know your opinion go ahead please do. one of the main things is democrat legitimacy in the u. certainly lacks that the commission is proposing legislation a commission hasn't been elected there's a lot wong with the e.u. system and it's not going to be reformed in are going to make it democratic but the costs of a u. membership also enormous the money that we britain has to pay over each year counts in the billions the cost of excessive regulation holds back the economy and that's one one reason why e.u. economies are going backwards in the global picture whereas the economies that have freer markets are less regulated less government interference they're the countries are now growing and that's where the future lies but europe is consigning itself to the past because of its system where there's excessive regulation coming from the brussels bureaucracy ok let's go to brussels not the you're going to go now let's go to the other side of the argument go ahead you know go why then why then why
then robert the british industry and british economy the representatives of the british economy are against that referendum why is that thought because they want to have access to the decision making process they want to have access to the big market and they know that they will lose their. minds of the time flying they supported the referendum here go finish up go ahead no. it's the the line of argument that mr ferrars use this year for mr cameron has become the spokesman of ukip has become the spokesman of mr ferrars with of course against the european union i never would have expected this from the tory party because the tory party in the past did understand our interest is to at least keep one foot in europe and not to leave it hundred percent this is over now and it's a pity because our liberal friends in the united kingdom are also in government
they have a different agenda they have a pro european agenda and you could see that labor has one thumb or two or three percent after the speech or with the cameron so it's not that all the british share his view ok tony again it looks like it is domestic politics here it looks like a game of chicken to me. i think that's very true and i think the point about mr ferrars is an accurate one cameron is clearly trying to marginalize them but i keep coming back to this point it's not about markets and it's not about regulation it's about democratic accountability you know if there's a political project called europe then how is that to be held accountable to the citizens of europe british the majority of british people i think find it very difficult to see how that happens they don't wish to be governed by people to what they call throw out of power and therefore they're being driven to seek some way an exit from the e.u. instead of a new relationship with it and no one is altering that question really if you have at the end of the day some sort of united states of europe where is the democratic
accountability to the citizen in the street until the question is answered i think britain will will increasingly head for the exits and i have to say you know i don't think that's a good thing i think britain out of the european union will be very isolated you know it seems to me that your position is that it's a work in progress that it will become more democratic with more integration correct. well on one hand it's not only i mean the european constitution go ahead on the you're on the year of the european constitution it failed in france in the netherlands but it was supported in other countries like luxembourg like spain so we had referenda and we had a clear say of european citizens on the other hand i am myself i am representing the european citizens every day in this house every day working hard on legislation on clearly putting into the negotiations also the spirit and the voice of the european citizens between my talk yesterday to give you an example i had to vote on
the regulation in the committee and i got i received phone calls by a british organized by a british based website phone calls by fifty five citizens of my country trying to influence me so it's a diary i like this because it's a very direct way of communicating with citizens and i'm here to represent them so it's absolutely wrong to say that the citizens are not represented we are on equal footing with the council equal footing with the commission since the lisbon treaty the so-called lisbon treaty commission for opposes the legislation the council has far bigger say than the parliament ok robert i want to ask you not generally let me ask a question here robert do you think you represent millions of people in the european union in your opinion. well the best representative of people in the european union is national parliaments that's where power should lie with national parliaments and then those national parliaments can have governments which can choose to cooperate on areas where they wish and where where they see fit but at
the moment the european union is telling other countries what to do it doesn't represent people at all it's it's dominated by an unelected commission based in brussels which proposes legislation which binds states in all throughout the european union we should return powers to national parliaments as would have british want to do and that's what should happen in other countries as well as as hugo mentioned the french and dutch rejected the e.u. constitution but of course they bought it in five another name the lisbon treaty and forty eight on those peoples anyway the people do not want more europe the political class does they want more power to be handy to an elected unaccountable institutions because that gets rid of the annoyance of having to deal with members of the public who can who cannot vote down a you've always and and shatter their beloved dreams really the answer is more power to national democracies because that is only the only institutions that have legitimacy within you not only get it not only now tell me where you need secret
without minutes being taken tony there is a precedent that could be set here i think that's the danger for a lot of people to believe in the european union project that britain is starting a precedent here to get out. yes well i think many other countries in europe don't want to get out but they do want a new relationship in the way that mr cameron has described i suspect the result for britain will be exit and that will damage the interests of a lot of other countries but i'm not sure there's a rush to the exit for particular some of the smaller central european states which only recently joined the e.u. but the i keep coming back to this question the central group of seventeen nations eventually will become a single political unit and then the rest of the you which is ten major ones have to have some new relationship with that unit this will necessitate everybody else opening up discussions about their future relation to tony do you think they do agree on this proposed exit from the with that create a two tier e.u.
i mean that could be a solution as well that we have one already ok we have one already you know what do you think about that i mean to two different directions because of the currency first of all the crisis or crisis is always we're pushes we're incentives for the europeans to stick closer together and to do steps of integration so again this crisis the debt crisis brought us closer together the clump of seventeen is the core of what we would see in the future being in or being out will be decided very very soon and britain half the way what i would like to say to robert is that he contradicted himself on one hand he says the commission has the say in the commission is. not democratically elected. by the european. by the it opposes it makes. it initiate legislation sorry it just has the right of initiative you should read the before you comment on it you should really read how
it works here it has a lot of initiative you know how you feel parliament which you belong to you see part of my initiation that's a purpose usually. creates a government that's how democracy works are i just i don't think we could go on for a very long time here too many thanks indeed my guests in london and in by. and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next i mean remember across top roles. united the playfield. is a. tough. the first baby steps are joined. foals and bones are not a big deal. but they can cones terrible trauma.
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