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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 9, 2016 7:00pm-7:53pm EST

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never hear me say that this organization is not fixed. far from it. there will be many things that remain to be reformed. and britain will lead the way. we will continue to work so that britain works for the countries of europe and the people of europe. and crucially for the british people, who want to work and have security and get on and make the most of their lives. if we stay, britain will be in there, keeping a lid on the budget, protecting our rebate, stripping away unnecessary regulation and seeing through the commitments we've secured in this renegotiation. ensuring that britain truly can have the best of both worlds. in the parts of europe that work for us and out of those that don't. in the single market, free to travel around europe, part of an organization where cooperation on security and trade can make britain and its partners safer and more prosperous. but with guarantees that we will never be part of the euro, never be part of schengen, never be part of a european army, never
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be forced to bail out the eurozone with our taxpayers money and never be a part of a european superstate. that's the prize on offer. a clear path that can lead to a fresh settlement for britain in a reformed european union. a settlement that will offer the best future for jobs, security, and strength for our country. a settlement which, as our manifesto promised nearly a year ago, will offer families in our country security at every stage of their lives. that is what we're fighting for and i commend this statement to the house. >> jeremy corbyn. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i'm grateful for the prime minister for sending me a copy of the statement 45 minutes ago -- an hour ago, i'm sorry. and i'm pleased he's now decided to finally update the house. however, it is a bit unfortunate that despite his trumpeting of sovereignty of national parliaments, the prime minister didn't think to come and update our own parliament first. i hope he had a good day in
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chippenham yesterday, but i note that he spent a lot of time answering questions from journalists when it would be more respectful to this house to come here first and answer questions from members. in truth, mr. speaker, his negotiation in reality is a tory party drama that's being played out in front of us as we see at the moment. the labour party is committed to keeping britain in the european union because we believe it's the best -- don't get too excited. let me tell you the rest of it. because we believe it is in the best framework for european trade and cooperation in the 21st century and in the best interest of people in this country. but we believe the prime minister has been negotiating the wrong goals in the wrong way for the wrong reasons. for all the sound and fury the prime minister's ended up exactly where he knew he would be, making the case to remain in europe, which is what he always intended, despite renegotiated spectacle choreographed for tv
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cameras over the whole continent. mr. speaker, as his own back benches keep telling us, proposals for the european council are simply tinking around the edges and have little impact for what the eu delivers for workers in britain or british businesses. the welcome the proposals to have a veto over commission legislation, even if it's heavily qualified, it seems the prime minister has finally moved towards the labour party's view on this issue, and we welcome him to that. protecting non-eurozone states is necessary, but we cannot let these proposals hamper efforts to regulate the financial sector, including bankers bonuses. the crucial detail on emergency break for workers benefits for
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eu migrants is entirely absent. when is that information going to be made available? in any case, the prime minister calls the strongest package ever on the abuse of free movement doesn't actually begin to tackle the real problems around the impact of migration on jobs, wages and community. those demand action to support public services in areas of high population growth and regulation to prevent the subsidizing of low pay and the grotesque exploitation of migrant workers by some very unscrupulous employers. it's the same with competitiveness. is the prime minister really out to strengthen genuinely competitive markets, or is this proposal really a fig leaf for increasing pressure to privatize our public services, reduction of consumer standards, environmental protection, or workers rights? this is why labour will continue to oppose the threats to services and rights from the tea-tip negotiations.
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we need to reform to ensure all european governments have the right to intervene, to protect publicly owned industries and services. this side of the house is delighted the prime minister has been forced to back down on his hopes to water down workers' rights. however, mr. speaker, we want to see workers rights further protected and extended within the european union. we need a strengthening of workers' rights in a really social europe. and we want to see a democratic reform to make the european union decision-making more accountable to its people. we must drive economic reform to put jobs and sustainable growth at the center of european policy. and work with partners in europe to bring tax-avoidance under control so that we can get a far better deal than the chancellor managed with google last week.
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but, mr. speaker, to extend -- to keep and extend these employment protections we have to remain within the european union, or leave the field, the conservative party, to make a bonfire of workers' rights. the prime minister says he's secured britain's exclusion from schengen, a european army and a european superstate. the prime minister is living in a never neverland. we've never argued for those things and don't intend to. we need to work with our allies in europe to achieve the more progressive reforms its people need, to build a more democratic europe, that delivers jobs, prosperity, and security for all of its people. we must do this together. that's why when the referendum is finally held, we'll be campaigning to remain a member. but i end by asking the question to the prime minister, does he now agree that once this smoke
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and mirrors side show deal is finally done we'll get on with it, end the uncertainty and the referendum will indeed be held on june the 23rd, 2016? >> prime minister. >> can i thank the right old gentleman for his questions? i mean, first of all, on the issue of making a statement today rather than yesterday, i felt yesterday i was in possession of all the documents, but i didn't think every member of this house would be, so i thought better to give honorable members a day to read the documents and have the debate today. it gave me the added advantage of being able to visit chippenham which, of course, is the town of the right old gentleman's birth, and i was able, therefore, to thank them for putting him on earth and for delivering him safely to this place. now, in terms of the questions, first of all, he criticizes the
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issues we put on the table, getting out of ever closer union, waiting times for welfare, guarantees for fairness between ins and outs. i know he didn't read the labour manifesto, but i did, and actually all of those things were in the labor manifesto. labor actually wanted a two-year welfare wait, rather than four years, but the other elements of our negotiation, many of them were supported by labour. so honorable members can feel they have a mandate for backing these measures. he asked about the detail on the emergency migration break because there are gaps in the text. he's absolutely right about that, we need to secure the best possible outcome at the february council. he asked about the danger of exploitation of migrant workers. this is an area where he and i agree, that's why we've boosted the gangmaster's licensing authority. we put in place better coordination between them and the national crime agency. we're actually making sure there are more investigations and more prosecutions.
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now on tea-tip this is an area where we profoundly disagree. and other socialist governments in europe take my view which is tea-tip will be good for jobs, good for growth, good for businesses. i'm not sure i ought to advise him to spend more time with trade unions, but actually, he spends time with trade unions in sweden and some other countries in northern europe, he may find they, too, support tea-tip because they want jobs for members. in the end, what i would say to right honorable gentleman and all members across this house, this is an important moment for our country. so yes, there will be areas of disagreements between conservative and labour, but we're involved in trying to get the best negotiation for britain. and the european parliament plays a part in that. so i would urge all honorable members, if you want to have no more something for nothing, if you want to get britain out of ever-closer union, if you want fairness between those in the euro and those out of the euro, and you want a more competitive and successful europe, let's fight this together.
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>> mr. kenneth clarke. >> are you persuaded, kent? >> mr. speaker, the prime minister has actually achieved more on the big issues in this negotiation than i ever expected. and i suspect more than hardline euro skeptics ever expected, which is why they're denouncing it so fiercely. but as he says, he still has to deliver it. does he accept that he's going to have great difficulty persuading governments in central and eastern europe, in particular, to accept that their citizens lawfully working here alongside english people in key sectors like the health service and the construction industry should have lower take-home pay in the first few years than their english work mates? and so, if he has to offer something in exchange for that, could he perhaps consider
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underlining our nato commitment to those countries as their biggest concern is future military adventures by putin's russia? and to underline our role as one of if not the leading military contributor through nato to the european alliance, will be a very good offer to make by deploying more troops, perhaps, in order to get what is a difficult, difficult concession for our partners to make in those countries? >> prime minister. >> to my right honorable friend, he has huge experience of european negotiations, both treaty negotiations and also ongoing negotiations in the council of ministers. so i'm very grateful for what he says. look. he's absolutely right that these are difficult issues. my argument is that while we have the free movement of people, that many british people take advantage of, we don't have harmonized welfare and benefit systems, nor should we. and the second point i make to
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my colleagues in europe, when countries in europe have problems that they believe affect their key national interests, we've got to be flexible enough to deal with them. and i think that's what this agreement is showing. the advantage, of course, of the proposals put forward is that they will have the support of the european commission. and i think that will reassure some of the states in europe who have misgivings. he's absolutely right that we can also reassure them about our investment in their security because i think that is a very important issue with putin, as it were, to our east, with isil to our south. this is a moment where we need to make sure we're working together. >> angus robertson. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. we in the scottish national party warmly welcome the opportunity to make the positive case for the european union. it really matters that we're part of the world's largest single market. it really matters that we can help determine the rules and laws that apply to us and it really matters that we have a social europe with rights and protections for citizens and
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for workers. will the prime minister first off commit to a positive campaign to remain in the european union and not resort to the negative tactics of project fear? on the prime minister's negotiations, can i suggest that he stops pretending having won some major victory? he's not even secured treaty change he promised and much else besides. what is at stake is much, much bigger than recent discussions. it's about whether we are in the eu or not. and that is what the debate across the uk will be in the run-up to the referendum. the timing of the referendum really matters to the electorates and to the governments of scotland, of wales, and northern ireland, as well as london, where there are elections in may. and this morning, mr. speaker, the first minister of scotland, nicholas sturgeon, the labour first minister of wales, the first minister of northern ireland, i think the first ministers of northern ireland,
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wales, and scotland deserve a little bit more respect. from the tory side. the first minister of northern ireland, arlene foster, and the deputy first minister of northern ireland, martin mcguinness, have written to the prime minister today. they say the following and i think that honorable and right honorable members should listen to what they say. we believe that holding a referendum as early as june will mean that a significant part of the referendum campaign will necessarily run in parallel with those elections and risks confusing issues at a moment when clarity is required. we believe that the european referendum is of vital importance to the future of the whole united kingdom and the debate leading up to it should therefore be free of other campaigning distraction. we believe it would be better for you, for the prime minister, to commit to deferring the eu referendum at least until later in the year. so will the prime minister take
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the opportunity and confirm that he will be respectful of the views of the governments of scotland, wales, and northern ireland and defer the referendum beyond june? and finally, mr. speaker, may i take the opportunity yet again to ask the prime minister to answer this question, which he has singly failed to do so thus far. will he confirm that there are still no safeguards in place which would stop scotland being taken out of the eu against the will of the scottish electorate? >> first of all, let me say, yes, of course, i think that when this campaign comes, and of course, we need first an agreement and recommended position by the british government and all the rest of it, but when this campaign comes, yes, of course, it should be a positive campaign. in terms of what he says about treaty change and whether this is legally binding, as i explained, it is legally binding and it does envisage treaty change. in temps of timing, as i explained prime minister's questions, it is a matter for the house.
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the house debated it. ruled out coinciding with the scottish, welsh and london elections. but the house did not rule out holding a referendum at another time, and specifically, the former first minister said that six weeks was the appropriate gap. look, obviously we have to wait to see whether an agreement is reached. but where i disagree with him is i don't believe that somehow this is confusing issues. i think people are perfectly capable six or more weeks after one set of elections to consider another election. and i note that the leadership of the opposition, whose party is in control of wales, was actually pressing me to hold the referendum on the 23rd of june. so there's obviously a range of opinions out there. i think the best thing to do is get the deal done and then hold a referendum. >> sir william cash. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this is all about voters' trust. why has my right honorable
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friend in order to stay in bypassed so many promises and principles? our national parliament he said at bloomberg is the root of our democracy, not a majority of red cards in other parliaments. that we would have full-on treaty change, not the arrangements that we now have had announced to us today. we were promised a fundamental change in our relationship with the eu. we were promised that we would deal with the excessive immigrant numbers which has now been whittled down to an issue about in-work benefits controlled by the european court of justice. above all, this entire package, mr. speaker, we were told and promised would be both legally binding and also irreversible. but now, it will be stitched up by political decision by the european council and not by a
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guaranteed treaty change at the right time, and this, i have to say to the prime minister, is a wholly inappropriate way of dealing with this matter. >> great respect for my honorable friend, but i have to say, on this issue of whether it is legally binding, i really do believe he's wrong. if this document is agreed, it would be an international law decision, and as an international law decision, the european court of justice have to take it into account. i would make the point to him because he follows these things very closely. denmark negotiated the same sort of legal opt-outs and 23 years on, they clearly stand and are legally binding. those are the facts. now he asks whether we are meeting what we set out in terms of the promises we made. we made very clear promises in our manifesto. get britain out of ever closer that is a promise that we kept. make sure we restrict immigrants' welfare benefits.
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that is a promise that we're keeping. real fairness between euro ins and euro outs. that is a promise that we're keeping. in every area, more competitiveness. we've met the promises that we've set out. i understand there will be those who say we didn't ask for enough or we need more reform. i believe these are the reforms that go to the heart of the concerns of the british people, people who feel this organization is too much of a political union, it's too bureaucratic, it's not fair for non-euro countries, and we want more control of immigration. those four things are largely delivered through this negotiation. i would just ask, also, colleagues on all sides of the house, i've sat on benches this side, that side. i've heard about the mast strict treaty, the lisbon treaty, the nice treaty, the amsterdam treaty. but i've never seen a prime minister standing at this dispatch box with a unilaterally achieved declaration of bringing powers back to our country. that's what we've got. that's what's within our grasp. >> mr. allen johnston. >> will the prime minister join
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me in welcoming the launch for environmentalists for europe today co-chaired by stanley johnson, the father of the right honorable member in uxbridge. will he also welcome the splendid article last week, setting out the importance for science and technology of remaining in the european union, penned by the brother of the right honorable member? will he have a word with his right honorable friend and tell him the importance of family solidarity and joining the swelling ranks of johnsons for euro? >> prime minister. >> very good. we can't have too many johnsons agreeing with each other. he's absolutely right. also rachel johnson, the columnist, we'll have to go after her and make sure -- look. i think he makes a very important point about universities because we all complain rightly about the european budget and that's why it's so important we've got it under control and it has to fall
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every year. but we did safeguard in those budget negotiations the money that british universities benefit for on a disproportionate basis. as for completing the happy family pack of the johnsons, we may have to wait a little bit longer. >> i would call the right honorable gentleman to ask a question if he were standing, but he isn't. so i won't. you can't have it all. ron redwood. >> as we are driven in the new vehicle towards ever-closer union and to political union, how does it help to try and fit a couple of emergency breaks that lie within the control of the eu and not us? isn't the only way to get control of our borders, our tax revenues, and our welfare system to leave and be a good european and let them get on with their political union? >> prime minister. >> i don't agree with that. because i think actually what we're doing here is making sure that it's very clear, britain is carved out of ever-closer union. i think that's a real advance.
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indeed, it's something that he and other colleagues have been asking for, quite rightly, and i've always believed is right. because our view about europe is that we're not there for political union. we're there for cooperation. we're there for trade, for working together on the things that matter. and look, of course, these documents can change. this is all in draft, but one of the issues on ever-closer union is that actually the european union has gone further than i thought they would and have said this which i think colleagues will find interesting. the references to an ever-closer union do not offer a basis for extending the scope of any provision of the treaties or of eu's secondary legislation. they should not be used either to support an extensive interpretation of the competence of the union or the power of its institutions as set out in the treaty. now, that's never been said before in those ways. and those of us who care about ever-closer union and getting out of ever-closer union, this actually goes a long way to achieving in many ways, more than what we asked for.
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>> elise stewart. >> the european continent has seen flows of people and refugees larger since the end of world war ii. the balkans are becoming ever more volatile, and turkey is not behaving in a way which is as helpful as it could have been. have any of the negotiations the prime minister has been involved in actually increased the security of the european continent or the security of the united kingdom? >> prime minister. >> i would argue both. when it comes to the security of the continent, we recognize that europe's external border, although it's not our external border because we're not in schengen, it does matter. that's why we actually sent more representatives to go and help with the asylum and immigration support office than any other country and why we're happy to do even more, working with the greeks, indeed, working with the turks. but there's an important change in all of this which does increase the security of britain going forward. first of all, because we're not in schengen foreign nationals
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coming to other european countries, we don't have to let them into britain. long may that be the case. but the key changes that the home secretary and i have managed to secure about protecting our immigration system from fraudsters, from sham marriages, from criminals, from people who get married to european nationals to try to get into our country, frankly, they've become even more important. and the fact is, we're going to secure those, if this goes ahead, from within the eu. >> mr. boris johnson. >> since you've been so kind as to call me, perhaps i can ask the prime minister how these changes as a result of this negotiation will restrict the volume of negotiation, legislation coming from brussels will change the treaty so as to assert the sovereignty of this house of commons and of these houses of parliament. >> let me take those issues in turn because i think he's right to raise them.
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first of all, in terms of asserting the sovereignty of this house, that is something we did in 2010 through our european referendum act, but something i'm keen to do even more on, to put beyond doubt that this house of commons is sovereign and that is something we'll look to do at the same time as concluding these negotiations. in terms of what are we doing to restrict the flow of legislation from brussels, for the first time ever in here, is a commitment not only that europe has to examine all its competencies every year and work out what should be returned to nation states, but there's also the proposal to cut brussels regulation with these bureaucracy capped targets. that's never been there before. i would argue, if you look across this, you can see you have welfare powers coming back, immigration power coming back, bail-out powers coming back, and of course, the massive return of power we achieved, the biggest return of power from brussels to
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britain since we joined the eu. we've absolutely nailed that down in these discussions to make sure they can't get around it. these were all key objectives. i'm not saying this is perfect. i'm not saying the european union will be perfect after this deal. it certainly won't. but will the british position be better and stronger? yes, it will. >> nigel dodds. >> mr. speaker, since assuming office in 2010, the prime minister has on occasion tried to his credit to limit the increases in the contributions by the united kingdom to the european union budget. varying degrees of success on that front. can he now tell us as a result of this agreement, given that the uk pays 9 billion pounds and more net into the eu every single year, will he tell us how much our contribution is going to go down in net terms each year as a result of this agreement? >> well, we've already done the european budget agreement, which
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was for the first time, when you look at the seven-year financial perspective, that's the budget over the next seven years, that is going to be lower over this seven years than the last seven years. so that actually makes a -- there's a real terms cut, something no one thought would be possible to achieve. now the exact amount of money we give does depend sometimes on the growth and success of our economy. and one of the consequences of our strong growth and the difficult times in the eurozone, is that's meant a little bit more has been contributed. but the overall financial perspective is coming down and that's good news for britain. >> mr. dominic grieve. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my right honorable friend has achieved, i believe, quite remarkable result because of the legally binding nature of the document which he brings back, if it is accepted by the european council. in that context, he will know that one of the principled problems that has bedeviled the relationship with the european
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union has been the capricious interpretation of the treaties, sometimes to circumvent what the united kingdom has believed to be its true treaty obligations. in view of the remarkable specificity of this document, does he agree with me that this will be a very powerful tool in preventing that happening in future? >> i think my right old friend makes a very important point because if we stand back for a moment and ask ourselves how is it that powers have been taken from this house to brussels, it's really happened in two ways. one, you've had a successive range of treaties, passing competencies from britain to brussels. that can't happen anymore. so if any prime minister, me or any subsequent prime minister signed up to a treaty to pass powers, they couldn't. there would be a referendum. the second way that powers get passed is through the judgment of the european court of justice.
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that's why what's been secured on ever-closer union is important because it's saying that in terms, if we can get this agreed, you can't use that clause to drive a ratchet of competencies going from britain to brussels. so the two routes for further integration where britain is concerned, i think, have been effectively blocked off. >> liz kendall. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can the prime minister confirm that nothing in this renegotiation waters down important security cooperation at the eu level, like intelligence sharing, joint investigations and the eu arrest warrant and that when a deal is done finally, that he will join members on this side of the house making a strong case that our membership of the eu helps bring criminals to justice and keep britain safe? >> i want this deal to be done. and i think the security argument is an important one. i think there was, when my honorable friend the europe minister was answering questions
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yesterday, the point was made, is it consistent to say, as we do secure in this document, that national security is a national competence? is it consistent to say that, but also, to argue that europe is important for security? i believe it is. it's very important that we're clear that when it comes to our policing, when it comes to our intelligence services, when it comes to the core competences, they're for this house. they're for government decisions. but of course there are ways we can cooperate in europe to make yourself safer, making sure we know when criminals are crossing borders, making sure we exchange passenger name records and the rest, to keep us safe. which is why, when we opted out of the justice and home affairs area, repatriating about 100 powers to britain, we stayed in the ones that really matter for keeping us safe. and so i think that's very important in demonstrating we're both maintaining national security as a national competence, but working with our partners to keep our people safe. >> dr. liam fox.
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>> when i first said to the leader of the opposition that i prefer what he describes as the drama of the conservative party to the tragedy of his labour party. anyway. mr. speaker, whether or not an emergency brake kicks in is ultimately the decision of the european union, not the uk. the level of immigration at which it kicks in is ultimately a decision by the european union, not the uk. even the benefit sent abroad. is it not clear we are not sovereign in these areas? we do not have independent control over these areas and isn't ultimately the decision in the referendum on areas of our own laws and our own borders, whether we want them to be determined here by ourselves or overseas by someone else? >> prime minister. >> great respect for my right old friend and i thought he explained very clearly on the radio this morning that he would be for leaving the eu, even
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without the renegotiation. he was very honest and frank about this. in terms of drama and tragedies, i'm sure he'll join me in saying we shouldn't turn a drama into a crisis. i think that would be the right approach. but what i say to him about the emergency brake is that the european commission have been clear. they consider the kind of information provided by the united kingdom shows the precise situation that the mechanism is intended to cover exists in the united kingdom today. so i'm all for maximizing the sovereignty of this house, of this government, for our ability to do something. but we want no more something for nothing. we want a welfare break. we want to be able to deny benefits to people in full before they've been here for four years and this says that can happen as soon as the legislation allows. >> dr. alister mcdonalds. >> thank you very much. could i reassure the prime minister that most of us north of ireland agree with him that we would be much more successful
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in the european union than out? and could we urge that the referendum be held later than june so that all aspects could be fully discussed and debated? but could i ask him if and when all of the negotiations are completed that there's a positive stay of the referendum. that could he see the uk taking a more positive and engaged role within the structures and the organs of the european union? >> prime minister. >> what i say to the honorable gentleman is were there to be agreement in february, i don't actually think a four-month period before a referendum would be too short. i think four months is a good amount of time to be able to get across the key arguments and the facts and figures and for both sides to be able to make their point. i absolutely give him the guarantee that if there is to be an agreement, i will make sure i personally spend time in northern ireland making the points that i think are most important.
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as for the role of the eu in helping to bring out the successful transformation of northern ireland, i think there have been some very positive moves in terms of grants and structure and other funds to build the sort of structure in northern ireland that we need. >> peter lily. >> could i ask my right honorable friend to clarify the status on the migrant benefits? unless they conflict with the free demeanor of movement clause in the treaty. so if the proposed changes do not conflict with the treaty, we could have introduced them immediately without using our power of negotiating clout on this issue. but if the changes do not conflict with the treaty, they will be struck down by the eu court unless the treaty is changed first. >> what i say to my honorable
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friend is that the view is that this emergency brake can be brought in under the existing treaties, but only with legislation through the european parliament on an accelerated timetable. the leader of one of the major parties said it could take one, two or three months. that is what makes it clear that you could act in this way legally and crucially in my view and i think in the view of the british public. not just legally but quickly. >> kate hooey. >> will the prime minister when he meets the various leaders of the eu over the next few months make it quite clear to them that the result of this referendum is to be decided by the british people and that they should not fear in any way to the british people's view? would he particularly say that it was not helpful and very, very uncomplimentary to the
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people of northern ireland that he implied if the british people, united kingdom, decided to leave the european union that it would threaten the peace process? >> i absolutely agree with the t want to hear lectures from other people about that. i think look, because this does affect britain's relations with the rest of the world and other issues, that there may well be people who want to make a positive contribution and that's a matter for them. the only thing i would say about the peace process, i think it is secure and we must keep going on the. the other thing i would say is that i do believe he is a friend of the united kingdom. he spoke out very strongly for britain at the european council and i think was quite influential in trying to build good and i think was quite influential in trying to build s goodwill in saying that we shouldd all in the european unin
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that if a country has a nationa recognition, we need to be a flexible enough organization or otherwise we won't be able to d andt these things out. >> davis. >> the prime minister has said that if we vote to leave the eu he wants to continue as prime d minister, that combination that i would fully support. and he certainly fancies himself as a negotiator. and so, given that we have a net contribution each year to the eh of 19 billion pounds, given that we have a trade deficit with thi european union of 62 billion pounds and if we were to leave f we will be the single biggest export market of the european e union, does he have the abilityh to negotiate a free trade agreement outside the eu without handing over 19 billion pounds ? year? >> prime minister. >> i have great respect for my honorable friend who i think wanted to leave the eu, whatever came out of these negotiations. but, you know, i'm sure he'll hv
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make his arguments very s werfully. i think obviously you have totis look at all of the issues and i think people want to look at all of the would britain be better off in i customs union agreement, would we be better off in a free nd trade? with would we be better off in a sich ration like norway and iceland? i think the norway example is not a strong example because they actually contribute more per head to the eu than we do t and they have to take all of the legislation passed in brussels. but this will be an important part of the debate to come. in >> mr. david winnick. criti >> prime minister so far in the exchanges he doesn't seem to have persuaded any of the critics on his side over the gin virtues of his negotiations.e he may have persuaded the home secretary for reasons we understand, but apparently, none of the other critics.
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>> prime minister. >> maybe he can help me out. i don't know. very you know?issue fo look.n th this is a very important issue o for our country but in the end . it's not going to be decided in this chamber.wn all of us are going to have to reach our own conclusions.nd th. the only thing i would say is if you passionately believe in your heart that britain is better off outside the eu, then you k. should vote that way. if you think -- even it's off balance, go with what you think. don't take a view because of, ty you know, what your constituentr association might say or you're worried about a boundary review or you think it might be advantageous this way or that way. do what's in your heart. if you think it's right for britain, then do that. >> sir edward lee. ne >> since no one else has done it so far after nearly an hour, eo
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azumi mum said i should do, can i thank the prime minister for giving us a choice in the first place?e? hatgency br and is not one of the questionsa that we ask in this referendum is what is the point of having an emergency brake on your car r if the back seat driver, namely the european commission, has the power to tell you when and for how long you should put your foot on the brake pedal? >> this is rather a different situation. br prime minister. >> where they're telling us in advance because of the pressures we face, this is a brake that we can use and a brake that we can. use relatively rapidly after a referendum. and i think it would make a difference. the facts are these, that 40% of eu migrants coming to britain 0s are accessing the inwork benefit system. the average payment per family is 6,000 pounds. don't tell me 6,000 pounds isn'y a quite major inducement. i think over 10,000 people are getting 10,000 pounds a year.efr
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our benefit system because you getin instant access to it is ap unnatural pull and draw of our's one of the things we should do to fix immigration in your country is to fix it. that's where we're going to agree. >> >> will he acknowledge the fa referendum is won or lost on bet bigger issues than this renegotiation and not least of which the judgment that the greatest challenges facing us when the countries work ze together.s caus join me in welcoming the hoi establishment of the environmentalists for europe, highlights the crucial role thaf the eu plays in protecting our wildlife and nature in the country. >> >> prime minister. uine c >> i think where you have wo genuine cross border problems you need to work across bordersd to make sure you have a strong wisecurn. s s i think the key issues are prosperity and security. but within security comes environmental and britain at the paris accords was able to play a strong role because throw our example of
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getting carbon emissions down and having a strong plan for th. future, we encouraged other fo countries in europe to do the same thing. it brought about a better deal for the rest of the world. >> sir eric pickles. >> thank you, mr. speaker. what is being said about the conservative party manifesto that he and the rest of the benches fought on, i have an electronic copy of that in front of me now.iatio a should the prime minister succeed in his negotiations, he will achieve not only the letter of what we promise but also the spirit.perh perhaps most important of all, p he'll give the british people a chance to vote for reformed europe or to vote for the rabletainty of leaving. >> prime minister. f >> i'm very grateful to my honorable friend. i do think that we're deliverinp the manifesto in fact and in spirit not least by doing something many people thought we'd never deliver on which is
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to hold that referendum.ha i remember sitting over there cd where tony blair stood there ann said let battle commence over the constitutional h the fact that that referendum was never held i think in many d ways poisoned a lot of the debate in britain.he that's why the manifesto is so w clear.ett now some people will say a i better approach is to go in, t kick over the table, walk out the door and say i'm not comingo back in unless you give me a nt list of impossible demands. that was never the plan we set spec the plan we set out was to ig address specifically the biggest concerns of the british people about competitiveness, an n. ever-closer union, about fairness and migration.t this, that's what this negotiation, if we can complete it, that's what i believe it will do. >> caroline flint. >> tha >> thank you very much, mr. speaker.ker. can i congratulate the prime a minister on the progress he's made on tackling the unfairness in the freedom of movement, not to work but freedom of movement
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in some cases to claim benefits here in the uk? but could i ask the prime ion wh minister, if we left the european union, would this put at risk or cooperation with the french authorities in calais to protect uk borders?? >> prime minister. >> i'm grateful for what the honorable lady says. agree i think she raises an important point about calais. there's in doubt in any mind d r that the agreement that we have boitairedibly beneficial.ll bu it works well i think for both countries. o but for britain being able to have our border controls in france and make sure we deal t with people there, that is something i think that we shoul be very proud of and do erati everything we can to sustain. it is part of the european cooperation that we have. >> mr. michael fabricant. >> given the difficult of any any change to our eu membership approved by any of the other 27 countries, what we've got is as
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good as anyone i think might have expected and more and i congratulate the prime minister on his achievement.evemt honoraf but will my right honorable friend confirm that once a european council has made its decision, he will respect the views of those ministers who h might publicly address the opinion that the united kingdom should now leave the eu and thap the careers of those ministers a in this government won't be jeopardized or threatened as a o consequence? m >> i can certainly give my iend honorable friend that assuranceo we're still in the process of at negotiation and the manifesto wb all stood on said that we wanten to get the best possible deal for britain and we would work on that together.are that's exactly what we're doing once that deal, if that deal is agreed, whether it's february o perhaps later if it takes more time, then there will be a meeting of the cabinet to decida whether we can take a to the recommended position to the if a british people and if to position is to recommend that ny can stay in a reformed europeans
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union then, yes, at that point,a ministers have longstanding views an want to campaign in ha another direction are able to do that.ear the government will still have a position from which ministers can depart.uffer yes, as i've said, they shouldn't suffer disadvantage because they want to take that spea >> ms. shake. h >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister has now listened to the views of the eu [insident. and if other 27 heads of state in the european union about his proposals. and in the spirit of his very ea own one nation respect agenda nd will we also now listen to the t reviews of the heads of deinvolved government who are unilateral in their belief that his preferred referendum timetable is disrespectful and b wrong? umber o >> well, in terms of the respec agenda, my right honorable friend has had a number of conversations with the heads ofl
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the devolved administration and i think that's right. in terms of the referendum date, we need an agreement first. but i really don't believe that a four-month period a good six weeks or more between one set of elections and another set of elections with i don't believe that is disrespectful. havetorae i have great respect for the electorates of our countries that they're able to separate it and make a decision. of sir gerald howard. >> i commend my right honorable friend to sticking to his commitment to offer the british people a choice on this matter. would he not agree that the unid proposal to require the united s kingdom to secure the support of many continental parliaments to block any eu directive which un this parliament opposes does not constitute the fundamental >> wa reform that he seeks? >> prime minister. omething >> what i would argue is thest. red card proposal for national parliament is something new. something that different previously exist.
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now of course it will take a lot of coordination between the haveiaments. but where i think it's so much. more powerful is that this woult be an absolute block. if you could get the right an number of parliaments together m over an issue, the council and the commission wouldn't go ahead with it. i think it goes alongside the subsidiary test that takesirming place every year, reaffirming the sovereignty of parliament. as we have done and will do again. it is one more measure that demonstrates we believe in national parliaments. >> pat mcfadden. >> this is a much broader case for continued uk membership of the eu beyond the four items in the prime minister's negotiation based on jobs, our economic interest, our collective security and our place in the world. does the prime minister accept that if we voted to leave the os european union but then found ourselves still having to accepd all of the rules of the single
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market, that would be to swap our position as a rule maker for that of being a rule taker. that is not controlled and it is not the right future for a right great country.powerf >> as ever, the right old member speaks clearly and powerfully. of course he's right.t there are bigger arguments to place over the coming months ans i'm not over claiming about the four areas where we've made anogress. romerely say that they relate to four of the things that most concern the british people about europe and were some way down the road of fixing them.m.i th i think the point he makes about being a rule maker not a rule m taker is absolutely vital because you know britain is a u, major industrial economy, a huge car industry, aerospace industry very important services industry. and we need to make sure we're around the table making the because otherwise there's a danger. you're not just a rule taker but the rules are made against you.u that's what we need to avoid.
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>> sir nicolas soeb. >> mr. speaker, amongst the mea other importantsu measures successfullyly negotiated by my right honorable friend the prime minister, i welcome in particularof the need to becomee competitive to exploit the untapped potential of the singlh market and to press on with ar vital trade negotiations with the united states and other keyt partners. honorable gentlemanons confirm that when these negotiations are i hope happilye concluded ourst national debate must move on to the real questions of this referendum onm relating to the safety, the doma economic security and the anosperity of the united kung d kingdom? >> i think my friend isate at absolutely right. we're going to be holding this debate at a time of great uncertainty and insecurity in da our world. uk we have russia with its destabilization of ukraine to o our east.our s we have the horrors of daesh to
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our south. this is a time when we need to n work closely with our neighborse and friendsa to make sure we cap deliver greater security for our people. of course, it's true to say that the cornerstone of our security is vital. in the modern world, also border information, passenger name cors records, criminal records information systems, sharing r a information about terrorism, fighting together about the extremist we see not just in o syria and iraq butw tragically a our other countries, all across the european union, these are very important issues.ues. >> ben bradshaw. wh i wish him and the negotiating team well for what remain this was will he acknowledge that all th major threats and challenges s that britain faces as a countryc from international terrorism to climate change demand we work lo
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closely and collaboratively with our close neighbors and not relegate ourselves to a position of isolation and impotence?rease >> my judgment in all of this is i want things that increase the power and the ability of britain problems, to deal with and our own security, our own stability and prosperity. what matters isse are we more ah to deal with this?f one of the things europe needs to get right is get rid of the sort of petty bureaucracy that infuriate pep aople and focus o prosperity and jobs. that's the focus. president obama addressed reporters today following a meeting with national security and cyber security officials. the president highlighted how his budget will approach security issues and the administration's plans to combat cyber threats. he spoke for just under ten minutes.


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