tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN February 9, 2016 11:00am-1:01pm EST
>> the conditions you mentioned i believe are going to foment more pressure for migrants. that on top of the instability of governance that i spoke briefly about in my oral statement are going to make for a challenging situation in the future. >> thank you. >> turning to something that you touched on, the lack of capacity to deal with drug imports is something that is a real strategic and tactical challenge. we're suffering terribly in my home state of maine, with, with heroin new hampshire has one death overdose a may. in maine it's 200 a year. one death every weekday, if you will and we're trying to deal with the demand side and with the treatment and prevention. but keeping this stuff out to begin with and heroin is cheaper than it's ever been. which tells me that the supply is up. >> what, where should we be
putting our efforts on the interdiction side? >> well to the extent, think the working with the mexican government, particularly since that's where great deal of this comes from. is mexico and i think the partnership that we can engender with them is crucial to this. >> are they a serious partner? do they want to stop this? or do they see this as a cash crop? >> well it depends on who they is, in mexico. i think the national leadership would obviously like to stop the flow. but there are very, as you know, very powerful economic forces in mexico that auger against that. >> and we've got a lot of money. and so they also have a corruption problem, frankly. to deal with. so i think we need to be as aggressive as we can be, in
interdicting what we can. i mentioned earlier, for example, the tremendous impact of coast guard capabilities, when they're brought to bear. and as we discussed earlier, general kelly, the former commander of centcom, i've spoken to this many times, about not so much a lack of intelligence, but rather the lack of an operational capability to respond to the intelligence. to interdict. we have the, we have the intelligence capability, and the intelligence capacity. but it needs to be matched by a con commitment resource commitment. >> we need a greater commitment in terms of interdiction capacity? >> exactly. >> with just a few seconds left and perhaps you could take this for the record we always at these hearings talk about the cyberthreat. we've done some actions here. we finally got through a cyber bill last year about information-sharing. i'm still concerned about critical infrastructure and perhaps for the record you could
give us some thoughts about what further we should be doing here in congress or in the country in terms of critical infrastructure. because that's i think our one of our areas of greatest vulnerability. >> i share your concern and we'll provide some for the record. >> thank you, thank you, mr. chairman. jerks thank you both for your many years of service to our country. i would like to state that it's reassuring to hear so many members of the committee who voted to give the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism millions of dollars express their grave concerns about what iran might do with that money. i wish we had heard more of those concerns during the debate and before the vote on it director clapper, you testified last year in your 45 years of public service, this was the worst global threat environment you had ever seen, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> yes, sir, i have occasion to say it again. >> that was your point with senator mccain earlier.
it's the worst global threat environment now in 46 years? >> it's certainly the most diverse array of challenges and threats that i can recall. >> why is that? >> well, i think it's frankly, it's somewhat a function of the change in the bipolar system. that did provide a certain stability in the world. the soviet union and its community, its alliance. and the west, led by the united states. and all other threats were sort of subsumed in that basic bipolar conflict that was characterized by that instability. when that ended, that set off a whole range, a whole group of forces, i guess or dynamics around the world. that have changed. >> you both have long and deep
experience in the middle east. in your experiences, is the middle east a place that prizes concessions and negotiations? or strength and toughness? >> i would argue that in almost all these cases, strength is preferred over signs of weakness. >> do you believe that the appearance and reputation for power is important part of the reality of power in national security affairs? >> yes, senator. >> what would you believe sour current reputation for power in the middle east, after say 10 american sailors were videotaped kneeling at gun-point by iranian revolutionary guard corps forces? >> i don't know that that incident alone reflects the
perception of our strength and power. i think over the last several years there have been some concerns among our partners about our commitment to the region. our willingness to employ the force where our interests, both national and strategic interest lies. i think that's caused a little bit of concern among our partners about our commitment to the region. >> i would like to return to a question that senator hinrich raised, he raised the news that the saudi defense ministry and now the emiradi foreign ministry suggested they would be willing to deploy their troops to the ground in syria and asked you to assess the capability of those militaries, but threats, for good or for ill capability and intention in both of statements from saudi arabia and the uae, they both insisted they would need to see u.s. leadership in that effort. director clapper, do you have any idea what kind of leadership
they're talking about? what more they would expect to see from the united states that they apparently are not seeing at the moment? >> i don't know what, and i took it to mean specifically with respect to if they deployed a significant military force into syria. and i took it to mean the command and control capability that you know, the u.s. is pretty good at. i, that's what i took it to mean. >> general stewart? >> i think, i think the arab countries led by saudi arabia and the emiratis, would like to see more ground forces. to match their commitment. having said that, i do not assess that the saudi ground forces, would have either the capacity to take the fight on.
as i've said earlier, the emiratis, very capable. acquitted themselves well in yemen, lacked the capacity to take on additional fight elsewhere. i think the idea is how do you get more u.s. skin in the game. >> director clapper, in early october, shortly after russia began its incursion into syria president obama called it a big mistake, and quote doomed to fail. do you believe four and a half months later that russia's incursion into syria is a big mistake from their standpoint and doomed to fail? >> it could be a big mistake. one of the concerns the russians have of course, those with long memories is a repeat of afghanistan. and of course, that's why the russians to this point have avoided a significant ground force presence. they have about 5,000 personnel tied up in supporting the air operations advisers,
intelligence, et cetera. so long-term a mistake for them. they haven't enjoyed the success i think that putin anticipated. i think he, he believed that he would go in quickly and be able to leave early. and that is not turning out to be the case. and that they are getting into a long-term stalemate themselves. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman, good morning, gentlemen. i repeat what so many have said here. thank you for your public service. given what you've just said, general clapper, about russia being concerned about being bogged down and going back to the comments of senator cain, about the cash reserves of russia diminishing because of
the price of oil. and you mentioned that might erupt. can you give us a sense of when that might occur? >> senator nelson, i cannot. i don't know when that tipping point might occur. as i said, russian people have a great as it kpasty for enduring discomfort and inconvenience and pain. but i think at some point they will reach, reach a breaking point. and i, i think the russian leadership is mindful of that. and are very concerned about it. so this sustained economic
recession, which will go well into 2016, i think is somewhat of an imponderable to try to predict when, if it's sustained, to predict when that will cause a breaking point and when the street will say something. >> from an intel standpoint, putin can continue his diversions, crimea, syria, what-not to get the nationalistic fervor of the russian people continually stoked up. but when they can't get butter, and they get to the point that they realize that that's going more to guns, do we have any sense from the history of
russia, of all or from an intel standpoint. do we hear anything of the rumblings going on in russia that would give us a better idea of how to predict that timing? >> well, no. >> i don't think predicting you know, socialological dynamics is very difficult. when people will collectively reach a breaking point. that's kind of what happened with the demise of the soviet union. when the big lie, i think became evident to more and more people. that's another thing that the russians worry about is information. sand information from the outside world. the russians expend a lot of energy, time and resource on controlling information and controlling the message in russia.
so the combination of these factors, their ability to endure the gradual erosion of the economy of russia, their tight control of information, not unlike the heyday of the soviet union, makes it to me at least, very difficult to predict when all those forces will collide. >> let me ask about assured access to space. which is essential to our national security. we have a great deal of optimism as a result of what we're seeing, a number of companies now producing rockets. that seem to be quite successful. we have the likelihood of new engines being produced, but this senator is concerned, not in the
long-term, but more in the short-term, of is there a gap there. that if we do not have that russian-supplied engine, the rd-180, that we will not have the assured access to space. because of the alternative being number one that the delta 4 cannot be produced quickly enough. and number two, that it would be prohibitively expensive compared to the alternative of the atlas 5? >> i said earlier senator nelson, i'm in the customer mode. i have certain imperatives in terms of our assured access to space for. this is extremely crucial capability for the nation's safety and security. so i look to the providers of those who get those things into space. which for me is the air force.
>> i understand. >> to decide that. so the delta has worked great for us. we felt it was responsive, it was cost-effective. and it worked for us. are you concerned that there could be a gap? >> well i certainly would be. when we've had, when we've had to manage gaps, not so much because of launch, but simply because of capabilities in space, that is a great concern to us in the intelligence community. so yes, i would be very concerned about gaps. >> senator rounds? >> thank you, mr. chairman. director clapper and general stewart, thank you both for your service to our country. and we most certainly appreciate the participation that you have in this meeting today. in october of last year, the u.s. naval institute published a rather chilling article, detailing the long list of
advanced weaponry. that the chinese military has cloned by stealing from other nations. either through cyberespionage or reverse-engineering. what roles do you see the intelligence agencies taking to prevent this hemorrhaging of american technological advantage? >> well, i think it's our responsibility to insure that our policy makers and particularly the department of defense, are aware of the, this hemorrhage, if you will. of technological information that the chinese have purr loined. our duty to make sure people know about this and suggest ways to try to stop it. >> general stewart? >> i don't know if i could add anything more to that. we detect, we get an
appreciation, understanding of the threat vectors. it provide potential solutions, it's up to those with the technology who have been threatened, their intellectual property threatened, to take those countermeasures. we identify, we warn, we report. and it's over to the users. >> would you both with regard to the tools you have available today, do you have the appropriate equipment, tools and technology to be able to detect and report these, these attacks? >> yes, we do. but i do think and this gives me an opportunity for maybe a small commercial that we do sustain r&d, this is particularly important for all the i.c., but
particularly nsa that we stay ahead of cybertechnological developments in the, in the world domain for foreign intelligence purposes to stay abreast of these. >> what do you believe constitutes an act of war in cyberspace? what do you assess it would look like? when does it become an act of war? >> that's a great question, senator, one that we've wrestled with. to a certain extent, i guess it's in the eye of the beholder. this gets to the whole issue of cyber deterrence and all of those complex questions. but i think that's a determination that would almost have to be made on a case-by-case basis. depending on the impact. >> so if we were to suggest that it was time to define what an act of war in cyberspace would
be, would not be appropriate? or should we be looking at clearly defining what an act of war constitutes with regard to the cyberactivity? would that be helpful or not? >> i think it would be extremely helpful to have clear definitions of what constitutes cyber events versus acts of war. we generally look at all cyber events and define it as an attack. in many cases you can do reconnaissance, can you do espionage. you could do theft in this domain. we call cyberspace. but the reaction always is, whether it's an adversary, doing reconnaissance, an adversary trying to conduct operations in this domain. if we can get much fuller, definition of the range of things that occur in cyberspace, and then start thinking about the threshold where an attack is
catastrophic enough or destructive enough that we define it as an act of war, i think it would be extremely useful. >> have we done enough or a sufficient job in deterring cyberaggression? >> i think we have a pretty robust capability to understand the adversaries. i think most potential adversary understand that we have a capability. whether or not we are ready to use that, because that's the essence of deterrence. that an adversary actually feels we will use the capability that we have. i'm not sure we're there yet. and that goes beyond our ability to understand and to county the military capabilities. i think there's another dimension from convincing from a policy standpoint that we're
willing to use that capability. >> wouldn't it be a good idea a policy? >> to my understanding we don't have a policy whether to deter, respond. wouldn't it be good if we had a policy? >> mr. chairman, i always find it good to have a policy that guides the thingsky do as a military officer. >> i think that's not an earth-shaking comment. to tell you the truth. i don't think we'll stop the presses. the fact is, we don't have a policy. and i don't know how you act. when there's no policy as to how we respond to threats or actual acts of, of penetration into some of our most sensitive information senator sullivan? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and welcome, gentlemen. great to see two marines at the table. as the chairman knows the terms marine and intelligence are
considered synonymous by most. so glad to see -- >> really? glad to see you're bolstering that fine tradition. i wanted to focus a little bit on what's going on in the south china sea. >> and director clapper, last time you were here, you expressed concerns over the possible militarization of some of the formations that are being built up in that part of the world by the chinese and as you know, here we are a year later and that's exactly happened in terms of 3200 acres of new land. >> seven large land features, an air field, one of which is 10,000 feet long. what do you believe the chinese what do you believe their goals are in the region? >> well i think the chinese are very, very determined to sustain their exorbitant claims in the south china sea.
they've had this nine-dash line, claim for sometime. they have sustained that. i think they will continue with building up their capabilities on these outcroppings. >> do you think they're clearly looking to militarize those outcroppings? >> i think, not sure what you know, what the definition of militarize is, apparently president xi may have a different view, definition than we do. i think when you put in runways and hangars and start installing radars and start doing port calls with chinese navy and coast guard ships, they have not yet, i don't believe, actually landed any military fighter aircraft yet. but they have tested the air worthiness so to speak of their
air dromes with civilian aircraft. so i think it's very clear that they will try to exert as much possessiveness, if you will over this area, this area an the south china sea in general. >> i want to follow up on a point the chairman just made. as far as our policy, to counterthat. you know this committee in a bipartisan way certainly has been encouraging the white house, the military, to conduct regular ops in the region, preferably with our allies. our allies are all very motivated to see american leadership here. do you think we have clearly articulated what our policy is? do you think that regular fon-ops by u.s. military vehicles, ships, aircraft, with our allies is an important way to counteract the strategy that seems to have very little push-back on it right now?
>> well again this is -- a policy and we're just down in the engine room shoving intelligence coal. but i do think that we have made clearer the policy on freedom of navigation and have done at least two fon-op missions. >> do you think our allies understand what our articulated policy in the region is? >> i think they do and i think they welcome our navigation and operations, i think they are a bit reticent to speak publicly as of supportively as they do in private. >> let me turn to the arctic. i appreciated your both of your focus on the arctic. and your testimony and as you know there's been a dramatic increase in the russians' military build-up in the arctic. there's been statements by the deputy prime minister about how we should colonize the arctic. you even mentioned, director, in your testimony that the russians
would be prepared to act unilaterally to protect their interests in the arctic. let me just ask a couple of questions. and you both of you can answer them to the however you want. in terms of prioritization what do you believe the russians are up to with their dramatic build-up in the arctic? president putin certainly is somebody who probe force weakness. how do you think he's reacting to our actual plan force dramatically withdrawing the only arctic-trained forces in the active duty u.s. military? and do we need to be looking at kind of fon-op, operations in the arctic, particularly given that the russians have such a significant interest in the arctic? they've built up their northern fleet, they have 40 icebreakers and the strategic northwest passage is only going to be become more important. is that something we should be looking at, doing on a regular
basis? >> you cannance any or all three of those questions if you like. >> i can comment from a intelligence perspective that we are turning our attention to the arctic, there's about 6,000-kiloliter-long coastline that the russians have on the arctic. they've established, built around their northern fleet, a join command to oversee their military activities. they're refurbishing bases there. quantitatively they appear to have where they're going would be actually less than what they had in the arctic regions during the heyday of the cold war. but qualitatively it will probably be better. what has stymied the russians that i alluded to was the grand plans for investing there, particularly with energy extraction have been stymied because of the economic reception.
-- recession. and they need foreign technology from a technological standpoint an are not getting it because of the economic extremes they're in. so yes, the arctic is important. we engage with the countries that are a part of the arctic council, notably canada and norway. we're stepping up our intelligence-sharing with those countries. in terms of what the russians are doing there. >> as far as what we do about it and troop deployments, that's kind of not our department. you can give us assessment on what you believe putin would think as he builds up the arctic, we're withdrawing forces from the arctic. and you're assessment of how he operates and thinks, what does he think about that? how will he review a reduction in arctic forces by the united states when he is dramatically building up forces? you can certainly answer that question. >> i don't know what he thinks, i don't read his mind.
but i guess any time he sees an opportunity where he believes we're reducing or not being, prevalent, then if he, if he, if that serves his purpose, he'll take advantage of it. >> general, any views? >> the russians intend to increase their ability to control the arctic regions. they've built air bases, they're building missile defense capability, both coastal and naval missile defense capability. they're doing that for economic and military reasons. in the absence of something that counters that, they will continue to expand so there is, i think an imperative that we have both the willingness and the capacity to push back on their control or dominance of the arctic region. >> i think they're probably in place where they would be willing to negotiate and discuss how you conduct operations in
the arctic. but they need to have something to push against. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator king feels compelled to ask an additional question. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think. a quick question about money. two questions, actually, where does north korea get its money? it doesn't seem to be much of an economy, yet its building missiles, military capability build-up. where is their funding? >> their primary trading partner of course is china by far. probably 90% of their trade. they, and the biggest single export from north korea to china is coal. they get it by 1.2 billion a year in coal sales and it's illicit finance. illicit finances, they have an organized approach to laundering
money and this sort of thing. but most of their trade in north korea is natural resource-heavy. so the chinese exploit that. so that's where they get the lion's share of that. >> is it safe to say that if china decided they didn't like the direction of north korean policy they could have a significant influence over it? >> i don't think there's any question that to extent that anyone has leverage over north korea, it's china. >> second follow-up question. this time about russia, what percentage of the russian budget is funded by oil revenues? >> i'll have to take that for the record. but a large part is, a significant proportion of their budget is, i think is from oil revenue. >> you talked about a 4% contraction in their economy over the past year, which is projected to continue into this year? >> correct. >> and at some point it seems to me they're going to reach a point where they run out of money. and i wouldn't imagine they would be too good of credit on
the world credit market. >> they do have very significant reserves, financial reserves they've built up over the years they're starting to eat into. you're quite right. over an extended period, they can't sustain that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> quickly director, general kelly testified before this committee about the issue of this manufactured heroin, which has now become a major issue all over america. particularly the northeast and the midwest, this dramatic increase in heroin drug overdoses. some of it kroms across a land border. general kelly testified before this committee because of his lack of assets, he watches sometime seaborn transportation of drugs that land in various places in the caribbean and come up into the united states. isn't that an issue that, that you can trace to some degree to
sequestration, but also the old squeezing the balloon theory? >> well, i can't say attributable to sequestration or not. i do know that there is a great deal of intelligence that the intelligence community produces on drug flow into the united states. and some of that has shifted to seaborne -- >> yes, seaborne interdiction with these semi submersible vehicles that are sailed to american coast. and the difficulty has been not enough operational resources, and particularly coast guard or navy resources that could be used to take advantage of the intelligence that is produced. i saw general kelly speak to that, just about every year he testified. >> the interesting thing about this is if you talk to literally
any governor in the northeast or midwest of this country today, they would say that this is practically an epidemic, a dramatic increase in heroin drug overdose deaths. and now we're going to have this agreement with the farc, which all of us won in columbia. does that mean that all of these farc people will go into the drug business? >> they certainly could. and oert thing, sir, i alluded briefly to this in my statement is of course we're seeing an increase in cocaine, occasioned by, it comes from colombia and as part of this agreement, and also i think, president santos, took heed of what we're presenting to him as environmental impacts of the eradication program. that had been existent in columbia for some years. so they're stopping the drug eradication and trying to appeal to the farmers to grow other crops, which probably will be a
challenge. >> you saw that experiment in afghanistan. >> trying to get the farmers to go to other crops rather than poppies. it was a failure. >> well it didn't seem to work, no. i mean, there's so much money to be made. and it has such a, a huge money-maker. that it's very hard, i think to find other, alternate crops that are legitimate that are equally profitable. >> finally, i apologize for imposing on your time. but one thing we know is the ergo mesh, the company that sells the russian rocket engines to the united states is rife with people who are cronies of vladimir putin. people who have been sanctioned. part of criminal activities. wouldn't it be better for us to rather than giving tens of millions of dollars to putin and
his cronies, to buy more deltas? as part of the solution? and i know your answer is going to be, you're the purchaser. i also think that this almost borders on a national security issue. because if we're going to give tens of millions of dollars to people who are known thugs and putin himself who is just recently implicated by the british for the murder of a former kgb agent in london. the assassination of boris nemtsov in the shadow of the kremlin, for us to unnecessarily provide the russians with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, doesn't seem to me to be a logical way to do business particularly if we have the opportunity to buy more deltas and have the development of
russian rocket engines here in the united states. which people like spacex and others are working on. do you have any comment? >> i -- would agree with you. i'm interested in the service. in lift and launch and getting our reconnaissance satellites deployed on time. and i would many prefer that the, the totality of the system, that gets those satellites into orbit were american. >> i thank you, senator reed? >> i simply want to thank both general stewart and general clapper for their testimony and service in particular. and in particular, general clapper, thank you again for your extraordinary service to the nation. >> sometimes we have hearings that are maybe not too productive. i view this as one of the more helpful hearings that we have had before this committee. and i thank the witnesses for their candor and their wisdom. this hearing is adjourned.
senate majority leader mitch mcconnell tweet tht response today. congress will review its final senate proposals and priorities, calls for new taxes, spending and debt. house speaker paul ryan released a statement that said in part on the budget, president obama will leave the office having proposed a budget that never balances, ever. it is not a budget as it is a recipe for growing the government. president's oil pac ace loan would raise the average cost of gasoline by 24 cents a gallon while hurting jobs in the major sector of the economy. meshes deserve better we need to tackle our fiscal problems before they tackle us. house republicans are working on a budget that grows our economy in order to secure a confident america. the white house budget director shawn donovan will lead an explanation of what's in the president's budget plan. c-span 2 will have a live coverage of that beginning at 1:00 p.m. eastern and also we
take you to a pentagon where a series of officials explain what's in the defense department budget plan for 2016 at 1:30 clarification, 1:30 here on c-span 3. and at 2:30 eastern, fbi director john comey and michael rodgers testify before the senate intelligence committee about global security threats. other witnesses include national intelligence director james clapper and defense intelligence agency director lieutenant-general vincent stewart. i'm currently on the fence between hillary and bernie. and the most important issue to me in this election is education, i'm an high school teacher and an elementary school teacher. i want to know where their stance is on the common core and what they want to do with that. >> what's most important to me is our national debt. it's going to affect us teens and what i find most important is not who you're voting for, because i'm not endorsing
anyone. i want you to get out to your polls and use your voice, your vote is your voice, use it. >> my number one issue in this campaign is getting big money out of politics. citizens united needs to be overturned. until we address that in our politics, everything else is going to keep getting worse and worse, a very small number of people are making decisions about what comes before the rest of the population. for that reason i'm supporting bernie sanders. >> i believe it's every american citizen's duty to politically active and to vote in elections. as a first-time voter i'm trying to figure out what i like. i'm bouncing from candidate to candidate. campaign to campaign. events and i'm here at marco rubio's pancake breakfast. i believe there's a candidate for everyone. and i'm really excited to find out who i like and who i'll vote for.
>> . british prime minister david cameron talked to the house of commons. the uk will decide whether to leave or stay in the 28-member european union. following the president's remarks, he responds to questions from house members, this lasts about an hour. >> with permission, mr. speaker, i would like to make a statement on progress with our renegotiation, the house has had a chance to study the documents published by the european council yesterday. i believe this is an important milestone in the process of reform. renegotiation, and referendum that we set out in our manifesto and which this government is delivering. we've legislated for that referendum and we are holding that renegotiation. so let me set out the problems that we are trying to fix and
the progress that we have made. first, we don't want to have our country banged up in an ever-closer political union in europe we are a proud and independent nation with proud and independent democratic institutions that have served us well over the centuries. for us, europe is about working together to advance our shared prosperity and our shared security. it's not about being sucked into some kind of european superstate, not now, not ever. mr. speaker, the draft text set out in full the special status according to the uk and clearly carves us out of further political integration, and actually go further to make clear that eu countries don't even have to aim for a common defendant nation. this is a formal recognition of the flexible europe that britain has long been arguing for. in keeping britain out of ever-closer union. i also wanted to strengthen the role of this house and all national parliaments.
we now have a prosecute proposal in the text that if brussels comes up with legislation we don't want, we can get together with other parliaments and block it with a red card, and we've also proposed a new mechanism to finally enforce the principle of subsidia subsidia subsidiary. which states as far as possible power should sit here in this parliament, not in brussels. so every year the european union has got to go through the powers they exercise, and work out which are no longer needed and should be returned to nation states. second i said we wanted to make europe more competitiveth and deal with the rule-making and the burkky that can cost jobs here in britain and across the european union. we ask for commitments in all the areas. we want international trade deals signed, a single market completed and regulations stripped back. all of these things are covered in the draft tex techses, there's a new proposal for specific targets to reduce the burdens on business in key
sectors, this will particularly help small and medium-sized businesses and a new mechanism to drive the targets through and cut the level of red tape year on year. >> we are absolutely clear that britain is going to keep the bank, in my view, forever. we need to be clear that we can keep the pound in the european union that will be fair to our currency. put simply, the eu must not become a euro-only club. if it does, it would not be a club for us. so we call for a series of principles to protect the single market for britain. we said there must be no discrimination against the pound no disadvantage for businesses that use our currency. wherever they're located in the eu and no option for britain ever again to be forced to bail out eurozone countries, all of these principles are reflected in the draft text which is legally binding. and there's a mechanism. britain has the ability to uphold these principles and protect our interests.
mr. speaker, we should be clear, british jobs depend on being able to trade on a level playing field whether in financial services or cars or anything else. this plan, if agreed, will provide the strongest possible protection for britain from discrimination and unfair rules and practices. for instance, you can never again the eu try its so-called location policy. the settling of complex trades in euros must only take mace in eurozone countries, these principle was outlaw that sort of proposal. mr. speaker, these are protections we could not have if britain were outside the european union. we want to deal with the pressures of immigration which have become too great. we need to do more to control migration from outside the european union. we are doing that and we will be announcing more measures on that front. we need to control migration from within the eu, too. the draft text represent the strongest package we've ever had
on abuse of free movement and closing down the back-door routes to britain. it includes freedoms to act against fraud and prevent those from posing a serious threat from coming this to this country and overturn as decision by the european court which has allowed thousands of illegal migrants to marry other eu nationalings and acquire the rights to stay in our country and it's been the source of frustration that we can't impose our own immigration rules on third-country nationals coming from the european union. after the hard work of the home secretary we have a proposal to put that right. mr. speaker, there are also new proposals to reduce the pull factor that our benefit system exerts that people said europe wouldn't even recognize that we had this problem. but the text explicitly recognizes that welfare systems can act as an unnatural draw to come to this country. mr. speaker, our manifesto set out four objectives to solve this problem. i mention these at prime
minister questions, we've delivered on two of them within months of general election, eu migrants would no longer be able to claim universal credit. the new unemployment benefit while looking for work. and eu migrants can no longer claim the universal credit. and if those coming from the eu haven't found work in six months, they can be required to leave. in these texts, we've secured proposal says for the other two areas. if someone comes from another country in europe, leaving their family at home, they'll have their child benefit paid at the local rate, not at the generous british rate. and crucially, we've made progress on reducing the draw of our generous in-work benefits. people said it would be impossible to end the idea of something for nothing. and that a four-year restriction on benefits was completely out of the question. but that is now what is in the text. an emergency break that will mean people coming to britain from within the eu will have to wait four years until they have full access to our benefits. and the european commissioner
said very clearly that britain qualifies already to use this mechanism. so with the necessary legislation, we'd be able to implement it shortly after the referendum. finally, let me be absolutely clear about the legal status of these changes that are now on offer. people said we would never get something that was legally binding. but this plan, if agreed, will be exactly that. these changes will be binding in international law and will be deposited at the u.n. they cannot be changed without the unanimous agreement of every eu country, and that includes britain. so when i said i wanted change that is legally binding and irreversible, that is what i've got. and in key areas, treaty changes envisaged in these documents. so, mr. speaker, i believe we are making real progress in all four areas, but the process is far from over. there are details that still need to be pinned down, and intense negotiations to try and agree the deal with 27 other countries. it will require hard work, determination, and patience to see it through.
but i do believe that with these draft texts, and with all the work we've done with our european partners, britain is getting closer to the decision point. it is of course right that this house should debate these issues in detail. so in addition to this statement, and of course a statement following a council later this month, the government would also make time for a full day's debate on the floor of this house. mr. speaker, as we approach this choice, let me be clear about two things. first, i'm not arguing and i will never argue that britain couldn't survive outside the european union. we are the fifth largest economy in the world, the biggest defense player in europe, with one of the most extensive and influential diplomatic networks on the planet. the question is not, could britain succeed outside the european union, is it how will we be most successful? how will britain be most prosperous? how will we create the most jobs? how will we have the most influence on the rules that shape the global economy and affect us? how will we be most secure?
and i've always said that the best answers to those questions can be found within a reformed european union. but let me say again, if we can't secure these changes, i rule nothing out. >> now, second, even if we secure these changes, you'll never hear me say that this organization is not fixed. far from it. there are many things to be reformed. and britain will lead the way. we will 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 be forced to bail out the eurozone with our taxpayers money and never be a part of a super state. 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 parliaments, the prime minister didn't think to come and update our own parliament first. i hope he had a good day in chippenham yesterday, but i note he spent a lot of time answering questions from journalists, when it would be more respectful to come here first and answer questions from members. in truth, mr. speaker, his negotiation and 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 cameras over the whole continent. mr. speaker, as his own back benches keep telling us, proposals for the european council are on the edges and have little impact for what the eu delivers for workers in britain or british businesses. we welcome 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 workers benefits for 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 a fig leaf for increasing pressure to privatize our public services, reduction
of consumer standards, environmental protection, or workers rights? this is why labor will continue to oppose the threats to services and rights from the tea-tip negotiations. 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. 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 super state. 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 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 23rd, 2016? >> prime minister. >> can i thank the right old gentleman for his questions. 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. [ laughter ] now, in terms of the questions, first of all, he criticizes the 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 labor manifesto, but i did, and 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 were supported by labor. 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 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 making sure there are more investigations and more prosecutions. now on tea-tip which 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 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 all members across this house, this is an important moment for our country. so, yes, there will be areas of disagreements between conservative and labor, but we're involved in trying to get the best negotiation for britain.
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. >> mr. kenneth clarke. >> are you persuaded, kent? >> mr. speaker, the prime minister has 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 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, 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 grateful for what he says.
he's absolutely right, 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, 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, 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 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 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 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 labor first minister of wales, the first minister of northern ireland, i think the first ministers of northern ireland, wales, and scotland, deserve a little bit more respect. 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 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 safe guards 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 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. >> the house debated and 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, 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 trust. why has my right honorable 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 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 union. that's a promise we kept. make sure we restrict immigrants' welfare benefits. that's a promise we're keeping. real fairness between euro ins and euro outs. that's a promise 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, 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
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 me in welcoming the launch for environmentalists for europe today by the father for 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. >> 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, 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 every year. but we did safeguard in those budget negotiations the monies 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. you can't have it all. >> 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. 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. 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 constitutions 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. >> 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 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 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 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. 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 and worked 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 power 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 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 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, 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 results 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 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. 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. 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. 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 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, 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, 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. >> 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. 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 a decision by the european union, not the uk. even the benefit sent abroad. we don't have independent control over these areas and isn't ultimately the decision in the referendum on areas of our own laws and 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 without the renegotiation, he was very honest and frank about this. in terms of drama and tragedies, i'm sure we'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, the 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 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. alster mm donalds. >> 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 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 ended 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 the i guess figures and both sides to be able to make shire 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. as for the role of the ei is helping to bring out the successful transformation of northern ireland, i think there have been positive moves in terms of grants and structure and other funds to build the sort of structure in northern a ir ireland. >> could i ask you 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 friend is that the view is that this emergency break 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 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 make it clear to them that the results of the
referendum is to be decided by the british people and that they should not ber fear in any way to the british people's view, particularly say that he implied that the british people, the united kingdom decided to leave the european union that it would threaten the peace process? >> i absolutely agree with the honorable lady. this is a decision for the british people alone. they certainly don'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, 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 it is i think the peace process is secure and we must keep going on it. the only thing i would say is i believe he is a friend of the united kingdom.
he spoke up very strongly for britain at the european council and was quite influential is trying to build good will in saying that we should all recognize that if the a country has a national recognition, we need to be a flexible enough organization or otherwise we won't be able to sort these things out. >> davis. >> the prime minister has said that if we vote to leave the eu he wants to continue as prime 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 eu of 19 billion pounds, given that we have a trade deficit with the european union of 62 billion pounds and if we were to leave we will be the single biggest expart market of the european uni union, does she have the ability to negotiate a free trade
agreement outside the eu without handing over 19 billion pounds a year. >> prime minister. >> i have great respect for my friend who wanted to leave the eu, whatever came out of these negotiations. i'm sure he'll make his arguments pourfully. you have to look at all of the issues and i think people want to look at all of the alternatives. would britain be better off in a customingses union agreement, would we be better off in a free trade. i think the norway example is not a strong example because they actually contribute more per head to the eu than we do and they have to take call of the legislation passed in brussels. but this will be an important part of the debate to come. >> dr. david winnick. >> prime minister, in these
exchanges he doesn't seem to have persuaded any of the critics on his side over the virtues of his negotiations. he may have persuaded the home secretary for reasons we understand but apparently none of the other critics. >> prime minister. >> maybe he can help me out. i don't know. look. this is a very important issue for our country but in the end it's not going to be decided in this chamber. all of us are going to have to reach our own conclusions. the only thing i say is if you passionately believe in your heart that brit season better off outside the eu, then you should vote that way. if you think -- even it's off balance, go with what you think. don't take a view because of, you know, what your constituents seesh yags might say or you're worried about a boundary overview. do what's in your heart. if you think it's right for
britain, then do that. >> sir edward lee. >> since no one else has done it so far after nearly an hour, i think the prime minister for giving us a choice in the first place. and is not one of the questions that we ask in this referendum is what is the point of having an emergency brake on your car if the back seat driver, 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. >> prime minister. >> 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 are accessing the innetwork
benefit system. the average payment per family is 6,000 pounds. don't tell me 6,000 pounds isn't a quite major indunesment. i think over 10,000 people are getting 10,000 pounds a year. our benefit system is an unnatural to your country. 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. >> not least on the judgment that the greatest challenges facing us when the countries work together. join me in welcoming the establishment of the environmentalists for europe, highlights the crucial role that the eu plays in protecting our wildlife and nature in the country. >> prime minister. >> i think where you have genuine cross border problems
you need to work to have a strong solution. i think the key issues are prosperity and security. but within security comes environmental security. and britain was able to play a strong role because throw our example of getting carbon emissions down and having a strong plan for the future, we encouraged other country 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 for. the should the prime minister succeed in his negotiations, he will achieve not only the letter of what we promise but also the spirit. perhaps most important of all, he'll give the british people a chance to vote for reformed europe or vote for the
uncertainty of leaving. >> prime minister. >> i'm very grateful to my honorable friend. i believe we're delivering the machine fes to by doing something that we would not deliver on. which is to hold the referendum. i remember sitting over there where tony blair stood there and said let battle commence over the constitutional treaty. the fact that that referendum was never hold poisoned a lot of the debate in britain. that's why the manifesto is to clear. now some people will say a better approach is to go in, kick over the table, walk out the door and say i'm not coming back in unless you give me a list of impossible demands. that was never the plan we set out. the plan we set out was to address specifically the biggest concerns of the british people about competitiveness, an ever closer union, about fairness and migration. that's what this negotiation, if we can complete it, that's what i believe it will do.
>> caroline flint. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. can i congratulate the prime minister on the progress he's made on tackling the unfairness in the freedom of movement, not to work but freedom of movement in come case to claim benefits here in the uk. but if we left the european union would this put at risk our cooperations with the french. >> i'm grateful for what the honorable lady says. there's in doubt in any mind that the agreement that we have is incredibly beneficial. it works well for both countri s countries. but for britain to have our border controls in france and make sure we deal with people there, that is something we should be very proud of and do everything we can to sustain. it is part of the european
cooperation that we have. >> mr. michael. >> 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 good as anyone might have expected and more and i congratulate the prime minister on his achievement. 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 might publicly address the opinion that the united kingdom should now leave the eu and that the careers of those ministers in this government won't be jeopardized or threatened as a consequence? >> i can certainly give my honorable friend that assurance. we're still in the process of negotiation and the manifesto we all stool stood on said that we wanted to get the best possible deal for britain and we would work on that together. that's exactly what we're doing. once that deal, if that deal is
agreed, whether it's february or perhaps later if it takes more time, then there will be a meeting of the cabinet to decide whether we can take a recommended position to the british people and if to position is to recommend that can stay in a reformed european union then yes at that point, ministers have long standing views an want to campaign in another direction are able to do that. the government will have a position from which ministers can depart. they shouldn't suffer disadvantage because they want to take that view. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister has now listened to the views of the eu president. and in the spirit of his very own one nation respect agenda will we also listen to the reviews of the heads of government who are unilateral in their belief that his preferred
referendum timetable is disrespectful and wrong. >> well in themselves of the respect agenda, my right honorable friend has had a numb with ber of conversations with the heads of the 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 were a good six weeks or more between one set of elections and another set of elections with i don't believe that is disrespectful. i have great respect for the electorates of our country that they're able to separate it and make a decision. >> sir general howard. >> i commend my right honorable friend to sticking to his kit commitment to offer the british people a choice on this matter. would he not agree that the proposal to require the united kingdom to secure the support of many continental parlmentes to
block any eu directive which this parliament opposes does not constitute the fundamental reform that he seeks? >> prime minister. >> the red card proposal for national parliament is something new. now of course it will take a lot of coordination between the parlmentes. but where it's more powerful is that this would be an absolute block. if you could get the right number of parliaments together over an issue, the council and the commission wouldn't go ahead with it. i think it goes alongside the subsidiary class that takes place every year, reaffirming the sovereignty of parliament. >> 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, or economic
interest, collective security and our place in the world. does the prime minister accept that if we voted to leave the european union but then found ourselves still having to accept all of the rules of the single 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 country. >> the right honorable member speaks powerfully. of course he's right. i'm not overclaiming about the four areas where we've made progress. i merely say that they relate to four of the things that most concern the british people abeurope and were some way down the road of fixing them. i think h points he makes of being a rule maker not a rule taker is vital. because you know britain is a major industrial economy, a huge
care industry, aerospace industry and we need to make sure we're around the table making the rules. otherwise there's a danger you're not just a rule taker but the rules are made against you. that's what we need to avoid. >> sir nicolas soeb. >> amongst the other important measures successfully negotiated, i welcome in particular the recognition of the european need to press on with the vital trade negotiations with the united states and other key partners. will the right honorable friend confirm that when these negotiations are i hope happily concluded our national debate must move on to the real questions of this referendum relating to the safety, the economic security and the prosperity of the united kingdom and the role we are to play in the world in the decades to
come? >> prime minister. >> i think my right honorable friend is right. we're going to have hogd this debate at a great time of uncertainty. we have russia with destabilization and this is a time when we need to be working closely with our neighbors and friends to make sure we can deliver greater security for our people. now of course it's true to say that a cornerstone of our security is nato, is our five eyes partnership and our special relationship with the united states. these things are vital. but in the modern world also border information, passenger name records, criminal records information systems, sharing information about terrorism, fighting together against the extremists that we see not just in syria and iraq but tragically in our own countries across the european onon, these are
important issue. >> brin bradshaw. >> i wish him and the negotiating team well for what remains of the process. will he acknowledge that all of the threats and challenges that britain faces as a country demand that we work closely and collaboratively with our close neighbors and not relegate ourselves to a position of isolation and impotence. >> prime minister. >> well, my judgment in all of this is i want things that increase the power and the ability of britain to fix problems, to deal with our own security, our own stability and our own prosperity. what matters are we more able to deal with these things. now one of the things that europe needs to get right is to get rid of the bureaucracy on the small things and focus on security, prosperity and jobs. that's the focus. our president today -- obama sent to congress his eighth and
final budget proposing to spend a record 4 hadn't $1 trillion launching a new war on cancer and fighting global warming and isis. the defense budget would get nearly maf of the research and development budget. they're holding a briefing this afternoon at 1:30 to explain their budget plan. we'll have live coverage as the department heads explain their budget needs. the british house of commons home affair committee questioned witnesses from organizations dealing with the radicalization of young people. members asked questions regard in roles of teachers. this is about 45 minutes. my apologies for keeping you
waiting. we're extremely grateful for you coming here and for being part of this inquiry that we're holding into counter terrorism. >> just for the record, chair, ms. jeffer is a kons lore in my constituency and a constituent. i'm proud of her but i feel the need to declare it for the record. >> you're quite right to do so. thank you very much. i want to start with both of you. this is as a result of the evidence we've received so far, what do you think mr. mohammed is the tipping point in what turns young british muslims in particular -- because if you look at the profile, that certainly seems the vast majority of those that go abroad. although there are others that
go abroed. being in the prime minister's words, law abiding citizens, the resent yent of everything that is good that this country has to offer. i know what the country has to offer. -- that turns them into people that want to suddenly leave your parents and go fight abroad and give everything up. what's that tipping point? help the committee find that tipping point. >> first of all, i'm not an expert in radicalization or counter terrorism. but we do work with the muslim communities and it's crossover. i guess if i can answer that question with a slightly longer answer. >> not too long. >> not too long. >> but your opinion is fine. we're not looking necessarily for the world's greatest professor and ph.d. in this. what's your gut feeling on these issues? >> i think there's probably not just a tipping point. i think having listened to some
of the sessions and just, you know, been involved in this work, i think one of the things i find is that people are seen as a health issue, education issue or extreme issue. with the work we've been doing, you can't disintangle all of those different elements. that's not a very helpful answer but it's probably one that i think is more truthful. and i think there's and ecosystem of different factors involved and different bodies and different influences. and it probably varies from case to case as well. and i think it's something that's in flux. >> your organization f.a.s.t. does some effective work with those who are suffering in this way. and i use the word suffering because it's the families who try to cope with what has happened. >> yes. >> and we heard some evidence from the sister of someone who
had gone abroad to fight for daesh. i don't know whether you saw the evidence being given. >> yes. >> do you think there is a particular reason, a particular point that people cross and therefore nobody can stop reach? or are we trying to find a template which just simply doesn't exist? >> the template is not there yet, but we are working on it. we have some evidence by working in the community and especially with the families we work with that top of the list is up til now it is foreign policy. young people are not happy with the foreign policy. the other one, second one comes to our attention is that there is lack of communication. communication has been broken down in families itself. so the old generation and younger generation are not able to communicate together so that
they can get the values from their old generation. the third one is young people, adolescent minds, they want to show something, they want to be the heroes. people they want other peer group to look up to them. and there is a power -- there's a lot of power and heroism as well. so all these factors come into existence when somebody makes up their mind to go over to fight. when i speak to these people, they don't really understand islam that much. they have no basic knowledge of islam. they just listen from here and there. and they think that it's their duty. but when we probe into what is your duty as an islam, a muslim person, they don't have any clue. >> yes. because one of the points that's
always made and has been made in all the years this committee has looked at this issue is that the parents should be doing much more. why are the parents not controlling their children? but the evidence we've received and conversations certainly i've had is that the parents in many cases are the very last people to know. >> to know. that's true. >> is that what you found? >> that is 100%. the cases i have done since 2007 and 90% of the parents they had no clue. i mean, i'm working in cardiff. i went to bradford as well not long ago. we have cases all over the country. in cardiff, i mean, this is public knowledge now so i can say this, the medical student first son of that family, he told his father that he's going to medical seminar and went to syria.
three days later he text his mother to say i'm in syria. please pray for me. i may not come back. so he's still there. so most of the time when we go and see these families, they say what have we done wrong? they beat themselves so much saying what have we done wrong, why did it happen to us. but they had no clue. no telling signs at all. it was all happening somewhere. and young people were preparing. and last minute after they've gone parents come to know about them. >> mr. mohammad, you're obviously doing valuable work, is there any support you get from any official body? >> no, we've never looked for that support.
partly because i think, you know, within communities that i work with having government is something that can be quite stigmatizing and potentially leading to a lack of trust as well. i think we found it more efficient and quicker to actually work outside of the system to get our stuff produced whether it's health resource or projects around raising aspirations for young and women. and then to diffuse that through the system. but i think if we started to work -- as we as a small cooperation getting caught in the bureaucracy of large government departments i think wouldn't enable us to do our work. >> mr. jaffer, who funds you? >> we don't get a regular funding now. we did for three years from 2007 for three years we used to get funding from home office osct
funding. but now we don't get it. but we do work very closely with home office producing lots of campaign films. one of them was produced -- launched in july 2013 by home secretary that is called families matter. we showed three families whose children have gone to syria, and one of them was killed, one of them is still there. the other one has come back. so these are the dvds we produce. we produce quite a number of dvds from f.a.s.t. and there are millions of hits on our dvds on youtube. and what we hear that we came to know that some of the jihadi groups have looked at our dvds as well. so if we have changed somebody's mind from going to syria or iraq, that is our achievement.
and we do work very closely with the home office, yes. >> i should have said given you the right of reply when mr. umunna said what a good counselor you are that you should have the chance to comment on his performances. but we'll leave that for another day. >> he's my m.p. so i can't say much. >> oh. that's a ringing endorsement. >> no, we do work very closely. >> i'm sorry i brought that -- [ laughter ] >> mr. lougton. >> thank you. people are being radicalized and not quickly showing that that is the case. so i appreciate that this question mark difficult, but are there any trends at all in your work that have come out that show there are behavioral changes that aren't immediately
known about but should know about? >> yes, there are some signs we could look for. i have put it on my youtube page as well, internet page as well, on families matter. when they are becoming radicalized, they start challenging their parents and elders for their practice of islam. they really challenge them saying why are you doing that, why aren't you doing this. and their peer group changes. they don't bring their friends to home anymore. that's what the parents say. we used to see those young people come in to our house. they don't come to our house anymore. and when they're on the phone or internet they close their doors. they're not open. so these are just some of the signs we have to look for. >> that's very helpful. i guess in which case actually
there are signs that people need to be made aware of. >> yes. >> and what more can be done to make sure people are aware of these signs? >> can i just provide an alternative? i think that range of behavior is also quite teenage behavior. and i think you need to be careful not to assume that something that might be an ordinary teenager who doesn't to have anything to do with his or her parents -- >> but is it not quite drastic to cut off all of your friends overnight? that's what we've just been told. >> that is what we heard. that's what families said. dress code has changed as well it seems. >> i wouldn't necessarily say that means -- >> okay. thank you. coming on the points that have been raised, what more can be done to make sure parents and others are aware that these are potential signs, let's leave it
at that, and say maybe they should be asking further questions and thinking more carefully about their child's welfare? >> what we're working on now days is to encourage parents to have communication, redevelop communications with their children. that is the best way forward for me. they have to be their friends. don't tell them off all the time. don't be so judgmental. >> that wasn't the question. the question is how can we make sure they're aware of these sign s s? >> unless they don't communicate with their children they won't know the signs. >> my question is you have said -- >> yes. >> that change of behavior in terms of friends, dress and so on. >> yes. >> how can you make sure parents know those are potential signs they need to be looking for? >> we have put it on our youtube, it's all there on f.a.s.t. >> okay. >> and families matter.
>> because the trouble i have is she said she still wouldn't know who to turn to for help if worried about a family member being drawn to extremism. so while i don't doubt the good work you're doing, we've still got in this country a problem with people not knowing where to go to get that help, to get the advice and to find out what to do. so from your work what is the problem here? >> we do not have resources to publicize ourselves so much. we do our best. home office is helping us in our internet page. but how long for we don't know. that's why we say if you have any problems do contact us. it's publicized there. and we have produced few posters as well. and we have sent it to all the mosques in the country to say if you have any issue