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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  May 25, 2016 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT

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challenged bell in the public forum shortly after the doj filed an antitrust lawsuit. in 1979, a settlement was reached, perhaps prodded by the likelihood of a new administration that would be very friendly to monopolies. the settlement was a classic consent decree in which the monopolist swore that they had never broken the law and promise to never do it again. competition blossomed in the u.s. wheelchair industry, prices fell and improved. while some american wheelchair riders found better wheelchairs, very little of this improvement trickle down to the poorer 80% of the world. the cost of imported wheelchairs was still far too high for developing countries where people with disabilities are the
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poorest of the poorest of the poor. what is needed is a locally based industry where wheelchairs can be bought anywhere and be repaired anywhere else. the new american chairs, made of exotic aluminum titanium carbon fiber cannot be repaired in the poorer countries. steel can be repaired almost anywhere. this is why the vast majority of bicycles have been made of steel for well over 100 years. i also have a personal interest in improving wheelchair -- steel wheelchairs as wheelchairs made of exotic materials cannot be used to travel safely outside of the wealthy world. reporter john hockenberry, who rides his titanium wheelchair to almost anywhere on this planet, travels with a large case of spare parts and still has needed to backup of npr to bail him out when things break down. but a traveler with a classic
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steel bicycle can get parts replaced or repaired or custom-made by the blacksmiths in the bike shops in nearly every corner of the globe. with more dependable mobility in mind, i searched the u.s. and europe throughout the 1970s, looking for inventors who wanted to bring the steel wheelchair up to the state of art of the bicycle of the 1890s. i found very little help. most westerners were working on high-tech materials and trying to develop new high-tech wheelchairs. they were not working on providing the basic mobility that could help a farmer complete a hard day's work. it was in nicaragua where i realized that i could get more help in the poorest parts of the world than in the west.
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there i met four young riders. all sharing one chair. the wheelchair was a u.s. hospital model and it broke down frequently. their shared wheelchair. each time the wheelchair broke, they, with help -- where's my clicker? uh-oh. they would help -- oh, boy. thank you. thanks a lot. let's see. the wheelchair was a u.s. hospital model and broke down frequently.
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the local blacksmith would redesign it and fix it so it would not fail again. i know i had found the help i would need to make my own chair much better. as we developed together early chairs and a skilled rider builder in the philippines and mexico showed us how to toughen fixtures without making them anywhere as heavy as if the american equivalent. but as much as we like to ride our chairs, they were hard to sell. medical personnel and founders were wary of her hand-painted rustic style. poor riders themselves have no money.
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disabled survivors of the nicaragua civil war solved their problem by accident. doesn't that the survivors of the marathon wheelchairs clear across to show they were ready and willing to be part of the new nicaragua. the only woman entering the race, wheelchair builder ramos riding the first prototype of a new chair would beat them all. [ applause ] within a week, a dozen new chairs were sold and shops so have continued to sell chairs for the 35 years since then. then the wheelchair product got training and support in the u.s. peace corps. unfortunately this help was cut off soon by the new reagan administration. our wheelchair network as here
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in nicaragua has always been tied to the growth of the international disability rights movement. since everyone has equal opportunities to gain a disability, the movement opens lines of communication that are otherwise not allowed. the national disability group in south africa, for example, was the first and only multiracial group during apartheid allowed to lobby the south african legislature. innovations have come from young and old. here. there we go, there's paul silva of the u.s. peace corps. there's a group of young people,
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most of them rider of new chairs. some of them very old. some of our inventions come from people very young and very old. this fellow rearranged our spoking pattern when he was 8 years old. and we still take advantage of this great ideas. the greatly improved stability of our chair, noticed that the wheelbase is long on my chair. with a 50% longer wheelbase than a typical chair, six inches shorter than the typical chair because my feet are behind. gives it great stability. the biggest injury cause world
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over, you hit a bump and fall forward. if you take the ratio of the track length to the height of a typical american wheelchair and apply it to a chevrolet, it's three stories tall, hit a curb and falls on its face and maybe breaks its femur in the process. our training here at san francisco state university includes welding, sewing, spoking, over the years learning how to do over the edge wheelchair riding. our new shop in berkeley, california, is our most wheelchair accessible shop yet.
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feedback from long-term users is critical. it is critical to keep on improving our chairs. gabriel in nicaragua has ridden and abused the same chair since 1985 and is always proud to show me -- excuse me, this is hard. this is -- [ applause ] these folks are the best and the brightest. they put us to shame. he's always proud to show me he's broken something new. mistakes happen. our original parking brake had a loop in the handle to make it easier to grab. recently, some of the shops, our
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shops or the shops we work with, they're all independent. but now they have a more professional looking rubber handle. but when this quadriplegic fellow had a new chair, he couldn't work it. he couldn't block the brakes and he is hurt himself very badly. i added in a custom brake to our old design that he could hook his finger and operate that way. needless to say he is much happier now. [ applause ] chairs are now made in a few countries for shipping to other countries. these chairs were made in mexico.
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and arrived a week later in haiti, shortly after the earthquake. and our chairs have been made now in over 40 countries. there have been over 100,000 made. that of course is hardly the tip of the iceberg. their are easily 50 million people in the world today in developing countries who don't yet have their first chair or if they have one, there was one of these substandard chairs and they've already broken it. our greatest disappointment has been that our chairs cannot provide people with mobility that lasts them a lifetime or even close. our best chairs last 10 or 15 years, several times longer than
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most other chairs, but think about it. how are these folks going to replace that chair? our chairs cost $200. that can be for a person with disability, legally paid less than half of what others are paid, illegally, even less than that. there's just no way they can come up with a $200 and replace their chair when it finally becomes beyond repair. there are, though, wheelchairs being made in uganda since 1965 that last much longer. many of them last 25, 30 years. if you look at the chair on the left, it uses a regular bicycle wheel. that is the stumbling block towards making a wheelchair last a lifetime.
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making it reparable. like a good bicycle for a lifetime, the regular wheelchair as a high-strength axle and a special hub, a bicycle axle supported only on one end is not going to stand up. sidewards forces can bend most commercial wheelchairs. i can trash them in a few minutes. but that ugandan chair is the only one in the world that has been replaceable or been repairable pretty much as long as people give them a lot of
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tender loving care. the downside, it doesn't fold. the forks have three inches to its width. it doesn't fit in outhouses and is an old-fashioned chair, like the chairs here 100 years ago make it very hard to get in and out of the chair. when i was in uganda 20 years ago, this woman said i had to trade chairs with her. she needed my chair that cost one third as much to travel home. she doesn't have to pay for a whole row of seats and she had another reason as well. if we traded chairs, i would go home with her chair, and maybe i could learn how to make my chair as good as hearse.
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-- hers. [ laughter ] so we are working on that as hard as they can. in the picture i am riding one of them. it is hard to see that in the back of my wheel is a very thin fork but doesn't widen the chair. if i make it strong enough, it will work. we're working on number ten. we are zeroing in, but it is not easy. but it sure is worth trying. i certainly learn a lot working with people for whom i have more respect than i've had in my life for anybody. it is pretty amazing. [ applause ] >> thank you.
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[ applause ] >> thank you, ralph. tremendous. showing that ingenuity and determination are key to being in the public interest world and passion as well, which ralph showed so clearly. now we're going to have robert coulter come up. he was a founder of the indian law center, resources center back in 1978. i remember delores saying out of the pine ridge reservation rebellion several decades ago, "new york times" reporter i believe that was, asking about the dakotas. said, what does your people call this before the white man came?
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he said, ours. that is the spirit that robert coulter brings to his 40 years of work as an attorney. he is a pottawattamie indian himself and he has been involved over the long haul in fight after fight against injustices against the native americans throughout the americas. in fact, he was the author of the first draft of the u.n. declaration of the rights of indigenous people that was adopted by the general assembly in 2007. welcome, robert coulter. [ applause ] >> thank you, jim. it is wonderful to be here. congratulations to ralph on this 50th anniversary of unsafe at any speed and thanks for this -- [ applause ] yes. and thanks for this opportunity to be here at this time along
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with so many others. first, i want to show you a very short video about our organization. ♪ >> these are the core beliefs of the indian law resource center. for more than 30 years, the center has been a global force challenging and building the legal framework to enhance the lives of indigenous peoples. one of the major causes of the economic and social ills within native community is the unfair legal rules that apply only to native peoples in the united states. we have taken on cases on behalf of the shoshone and the mohawk nations and others with the goal of changing some of these laws.
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we also seek to strengthen sovereignty rights so that tribes can better connect their people. >> 1 in 3 negative children will be physically assaulted. >> the united nations that the ration on the rights of indigenous peoples. >> we wanted to be sure and we wanted to establish legal rules that would make it clear that indigenous peoples really do own their land and really do have full and complete legal rights to those lands, that they have rights that can be protected in courts, rights that are protected by definite rules of law that can't just be thrown out or ignored by countries and their governments. >> the declaration was adopted by the assembly in 2007. >> as you know in april, we announced we were reviewing our
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position on the rights of the indigenous peoples. today i can announce that the united states is lending its support to this declaration. [ applause ] >> this is just a snapshot of the work coming out of both the helena, montana, and washington, d.c., offices. working to protect and preserve indigenous peoples and their communities. our ultimate goal is to make positive contributions that will have lasting effects. visit >> i'm not sure that i actually belong up here with the kinds of organizations and advocates that have been assembled here. we are an american indian organization and we just work hard and worry about our funding and wonder what we can do to
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improve the future for indian and alaska native peoples. i suppose in that basic way we are a lot like many of these other organizations. let me try and give you a little bit more detail about what we do. what we do is provide legal representation to american indian and alaska native nations and tribes and i mean indian nations and tribes in central and south america as well. we are funded just by foundations, individuals and a few indian nations. we don't take any government money. it is a matter of our integrity and independence and as a result, our budget has always been pretty small. it is less than $1.5 million per year and that is only in recent
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years. we have an office, as you heard, in helena, montana. we also have an office here in washington, d.c., that is headed headed by my partner of some 35 years, armstrong wiggins. armstrong, if you are here, raise your hand or stand up. he has done so much to build our program. [ applause ] and when we began this work in the 1970s, indian nations in the united states were just utterly dominated by the federal bureau of indian affairs. they suffered from extreme poverty. tribes had few legal rights. that is still the case, actually. and practically no constitutional rights. nearly all tribes were completely dependent on federal support for food, shelter, health care and other necessities.
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indians in mexico, central and south america suffered even worse, frequently suffering massacres, murders, genocide and the like. indian communities were and still are typically denied land rights, suppression, and forcible relocation. as a result, indigenous peoples worldwide were disappearing along with their cultures and languages. our human rights work affects and involves thousands of indigenous peoples worldwide, though we just work in the americas. there's an estimated 370 million indigenous peoples in at least 70 countries around the world. indigenous peoples, i like to say, are american indians, alaska natives and other peoples like that.
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there's a little bit more of the definition. there are people that inhabited a country or region at the time before other people of a different culture or ethnic origin arrived and became dominant. well, we wanted to assist indigenous nations and tribes to change the appalling treatment and the racist laws that were inflicted on them. a reasonably fair and workable system is always necessary for economic development and improvement of social conditions. but in the united states, that doesn't exist for indian nations today and the result is pervasive poverty, deprivation and suffering. casinos benefit really only a few tribes, lawyers and courts had done virtually nothing to assure constitutional rights and fair treatment for indian tribes. it was clear that we would have to do something different in order to overcome the incredibly unjust legal system and the system of federal control that
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had been entrenched for 150 years and still it is so entrenched. we decided that we must listen to indian nations that ask for help and follow their decisions. we decided to work for native peoples of the americas, not just in the united states. working for indian nations means we were never trying to work alone. we were advising and assisting indian and alaska native nations. sometimes many of them in several countries. that was important. we began a long-term strategy to overturn the antiquated and racist body of law that we found almost everywhere. we began a long term campaign of writing, education, lawsuits and organizing and changing the law, but we learned after years of
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work that the courts were not open to any serious challenge to the legal system that affects indian nations. the supreme court that ruled desegregation unconstitutional also ruled the same year that the government is actually allowed to confiscate indian tribes property without due process and without compensation. that is still the law in the united states. we need an additional strategy for changing the laws as some of the indian nations that i was representing pointed out that they had never relinquish their rights as nations to participate in the international community and so we began to look to the international community, to the united nations, for ways to challenge the laws in the united states and elsewhere. the then, relative newly-emerging law of human rights at the international level was promising. because it contained -- in 1976,
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we had the opportunity to go to the home of human rights in geneva, switzerland, to the home of the united nations there. and i suggested to the indian nations that i was working with at the time that they consider proposing to the united nations a declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. i wrote a draft for them to consider. they did consider it, reviewed, modified it and took it to the united nations in 1977 and proposed it to the united nations for adoption. our strategy was that by creating international awareness and pressure on the united states and other countries, we might be able to develop international legal standards about the rights of indian nations and indigenous peoples. we might be able to change the policies and practices of countries, and we might be able to persuade eventually the
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domestic courts and lawmakers to reevaluate their laws and policies. we had very difficult times. our strategies were scoffed at in this country at least. many people said we would never publish anything. we had a staff of just five or six, and our budget was never more than a few hundred thousand dollars a year. but the process in the united naons soon became the largest and most heavily attended human rights process in the u.n.'s history. for the first time the affected people, the indigenous people were able to participate in the human rights process and they were enormously effective. hundreds and hundreds of them went to the united nations to negotiate and advocate for the declaration. the work on the declaration took
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30 years until finally as you heard, the general assembly adopted in 2007 and the united states gave its approval and 2010. [ applause ] thank you. it made a big difference because the declaration proclaimed for the first time that indigenous peoples have the right to exist, the right to exist as distinct peoples. that was not the case before. the right to exist with their own governments, without discrimination of any kind, with the right to own their lands and resources and a host of other rights. this was a great change in the tide of history, and it has changed how countries see indigenous peoples. now, in 2014, just about two years ago, we helped to win four more major commitments from the united nations general assembly. we won commitments to develop a permanent monitoring and
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implementing body for the u.n. declaration, to see that it is carried into effect. we won a commitment to create new rules in the u.n. that will permit indian nations and other indigenous governments to put the state on a permanent basis in the united nations. after this we will have a special permission to go and fight for our rights there. they will be there all the time. we also got a commitment to combat violence against indigenous women, which you heard about in the video. that by the way speaking individual is our senior attorney, janna walker, who has accomplished remarkable things in the fight against violence against indigenous women. we also won a commitment from the united nations to do more to encourage respect for indigenous sacred sites. on the domestic front our project on violence against
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indigenous women helped to with a major change in united states law, as you heard in the reauthorization of violence against women act. they used brilliant organizing, brilliant communications work, videos about the epidemic of violence against native women and created advocacy in international bodies. and they won the support of women all over the country who helped bring about a tremendous reform in united states law, returning law enforcement power to indian governments in the united states, power to help prevent some forms of violence against indian women. but much more needs to be done. we've litigated land claims. used federal courts to challenge federal government abuses and sometimes state government abuses. we've changed the united states laws in some important ways, but fundamentally the unfair and
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racist legal framework is still in place and we're continuing to challenge it. we are going to have to focus on education to educate a new generation of lawyers and judges so we are writing materials to do that. it's going to take many more years to change the law. assuring that the united nations takes the necessary measures to implement the declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and to see to it that countries respect these rights is another priority for our work going forward. and now we are going to have to implement the new american declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, because let me say, just four days ago the indian law resource center staff here in d.c., and a handful of amazing indian leaders from the americas, over here at the organization of american states
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succeeded after 26 years of work, succeeded in completing the negotiations on the new american declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. and it's stronger than the human declaration. now, that's -- yes. [ applause ] it was a tremendous job they did and there were so few of them, but it had to be done and they did it marvelously. that declaration is expected to be approved by the general assembly of the organization of american states in a few weeks in june. so we are looking forward to that. the greed for indian resources seems to have grown in recent years, much more virulent. at the same time we are seeing a breakdown of the rule of law in the americas, a significant reduction in the willingness or
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ability of countries to enforce laws or to abide by them. these two factors are extremely dangerous for marginalized people, such as indigenous peoples. as indian communities have begun to assert the real legal rights that are being created, indian leaders are being murdered in many countries. this is a very alarming development, particularly in central and south america. they are being murdered by those who covet these indian lands and resources. it's a very urgent situation that we must address and must stop. we hope to train more indian lawyers and indian leaders, especially in central and south america, to help them defend and assert their rights. i hope that perhaps we can create -- i hope that we can create an indian law resource center in that part of the world.
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i get moved by that because it's been a dream that we have been unable to fulfill for many years, but perhaps we can do that soon. fund-raising concerns -- thank you. [ applause ] thank you so much. fund-raising concerns are serious. i'm worried that foundations seem to be trending toward just short term projects. this isn't good. it took 30 years to get the u.n. declaration, and it was worth it. 26 years to get the american declaration. serious work requires serious time. we need to educate philanthropy to be responsive. i think our greatest need -- [ applause ] yes. we may need look to individuals and families where foundations are falling down. for the long term, i think we need to focus more on education and modern communications work. we need to try to engender the rule of law in many countries.
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and by this i mean encouraging political and social systems so that they are governed democratically by laws and not by the arbitrary dictates of individuals. well, in this long-term view i hope that we will see which cultures and hundreds and thousands of indigenous communities thriving all around the world. but i also want to see a great body of rights, of fundamental rights, recognized for other peoples as well. this need not be just limited to indigenous peoples. i believe that most of the rights in the declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples should be the rights of all peoples of the world. [ applause ] so let's see if we can do something about that. thank you very much. [ applause ]
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>> thank you. terrific. what a great lineup we have, huh? this is spectacular. i'm learning so much. just sitting backstage here. well, next up, a fella who is a founder and has been a longtime worker in public justice. his name is paul bland, but he is not bland. rather, he's a fiery fighter for equal access to the courts in this country. and particularly has been doing yeoman's work in the case and in the face of corporate arbitration clauses. totally unjust anti democratic decisions. it's best defined as two coyotes and a lamb voting on who to have
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for dinner. and paul is now scoring great victories after years of fighting these. welcome paul bland. [ applause ] >> it is incredibly cool for me to be in this building, in part, 35 years ago when i was in college i was here and saw the jerry garcia band and so i'm wearing a jerry garcia tie so i feel like i was at home. so, public justice. what are we? we pursue high impact lawsuits to combat social and economic injustice to protect the earth's sustainability and to challenge predatory corporate and government abuses and conduct. so let me break it down. first of all there's a lot of
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different public law firms out there. why do we feel we are different? so there's two things about our model. the first is we try to leverage resources and that's one of these words like we we're going to leverage and synergize department and encircle and so forth. the word leverage mean something for us. we recruit groups of trial lawyers, people are really skilled at ferreting out the facts and taking depositions and found out what the truth is and we work with them on high impact cases. we work, a lot of our cases will have 10% of the time or 5% of the time where we are able to recruit and get some of smartest lawyers in the country to help us actually take on some really big causes that we just had our own 14 lawyers, that we would never be able to do. the second thing about our model which is really cool is that we work for impact cases. we're not just looking for cases in which someone has been treated badly. so we are different. i love people who do legal aid work, i love people to individual cases but looking for cases that will lead to systemic change, something bigger and
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broader. we look for cases which can have an appeal. we look for cases where you can have a class action or some sort of aggregate change that we can get an injunction that would change the way corporations practice. we look for cases were our communications can draw attention to an issue. the first part of our mission statement i read was to economic interest. obviously things are protecting the united states with respect to economic injustice. we have the sharpest division between the very wealthiest, the 1% of the rest of the country that we've had since the gilded age are probably worse than in the 1920s. we rank tenth in the world with respect to economic injustice between the richest and virtually everyone else. most americans live paycheck to paycheck today. the elizabeth warren critique of the way our economy to set up, she first articulated in her two income trap book is substantially worse. in the last ten years with that
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many millions of people who have homes for close to every user a couple many have cars repossessed. the american economy didn't get this unfair by accident. it didn't jump. it was pushed. a lot of corporate cheating going on. first of all there's a ton of predatory lending. most people in america don't understand how high interest rates and fees on the loans they are getting are. it's incredible how many people don't understand the product they're getting. there is waged steps that's on an extremely wide -- a ton of people's living situation to which is like a company town where they are no longer considered employees. they are independent contractors but most of the things they need in order to other job are provided to them by the corporation. you have a lot of people who a generation ago are working 60 hours a week and they were making good middle income salaries, and now they're working 60 hours a week and their families are on public benefits because the vast majority of the money that is being given to them is going back to the company in various steps.
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how did this happen? a bunch of things can be done about it. the first is that a lot of companies were able to get away with this corporate cheating by using the forced arbitration clauses. there's two bad aspects. forced arbitration is when the government puts in the fine print which almost nobody reads, a provision that says if we break the law, you can't sue us in court but instead you have to go to a private arbitrator and we'll pick the company, they will pick the arbitrator. everything will be secret. whatever the arbiter decides to make an error of law or fact none of that is appealable. most importantly, you can never bring a class action so even if we cheat 100,000 people in exactly the same way to a predatory scheme, under our contract every one of you is individualized. yet to go out on your own and separately figure out that you were cheated, separately figure out what the law is, you justify own plan, pay a fee to the
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arbitrator, go by yourself. that is corporate america's end game is around this forced arbitration clause issue. so this terrific amount of evidence in individual cases in the employment area that workers do worse in arbitration than they do in court, that they do get an award it tends to be about 20% to 25% of what it would be in court. but the biggest element of it is a ban on class actions. so, for example, it used to be the law in america that you could challenge a forced arbitration clause and if you could prove as the plaintiff that the ban on class actions had the effect of gutting consumer protection or civil rights law that a court would strike it down. this was, this was my plan for a while. going around from state supreme court to state supreme court and getting them to adopt the law but said if the ban on class actions in arbitration clause would get the consumer protection law and the court
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with her whatever we had three cases against payday lenders in north carolina and payday lending is legal, illegal in some places, regulated some. in north carolina it was just illegal. they were not allowed to do it but they were doing it anyhow because they had arbitration clause and they figured we are good to go because no one consumes because we had arbitration clause. we built this strong record and got the court to find the arbitration clause in the case prevented anyone from going forward. made it impossible for someone to bring a case. once we proved that we are able to go forward and with five cases and this rural judge said i don't have time for more than a couple of cases. three cases in one round, two cases in another run. the first three cases go forward. we beat the arbitration clause. $45 million in relief for the people. we pay the checks to 200,000 people. [ applause ] thank you.
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then in april 2011, by a 5-4 vote, giving the supreme court has been a new rule, never existed before, which said even if an arbitration clause would undermine civil rights law would still have been forced to -- the worst case in history of consumer law. in the wake of the conceptual cases literally hundreds of class actions across the country even where there was proof that the case, the arbitration clause was going to gut figures from going forward. we had two more cases against payday lenders and they were thrown out, nobody had anything. they continue to be charged the full amount. no one got checkes. the forced arbitration system worked as it was planned and it worked really well. so we still have not given up. we find all sorts of different problems come anytime a company makes a mistake that you will can we go after with 20
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we go after with 20 different cases pending. we're challenging force arbitration clauses. this year we have 18 appeals committee reports about the country knocking out these types of clauses and doing some other acts of justice for we've been fighting hard for the consumer financial protection bureau, rich cordray's agency which announced a proposal to have a new rule that for monday, 20% of economy, under the dodd-frank act, they have the power to wipe away the forced arbitration clause and the agency has said they intend to do that and they're going forward with it. the chamber of commerce is losing its mind about this and fighting like crazy and you only argued. we don't need these laws because the magic of remarkable work and so forth. we've heard that story many times but there's finally progress going on and we're taking down the clauses where companies make mistakes. admittedly some of the cases come on and as many cases against dell and at&t, i have more cases against cardiff and scam artists. we find arbitration clauses that are being done.
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like an evolution if you are a predator animal going behind the herd you don't like go and get the healthiest, we find the companies with lousy lawyers, that drafted a crappy arbitration clause that we pull down. but there's a lot of different issues around the economic injustice with barriers like arbitration, court secrecy federal laws that wipe away good consumer protection laws and we work on a variety of different cases fighting against this court secrecy and so forth in order to fight against economic injustice. so earth sustainability. the core problem is that corporations can externalize the costs of what they do. in other words, when you hear someone say coal is cheaper than solar energy, it's cheaper if you don't count all the different things that coal does like it makes it hard for people to breathe and contributes enormously to climate change and it destroys streams and so forth. as long as they can take all
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these costs that the products create and stick them on other people, it looks like it's a lot cheaper than what it is and the company makes a lot more money. that's really our model. for example, sustainability of the earth, single biggest threat will come as a surprise to no one is climate change. what are probably the two biggest drivers of climate change? the first is coal and the second is factory farms. we have come at this in a different way from a lot of other people. the two traditional approaches is to sue the epa. we think it's a better use of our resources. it turns out that the coal
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plants dump things into streams. looking like the movie "the road" with dead zones. coal ash and other waste and sent to wipe away every single living thing in the streams. the second biggest driver of climate change, factory farms, they frequently have dumped enormous amounts of manure into streams. what we've done is we've gone after coal facilities, so we've in a series of cases, stopped mountaintop removal mining. in which people bring these gigantic machines. to look like something out of star wars and they simply read the entire of the mountain off and then just dump all of the rock into a valley. used to be about to be a part of west virginia that used to be these beautiful rolling hills
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that are now just flat, now like a parking lot. what used to be the mountain is is flat. we argue it violates the clean water act. situations are there? we argue it violates the clean water act. there used to be a stream there. went the stream isn't there, we consider that polluted, for example. we had a lot of success in that area. with the factory farms, we went after -- there are four mega dairies in rural washington. we have a bunch of cases like this. this case was the first one in the country like it. the four rural dairies. these dairies have so many cows, they cram these cows together side to side to side. they can't even clean out where they are so they put them in a big concrete bowl more or less and have them stand there in their own excrement up to their knees and take an incredible number of cows and periodically wash it all out. they're producing for waste than the entire human population of
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hoboken, new jersey. l piles of waste, eight football fields wide. they say it's not pollution because it's fertilizer and p t fertilizer is really valuable. fer lizer would be valuable if you can pull it our it over the of iowa, right? it's not fertilizing anything. it's killing everything. what's happening was it was all getting in the ground water. the company said, it's impossible it could get in the ground water. it's amazing because it turns out the ground water drowngrade from your factory farm is polluting and the upgrade isn't. we found out the factory farm, they're saying all the water's safe. they bring in bottled water for all the people who work there and live there, right? it's like the water is safe enough for you but not safe enough for us is soert of the wy they're approaching it. we sued these guys and ended up winning the first ruling ever. [ applause ] thank you. that said that pluting a factory farm, dumping waste in a way, agricultural waste, manure that
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gets into the water supply is -- violates the federal statute and we got a -- we're heading toward a court order. we ended up settling. they have complete new protocol in which they're dealing with the waste completely differently, none of it is going to get in the ground water. for the first time, people who live there, indigenous americans, get to drink clean water for the first time. we have a lot of things like this. [ applause ] next thing i want to talk about is abuse of power. there are a lot of different ways in which people's civil rights are violated. we have experts going after different types of cases. so, for example, we have a case right now in texas, latino-american guy gets arrested for -- he's behind on his child support by two months. he had custody of hichildren fo most of his life. he lost custody. ex-wife has the children. he's behind three months. they arrest him. three days later he was dead. three jailers were on top of him in his cell, he died of dts,
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have the shakes. if you've been around an alcoholic, the shakes don't manifest themselves through enormous bruising of your chest, broken ribs and severe external hemorrhaging. the guy also has boot lace marks on his back and his torso. okay? he's murdered. all right? this is not okay. this -- the black lives matter movement is about something that's really important. this is something that trial lawyers are particularly well situated to go after. [ applause ] thank you. we have an anti-bullying project where we have changed the way some schools approach things. we had a case in pinebush, new york, upstate new york, and it turns out that there is an enormous amount of anti-semitism up there. our friends at the southern poverty law center told us it turns out there's a significant klan presence in upstate new york, no that far from albany if you can imagine it. we had clients who had kids go to school, being beaten up all the time, being called epithets
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for being jewish. a kid was held down while one puts a swastika on their forehead. they say they need to get tougher, deal with it themselves. totally wrong. that's not an appropriate way for schools to deal with it. we sued them. we not only got money out of them but got them to completely change way they approach these problems. got them to adopt a variety of things to train the teachers to have the students have to go through educational programs. every single incident, as soon as there's a swastika on the wall, has to be photographed, washed off, painted over in a day. we have a variety of different things to change the way the school operated. wasn't enough to get money. we wanted to have a change in the system. that's what we were fighting for. we're doing this in -- [ applause ] thank you. we have a lot of different situations we're going about, violence against women on campuses where some schools are pretty good at it and some schools really try and discourage women from coming forward. that's not okay. we're going after that.
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there's a variety of different things we can fight. you know, some of these problems seem so big that they're hopeless to people. and when we first started works on climate change, for example, a good friend, litigator, for a long time said that's an issue that's too big, you're never going it be able to make a dent in that. well, you know, in the last couple years we've shut down twice now in the last two years we've shut down one of the ten biggest carbon dioxide polluters in america. if we're able to hold coal and factory farm to actually internalizing their costs, that they swallow their own costs, then alternatives are not going to seem so expensive by comparison. [ applause ] thank you. and if you're able, bit by bit, by documenting the case, by pushing for the government to take action, and now with the change in the supreme court, possibly relitigating some cases like conceptionon, but going after these situations we're going to make a dent in predatory lending.
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a lot of the reason predatory lending thrived is was there wasn't enforcement. i'm filled with hope. i'm filled with anger. i mean, i'm filled with a sense hat this sensense this is incredibly unfair the way things are going. if we double down, we take that anger, turn it into something positive and fight case by case and build this story, we can change this country. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, and this concludes our morning session. c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, virginia democratic congressman bobby scott will join us to talk about a report released by the gao which found that k-12 schools across the u.s. are segregated by race and poverty. the report was released last week on the 62nd anniversary of the supreme court brown versus
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board of education decision. congressman scott will also discuss what this means for education and the future of nonwhite individuals in the u.s. then arkansas republican congressman bruce westerman will join us to talk about the efforts to pass a republican budget and the current budget and spending impasse. the recent bipartisan agreement to restructure puerto rico's $70 billion dealt that's supported by house speaker paul ryan. also the presidential campaign and lgbt issues before congress. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live thursday morning at 7:00 a.m. join the discussion. this memorial day weekend "book tv" features three days of nonfiction books and authors and here are some programs to watch for. on saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern, on "afterwards," "democracy now" host amy goodman interviews tamara drought about her new book "sleeping giant: how the new working class will transform america." on sunday at 10:15 a.m. eastern,
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interview with chris jackson, publisher and editor in chief of "one world." he discusses his professional duties as well as his work with the likes of jay-z, brian stevenson, and author of the award winning book "between the world and me." sunday evening at so10:00 easte, book releases for tom hilton, "more human." former senior adviser to british prime minister david cameron and co-founder of crowd pac argues we need to redesign our economic and political systems to meet the needs of americans today. then on memorial day, extra day of "book tv" featured annette gordon-reid, the intellectual life of thomas jefferson. and npr's diane ream on the right to die movement. go to for the complete weekend schedule. as the united kingdom decides whether or not to leave
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the european union, a establish parliamentary committee held a hearing focuses on the imply cases for scotland. a vote on the referendum is scheduled for june 23rd. this is just over two hours. >> everybody, order, order, and welcome to scottish affairs committee. two sessions in scotland and the yearen union referendum. we're very grateful we have john edwards from the campaign in scotland. i'm goinot going to ask you to e an opening statement because we don't have much time. possibly include anything you want to see and weave it in a statement by telling us why you believe it's in scotland's interest that the uk remains a member of the european union. >> sure. thank you. very simply, it's my contention, our contention, that both scotland and the united kingdom are safer, stronger and better off staying in the united -- in the european union simply because we've been part of this
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system for the last 43 years. the networks, the protections, the rights, the opportunities we built up over that time. some of which are almost invisible in terms of the virtual element of them. are extremely important. i was speaking to a food and drink customer last night. every person in the audience stressed the importance of geographical indication, in terms of the recruitment to staff, in terms of the produce and markets they dealt with. also in terms of standards and quality markings they thought were crucial to their business. and i find that same message across every aspect of scottish life including those who are more marginalized who realize there are rights and responsibilities they get through the european union. >> grateful. and i'll try to put this as gently as possible that, thus far from the supporters of the campaign, perhaps what we could see, an overemphasis of the
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risks. you know, i think that those of us from scotland are, perhaps, familiar with some of the themes and the torn of some of the claims made by, that are being campaigned from the scottish referendum, characterized simply as project. are we going to do this differently in scotland? >> that's certainly been our intention. i made a very small name for myself back in february calling the project -- we weren't going to be going on the attack. definitely playing the bull, not the mans if you like. because i don't see any reason for us to go negative. yes, there are all kinds of arguments that could stand up and seems from the international bodies and other bodies we hold from, everyone's out of step, besides thinking we should stay in. for me, the positives are all there in terms of cooperation,
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engageme engagement, meeting joint opportunities dealing with common threats. there's no need to go into attack. and, of course, it's slightly harder to do so when ydon't you have a white paper on the other side to poke holes in. no manifest, no blueprint. for me, it's simply a case of stressing what we have at the moment, remindi ining everybody much of a role the united kingdom has in europe, how much of a role their meps and ministers have and scotland is part of that rather than being an us against them argument. >> so taking from this, there's an attempt from the campaign within scotland to try and emphasize a much more positive campaign than what we've observed thus far from the campaign. in response to that, could you maybe talk a little bit just about what the relationship between the campaign of scotland is with the national campaign, and all the other groups, i mean, obviously we have the government intent when it comes to this. and the uk government have been taken a key role in terms of
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giving information in the leafle leaflets, brochures, in our door. how does the campaign of scotland fit in with all these other activities and campaigns? >> we're part of the designated lead campaign, uk-wide, britain stronger. we recognized late last year when it was clear that the referendum was coming soon enough that a campaign run purely from one capital city would not suit the nation's allegiance of the unite td kingdom. so we set up a dedicated office in scotland. i'm the campaign spokesman. we took somebody from the better together, no than thanks campai be our grassroots organizer, and someone from the other to be our media organizer. the idea that reminding people that scotland was probably more attune to issues of a referendum than other parts of the united kingdom and more pretoliticized
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that respect. there wasn't any need to get too political and i don't think there was any great desire on the parties to get political because there's a sense in which people didn't want to be on the same platform as each other, so we very deliberately set up an advisory group that had no politicians on it. trade unionists, academics, others from civil society. so we'd be talking, if you like, overall around the political parties, directly to people and talking about issues that affect them. obviously, each of the political parties in scotland wi, the leas a or parties, themselves, are supportive and all indicated they will be doing their own level of campaigning starting as of the scottish elections a couple weeks ago. there's a debate tomorrow morning. we're quite happy to dovetail with them but didn't expect we'd try to shoe horn political parties. >> we had the scottish and general election and that comes some six weeks before we are
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going to the polls for the referendum. do you think scotland is warmed up for this debate and do you detect a sense of energy and excitement about the upcoming european referendum? is there more that needs to stimulate some interest? looking at both -- >> yeah, i mean, having worked in and around scotland and europe, or europe and scotland for 20 year, i'm not sure there's ever that much enthusiasm to be seen, but i think we always knew that until the scottish elections were out of the way, then we wouldn't see the political parties and the political leaders talking about this subject. in isolation. and yes, i can understand that some people thought it was quite a short time, but actually i think six weeks, seven weeks is quite a long time to talk about an issue that in most people's lives isn't a day-to-day issue, isn't something they put on their top ten list of priorities. i'm fairly confident we'll have plenty of time to get round about the issues and try to do it in a way that rather brings
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it home to people because europe tends to be put as a side issue rather than a cross-cutting issue through health, education, and employment, and everything else. >> thank you. john stevenson? >> thank you. we follow the polls. we're always interested in what they've got to say. there is a view, my colleague suggests, that actually scotland is more enthusiastic about europe than the rest of the united kingdom is. your experience, would you concur with that? >> yes, to an extent. certainly, i mean, some of the polls have said something alng those lines. we're not taking that for granted. it's been my experience in the past and during this campaign that the narrative about europe is different in scotland. put it that way. i was once held up in a previous job for saying scotland wasn't more pro-european, it was just less anti. there's some truth in that. some of the issues that have been central to the campaign down here, namely migration and sovereignty, really don't ring true to scottish audiences because if nothing else, it has
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reminded people that sovereignly l ty lies in various plays. lies in london, lies in nato, wefr whenever we choose to share it. in the groups i've spoken to in the last few months, there hasn't been the same kind of antagonism, wanting the country back, something, we were misguided or deceived back in 11973. that hasn't come across at all. not to say people are outrageously yeoutrageous ly euro fanatic -- >> you don't think -- >> i don't sense it. >> i don't want to dwell on it. you, yourself, said scotland could have a decisive impact on this referendum. given the population of scotland, the rest of the united kingdom, don't have to be an
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austri austrian-style election for scotland to have a decisive say into this? >> indeed. it might be an austrian-style election. if you followed the polls too carefully, you'd be a very nervous person on either side of this campaign at the moment. we recognize one is a slightly more politicized party. the united kingdom turnout will probably be higher in scotland and elsewhere, certainly some parts of england. if that were the case, if it was true that we could hopefully get somewhere in the region of 2/3 to 1/3 vote yes, that could be a substantial amount of votes on one side. when you think of all the different regional varieties that we have, both between wales, northern island, london and the other parts of england. >> if scotland were to go for a 2/3 to 1/3, but yet the result came from england that actually resulted in an out, how do you think scotland would take to that? >> i think that would be for
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scotland to decide on the 24th of june. our view is we only have one vote ahead of us and it's this one and all other questions about scotland's political futures are entirely hypothetical until this vote's out of the way. >> okay. thank you. >> obviously second that's been raised by the scottish government, there's a prospect, at least not a possibility shall we phrase it like this -- its national collective will if the result is scotland -- does the main campaign of scotland have any view about that? is this a fixture you'll be using in the campaigning, and what is your response to these type of claims made by scottish ministers and those in the scottish national party? >> our only response to that is it just reminds scottish people that every single vote in this referendum matters. if they thought because it was a simple binary vote there would be huge numbers stacked on either side, they need to remember it could have quite a divisive influence on the vote.
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and, of course, the idea of somebody being dragged in a direction they don't want to two wo go goes both ways. should london, scotland, wales and ireland vote yet, large parts would feel they're being dragged, remaining in the european union if they didn't feel they wanted to be there. if you think it matters to you, make sure you vote. >> during the eu referendum, it went through parliament, there was an amendment -- the family of nations, four uk nations, in fave of leaving the european union before uk decided to leave. is that something that you would find as a prospect, any news at all on that as an issue? that hasn't come up at all. that's mainly because we're talking about, as i say, a
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one-off binary vote, a yes or a no. if you start to put qualifications in about nation's regions, could you say if all of england voted leave, but london voted remain, if all the home nations voted to remain and england voted to leave, there's all sorts of permutations. you know, there's no cutoff percentage like there was for the 1979 referendum. it's not an issue that's come up in people's minds. it's more about the basic principle of whether you think it's a good thing or not. >> thank you. >> very quick supplement question. the initial question, an excitement about this, clearly doesn't seem to be it. what's your hopes and aspirations? what do you hope in terms of number of people? >> i mean, obviously well north of 50%, but we're realistic about it. i mean, i think it helps that it's in high summer. it helps that it's before the school holidays come. we'd like to see up in 60s.
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but i think that does partly depend on the enthusiasm, the energy of the more politicized people in scotland as well. i don't know to what extent we can rely on party activists who've just spent a grueling couple months running the campaign, will come out and start again. but that's why we've been building up a group of volunteers separate from that to be ready for that, for this process. it ought to be high. as i say, if you can get talking about issues actually in the nonparty political way, when you talk about, as i was to the learning disability alliance yesterday, or talking to the food food and drink group. once you start talking about regional issues and selective issues there that affect people in their day-to-day life whether than the huge constitutional issues, then people immediately get engaged so i'd like to think we can keep that going for a month. >> thank you. margaret? >> thank you, chair.
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my question is about financial contributions. and the uk is a significant net contributor to the eu. how do you respond to the argument if the uk leaves the eu, then the government would -- about how it was spent? >> well, the uk government would prioritize the same spending as the eu does collectively in areas like agriculture and fisheries, which may not be the case. in de indeed, that speculated on last night at the food and drink event. there's also an element that a lot of research funding in other areas is match funding. so you wouldn't get that same double effect. and also there's a sense that this is something that scotland
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benefited from in the past. that the collective european budget identified the areas that needed development. the steel areas, the islands, south wales, liverpool, so on. there was an element of redistribution in that. i make no apologies for that. you know, anybody who thinks that they spend all their cancel tax, income tax and get nothing back from it would think the same about the eu contribution, but i think it was the cbi who put figure of something like 10 pounds back for every 1 pound you put in in terms of research, innovation, joint working. so i don't think it's a purely empirical game at all. and, of course, at least per capita, we're nowhere close to being the highest contributors. >> i mean, i think, interestingly, you know, the uk receives -- that's actually funded by other eu -- that rebate. on behalf of scotland, we make a smaller contribution than does england or the uk as a whole.
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we make a higher contribution than northern island and wales. >> yeah. >> scotland does quite well of the eu as well with regard -- >> it always has. i mean, when i first arrived in brussels in 94, the islands partnership and others had been very, very effective in terms of maximizing european funding and remained the case sense then. >> scotland stronger than europe produced campaign material for states, for every pound the uk puts in, it get 10 pound back. what is that claim based on? >> that's a figure that came from, i think that was the cbi. separate from the campaign. and that was based partly on research and innovation, partly on the impact that structural funds and social funds have in terms of reswrgeneration and ot
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food aspects. it was simply just an economi l calculation. >> okay. i have one more question. any reason you think scotland would be better off if the uk remains within the eu? so what do you think would be the key risks if the uk as a whole votes to leave? >> well, it's the immense uncertainty. back in september 2014, we had a very clear white paper of all te terntive future for scotland in the referendum. people had a clear choice in their hands, the status quo of the white paper. we have no equivalent at this moment. i know, perhaps, the gentleman who will follow me this afternoon will say we're not going to give secrets away to the opposition, but people deserve to know what it is we aim to do, and if the wto are saying -- they're still negotiating on the eu '15,
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haven't gotten around to the countries that joined 10, 15 years ago, there's clearly going to be a delay in areas like that. we have no idea in terms of the rebate and other aspects of this. we have no idea in terms of the currency weighting. and we're being asked to assume that it will all be fine. when the point that we're trying to make is we got all the advantages already. we have the advantages norway has but we also have a say. we have the advantages switzerland has but we also have our services included in that free trade area. it's reminding people that the common market is a lot more than just a free trade area. the services, goods, the capital movement is something much more sophisticated and it is difficult because, and i appreciate this, because you're talks about a political system that has never existed before and does not exist anywhere else. so when people try to paint it as a superstate, they're assuming it's like the united states of america or souping it's like the united kingdom. it's nothing like that.
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it's a unique type of body and reminding people because it's unique, you will really notice when it's not there anymore. the level of cooperation that exists between disability groups, between educational groups, small retailers, the idea that trade outside the uk, somehow their supply chains and staffing chains aren't affected by eu membership as well just doesn't bear closer consideration. >> one of the things you mentioned there, as being part of the eu, however, one of the arguments of our party and the scottish government is unfortunately we don't get -- because we have the uk government speaking on our behalf, a lot of the meetings and, in fact, happened recently where the minister of the uk minister couldn't attend and instead of them asking --
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minister at the time for rural affairs, ended up being someone from the house of lords, unelected, speaking on behalf of the uk government and scottish government. use somebody with the expertise to head up the meeting that day and make decisions on behalf of the whole uk. >> well, that's obviously a matter for the uk government and this was discussed at a time of devolution when teams came over to brussels before the white paper was published. what i would say is that all aspects of scottish society and economy have always been extremely influential in brussels. in terms of getting their message across to the commission, to the elected members and to the other member states as well. so, yes, when you get to the final decision-making point in the council of ministers, that might be true. a lot of power shifted to the european parliament since then and in you have an equal vote.
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the consultation and agreement between member states a lot has been done formally. the nature of the formal relationship is a matter for the united kingdom. >> in our previous session, spoke to central -- uk referendum, fisheries, agriculture wr agriculture unions, business organizations. are you planning to work with these sectors to inform them about the benefits of the -- is there anything planned? i think we had something about a debate, involving agricultural interests and they were finding it very difficult to source. i think christopher chope was -- i don't know how far we got. we'll have christopher in a minute. is there any plans to have these conversations with the -- >> we already have -- i mean, since we put out our campaign team together at the end of last year, before the renegotiation
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and the firing gun -- the starting gun was fired on the referendum, we were already speaking to bodies, business representation bodies and others then we continued that since then, so we've been -- you know, i've spoken to the scdi, spoken to all sorts of other bodies. i'm down on the borders tomorrow. oil and gas in a couple weeks. all over the place. so we're just -- we're trying to stimulate and encourage as many discussions as possible across the sectors. in some cases, it's a direct debate, in some cases it's simply a conversation with their membership because they've chosen for one reason or another not to show a hand in the referendum. but as i say, almost all of our discussions are with the general public or representative groups. they're not a political discussion, if you like, at all. >> thank you. christopher chope, can i ask you what the risks are to scotland if we remain in the european union?
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>> i can't think of any off the top of my head, because, you know, i've seen how scotland as part of the united kingdom operated within the european union for the past 20 years. i've seen scottish jurists at the top of the court of justice, scottish officials at the top of the commission, scottish members at the top of the parliament. i always think we've played a pretty good game. i don't see that continued membership would present any further threats to us than might have been perceived up until now. those who believed the ever closer union in the treaties actually referred to a single state rather than closer work between the peoples of europe can be disabused of that fact now, i think. those who thought that the euro was a threat can be disabused of that threat for the time being, at least, until the government here changes its mind. so i don't see any obvious threats to us.
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>> gosh. even more rose tinted than i thought was possible. can i just suggest some possible threats then? one is that the european union takes on more members. and those members will be poor countries than scotland and as a result scotland's -- the contributions that scotland gets are from the european union, although they aren't net contributors to the european union. they will get less back because the regional funds will need to go to support albania, turkey and so on. isn't that a risk? >> well, i don't think turkey's a risk for a very long time, but in case of albania, albania's not exactly an enormous country. we've been putting a lot of infrastructure work into albania already. that was true in 1981 when greece joined -- >> you don't see any risk at the amount of money that scotland currently gets from the european union would be diminished as a result of further expansion of
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the european union? you don't see that as a risk? >> it has collectively reduced over time as other countries have come in that are poorer than parts of scotland. >> and the hinzan islands would stay as they did a the tit the . >> you would accept that's a risk but you discount it because you say it's a desirable risk. can i put another proposition to you? you say you've been talking to the food and drink community in scotland. the scottish government backed by the scottish people wanted to bring in minimum pricing for alcohol. and that was the democratic decision of the scottish government. and that was dismissed by the european court of justice. now, how does that fit in with scottish aspirations for control
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over their own destiny, having a democratic decision overturned by the court of justice which is supreme in europe even over the scottish people? >> supreme in those aspects of european law that the proposed minimum pricing covered. by choosing to do it in a way they did, it was referred not by faces and elected judges but by the scottish whiskey in edinboro. the scottish government first determined to do it were perhaps not the best according to the treaty which the united kingdom signed and therefore passed it back to the court sitting in edinboro. that's where it currently resides. the opinion of the scotti isisi people hasn't been overturned at all. >> not yet. >> it's been returned to the court of session which is the highest court in scotland. >> doesn't this show the european court of justice is, indeed, supreme and anything
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they take in the future which is against the interest of scotland is the one in which the scots won't have any control? >> only in areas where we, the member states, we, the united kingdom, have chosen to give the eu and ecj competence. the whole purpose of the legal treaties is it limits the competencies to the ones we decide to give them. we have a veto in giving those rights. if we choose not to give them further responsibility, they have no further powers. >> for the european court of justice to interpret what those competencies are, you would accept that's what the judges have said and that's why, for example, the european court of justice has ruled, given an opinion to the effect that it will be against european union jurisprudence for the european union to exceed to the european convention on human rights. despite that being a treaty obligation under the lisbon treaty. the european court of justice has said that they interpret
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european union law and that it will be wrong for the european union to exceed to the -- i give that as an example. >> to take that example, i mean, that was done on the basis that they didn't accept the deu was as yet a single legal body which is not something who people want to leave the european union were particularly keen about. >> that's -- the reason for what they said, they did not wish the european court of justice to be subordinate to the european court of human rights. and isn't that the whole issue here? if you are proud nation, as scotland is a proud nation, why doesn't it want to go on its own? and if it left, if we, the united kingdom, leave the european union, then the scots, the scottish government, their elected representative will be able to have control over scottish fishing? completely? which they lost. be able to have control over scottish agriculture, as they'd be able, for example, to charge
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fees in the scotti isis isish universities and institutions and higher education, they'd be able to charge students from the eu fees and thereby be able to increase the opportunities for scots to be able to access higher education which they're being squeezed out of at the moment because of lack of resources. so there are all sorts of benefits that would actually come directly to the scottish people if the scots and the rest of the united kingdom vote on 23rd of june to leave. >> well, i simply don't agree. i worked with the steel commission, the campbell commission among some of the other bodies that looked at extending the powers of the scottish parliament. i'd rather have a cross-party constitutional attempt to expand the powers than doing it by the stroke of a pen. but in issue of the jurisdiction of the court, the court literally can only cover those areas which we, we the people of europe decide to give it. that's what it's done. if the treaty is badly written, that is not the fault of the court of justice. that's the fault of the prime minister and the other people who signed a treaty in the first
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place. but in terms -- >> not going to be able to get any treaty changed. can i ask -- >> just to finish the question -- >> order. let him finish. >> just to return to the point, i used to visit luxembourg a lot, about the size of perth. it has its own language. in its own language on the middle of luxembourg is the national motto. the national motto is the "we want to remain what we are." luxembourg is a proud nation as is albania, as is latvia. any more than scotland, england, wales or the united kingdom doesn't bear anything to the understanding i have of europe. >> that hasn't fit in with the scottish fisherman, they resent the fact, i understand why, they resent the fact that control over scottish fishing grounds rests with the european union rather than with the scottish people. if we leave the european union,
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can absolute control over scottish fishing grounds will rest not with the uk parliament, but with the scottish particlele, as, indeed, will control over scottish agriculture. two very important parts of the scottish economy. would you not accept that that is one of the bonuses that will come when we leave? >> i have yet to hear a voice from scottish agriculture who wants that to happen. every voice on the other side is, well, we can only listen to the people who are the expects in their field. in terms of fishery, absolutely, a lot of people have a different view. not the same view as shellfish, fishers on the west coast of scotland. those in the north sea, absolutely. of course, they do have to bear in mind who their market is. their market is not the people of scotland, sadly. we're not the ones eating the fish. so if we want to be trading this in the best possible terms, then we want to be part of a market that is buying it and it's the nearest, freshest market we have and we've got the arrangement with them already. why we would come out and then seek to renegotiate the same arrangement we have at the
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moment, i don't simply understand. >> could i -- i think we took a big shot at that. >> he has a point about students. >> i'll happily answer the point about students. >> only ten more minutes. if you could -- >> i have yet to meet a student or a student body or a university that thinks that they would like to extend european students to be cash cows in the way that they see other students are. they don't see that to be a desirable thing at all. and of course, if you go and speak to any school in scotland, increasingly, as students are filling out the form, they are encouraging students from elsewhere to apply elsewhere in the united kingdom, where of course, they'll receive the same benefits overseas as eu students as the e uu students receive in scotland. it's two-way. >> we did actually ask those seconders to come to this committee a couple weeks ago and i think what they said to us,
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and i think the problem mr. edwards has reemphasized is there was a strong view within the nfu that they wanted to remain within the european union, except all the issues -- again, university scotland more or less gave us that same time of evidence. it's fair to say, it was a mixed response when it came to -- just for the record, ensure that we have spoken to the interests who gave us quite detailed evidence last session. but a couple questions. >> yeah. i want to ask this positive case, remain in the eu, and you've spoken about kind of workers' rights and things in more general ways, but for the man on the street or for the family, you know, on the street, what are the tangible benefits of the eu to a family in scotland? >> well, it's, you can take it from the moment you get up in the morning to the moment you go to bed. it's the air you breathe walking to school. it's the water you drink. it's the amount of time your mother or father has to take off work to look after your when
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you're born. it's the amount of hours you have to work in a week over 17 weeks. it's the food quality, it's the nutritional value of the food that you're eating, the labeling. it's the ability to have networks and partnerships with other schools, other universities across europe. it's the ability to travel cheaply in a deregulated air system. it's the networks in terms of rail and other transport across europe. it's literally -- this is one of the points we have to try and get across, europe is not a standalone constitutional issue like the uk or devolution. it is a matter of domestic policy. in all sorts of areas. at least those in which we granted competence. and people need to realize that it does effect their daily lives in a way that is positive and at least if they don't think it's positive, they have legal redress in that front. again, one of the unique elements about the european union, it's based entirely on the rule of law. every one of the 500 million
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citizens from stoneaway right through to solanica have the same equal access to the law. >> thank you. >> chris fer lore? >> i want to ask you about the forms negotiated in the eu from the prime minister, how they've been mixed at best at least in public eye. what were your views, and how do you think it affects scotland? >> we've taken a pretty sanguine view of the reforms simply on the ground for us as a nonparty campaign, they were, as i said, the starting pistol. we knew this referendum was coming, indeed, since james goldsmith was advocating for it 25 years ago. we've known there would be a referendum of some form or another. so that was the decision that one political party took to initiate that referendum. there haven't been many questions on the doorsteps about it since then in terms of the
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deal. it's not for me to comment on those who think it's too much or too little. it has, in some ways, been useful to counter some of the perceptions that people have that we will still somehow be lured into things that we don't want to be part of. like bailouts in the eurozone, or a single european state. i was challenged early last week on the single european navy and army. at least you can point to that text now and say, well, i don't think, edward, you never meant a single country. if there were people like the ones i used to work for in brussels 20 years ago for whom that was an aspiration after the law, they accepted after the berlin wall came down, it was never going to happen in that way. they never expected europe to be so broad. the idea of a deep single european state was never going to happen. in one way, the text is quite useful because it shows there are limits, but if you're a euro federalist, you'll find it disappointing because it makes britain to a certain extent a bit to the side.
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but then it's not the only one. sweden, denmark and others. it is what it is. we're campaigning on the basis of the bigger issue of staying in. >> do you think the deals that were made are going to be largely forgotten by the 24th of june or are they going to form part of the decision-making for the people of scotland? >> they will to a certain ex-tempt. wh when the issue of the currency comes up, important whether single currency is a prospect or not. whether bailouts should be need in another country are a prospect or not. i would be pretending if i say it's a strong issue in people's minds in the debates i've been to. they see it as a purely political party issue. >> a question, i know we talked about immigration being key issues in england. what do you think the key issue
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is on scotland? >> i think it's, if you like, it's almost connectivity. it's the acknowledgement that with apologies to iceland to withdrawing their application, we're the northwest frontier of the european union, therefore, as has always been the case in our history, to be a trading nation whether it's visible trade in manufacturing terms or in terms of services or ball. you need to have as many opportunities -- that's the case of free market arrangements across europe. that's true. you go to yuuniversity, people e talking about their potential work opportunities abroad. they see the other 27 member states as their backyard. h they don't see it as i'm going abroad to work, it's i'm going somewhere else. i think, that sense -- again, partly because the devolution, we recognize there are different stages and different places for
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our -- where our, if sovereignty's the word, where sovereignty rests, where responsibility rests. we change our identities quite comfortably in that. i think it really is that part of, that sense that we're part of this system. something that we're quite proud of and actually some famous scots have been quite heavily responsible for it from the beginning. and, therefore, we see the value of it and we don't feel the threat. yes, it may be true that migration is less of an issue in scotland than other parts of the united kingdom, but as i say, some of the more terrifying arguments that have been used in the campaign so far just haven't resented at all. >> thank you. >> i can sense the frustration. it's very hard to put a case when you're not aware of the opposite case. there hasn't really been one. we know the uk government attempt to defame the options that may be available to the uk, i think they're roughly characterized, the norwegian
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model, the membership of the european economic area, there's a bilateral arrangement like the canadian model, negotiate our own deal within the eu and there's the wto option, again -- i wonder if you recognize these as the options that might be available to uk and what impact would either of these models have on scotland if we were to leave and were to decide which one was going to be progressed? >> i think inevitably, any of them has a downside, whether the downside is delay or the downside is a loss of voice. the norwegian moddeel manifestl requires acceptance. if you want to remain part of free movement into the single market, you have to accept the regulations they're on. import, export goods at the same standards. you'd accept that but taking yourself out of the parliament where the decisions are made. that's one option. you can take that. if sovereignty is your primary issue, seems to be an odd way to
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go that you'd relinquish sovereignty and keep the same regulations. on wto side, people within the wto said they're still struggling to itmplement the eu 15 which changed 20 years ago so they're not even at the point of having full negotiations completed for the eu 28. the idea we could quickly turn around after article 50 was started, an arrangement with the wto is interesting. that leaves other models like the swiss model or canadian model which is fine if you can negotiate a deal as good as the one you're giving up, but, i means, if you take the swiss, for example, yes, the swiss have negotiated a free trade agreement with china. switzerland overnight dropped 80% of its tariffs when that deal came into force. china didn't drop any because it was china versus switzerland and that is the nature of world politics and world economics.
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i don't see any of the three options that make life look better for us in the options we have at the moment. >> i know we're running out of time. i want to ask about -- i think what we're having difficulty attempting to identify, what are the particular scottish issues when it comes to the remain case were being in the european union. the big debates we hear at westminister all the time are three key themes of sovereignty, of trade and of immigration. >> yeah. >> and immigration seems to be the case that most of the campaign seems to be coalescing around just now because the arguments were -- seem to be diminishes and sovereignty obviously is a very emotional case. what do you make of these three big things that seems to be the key? is there anything particular scottish that you think the case could inject, try and maybe inject some more enthusiasm and energy into the campaign in scotland? >> well, i mean, i think what --
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out of those three, as i say, the one that our focus has been on is trade and the economy. and that's not to say you will be so much worse off after leave but to say we can keep doing what we've always done. you know, we're a small quite peripheral part of europe but we always traded successfully, we also contributed intellectually to the development of europe. there's no reason why we couldn't continue to do that. i think that's -- that's, if you like, where we're trying to hit the strand of positivity which is to say we have nothing to fear from this. this is a system that we are part of. and our geographical distance or our relatively small size doesn't necessarily have any impact on our ability to influence matters. so to walk away from the table seems to be an admission of defeat which is unusual, both for scotland and the united kingdom. you know, we normally pride ourselves, we have the commonwealth, and europe as our neighborhoods. why not use all three successfully? >> thank you. right at 3:00 is the time the session has to end.
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is there any last things you think we missed, maybe not heard? >> no, i don't think so. i think we've always taken the view that, as i say, if you like, goes beyond party politics. and one of the things we try to avoid doing is this sort of he said/she said. the one thing i'm finding increasingly curious about the whole thing is that, as i said, they're all out of step. we're starting to get a sense where everybody agrees with us but we all must be wrong. there's a point when people are making their decision, they have to ask themselves who they actually trust. >> on that trust, first refer to norway, and refer to switzerland, you didn't refer to iceland. none of those three countries want to join the european union. >> no. >> despite the disadvantages which you say they're under because they're not members of the european union. and that's why a lot of people say, and i think even our trade
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and industry minister, has said if we started from scratch, he wouldn't wish to join the european union. isn't that the true fact, if we weren't in the european union, nobody would want to join this old-fashioned body? >> well, it's not old-fashioned. people always talk about europe's share of trade falling. the only reason the share is falling, as is japan's and the united states', china is going up. switzerland on reemt recently started to join some of the u.n. bodies. switzerland has always had a slightly digit view of the world. my contention is this is not something that britain is joining come lately to and somehow countries have a plan against us. we're part of it. the trade aspect of the urieuron union moved directly -- i don't see why now we got a situation of a europe that actually serves our purposes. we simply walk away from it.
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>> thank you very much. very grateful for your time and asking all those questions. and i'm sure we'll be seeing you much in the korcourse of the ne few weeks. >> i'm afraid so. >> thank you. >> welcome to the committee. it's very good to see you once again. i think you know quite a few people around the table here. and we'd normally ask you for an opening statement. probably include what you'd like to see.
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as long as you want. why scotland should want to leave the european union. >> i think for many of the same reasons that the uk should leave, but there are specific scottish reasons. some of which may appeal to individual members of the committee and others which may not. for example, the scottish parliament would inherit some fairly important new powers. no need for another smith commission. no need for legislation in this place by default automatically, new powers particularly in fishing, agriculture, would be automatically the scottish parliament on the day we left the eu. my own view is scottish fishing would be better run by scottish -- i think that will resonate with a lot of scottish voters. second thing is, it would give us the power to actually protect
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long term university students at scotland. at the moment an eu student has exactly the same rate as any scottish student. unusually, any other overseas student from, say, the eu, must be tuition fees. if we were able legally to charge eu students, we would not only save the 80 million we're intending at the moment, but they would also be wherever the overseas would be. it's a double whammy. that money could be used for anything scottish ministers would want to use it for. i expect they'd want to use it to protect in the long term, free tuition for scottish students. if they chose. once again, that would be a matter for scottish students. thirdly, there's a democratic deficit. five years ago, the snp elected on an overwhelming majority in the scottish parliament which no one expected.
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they had a mandate in place for alcohol. now, that was supported not just for the snp but by other pears y parties yet the european court of justice struck it down and don't have it because of the membership with the eu. just today there's another report saying alcohol sales particularly through supermarkets means we're selling per head 20% more alcohol in scotland an england. what is relevant is that a mandated political party has the right to introduce its policies and in this particular occasion, it wasn't allowed to because of interference by the european court of justice. and lastly, chair, is simply the bonus. we do, however much we want to, argue about what the payment is that scotland, or scottish taxpayers contribute as part of the eu's membership dues. when we're at the eu, that money is simply not having to be spent. that money will come to the
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scottish parliament. partly because there is more money available because of the difference between what we pay and what we get back but also because with those extra will become the availability of the necessity to have money to spend. for example, agriculture payments. that's something that scottish ministers, again, would be in charge of. and on agriculture, recently the snp, government have fallen victim to how complicated agricultural payments are in scotland. they could, say, the eu, construct their own way, a simpler method of agriculture subsidies if they choose. that's a matter for scottish ministers and i think it should be. >> grateful. you're sticking on the financial issue and the leaf case claimed that it's something like 350 million pounds per week that contributed to eu which makes scotland share some 1.5 billion. this failed to take into account the uk rebate. there's a model i saw at the bbc before we left to come to this
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committee. the support for the private sector. this figure significantly diminishes. i mean, just how realistic is this as a figure in do you accept that there is money that comes back to the uk which, therefore, comes back to scotland and all the rebate supported by the sector and support of the treasury? >> i absolutely accept that some of the money we give to the eu is spent in britain. none of that eu money, of course. it's all scottish and uk taxpayers' money. which is spend without our control back in scotland. but, for instance, this year, i have a tax bill which i will pay. next year i'll get a rebate on that. now, that doesn't affect what i pay my tax this year. the eu rebate is similar because it's not a rebate on this year's payment. it's a rebate that's retrospectively a year later. what we're paying out is being paid out. the 350 million pounds a week
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comes from the office of national statistics. it's not made up. it's quite legitimate to use the gross amount and if we want to have a debate about what the difference is between what we pay out and get, that's absolutely fine. people should be aware the level of money we are paying for the privilege of being the eu is hundreds of millions of pounds a week. >> i mean, if this money is returned to the uk as claimed, the treasury, how confident are you that scotland would therefore, once that money goes to the treasury, would secure a fair share in terms of that spending? we're dealing with a conservative government, benevolently spending in scotland. should scottish people just trust the man from the treasury to ensure scotland will get its fair share? >> i'm certainly not asking anyone to trust a conservative party treasury. it's a nonparty organization. we do have the ballot formula.
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conservative ministers have made it quite clear that payments, for example, to agriculture which is one of the biggest budget area, payments to agriculture would inevitably continue. political as well as agriculture. we understand why. if that means a public increase in england, there will be an increase. it is no nobody's interest. i mean, i totally understand the political dynamic, but it's no one's interest either westminister to start a spending war. the fact is there will be extra money available as a question of how the extra money will be divvied up. >> now just, we haven't opened the question, i think the case for the -- and debate about the european eu ref rrendum. to you recognize in the leaf campaign that scotland's immigration requirements are
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significantly different from the rest of the united kingdom? the issues we have when it comes to immigration, possibly immigration and sluggish population growth compared to the rest of the uk? >> yes. i absolutely recognize it. that digfferent reality. it's interesting, i was listening to the scottish np a few weeks ago and in defense of our eu partnership, i paraphrase, he said we have skills gaps in the scots economy, therefore we need to attract people with certain skills from eu. what a petty that would be illegal under eu law. we can't say which professions, which qualifications we can attract from the eu. we must accept anyone who's an eu citizener representative of the qualifications, irrespective of the skills they bring. it's a double whammy. there's unlimited from the eu which we can't control or
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manage. therefore, the government has to limit immigration from non-eu countries. if you're a businessman in india who wants to get a visa to come to britain, it's much more difficult because of the arrangement we have with the eu. non-eu citizens are being stung particularly badly on this. if you forgive me, chair, i think the whole -- >> just on that point, isn't what you want to try and create, therefore, is the eu citizens should be treated very much the same as citizens from anywhere else in the world, is that the idea? the type of model that you got in mind, the one that would be applied to scotland is we would have this free movement of populations across the european union area, and anybody who wishes to come to scotland, live, work, study in scottland would have to go through the same sorts of checks? >> essentially, yes. immigration is popular because first of all it's recognized as being economically beneficial.
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ever since the second world war, immigration has been limited and been managed and the voters have been reassured by consecutive governments that that's the case and, in fact, every single mainstream political party agrees in principle that immigration must be managed and limited. within the eu, we cannot manage or limit immigration. so what i'm saying is that what has held sway since the second world war was the right policy, that policy has been undermined by our membership at the eu and that if you are a dentist or a doctor from beijing, you have to wait in line behind a n non-skilled worker from poland. that's not helping our skills gap in scotland. >> we saw an example today about prime minister's question -- sco what we're observing is the uk government not particularly acting benevolently toward them and forcing a deportation next week. and there's just stagnant thinking suggests we would like to treat the rest of the people from europe in that same sort of
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manner and means and way. how does that assess some of the issues we would deal with in scotland? we're looking at a demographic gap which is greater than the rest of the united kingdom. one that we need to quickly close. what you're suggesting to us is we should have further controls on immigration. possibly health the growth and development of the scottish economy. >> with respect, chair, i think you're looking at this through the wrong end of the telescope. the reason that the uk government feels it has to be -- with non-eu citizens is because if you have an unlimited and unpredicted number of eu citizens coming in, irrespective of their abilities, skills, qualifications, then something else, pressure has to be put elsewhere. we can't put it on eu numbers coming in, so we have to put it on non-eu numbers coming in. now if you could actually have the same rules apply to everybody, you could afford to be realistically more flexible with people of all nationalities. >> could i just say that i've never detected any of the
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speeches that have been made by nigel, one of your partners when it comes to this exercise, what he's looking to do is try and increase and equalize the entry allowances from people from the eu. i mean, i get the impression that what this is all about, this controlling immigration to the uk has stopped -- i've never heard anything from some of your leagues with colleagues from within the leaf campaign, this is trying to equalize, or encourage more people to come to the uk? >> if you forgive me, chair, nigel is no longer a partner of mine in the leaf campaign than david cameron is of yours. nigel is a different campaign. and the scottish leaf, partly -- >> okay. >> i wanted to ask about red tape. we heard last time we took evidence on eu red tape by the fact that a lot of people talk about red tape but they can't
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actually give us tangible examples of where there's been an issue. can you give us some tangible examples where red tape has been a concern? >> yes, i can. i think -- before i do that, let me just put it in context because i think there's been some concern about several uk -- gold plating of eu regs. that is a historical thing because of the legal system in europe is different from the legal system as it pertains in the uk, scotland, and england. if something is unregulated, it tends to be illegal. realize in britain, regulation tends only to be applied if you want to limit excess. so there's a different kind of political and cultural approach to regulation. i'll give you an example. there's a certificate of professional competency. where every few years drivers have to go and get this qualification which is an eu qualification, eu obligation. now, there isn't a pass or a fail on it.
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once you start the test, actually you got your cpc certificate for the next few years, but there's no pass or fail. and the time it takes drivers to take off, what, to go and take that test is basically -- that's where the cost is of that particular industry. there's another thing called the ce mark which applies to the construction industry. so any company that hopes to bid for local authority, contracts, or which hopes to apply for permission for political project, they must use any product that they use must be ce approved. now the ce mark is quite difficult to get. i have had reports from people in the construction industry that it's -- new people coming into the construction industry. but like the cpc, it doesn't actually guarantee a level of quality or standard. it's just -- it's an improved european mark which all of these companies must apply for or else they're not allowed to operate.
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now, i think it'd be wrong for vote leave -- what it is about is saying that eu regulation should only apply basically to companies that actually do import or export into the single market. it should only apply to 1 in 20 companies in scotland. we're saying regulation doesn't have to be tone on a trans-continental basises. it should be done on a national level. i hope scottish ministers would have an input on that. >> just to follow up, i've heard good things said about the ce market, i think people do consider it as a mark of quality. in terms of the eu rules and the go goldpz plating things, i'm not sure what you said is


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