tv British House of Commons CSPAN January 18, 2015 9:35pm-10:01pm EST
>> i am in favor of the living wage. i think those organizations that convey the living wage should pay the living wage. i think it is a very good a very good thing that should happen to but in addition to that, what we can help with -- and notice the leader of the opposition doesn't pay the living wage so maybe he can start with his own backyard. [shouting] spend that shut him up. but in addition to that in addition to seeing minimum wages rise, we should also be taking the lowest paid people out of tax. and under this government we have taken 3 million of the lowest paid people out of tax. >> order. [laughter] the great victory over a mighty >> who have been watching "prime minister's western questions."
you can watch video past mortgage programming on c-span british public affairs programming on c-span.org. david cameron was in washington on thursday and friday for meetings with president obama. discussed counterterrorism, the economy. the joint news conference really talked about the negotiations concerning the iran nuclear program and additional sanctions against iran by the u.s. congress. this is just over an hour. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and the prime minister of the united kingdom. >> please have a seat.
good afternoon during this month marks a notable anniversary, 200 years since new orleans. here in america we call it a great victory over a mighty united kingdom. our british friends call it a technicality. the treaty ending the war was signed weeks before. either way, we have long since made up on this 200th anniversary of a great american victory. we count the united kingdom is one of our greatest friends and strongest allies. it is a great pleasure to welcome prime minister david cameron back to the white house. david recently noted how comfortable the two of us are working together. this sent some commentators into a tizzy. some explored the linguistic origins of the word. "bro."
some analyzed how this has evolved over time. some seemed confused and asked what does obama mean. and so let me put the speculation to rest. put simply, david is a great friend. he is one of my closest and most trusted partners in the world on many of the most pressing challenges that we face. we see the world the same way. we recognize that, as i have said before. when the united states and united kingdom stand together, our nations are more secure and our people are more prosperous and the world is safer and more just. great britain is are indispensable partner. and david has been personally an authentic partner. and i thank you for your friendship and with both of our economies growing and unemployment falling, we used our working dinner last night to discuss how we can help create more jobs for our people.
because we believe this needs to be the year when the united states and the european union make real progress toward the transatlantic trade and investment partnership, and we share the view that boosting demand in europe can keep our economies going. as innovative economies in his information age, we're expanding our collaboration on digital technologies to improve our -- governments serve our citizens and businesses. given the urgent and growing danger of cyber threats, we decided to expand our cooperation on cyber security. to protect critical infrastructure business, and the privacy of our people. as leaders in the global fight against climate change, we believe a strong commitment to reducing greenhouse gases will be an essential element of any ambitious climate agreement that we seek in paris this year, and that will help spur the creation of more clean energy jobs on both sides of the atlantic. with regard to security,
american and british unity is enabling us to meet challenges in europe and beyond. we agree on the need to maintain strong sanctions against russia until it ends its aggression in ukraine, and on the need to support ukraine as it implements important economic and democratic reforms. we agree that the international community needs to remain united as we seek a comprehensive diplomatic solution to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. and i would add that additional sanctions on iran at this time would undermine that international unity and set act -- setback our chances for a diplomatic solution. and as the two leading contributors to the global response to ebola in west africa, we urge the world to continue stepping up with resources required so we don't simply stop this disease, we do more to prevent future epidemics. look to our discussion obviously
-- much of our discussion obviously focused on the continuing threat of terrorism. in the wake of the vicious attacks in paris as well as the new surfacing out of belgium today we continue to stand unequivocally not only with our french friends and allies, but with also all of our partners who are dealing with this scourge. i know david joins me when i say we will continue to do everything we can in our power to help france seek the justice that is needed, and all our countries are working together seamlessly to prevent attacks and defeat these terrorist networks. with our combat mission in afghanistan over, we are focused with our nato allies on advising and assisting and equipping afghan forces to secure their own country and deny al qaeda any safe haven there. we will continue to count on our british allies as one of our strongest counterterrorism partners.
we reviewed the progress against isil. we are systematically taking out isil fighters, we are putting them on the defensive and helping local forces in iraq push these terrorists back. david and i agree that we need to keep stepping up the training of iraqi forces. and that we will not relent until this terrorist organization is destroyed. the paris attacks underscored again how terrorist groups are trying to support people in our own countries to engage in terrorism. i lead a special session of the united nations security council last fall to rally the world to meet the threat of foreign terrorist fighters, including coming from syria. david and the united kingdom continue to be strong partners in this work. including sharing intelligence and strengthening border security. at the same time we both recognize that intelligence and military force alone will not solve this problem.
so we are also going to keep working together on strategies to counter violent extremism that radicalizes recruits and mobilizes young people to engage in terrorism. and local communities, families, neighbors, faith leaders have a vital role to play in that effort. we also look forward to welcoming our british friends to our summit next month on countering violent terrorism. because whether in europe or america, a critical weapon against terrorism is our adherence to our freedoms and values at home, including the pluralism and the respect and tolerance that defines us as diverse and democratic societies. finally, i want to take this opportunity to publicly congratulate david on last month's stormont house agreement. it is a tribute to the courage and determination of everyone involved, especially the leaders of northern ireland, and the governments of ireland and the united kingdom. the u.s. was pleased to play a
small role in achieving this agreement. and we are going to keep doing what we need to do to support the peace process and the better future for the people of northern ireland. with that, let me turn it over to my good friend, david cameron. >> thank you very much, barack and thank you again for welcoming me to the white house. you are a great friend to britain and to me personally. as leaders, we share the same values. and as you said, on so many issues we see the world in the same way. and most of the time we speak the same language. [laughter] in the last six years since he -- you became president and in the nearly five since i have been prime minister, we faced big issues on our watch. and those challenges have boiled down to one word, security. economic security, the jobs and the living standards of our citizens, and national security, the ability of our peoples to live safely and in peace. at the heart of both issues are
the values that our countries cherish. freedom of expression, rule of law, and our democratic institutions. those are the things that make both our countries strong and which give us confidence that even in the midst of the most violent storms, with strong leadership we will come through to safer, to calmer, and to brighter days. during your presidency you have had to deal with the aftermath of a massive banking crisis and the recession. when i became prime minister britain had the highest budget deficit in its peacetime history. our economy was in grave peril. five years ago we had 110,000 troops serving together in afghanistan. thanks to their efforts, today it is afghan forces taking responsibility for security in their country. but we continue to face difficult times for the world. first and foremost, we have to deal with the warning lights flashing in the global economy.
weak growth in the eurozone, a slowdown in emerging markets that is why it is vital for our shared prosperity that we both stick to the long-term economic plans that we set out. we agreed that 2015 should be a pivotal year for an ambitious and comprehensive eu-u.s. trade deal that could benefit the average household and -- in britain by 400 pounds a year. the uk is now the top destination for american and foreign investment, with 500 projects last year providing 32,000 jobs. and america is the u.k.'s biggest trade partner. with exports worth nearly 90 million pounds. 90 billion pounds -- 90 billion pounds. our message on the economy today is simple. we are going to stick to the course. seeing through our economic plans is the only sustainable way to create jobs, raise living standards, and secure a better future for hard-working people. now britain and america both
face threats to our national security from people who hate what our countries stand for and who are determined to do us harm. in recent weeks we have seen appalling attacks in paris, in nigeria. the world is sickened by this terrorism. so we will not be standing alone in this fight. we know what we're up against. and we know how we will win. we face a poisonous and fanatical ideology that wants to pervert one of the world's major religions, islam, and create conflict, terror, and death. with our allies we are we will confront it -- we will confront it whenever it appears. the uk is the second-largest contributor to the anti-isil coalition. or a -- raf aircraft have conducted over 100 strikes and will continue to play a leading role. we will deploy additional intelligence and surveillance assets to help iraqi forces on the ground. we will make sure that are
equipped to counter explosive devices. most important of all, we must also fight this poisonous ideology starting at home. in the uk we are passing a law so that every public body must combat extremism. and this morning, we have agreed to establish a joint group to identify what we can do to counter the rise of domestic extremism and to learn from one another. in europe, russia has chosen to tear up the international rulebook and trample over the affairs of a sovereign state. this threatens our stability and prosperity. it is important that every country understands that, and that no one in europe forgets our history. we cannot walk on by. so we will continue to put pressure on russia to resolve this crisis diplomatically. and at the same time we will continue our efforts to support ukraine on the path of reform, including with financial assistance. we also reaffirmed our obligations as nato partners to stand by our allies.
we will be contributing an additional thousand troops for exercises in eastern europe. on iran, we remain absolutely committed to ensuring that iran cannot develop a nuclear weapon. the best way to achieve that now is to create a space for negotiations to succeed. we should not impose further sanctions now. that would be counterproductive, and it could put at risk the valuable international unity that has been so crucial to our approach. we also have to keep pace with new threats such as cyberattacks. we have discussed about in the last two days that -- that in the last two days, and we have today agreed to deepen our cyber security cooperation to better protect ourselves. finally, we face -- the entire world faces a growing threat from diseases. today our fight is against ebola. in the future it could be against a global flu pandemic. through our action in sierra leone, the u.s. action in liberia, friends in guinea --
franchce and ginny -- in guinea we are beginning to turn the corner. but we must get better at are spawning to these global health emergencies and make sure we can master them before they master -- responding to these global health emergencies and make sure we can master them before they master us. a new international platform to stimulate the design and development of new drugs -- all of these things are needed. let 2015, the year we must crack ebola, also be the year we tackle extreme poverty and climate change. we must set goals to eradicate extreme poverty. and on climate change, we want an outcome in paris that keeps our goal of limiting global warming by 2050 by 2 degrees in reach. degrees in reach.
-- those two things, and they go together, have the potential to give security to future generations to come. for almost two centuries, after those difficulties we were discussing earlier, america and britain have stood as candidates. in defending our freedoms and advancing our shared prosperity. today as we survey a world in flux, our alliance stands strong, rooted in its long history, and reinvigorated by the challenges we face today. if our forebears could join us here in the white house today, they might find the challenges we are facing, from isil to it will come up from -- ebola komar, from cyber terrorism to banking crisis -- they might find those hard to comprehend, but they would surely recognize the ties that i does across the atlantic and the values that are peoples hold so dear. we have stood together so often, not just because we faced, and threats, but because we fundamentally believe in the same things. that is as true today as it has
always been. and it usually -- hugely benefits our countries and the people we are here to serve. >> we will take a few countries -- questions. jonathan of abc. >> you mentioned your opposition to the sanctions bill on iran. and this is obviously a bipartisan bill supported by some very senior top members of your own party and congress. why do you oppose a bill that would only impose sanctions if you fail to reach an agreement and if the iranians failed to agree to take steps to curtail their nuclear program. would you go so for as to veto a bill supported by top democrats in congress on this issue? and to mr. prime minister, i understand you have been making phone calls to senators on this issue of the iran sanctions bill. is that correct?
are you actually lobbying the u.s. congress on this? and if i may, mr. president, i would like to hear your reaction to the news that mitt romney is running for president again. >> on your last question [laughter] i have no comment. [laughter] on your first question, when i came into office i made a commitment that iran would not obtain a nuclear weapon, that we would do everything we could to prevent that. and that is important for our security and it is important for the world's security. if iran obtained a nuclear weapon, it would trigger an arms race in the middle east, make our job in terms of preventing proliferation of nuclear materials much more difficult. given their missile
capabilities, it would threaten directly our closest allies, including israel, and ultimately could threaten us. and so what we did was systematically, with the help of congress, construct the most forceful, most effective sanctions regime in modern history. and what was remarkable was that when i came into office, the world was divided around this issue. and iran was united. and through some very strong diplomatic work, we united the world and isolated iran. and it is because of that work that we brought them to the negotiating table not for posturing, not for meetings that lead nowhere, but to a very hard-nosed nuts and bolts
discussion of their nuclear program. now, the interim deal we entered into also froze progress on their nuclear program, rolled back in some cases the stockpiles of material they had already accumulated, and provided us insight into their program that was unprecedented. we have people on the ground who are able to verify and inspect and tell us what exactly is going on. that's not just our assessment. that is the assessment of intelligence services around the world, including the israelis. so the agreement is held and negotiations have been serious. we have not lost ground. iran has not accelerated its program during the time these negotiations have taken place. in fact, iran's program has not only been in abeyance, but we have actually made gains in rolling back some of the stockpiles they had.
now, we have on the table currently a series of negotiations over the next several months to determine whether or not iran can get the yes. and what has been remarkable is the unity we have maintained with the world in isolating iran and forcing them to negotiate in a serious way. the p5+1 includes not only china, but russia. they have continued to cooperate with us and setting forth positions that would give us assurances that iran was not developing a nuclear weapon. i have always said that the chances that we can actually get a diplomatic deal are probably less than 50/50. iran is a regime that is deeply suspicious of the west, deeply suspicious of us. in the past they have
surreptitiously and secretly advanced aspects of this program. we have huge differences with them on a whole range of issues. but, if in fact we still have an opportunity to get a diplomatic deal that provides us verifiable assurances that they are not developing a nuclear weapon, that is the best possible outcome that we can arrive at right now. the question i have for members of congress, including those folks in my own party, is why is it that we would have to take actions that might jeopardize the possibility of getting a deal over the next 60 to 90 days? what is it precisely that is going to be accomplished? i can tell you what the risks are. and i think david shares my assessment here.
under the interim deal that brought iran to the table, we were not supposed to initiate new sanctions. no, you will hear arguments. these technically aren't new sanctions, they are simply laws putting in place the possibility of additional sanctions. i assure you that is not how iran would interpret or our partners would interpret it. so the likelihood of the entire negotiations collapsing is very high. if that happens, there is no constraints on iran at that point going back and doing what they came to do before they came to the table, developing a heavy water reactor that once built it is -- is extraordinarily difficult to dismantle, and very difficult to hit militarily. going back at underground
facilities that are very hard to reach militarily, accelerating advanced centrifuges that shorten the time span in which they can achieve breakout capacity. and they would be able to maintain that the reason they ended negotiations was because the united states was operating in bad faith and blew up the deal. and there would be some sympathy to that view around the world, which means the sanctions we have in place now would potentially fray, because imposing those sanctions are a hardship on a number of countries around the world. they would love to be able to buy iranian oil. the reason they have hung in despite it being against economic interests is because we have shown that we are credibly trying to solve this problem and avert a military showdown. on that context, there is no
good argument for us to try to undercut, undermine the negotiations until they have played themselves out. know if i learned ultimately ends up -- now if iran but we ends up not being able to say yes, if they cannot provide us the kind of assurances -- ends up not being able to say yes, if they cannot provide us the kind of assurances to conclude they are not obtaining a nuclear weapon, we will have to explore other options. >> by the way, those are not the only options that will be available. i have consistently said we leave all options on the table. but congress should be aware that if this diplomatic solution fails, the risks and likelihood that this ends up being a military confrontation is heightened. and congress will have to own that as well. that will have to be debated by the american people. and we may not be able to