tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 22, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EDT
that is exactly what i said to president abbas when i met him in ramallah. there is no excuse for killing innocents or remaining silent in the face of terrorism. i made it clear -- i will be honest with you, after extensive meetings with leaders on all sides, including different parties within israel, i must tell you straight up i did not walk away encouraged. the current prospects for peace are not heartening.
there is no political will among israelis nor palestinians to move forward with serious negotiations. that is incredibly disappointing. the only way, in my view, to guarantee israelis future and security, identity as a jewish and democratic state, is with a two state solution. that remains my view. it is the only way to ensure the dignity and self-determination that the palestinian people deserve as well. i think it is a clear eyed political and demographic reality.
i know it is hard to take a risk for peace. because i am irish, i understand all hatreds die slowly. i mean that sincerely. i have been involved in the northern ireland situation as well. james joyce said, history is a nightmare from which i am trying to awake. history is a nightmare from which i'm constantly trying to awake. i also think, the famous quote, if you will it, it is no dream. if you will it, it is no dream. [applause] i need not tell anyone in this audience that dreams in israel have never been impossible.
v.p. biden: dreams in israel have never been impossible. were they impossible, there would be no israel because there exists within the jewish community and iron will. so right now, i don't have the answer but i know we have to work on renewing that will for peace. we must remind the constituencies among both the israelis and palestinians to create a fundamentally different future. the future with the grievances of the past -- that means that terrorist attacks must stop. the rhetoric that insights of violence against innocents, it must stop. [applause] v.p. biden: retribution and revenge must stop. there is another line from an
irish poet named yeats -- he said, "too much of suffering makes a stone of the heart." ladies and gentlemen, terror is terror is terror and it must be condemned as such, plain and simple. it is interesting how our arab friends are now figuring out, until we all understand that, we will not succeed. actions on either side to undermine trust only take us further away from the path of peace. actions like at the human to
undermine israel -- at the u.n. to undermine israel or settlement activities. to be frank, israel's government has a systematic process of expanding settlement and seizing land. b.b. thinks it can be accommodated. i don't. trends are moving in the opposite direction. toward a one state reality which is a reality that is dangerous. [applause] v.p. biden: folks, that is in direct conflict with the goal we share of assuring israel's future as a secure jewish and democratic state. as i tell everyone, i never tell anyone their business.
all i can do is say what i believe to be. their truth as a relates to arbors as well. we stress to both parties they need to take meaningful steps to demonstrate their commitment to a two state solution that extends beyond words. things must begin to happen now to build confidence. i know he is talking about it. i heard it being talked about on the palestinian side. there has to be a little show me. this cannot continue to erode. i know that is not a message that is particularly welcome, but nobody ever doubts -- i mean what i say. sometimes i say all that i need. -- sometimes i say all that i
mean here it i am not pessimistic about the dynamics of the region. in the past, i have seen a remarkable consensus develop among israelis as well as its arab neighbors around three issues. that may have the ability to begin to change the dynamics on the ground. for the first time in my years working on israel, i found this agreement. i think it presents a chance to change the underlying dynamics. first, there is widespread agreement among all parties that iran's destabilizing activities are a concern for the entire region, for israel and the arab states as well. by the way, that wasn't the case seven years ago. was the case five years ago, even three years ago.
we have been speaking with israel about this for decades. they have been speaking with us. today it is also on the agenda of many of their members. -- many of their neighbors. it will be a major topic of discussion when obama meets with the gulf states cooperation council in saudi arabia next month. we are taking critical steps to strengthen our security cooperation so that they can engaged diplomatically with iran from a position of strength and everyone in the region agrees that in iran's behavior continues to pose a problem and provides an opportunity though -- my mother would say, bad things and good things happen if you look hard enough. finding opportunity for
cooperation across the divide. the joint view of the threat posed by iran. second, israel and their neighbors share an overwhelming concern about the threat that radicalization poses to their own security. the arab nations have begun to finally figure out that isis sees a caliphate not in israel that arab land, that isis is a threat to their existence. it was a common thread in my discussions not just in jerusalem but in ramallah, abu dhabi, oman. the ambition of isil has
crystallized their resolve to receipt -- has crystallized their resolve to defeat this foe. preventing isil, al qaeda, from metastasizing, infecting their countries, bringing them down. and, as we saw again this weekend, that concern is real. that is why so many arab states joined the counter-iso-coalition and many are members in more than name only. our strength, hosting forces, contributing resources and training. it is overwhelming, the self-interest of these nations
throughout the region to share information and to work together to defeat isil and i could deepen cooperation. in one country, military leaders said they have no closer military ally then israel. there is no reason that the chance does not exist to broaden that cooperation. 30, change on the ground is that driving need for nations to secure enough energy. to meet the needs of their people. that creates another enormous opportunity for israel. chances are natural gas resources are making the u.s. and north america the new epicenter of energy for the entire world.
israel is emerging as a dynamic hub in the eastern veteran in your turkey, egypt, jordan, all have a desire not to be dependent on anyone energy source. israel has both the resources and the capacity to provide for those needs. we see the potential for deals that benefit everyone, deals that could increase the channels of could, increase the channels of cooperation. i spoke about these issues with prime minister netanyahu and king abdullah during my trip and i spoke about it with prime minister davutoglu. we are working with our friends to bring these deals to fruition. their decision, israel's decision, but we are prepared to help. there is no guarantee that any of this will happen. tough choices are needed. backed by the political world of change in the full potential of this cooperation of these three changes in the region is more
likely to be realized if meaningful political progress is able to begin to be made between the israelis and the palestinians. for the first of in my career, i see the potential for relations between israel and many historic antagonists beginning to fall. whether or not 10 and a change in the middle east or relations have opened up, one thing is certain. in united states will constantly and forever have israel's back. [applause] v.p. biden: just like we have since israel's founding in 1948. i hate to say this because it dates me that i have worked with eight presidents. as we catholic say, bless me, father, i don't know, i can't be titled and i mean this
sincerely. no ministration has done more to advance the security of israel then we have peered our unprecedented cooperation makes me incredibly proud. our commitment to israel's qualitative -- will not change. we will make sure that israel has the best equipment available when we deliver 35 jets. they will be the only nation with fifth-generation aircraft. [applause] v.p. biden: we will continue to make sure israel has the capacity to defend itself by itself for itself in an incredibly dangerous neighborhood. look.
during a time of tight budgets and difficult politics, israel security has always been a priority. $23.5 billion in foreign military financing in seven years we have been in office. additional $3 billion to help them build one of the most advanced missile defense systems in the world. on top of that, another $1.9 million for munitions last year. by now, a household name. every dollar a meaningful investment is saving the lives of innocent israelis.
we are successfully testing another system in december. both systems bringing us closer to coming in line to protect israel against even wider range of rocket attacks. israel is stronger and more secure today because of the obama biden administration period, period. not in spite of it, as some of our critics would have you believe, but because of it. folks, now discussions are underway regarding a new memorandum of understanding that will cover in the next decade of security cooperation between our nations. it will be the most generous security assistance package in the history of the united
states. [applause] v.p. biden: i am hopeful that we can work at all the details -- we had some discussions when i was there even though i did not go there to negotiate that issue. as i told netanyahu, israel may not get everything it asked for and that will get everything it needs. of course, commitment to israel's security is about more than weapons systems and military financing. it is about making sure that israel will always exist strong and capable as the ultimate guarantor of security for jewish people around the world. that is the abiding moral obligation we have. never, never, never again.
without israel, there is no guarantee. [applause] v.p. biden: i have been criticized for saying that if there were no israel, we would have to invent one for our own self-interest. look folks, after all the time i hadn't been doing this we still have you to defeat -- and the reason why we need israel so badly -- the pernicious and persistent evil of anti-semitism. it is on the rise into many parts of the world. particularly in europe are made with swastikas painted on
synagogues. when jewish people are targeted in terrorist attacks. thousands of european jews immigrate to israel out of fear when a seemingly organized effort to discredit, delegitimize, and isolate israel persists on the international stage, it is dangerous. it is wrong. every time we encounter it, we have an obligation to speak out against it. [applause] v.p. biden: some will remember in the 1990's when i was ranking member and chairman of the foreign relations committee. i insisted on holding hearings on anti-semitism in europe and russia. in the press, i was criticized for doing it. people questioned if it was necessary only if we were going
to legislate european values. i made no apologies. i make none now. it was necessary then and it is necessary now. [applause] v.p. biden: because quite frankly, silence to quickly becomes complicity. we must speak out where we find it. i'm going to continue to speak out. here today for the rest of my life. we have to stand up against the attempts to delegitimize israel. no nation including israel is immune to legitimate criticism but it should not be unfairly singled out. we will continue to stand against biased resolutions and attends to delegitimize israel at the united nations. [applause] v.p. biden: we will continue to
ensure that israel is represented on committees like other nations and we will continue to push back against the call in the u.s. for people to boycott, disinvest, or sanction israel. [applause] v.p. biden: it is wrong. it is wrong. i know it is not popular to say but it is wrong. because as a people know better than any other people, any actions that marginalize one ethnic group imperils us all. it is incumbent upon us, all of us to stand up against those who traffic in pernicious stereotypes, who seek to divide us for political gain. the future belongs to the bridge
builders not the wall others. -- wall builders. [applause] v.p. biden: that is why we are here. why this exists. exists to build bridges to extended unbroken chain of generations binding israelis and u.s. citizens together. that is why we need all 4000 of you students. we need every single one of you. it is your obligation, your obligation to do what you are doing. some wondered why i took my son's children to israel with me. they said they are young. they are.
but they did the same thing for my beau when he was a kid. i took his brother and sister -- my other grandchildren. almost all of them to israel. they do not have to be 25 to understand it -- they can feel it. they can taste it. they can see it. they know it. vp biden: it must be part of who they are. as my father ensured it was part of me, they need to know, as you young people need to remind your generation, they need to know what happened, why israel is so essential. israel is a place that creeps
into your soul, and habits it -- inhabits it. let me close with two last thoughts. first, i want to thank many of you here tonight, like barbara and larry weinberg, norm brownstein, lonnie kaplan, michael adler. so many of you, i had the privilege of learning from all of you. as well as serving with great men.
all of you, and i mean this sincerely, thank you. for mentoring me. thank you for teaching me. thank you for standing with me. i truly, truly, truly appreciate it. second, i want to apologize for telling many of you the story i am sure you have heard me say before. this is mainly directed at the 4000 students who are here. i got elected to the senate when i was 29. i was raised by a father who was absolutely committed to the establishment of israel. a man who was high school
educated, well read. our dinner table was a place we sat down to have conversations and incidentally eat. i not joking. he was really proud at age 30 -- barely 30 -- sworn in as a senator and went to israel. i got to meet golda meir. i met with every prime minister since then. i will never forget sitting in her office -- i say this to you students -- it was after the six-day war and she kept flipping those maps she had. she had a bank of maps and there were like eight, flipping up and down, pointing to every encounter and chain-smoking while she was doing it. and she had a guy sitting next to me that i met for the first time an assistant.
and after about 45 minutes, and i was increasingly depressed as she talked about what was a rate against the israelis and how they had to candidate if i didn't all of a sudden she looked at me and this is the god's truth, she said, would you like a photograph? i thought, well, yes. we opened the double doors into that section that is like a foyer in there were a bank of photographers. we walked outside and we were standing next to one another looking at the cameras.
there were no statements being made. and looking straight ahead she said to me, don't look so sad, senator. we have a secret weapon in our battle against the arabs. i thought she was going to tell me something that was classified. [laughter] v.p. biden: i swear to god. i thought she was the only one -- i unwittingly -- i was supposed to be looking straight ahead -- turned and said, madam prime minister? she said, senator, we have no place else to go. [applause] v.p. biden: i tell that story and i say to you students -- i tell it over and over again because it was a piercing moment for me. a formative event that has
shaped my life for decades. it remains as relevant today as when she said it 40 years agito. we have nowhere else to go. it still captures the fire and the steel, the optimism, determination of the israeli people. it still brings to vivid light the plight of the jewish people everywhere. it ignites the passion that supporters of the israeli feel in the marrow of their bones. ladies and gentlemen, i have been honored for 30 years to be part of aipac events from the first time i was elected. i still support the work in mission of this organization. and to make sure that there will
this concludes our program. thank you and good night. announcer: ben ginsberg. looking at the possibility of a contested convention. explain what this means. ben: it is when none of the candidates arrive at the commission with the majority of delegates. by definition, they have to contest to reach a majority. there will be balloting when the delegates get there and to see if and then balloting your candidate can win enough delegates to get over the majority.
>> a lot of attention on the rules committee. here is the question. what is the committee and how much authority does the committee have over the convention structure? ben: there will be two rules committee. one is the national committee which will meet the week before the convention, come up with what amounts to a working draft. that draft will be approved by the full committee, historically on the wednesday before the convention. that document will go to a temporary convention was committee which is made up of delegates as opposed to the republican national committee members.
those delegates will work through the draft. and do whatever they choose is their authority to make the rules for the convention. so that draft rule will then be sent to the full convention on monday. that committee will meet again as a permanent committee, approved the rules, then it goes to full convention for passage. the answer is, the republican national committee rules committee is essentially doing a working draft. host: we keep hearing about rule 40. it was put in place in 2012 a and then they called it the ron paul rule. take a step back and explain what that was about and why it can be changed. ben: 26-42 are rules that apply to each convention and must be passed by each convention for itself. the rules that were passed in 2012 are not in effect for 2016 unless and until the convention rules committee passes.
in the two previous conventions in 2008 in 2004, the number had been majority in five states needed to approve. ron paul claimed that they had five states. that would have caused a lot of messing with the schedule. the rules committee at the suggestion of the romney campaign increased the number of states to eight to put in a name for nomination but that rule is not in effect for 2016. there is no rule on the numbers states for 2016 until the convention rules committee and ultimately the full convention vote on the rules for some session.
host: but there is a rule requiring delegates to vote on the first ballot. what are the rnc rules this year and now obligated or the delegates to the candidates they supported in the primary? ben: that is rule 16, part of the permanent. that role requires that the delegates vote according to any statewide vote in their state. that was put into effect because in 2012, there were a number of instances where the candidates who came away with the most convention delegates have had actually won the state. so the rule was put in place to -- had not actually won the state. so the role was put into place to be certain that the boats of the primary voters who participated in primaries and conventions around the country actually had their votes reflected in what the convention did. host: is it safe to say that the last time this was an issue was 1976? ben: yes. host: we will go back and see ronald reagan and president ford.
one of those moments from the convention in kansas city. but before we do, what happened that year? ben: basically, gerald ford did not have a majority of delegates. ronald reagan was a credible challenger. after the last of the primaries, both campaigns include mood the ooed thecampaigns w delegates as best they could. president ford legally using the prerogatives of power that the white house brings, managed to convince enough unbound delegates to vote with him so that he had a majority on his side. host: he will see senator schweiker before he got the nomination, which was something unprecedented. ben: unprecedented that may be capable of repetition. host: let's go back to kansas city, 1976. president gerald ford. [begin video clip] [applause]
announcer: is gesturing to ronald reagan to come down to him. >> reagan is still signing autographs. >> he is shouting into the microphone, would you come down, he says. >> come on down. >> they have just a live in the -- they just delivered the alabama standard to reagan, and the alabama standard to schweiker. >> everybody in this great auditorium tonight, we're all tremendously pleased and honored to have ron reagan and nancy reagan come down.
[applause] >> we are all a part of this great republican family that will give the leadership to the american people to win on november 2. i would be honored on your behalf to have my good friend governor reagan to say a few words at this time. [applause] [end video clip] host: as you look at ronald reagan, the went on to get the nomination for years later, what turned the tide for president ford? and, are there lessons from 1976?
ben: there are certainly lessons. there will be fewer unbound delegates in 2016 then there were in 1976 because of that rule we talked about. it depends how close the front runner is to getting a majority of delegates, on how big that pool is through this produced a great moment of unity in an otherwise divided convention. that would be a lesson for whoever is in what position in 2016. host: mississippi turned the tide for general ford. ben: they were the delegates who stayed as a group and were able to put president ford over the top. host: if selected delegates in undecided states, how does that play into the delegate totals for candidates? ben: interestingly enough, on june 8, after the last of the primaries, you will know to highly accurate degree what each candidate's totals are. that is six weeks until the convention on july 18. he will also know who the unbound delegates are.
they will become very popular people. host: can you determine in a dance how delegates will vote after they are unbound? what happens? ben: it is the front runner's dilemma because the rule. while well over 90% of the delegates are bound on the first ballot by the time he gets to the second ballot if there is no winner on the first, state rules takeover. under this state rules, three quarters of the delegates will be unbound for a second ballot.
is there a way to tell how they will vote? i think the campaigns will have to invent terrific new databases to track, contact, know who the delegates can must be persuaded by. it will be a different phenomenon and a whip operation like we have never seen before. host: are the republican candidates right now preparing for this yet good to they have people who will guide them through the process? ben: i believe they do. each campaign has named a squad of people who will pay attention to the state conventions and the state caucuses. who will choose the actual delegates. each knows the importance of that and are working toward picking delegates and then keeping track of the delegates to be able to have been responsive on the floor in cleveland.
host: let's go back to 1948. the last time at a republican convention there have been multiple ballots, ultimately getting the nomination was robert taft of ohio. he was the republican. lessons? ben: you need to keep track of your delegates. sometimes the second-place candidate can end up in first place if it goes to multiple ballots. host: let's talk about the state. which states are you keeping an eye on? which have the most power? ben: interestingly enough one of the great differences from 1948 in 1976 is the way the party structure has evolved.
the party structure will not have nearly this way over their delegates that they did before. there are no brokers left in the republican party for a variety of reasons having to do with society as a whole, also campaign finance laws. there are a few states where individual political figures will still have control over the delegates per john kasich in ohio, for example. will have control over ois 66 delegates in the sense that they were less weight. in california, one of the few states in new hampshire -- when the few states where the candidates themselves can pick their delegates. in new york, it is a slate chosen entirely by the state central committee. it is not exactly clear who the
delegates who will be loyal to. in texas, the delegates are chosen at the state convention either in congressional district caucuses or the statewide delegates by the convention as a whole. those will probably be free spirits but of course ted cruz 's home state. host: the first of all, what is the republican establishment? who were what isn't? -- who are what is it? ben: that is tough to say. it is certainly the fundraisers. they have not had a successful cycle. super pac's have not had the power they seemed to have. i am not sure it is the fundraisers. elected public officials in some instances will. i heard the term
"republican establishment republicanhink of officeholders in congress and in statehouses around the country. the way we do over delegate selection process now is not at all clear that the establishment will have control over the delegates or how their states vote in the primary. host: marco rubio suspended his campaign that he can still raise money to pay off debt. ben: that will depend state-by-state. what happens when a candidate suspends a campaign is that different state laws have different requirements and whether or not the delegates are still bound to that candidate. in a few states, and they will be down to senator rubio said they will have to feel in senator rubio's name on the first ballot. many states, the delegates become unbound, they may listen to him as a matter of loyalty but they have no requirement under their states law to vote the way you would like them to vote.
host: so they do not have authority? ben: correct. host: let's hear what the chairman said on cnn about the party rules and what to expect on cleveland. >> what to the rules say as that in order to be nominated on the floor, you have have a majority of elegant from each state. and, by the way, that was put it in 2012 at the 2012 convention. the rules committee for the 2016 convention will decide what that role is. there is nothing mysterious about that. i tend to be a person who likes to keep things the way they are but it is not my decision. i am not the person that gets to decide the delegates take elective nature the states made the decision for what the rules for the 2006 convention will say.
and, i am not saying anything nefarious. this is just the way it is. [end video clip] host: let me ask you about the platform process. is that always included in these rules? ben: yes, in this sense that each delegation to the convention will elect to people to serve on the platform committee to come up with that. there are four committees altogether, the rules committee, the platform committee, the credentials committee, and a committee called the committee on permanent organization that reinforces the rules. host: the rnc, you understand this better than anyone. they are preparing for this possibility. ben: the chairman said that. you have to prepare for all possibilities. so, that is the proper thing to do. it is now a possibility, as we have read.
host: based on history, in early june, no one candidate has the 1237 delegates. what is the process going to look like? ben: it will be an interesting time. they will need to concentrate the unbound delegates. there are 116 unbound delegates from states that do not hold statewide votes. there is a pennsylvania delegation. that is 166 delegates who will be unbound. there are an additional 12 from candidates who dropped out before senator rubio did. governor bush got some, then larson got some -- ben carson
and then there are the marco rubio delegates, which are about 159, slightly fewer than that because of the state rules. the campaigns in that period will go to the unbound delegates to convince them to vote with them on the first ballot. those delegates will be extraordinarily popular. i suspect they will have many visitors. host: who determines who sits on the committee? ben: that is determined by each state's delegation. once the delegation is chosen in state conventions, the members of the actual delegation to the national committee will vote. two on each. host: when donald trump says if he is denied the nomination
riots will break out in cleveland. for him or anybody who comes in with a majority of delegates but not overall, what happens to the delegates yet cohead is a convention prepare for the resentment? how do they prepare to handle those who think this nomination was taken away from them. ben: i think the rules is the rules. as the chairman said, the rules say that you have to have a majority of delegates to the convention. it is not a plurality. historically, conventions have majority winners, not plurality winners because you want the strongest possible candidate. you have to get a majority have your base at creating that should be the candidate. that is the historical reason that you have the majority in the rules and it is in the republican national convention rules, it is the majority of delegates to the entire convention.
host: what question do you think the campaigns need to ask themselves going through this process in terms of what the rules say, what the delegates will be up to? ben: first question to be asked is how do i win delegates in individual states? this is still about winning elections for now. the second question is how do i go to enough states through the convention process or the executive committee to win delegates who are sympathetic to my cause? then you need to ask the question of when things will look like on the floor. on june 8, you will tally up with the votes are, whether somebody has a majority, how far they are from a majority, how many unbound delegates there are. in the rules they will be a number of questions asked to rate the majority of delegates have to sign a petition. you need to be sure that you can get enough delegates to get your name and nomination.
it may be that if the is , you will ask, do i want to change that number eight? when the 2016 rules committee sets the number, is it advantageous to the candidate to have the number at one? at three? at five? 28? eight? each campaign will need to make the calculation. once they know how many states and whether they have enough signatures on those ballots, there are a number of other procedural motions, table motions to reconsider, motions
for a roll call, all of which require side signatures from the majority of delegates in particular number of states to make those motions. they will think about that and give some thought to who their vice presidential candidate is again, 1976, policy perhaps what you think that a little bit before the convention to get some of the, of the unbound delegates -- you may give some thought to the officers of the convention are and especially who the chair will be. and you will have to ask the question of yourself, how do i get the chair's attention on the floor with 2400 screaming delegates to get emotion that i believe needs to be heard actually recognized by the chair? host: which leads to this follow-up because it would be a fascinating convention and watched as we have presented before. typically, a republican convention in recent times has been a coronation and so the apparatus for example in 2012,
mitt romney really taking control of the convention and the schedule and the agenda, if this were to happen in 2016, the party was still very much control the agenda and you would have conceivably 1-3 candidates vying for the nomination cannot really control in the messaging of that convention. they just want to get to the nomination. ben: it is a really interesting point. there is not a majority of delegates achieved by any one candidate, you have to ask, which first lady speaks on the first night of the convention? what do you do about the keynote address? when do you start the business of voting? will convention committees take longer than they historically have in the past? because there are conflicts on those individual committees. host: we provide gavel-to-gavel coverage, as you know. [laughter] it's a conceivable that
the convention could start much earlier in the day in the late? ben: sure. anything is possible at this stage you don't know. pragmatically, you still do want to have as much messaging as you can in the convention itself. so, that probably argues for starting things earlier on the first day, trying to get through as much of the convention business as you can so you can get to the messaging part of the convention as quickly as possible. host: a question that the chairman was asked, when all of this be transparent? ben: certainly everything that happens on the floor will be pretty transparent. if no candidate has a majority of delegates, there will be more private conversations with the unbound delegates. so we will be transparent in the sense that there will be votes but there will be a lot of deal cutting and erstwhile deal cutting that will not be visible until the votes are cast. host: as a longtime republican strategist and activist and former counsel to the rnc, what is this moment mean for you and the party? ben: it is a crucial time in the history of the country. it is very important to actually have a unified or unifying convention.
if there is a nominee, somebody who gets up of the majority, people need to rally around that person. if it is a contested convention, so that nobody is going into the convention with the majority of delegates, the moment you showed gerald ford calling ronald reagan down to the stages signaled the unity of the party. it is absolutely crucial. you have to unify things at the end. host: a veteran of the romney w. bush campaign. ben ginsberg. thank you all -- thank you for explaining all of this. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: it coming up, u.k. membership in the european union. after that, hillary clinton the in phoenix. announcer: on the next washington journal, the residential trip to cuba. and, women's history month. then more on the president's ofa trip with a member government affairs and reform committees. we will also talk about the new coalition, with a centrist democratic agenda. washington journalists live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. as always, you can join become her station with your comments on facebook and twitter. announcer: the treasury
secretary today before the house financial services committee starting at 10:00 a.m. on c-span three. announcer: net during campaign 2016, c-span takes you on the road to the white house as we follow the candidate on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. announcer: on june 23, the u.k. holds a referendum on whether to leave the european union. support on the eu. it was hosted by the international studies group. an hour.f >> good morning, everyone at welcome to the center for strategic and international
studies. my name is heather connolly and i am vice president here, and i have the great privilege of directing our europe program. what a delight to welcome the right honorable dr. liam fox here today to discuss a very important upcoming referendum and the united kingdom, about his continued membership in a reformed eu, loaded words, as i am sure dr. fox will help us more clearly understand. dr. fox was elected to parliament in 1992. he has served in a number of distinguished leadership positions, including cochairman of the conservative party in 2003. perhaps we know dr. fox best here in washington when he served as secretary for defense from 2010 to 2011. dr. fox is a doctor, and he is in the house to help us understand british politics, the implication of a potential brexit. one word before i invite you forward, dr. fox and we are privileged to have you here with us. last year, we had a discussion
before the general election, and all the polls showed a very tight race. we were not sure. it looked like labor could be gaining. and dr. fox said with clarity, nope, the conservatives are going to win and it will be a majority. and we looked at you and said, right? well, we know what happened. i want to ask dr. fox to put his crystal ball on the table to find out how the u.k. referendum will work out. if his predictions are as accurate as last year, we may have some bookies placing some money on the bats. please join me in welcoming dr. fox. [applause]
dr. fox: well, good morning, and thank you for inviting us back to csis. always a pleasure to be here, but it always seems that when we do, we get the coldest window in the washington weather. during our last three visits, there have been snow and ice storms, and a cold snap at the present time. it is a great opportunity to talk about the british referendum here in the u.s. no one should understand the arguments that we are making better than americans. those of us who want to leave the european union want to regain control of our own lawmaking. we want to control our own borders. and we want to control our own money. and, those arguments for sovereignty resonate that are here than anywhere else. but instead, we seem to be getting an argument about none of those things, simply asking, what is it europe's phone number? we have to get the debate going on this side of the atlantic for reasons i will come to an a moment.
northern united kingdom under the age of 58 has had an opportunity to determine whether we stay in the european union or not. the european union has changed since my parents voted and my father voted to join. my mother voted against it. they still never made up over that one. [laughter] the european union has changed from what was originally a trading and economic organization into an organization that moved ever closer to political union. that is at the heart of the debate that we have. we will come back to this, but a lot of people in britain would have voted for a looser arrangement, and more economic relationship with a reformed european union, but this is not on the table in the referendum. it is clear the european union is not fundamentally reforming and is continuing towards ever closer union. the identity is being subsumed
into a greater political identity. i think the history of super nationalism is not a healthy one, and it is not healthy on the european continent at the present time. so, the three reasons that i gave. getting control of our laws getting a troll of our borders. getting control of our money. since 1996, at the european council, where the big decisions are taken about the direction of policy. on 72 occasions, the u.k. government, either labor government or the conservative government, has objected to policy being made on the basis it was against britain's national interest. on 72 occasions, we have lost an attempt to block what was happening there. it resulted in a range of laws being applied, some very trivial. we have had everything from
european-applied laws on sales of u.k. mineral water in the u.k. to the sale of pigs between farms to our lifeboat service becoming answerable to a brussels-based maritime safety lord. -- maritime safety board. rights were drivers are allowed to drive on british roads with europeans. these are standards we would have allowed in the u.k., but nonetheless, we have had the law applied to us. when you look at the way in which these laws are applied, they tended to be regulations of our market, interference and constitutional issues. at the european parliament level, we are increasingly following the lisbon treaty. more power has been vested between 2009 and 2014 at we opposed a number of measures, some 86% of the occasions where the majority of british mep's -- british measures. we were defeated.
are more of our laws going made. you can see it is difficult to put an exact number on it, but about 13% of our primary education and about 50% of our secondary legislation is now made outside the united kingdom. on the question of sovereignty, i find that quite unacceptable. then we come to the issue of our borders. this is probably the most explosive issue in this referendum in the u.k. for the largest number of voters. in the last 10 years, we have had 1.162 million net eu citizens settle in the united kingdom. as long as we are members of the european union, we have no ability to restrict eu migration into the united kingdom. for a relatively small country, geographically, that has put huge pressure on school places, on housing, on health care, in particular, areas where that is resulting in backlash that is not conducive to good social stability.
the irony, perhaps, of all this is that many of those supporting britain remaining in the european union, the goldman sachs european commission from the establishment-supported campaign, are the people least likely to worry about whether we require a public school place or access to a doctor or public housing. so there is something of an element of the peasant's revolt developing in this referendum. ordinary voters against what we see as a well-funded, extremely
pro-- eu establishment. and we have all seen in western countries and recent years what an antiestablishment movement can look like politically, and i believe we are seeing one develop in the u.k. at the present time. the second element about the border issue is that we have seen 1.5 million plus migrants moving it to the european union from syria, afghanistan, somalia, and pakistan in the last year. the question is, where do they ultimately end up? for us, the point is this -- when those 1.5 million plus we are expecting this year, when they get citizenship from any european country, whether it be hungary, germany, austria, whatever, they will automatically have a right to come and settle in the united kingdom. the united kingdom's economy is growing much faster than any other in europe. we were introducing a much higher minimum wage in a very short time, which will be a magnet for many of those coming.
the germans, those coming into germany, they do not know whether they are economic migrants, genuine refugees, or sympathizers with some of the islamist groups, or they may be an infiltration. some of those groups are in that migrant population, and we will not know. i think that is a security risk that we are taking. into all of this makes, we're now told the president obama becoming to the united kingdom. i understand that he will be taking part in a rally in support of britain remaining in the united kingdom. let me put this as gently as i can. we have a strong protocol of noninterference in domestic issues of our friends and partners. believe me, that is massive domestic interference. if the president would not come before our general election because of protocol, why is it acceptable in this decision
which is purely by the british people and about our destiny? the president is entitled to his views and will be entitled to express them when the u.s. has an open border with mexico. and a court that is able to overrule the supreme court. when those conditions are met, then we might listen to the advice that we have then given. the third policy, money, this is an area that is increasingly controversial in the u.k. we pay and that sum to the european union of about 10.5 billion pounds. the problem with this is that
our contribution is largely dependent upon our success versus the success of the continental european economy, and that is largely the euro zone. britain state outside the euro, because it was a political project. it had an unsigned architecture that allowed countries to join. we have seen the results were millions of young europeans are being sacrificed with the single currency with countries like spain having youth unemployment. but when the british, grows faster than the eurozone because of the eurozone's problems of their own making, our budgetary contribution goes up.
because our gdp is accelerating faster than theirs. so we have been forced to subsidize the failure of a project that we purposely stayed out of because we believed it was doomed to failure. try explaining that to british taxpayers, that they are getting a good deal out of that, and it is a difficult one. we have to look at all of these elements, and then we get to the political element that is perhaps causing the biggest friction. it has been dubbed project fear, to try to get the british public so afraid, disliking the current trends. we're told there will be darkness and a leap into the blackness the day after we were to leave the european union, that we would be isolated. let me end on this thought before we open up the discussion. the day after britain would leave the european union, we still have a permanent seat on the u.n. security council. we still have one of the world's top 10 economies here we still have one of the world's biggest defense budget to it we would be at the center of nato, the center of our common wealth.
we would still be members of the g7 and the g20. it does not some like grand isolationism to me. and this idea that britain can only cope in an era of globalization, one which we are uniquely suited for it we had the european union holding our hand, with its hand in our pocket at the same time. i think that is for the birds. i think it is time for people of britain to regain their birthright, to determine their own destiny, and that is a decision for us to make. and i hope all those who believe in sovereignty, our ability to make our own laws, control our own borders, control our own finances, will respect our right to do so and will not interfere. it is simply none of their business. thank you. [applause] >> well, you have given us plenty to talk about this morning. thank you so much.
when i thought we would do is we will go into a discussion ourselves, and then i will let our audience jump in. i know there are a lot of questions. i would like to start with the politics surrounding the referendum and what some are calling the ides of march, meaning ian duncan smith, former secretary of work and pension. the politics around this referendum seem to be getting more difficult for the conservative party in a cameron government, not better. and some ways, this whole referendum was a way, my words, to put the act the schism that was growing within the conservative party, as well as a popularity of the united kingdom independence party. describe the politics. was mr. smith's resignation, was it about the budget or about europe, about a leadership
challenge to david cameron? help americans understand what is going on in the government right now. dr. fox: as a conservative member of parliament, we are probably should be being paid double being booked government , opposition simultaneously, and we have effective opposition to speak of with the labour party. they almost got wiped out at the general election. there is and always has been a really strong division inside the conservative party, largely based on the issue of sovereignty, which is much more an issue to conservatives than two other parties. but, and quite a big but, we now know from all our polling that this is a schism that runs right through the british public. polls are pretty much neck in neck. the two sides, remain and delete. i think the public is totally taken aback by the parliamentary decision had half the members of parliament are signed up to
the leave campaign in one form or another. much bigger, i think, the and the government predicted. i think that is because the feeling on that is not shared by all of those at the top of government. so you have parliamentary party and the conservative party in the country, which are even more in favor of leaving, probably about 70%, and you see where the political problems come from. the decision of a referendum was largely a response to the anti-european party. i said we were going to win the general election, and a number of my senior colleagues were not sure we would win the general election outright. and as i think we discussed last time, one of the consequences of winning that election would be that we were transported very quickly into the environment of the referendum. which is where we now find ourselves.
and i'm not sure everyone was exactly prepared perhaps emotionally for what that would bring. as i kept telling colleagues, as soon as we get to referendum territory, friendships would be rattled. enormous passions would be a rest by this. it was absolutely inevitable that we would get to this point. the biggest thing i am surprised about is that anyone is surprised. we would simply have to take this through to june 23, and it is going to be bumpy, and it will be difficult for the government to get any legislation through. it will be a possible for them to get any legislation that originates in europe. for people at myself, we will not say vote for legislation while saying to lead the european union. it makes for a difficult legislative period. what i said to my colleagues is we have a five-your parliament and we cannot have an election
until may 2020, and we will have to govern the country, the majority party, and how difficult or easy that will be depends upon how nice we are to one another. and that is in the run-up to and during that referendum. so a little bit of respect for one another's views, little less personalization of it all would not go amiss. and, you know, i really regret the way some of my colleagues have spoken about one another in the last few days. just watching it, there is a real chance of increasing the bitterness and personalizing it. it will make it difficult to put humpty back together again. >> absolutely your comment about preparing for this referendum. and your comments on the economy, my concern is that we are all not preparing for june 24, the day after the referendum. we have already seen markets respond quite negatively after
prime minister cameron secured his deal with the eu, brought it back. it is like the markets work up and said, oh, my gosh, this thing is going to happen. polling getting tighter. it seems to me the government is not preparing for the potential of a decision. it wants to focus on remaining. leave campaigne helping me understand what happens the next day if there is a global shock. you have some saying there could be a pretty genetic increase in gdp, unemployment. it is the project fear, i understand. it is scenarios. dr. fox: a lot of money from the european union. heather: there are others. cbi and others have said -- i mean, we do not know what is
going to happen. dr. fox: anybody who says that there is a risk-free option is not telling the truth. in my view, there are huge risks remaining in the european union. the euro zone is going to integrate more as a result of its problems. so the architecture of the european union will change fundamentally anyway. if we stay, the one thing you can be sure of is you cannot vote for what it is today. it will change in one way or another. i think the eurozone will have to go into closer economic and political union. i think that will create two \/\european unions, the eurozone and the non-eurozone countries. it is very interesting question about the role of government. and, the problem we have at the moment is there is a conflation between the government, acting international interest, and the leaders of the government acting in the interest of the campaign.
the remain campaign. in british politics, before we have a general election, the civil service will sit down with the opposition parties to ask them what their legislative program would be and their contingency planning for a change of government. yet, our current government refuses to allow the civil service to do contingency planning for a leave vote. now, that seems to me irresponsible. it is being done because the government is acting with the remain campaign, accepting that there may be a leave vote. the government is acting as the remain campaign. it needs to be resolved. the government will meet over the nature of the question for the referendum and the government's ability to exempt itself from existing legislation the govern referendums in our country.
so, there is no risk-free option, because there is a risk to leave. of course there is a risk to leaving. because there is no actual plan. the way it works is we probably will use the lisbon treaty, at which point we would then go to our european partners and say the british government has decided to leave, and we are giving notice that we are triggering the two-year period of exit but there are constraints on reality of what will happen, because i saw that report this morning. i saw the report this morning. if you actually read the subtext of the report, it is very unlike the headlines of the report. but hey, that is what people do when they commission these reports looking for specific answer. one of those constraints is the nature of our trade with europe. we have a huge trade imbalance with the european union as a country. time, 10 years ago,
in 2005, about 55% of our trade was with the european union. the last quarter of last year, it just dropped below 40% or it we are increasing our trade with the rest of the world, our number one trade partner being the u.s., and our trade with europe is shrinking, largely as the european economy stagnates. we are told, you will never get a trade deal, never get a good trade deal with europe. well, that would be a bit odd, because we export 67 billion pounds worth of goods and services more to us than we to them. so are we really being expected to believe that mrs. merkel will say do not sell bmw to britain as a punishment. or mr. hollande will say to not sell french wine because they voted to leave, or or do you think the leaders will tell the people, you must have lower profits and higher unemployment to punish the british?
i mean, this just does not chime with reality. countries do not trade with countries. companies sell to consumers. if they make goods and services at the price that is the right quality that people want to pay. there are lots of fluctuations in the global economy, currency being one of them. i think people have to be rational about all of this. this nonsense this morning from the cbi that we would lose one million jobs, what they are actually saying is if you look at the worst-case scenario, you would actually create a million jobs fewer than you might create the best case scenario the between now and 2030. i mean, there are so many variables in that. it was not worth reading beyond the first couple paragraphs. >> how is the leave campaign addressing the economic consequences? europe is stagnating.
the u.s. is doing ok but no one needs to shop at what is the leave's campaign response to that? dr. fox: it is not risk-free. i think the elements that would provide the so-called shop are not necessarily there. we are not going to stop trading with our trading partners. ad, britain is trait-producing nation. we have the fastest-growing economy and we are least likely to suffer from some of the shocks that are being undertaken in europe. the biggest problem was with the european union itself, which is much more dependent on selling to britain. so there is an incentive to get a free trade agreement done as quickly as possible. to prevent their being a shock in the european economy. that diminishes our risk. it is almost inconceivable that markets are not pricing in
already some of this risk we have seen, fluctuations in currency. although those tend to self correct recently. in any case, for us, and it is about our ability to prepare for a more global future. i do not view this referendum as being about leaving the eu. i view it to as rejoining the rest of the world. i don't view this referendum is being about leaving the eu. i view it as rejoining the rest of the world. >> has said the u.s. would not initiate a free trade agreement with the u.k. should you decide to leave the eu. what is your response to that? dr. fox: there will be a new government next year one way or another. frankly, what the dying embers of the democratics think is not of little importance. heather: well, check that. dr. fox: let us leave the politics aside and i will come back to the concept of bullying,
which is hugely counterproductive. but, given the u.k. is such a big market for american exports and vice versa, what would be the point of introducing a friction into that relationship? it is not make any sense economically unless you're willing to say we will punish our manufacturers and consumers for something as abstract to be members of the european union. to have their laws made in brussels. this whole involvement in trying to threaten the british public or what is perceived as threats by the british public is not received well. weeks ago, in the beginning of the week, our european allies were telling us how important it was to stay in the european union. shed tears if
britain left. we were told it would be unknown consequences if we left. we were told we would be ruthlessly targeted economically. from the eurozone, really. from beingw, we went best friends to a protection racket within a few days. if we do not pay a certain amount every year, bad things would happen to us. i am not sure it is a great thing to be in an organization of promises you a punishing beating unless you give them money that you have agreed to give them up until this point. and the same thing from the u.s. perspective trying to tell the british people that they have to do something when it is their own national free will that is being tested does not go down well. a coupled in europe weeks ago, someone telling us those who want to leave the european union should visit european war cemeteries. now correct me if i'm wrong , here, but the reason we have the european war cemeteries is because continental europe was
unable to contain its extremism in the 20th century. and the growth of fascism, and later on in the cold war, of communism. you know, because britain we were helping to diminish the impact of folly. it's really rewriting history in this way. let's stick to the arguments about trade and the politics. those who want britain to remain in the eu, let them make the case for super nationalism and submerged our identities and a new pan-european identity. the last example i can think of was the soviet union and that did not end well. what is happening in the europe and the present time is a resurgence of these tendencies and tensions. i think britain is better
outside of that. heather: let me pull on unity a little bit because shows the decision to leave the u.k. have important applications for scotland, perhaps initiating a second referendum? some have argued it's not about the eu but the united kingdom itself. obviously you have very strong connections in understanding of the politics. dr. fox: i do. normally asked to describe a politics and i describe myself as a free market, eurosceptic, nationalisti. we had the referendum in scotland and the people of scotland voted to remain part of the union.
that't know which bit of the scottish nationalist didn't understand that they lost the referendum, but the people scotland one to be part of the union and the one that take this in the union could in the referendum, every vote counts. it is equally weighted in the referendum. scottish nationals have already made it clear that whether we are in the eu, they will have another referendum on independence they can win it. sayeems bizarre that people i do not like being in the eu, but i will vote to stay because scottish nationalist might call another referendum. you end up in the eu you don't like and you have a referendum anyway for the worst of both worlds. we should leave the internal elements aside. frankly, because i am in that kind of mood this morning, you do not hear english politicians saying that if there is a narrow
leave vote in england but it is outweighed by a vote in scotland and wales, that they will try to break up the country because they did not like the result of that the people gave them. we live in a union. it is a union decision. we have to accept that decision whatever turns out to be. looking at the polls, none of us can tell at the moment. what they do tell is it is very evenly balanced except when you look at the willingness of voters to go to the polls. those who want to leave have a very high probability of voting whereas those who want to stay have a much lower one. if the campaign continued, we know it is not very good but we know it would be better to stay inside than outside is hardly a call to arms for the voters to get a high turnout.
heather: talk about the security dimension of this. you touched upon it in your remarks. as a transport of this, i would look that if a decision is made to leave, i see the u.k. for two years solely focused on a very difficult negotiation, not able to play its role in nato and other international organizations when we have pressing challenges and we need a strong u.k. what is your response to that? how can we through this period -- again, this isn't leave or remain. the turmoil is still going to continue here. how do we ensure that the u.k. plays a very strong role in the world? dr. fox: people do make this case that if we end up leaving, we will be so preoccupied we
won't be able to do anything else and i believe as a country we can walk and chew gum. we are able to do more than one thing on the international stage at one time. i think there are important elements of consequences on the security side, but i think it is being positive in fact. if you look at the nato budget at the present time and how much is contributed by the eu countries who are members of nato, it is a frighteningly small sum. it is quite interesting. if you ask british audiences how big you think that proportion is, they usually say 40% or 50%. when you tell them 24% and if you took the u.k. out, it would be 17% whereas the u.s. is contributing 74% to the nato budget. that is just ridiculous. we have this myth now that the eu is an important part of our security. nato has kept the peace since world war ii, not the european union.
that is not to say that everything about the european union is bad. i don't believe that is true. but nato is the cornerstone of our defense. the trouble with nato in recent years in my view is that it has forgotten its political role. the u.s. has been too happy to hand over a lot of that political role to the european union, which has a very different global perspective from the u.s. i think if britain were to be outside the european union will first of all, because european defense is france at that point effectively, it removes the pretensions from the eu that it is the global defense force whether overtly or potentially for the future. i think that would force the u.k. to have a stronger focus on the political role of nato, which i think has been sorely lacking in recent times.
i see no evidence of a forthcoming summit of that being back on the agenda when it ought to be. i don't see the downside to that . i do see it getting much-needed shock therapy to the remaining countries in their european union that they better start thinking about their own security because there is not going to be the pretense of the u.k. umbrella. heather: president obama in an article that appeared in the atlantic recently complained that the u.k. and other allies have not paid their fair share. do you believe the u.k. has paid his fair share in global security? dr. fox: we are one of only four countries meeting its gdp commitment. i would like to see it done at a higher level. awk, i alsoscal h want to see budgetary
consolidation in the u.k. you have european countries, a large number of them and i would not name them whose contributions are verging on laughable in terms of wider european security. i used to sit along with bob gates and i would do part two of the lecture to our european allies and say you cannot have it both ways. you cannot complain that you are very heavily influenced by american foreign security policy then fail to put your hands in your pockets to develop a voice. you cannot expect to have a free ride on the back of american taxpayers, which i think a lot of european countries have done. i would exempt the u.k. from that. there is a bit of the irritation in the u.k. that we are being lumped along with other not been pulling their weight, countries that have not been pulling their weight, particularly in the likes to the way the u.k. has alongside the u.s. in afghanistan and iraq to
be lectured that we did not play our part in our security. that relationship did not go down well. heather: some suggested that the one person that will be celebrating a leave decision will be vladimir putin. your comment on the geostrategic implications of an exit from the eu. dr. fox: well, i don't think putin's invasion of georgia or his annexation of crimea or impressions into ukraine were pulled up by the members of the european union unless i am greatly mistaken. this is one of the great calculations. whether british laws made in light chester is not one of his thinkings.
we have the strength of putin because of serial appeasement by the west. you had a cyber attack on estonia. he invaded georgia. we did very little, and he still has troops there today. in crimea, we did some sanctions. it is our weakness to respond. putin, it has emboldened him. this idea that one of the key factors is british european union involvement is fanciful. heather: let us turn before i welcome the audience that it's now time to get down to the referendum. there is a lawsuit being put for th by british patriots the have lived outside of written for the -- that have lived outside of britain for the last 15 years. we are confident it will be held on june 23. dr. fox: it will be held june 23. a lot of people wanted to be held later in september. we have elections in london. a new mayor in london. we have scottish elections and other local elections and
a lot of the political parties did not want the referendum to the overlying these elections because for a lot of conservatives in particular, they are not actively fighting the local elections because they are out fighting the referendum. has been another little piece inside the parties honor. it will be june 23. it is a very big day. the pollsters tell us in the academics tell us that for all of the pressure that is being arrived by this, that we can expect a relatively poll. heather: this is a historic vote. there won't be high turnout? dr. fox: i think europe energizes people who care about europe. a lot of voters see it as an abstract pursuit. that is what the polling is telling us at the moment.
it very high proportion of those who say they want to leave our 10.een eight and my guess would be a high turnout favors remain. a low turnout favors leave. i think that is where we are going. it will be june 23. when we wake up on june 24, whatever happens, things will not be the same. heather: in the london may well race, will they tell us anything? is this truly local? dr. fox: they will tell us nothing about the referendum. what is interesting about scotland compared to other parts of the u.k., there is a very large don't know vote. my suspicion is a lot of that is i want to say rather than just -- i won't say rather than i just don't know given the pressure from all the parties in scotland. i think a lot of voters want to
leave but they are not willing to tell the pollsters. in the last few weeks, there has been one other movement you alluded to at the beginning. there is a much better guide than where people are putting opinions, and that is where people are putting their money. there's been a movement from what was a very heavy remain vote with the bookies to more of a shift. is beginning to mayor the opinion poll. there is no doubt there is a real change going on. the question is how many voters are interested, and how far does the tide come in? when you asked me the crystal ball question -- heather: we believe that at the very end. the top three issues on voters's minds -- migration number one. nhs is number two and number three is europe or economy and the impact. some have said the external events may shape the referendum as much as the internal
deliberations of it. how is migration -- you spoke how about eu migration, but is its implications for the syrian migration crisis that europe is expressing right now? any thoughts as we look at migration questions as we go to june 23? dr. fox: well, one of the reasons that the remain campaign did not want a september referendum was that he did not want the summer of migrant pictures across our tv screens. i think it is too late for that. i think the public have that very firmly in their mind. we have seen the same pictures again and again. it looks like europe has lost control of its southern border. we will see what the agreement with turkey actually brings. that will also be very controversial in the u.k. but the events in paris and the events in cologne very widely covered in the u.k. media. the implication being if we
don't have proper control of our borders, we're much more porous to some of those threats that might come in. i have always wanted to have a point system for the u.k. i believe immigration can bring big net economic benefits if it is the right immigration. the trouble with that and what we have seen in europe is that it has not been an attempt to say fine, let's pick the people who will be best served, whether they are refugees and so on. britain has a different policy from the eu because we said we will take syrian refugees, but we will only take them from u.n. camps where we know who they are and they have been properly protests. processed. mrs. merkel is in trouble because she said we will take whoever runs fastest furthest and that left the potential for
children in particular being stranded on the other side of the equation. you have a lot of single young man who could get to germany quickly before the germans effectively put up the gates. that has been a big worry. in a lot people's minds, it is who are the migrants coming at into europe and what will that impact have? when you look at the u.k., you have clearly the best performing european economies at the present time leaving the euro zone well behind. to put that in context, we are constantly being told in the referendum in britain that membership of the european union is key to our economic success, which does beg the question why is it then that over 20 countries with the highest unemployment, 16 are in the european union, and why of the top 10, only one is not in the european union and that is
turkey? if it is so great for economic performance, why is it not working for almost everybody else? the governor of the bank of england told us that britain gets the lion's share of edwards theord investment into u.k., which must be because of our membership of the eu. think about the logic of that. if we were getting inward investments because of the eu, we would get a proportionate share of investments not the lion's share. we are getting the lion's share because we are doing something different. the drivers into the lead count because we cannot believe some of the stuff that we are being told whether it's the deal immigration or economics or something else. heather: i have monopolized you much too long. let us welcome our audience into this discussion. if you can state your name and affiliation, we have microphones available. for these of purpose, we will
collect a few questions and let you weigh in. at the very end, we will get your prediction. with that, i saw a hand up here. and then we will go over there. thank you. >> tip. i want to frame the question a little differently. if the brexit does go through, do you see a potential rebalancing of britain to the commonwealth, specifically canada, australia, and other countries? historically prior to the european union, that was the focus of british trade and investment. heather: wonderful. we will take that one right here. thank you. >> hi. my name is evan reed. one of the things you mentioned was that there would be this rally that the president is going to be participating in.
i am in the process of putting together the visit, and i know nothing about such a rally. he's going to be having lunch with the queen and will be having a bilateral meeting with prime minister cameron, and a press conference. if there are questions about brexit, he will express his views on that. he will be doing a public event as he does whatever he goes. as far as i know, the major theme is not brexit. i think maybe this rally idea is a rumor that has been started because it seems like some people are afraid that he is coming and speaking although i am not sure why they would be. we recognize completely that this is a question for the british voters to decide. they will vote. we will not. however, you alluded to the fact that it may be none of our business. we do think it is our business because we think it has to do with the strength of the transatlantic relationship and the relationship between the u.s. and the u.k.
so as british voters go on the 23rd and drop their ballots in the box, we would like them to be able to consider what their cousins across the ocean have to say. we are not planning on telling people how to vote. my question for you is can you give me examples of how it would be in the best interest of the united states of america for the u.k. to leave the eu? thanks very much. heather: i think we will let you have at it. dr. fox: first of all, there is an emotional attachment to the commonwealth in the u.k., but our external relations will have to be based on our national interests. that will be economics and trade driven. we will want to be able to exploit markets as best we can. we want to free ourselves from as much european regulation as possible to give ourselves the maximum freedom to operate in a global market with huge opportunities.
if you look at britain's trading performance at the countries where our trade is growing, the countries you see, obviously china and india, as we are looking at our turkey and africa and australia, and none of the countries are in the european union at the present time. i see it as a huge economic opportunity. it would require us to rebuild our diplomatic services, which have been increasingly swallowed up into the european union's service and i think that would be a good thing because i want us to be free to project our own values as widely as possible. that is more possible in some countries than others because of a historic linkages with the u.k., which many countries face. i like to hear there is no rally. that is the best news i have heard today. not because i think it will help
the remain campaign anyway but it would have been a terrible breach of protocol. i do however go back to the point i made. the arrangements for the european union in terms of loss of sovereignty, lawmaking, border control our arrangements the united states would never tolerate for the united states. being told we should stay in an arrangement that is sub optimal for the u.k. because it might sue the u.s. is not an argument that will be done well. we need to make decisions that are good for us. our allies need to learn to live with those decisions whatever they turn out to be. it will give potential new impetus to the political elements of nato. we will not be so tied into contests of european foreign security policy, which i think are hugely overblown.
i think it will give britain a chance to develop as an exporting and importing market and in the global economy in ways that we can not do while we are being lumbered with interferences in our market performance. when you look at the laws the european union is stacking up, they are further impediments to our concept the free market goes. i am a conservative free-market liberal. i am not a social democrat, and i don't want to live in a social democratic european dictated economy, which i think is clearly failing. the direction of travel will continue to do so. we want to be free from those restrictions. i think one of the reasons it will benefit the u.s. is that will apply shock therapy to the european union. it will say to them unless you
want to lose other free market members, you better start reforming. i will tell you an anecdote as to why that is important. i was in an event in bruges before the last european union elections and i said to them more than a third of european voters at these elections are either going to vote for parties that will want to leave the european union or destroy the european union with the rise of political right but also the political left. i said does this trend not worry you? the answer was typically a euro credit view. if one third want to destroy it, that means two thirds are happy. therefore, we should continue to go in the direction at the present time. that logic says that until 15.01 if i want to destroy the entity, you would not listen to the voices being raised in opposition. that seems utterly crazy. that is the direction they are going in. a british exit will provide a
shock to the body politics in europe to show that what happens when members become disillusioned with the project. i see that as a huge benefit to the people of the european union as well because despite what the prime minister and others say, there is no reformed european union offer in this referendum. heather: the question is does it matter to the british people and what the united states or what the american president thinks it should or should not do? for me, that is the challenge is thinking through how president obama will frame this. we already know we want a strong u.k. and strong eu, but does it matter what america thinks? how does that impact it? in some ways, people suggest we
don't need europe because we have the united states. we have the u.s.-u.k. special relationship. what we have been hearing from the administration is do not think you can lean on us. we want you with europe. how does that reaction reverberate back into british public opinion about what the president says? how does that work? dr. fox: electorally, i would not think it is of enormous importance. for those of us who are strong atlanticist, we are always interested in american but american opinion is not necessarily the opinion of the administration. there is more for the administration to think of that than the american opinion. and economic trading opinion and american exports opinion is something we want to take into account. this idea of a strong britain a strong eu is that you don't
have a strong eu. you have a week and failing eu. maybe it is not possible to have the two at the present time. in that case, i want britain to be a free and independent country because of the things we have done in our country is what when we have been free to do them. subjugating our sovereignty is not something i believe is britain's destiny. and my parents generation when they voted for us to join the eu in my view, the soul that our , -- they sold out our birthright to make your own laws in our own country. i am not willing to do that to the next generation. heather: it is the witching hour. time to throw down. what do you think will happen at the close of the day on june 23? dr. fox: it is entirely turnout dependent. any turnout above 60%, we will remain. any turnout below 50%, we leave.
heather: well, ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first. thank you, dr. fox. this has been a very lively and stimulated discussion. thank you so much. this is part of a series csis will be producing on the road to june 23. voices have other from the remain campaign. we are delighted you kicked this off. i'm sure the british people think of the american presidential election where they have no say, but they have no impact. i feel the same way about the u.k. referendum. i have no say, but it will have a big impact on my work. please join me in thanking dr. liam fox. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]