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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 12, 2016 11:28pm-12:01am EDT

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congressman scott peters took part in the ceremony. and in our honda, california judy chu joins friends and classmates. a special thanks to our cable partners. helping to coordinate the community visits. every week to this month be sure to watch one of the top entries before washington journal. >> on june 23 citizens will vote on a referendum proposing the united kingdom leave the european union. former ministers of foreign affairs and defense talked about leaving the eu would affect the national budget, economy and military alliances. this is two hours.
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.. >> reporter: the final evidence taking session will go to the witnesses now but first identify yourself for the record. >> i'm a member of the british your campaign. >> a member of parliament.
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>> thank you very much. let me explain how we're going to stretch of this. i invite each of you to make an opening statement no more than 500 words. then we will put questions to each of you and give ten minutes into which to do so. then at the end i may invite you to make very brief remarks and comments on things you may have heard in the session. so we can begin so we can invite you. >> thank you very much chairman. i would begin by congratulating the committee on the nature of the meeting. i think it is probably the first time the s&p and conservatives have joined platforms in support
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of this particular campaign. if it's successful, time will tell. we are speaking in personal capacity, perhaps i should save to the committee where i'm personally coming from. historically i have found it difficult to be at either end of the spectrum of this issue. when i was secretary is once described as sketchy, which is a combination. what i've tried to do for each of the issues involving the european union is to look at articles and benefits i have to say with today's discussion of foreign policy and britain's place in the world i have not found it difficult to come to a judgment because i believe the benefits are very substantial, think the costs are at most minimal, if not insignificant. let me say what i mean, i think the way in which any country conducts its war policy is to
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its power and when it does not have power to try to extend its influence. when it comes to the european union we have the power and substantial interest. the power we have should not be underestimated. of course the majority voting does not apply, there cannot be a form policy unless there is unanimity. first of all it means that we can prevent any european form policy division that we don't like, secondly also because we are member of the eat you, we can actually prevent the e.u. of adopting a foreign-policy position we don't like. if any country objects to it to the united kingdom has that power. when it it comes to influence on the more positive side the objectives we're actually seeking and then along with germany and france we have more influence than any other country and we have seen the importance of that on issues like the iranian nuclear negotiations, the sanctions against russia, where europe where europe has made a
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difference to the global position and one that would have been achieved without the united kingdom. if we were not in the european union, such are the common strategic interest between britain and the rest of europe that a lot of our foreign-policy effort would have to be diverted to influence the european union in which we are no longer a member. there is no strategic threat of france, germany to come to europe but it would also be a threat to to britain as we found in 1914 and 1939. so we would be an extra in her situation of having given up the power to either control or influence policy and seeking as outsiders come another the last influence the outcome would be very important to us. as a columnist in the new york times remarked that britain could be alone against enemies in 1940 was heroic, for britain britain to be alone amongst friends in 2016 would be absurd.
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i noticed the campaigners argue that we would somehow be liberated and would be able to influence things. i am not understanding the part of the rhetoric. what is that supposed to mean? was going to be influenced in a way that they are not being influenced by the united kingdom at the moment. the potential candidates, the united states has made clear they do not want britain to leave because they see her role as part of the e.u. as important to them as well influencing the european union position. but the old commonwealth a new commonwealth take exactly the same view. they went the united kingdom in the you you, not outside of it, not devote more time if we're outside. the only people that would rejoice at the russians. and perhaps others like the russians they want the fragmentation of europe and they see this as the first major step. let. let me conclude because i know time is short. but just in one final thing. the world is becoming, as we all
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know global. the big decision over the years to come are going to be taken more than anything by the united states, by china, by india, by russia and by the european union whether we are in it or not. as it's usually been suggested that the united kingdom with a 65,000,000 people, less than than 1% of the world of 7 billion is going to have more influence by itself then as part of the european union? we can get carried weight sometime, i remember when the only ally was china, they said to the people we are very important people, together with china we represent a quarter of the world. let's not make this a mistake of saying that her 65 million in a world of 7 billion that somehow
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we are not threatened by being part of the european union when it comes to form policy and the cost and benefits of leaving that unit. thank you. >> thank you very much. can i invite you to give it opening statement. >> thank you very much. i too will start with a personal journey on this. i think it is print to understand that i was born in west germany. i'm probably of british politician -- i know these things are supposed to be possible but also know it requires great work. i spent two years and 15 months trying to negotiate at european constitution on behalf of this committee, by the way. when the convention was formed it was this committee with representatives it was to bring the union closer to its people.
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in 2003 i reach the conclusion that this institution apsley would not wish to be a democratic, that was impossible of changing. looking back now i see a trajectory of where the united kingdom peeled off in some ways, started off with refusing to be part of the euro and where we are today in the position where no one is actually prepared to defend the institution of the european union. we are talking about the benefits of mentor membership that nobody is prepared to defend. so can we just talk about the institution. it is very interesting that they start to talk about -- that is the truest part the part of the inf and all other kinds of alliances and groupings.
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what is different about the european union is an institution that requires leader supremacy. none of the other alliances. so in context of, i would just urge collects to think about the democratic accountability and where it's going. before 2010 the house of commons used to have debates on the wednesday before the prime minister went off on the thursday of the european council. we have official debates, they have all gone. we have not only to increasingly given more areas of decision-making, this place itself is simply not taking an interest or the ability to influence and shape some of these decisions. that takes me to why we should leave. if it weren't for the fact that
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the prime minister called the referendum i would've not show the application, i would've said let's work. the prime minister called the referendum and recently before christmas he says it is perfectly okay for the united kingdom to thrive and be a country. so i'm not entirely sure what was happening the last four months. suddenly it was a perfectly okay to be country outside and now it is doom and gloom and the responsibility to say no. the second thing, so it's so it's once in a generation chance to make a decision. i look at this institution where the there were big blocks like was said -- the ones who started with formation of the w joe so
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if you want to talk about it the increase lean european union becomes the organization that hands-down the decision tremendously. the second was the flow of capital. we saw how capable we work in 2008, the migration crisis we see now is actually the third wave of globalization and we are incapable of doing that. so then i'm asked and i think that institution, nobody appears to defend is a built on an mi going to endorse it in my once-in-a-lifetime vote? say no. i think we should leave. >> thank you very much indeed. >> i'm for the first time in my life speaking with malcolm. i find myself surrounded by conservatives, something that is physically impossible in scottish politics. but i shall do, were giving
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evidence to the committee trying to deal with anguish of england, we'll do our absolute best. i see this country's future inextricably connected with europe. i don't rate the campaign that is being conducted thus far, not talking of this committee and talking about the broader campaign, feel it's like the scottish referendum has been split into, one side arguing one way and one side arguing the other. i don't think it would depend on this country if we lost the european union equally i don't take the fantastic proposition that if we remain in the union. i'm gonna take the view that if
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we didn't have an institution like the european union that we would find it necessary to invent one. i know that we would invent one with many imperfections but one would be necessary to deal with challenges which we should and must meet on a constant basis. the evidence that i can bring to the committee some practical experience, obviously i have dealt with domestic policy over seven and happier. i was thinking last night preparing evidence that if i could identify those things which were so constrained by european union that caused very difficult, which was a fishing pulsing, minimum pricing on alcohol, and minimum wage dealing with the public sector in scotland. each of these are capable of being dealt with and certainly would've been dealt with with a member state.
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and i think of that i think of a range of policy initiatives that were assisted and enabled by the membership of the european union. so my position is that it in institution like the european union would be necessary for us to invent if we did not have one. this country's future is asked jacob lee with europe and we should embrace it. inside that people are not going to defend the union, i'm going to defend it because i think it has a range of policy and has achieved a great deal. i think with effort it could achieve a great deal more. but on the issue of practical experience as opposed to innate, i hope to offer this committee some insight. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. for me the whole issue is one of
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sovereignty. it is not possible for me to desegregate concepts of 17 for for the other issues related to that. in terms of foreign security come i want to live in a free and independent country and the benefits leaving the union and to get control of lawmaking, to get control of our borders, to to get control of the use of our money. and for me to user prices. i think there's a price to pay. i do not believe in the concept of super nationalism. i do not believe that we should give our identities and be subjugated to any degrees whatsoever to a legal authority rather than a cooperative organization. i do not believe that we can talk about europe and the e.u. has been the same and during this campaign is people talk about europe and the e.u. is one
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of the same. europe is an individual nation with identities and heritage, the e.u. is a short-term short-term political construct in my view run for those at the center with precious little regard of this citizens and consequences of its actions. i'm not want to say everything to you e.u. has done is bad, for example i think there has been the ability for the countries under and shown an alternative future freedom of democracy and free markets, i think that was very important. i do not believe that the european union and the center under the consequence of the new world that was only the side of that. i do not believe we have a reformed e.u., and i think it is an unaffordable e.u. because those at the center do not want it to be reformed. i think we're going to against
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history and i think it would more bend than break. i think they're more risks to the united kingdom for remaining in the e.u. then leaving. in particular i think it's the unfinished business by the completion post big risk for the u.k. their risk before, the prime ministers negotiation their bigger now because we have given up when it comes to that process what would happen with the euro. i also think they're security at risk and continuing in the e.u. because of what is happening with migration and the security risk that will come to any of those that come into europe gain citizenship over a period of time if we have unlimited free movement of people that we have at the present time. i agree entirely that it the
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fundamental move here when the e.u. is created and i think in that sense they are instructed to leave us. it was the fundamental that we are seeing at the present time. i totally agree that the world is becoming more global. we have moved from the unified moment of the u.s. into a very different world multiple centers even though they are still largely symmetric. i think the block is diminishing and i believe it requires places like civility and restrictive nature of the structures of the european union to diminish our ability to take advantage of that new global dynamic. i think forward-looking the european union is spending far too much time and far too little
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time thinking about the future of the european citizen and particularly the young being sacrificed on the vanity of civil -- >> thank you much andy. how are we going to proceed now. we'll give you ten minutes for question. those will be aimed at one of the witnesses. if they want flexibility they can ask other witnesses in that ten minute session then they can exercise that right. now we will begin. >> in the debates he said that what we need, not just the united kingdom but all member states is it european union where we would not stop german if they wish and the ultimate
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but they must seek it visa for immigration. this was agreed not to veto further immigration. you believe the safeguards against this impact and this interest is enough? in 2011 you seem to argue there should be agreement if we wish -- that has not been achieved, has has a? >> i know what you're getting at. it does not require. [inaudible]
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>> that is exactly the kind of european union we want but if we want not to integrate than those who wish to integrate must also be realized and not be subject to our veto stopping them from doing so. could i have your permission a few brief points. >> you can do that at the end. >> thank you german. >> when we have a debate that might lead to a referendum that british might remain in the union or leave is such a massive distraction that we have to address. you state previously that a referendum referendum would be a distraction from the real visa. do you still feel like it's a massive distraction. >> i believe the real debate we should be heaven is not whether
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we should be in or out of the union but what kind of union is going to be involved when it is a unit of 28 perhaps in the 30s. it has to be a europe of diversity. i was involved in publishing a white paper which was moving towards not because everyone in brussels wants it but because it's inevitable when you have 20 countries and you know you have some in the country and some out area summon nato some not, and that factor could be magnified. >> is it a distraction? >> it's inevitable given the degree of hostility from a large section of the british electorate to whether we stay in the european union. >> is it a distraction? >> i'm not saying it's a distraction. unscented became inevitable. we'll know know on june the 23rd weather they want to be in the european union is a majority and minority. i feel given the strength on
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both sides. >> you're retracting a statement. >> no not retracting it. i i would prefer there not be a referendum but that cannot just depend on my preference. >> i would like to carry on with my question. at the the lsc you said while nato continues to be the main guarantor of the european nation including ourselves it is the european union which is in the most important in creating assurance and extending friendship and cooperation and democracy with europe. >> there's independent countries which we have seen increase in other countries. evan that this would undermine the argument that this is the most important.
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>> today we are discussing foreign policy and britain's role in the world. when you're comparing nato and the european union we have more loss of sovereignty by that relationship with nato then we have and perform policy where we have a veto to the european union. in nato there's a structure but there's an integrated structure. compared to that nato is an example of where we have accepted shared sovereignty and sometimes it makes a great deal of sense. i've us that there's a democratic deficit in the european union. that has to be one of the arguments for keeping integration, only to those areas where there is an obvious benefit to the united kingdom in terms of our security, our quality of life. that's a single most important example. i was margaret thatcher's minister and she was a strong
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champion of making the concessions of sovereignty in order to -- i was given instructions to support that when it was being discussed by margaret thatcher, prime minister. >> not as a general principle. is that i believe for the greater good of the united kingdom. i said a few moments ago i do not, i posted from the beginning without a single government and that's why won't work properly. that said all said all along that i would support integration , including the united kingdom if i'm satisfied that the united kingdom's disparity or security, for the quality of life of the people of the united kingdom would be advance. as as for example climate change policy or
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environmental policy. >> i want to go on to my next question. a further example of, you went on to say that it was essential in france, the netherlands and germany and other, my question to us we may have similar interests or other european countries, why does this require us to be part of a supranational body that negotiates is one? >> let me give you an example. when the near nuclear reactor's bloated sadly when it comes to problems of environmental pollution they do not respect national borders. the only way it was to be protected from happening again is by international agreements and when it comes to international
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negotiations you have four more clouds with 500 million people negotiating then if we're individual. >> i hear you. were talking about hundred 95 countries as you say -- >> i don't for a moment suggests that we cannot clear are part as a separate country for international negotiation. but your successful negotiation is actually successful when you get your main negotiating objectives. the british clout is restricted to that, one country country out of 20, 30, 40, 50 countries that we are not going to get our preference. if however we are one of the leading three countries in the european union, with european union comes to formulate its negotiating position it is much more likely to reflect the views of germany, britain and france, with the otherwise do.
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so it's about negotiations. i'm been involved in negotiations during my time in for an office. i know the extent to which the u.k., france and germany, they have very strong interest which in our case could be funded cared far more weight, sadly perhaps it's unfair the views of individual countries, portugal, slovenia and so forth. may be unfair but that is the reality of any international negotiations. if we can be part of such a large, adopting a mandate agreed with our position that puts us in a stronger position. >> you said the most important objective for the negotiation of the united kingdom should be a binding guarantee that no proposal, should further social justice would apply without our
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two cents. do you you think that's been achieved? >> any time by the lsc speech that was for five years ago. it would not apply to the united kingdom. >> it hasn't been achieved? >> no not entirely for any country. the german and french occasionally have views which were not happy with. what's important and unique for the united kingdom is that other countries could demand, at this time where the only country that can invoke and to the degree of the patient of the e.u. that we decide if the proposals are in the national interest are not. >> thank you very much.
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>> i will explain, i was elected to the european parliament. two years later i change my mind and they save you change my you then have to explain why you change your mind. and i did so for several reasons. [inaudible] there were taken into account.
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[inaudible] does five years in the year parliament before coming here. size very pro- e.u. which we really don't have time to talk about today. i wondered if you folks speaking of the day program today about his news on why we should stay in the e.u. it is also to be nothing less then political arson. unprecedented action of self-destruction.


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