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UK Decides: In Or Out? Aired 12:15-1a ET
Aired June 21, 2016 - 00:15 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[00:15:37] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour. And a very warm welcome to THE UK DECIDES: IN OR OUT. That's our CNN debate here at the McLaren Thought Leadership Center. And we'll be discussing the biggest decision facing this country in at least a generation: a vote to remain or to leave the European Union.
During this campaign, we've seen claims and counter claims. We've seen personal attacks. There has been a lot of passion. There's been fear. And it's been keeping journalists and newspaper headline writers very buys indeed.
Just a few from both sides in all our big wall you can see around. We have an esteemed panel and a studio audience representing both sides of the debate, including some of the young people whose futures will be directly affected by this decision.
It is time to cut through the rhetoric and take a reality check. The world is watching closely as well. And with the vote just days away, it has the potential to be a profound game changer for tackling global challenges like terrorism, security, the refugee crisis and trade. As the clamor for facts grows louder by the day, we'll do our best to get them to you. We're going to be looking at some big issues -- the economy, migration, and security and also sovereignty.
I'll introduce the panel in a moment. But, first, let's hear from Max Foster, who's in the audience.
MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, it's not just about what the panel thinks tonight. We really want to hear from the audience as well because it's such a big debate in British society and so many people appear to be undecided. They've still got strong views though about all those different parts of this massive debate. Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Thanks, Max. And we'll meet our panel now.
Joining me here on this stage this evening is the Opposition Labour MP Caroline Flinch. She's a former Minister of State for Europe Housing and for Employment. Caroline is in the Remain camp. Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, the current Chair of the Foreign Affairs Elect Committee, a former Army officer, Crispin Blunt is backing Brexit. Christoph Meyer, Professor of European and International Politics from Kings College London. He's a Remain supporter. And Tim Martin, Founder and Chairman of the U.K. Pub Chain JD Wetherspoons. It's a bit of an institution here. Many know their local Wetherspoons pub. He's one of the most prominent business campaigners for Vote Leave.
So, welcome to you all.
AMANPOUR: Take a look at this headline: "Brexit Would Prompt Stock Market and House Price Crash" says the IMF. 30 seconds from each of you; agree or disagree.
CRISPIN BLUNT, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: We don't want to focus on the short term. This is a decision for 20, 40 years since the last referendum. What are the long-term strengths of the British economy? They're global, by and large, and we should be thinking about selling into a global market, not into a regional market.
This is a decision for 20, 40 years. What are the long-term strengths of the British economy? global by and large. We should be thinking about selling into a global market, not into a regional market.
AMANPOUR: But you do think short-term it could, the economy could take a hit?
BLUNT: Well the truth is I don't think anyone actually knows how the markets are going to react, but this is a long-term change in the United Kingdom. It would be unsurprising if there were some short- term costs. I think it's a perfectly reasonable point to concede, but it's actually about what the long-term interest of the U.K. is.
AMANPOUR: I'm going to go round this table, sort of. Professor?
CHRISTOPH MEYER, PROFESSOR, KINGS COLLEGE LONDON: The majority opinion - the overwhelming majority opinion of the economist points towards significant economic loss in the long-term and a potential shock in the short-term. And I think what we need to remember, in the current situation, the U.K. is highly, highly vulnerable because it's got a 7 percent account deficit, which means it is dependent on the kindness of strangers to finance its NHS, to finance its public debt -- budget.
So the risk is that the confidence in the economy takes a very significant short-term hit. And I think that vulnerability is not fully appreciated.
AMANPOUR: Again, quick comments. Tim Martin?
TIM MARTIN, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, JD WETHERSPOONS: If you look around the world, democratic countries which have, by far, the best economic performance. Democracy and prosperity and freedom are all linked together. So, West Germany better than East Germany. South Korea better than North. Countries like Japan have emerged from the rubble, in 30 or 40 years, to be some of the strongest economies in the world; and the E.U. is undemocratic. So if we leave it, our economic performance will improve, and will do a good deal with them as well. [00:20:07] AMANPOUR: You're the only employer around this table, and
employees, people who have to go out and work for a living and save their, you know, put their families -
MARTIN: I say to my employees, look, the only other thing I've done in my life on the political sphere is I opposed the Euro just in the way I'm in favor of Brexit, and I got it right on that. We can't have a currency without a government. You haven't got a government in Europe. It's blown apart Greece, Portugal, et cetera. So, listen to me on this, please.
AMANPOUR: Okay, well, you lead me right into the next obvious question. He got it right on the Euro, so shouldn't he be right on this, Caroline?
CAROLINE FLINT, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY MP: Well, I was against joining the Euro, so we're at one on that, Tim. But, you know, look, I think it's really interesting when Crispin said, you know, he acknowledged there would be an economic shock and I know lots of -
BLUNT: That's not what I said.
FLINT: I think you indicated there could be, in the short term, economic shocks to our system. Now, when you know that something between three million jobs and over are directly related to our trade with Europe, it's 200,000 businesses in the U.K. directly trade with the Union, let alone the supply chains into those businesses as well.
You know, for me it's very worrying that the Brexit side, the Leave campaign, portray the European Union, including us in it, as some regional market. It's a market of 500 million people. We get huge benefits out of it, and not only that, it gives us the leverage to trade with the rest of the world as well.
There is no way in which the suggestion that somehow we can't be part of the European Union and can't trade with the Chinas and the Brazils and the Indias as well. We trade with countries within the Commonwealth. Being part of the E.U. doesn't stop that. And if it's working, why would we want to break that? I don't think there's a better deal for the U.K. if we leave the E.U., and not for British workers either.
AMANPOUR: Can I just go to Max because I want to get some reaction, and perhaps some questions from the audience.
FOSTER: Yes, well, it's often economics that defines elections, but how much of a role does it play in this referendum? Do you think about it a lot as you head towards the vote?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am, yes.
FOSTER: The economy, is that the primary thing you're looking at?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's one of several factors that's -
FOSTER: What worries you most? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the future for my children; my friends that work in economies will be directly affected.
FOSTER: There are so many factors involved, aren't there, in the decision? So is economics at the top of your agenda?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it has to be; it's the economic union, that's what it's about. And the issue about Brexit is we simply don't know. We're taking a leap into the dark.
FOSTER: There's so many uncertainties, aren't there? I mean, what sort of question would you like to pose to the panel, in terms of the economy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like the panel to consider if the vote is to stay in, what's Europe going to be like in 2020?
AMANPOUR: Well, you are for Remain, you're for In. So what will it look like in 2020?
FLINT: Well, I'd love to have a crystal ball but I would say it's interesting, looking at some of the information coming out at the moment, in terms of our long-term interests, in developing our economy and working in partnership, within the E.U. but also looking out for the rest of the world, I think our futures for ourselves and our kids are better served there.
AMANPOUR: We've heard many British people say that they have had enough of the politicians' sort of, you know, points and counterpoints, and they want objective facts, to the extent it's possible.
So, to that extent, we have invited two experts into our audience here, and we want to ask them to contribute, you know, fact-checking this debate.
So this time on the economy. She's Danae Kyriakopoulou. She's the Managing Economist for the Center for Economic and Business Research, which supplies independent economic forecasting and analysis to various different organizations.
So, Danae, thank you for being here. Obviously you've heard what our panel has said, and what some of the concerns of the audience are. I read that back when Britain first joined, back in 1975, Britain was called the "6th Man of Europe". And today it is one of the best economies, one of the lowest unemployment rates. Is that despite being in the E.U. or because being in the E.U.?
DANAE KYRIAKOPOULOU, MANAGING ECONOMIST, CENTER FOR ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS RESEARCH: There's a few things that you can get economists to agree on, and one of them is that Brexit would be negative for Britain, at least in the short-term. In terms of the E.U.'s legacy on Britain, I think one of the reasons why Britain has performed better than other European Union countries has been the fact that it hasn't joined the Euro. So I think that's something that's independent to this vote. If we consider the E.U.'s contribution to the U.K.'s economy over the years, it's helped the U.K. become more competitive, more innovative, it's allowed it to trade with more countries. Throughout the years in which the U.K. has been a member of the E.U., it's also seen its trade with countries outside of the E.U. rise.
[00:25:01] So there is nothing precluding trade with countries outside of the E.U. while remaining in the E.U., and trade is one of the main factors for the economy going forward.
AMANPOUR: There's a report which says that GDP would be four-percent after two years, and if the U.K. voted to Remain, unemployment would be half-million higher or so. The Pound would be 12 percent lower. And under a worse scenario, GDP would be 6 percent lower; unemployment 800,000 plus higher and sterling 15 percent lower. That's from The Independent Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Is that something that we can rely on? Are those figures reliable figures?
KYRIAKOPOULOU: It's hard to know what will happen and put numbers on it, but also because of the fact that we don't know exactly what a Brexit will mean, as someone from the audience said.
In terms of trade, what we need to think about is what will Brexit mean? So the Leave campaign has suggested that a World Trade Organization, WTO, solution for Britain's trade is going to be good for the U.K. going forward. One issue to consider there is the fact that World Trade Organization has a lot of rules about trading goods. Now, what the U.K. is very good at is services, exporting services, and that is something that the - under WTO rule scenario is not clear what rules we will have.
BLUNT: The central flaw in all this reasoning is looking at trading agreements and getting - and not being able to see the wood for the trees. The wood is that democracy, when we get it, if we vote for Brexit, will open up enormous opportunities for us. And it's much more efficient than having our elected commissioners in Brussels making laws. That's the big picture.
FLINT: Look, you know, I love Britain. And if we came out of the E.U., would Britain still exist? Would we carry on in some way? Would we try to put something together, whether it's a Norway Model, a WTO Model? Yes, probably. But you know what? I love Britain, and that's why what worries me is us losing the advantage and opportunities by coming out of the E.U. because I do think we're stronger.
If you are trying to negotiate trade deals, part of you leverage is the market you bring to it. So we've got 60 million population. The E.U. has got 500 million. So when we go into bat as the E.U., to sign an agreement with China or elsewhere, we go with that leverage behind us, and that's what makes the negotiations so important.
FLINT: So important. So important in terms of the outcome of that, for us.
I think a lot of people --
BLUNT: And these arguments cut both ways, on trade deals, because it is much easier for the United Kingdom, on its own, to secure a trade deal with anyone else in the world. When you've got 28 nations trying to negotiate a trade deal, you then find all sorts of qualifications come into the European position and it takes an immensely long time to bring these deals home, as is the case with Canada, and I don't believe TTIP is actually going to be brought on with the United States because there will be opposition in various of the European Union countries to it; and it would be much easier for the U.K., if it was negotiating a deal with the United States, for example, if we had Brexit, to bring that deal home.
And Caroline is right about the leverage, but also, if you're outside, you're more fleet-footed. It's easier to get an agreement because only your own administration you're trying to get agreement in. And you can bring a deal home. So this cuts - these arguments cut both ways.
AMANPOUR: Is Europe going to make it easy to negotiate these trade deals (INAUDIBLE) Brexit?
MEYER: I think the reality is the trade, the trade deals are only covering one part of the needs of the British economy. And I think the point was made, very powerfully, that service is the area where I think Britain is most competitive. So, being in the single market is hugely important for Britain and trade -
MARTIN: It doesn't cover services.
MEYER: Right, and trade deals, as such, will not deliver the same kinds of economic benefits.
The other point, important point to make, is that as far as trade deals are governed by interest, size matters. So when Obama came and said, well, if you want to have a trade deal, you go back to the queue. It's not because he doesn't value -- he doesn't value --
CRISPIN: Queue of what?
MEYER: He doesn't value the French or the U.K. It's just because trade deals absorb a huge amount of effort to negotiate. They will be done according to where the greatest economic benefit is.
AMANPOUR: So you're watching THE U.K. DECIDES: IN OR OUT, a special interactive debate on the E.U. referendum.
And coming up after a short break -- migration. That's next.
[00:32:30] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the UK DECIDES: IN OR OUT, a CNN special interactive debate here at the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre.
Take a look at this headline. "Immigration Chaos Can Only be Stopped by Britain Leaving the EU." It's a "Daily Express" headline, attributed to member of the cabinet Priti Patel. She is a pro-Brexit campaigner.
So, do you believe, Caroline Flint, that Britain getting out of the EU will get a grip on what the tabloids are calling immigration chaos? Do you believe there's immigration chaos for some?
I think they are pressures from immigration. And that's caused partly by EU nationals, particularly I think in some of the areas outside of our cities.
FLINT: My constituencies in South York Shire, low wage, low skill economy, you know, not used to a sort of diverse community.
I think there are pressures from migration from outside the EU as well. In fact, I think the number of people coming in from outside the EU pretty much matches those that come from the EU itself.
Will it be solved by Brexit? No, of course, it won't. Some of the problems we have about coping with migration are still going to be there. All of those problems are not going away. And it's dishonest of the leave campaign to suggest it will.
AMANPOUR: Caroline has just used the word dishonest. I'm going to ask you Crispin Blunt, because there's a huge controversy about what leave is focusing on. They keep telling the British people that Turkey is about to join with all 76 million population potentially headed here to Britain.
Why is it that the leave campaign uses that as a platform when it's clearly not true? Turkey is not joining the EU.
BLUNT: Well, it's British policy that Turkey should join the EU.
AMANPOUR: But as you know it's not going to join for many, many decades.
BLUNT: And so it has, the Schengen area to a degree over a barrel, because they are sitting on a very large number of refugees into Turkey, particularly from a Syrian conflict, but also from Afghanistan and elsewhere. And they have been able to switch the flow off into Greece. And they can each switch it back on again.
So it's perfectly possible that Turkey -- it's on the route to joining the European Union. It's in its success negotiation.
AMANPOUR: We are going to discuss this in a little bit. But Crispin Blunt, in the interest of absolute facts --
BLUNT: Let's get the focus -- let's get the focus off Turkey.
AMANPOUR: Yes. But it's your campaign that's got the focus on Turkey. That's why I asked that question.
BLUNT: The net immigration into the United Kingdom, net immigration is 300,000 people a year and rising. And the element that is rising is the EU element. And it's the element that we can't control because it's free movement of citizens from the European Union into the U.K. And the issue here is that net increase of 300,000 in our population a year is driving huge pressure on public services, on school places, on hospital basis and --
[00:35:20] AMANPOUR: And we will discuss all of that.
BLUNT: And housing.
AMANPOUR: Christoph Meyer, professor, do you believe that the British getting out of the EU will get a handle on what the tabloids called immigration chaos?
MEYER: I'm quite worried about the extent to which a referendum vote, which is about membership of an organization is turned into some sort of vote on immigration policy.
Leaving the EU can mean a whole lot of different things, including keeping freedom of movement. For instance, if the U.K. was to leave and join the European economic area like Norway does, they would continue to have freedom of movement.
So using a referendum to determine immigration policy, I fear will not work and will leave a lot of voters very disappointed if they think they will get an immigration policy by voting for leave.
MARTIN: To my mind, immigrants, these migrants to this country have made a tremendous -- they have tremendous advantages for the economy. But relating to the point you've made, to what extent can it be controlled, I think the system should be like America or Australia where it's based on a point system and the country decides.
It's a fallacy to say you have no power if you have Brexit. You've got absolute power. You don't have sovereignty now over the issue, because you have subcontracted it.
AMANPOUR: We brought an independent expert. Professor Alexander Betts. He is the director of the Refugee Study Center at Oxford University.
Mr. Betts, you have heard what our panelists have been saying.
Will immigration be controlled by the British being out of the UK? Does immigration put an unsustainable pressure on public services? Those two issues.
ALEXANDER BETTS, PROFESSOR, REFUGEE STUDY CENTER OXFORD UNIVERSITY: I think the thing to bear in mind about Brexit is it only relates to about 50 percent of the immigration coming to the U.K. Now the question is what would it do to control immigration?
As we know, whether and how we control immigration depends on a post- Brexit immigration policy. There are different ways we could go. If we went north of Norway or Switzerland, we have the same immigration policies for EU's citizens that we have today.
If we chose to control EU immigration, it would depend on what policies we adopted. What we know from the data, there's a very small net positive economic impact on (INAUDIBLE) from inter-EU migration to the European Union.
We also know that there are actually some positive effect to public services as well as potentially negative impacts. So on the positive side, in the National Health Service in the U.K., around 12 percent of employees are EU immigrants.
We also know that the net fiscal contribution is about 1.8 billion pounds per year. But on the flip side, there's a lot of public concern that equally there's a potential benefit withdrawal through welfare to immigrants.
But that's recently changed. The renegotiation of the terms of the EU membership and the recent decision by the European Court of Justice means that if an EU citizen is based in Europe and isn't working, then they won't be able to withdraw benefits.
AMANPOUR: Alexander Betts, thank you.
So we are going back to our panel.
Do you think that you have failed as a remain who believes in the free movement of people that your side have failed to grapple with this very emotive issue?
FLINT: To be honest, politicians of all parties have looked at the headline figures and it's absolutely right about the benefits -- the overall benefits.
But in certain parts of our country, actually there have been some negative consequences as well, which may be I think, you know, national politicians weren't looking at.
I will give you an example. After the 2010 general election, the coalition government that's under democrats, got rid of the migrant impact fund which was going to help communities cope with some of the pressures that it brings. And it is an important issue, because there are some concerns. And I think they need to be dealt with in a mature and truthful and honest way.
AMANPOUR: Crispin, obviously -- Crispin Blunt, your side has been accused of scare mongering on this issue. The other side has been accused of scare mongering on other issues.
Why did you accept that? And why do you think your side keeps pushing this particular issue? BLUNT: Communities are seeing very substantial change at quite significant pace. And, plainly, they are concerned about it. And this is going to get worse from the EU.
When we move towards the living wage, increasing our minimum wage, we are going to increase the attractiveness for professionally qualified East Europeans, and Greeks and Spaniards and Italians, young people who are having really difficulty getting into their job markets. Well, of course, they're going to look to come to what is the most successful economy in relative terms, in terms of job created, they're going to look to United Kingdom.
And that means those numbers from the EU are going to go up, relentlessly. We are then going to have a social cost to bear about making sure that those British people get access into our labor market and into our society.
[00:40:11] AMANPOUR: So to you, professor, out of control, take back control, is the campaign slogan of the leave campaign. Take back control on every issue. And you just heard what Crispin Blunt said.
How would it work if the British got out of the EU? How would it work? How would they have the mechanism to control the EU immigration?
MEYER: I would like to go back to the initial point, namely that this is not a vote on immigration policy. It is about leaving or staying. Now I have sympathy for people who say, we would like to have some control over maximum number of migrants coming in.
My main point or my main unhappiness with the way the immigration policy has gone is that there's a focus on economic costs and benefit in the U.K., but there isn't a lot of talk about the fact that there are huge opportunities for students going outside studying in other countries.
If you have children who want to go to university, if you are concerned about 9,000 pound fees, you can study in good quality universities in Europe for free. Many of them in English. You can work in Europe without being discriminated against.
There are very considerable benefits to freedom of movement. And we should recall that in the late 1970s and early '80s, there were quite huge number of Brits working in construction sites in Germany and elsewhere who assumes that the economic performance will stay as it is.
Push and full factors in migration are quite unpredictable. So freedom of movement is for everyone, not just for those who come to the U.K. but also for going to the rest of the EU for studying, for working.
AMANPOUR: Interesting. Very interesting. Actually, one hadn't thought about the reverse flow until you just mentioned it.
But let me ask you, Tim Martin, again, as an employer, as a big employer in this country, you talked about an Australian point system.
Why do you think the Australian point system would bring in any less migrant. I mean, Australia wants a whole load of migrants. They keep bringing -- and people have said that if you transfer that model to here, it will become even more migrants coming to this country.
MARTIN: There's an air of unreality about this debate which the public as so often can see through. And the fact is that the -- if you have Brexit, parliament is sovereign. Whether any particular party has got a majority is another issue.
If parliament has a majority, and it wants to cut immigration completely, and I don't think it should. I think we need migration. It is able to do so. So it is a fallacy to say that Brexit won't have an effect on the numbers of people coming in. That's what parliamentary supremacy means.
AMANPOUR: We need to take a quick break.
Coming up next, we're going to tackle sovereignty and the UK'S place in the world. That's next.
[00:45:40] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the UK DECIDES: IN OR OUT, a CNN special debate here at the McLaren Thought Leadership Center.
Now we're going to tackle two other big issues: sovereignty and, of course, security. How does the EU impact British sovereignty. And if the U.K. votes leave, how much control would the country take back?
Take a look at this headline. From the "Daily Telegraph," "Boris Johnson: The EU Wants a Superstate just as Hitler Did."
That was a provocative one.
Now, panel, thoughts from each of you.
OK, I know we're not going to have the Hitler debate here. But what I want to ask you is, is sovereignty something that the leave campaign is hung up in terms of symbolism?
And let me read what Margaret Thatcher said. She was urging your party and the country to vote yes in 1975. In the modern world, it's worth distinguishing between the substance and symbols of sovereignty. The substance is the freedom to act independently. Something that is now seldom possible for any single country.
BLUNT: That's true. But here is the basic British problem. We don't get Europe here. And so Britain now has this half in, half out arrangement where we're not in the currency. We're not in Schengen. We're contracted out of half the justice and home affairs measures.
And so when we're invited to lead in Europe as we were a couple of days ago by Gordon Brown, it's a ludicrous proposition. Because we're not actually committed to this institution. And we're not committed to this institution because we are not prepared to concede the sovereignty that is required to actually make that commitment.
AMANPOUR: Crispin Blunt said something interesting, which I do believe goes to the heart of the Brexit thing. He said, we don't get it here in our hearts.
That is an issue for many people. But with our heads or with your heads, what is Britain's real sovereignty? Where are the main laws that affect great Britain made, in Brussels or in the British parliament?
FLINT: Most of them made in the British parliament. There's no doubt about that. I think in the last government from 2015 -- from 2010 to 2015, I think there actually four laws out of 120 odd that if you like were directly linked to the EU.
I think the fact that within the European Union -- actually even more since we've had some of the newer countries come in, more than ever before, there is sort of resurgence of the sense of national identity, but recognizing that where it's in all our interests, sometimes by pooling our sovereignty, it works for all of us.
AMANPOUR: (INAUDIBLE) because, again, I mean, you see it all in your business establishments. I mean, Britain is British. Germany is German. France is French.
All this country, you feel there are different nationalities and different cultures and different sovereignties in every place you visit.
MARTIN: You think that's the very point. I think the issue for me is that democracy is the key as I have said many times. And a lot of laws are made -- I disagree with Caroline.
The thing is a lot of laws are made in Europe that are instigated by the European commissioners that we don't select and can't. The European court of justice is superior to our own. And we can't change the laws they make. So it is not a democracy in the way that North America is or Australia is or New Zealand is.
AMANPOUR: I want you to talk about the European Court of Justice, the laws, what can be done here, what can't be done here. And this issue of democracy and sovereignty.
MEYER: Yes. I think it's very important to understand that the European Union as it is today, the treaties, the legislation is that way with participation and full consent of the Westminster parliament.
There were solid majorities for all the treaty amendments for the legislation. Secondary legislation, the U.K. was in the winning majority in between 87 and I think 97 percent. So hardly ever outvoted. So parliamentary sovereign, it has agreed to the EU having certain competences in areas where it doesn't want to see competence in such as in the Euro, in Schengen. It has opt out. The U.K. is the only country that has the opt outs. So the issue of democracy is a little bit more complex and sovereignty in particular than I think is often portrayed.
[00:50:10] AMANPOUR: Max, let's see what the audience has to say about sovereignty, but also about the issue of security.
Will this country, the homeland, be better protected with the full participation of Britain in EU?
FOSTER: I mean, this is an area of the debate, isn't it, which is less about facts and figures, much more about how people feel.
How does it make you feel, this part of the debate, when you hear it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I think it's definitely a difficult one, I think. My main issue in the moment is that a lot of people are saying that leaving is the rescue option. And I agree it is.
But I think also a lot of people that are voting to remain want changes of what is originally there and what you, guys, have said is you don't think that EU is perfect either.
So I think we need to look into actually remaining, but look into still taking a bit of control and standing up to the EU and going. We may not agree with this and we want this change, because I think that's more the argument.
FOSTER: Yes. That sort of standing up, feeling it from the heart. I mean, how much should that be part of the debate?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I think it absolutely is part of the debate. I think what's been refreshing this evening is to see elements of the out campaign with whom I haven't necessarily agreed previously, making concessions and both in terms of our sovereignty and also in terms of our economic risk of leaving the EU.
And I think I find myself agreeing with, politically, people who I wouldn't vote for in a million years necessarily. And I think the very fact that it's polarized the country is very healthy. But I think that we have to decide -- fundamentally, we have to decide are we Great Britain anymore? When were we last great?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just going to say about how being Great Britain. I think working with others is part of being Great Britain. I think if we leave, you know, say, France, as you said is still France, Germany is still Germany. And I think we are still Great Britain and working with others is part of that. I don't think pulling away is to be British. That's my opinion.
FOSTER: In terms of security, do you think we're safer in or out? Because this is one part of the debate that's so hard to work out, isn't it? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think there's a risk in lots of places that you go to with security.
FOSTER: It's not high up your agenda? We have all these stories on terrorism. It's just frightening for so many people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terrorism is a global problem. And it can only be tackled and controlled by global cooperation. So --
FOSTER: Safer in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So safer in. Yes.
FOSTER: Christiane, there's views on the feeling part of the debate.
AMANPOUR: Thank you very much, Max. Thank you to the audience. And the interesting about you asking Great Britain and some of the comments about Great Britain, I also found a quote from former long deceased Prime Minister Harold McMillan back in 1962.
"We have to consider the state of the world as it is today," and as it will be tomorrow and not in outdated terms of a vanished past.
Back to you, on the heart. Do you think in your heart of hearts -- and you are a soldier. You are a former soldier. That you and your campaign, in your hearts, are seeking for, you know, a past that just isn't today?
BLUNT: No. Because there are two internationalisms that should be competing for people's support here.
One is regional integration and integration with our European partners to be part of what is heading in the direction of United States of Europe at whatever pace. But that's the, that is the ineluctable direction of the project.
AMANPOUR: So you don't believe them when they say that's not the direction we're going?
BLUNT: Well, read the five president's report. That's how you've got to resolve, like in the contradictions of the Euro zone. That's how you've got, that's how you've got to bring -- all the difficulties in Schengen. Now we may not be part of that. But if we're in the European Union, we're absolutely linked to that.
We will have a responsibility to our partners to help them, to help them sort it out. Now this is the -- then comes to the British opportunity is that we actually have a choice here. We have become a positive vision of commitment to Europe or positive vision of a global commitment, a global internationalism, cooperating with all the nations that have been mentioned and our strength as a nation and our cultural history as a nation and that unique economic position of our nation gives us that choice. And I think that's a positive and happy -- a much happier choice for our country to make.
AMANPOUR: We are rapidly down to the last remaining few minutes. Caroline, what about Britain projecting its power in the world as it has outside of Europe?
Can it do it in the way it has been doing it?
FLINT: Well, I think we already are projecting our power through other organizations that we sit on, whether it's the security council of the U.N., or the G20, the G7, through NATO as well. And what I see, I don't see being part of the European Union as diminishing the great in Great Britain. I think it's about actually having a strong voice within that 28 group of nations.
I used to be a home office minister as well. And I used to cover areas around organized crime. Crime does not respect borders. And what we have seen, it's not always perfect. But the greater collaboration to tackle organized crime, human trafficking, sharing of information, fingerprints, DNA, these aspects that we have gained from being part of the European Union.
And why we are able to send people back to other parts of the EU when they commit crimes here and criminals who commit crimes here and go to other parts of the EU, we can get them back here as well.
AMANPOUR: Tim Martin, final thought.
MARTIN: I don't think Europe works very well. It's overreached itself. We should have a common market. I personally like the free movement of labour from the countries that are in there now. And it's much more efficient when the Germans and the French have their own parliamentary sovereignty, though democratic and we are, the institutions in Brussels ain't cutting it.
MEYER: I would like just to emphasize that at a time when Russia has been quite aggressive, when they are -- the instability in the southern Mediterranean, I think Britain can offer a lot to making Europe more effective and cohesive and leaving at this time will, I think, be widely interpreted as an act of opting out of that solidarity and weakening the rest of Europe.
One of the concerns must be over decision making at this stage and the irreversibility of once you are out, you will probably never get in again.
AMANPOUR: And on that note, unfortunately, that is all we have time for. This is an incredibly important debate. We thank you all panelists for being here.
We thank you all, audience, for taking part in this.
And Caroline Flint, Crispin Blunt, Christoph Meyer and Tim Martin, again, a big, big thanks to you.
And that's it from us here tonight at the McLaren Thought Leadership Center. Good night.
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