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European Union rules 'are a problem for UK farmers'

European Union rules on what British farmers must grow are a "problem", the Environment Secretary has said.

Liz Truss said she saw the damaging impact of the Common Agricultural Policy on the UK farming industry "all the time".

Liz Truss said there are 'benefits' and 'serious costs' to being in a single market. Credit: Stephen Rafferty/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

Truss told the Sunday Telegraph: "There are benefits to being in a single market, but there are serious costs.

"The three crop rule means that Brussels bureaucrats are going to be deciding what our farmers produce, rather than what consumers want, which is a problem."

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Carney praises ECB but accuses Eurozone of failing to act

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney praised the European Central Bank for the "boldness" of its plan announced last week to buy hundreds of billions of euros of government bonds to fight the "potentially dangerous" combination of weak growth and falling prices.

Mark Carney speaking at Davos last week. Credit: Reuters

But he criticised the eurozone for failing to act on other reforms, including making the single currency area more like the United States, where states cushion one another against economic shocks via federal government transfers.

"It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that, if the eurozone were a country, fiscal policy would be substantially more supportive," he said in a speech in Dublin.

Mark Carney attacks eurozone over austerity

The Governor of the Bank of England launched a broadside against eurozone austerity policies, warning that it was caught in 'a debt trap'.

Mark Carney's comments come as Greece's new Prime Minister confirmed he will be fighting the tight austerity policies placed on the country by the EU.

The Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney speaking last year. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Since the financial crisis all major advanced economies have been in a debt trap where low growth deepens the burden of debt, prompting the private sector to cut spending further. Persistent economic weakness damages the extent to which economies can recover. Skills and capital atrophy. Workers become discouraged and leave the labour force. Prospects decline and the noose tightens.

As difficult as it has been, some countries, including the US and the UK, are now escaping this trap. Others in the euro area are sinking deeper.

– Mark Carney

Leaders Live policy video: European Union

YouTuber Tom Harwood has a thing or two to say about the EU when he comes face to face with politicians at Leaders Live.

He says the union's founding principles are all well and good, but acknowledges that some feel it is now "more about people we've never voted for, or heard of, making laws that affect our lives".

"Is renegotiation required or are things broadly fine as they are? Should we leave altogether? Is our influence enhanced of diminished in the union?"

Leave your questions below his video on YouTube, of ask your own using the #LeadersLive tag.

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PM: Major's EU speech 'powerful, important and timely'

David Cameron said he agrees with Sir John Major after the former prime minister suggested the EU was often seen as showing a "lofty disdain" for British concerns.

During a speech in Germany, Sir John put the chance of a British exit from the European Union at "just under 50%" and warned it would become a reality unless there is genuine reform.

Sir John put the chance of a British exit from the EU at 'just under 50%'. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA

When asked about Sir John's speech, Cameron said, "I agree with what he said."

"When countries in Europe have difficulties that need to be addressed, Europe needs to have the flexibility to address them," he said, before describing Sir John's speech as powerful, important and timely.

May: Britain needs European arrest powers

Opting into the controversial European arrest warrant (EAW) will prevent Britain becoming a "honeypot" for European fugitives, the Home Secretary has said.

Opponents of the EAW cite concerns it is too easy for UK citizens to be extradited and some Conservative backbenchers have hinted at a revolt when the proposal comes to a vote in the Commons.

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

Labour 'pleased' May backs European arrest warrant

Home Secretary Theresa May. Credit: PA

The shadow home secretary has pledging Labour's support in a promised Commons vote on opting back in to the European Arrest Warrant.

Yvette Cooper said she was "pleased" that the Home Secretary was supporting the measure as Labour believed it was needed to protect Britain's borders and public safety.

Failing to do so would "much harder to deport foreign criminals and would also make it more difficult for us to bring British citizens who have committed crimes back to our country to face justice", she said.

Former immigration minister Damian Green said it would be "really dangerous" if Britain failed to opt back in to the warrant:

We would be the country in Europe where all Europe's criminals and terrorists would be inclined to come, because not only would we not be able to get terrorists back from other countries as quickly as we can now ... but also rapists, murderers, child molesters and so on would think Britain is probably the place to go where you'd have most chance of not being convicted of crimes you committed in the rest of Europe.

– Damian Green on BBC's The Andrew Marr Show
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