tv BBC News BBC News March 29, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm BST
ideologs this is bbc news. i'm jane hill live at westminster, where, after more than four decades as a member of the european union — the united kingdom is officially setting off on its own path. this was the moment when the letter triggering article 50 was handed over in brussels to the president of the european council. in the letter, the prime minister said the uk was "leaving the european union, but not leaving europe." we are going to take control of the things that matter most to us and we are going to take this opportunity to build a stronger, fairer britain, a country that our children and grandchildren are proud to call home. i'm ben brown at the european commission in brussels where the clock is now running on two years of negotiations on the terms of the uk's exit from the eu. receiving the six page letter, the president of the european council, donald tusk said there was no reason to pretend
that this was a happy day either in brussels or london. here it is. six pages. the notification from prime minister, theresa may, triggering article 50. we'll bring you all the latest news and reaction throughout the day — from here at westminster — and across the uk and european union. also this afternoon, a moment of silence on westminster bridge to remember the four people who died in the terror attack here, exactly one week ago. good afternoon from westminster.
after 44 years as a member of the european union, the formal process to take the united kingdom out of the eu has begun. this lunchtime a letter, signed by theresa may, has been handed to the president of the european council, donald tusk, in brussels. in the letter she says the referendum was a "vote to restore britain's national self—determination". one of the key points repeated several times is that the uk's view that a future deal needs to be discussed alongside a withdrawal. near the end of the letter it says, "we recognise it will be a challenge to reach such a comprehensive agreement within the two—year period set out for withdrawal discussions in the treaty. but we believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership. alongside those of our
withdrawal from the eu". our political correspondent carole walker reports. this was the moment the uk really began its departure from the european union. the british ambassador to the eu, sir tim barrow, handed the president of the european council, donald tusk, the letter signed by the prime minister. it was the formal notification triggering the start of brexit negotiations. minutes later, the prime minister confirmed the significance of the moment. the article 50 process is now underway and in accordance with the wishes of the british people, the united kingdom is leaving the european union. this is an historic moment, from which there can be no turning back. britain is leaving the european union. we are going to make our own decisions and our own laws. we are going to take control of the things that matter most to us. she spoke of her fierce determination to get a deal that works for everyone,
but acknowledged the consequences of brexit. we know that we will lose influence over the rules that affect the european economy. we know that uk companies that trade with the eu will have to align with rules agreed by institutions of which we are no longer a part, just as we do in other overseas markets, and we accept that. however, we approach these talks constructively, respectfully, and in a spirit of sincere cooperation. in her letter, theresa may says she wants a deep and special partnership with the eu outside the single market, but with a bold and ambitious free trade agreement. she wants to continue co—operation on security, a deal on transition periods to avoid a cliff—edge for businesses and investors and she wants an early agreement on the rights of eu citizens in the uk and british citizens in eu states. already it's clearjust how hard it is going to be for the prime minister to fulfil her ambition of bringing the country together.
there are stark divisions in her party, in parliament, and across the country. people have very different views on what they want and expect from a brexit deal. the snp dismissed the prime minister's talk of unity. on this issue, it is not united kingdom and the prime minister needs to respect, respect, the differences across the united kingdom. if she does not, if she remains intransigent, and if she denies scotland a choice on our future, she will make scottish independence inevitable. the vote, having been taken, the decision having been given to people of the united kingdom, that we should now respect that vote and get on with the job of delivering for everybody across the whole of the united kingdom. the labour leader warned her not to listen to hard—line tory ideologs. the direction the prime minister is threatening to take this country in is both reckless and damaging and labour will not give this
government a free hand to use brexit to attack rights, protections and cut services or create a tax dodgers paradise. and some conservatives urged her not to walk away without a deal. does she not agree with me it is time to start talking facts and sense to the british people rather than rhetoric and ideology and in particular, rejecting the idea that no deal and a reliance on wto rules would somehow be ok? theresa may said she would work hard to reach a comprehensive trade deal. so, we have the prime minister's objectives in writing. now, the work begins to get an agreement which is acceptable across the eu, and across the uk. let's talk to bernard jenkin who
justjoined me. what's your mood today? it's sober, reflective, you know, there is some good stuff in this letter, the tonne is good. theresa may's letter to donald tusk? it is about, i mean, notwithstanding what the snp are saying, it is about giving more autonomy to the scottish parliament, and the northern ireland and wales. it is about collaboration and wales. it is about collaboration and she is determined to represent the interests of every person in this country and i think that's what people expect and a lot, you know, oui’ people expect and a lot, you know, our system of politics is divisive and adversarial and behind the scenes, people are saying we have got to get on with this, whether we we re got to get on with this, whether we were against it or for it. the fact that the letter says we are leaving the european union, but we are not leaving europe, is that an attempt to be as conciliatory as she can be
to be as conciliatory as she can be to other european countries who are following this? it is notjust being conciliatory. it is the truth. we're members of nato. we're members of the european council, overseas, the human rights law and that sort of thing. we are not leaving these institutions and we have, you know, historically, the united kingdom in the last century devoted its massive effort to the sustainment of freedom in western europe and in eastern europe after the fall of the berlin wall. we're not going to suddenly walk away from that. and she has avoided some of the more celebratory language. after all, she was a remainor. she is a remainor who accepts the result and in the way, that's the best person to lead the united kingdom into the negotiations. so when does this country negotiations. so when does this cou ntry start negotiations. so when does this country start to feel different, look different, for anyone watching this this afternoon, what would you say to them is going to change? well, i think what has already changed is people are saying right,
we're going to hold our politicians accountable for what happens now because the eu excuse has gone away. you can't blame the eu for this or that the or these people coming in. you're going to be accountable and that atmosphere has changed and the atmosphere in foreign policy, when the prime minister came and gave a statement about the balkans, she talked about our partners in the balkans. this isn't about us in the eu and our partners, this is about the united kingdom operating on the world stage. that's changed, but you know people going and doing their shopping and going to work in the morning, they won't notice any difference of the it is very slow burn stuff this. my point is some people might want to see a difference? some people will say that's what i voted for? we need to be realistic. this isn't going to transform people's lives. it is going to make our system more accountable. the government is going to save some money and be able to spend that better. we are going to be in control of our own laws. but let's ta ke be in control of our own laws. but let's take it one step at a time.
the government has got a huge task, negotiating new arrangements with the european union and giving confidence to business that things aren't going to be disrupted. but the european union is not insane, you know, they want to have trade with us. they're not going to put up barriers to stop us trading. they wa nt to barriers to stop us trading. they want to carry on selling us bmws and mercedes after all. the scare stories about blockages at ports, 9796 stories about blockages at ports, 97% of the containers that come through feelics stow from outside the european union are not stopped oi’ the european union are not stopped or checked because of preclearance arrangements that the eu have with all the countries around the world evenif all the countries around the world even if there aren't trading agreements, we have agreements about customs checks, that's the way it's going to work. thank you very much. the conservative mp bernard jenkin. our chief political correspondent vicki young is in central lobby
inside the houses of parliament. theresa may talking about speaking for everybody in the united kingdom, getting a dealfor for everybody in the united kingdom, getting a deal for everybody in the united kingdom, but of course, there are still divisions and that was very clear today when she stood up in the house of commons, she started with the prime minister's questions and she carried on taking questions throughout that statement on her feetin throughout that statement on her feet in the end for more than three hours which is probably something of a record. now, of course, on the one side, people like bernard generalen and others who have campaigned, not just for the last year, or in the last couple of years, but for decades for the uk to leave the european union. just they were not happy with the way that the project over there was going. they didn't wa nt over there was going. they didn't want more integration, they wanted it to be about a single market, but nothing else and for many of them, sovereignty was a big thing about making this place more in control of its own laws, giving mps really more say over what happens and of course,
today, those on the leave side of the argument are pretty happy. trade and co—operation, yes. european government, no. not only will we secure the right trade deal for us, but we will liberate trade around the world. will the prime minister agree with me that the time for project fear is over? we want a special relationship with the eu based on friendship, trade and many other collaborations once we are an independent country again. what is a genuinely historic day for our country, can i pay tribute to the prime minister and indeed to the brexit ministers for their determination and dedication to get to this stage today to implement the will of the british people. on the other side there are people. on the other side there are people who feel that this is a day of great anxiety. that then certainty cutting ourselves off from the european union, many of them would say, this is an act of self—harm. the people will look back
on and wonder why we did it? now all those people say they accept the result of the referendum, but they are anxious about what kind of brexit we will get. what kind of deal will theresa may end up with if she gets one at all? the deal will be signed off by someone the deal will be signed off by someone and the only question is who? will it it be the politician or will it be the people? surely the prime minister would agree that the people should have the final say will the prime minister ensure that everyone in her team stops the practise which has been so prevalent of claiming that every awkward question is evidence of a desire to overturn the will of the british people because nothing will surely destroy that unity of purpose that she seeks. can she say how she will keep parliament fully engaged and also she will do her upmost to secure a also she will do her upmost to secure a trade deal that we can all support and she will not listen to the siren voices who seem to think no deal is a good option.
in security terms, a failure to reach agreement would mean our co—operation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened. is she really saying that the security of our country will be traded like a bargaining chip in these snessions so stephen kin ok there talking about that letter that theresa may has sent and although it didn't contain any new revelation, it is interesting looking at the tonight, the language, incredibly cordial and friendly, talking a lot about the future partnership, the future friendship that the uk will have saying she wants a deep and special partnership, but she also talks about how she wants the talks to proceed. before the negotiation get going, they are going to have to decide what they are going it talk about. there are two elements to this. if you look at the letter where she says we believe it is necessary to agree the term of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the eu. so, on the one hand, you have the, if
you want to call it the divorce settle m e nt you want to call it the divorce settlement where we think the eu will present britain with a bill, the money we owe them and the future of eu citizens, there is the future relationship whether that includes a trade deal or not for example? can that be done alongside in parallel. it is not clear that the eu want to do it that way, but theresa may putting it out saying that's what she thinks needs to be done. on the other issue of security. when she talks about in security terms a failure to reach agreement would mean our co—operation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened. now, some say that that is a threat, saying to the eu if you think you're going to pun sh us, well, we contribute a lot when it comes to security, the fight against terrorism, suggesting that maybe that would be withdrawn. downing street have denied that. they say it is not a threat. it is just the reality that if there is no deal, then that kind of co—operation won't
be as close. so there is an awful lot now to be looking at, about how the talks take place and where they ta ke the talks take place and where they take place and what will be decided. very big issues about trade for example, theresa may has made it clear that we will be leaving the single market, how close that co—operation can be is all to play for really and that is, i think, why there is a certain amount of anxiety here today as people look ahead to those negotiations. vicki, thank you. more from vicki youngin vicki, thank you. more from vicki young ina vicki, thank you. more from vicki young in a while. with me now is the leader of the liberal democrats tim farron. perhaps worth picking up on the paragraph that vicki young highlighted. a lot of people talking about that, the linking, if we don't get a deal, we will go to wto rules. number ten are saying it is not a threat, how do you read that paragraph? it clearly is. if you read through the article 50 letter,
all the stuff that doesn't matter is nice and friendly and fluffy and the stuff that does matter is quite terrifying. this is a letter really about kicking off a trade negotiation, trade is mentioned in the letter six times. security is mentioned 11 times. now, number ten have been unclear, because the letter isn't clear, as to what that really is getting at. is that euro poll, the anti—terrorism work, intelligence sharing, is it a reference to nato cover and indeed, many countries in europe also belong to nato and britain provide an umbrella. so it is at the very least reckless for that mention, that threat to be put in the letter and it is probably count are productive because the chances of us getting what we want from negotiation when you start off with a clear, naked threat, a repeated threat are pretty limited. i have interviewed a lot of people today who said broadly, negotiations, when we're talking about trade, they will go well
because it is in no one's interests to have restrictions and trade barriers, other european countries wa nt to barriers, other european countries want to deal with the uk just as much the uk wants to deal with other european countries. if that's the case, then why on earth lace this letter with security threats? the security co—operation across europe surely wasn't under question. we we re surely wasn't under question. we were told by the leavers it was never under question. sex offenders' registers why on earth put it in the letter? that letter was not written willy nilly, but the stuff that didn't matter was warm and fluffy. the stuff that did matter was sharp, reckless and counter productive. from here on in, the negotiations begin. what is the liberal democrats role now? what is parliament's role?
what has to be done in your opinion to monitor the process? theresa may confirmed again today that the most important thing that she could ask for britain to be part of, or to retain, whilst leaving the european union, being in the single market, she is giving up without a fight. i cannot imagine that a government that's been properly opposed by an official opposition would so easily have rolled over on the single market. the business community is howling and appalled by the conservatives betrayal of the business community on pulling us out of the single market. so our role is to be the official opposition even though we are much smaller in number. but it is notjust to hold the government to account through this process, it is to say another direction is possible. one thing we should rememberfrom direction is possible. one thing we should remember from today is the eu's response to that letter is to confirm in writing for the first time that article 50 can be revoked by the uk. so if during this two yea rs, by the uk. so if during this two yea rs , we by the uk. so if during this two years, we win our argument for there to bea years, we win our argument for there to be a referendum on the deal at the end which surely there should be
and if the british people reject that, we can remain in the european union. i think history is still there to be made and i'm determined not to give up on that. tim farron, thank you very much. there is a news conference getting under way in fact in brussels, i believe. let's just head under way in fact in brussels, i believe. let'sjust head over and hear some of that. the condition for any european union, united kingdom partnership. this is not negotiable. as the uk will continue to enjoy its rights as a member state, it will also have to fully respect its treaty obligation until the very last day of membership. and they want to thank mrs may for committing to this principle. but let's be clear, any changes
before two yea rs' but let's be clear, any changes before two years' time will be illegal. the european parliament must defend citizens rights. this is why we need an agreement based on continuity and non discrimination. not reaching a deal on the right of citizens means not reaching a deal at all. in addition the united kingdom will honour its financial commitments. the uk will not be asked to pay for anything that they have not previously agreed to. it's evident that the no deal scenario would be a catastrophe for all, but especially for the united kingdom. the uk will be faced with
tariffs, uncertainty for the car industry and financial services, increased food prices, air traffic disruptions, long lines of lorries in dover to mention a few. this is not what we want. however, we stand ready. we need to conclude, a good deal stems from our strong will of the good friday agreement and the peace process in northern ireland. i would like to make clear that this would not lay the foundations for a sound relationship with the european union after brexit. a privilege of the union membership comes with
responsibilities and these responsibilities and these responsibilities mean guaranteeing the four freedoms. the four freedoms are the group that binds it together. they are indivisible and not negotiable. it should be clear to bea not negotiable. it should be clear to be a member cannot be the same thing as not being a member. . nevertheless after the separation, we should work towards a good partnership with the uk. but the uk is leaving the european union, not europe. we have the same heritage. the same culture, the same history. the same culture, the same history. the same culture, the same history. the same tradition. we have a common identity. brexit is not the only
challenge that we face. there is a growing feeling of anxiety. people are worried about their future, illegal immigration, terrorists. they would like to champion our interests and values around the world. we are strongly convinced that only by being united we can ove rco m e that only by being united we can overcome these challenges. close co—operation on defence, police, intelligence should continue with the uk whether there is a deal or not. we have got a fresh start. i hope it will generate new momentum, taking europe forward, while bringing it closer to its citizens. in my role,
as its president, i will defend the parliament's position as its president, i will defend the pa rliament‘s position in as its president, i will defend the parliament's position in my meetings with the eu states, including mrs may and with the european commission. the parliament will play a key role in deciding the outcome of the negotiations. as a receiptive of the negotiations. as a receiptive of the negotiations. as a receiptive of the only directly elected institution i will keep lines of communication with members open and ensure that they are open and debates will take place for the benefit of our citizens. and now i give the floor to the conference of the brexit co—ordinator. give the floor to the conference of the brexit co-ordinator. thank you very much, mr president. first of all, let me say that at the end of this press conference, we are going to provide you with the draft resolution that has been tabled for
next week and that is supported at this moment by four groups, by the ppe, snd, the greens. it is also possible that in the coming days other groups willjoin the support for this resolution and why the resolution? first of all, because it is an unprecedented and regrettable event that a member state is leaving the european union, but you know that in the treaty, it is very clearly indicated that it is this house, the european parliament, wh has to approve the final deal, the final agreement. and what we want to do in this position, it is in the resolution is make very clear what the points are that have to be met
in orderto give the points are that have to be met in order to give the approval to this final agreement. so it's not an exercise in the air, it's to already very clearly indicating and stating what the points are that for the european parliament need to be in the agreement within more or less two years. the basic principle and the president has said it is citizens first and when we talk about citizens, it is citizens in britain and it's citizens in the european union. for us, it's a priority that the rights of these citizens is settled and we think even that it needs to be the first point, the first issue to be tackled in the negotiations. so we want the
negotiations to start with the right of the residents, the uk residents living in europe and the eu residents living in britain because we don't think and we are completely against the fact that citizens should become bargaining chips in a negotiation. and for protection on both sides is needed in accordance with the european law and with the charter of fundamental rights and it's also in the same spirit that we wa nt it's also in the same spirit that we want to the eu 27 to examine how to mitigate the negative effect for those british people who are losing their european citizen shup, a solution that has to be in line with the primary law of the european union. the second that we make clear in this opinion of the parliament thatis in this opinion of the parliament that is tabled for next week is that
we hope for fair and constructive negotiations. that means no behind or back. for example, we made very clear in our resolution that we will never accept for example that behind or back, the uk is starting trade negotiations with other countries before the withdrawal because until the withdrawal, the uk is a full memberof the the withdrawal, the uk is a full member of the european union with all the rights, but also with all the obligations. and the same goes in fact also for the individual member states of the european union. i should say they will be tempted to negotiate separate agreements with the uk. for us, forthe european parliament, the unity of the 27 is vital. and the best way to achieve this is to take on board in the
negotiation mandate of the union all the interests, all the interests of the interests, all the interests of the 27 member states of the union. especially of the republic of ireland. because we recognise as parliament that there is a special stretch on ireland and also on northern ireland and that new unrest in northern ireland has absolutely to be avoided and therefore, we are very clear. the brexit agreement needs to fully respect the good friday agreement in all its aspects and it means also that we will never acce pt and it means also that we will never accept a hard border again between northern ireland and the irish republic. wii was also in our very clear
resolution a financial settlement. “ we resolution a financial settlement. —— we want also. and we risk —— respect from the uk they are all there are legal, financial and... obligations. the next point is the future relationship with britain. in the european parliament, and i hope it will be backed by a huge majority, we still think the best solution for the uk, for its citizens and its companies, was to remain part of the single market. whilst to remain part of the the customs union. but unfortunately, this is not how the uk sees it, as it does not accept the freedoms and as it once to negotiate its own trade agreements. from our side we wa nt trade agreements. from our side we want to make clear that sectoral agreements, cutting power —— coding
macro up the single market, will not be allowed. we are of the opinion that the best way for a future close partnership between the union and the uk is an association agreement based on article 217 of the treaty. i give you a short... i will not read it completely. the union may conclude with one or more countries agreement establishing an association, involving reciprocal rights and obligations, common action and special procedure. we think this goes well beyond economic cooperation. it's also about, for example, cooperation on security or implementing programmes like, for example, erasmus, in which case,
naturally, the uk has to meet european standards. and also to pay the normal contributions. but what we shall never accept is that there isa we shall never accept is that there is a trade—off between one and the other. saying, we can do a good agreement on security, internal and external. is there also a deal that we want on trade and economics? i think that the security of our citizens is far too important to start a trade—off for one from the other. —— from one for the other. both are absolutely necessary in the future partnership, without starting to bargain on this, the one against the other. we don't exclude also a transition period. in our point of view there needs to —— it needs to
be limited in time. we propose three years. and then finally, i want to remind you that the parliament needs to sign off this final agreement, or agreements, the future partnership, eventually the transition. what we are going to do as a parliament is to do everything to minimise the negative effects for citizens and businesses of these different agreements. as the president of our house has indicated, naturally it will never be the same. it will never be outside the union better than inside the union. it's not a question of punishment. that is the logic. the european union, of the european treaties, the european project. that together, we created
an added value for everybody of our countries and every of our citizens. naturally the parliament will commit more details resolutions later on on specific issues, in the coming months. normally that will start after the summer break when i should say that in negotiations between the european union and the uk are really on speed. if i may use that expression. thank you. we will take a few questions. we will either news conference for now in brussels. unprecedented and reg retta ble, in brussels. unprecedented and regrettable, two of the words described —— used to describe today's events. let's rejoined ben brown. diva hofstadter was taking a tough line. he said it wasn't a question of
revenge or punishment. setting out some tough lines for the next few yea rs of some tough lines for the next few years of negotiations. the president of the european parliament also saying that to not be a member of the eu cannot be the same as being a member. in other words, whatever deal varies with britain, it can't be as good as the deal that the 27 other countries inside the eu have. let's get the thoughts on all of that from my guest, from an economic think tank. european parliament taking a hard line? i think the european parliament wants to take a ha rd european parliament wants to take a hard line now to have a strong influence on the negotiations and on the final outcome of the negotiations, because in the end they have to say yes or no. they are not in the day—to—day negotiations, which are mostly run by michel barnier. is it achievable, for example, to get a trade deal within
this two—year timetable? example, to get a trade deal within this two-year timetable? look, i think theresa may has a fair point that regulatory wise, there is no diverging. in principle one is to agree with what to do with new regulations if they come up, and how to do enforcement once they have left. from a technical point of view it is possible to come to an agreement fairly soon. then the more konta could it question is, do you get the support by 27 member states, their national parliaments etc? the real obstacle is politically, not technical. talk about the impact of brexit on the eu. the uk leaving means that the eu is quite a lot poorer, suddenly to there is indeed less money around. the brits are paying a net contribution of 7 billion to 10 billion euros a year. that money is missing. the big debate that has already started is,
what expenditure will have to be cut? what will be rededicated? and who will pick up a little bit of the re st of who will pick up a little bit of the rest of the bill? many people look at germany to pay up. the mood in brussels seems to be one of sadness that finally it has happened, that article 50 has finally been triggered today? i think many people have said, —— are a sad and i think many europeans should be sad. britain is a european power and will remaina european britain is a european power and will remain a european par. it is quite silly to think it will evaporate from the map. it is a sad day. some in brussels have the feeling now, let's get on with it, let's negotiate and have a divorce. split inappropriate terms. thank you very much indeed. talking about divorce,
the dutch foreign minister, as european reaction to the letter handed to the president of the european council comes in, the dutch forest —— the dutch foreign minister has said he doesn't want a fighting divorce but he does want a divorce where the bills are paid. jane, back to you. ben, thank you. with me now is angus robertson, who is the snp's leader at westminster. theresa may's letter to donald tusk says the expectation of the godinet is that the outcome of this process will be a significant increase in the decision—making powers of the devolved administration. good news for you? if you take it at face value, it is motherhood and apple pie. it will be fantastic, this brexit thing. we crossed the rubicon today. i am a pro—european. brexit thing. we crossed the rubicon today. iam a pro—european. brexit is bad news for scotland and the rest of the uk. you can't right a0 yea rs of peace
rest of the uk. you can't right a0 years of peace and prosperity out of the history books. the prime minister has a mandate to negotiate. on behalf of over at least the rest of the uk. in scotland and northern ireland we voted to remain. i'm disappointed he has not taken the opportunity to get an agreement with the devolved administrations, which she promised to do, and hasn't delivered, before triggering article 50. we could look at the possibility ofa 50. we could look at the possibility of a differentiated solution which would have worked for all of the uk, but unfortunately that's not happening. given that he hasn't delivered on that, i'm not sure we can take promises on more powers seriously. she is talking about nationalising a whole series of things, agriculture, fisheries etc, to westminster, when they should be devolved anyway. that is what the scotla nd devolved anyway. that is what the scotland act says. forgive my scepticism. hopefully we don't need to go through that at all. we hope to go through that at all. we hope to have a vote of the end of the negotiation process where we can look at the other option. this
brexit deal the uk government wants to negotiate, and an alternative we think would be better and would guarantee scotland's place in europe. theresa may says still now was not the time. i agree with her. now is not the time. the uk needs to negotiate. it will take at least 18 months. people need to know the outcome. of course they do. given that the end of the process there will a period for decision at the end of the negotiations, and that will involve the european parliament having a say, 27 eu member states being able to decide over our future, from talented lisbon. the whole shebang would decide over our future. the house of commons will have a decision, the people of scotla nd have a decision, the people of scotland want. with everybody and their dog having a say at that stage after negotiations have been agreed, i don't think it's sustainable for the prime minister who values the
family of nations, if it matters to her as a democrat, i don't see how she can stand on the way of the scottish parliament elected with a mandate for there to be a referendum. what is your role, what is the role of parliament for the coming months and years in terms of scrutinising this ongoing process? the process is happening whether people like it or not. one of the real curiosities is the uk government has said it doesn't want to talk about everything. it doesn't wa nt to talk about everything. it doesn't want a running commentary. ironically, the eu says it will. they say everything will be fully transparent. we will be able to read and no doubt watch on the bbc all of the negotiations that are ongoing. with a little bit of luck we can hold the government to account. if that can minimise the deal that will impact on trade badly, that would ta ke impact on trade badly, that would take us out of the most successful single market in the world, at least we can take some of the edge of that, we will do a job. the snp is
an effective opposition at westminster when the labour party is lost at this time. we will hold the government to account. thank you for being here. as this two—year process gets under way, development are being watched by many young people. some of them weren't able to vote. danny savage has been talking to teenagers in west yorkshire. a mock airline cabin in a classroom in leeds. these 16 and 17—year—olds hope to getjobs in europe and beyond. some are worried about the future. if i do become beyond. some are worried about the future. ifi do become cabin beyond. some are worried about the future. if i do become cabin crew, there won't be many opportunities with the bigger airlines in the eu for me to get a job. it may make it a lot harder and i may have two stay with the uk airlines and not be linked with any others. that would affect my career. what is happening?
elsewhere in the college, the nuts and bolts of brexit are being discussed. the only thing they agree on is that the detail is online.|j think brexit is a bad idea because of the funding we will lose from the eu. i think it is a good opportunity for our country. kieran and brandon araf happy going head—to—head over the matter. if we lose a lot of the funding or free—trade deals, how will we be replacing them? so we are notjust will we be replacing them? so we are not just left will we be replacing them? so we are notjust left on will we be replacing them? so we are not just left on our own and isolated. opening ourselves up to the rest of the world, it's important we have that diversity and co re important we have that diversity and core operate with other countries around the globe and notjust single ourselves in one block. if we bring such a spectacular change, we have no idea what has go to happen at all. it's such a gamble. we put our country on the line, essentially. it will affect us. back in the cab and
classroom, things may have to be taught differently. judy phiri rules may change. —— duty—free rules. taught differently. judy phiri rules may change. —— duty—free rulesm will be better for duty—free. may change. —— duty—free rulesm will be better for duty-free. some of these teenagers see opportunities on the brexit horizon. others are not quite sure change. joining me now at westminster, labourmp hilary benn, joining me now at westminster, labour mp hilary benn, and chair of the brexit select committee, matthew goodwin. professor of politics at the university of kent and author of the university of kent and author of the book, brexit, why britain voted to leave. hilary benn, your thoughts today on an historic day, whichever way anybody voted ? today on an historic day, whichever way anybody voted? it certainly is. we are now starting the process of unwinding aa years of relationship with our european friends and neighbours, who will still be our european friends and neighbours
after we have left, but what this negotiation will determine is the basis of that relationship. in a sense the phoney war is over, now the talk can start. the question i asked the prime minister today was, giving europe is indicating it was the talk money first, how will you have sufficient time to get that tariff and barrier free—trade deal, access for our services that the prime minister and david davis have promised british business they will bring back from the negotiations, in what is a short space of time? there is great uncertainty. we all want the best deal for the country, whether we voted leave or remain. but these are complex and difficult negotiations for a reason. matthew goodwin, do you have doubt, scepticism about the ability to achieve this within that time frame? i think everybody accepts it will be tight. to pick up a comment. it will be very hard to unify the nation.
after the referendum, we are divided along multiple levels by generation, by social class, by geography. the government and all of the political parties have a bigger responsibility than the deal, which is trying to bring unity back to a nation that is openly divided. it interesting user talk about that. so many people, cou ntless talk about that. so many people, countless people this afternoon, from all divides, have said to me that the one thing they really like about theresa may's letter to donald tuskis about theresa may's letter to donald tusk is the tone, the sense she is trying to bring people together, extra powers for a devolved nations, we are leaving the european union but not europe... hilary benn, you are nodding. do you draw positives from that? yes, the tone is striking. it is in marked contrast sousse —— to some of the things we have heard from government ministers in recent months, which were bad for creating the right atmosphere for
negotiations, and give the impression britain could waltz in and get what we want. it is more concentrated. the a8% today are grieving, our morning for something they feel has been lost. i agree with matthew. it is a really important task for all of us in politics and in public life, working together, to find ways to bring people together. the comfort one can offer is to the 52% we're leaving the european union. that has got to happen. but to the a8%, the kind of relationship we will have with europe in the future is yet to be determined over the next 18 months. how do you view that challenge of bringing people together? how do you view that challenge of bringing people together7m how do you view that challenge of bringing people together? it will be incredibly difficult. let's not forget our european neighbours. we have just heard what they heard —— might feel. they don't feel the eu should make any compromises on its co re should make any compromises on its core principles for negotiating with us. meanwhile, the british public are saying, we want a number of things, some of which are coherent.
we want reductions in immigration bill we want a good trade deal at the same time. a large chunk want access to the single market. another chunk is happy to leave it. there is a minefield the government now will have to navigate over a short period of time. labour has set the bar very high. those six points clear starmer highlighted for theresa may to accomplish, it is a heck of a list? —— kier starmer. it reflects what the prime minister has said about her objectives. giving the same benefits. we intend to hold the government to account. all of the evidence we have had from people who have appeared before the select committee in business has said, the absolute priority is to continue with tariff and barrier free—trade. 80% of the british economy is services. a million people work in financial services. what will replace the passport if it goes? what about data transfer? airline agreements? everywhere you look there are questions about how things
are going to work. this has to be dealt with during the negotiations. we may enter up with a framework agreement as part of the deal. but then you absolutely have to transitional arrangements. the article 50 letter refers to those. you have two smooth the path between our leaving and the final conclusion ofa our leaving and the final conclusion of a trade and market access deal, which nobody i have met thinks can be achieved. you're both proved there is so much more we can discuss. i'm sorry we don't have another half an hour. thank you both. the debate continues. let's return to brussels and ben brown. thanks, jane. donald tusk, received that letter today from theresa may, afterwards said, we miss you already. that was rather nice of him. let's get the european perspective in brussels. we can talk to gunter wolf from an economic
think tank. and also philippe lambert, co—chair of the greens. there has been a revolution —— resolution published for the european parliament which people say is quite tough on what the brexit negotiation should be. is that how you see it? i wouldn't say that. it mirrors very well the speech theresa may made in the house of commons today. there are parts that a recognition that it is in our shared interests to find a good deal. i'm not with the continental europeans saying, the uk depends much more on bus than we on them, therefore they will crawl in front of us. i hear similar discourses in the uk. we are interdependent. we have to recognise that. it is not a 0—sum game. it is bad for the other 27 and it would be bad for the other 27 and it would be bad for the uk if we don't reach a good deal. that is the spirit in which we are entering this phase of
negotiations. the parliament will provide guidance. michel barnier will be the chief negotiator. that guidance to me is reasonable and balanced. you don't think there is a question of the eu trying to punish britain for brexit? i certainly think that some people think of it in these terms. but i think it's a big mistake to think about it in these terms. the uk will remain a european neighbour and a friend after brexit. and will remain an imported european power. it is silly to punish and it will not work. even a very bad deal will still not be impressive enough to deter an italian from electing pepe grillo, for example. i think at the end of the day we should think about the positive sum game. ideally that would mean no brexit. now we will have brexit. let's get within the limits of what is possible. you are
a committed european. how sad are you today that finally britain has triggered article 50? it is not a surprise. my sydney —— sadness dates from june 23 and my six british meps campaign wholeheartedly in favour of remain. there is nojoy. there is absolutely no joy. i as european will be losing. i have done a lot of financial regulation. often times i was on the same side of the table as the united kingdom against the government banking establishment of berlin and paris. and the toughest on financial regulation, with the exception on bonuses, have been the brits. i am losing a very strong ally. there is nojoy. brits. i am losing a very strong ally. there is no joy. the other question is, how quickly can this be done? is it possible to get a deal within a couple of years? technically it is probably possible. there is no regularly —— regulatory
divergence. things are the same on both sides of the channel. you have to agree how you deal with new regulations in the uk after brexit? and how do you deal with enforcement. those are the big issues. technically it's probably possible in two years. but then you need the support of 27 member of states, you need the support of the european parliament. that can be cumbersome. that is when the politics comes into it. that is were we may find it difficult to reach a deal. do you think it is possible to do a com plete do you think it is possible to do a complete deal, including a trade deal, within two years?|j complete deal, including a trade deal, within two years? i would say a framework for divorce and the new status is possible. with all the minute —— will all of the details be settled ? minute —— will all of the details be settled? i minute —— will all of the details be settled ? i don't minute —— will all of the details be settled? i don't think so. the one thing i didn't like an theresa may's speech was the links you made between security and trade. i mean, security, both the uk and the eu have a lot to lose by not
cooperating. trade, the same thing. don't try to persuade the situation as europe needing the uk more on security, and the uk needing the eu on trade. we would both be losers. very good to talk to both of you. many thanks. let's get market reaction from the city of london. thanks. we have been here all day, looking out at the city of london, waiting to see if there is gone to be any big reaction on the financial markets today after the historic triggering of article 50. as far as the financial markets have been concerned, it has been a nonevent. they have held steady. today has been priced in. all the platitudes we sometimes hear when we talk about the market. i am joined by iron —— and investment research analyst. the market price did in. we were
expecting today. is that why we didn't see much movement? we didn't expect too much to happen. it was really a formality in terms of the market. sterling has already been down 16%, 70% since brexit. today is just a case of ticking the box and waiting to see what happens. today it is the negotiations that matter from here on. the stance is that both parties take. theresa may's statement was rather conciliatory, which is a relatively good thing. how the europeans respond is a key thing from here on. reds talk about sterling. lots of traders have been saying that sterling really will be the barometer on which we judge how brexit is going, how the negotiations are going. why will we use sterling asset masher? it gives a clear indication of what the future outlook of the economy may be. if the negotiations are quite good for the uk, it means that they will possibly be fairly good
economic growth. if the negotiations are very bad, it looks fairly tough on trade. that will have an impact on trade. that will have an impact on the economy and slowdown. we may see confidence in the uk market and investors turning away from the uk, and sterling weaker. investors turning away from the uk, and sterling weakerlj investors turning away from the uk, and sterling weaker. i have another question about the eu. we have another story out of the eu today. the potential bid between the london stock exchange and the german exchange. £21 billion, the thai up. the eu has put a block on that. why have they stopped it? wasn't it the case that brexit had put a damper on around it anyway? yes, brexit made the whole situation, decatur. the reason it has been done is simply because the eu felt, or the com petition commission felt, that the merger would create a monopoly in a certain part of the market. the europeans wanted lse to off—load the italian business. lse wasn't keen.
because of that, that is why they have said no, you can't merge. shares are up. part of the reason for that is the lse responded by saying they will actually have the cheryl worth about 22 billion. there is potential for an american company to come in. there you have it. as far as the markets are concerned, today may have been significant politically and economically, but it was another trading day on the trading floor. thank you. it is rather dry and bright in brussels. what is the weather doing in the uk? we saw it a little area than planned. pretty cloudy and fair across the uk. some rain around into this evening. heavy rain moving north across scotland. later in the night, another burst of heavy rain in the south—west. getting close to
south—east england and into the midlands. a really mild night except for the far north of scotland. temperatures will be higher than they have been in recent days, during the day. cloudy skies in north and western areas. across a good part of england and wales, some warmer, drier airfrom the continent. that will mean brighter skies, some sunshine. temperatures getting as high as 22 celsius. pretty warm air on the way. we will push some of that away on friday. the rain moving away from northern ireland into scotland. the weather front very weak. behind if we get sunshine. a fresher feel. front very weak. behind if we get sunshine. a fresherfeel. in front very weak. behind if we get sunshine. a fresher feel. in the sunshine, 16 or 17. today at 5 — we're at westminster on the day the united kingdom
started the process of leaving the european union. britain's ambassador in brussels handed over the letter to the president of the european council at lunchtime today. the letter had been signed by theresa may last night in the cabinet room at number ten downing street. and the prime minister went to parliament today to inform mps that nine months after the referendum — the formal process was underway. britain is leaving the european union. we are going to make our own decisions and our own laws. we are going to take control of the things that matter most to us. in brussels — the eu negotiating team said it was ready for talks to begin — but they sounded a note of sadness and regret.
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