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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  March 10, 2019 11:30am-12:01pm GMT

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this is bbc news i'm ben brown. the headlines at 12:00: two more british women living an ethiopian airlines plane with more than 150 in detention camps in syria, people on board has crashed with five children between them, on a flight from addis ababa are reported to have been stripped to nairobi — there are no survivors. of their uk citizenship the foreign secretary, jeremy hunt, sir cliff richard joins other public warns mps that if they get crucial figures calling for the law votes wrong this week to protect the anonymity of people suspected of sexual offences they risk losing brexit. until they are actually charged with a crime. two more british women living in detention camps in syria, with five children between them, the family of a 23—year—old british woman missing in guatemala are reported to have been stripped say they're "desperately worried" of their uk citizenship. for her safety. sir cliff richard has joined a campaign calling for legal anonymity for anyone suspected of committing a sexual offence — until they're charged. now on bbc news, dateline london. the family of a 23—year—old british woman missing in guatemala say they're "desperately worried" for her safety. and coming up in half—an—hour here oon bbc news — click reveals how some popular alarms have made cars
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hello, and welcome to dateline london. i'm carrie gracie. it's a decisive week coming up in the british parliament. will theresa may get her brexit deal through, or will she meet her waterloo? and, across the channel — a letter to all the citizens of europe. in 22 languages and 28 newspapers — the french president appeals for a european renaissance. but, with the far—right mobilising for eu—wide elections — is it the moment to dream of an ever closer union? my guests today: political commentator, steve richards. nesrine malik, columnist for the guardian. michael goldfarb, host of the frdh podcast. marc roche of french news magazine, le point. welcome to you all. i don t need to tell you that it's less than three weeks till brexit day. two months ago, theresa may s withdrawal agreement suffered the biggest defeat in british parliamentary history. on tuesday, the prime minister faces parliament again. has enough changed to
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get her deal through? steve 7 almost certainly not. there is little evidence of much change at all. she will get a rewording of a some limited significance, in relation to the issue of the so—called backstop, this is the insurance policy which if the uk leaves the eu, it remains committed to a soft border in ireland. with that sort border, until there is a solution to it, no one knows what it is, the uk would stay in the customs union. theresa may's hardline brexiteers don't like it, they still don't like it, and they are unlikely to like it next tuesday. but, it is extraordinary you said, it is less than three weeks to go until britain, theoretically, leaves the eu. i remember being on this programme a year ago,
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and the panel all agreed, it was astonishing, no one knew then what form brexit would take. with less than three weeks to go, still, nobody knows for sure what form it will take, and when. it's an extraordinary position. does anybody disagree with steve? does anybody think it will withdraw on tuesday? no. 0k, next question. do we think the current talking from brussels and grimsby, in fact, on friday, the prime minister was speaking to brussels saying, just one more push. michel barnier was tweeting back his responses. marc, do you feel this is using public pressure and the public megaphone to negotiate, to leverage? or, is it pre—empting a blame game? it's to no avail. on friday, the french minister for europe was in london. she spoke to us, saying that she is exasperated.
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she just can't understand what the british want. the deal is the deal and won't be changed. but, she went even further. that is the great danger of it all. she said, i don't see the need to extend article 50 by several weeks to delay brexit. for what? the british don't have a plan. what we are heading from the european point of view, we are heading for no extension, because i think the french will oppose it. and, hard brexit, i can't see any other solution. nesrine, do you see an extension? no, i don't see any willpower on the pat of the conservative government, theresa may in particular, to do anything apart from ensure when the worst case scenario does happen, they just don't have someone to blame.
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that's why i agree with you... theresa may's speeches in general, notjust the one in grimsby, in general, have changed and calcified recently. they have become less about compromise and letting people come round the table and try to understand and explain what's going on. they have been more about, i think, below the belt hitting at the labour party and the eu and her tory enemies. i think that is her positioning for when things don't go to plan, for her to say, it was the labour party for not having the willpower to talk to me about it, it is the eu being intransigent, it is those members of the tory party who were not being realistic. i think that is a really shameful abdication on the part of theresa may, for herjust to cover her bases and make sure when it all hits the fan, she has all the things lined up so she can point the finger at someone else.
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last—ditch negotiation going on this weekend, or pre—emptive blame game? in a sense, there is a unifying principle in the whole thing about brexit in the first place. for the conservative party, it's been about blaming europe for about 30—35 years for all the shortcomings in domestic policy. going back to the time of margaret thatcher, in restructuring the british economy and creating social fermenting and chaos, we oculd have been successful, the conservatives blame european regulations. they were out of power for about 11 years, but they came back into power and still were blaming regulations. the instituted austerity. ithink, to me, the most extraordinary thing is how bad a politician she is, and that she has risen to the top of the political tree. the naked bribery,
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the {1.6 billion... i was going to raise that. 1.6 billion for all of those labour leave towns. where was it 8—10 years ago when they took power? she wouldn't say the stronger towns fund announced at the beginning of last week was naked bribery. that's not the way she would put it. do you think any of that will work? we have also heard the chancellor talking about getting the deal through on tuesday would release funds which are currently tied up? this goes back to the infamous £350 million a week that we give to them, the europeean union, in dues and whatever first. plus, it doesn't take into account that the european structural funds which do come back. the towns fund is spread over ten years, i think stephen will know the numbers better than any of us, this is essentially what we might have expected back in european structural funds anyway. it is naked and it is crude,
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but it is all about blame game. brexit has been about blaming the eu for everything not going right, particularly when it is a conservative government. it is a fiction. the eu, for once, has been absolutely united with this plan. the british have tried everything, going above michel barnier, going directly to the allies. the eu stuck to the plan, the british signed that plan. they come back saying, we want changes, that is not possible. on whether anybody‘s mind was going to be change between now and tuesday by the financial argument, by either the stronger towns fund, or philip hammond saying if we get it through now we have got more money than we would otherwise be spending on no deal? no. she will get the support of some labour mps as she did last time, but not as many as she had hoped for. just to go back to may the politician, she is extraordinary, in that her strategy,
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as far as you could call it a strategy, is just to keep going. i think that she thinks that her biggest success in her political life, for her, was her time at the home office when she was home secretary for a long time, six years. broke records. her method then was, if she faced opposition in the cabinet to something she wanted to do, she just kept going. this is what she had applied to this. up until the bout on how deal that she lost in january, she was adamant that the backstop had to be part of the overall settlement, because of the irish question. now, she is adamant it is up for renegotiation. she steps aside and then moves on. she is not the only actor on stage though. if she doesn't get it through on tuesday, having gone down to the biggest parliamentary
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defeat two months ago, if she doesn't get it through on tuesday, can she continue? you would imagine in normal political circumstances, if you have been charged for two or three years of the process, facing two major defeats, if she does go down to defeat on tuesday, they would think, is it time to hand over? when she lost the vote injanuary by a record amount, under normal circumstances, a prime minister would resign. she carried on. i have no doubt at all that she would carry on if she loses the vote again on tuesday. what do you see the game plan as? briefly, what's her game plan? as far as there is a longer term strategy, it is to keep on going. i think she will stand up if she is defeated again. i think there will be an extension voted on by the house of commons this week, questionable whether the eu will accept it. but they will want it. i expect she will say, i would use
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this time which i don't want, i want to leave at the end of march, to continue the negotiation over the so—called backstop. that's what i expect, things moving so fast, it's very hard to predict. but, i don't think she will stand up and say, i have lost again, i will either renegotiate a much softer brexit to get through this house of commons, i don't think she'll do that, i don't think she will stand down. the way you phrase the question, that it's may, may, may, may. but it is may, may, may. the best lack all conviction. the ones who really want to replace her are keeping their light under a bushel, whether it's boris johnson getting a new haircut, the most dramatic thing he has done in two months. a leadership haircut? then you have jeremy corbyn in the labour party, just leave her out front and lead it to the cliff edge, possibly over the cliff edge...
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i think there is a reason why it is all about theresa may. every time talk about it on this programme, it always comes down to her. it is the ultimate irony, she is the most fragile prime minister since 1945, and she is pulling all the levers. but she is a leaver, isn't she, steve? i think this leads to a wider and important point for our international viewers who might not be inside this! what brexit has also done, it has degraded the conservative party in a way that has made it inevitable that brexit will be a disaster. because what it has done is that it has broken it into two halves, one is there really ideological, old school, almost uber thatcherite faction that no one wants to see in power. then there is the other part, which is the sort of dead behind the eyes, managerial,
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david cameron leaders who got us here in first place. what brexit has done is, it has broken the conservative party wide open. we can see that there really is nothing there. because brexit requires such a vision and such imagination and such conviction, people have not been forthcoming because they are just not there. the bigger problem, i think, for the politics of the uk is that brexit has bankrupted the leading party and it has created a shadow of the opposition party, because they are cast now, i feel very sorry forjeremy corbyn actually because he came to power to talk about the nhs and of things affecting peoples lives. but he became derailed by brexit. we have a sort of radiation sickness that has affected both parties, we are in an even more impossible place. it is a very difficult brexit question which needed robust...
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but the system is so blocked that you don't have, like france, a macron phenomenon which is smashing the old order. talking of whom, let's move on to macron. while british politics is consumed by backstop clauses — a french president is thinking big. in a letter to the more than 500 million citizens of the european union, emmanuel macron talks of a renaissance. he even suggests the uk will find a place in a reformed europe. but, with many centre parties in a battle for survival against the rise of the far right — who willjoin his chorus for the ode tojoy? marc? this time, macron unlike in the past has not taken a general view and general principle. he goes to into a very detailed proposition which goes towards changing the schengen the free movement, new asylum policy. helping citizens of the effects of globalisation, and the very
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interesting securtiy council in military and strategy terrorism affair which the uk, post—brexit, could join. the problem is that, at the moment, europe is divided between the macron type and merkel which are the pro—europe moderates and the eastern european, the italians and the austrians, who want to return to a one nation state. macron is now putting himself as the head of this new coalition which could save europe from the bad situation it is in, against populism, knowing that there are european elections and the polls show that he is ahead in france, compared to madame le pen, who is retrograding. the problem is, macron also thinks
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that britain being out has to make a stand, otherwise, germany will dominate europe. i do think that even as we get ready to leave brexit it hasn't stopped the filters through the british press being a little inaccurate in some quarters. i do think that we over playing at this right—wing populism, i prefer to call it a new fascism because that has what it really is. take the last french election, i think there is a segment of french political analysis that says the scale of macron's victory was actually a vote against marine le pen. looking at the some of the reporting out if italy, you see the five star movement, which is a kinf od chaotic movemment, there were right—wing populists that were part of it, just wanting to give the middle finger to the establishment, and there were genuine left
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wing people who felt that the socialist party was a blairite technocratic party. it is fragmenting. when that government inevitably falls, it is italy, they fall every 18 months, we will see what the new alignment is. most importantly, the epp, the right—wing group in the european parliament, we are speaking of the upcoming elections in may, is considering suspending viktor orban's fidesz from theirgrouping because they find that he is gone too far. it took them a while, didn't it? three years ago, the christian democrats thought viktor orban was an ally, now they see he is chasing out universities, completely controlling the press. he is perhaps at the centre of a certain amount of corruption. this is what politics is about. people in this country always forget, i didn't eman to be grossly insulting to my friends
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in the british press, the eu is not an economic thing, it is a political thing. that was the big difference. but, within that politics is an economic reality. people realise you get a better economy by being united in the single market, so the politicians have to learn thatt. you say you cannot fast forward reality, but the kinds of reforms that marc was describing in the letter from macron, the efforts to actually rethink how europe might work and function better. david cameron tried to go to europe before the referendum and said, would you like to think about reform? one of the critical things in the letter, as the vast numbers of migrants coming from sub—saharan africa and got in these terrible boats and all ended up in italy, what he is saying about the schengen is, if you're in it, then you all have an obligation to take... if the port of entry is sicily, fine but
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everybody in schengen has to take their share of these migrants. is it realistic to be talking about that? i think, immigration was what set off this conflagration. austerity, yes. but, it was immigration that really set it off. it wasn'tjust immigration though. i'm no fan of macron, but i do think someone needs to do this, to create a vision, someone needs to talk about the stuff without playing handmaiden to populism. that is where the centre and the left have fallen down over the past two decades. when they see that immigration is something that the right have used to get votes, they have tried to outflank them or keep quiet. that is where immigration becomes toxic, not because it is happening, but because people do not lead on the narrative on immigration. when merkel did it, it was too late, and she was alone. i admire macron or any centrist
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leftist figure standing up saying, we have a problem with immigration, but the only way to resolve it is to go through. we need to have solidarity, we share this common economic agreement, we share borders, we need to resolve it together. as opposed to saying, we understand people have legitimate concerns about immigration, we must listen to them. that is a copout and what we are in this situation. do you think it was wise to put so many issues in that letter at the same time? from the climate bank, to the security agency. we have seen grand visions from marcon before, european army, eurozone reform — little happened. there is a risk that macron is the ideas guy. he comes out, wants to talk, wants to debate and have these conversations with people. it's not the usual. is not necessarily pie in the sky.
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i think the tenor of it is cooperative and visionary. the success of populism, however i do agree that the pendulum has slightly swung, i think the success of populism has been in creating that vision. whether it is nostalgic one, or one that has made people feel like there's a re—establishment of hierarchy. where the centre and the left the failed is in creating that vision. steve. a couple of brief points. first of all, cameron's renegotiation was just unrealistic. he was trying to get something on free movement, something that is not going to happen. the irony is that if the uk does leave the eu, it will probably reform in some of the ways that macron has outlined and the uk might have wanted to, but they will be out. the other thing is, in terms of the uk, brexit hasn't caused the schism in the conservative party.
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this schism in the conservative party led to brexit. the conservative party in the uk and europe has had a crisis for at least 20—30 years. it has brought down three conservative prime ministers is and will bring down a fourth. that is relevant to populism in the eu. only the uk has a mainstream party, so hung up about the eu, with in the end, a substantial number wanting to leave from that mainstream party. most of the rest of the eu has fringe parties, fringe candidates campaigning to leave, but not the mainstream parties. when these populist parties surge in the polls and do quite well, instead of establishing a momentum, they worry and leaders resign at the moment they get anywhere. there are some predictions that european elections in may,
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the big blocks, the big social democratic blocks will shrink a bit. and the fringe parties with the populist, xenophobic agendas will grow and ultimately have a kind of anti—eu or paralysing minority. do you buy that? no, i don't. there are three parties. there is also the liberal party. there are the socialist and there are conservatives. together, they will hold the balance of power, they will dividejobs between themselves. the populists will still be on the fringe of the european parliament. the european parliament is very important now, much more important in terms of policy—making than it was in the past. they won't let them. i think it's fine that we have parties that are eurosceptic
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and populist, that will try and agitate based on resentment against the eu. the important thing is to have a bullock when it comes to these parties. where the uk failed, we had that party which was ukip, they piggybacked other issues onto it which are not related to the eu at all, the mainstream parties caved. there is an integral issue within the conservative party with the eu in the first place. if you have a political body in the eu which has a sensible mainstream centre that can counter the rhetoric of populist parties and give them representation, then that's absolutely fine. presumably, they must be scalable at the european level. questions about macron‘s letter, do you think the response of other european leaders suggest that the vision thing can bought in and coalesced into something bigger? it is notjust may on the stage like the uk, we have a europe
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with more than 500 million citizens and lots of different governments, you need a buy in. i think that is one of the unfair questions about the eu. weather you are all on board and if you're not, it will all fall apart. it is a work in progress, it is about making sure that at least the conversation is had. i think when people make necessary noises, there is a sense that there is a common vision, even if not everybody is on board, if people say they don't agree with the letter or this or that detail is not applicabe, — that's also fine. it is not the death knell of the eu, it doesn't need to be. i really think, at the end of the day, the eu for hopes britain won't leave. even at this late stage? macron is clear — go, sort your stuff out, then come back. i think that is the essential view from most european capitals.
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could be a long wait! there we'll gave to leave it. that's it for dateline london for this week. we're back next week at the same time. goodbye. it will feel as though we've taken a step back into winter today. there is a risk of further snow throughout the rest of the day, and showers, but also some strong and gusty winds are picking up as well. that and the rain and snow combined making for some atrocious conditions out there. the snow is falling across many northern areas.
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that will have fairly significant snow over the hills, we are talking 5—10 centimetres building up. there could be some snow at lower levels such as glasgow and edinburgh for a time. lower—level snow across the midlands, with snow showers falling across northern ireland and later in northern england. wind is the main feature in the south, gusting at 50 or possibly 60—70mph in exposed localities. feeling much colder than yesterday. another cold day because we've got that wintry weather further north. that is setting us up for a wintry evening and night—time. snow showers coming through thick and fast, late in the night as the ridge of high pressure bulges in from the atlantic temporarily. a cold start this morning in scotland but a cold night
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more widely tonight. given that we've had showers and they have continued, it could turn quite icy as we head towards monday morning. apart from the frost and the ice, monday looking like a much quieter weather day. breathing a sigh of relief temporarily. lighter winds and sunshine, feeling more springlike. it doesn't last because the next area of low pressure starts to barrel in from the atlantic through monday night. more wet weather and potentially more windy weather on monday night and then later in the day on tuesday. tuesday is looking far wetter. wintry showers following, the main concern is the wind and rain. they really escalate late in the day across the north and west, with severe gales pushing into northern ireland and northern and western scotland. there are warnings out from the met office for that event. you can see more of those on the website. bye—bye for now.
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