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tv   Sportsday  BBC News  March 21, 2019 6:30pm-6:51pm GMT

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a rumour, there are probably only a rumour, there are some british mps who are prepared, and there are already some lists. so i guess some mps know what they have to expect. i was talking earlier about what goes on in the room here, it is just interesting to people. you are i presume are filing for your newspaper, you have properly filed several times today for stop what happens in the evening, because there is a variety of press conferences we are about to get, and so conferences we are about to get, and so much detail we are expecting, what do you prioritise on an evening like this? my my priority is to send a message that there is still hope. i was saying, which press conference do you prioritise? to listen to the commission first or someone else? what do you do when you try to spread yourself so thin? i think my first choice will be the austrian chancellor but it will be only short and then i will run to donald tusk.
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0k, very interesting and it fascinates me whatjournalists are doing. thank you, to you. lots going on this evening. a reminder we will bring you some details of those press c0 nfe re nces bring you some details of those press conferences when we get it. there were lots of details today from different parts of the european union and the european parliament driving quite a hard line on when the cut—off for this extension is likely to be. we heard from the president of the european parliament who said, look, we need an extension only until the 18th of april. and certainly there was comments from others within the european parliament that britain really couldn't take part in the european elections and that this was the only chance and the only extension. let's listen to now... take a listen now to the belgian mep phillipe lamberts, who is also a member of the eu's brexit steering group. i think that we have to avoid an extension that bridges the european election, unless we have a clear strategy from prime minister may, but her strategy so far has been, ok, i'm running down the clock and i hope that these stupid mps
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will come to their senses. now, i don't think that the mps are stupid, and if they voted against us for a reason, you may like or dislike their reasons but they have reasons to vote against. if the third vote is again a negative vote, then of course it's about time that prime minister may find another strategy, and if she doesn't, well, someone else has to, and that someone else can be the house of commons itself to take hold of the process and decide how to proceed. if we have justified requests for a longer extension, then we can discuss it, but only on the basis of a plan. to me, the discussion should not be about the duration. the discussion should be about which plan. what is the plan that can get a majority in the house of commons? that is a crucial thing. that was a speaker at the european parliament. they have taken the easy and early
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decision provided for them by donald tusk... you will have put the conclusions in front of them and they have signed off on that but they have signed off on that but they will know when they come back here on thursday if the house of commons hasn't taken any difficult decisions that they will have some work to do next thursday, and then what they do... what do they do in terms of the long term extension? we will discuss some of that with our correspondent. if and when it came to the long—term extension, we should put into the frame what they have to consider, the european budget and parliamentary elections and voting rights which the uk would have... all sorts of detail to go through. yes because what you have to imagine... think about this from the european point of view. the core of this really is all of those things you mentioned but they amount to one thing, which is, does the european union think it is better to keep the uk inside, grant that extension, keep the uk in the eu, try to sort things out, or has this whole brexit
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experience, these months of negotiations, and particularly i think the way it's become so difficult as we've seen, too they wa nt to difficult as we've seen, too they want to keep that going or not? and all of those things you talk about, budgets and elections and whatever, it comes to a core point which emmanuel macron was talking about today, the functioning of the european union. i think the leaders today have a very difficult thing to consider right now. that is, is it better for them to extend or to actually say, let's draw this whole process to some sort of a close. let's force a decision and make something definite. when it comes to the decision it has greater implications for some countries than others. yes, it does, but interestingly france is one of the countries it has great implications for, next to the uk and close trading links, the channel ports, all of the things that could be really affected by a no till brexit... but mr emmanuel
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macron is one of the ones being particularly tough in this situation. interestingly, leo varadkar, the taoiseach, ireland dependent on the uk, it is uk facing and france belong to the rest of the eu but france has more to —— ireland has more to lose. let's give the uk some space. yes, he knows that ireland will be the most impacted of the other eu countries by any no deal rupture and any hard exit at the end of next week, chaotic brexit, whatever to call it. ireland is very vulnerable in this position. one thing i think is interesting to ask yourselves, theresa may today talked we are told for 90 minutes and that is an extremely long discussion, a long statement or speech that she made to those other eu leaders. what difference will that have made? this is pretty crucial, i think, because if you think in the coming days,
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those eu leaders may have to make some very difficultjudgment calls, and has she made them more likely or less likely to think what they are going to offer is a long extension? it is possible either way and we don't know but what we do know is that previous times when she's had discussions with the eu leaders, at the summits, they have gone badly. yes. the difference is we have all seen the reporting on the documentary about what happened during the financial crisis with greece and they took a leader into the room and told him what needed to happen, but that was with a member staying within the european union and this isa within the european union and this is a member who is leaving. again, we come back to the point emmanuel macron makes an jean—claude juncker made an donald tusk, they have all made in the last few days, there is a key thing they will consider in this decision, the functioning of the european union,
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protecting the good functioning, that project that they are all so wedded to, and at what point will they consider it is better to keep this brexit process going perhaps if things go badly for theresa may next week for a long extension... perhaps but at what point do they also think, you know what? the eu has to move on. it gets more comp located keeping the uk end. the whole process sucks up so much energy in this place and sucks up so much decision—making power and all those civil servants and it sucks up the attention of the eu. white smoke thatis attention of the eu. white smoke that is the point, look at all these journalists here from every country in europe. —— that is the point. the debt problem and migration and the relationship with china for the eu to consider, the russia problem, there are so much for europe to talk about and all these germans and politicians are all focusing on us. -- all politicians are all focusing on us. —— all the journalists. mr macron and other eu leaders want
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to get some of those things and they feel two years on or three years on they are tied down by this whole brexit negotiation. they also look at the politics of the uk as an important point. the politics in the house of commons, the politics in the conservative party theresa may is dealing with, they look at how complicated this always, tied up in knots, they wonder, i how that will ever resolve itself. difficult things to consider as they consider what sort of extension to offer in the future. since we are talking about no deal and one person telling us it is still there on the table unbelievably with eight days to go, is it really when we talk about no deal, is there nothing? or is there some things that have already been agreed that will take place on friday that would smooth the way a little bit? yes, there are all sorts of contingency plans put in place that the eu believes it has legislated for most of, so dealing with travel
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back and forth, airlines, people and transport and these things, but the eu point on this is that only temporary contingency measures that will last a short time... they will not last for a long time. and then something will have to replace them. so that is not the basis for a sta ble so that is not the basis for a stable relationship going forward. we would presumably be in that position at least until august, because the european mps go home to their elections. the commissioners stand down and must be appointed and there is no european commission president and this place finishes in may for three orfour president and this place finishes in may for three or four months. it does. the european parliament elections are an important milestone in this. july is the real date when a new parliament comes in and everything starts to change. but for the uk, the real date is april. that
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is because april is the date by which the uk will have to have the beginning of april, the 12th of april to be precise, the date by which the uk has to have decided it is committing to holding eu elections, european elections, or not. so really clarity must have come by that date. we are heading for the end of march... that is two or three weeks and that is not long to sort out some of these really difficult questions. whites make a very quick 1—2 finish, what are you going to be listening out for tonight? a quick question to finish, what will you be listening out for tonight? the point about the mood music. the eu leaders, we know they are prepared to grant a short extension if parliament votes this week, you have to ask yourself, what if parliament doesn't pass this vote next week? the mood music there, what theresa may has said in her 90 minutes, how has that gone down with the leaders? does it make them more
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positively inclined to think about long term extensions or less positively inclined to think about, you know what, this is looking messy? that is the main thing to inform the decisions in the coming days about how they view the best way of proceeding with this whole brexit process. and it will inform how the mps react at home as well. thank you very much indeed. the mood music, that is what we are looking out for. is it positive or negative? it is pretty negative back in westminster, isn't it? it is. the prime minister's comments last night, that speech inside downing street has not gone down well, quite frankly, with the people she is trying to win over. the folk she needs to get onside if she is to have any prospect of getting this deal through when it comes back, probably next week to the house of commons. just worth pointing out that it has not been confirmed yet what day that will be. the government has been reluctant to put that down in writing and we have
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heard from various people associated with the process but it is likely to be tuesday or wednesday but that has not been confirmed. it is worth having a think about who she needs to think over —— win over and see where they are at the moment. firstly conservative brexiteers, those who so far have refused to get on board with her deal. i have got to say, today there does not seem to bea to say, today there does not seem to be a great mood to move over to supporting the prime minister's deal. in fact, some of those brexiteers who are fairly co mforta ble brexiteers who are fairly comfortable with the idea of leaving with no deal actually think that is within their grasp now because the prime minister has said she will only have one extension. that would be, she hopes, until the end of june. the european union so probably not be on the 22nd of may but i would only be to pass a deal... sorry, only if a deal is passed next week to cross the tees and dot the eyes. so next... those brexiteers do not appear to be moving. the dup are
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also crucial and their mps. they say they will not be bullied into it. talks have been going on between senior ministers and senior people in the democratic unionist party about trying to win them over to get them on board, something they hoped would unlock a number of conservative mps as well. so far, little sign that breakthrough is imminent. although i think once this summit in brussels finishes you can expect there to be more talks over the next few days. labour, some labour mps the next few days. labour, some labourmps are the next few days. labour, some labour mps are desperate to support a brexit deal quite frankly and they wa nt to a brexit deal quite frankly and they want to get over the line and they know their constituencies backed leaving and they want to find a way to support this deal. they are not moving in any numbers either. they saw last week that there were only a handful and at that stage there is not seem to be any more than that and infact not seem to be any more than that and in fact some of those who had been flirting with the idea were absolutely furious with what the prime minister said last night, the
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idea she was blaming mps for creating this logjam in parliament. therefore they are saying, we are not getting on board either. one other thing to bear in mind, 39 conservative mps have backed the deal. the second time it was in parliament, those didn't back at the first time around. i have been speaking to some of them today and some haven't changed their mind and they say they will still back the prime minister. believe it or not, there are some who are so incensed by the prime minister's approach to some of this that they might now vote against the government despite switching to voting with the government last week. they might vote against the government if there is another vote in parliament next week. so there are a lot of moving parts here and there are a lot of things that could change and we have seen things that could change and we have seen this week... how quickly the momentum and different directions changes in parliament have happened... as things stand, the numbers do not look good for theresa may. there are very few people who
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are predicting in westminster that she will get that deal through next week. some are waiting off course to see what comes out of this summit and see whether that starts to change. the other thing i have been picking up speaking to mps today, quite a lot of anger notjust mps being blamed for the logjam but for the idea that mps were not on the side of the british public, as the prime minister was suggesting. in downing street last night dot—macro several mps from opposition parties i've been speaking to are absolutely furious about that and i think it could have security implications because when they go home to their constituencies, they might face some people who have been angered by the idea that they are trying to stop brexit and blame them for it, quite frankly. downing street says this is not the case and they say nothing the prime minister has said has anything to do with the security threats that mps face. we do know that the deputy speaker of the house
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of commons has written to mps urging them to take more precautions. if you want a sense of what the atmosphere here is likejust you want a sense of what the atmosphere here is like just now, here's anna soubry, a conservative mp untilafew here's anna soubry, a conservative mp until a few weeks ago but now an independent, a staunch opponent of brexit who wants another referendum. she was at the cabinet office today meeting with ministers to talk about what happens next and he was what you said about going home to her constituency. i can't go home this weekend. i am not able to go home this weekend and lam not not able to go home this weekend and i am not safe. one senior police officer tells your partner that if it was his wife in the situation i am in, he would say i am frightened for her safety... i think that tells you everything. i am not alone in this. there have been death threats as well to him and so many of us have had that but this is the reality. that is why the language politicians and indeed everybody uses, including the media, is so important. we are tired of being
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called traitors. for people to use that language, the next thing that happens is i get an e—mail that says, traitors get beheaded, that's what should happen to you. the speaker in the house of commons this afternoon was public and say no mps are traitors. they have to make their decisions and what have those decisions are there making them in good faith. it gives you a sense i thinkjust at the good faith. it gives you a sense i think just at the few braille atmosphere here. there are mps who have been here for decades saying they have never seen it like this. i've certainly never seen it like this and i've only been here for a few years to be honest. there is a real pressure in westminster and there are a lot of unhappy people and a lot of confused people and a lot of folk who just don't know what will happen next. thank you very much indeed. we will bring you through the course of the evening the draft conclusions we have had published earlier. chris morris did tell you that we should not take those draft conclusions as red because it is possible that they
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will be changed. i am hearing from collea g u es will be changed. i am hearing from colleagues here that in fact that date the 22nd of may which was the cut—off point in the extension may have been dropped. i don't have any confirmation of that at the moment but a reminder that when theresa may had spoken to the eu leaders this afternoon, they remained in the room to talk among themselves as the 27, and they are by definition only d raft and they are by definition only draft conclusions that they are discussing. it is possible that one side, may be several sites within this debate this afternoon, have said they don't like that cut—off point of the 22nd because it is too close to the european elections. we have had a number of dates put forward today by various eu institutions. we heard from one person the president of the european parliament who said he wanted a date in the third week of april rather than somewhere down the line in may. certainly no one is talking about the 30th of june, certainly no one is talking about the 30th ofjune, which is the day
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that theresa may put down earlier. so that may be still up for debate and we will find out. we are waiting for this press conference as we say over the course of the next hour, we will hear from jean—claude juncker the commission president and donald tusk the european council president and maybe they will cast some light on what the extension is and what the new date might be a mother there is indeed a date or whether they will come back next week on thursday if this vote goes against theresa may and put something new down on the table. also some reporting from our europe editor... another corresponded earlier said the prime minister talked for 90 minutes, which was longer than we had anticipated. we thought she would only be in there for half an hour, soa only be in there for half an hour, so a long discussion. catcher said this evening that from her sources they were not to impressed with what they were not to impressed with what they heard from the prime minister. that she didn't add anything that they didn't already know... she perhaps didn't give them the
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assurances she wanted. again, something to look out for when we listen to these press conferences later on. so many different legal aspects to what is being decided at the moment so a good time to check in with kenneth armstrong, professor of european legal affairs at the university of cambridge. i talked to him earlier and putting to him some of the points that we are going to be discussing over the course of next week, first and foremost, how do we change the date that is set down in law, the 29th of march? if indeed there is an extension... the first thing is if the eu 27 itself agree an extension to the end of... up to me the 22nd, if this happens, then in terms of uk domestic law ministers would need to present to parliament art regulation to change the exit date itself so that will itself possibly take a day to do. i think we could be looking at next thursday,


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