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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  July 26, 2020 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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rain more heavy and persistent rain pushing in from the south—west. we could see as much as an inch or two of rain across north wales and north—west england before this low pressure eases. a mild start to monday but wait for some as the rain moves through northern england into scotland. it will be fairly light and patchy across central and southern parts of england throughout the day, but the winds, quite a feature and unusual for this time of year. widespread gusts in excess of 30-40 year. widespread gusts in excess of 30—a0 mph. that with the rain means it will feel a bit disappointing for late july. highs of it will feel a bit disappointing for latejuly. highs of 15—21. hello, welcome. this week...
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exceptional, existential, expensive, but what does the eu's recovery deal mean? dirty laundry as the british parliament publishes its report on russian influence. and a leader who got brexit done or the one who lost lives and loves the union? our guests are a correspondent from the economist, and we are having a technical problem, we are hoping for a commentator as well. in the studio we have the bbc chief international correspondent lyse doucet. wellcome. fingers crossed we can get thomas. last week's european summit on a post—covid economic rescue package was a cliffhanger even by eu standards. germany and france urged exceptional measures. the so—called frugal four wanted
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exceptional to be less expensive. arguing and even banging on tables but eventually the deal was done. i will come to you first. european leaders called it historic. is that fair? it is historic. it is short of hamilton moment when in the late 18th century the us central bank effectively became the main carrier of debts of separate states, but it is a hugely important moment. think back a few months ago. nobody really thought that they could come together in this way. we were talking about how different countries would be left high and dry, how difficult it would be. it is a sign of unity. 750 billion euros and what is really important is a lot of it will be given out in grants rather
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than loans so it is a real sign of unity and we have lived through and are still living through extraordinary times and it calls for extraordinary measures. is this a solution to problems or a solution to one set of problems that creates further problems down the line? that is the problem because this was truly historic. never have they dealt with so much money collectively. and this tug of war that went on for months. we discuss it time and again, the tension between the so—called frugal states in the north and those in the south. warnings that the very existence of the union was at stake and particularly for angela merkel in the twilight years of her rule not just as german leader but european leader, she knew she had to get this consensus, and i think this mattered more than anything else.
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it was ground—breaking, to use the word, but the compromises were breathtaking, and the cost, particularly in the medium to long term, could actually lead to a breakdown in some of the important values of the bloc including liberal democratic values, respect for the rule of law and reform. how do you figure that? why does it lead to a potential breakdown in all of that? certainly a chipping away. three areas people are pointing to. this mattered more than anything especially now in this coronavirus crisis — where from the very beginning italy said we called up everyone and nobody came to our help. european leaders recognise that they failed to respond in a time when there should be european solidarity. in order to get a consensus angela merkel has assured the hungarian leader
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she will try to push forward disciplinary measures which had been agreed by the european parliament out of concern over what was described as systemic damage to the rule of law and to democratic values. viktor orban said he did not want this hanging over his head so this recovery fund is not linked to the behaviour of states and there is a concern that in the long run this is going to allow some of the members of the bloc who have been drifting away from some of the principles, drifting toward autocratic rule, although supporters would say we are doing what hungarians want. our national values, etc. number two is the question of monitoring. one of the compromises that was made for the frugal states led by the netherlands was there should be tougher monitoring notjust by the european commission but by the member states. what about italy? it is one of the most needy states
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and regarded as needing the most reform and root and branch comprehensive reform. is that going be possible? or is it for years to come like the greek crisis? journalists who covered that know it never stopped being in the headlines. finally, the european commission president recognised this, there is a smaller european budget after brexit and what about the projects which matter? projects which, again, in the climate crisis, health fund, some of the projects also matter to european countries and their future post—pandemic if there is a post—pandemic, have either been reduced or cut back completely. lots of good questions. your thoughts on all of that? haven't theyjust broken a bunch of their fiscal rules? does it matter? where does all of this leave the actual engine
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of the european economy, the actual business functioning of europe? on the rules, i think yes, in a sense, they have, but covid has broken all the rules. we are not living in the same world in which the rules were made in the first instance. if you do not change your opinion when facts change you are stuck. i am not too worried about that. the cost of borrowing is going to remain very low and i do not think this is going to be economically a huge problem of repayment. it could give the eu extra powers in taxation. the contribution from member states might have to increase but i am not sure in political terms whether this could lead to a break—up. i would question that, because i think what is happening...
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i didn't say break—up. not break up, but whether this could lead to more problems down the line. i think there is a new dynamic era which is that the european commission and the european union is winning hopefully support and legitimacy in individual member states directly. you know, this is a huge injection of money and aid. i think it will be much harder hopefully for nationalist, populist politicians to appeal to their own electorates in sort of anti—global feelings because there is a direct appeal to the people in those countries and i wonder if this spells potentially quite bad news for people like victor orban.
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whether italy can actually manage the structural reforms, i agree that the conflict between the demands of the european union in how this money needs to be spent, how it needs to notjust be splashing around on things, how it needs to go towards more climate change, green energy structural reform and so on, how that is going to potentially clash with the priorities of national governments, and i do see in that sense conflict there but i think there is a new party in all this, there is a new sort of bond, if you like, between the european union and electorates in member states. fascinating discussion, but we are going to leave it there. there will be weeks and months to come back and examine how it is progressing. the british public has waited many months to hear parliament's
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verdict on russian influence in their politics and when it came the report was a grim read, accusing london of badly underestimating the threat posed by moscow. i want to come back to you on that. i know you will have read all of that closely. was there anything in it to surprise you? what really surprised me is how thin in detail this report was. the first reaction was is this something really worth holding out for so long? what was it they were trying to, the government was trying to, keep out of the media? there is not really that much there on the detail of the allegations of russia's interference. we know russia interferes in western states. we know it interfered with the scottish referendum.
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in the us elections. it interfered in spain and catalonia in that referendum, but in terms of concrete evidence it was incredibly thin. to me that showed the unwillingness of security services to cooperate with the inquiry possibly because they didn't want to play a part in politics but the feeling amongst those who follow russia as i do and russia experts was "is this it, really?" i don't think the public got the answer on whether russia really interfered in the brexit referendum. perhaps the most shocking thing was that the government didn't actually want the inquiry to be launched and that is the conclusion of the report, that we don't know whether russia interfered or not because we never asked. your initial thoughts on seeing the report?
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following up from that, many commented that this has said more about britain than it has about russia, that if you don't ask about something then you won't know about something, and there haven't been enough tough questions asked about the money coming into london, about what kind of people were coming into london and whether they were linked to the kremlin, what about the financial system, the laws, about money coming in? hence this terrible phrase london in a laundromat where money is rinsed then of course it is spun in the way this financial engagement has been discussed. the intelligence community didn't make it a priority which is surprising because you talk to individual members of the intelligence community and they always say that counter—terrorism is an important priority but they also cite russia and they have been doing that for many years but some felt that
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perhaps, and obviously for legitimate reasons, counter—terrorism, given the attacks, attempted and actual, in britain, linked to the islamic state or extremist groups, that that is where their focus had to be. will it be a wake—up call? i think the questions are being asked and why was it delayed for nine months? why did it take changes to the intelligence community for it to be released? that raises questions as well. you talked about the report but the underlying issues that have just been addressed, i am interested in your views on what you see as the motives for this neglect? do you see it as a bandwidth problem that there was too much going into counter—terrorism to have the space for the intelligence agencies to deal with the russian threat? if i am not sure it is complete negligence to be honest.
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i have some sympathy both for intelligence agencies and for the government's foreign policy because it is true that there is very little human intelligence capacity in britain and russia intelligence gathering and that is a problem, that all the resources were directed to the middle east. i think when it comes to cyber capabilities, britain's capabilities at gchq, are quite solid, and we have seen some quite impressive action in the aftermath of this attempted assassination and the use of the nerve agent, how the intelligence services managed to then attribute blame. you remember there was the russian attempt to hack into the laboratories,
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the chemical inspection agencies, and that was quite a good, i thought, counterintelligence operation in attribution of blame and exposure of russian military intelligence agents in the uk, and the expulsion of russian diplomats and spooks. on the foreign—policy side, i think there is a recognition, finally, it couldn't be early enough, there is a problem in the russian set—up, a domestic problem, and the focus on human rights and focus on the kremlin and what it is doing and russian society, which is i think partly is what the list is aiming to do, dominic raab‘s policy,
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and i think it is all quite... there isn't a magic wand. russian intentions have to change but i think britain is quite good at thinking ahead and thinking long—term. beyond putin and the next three or five years, thinking how we can have better relationships with russia in 30 years. quickly, if you can, to what extent is it fair to single russia out in this way? isn't itjust doing influence operations like anyone else or is it in a special category? for many years we have been saying, and certainly it was said in the countries where i spend most of my time reporting, the middle east, that president putin... he had a weekend where he played it brilliantly. he had a weekend where
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he played it brilliantly. all this talk about hybrid warfare, political warfare, cyber warfare, conventional military, but when it comes to london, london has been an oasis for people in many countries for a very long time with people coming here either with hard—earned cash or ill gotten gains either to flee their countries, persecution in their countries, or to flee justice in their countries. there have been investigations into nigerian billionaires' money, pakistani billionaires, chinese, hong kong. estate agents in the past week are being asked who is buying property in london and they say the biggest buyers are from mainland china and hong kong, coming here perhaps for different reasons, but russia is not the only. i guess the question is why are they coming here? is it a safe place for the money or themselves or is there something more sinister? given the recent history of russia with the poisoning and so on, britain, the united states,
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i think that is why people ask perhaps more questions, they have to, about russia's engagement. before we leave this, i want to ask you about that us dimension because the us president is still insisting that the mueller investigation into russian interference was a politically—motivated witch hunt. how problematic does it make it for the west as an identity in terms of the liberal democracies and their efforts to have that kind of set of rules in their operations...? how hard does it make it when the big power is not on board? well, yes, indeed, it has been a very strange world in which the us, which is the main target in a way of the main sort of russian rival, has pursued this sort of schizophrenic, donald
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trump seems to be... he seems to be very enamoured with vladimir putin. the investigation and the institutions and the report is obviously much more detailed than anything we have seen in london and it is not politically motivated in the sense that trump would like us to believe that this was all about actions and we can never prove how effective russian investigations are but the question was whether donald trump colluded or did anything illegal in working together with russia and that is a different question. it is a very good question to london what kind of russians are coming here and why and my sense is that a lot of russian businessmen who are investing in the uk are doing
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so because they are looking for property rights, for protection in a way, and access to the global market. america is a rich enough country to manage on its own and basically shut out any russian investment. we cannot do that. london needs to stay open to global investment. but that global investment can only be mitigated and needs to be mitigated by very strict rules and criteria on what you can and cannot do there, what kind of money you bring, can you explain the origins of this money, and all this needs to be followed through much more thoroughly. i am going to leave that topic again because we have to move on. we cannot get thomas' line to work so we wish you were here but we are going to manage
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without you and plough on. when borisjohnson arrived in downing street a year ago he intended to be the prime minister who got brexit done. he didn't want to go down in history as the leader who presided over a pandemic or the one who lost the union but the uk has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the world and opinion polls in scotland suggests a clear majority for independence. borisjohnson went to scotland last week. how did that go? especially in the polarised, he is smiling, environment we live in and a fractured media environment the answer will depend on where you stand in those quite gruelling cracks, if you like, but the message from boris johnson was that this was, to use his phrase, to show the sheer might of the union and how they would survive this
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coronavirus pandemic and he chose the moment, marking his one year in power, and he went to the orkney islands which of course is north of scotland, as beautiful as they are, it is not the beating heart of scotland. the fact that nicola sturgeon didn't meet him to stand shoulder to shoulder to say yes, the great sheer might of the union, said a lot and so did the opinion polls which were, many would say, the backdrop to this, showing steadily increasing... polls can be fickle and it is a long time to the election in scotland next year, but above 50% of support for independence in scotland six years after the referendum and nicola sturgeon showing very high in the polls after what has been regarded as her very steady, competent, reassuring public health messages during the coronavirus.
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why did borisjohnson, the prime minister, go to scotland? was it because he is worried about that sheer might of the union? he said, this is the thing about the pandemic, it is true that it is westminster which was responsible for the economic policy, so the furlough scheme which he said saved 900,000 jobs in scotland, but the public messaging was mainly the responsibility of the devolved governments and they were very different during this crisis. they still are different. that sets out some of the problems. what do you think his strategy will be to nicola sturgeon‘s calls for a second referendum? will he carry on saying no? will he try to make a persuasive argument to scots? will he try to turn on the johnson charm? he has frozen.
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is it my multiple choice question? can you hear me? did you hear that? i heard a little bit of it. not all of it. i was basically saying is he going to carry on saying no? is he going to make a persuasive argument or try to charm the scots? what i saw this morning i thought was quite interesting. the polling in the times published and it was tweeted by ruth davidson talking about independence is number seven on the list of priorities in scotland today, that people are much more worried aboutjobs, about covid, about the health system. i wonder whether nicola sturgeon might be thinking this is the moment. it is true she has had a better lockdown,
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better coronavirus, better pandemic, than borisjohnson, but i am not sure, and again this is my guess, and i defer to those who know scotland much better, but i somehow wonder whether putting this back on the agenda now would be actually helpful. in financial terms scotland does need money from the central government. the covid moment will pass hopefully in the next few months. i think it will hang on for boris johnson but i do not think this will be the basis on which... simply because the lockdown measures were better coordinated, organised, the messaging was better, in scotland, i somehow doubt that will become the trigger for a new movement towards a referendum. we have just got a few seconds left.
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i want to get a couple of sentences from each of you on your assessment of boris johnson's first year in power. i think he has actually coped better in some ways than i thought. he arrived to play a certain role. history has thrown things at him and in the beginning at least he was showing some leadership, notwithstanding all the... you have had your sentence. he has had his ups and downs. he will continue to hope and his people will continue to hope he will come up. this is a moment when questions are being asked and he
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needs to get answers. thank you both so much and that is it. we are back at the same place, same time, next week. goodbye. hello there. we haven't seen any prolonged settled summer sunshine and warmth for a long time now, have we? and the next couple of days, well, they stay pretty unsettled with rain or showers and unseasonably windy for a time of the year. but from wednesday onwards, high pressure builds and quietens things down for a few days at least. potentially warming up the south. so far today the strongest of the winds and the rain have been through scotland. we have got a cluster of showers further west. some of these will drift further inland throughout the remainder of the afternoon.
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sunny spells and scattered showers will close out sunday with temperatures peaking between 14 and 23 degrees. through the evening some of those showers will start to fade away but there is another area of low pressure going to push on from the south—west and that is going to bring a spell of wet weather, particularly across parts of north wales and north—west england. this area of low pressure is going to drift its way steadily north and east on that monday, the strongest of the winds to the southern flank of that low as well. so we could get an inch, two inches, of rain across north wales, north—west england for a time, the rain pushing its way into scotland. somewhat fragmented light and patchy rain through the midlands and south—east england, but factor in the wind strength. gusts widely close to 30 miles an hour, maybe a0 miles an hour plus in some locations. that is unusual, really, for the end ofjuly and temperatures are disappointing, mid to high teens in the north, maybe 21 degrees down to the south. now, moving out of monday
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into tuesday, a quieter day. sunny spells, a few scattered showers but the wind direction is swinging around to a north—westerly and coolish, not a particularly warm day really. 13—16 for scotland. highest values, if we get some sunshine, of 21 degrees in the south—east. as we move into wednesday, here is that area of high pressure building. for a time at least low pressure is trying to move in hot on its heels but before that we will start to drag up some warmth from the south so we could, across parts of southern and central england, see temperatures into the high 20s, maybe 30 degrees, and we haven't actually had 30 degrees so far this july, so certainly a better end to the week with a little bit of patchy rain arriving back into northern ireland on sunday.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines. from beach to lockdown british holiday—makers returning from spain must now quarantine for 14 days because of a spike in cases there. it was crazy. it all happened so quickly, no one knows what is going on in there. it is mad. we were supposed to be coming back on monday but we got the next flight home. criticism from travellers and the tourism industry over the way the new rules were brought in but the foreign secretary defends the decision. we are taking this in a targeted, decisive and focused way. we appreciate the disruption for travellers. anyone who has risked losing money needs to talk to their travel operator and their insurance, but we must take these measures to avoid the risk of reinfection into
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