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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  December 12, 2020 11:30am-12:00pm GMT

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of the government really believe that this is best for britain? president macron is being portrayed as the hard man of europe — but with all sides potentially losing if there's isn't a deal, has the eu overplayed its hand? and how is this all being perceived around the world? borisjohnson has reportedly been invited to delhi to be chief guest at india's republic day celebrations in january. nothing confirmed yet and it might just be speculation. in the indian newspapers. but if borisjohnson wants better trade with india, he might want to brush up on his politics. he was caught out embarassingly in the house of commons this week. when asked about a punjabi farmers strike, he replied talking about tensions with pakistan. the look of astonishment on the sikh mp‘s face who had asked the question was definitely my moment of the week. with me today are marc roche, who writes for the french weekly political and news magazine le point and ashis ray of ray media. and here in the studio, the bbc‘s
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business editor, simon jack. thanks to all of you gentlemen. four years after the brexit referendum, boris johnson is perhaps about to take the uk out of a deep, complex relationship stretching back over a0 years that affects so many parts of public and private life. for some, no deal is an opportunity, a chance to break free of european shackles. maybe to make britain great again. certainly, borisjohnson won a huge election victory in parts of the country, which traditionally voted labour. maybe a no—deal brexit plays well in the red wall seats in the north east of england and the prime minister can keep stoking english nationalism and make it all rather difficult for labour. but even if there is a political gain, at what cost will it be to the country as a whole? is it too late to save the day — will president macron make a last—minute intervention and pick up the phone? marc, any last—minute chances of
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concessions from the europeans? no, i don't think so. lets hope maybe we will have sort of stopping the clock which the eu very often does in complicated negotiations and agreed to start again injanuary. but at the moment, the most solution i see is no deal, because no one in europe is no deal, because no one in europe is ready to compromise. the british have played their cards and they've lost it. ashis, you write for the indian press. india is about the size of western europe. do people they look at the uk and think why on earth are you breaking away from this political union or do they think perhaps the uk is going back to its old empire instincts? certainly, indian businesses who pitched their tents in britain, with the hope that the entire 500 million eu market would be available to them
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without any tariffs, they would be disappointed because now, exports from britain to the eu at least temporarily, if not permanently, will come under customs duties in the european union. therefore, it's going to be difficult for india businesses in the uk who exported to the eu for the time being. businesses in the uk who exported to the eu forthe time being. but in india, ithink the eu forthe time being. but in india, i think the mood the eu forthe time being. but in india, ithink the mood is the eu forthe time being. but in india, i think the mood is somewhat of this interest. i think people are not that concerned as to what the outcome is going to be. at the same time, ithink outcome is going to be. at the same time, i think people are worried that it could be disruption notjust to the economies of the eu and britain, but there could be a ripple effect in the rest of the world. ripple effect in what sense? in the sense that if the economies go down in the european union and britain,
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then this would have an impact not just in this region, but it would have an impact on the rest of the world. because these are major economic entities and therefore an impact on india among various other countries. well, simon jack, our business editor, what is the economic hit of either brexit with a deal or without a deal? brexit without a deal is significantly worse than brexit with a deal. the bank of england, the 0b r, the cross whitehall analysis estimates that over the next 10—15 years there will be some where between 5—7% of gdp smaller than otherwise it have been. not smaller now but smaller than it would otherwise have been. a cost of tens of billions to gdp over time. i think it's one of those things, the short—term shock is going to be the most of it and it's going to hit some sectors. they are very exposed. agriculture. most welsh lamb goes
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into the eu. in fishing, large parts of the catch are bought in the eu. and the automotive sector. india has beena and the automotive sector. india has been a huge investor in the uk in the automotive sector. it owns jaguar land rover. tata steel, those are big areas. as ashis was saying, are big areas. as ashis was saying, a lot of that was sold as being a bridgehead into the eu market. some of those sectors, auto aerospace, agriculture, fishing, they are heavily exposed to no—deal brexit, very steep tariffs. it will be a very steep tariffs. it will be a very significant hit in the short—term. but, as you were saying, the other side of it was that boris johnson said we are free to have closer relationships with india. i we nt closer relationships with india. i went ona closer relationships with india. i went on a mission with theresa may to india a couple of years ago and they see india as a key investor in they see india as a key investor in the uk and they will be fostering those ties. marc, from the european viewpoint, do they look worried at
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all, thinking, 0k, britain overa long term, if there is no deal exit, as it looks possible, they will be divergence and it is a difficult competitor instead of a friendly neighbour? the first thing to say is that for the europeans, it is, in a way, good riddance of a problem because it has been four years of negotiation of inept government. johnson has no friends in europe because he is perceived as a liar. the referendum also when he was a correspondent in brussels. and so the eu... inaudible it has no more interest in the fight. in climate change as we have seenin fight. in climate change as we have seen in the last summit. and also, a relaunch plan to relaunch the economies after covid. so, in a way, it isa
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economies after covid. so, in a way, it is a nuisance. but the eu is ready for it. to be frank, the preservation of the single market is more important in the eyes of the eu than finding at all costs an agreement with britain. i mean, you know, britain couldn't even count on its traditional allies in the eu, the dutch, the scandinavians, the east europeans, to push their case. the fact is that the eu was united. good luck to britain. that's the feeling of mr macron. and yet the french, the germans, everybody loses here because there will be tariffs if there is no deal, in both directions. plus, we know, for example, that the uk— us relationship on security, defence and intelligence is extremely strong, it's very important to the security of the whole of europe. there are losses all around.
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absolutely. but the security, the military, all that will stay. because the relationship between the uk and france... inaudible permanent seat on the security council, lots of coordination on terrorism and migration and all of that. of course it will be preserved. the big if is the economy. but the eu feels the hit is more important for the british than the eu. ashis, reports in indian newspapers as i said earlier that borisjohnson has newspapers as i said earlier that boris johnson has been newspapers as i said earlier that borisjohnson has been invited to india in january. borisjohnson has been invited to india injanuary. it hasn't been confirmed here. what would that signify, what could that mean? trade with india still is a relatively small for both countries, isn't it? yes, it is remarkably small. in fa ct, yes, it is remarkably small. in fact, i would venture to say that
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trade between the two countries has underperformed because these two countries have been trading for more than 400 years. so it is now around 20 billion, which is really a minute to figure compared to britain's trade with the european union, for instance. —— reallya trade with the european union, for instance. —— really a minute figure. but what has happened is this. britain, in the event, and this looks more and more likely, of exiting the european union without a free trade agreement, is looking for partners with a similar kind of arrangement. already, britain and japan have reached a free trade agreement. and that is precisely what britain and india are exploring. my understanding is that it won't be a comprehensive free trade agreement. it will be limited to, it will be strategic. but that is what india and britain are exploring. in fact, this has been on the anvil for more than four years. but it hasn't made much progress. in
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the last couple of months, though, there has been movement. and i dare say that next month, if boris johnson goes to india to be the chief guest at india's republic day parade, then some kind of an agreement, at least a memorandum of understanding, will be reached during johnson's visit to india. and, simon, we have rishi sunak married to the daughter of one of india's richest... family. men. exactly, how much do those personal links help, priti patel in the home office as well. india willjust be one country they are looking to. given the historical connection between the two countries and india such a massive investor in the uk, the amount of trade that is actually done between the two countries is pitifully small. that is something borisjohnson will be pitifully small. that is something boris johnson will be looking to increase. one of the interesting things is, in order to have that relationship, you will see that people from india are the top of are
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getters into the uk. they realise that india has lots of highly qualified engineers, very strong in software and in other technological areas, which the uk really wants to foster. i see that memorandum of understanding i will expect as well as ashis was saying, will be something along the lines of bilateral investment, these are cooperation, technology. ithink those personal connections that you mention, the chancellor being married into one of the richest families in the world, notjust india, who knows, that could also help. and yet, marc, we're still not at the point where we know exactly how the brexit story is going to end. politically, how big a moment does it feel? obviously, we are about this in the context of a global pandemic, where huge change has come to all of us and everyone isa has come to all of us and everyone is a bit fatigued by brexit. but still, it is a massive political shift, isn't it? well, it is a massive event. because for 47 years,
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not only has britain been part of the eu, but, more importantly, britain forged a lot of it, including the single market and all of the laws of the eu. the europeans are losing this expertise. they are losing the link with the former colonies and the commonwealth. they are losing also exchange of technology and all of this. this being said, from the eu point of view, the godsend isjoe biden because he is seen as pro—european because he is seen as pro—european because of his irish roots. he is close to the french and the germans. the eu is counting on a better relationship with the us to
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counterbalance the loss of britain. but the loss of britain is terrible. just to remind the brexiteers, the eu didn't want britain to go. the eu supported remain. the remain camp lost, britain is leaving, but there are so many close lost, britain is leaving, but there are so many close links including, let's not forget, london is the second french city in terms of french population. these things will be preserved. let's hope there will be preserved. let's hope there will beaan be preserved. let's hope there will be a an agreement. we are entering a new phase. inaudible you know, the notion of sovereignty is completely alien to the eu. national sovereignty, which transcend defenders... inaudible
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immigration was one of the key drivers of the original brexit vote, we think. it has gone right down politically as a concern in the uk, very interestingly. these are is from india and elsewhere was always a key factor —— visas from india. do you think it will be harder or do you think it will be harder or do you think it will be more fair for indians and others from other parts of the world to come to the uk and work and live and study?” of the world to come to the uk and work and live and study? i think a free trade agreement between britain and india will attempt to loosen this traffic both ways. in fact, what india has been looking for is really intracompa ny transfers what india has been looking for is really intracompany transfers in the software sector, for instance, so that a major company like, say, tata cam! consultancy, who are well entrenched in this country and want, from time to time, their staff in india to come and work here for lets
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a couple of years, that is a kind of loosening that india is looking for. —— tata consultancy. and britain would want some sort of access to india's legal profession and thin tech and the like. it's going to be a give and take —— thin .it . it will be limited and strategic but talking about immigration, you make a good point. the brexiteers really wanted sovereignty and a stop to immigration, particularly i guess from europe. that being the case, barring the hardliners who didn't ca re barring the hardliners who didn't care about the consequences, the brexiteers, mostly, wanted britain to remain part of the european common market. unfortunately, that looks rather remote at the moment. although i dare say, as marc
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mentioned earlier, talks could resume in the new year. and i think both sides will try very, very hard to reach a free trade agreement because that would be in the interests of both sides. in the interests of both sides. in the interest of boris johnson's interests of both sides. in the interest of borisjohnson's both words, it is a failure of statecraft. that is a long shot. i was talking to a former cabinet minister last night it was on the remain side and he thought this was very, very unlikely. as for extending it beyond the 1st of january, again, he thought that was unlikely. i think marc was right, this issue of sovereignty. it wasn't front and centre at the beginning of the referendum but it has emerged as the referendum but it has emerged as the big one. because, if you think of the uk and the eu being like this in terms of standards, the uk says, "we're not going to do this but if you do this, for example, lower the average working week, we are not prepared to move or be threatened
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with tariffs if we don't do the same thing". to them, that is not only unacceptable, it's almost humiliating. that is not sovereignty. other people would say this idea of sovereignty is an illusion. even in the world trade organization, if you don't play by the rules, you get a terrace. witness the ding—dong between airbus and boeing. a government does whatever it once, there are sanctions applied to —— you get tariffs. former chancellor, george osborne, wrote in the evening standard newspaper the remain argument, you end up taking the rules of the eu without having any say in how they are set. for pragmatic reasons, if you want to trade with the eu, you have got to have a level of alignment. if he will play on someone pitch you need to know which rules you are playing by—— if to know which rules you are playing by —— if you are going to play on someone's pitch. the argument rests on what rules are, what happens if we disagree and who monitors it. some say we could set up a body, basically couple people from eu member states, couple delegates from the uk and then you have a referee in charge to say what the penalty
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should be, how bad the infraction has actually been. other people say do that and you are essentially recreating the european commission! brexiteers would say there is already a body called the world trade organization. remember, that comes with a swingeing terrace. businesses, as a business editor, i go round and businesses have their head in their hands thinking how did we get to —— swinging tariffss. it isa damaging we get to —— swinging tariffss. it is a damaging prospect. finally, on that thought, who is most worried? how are going to feel it with a no—deal brexit? how are going to feel it with a no-deal brexit? firstly we will feel probably in logistics and haulage, just getting stuff from letter a to b. cross border. 20% of goods traded come in from the port of dover —— getting things from a to b. we say we will waive things through but it doesn't look like it will be reciprocated on the other side. miles and miles, thousands of trucks potentially and there is a pilot going on as we speak in kent. and
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there have been other ones, some exercises in france led to miles of tailbacks. we could be looking at a very disruptive new year period. it is not over yet, we have a few hours. at a former cabinet minister says he thinks it is a long shot right now. fascinating. -- but a former. if brexit was partly about curbing immigration and the fallout of globalisation, it's certainly not the only country facing huge challenges. india has seen strikes this week by punjabi farmers worried about liberalisation. the prime minister, narendra modi, wants to open up markets to the private sector, but farmers are worried about their sale prices falling. all this amid, of course, the pandemic hitting economic growth rates in india. but modi and the bjp have a huge following in india with a weakened opposition congress party unwilling to cast off dynastic leadership. meanwhile, narendra modi has this week laid the foundation stone for a new parliament building to replace the old british empire monuments by edward lutyens, with creations designed by indians. something of interest to show boris johnson if indeed he is invited to delhi
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in the new year. ashis, first on the farmers strike. it isa it is a moment to look up on youtube, if you didn't see it of borisjohnson not quite understanding the question in parliament this week what was going on with this strike. it is a concern for modi to see 70 people on the streets, farmers not earning huge amounts of money and worried about sale prices falling —— to see so many people. yes, the farmers' agitation has been brewing for a few months. but it has reached a point where i think there is a real confrontation. what has happened is that farmers have travelled from various parts of india, particularly the farmers from the state of punjab. they are literally camping outside delhi on highways. they have set up temporary townships, as it were, on these highways. they are
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living on. and there are, literally, again, i would imagine living on. and there are, literally, again, iwould imagine hundreds of thousands of them on the highways. and their demand is that, and this isa and their demand is that, and this is a primary demand and not the entire demand, is that what is called minimum support price for their crops has to be maintained. and this minimum support price has been guaranteed by the indian government for now 50 years. they do not see this as being guaranteed in three farm acts, which was passed earlier this year by the modi government. the government appears to have moved a bit in the direction of concessions and are willing to incorporate a minimum support price guarantee, if you like, in the acts, which had been passed. but, that said, ithink
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which had been passed. but, that said, i think the farmers have hardened their stance. and they are saying that they want a complete repeal of all three acts and to start afresh. marc of the french are used to seeing street protests, of course, but should other european countries be reaching out more to india rather than china? it is a democracy. it is in the process of liberalisation, something to be welcomed? inaudible i think they would deny that very strongly in india. modi is an authoritarian. this being said, china supersedes everything. especially the relationship between britain and china with the ui especially the relationship between britain and china with the u! a... the chinese markets are perceived as
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more open, less bureaucratic. inaudible reliant on china because of the engineering exporter in france because of the nuclear. at the luxury industry. ok... because of the nuclear. at the luxury industry. 0k... unless india opens completely, there is very little chance that the eu will look at the indian market as it is. simon jack? sorry, we are nearly out of time, just want to bring in simon. the india — china fight. i'm no expert on indian farm policy, but what i can say is there are big forces at work here. the deterioration of the relationship between the us and china and also for businesses, what they discovered during the pandemic, they had an awful lot of eggs in one basket. in manufacturing in china. india realises that they noticed that and there is an opportunity for india to
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ta ke there is an opportunity for india to take up some of that business from china. they need to be more open and have market reforms, as marc said and as ashis said, some of these market reforms are hitting the traditional power base. when you deregulate like that, you will always come up against that. that is fiction we are seeing at the moment. india will try to get in position to ta ke india will try to get in position to take some of the chinese business and to do that, as marc said, you need to de—regulate and become more open. but that is not without problems. ashis, kamala harris, she is half indian, vice president elect, key indians in politics at the moment in the uk. is this a good moment for indians abroad?|j the moment in the uk. is this a good moment for indians abroad? i am sure that indians are proud of the fact that indians are proud of the fact that indians are proud of the fact that indians or people of indian origin are reaching heights in politics in western countries but kamala harris is politically, i did logically not on the same page as narendra modi. while she may be half
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indian there are definite differences —— id logically not. including differences on kashmir which india would find difficult to resolve. there is a common concern as faras resolve. there is a common concern as far as britain and india are concerned. and that common concern is china. 0k, concerned. and that common concern is china. ok, i'm really sorry to interrupt, we are out of time ashis this hour. thank you all very much, i wish we had longer. that's it for dateline london for this week — my thanks to ashis ray, marc roche and simonjack. shaun ley is here next week. from me goodbye for now and thanks for watching. hello, there. it's turning more
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unsettled this weekend. tomorrow, we've got wet and windy weather spreading in off the atlantic but today it's looking pretty quiet. we've got quite a bit of sunshine across the western half of the country, still a bit of cloud and showery bursts of rain across the east courtesy of that area of low pressure. this is the ridge of high pressure which will bring the sunnier weather to the west. and this low behind me is sunday's wet and windy weather. it has been bright through the morning across parts of northern ireland, wales, the south west. wales, the south west. that sunshine encroaching east but it stays quite cloudy and damp across northern and eastern scotland and much of eastern england. temperature wise, still on the cool side across eastern areas, 7 or 8 degrees. closer to 9 or 10 further west. now, this evening and overnight, the clearer skies encroaching east. it will turn a bit drier for the eastern half of the country with the wet and windy weather sweeping into the west and the south—west by the end of the night. here, temperatures will be rising, 7 to 9 or 10 degrees, turning chilly under the clearer skies across central and eastern areas. this area of low pressure will bring
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a lot of wet and windy weather throughout the course of sunday. it may start dry and bright, quite chilly across the far north and east through the morning but then the wet and windy weather will sweep to all areas. could see a bit of transient snow over the scottish mountains when that rain bumps into the cold air. some of that rain will be quite heavy in places, particularly across western hills. and it's going to be windy for all areas, particularly across southern and western coasts, gusts of 40, maybe 50 miles an hour. but with those strong winds and the rain, particularly across the southern half of the country, it'll be much milder, ii, 12, may be 13 degrees. milder, ii, 12, maybe 13 degrees. still on the cool side across the far north—east. low pressure sticks around into the start of the new working week, just anchored to the west of the uk. it'll push the milder air north right across scotland and the northern isles. a very mild day to come on monday. it will be another blustery one, lots of isobars on the pressure charts. windy once again. showery bursts of rain, mainly southern and western areas, particularly over the hills. some of them could be quite heavy. but some sunshine, as well. it's not going to be a complete wash—out. and it will be mild for the time of year, temperatures
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in double figures for most. we could see 12 or 13 again across the south. it stays unsettled throughout this upcoming week. we could see another round of rain and gales on wednesday and then it's sunshine and showers. but you'll notice it stays mild throughout.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. talks resume in brussels with both sides warning they're unlikely to reach a post—brexit agreement by tomorrow's deadline. four royal navy patrol ships are being readied to help protect britain's fishing waters, in the event of a no—deal brexit. the us regulator authorises the pfizer biontech coronavirus vaccine. donald trump says it'll be rolled out immediately. i am proud to say that we have made sure that this vaccine will be free for all americans. world leaders will hold a virtual climate summit later — to lay out their plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. cabbies and covid — the sector is on the verge of collapse, after business shrank to about a fifth of normal levels. and are some riders of rental e—scooters still breaking the law?

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