tv Dateline London BBC News December 13, 2020 11:30am-12:01pm GMT
hello. this is bbc news. the headlines... the uk prime minister boris johnson and president of the european commission, ursula von der leyen, are due to release a statement shortly, after speaking on the phone about the post—brexit trade negotiations. lord frost, deal or no deal? this morning, the uk's chief negotiator arrived for the final day of talks in a last—ditch bid for a breakthrough. britain's foreign secretary says a deal is dependent on the eu. will the eu move on the two key issues, level playing field, control of our laws and fisheries?
if there is the will to do that, then actually we can address progress that can be made. the body which represents nhs trusts in england warns the prime minister that relaxing coronavirus restrictions will lead to a third wave of infections. chancellor angela merkel has announced tighter coronavirus restrictions that will apply across germany from this wednesday tilljanuary the 10th. nigerian security forces said they have located the kidnappers of hundreds of students abducted from their secondary school in the north of the country. anthony joshua knocks out kubrat pulev to defend his heavyweight world titles and set up a potential super fight with tyson fury. our top story is... talks between britain and the eu have resumed in brussels ahead of a deadline to reach
a post—brexit trade agreement. officials held discussions overnight, and eu sources have suggested borisjohnson and the european commission president ursula von der leyen may agree to hold further negotiations. this morning the foreign secretary dominic raab said the eu had to move on the key areas of fishing and competition rules. our political correspondent nick eardley is at downing street. under his umbrella in the rain. what is the latest? we were told ursula von der leyen and borisjohnson were talking on the phone in a bid to give some sort of artificial respiration to these talks, to keep them going and given the kiss of life. what are we hearing from that phone call? as far as i know the phone call? as far as i know the phone call? as far as i know the phone call is still going on at the moment. the big question both sides are asking is, is that the political will to move in some way? saying, i am prepared to nudge slightly on
your position on one thing if you move slightly towards mine on another. that has been a big question for the last ten days. that has not really happened. it is proving difficult to find some common ground. the second question they are both asking themselves, is either side prepared to walk away yet? it was interesting listening to the foreign secretary, dominic raab, talking about today being a staging post by talking about the possibility of more talks, sounding relu cta nt to possibility of more talks, sounding reluctant to say we cannot do this, it has reached the end of the road and we need to call the game and say it is over. it seems at the moment both sides are a bit reluctant to pull the plug on this process. a couple of things to bring you up—to—date on, we do expect to hear from those talks very shortly, some sort of statement, again that it is coming out quite quickly suggests
that perhaps these talks may go on a bit longer than it is possible if the talk went extremely badly that is not the case. the second thing, borisjohnson is is not the case. the second thing, boris johnson is due is not the case. the second thing, borisjohnson is due to update the cabinet on the latest on those negotiations. it is the big question... can i decide move towards the other or is either side prepared to walk away yet? we are hearing the cabinet call is under way so maybe the phone call with ursula von der leyen is over. the german chancellor angela merkel are saying everything possible should be done to agree a deal. does that suggest there is some pressure to go perhaps the extra mile? if the talks continue beyond today, how much longer is there? not many days till the end of the year. i am going to resist any temptation to put another deadline on this. how many times have we spoken and nz today is a big day in the process has dragged on?
how long do you need to get business to get ready? we are in a position where in two and a half weeks the transition period ends and things will change. one big complaint from the business community, they do not know what is happening. they do not know what is happening. they do not know if there will be slightly different trade rules and they need to out more paperwork or they are preparing for massive tariffs. that isa preparing for massive tariffs. that is a huge sometimes existential question, whether they can survive with some new tariffs. i know they wa nt to with some new tariffs. i know they want to get some clarity. they are desperate to get this to a point to say this is what is happening. the problem, and we keep needing to return to this because neither side wa nts to return to this because neither side wants to say unless they really think it has been exhausted, this is it can again say the is really important. that could mean potentially, if the talks to continue, for all we know that talk
could have gone extremely badly but if they do continue, the question is, what are they continuing for? what we are trying to figure out over the next couple of hours is if there has been any movement at all, if overnight talks between officials and talks this morning between lord frost and michel barnier have actually led to anything. whether on the three sticking points, fishing, competition rules and how they are policed, if anything has moved to suggest we are closer to a deal than we we re suggest we are closer to a deal than we were a week ago. enables a straight—backed live to you in downing street should we get more developments. —— we will be straight back. let's speak to david henig, uk director at the european centre for international political economy and a former uk trade negotiator. just talk to us about what will be going through the minds of the negotiators at the moment. so little time left and it seems still so much to try to achieve an agreement on.
much to do yet many building blocks will be in place one way or another. there will be pieces of paper around, if the prime minister chooses to go with a deal. there will be pieces of paper saying, here are the things we can do. it is not that far away. it is waiting on the big decision. we have been told co nsta ntly big decision. we have been told constantly that 97%, 98% of a trade deal has been agreed, already in the bag. it is the last details, absolutely correct. even in the last detail they will be drafts around. if the rumours are correct, there area number of if the rumours are correct, there are a number of rumours around that the uk has made a bit of movement on the uk has made a bit of movement on the level playing field. if that is the level playing field. if that is the case, it that has helped to unlock and the rest will fall into place. if there is a deal is because of that, it does seem we are not
quite as badly off as it might have seemed to be. is it possible to get agreement when we see what appears to bea agreement when we see what appears to be a philosophical divide? where the eu is worried about a future uk that undercuts the eu by having lower standards and the uk which just insists on sovereignty at all costs. there are such broad differences that it is hard to narrow them. if the uk rose back slightly and says, we do want sovereignty but not may be at all costs a nd sovereignty but not may be at all costs and there are a few things we can do to have a compromise, then that opens up a number of possible avenues. we are clearly not going to be following eu legislation to the letter, nobody is suggesting we are. if we do not mind there is a process that happens if we diverged and that
might need to terrace in the future, that opens up possibilities and that could lead to discussions. —— terrorists. we know fishing is a small part of the uk economy but ideological it is very important, isn't it? especially to be brexiteers. fishing communities are important in the uk as they are across europe. that is always going to be difficult but it is a technical issue and i am sure there are many solutions floating around with that. the level playing field is more philosophical and divided, and we think that might be more difficult. in the event we can find a solution on the level playing field of fish, the two party will agree a gradual return to the uk of fishing rights which the eu fleet
currently hold. what do you think of the eu's negotiating tactics or their strategy? a lot of people have said, if it came to the crunch, the eu would start to fracture and disintegrate in a different integrates like the french interest on fishing and so one would divide the european union but they have negotiated as a block. they told borisjohnson, no, negotiated as a block. they told boris johnson, no, you negotiated as a block. they told borisjohnson, no, you cannot negotiate with individual leaders like emmanuel macron or angela merkel, you have to keep talking to the eu and ursula fondo line, the eu commission president. that is ursula von der leyen. there is no many flexibility for the end stages of the negotiations. they have flexibility to move a little bit further. i do not think they will fundamentally change their position but they may offer more to help to seal a deal. the eu is good at stealing free trade agreements, they
have more than anyone else in the world. we have been talking on morning about time running out, we have been talking all year about time running out. if the deadline imposed today, what realistically do you think? how many working days can the two sides keep talking for? we are past the time which any agreement can be properly implemented on the ist of january. since we are past that time, the two size can carry on talking and somehow they will have to find a way to implement where people will barely have time to read it never might on january the ist. there barely have time to read it never might onjanuary the ist. there will have to be some kind of easing of it onjanuary have to be some kind of easing of it on january the ist. i have to be some kind of easing of it onjanuary the ist. i am not have to be some kind of easing of it on january the ist. i am not sure how that will work. we are past time, we are in overtime and if the two sides want to reach a deal i think that is worth doing i am sure they will find a way of somehow
having implemented onjanuary the ist but we are in uncharted territory. extra time on extra time is how it has been described. thank you for talking us through the negotiations. our political correspondent nick eardley is at downing street. i think we will hear something shortly. we are expecting a statement from the prime minister in 20 minutes. in five minutes, we are going to hearfrom ursula von der leyen about what has happened in a conversation with borisjohnson this morning. at the moment it is kind of a guessing game. we cannot be sure but there are a few things to bear in mind. boris johnson but there are a few things to bear in mind. borisjohnson is having a conversation with his cabinet at the moment telling him what has happened in that call, telling him what he expects to happen next. it is worth pointing out that call seems to be fairly short, it seems to have been half an hour today, less than some
of the previous phone calls the two have had where they had been trying to thrash things out. you could read that either way. coming back to what they were saying ten minutes ago, it is important to note there was a note this morning from both sides great european leaders like merkel, micheal martin, tea shop in ireland and dominic raab here. they were prepared to say we think this has run its course. —— key shock. all the energy needed should be put into the energy needed should be put into the talks to try to get something over the line. likewise, the foreign secretary here saying we think the european union needs to me that we also think potentially there is some room for manoeuvre, not quite saying yet that is it that we have finished this process, it is all over. the key thing to watch for the next few minutes, forgive me for looking at
my phone, i'm keeping an eye out for updates. other talks going to continue for a few days longer and if so, why? has anything happened in that phone call this morning all the negotiations which went on overnight between officials, continue between the chief negotiators, suggesting there is room for compromise on fisheries, a totemic issue that was such a big thing back in 2016? on competition rules that really matter, it is about sovereignty for the european union are making sure no one can undermine the single market. if the uk is getting privileged access it cannot undercut other countries. how do you enforce it? how can you get to the point where if somebody does break the rules, at least in the eyes of the other, there is a mechanism for addressing that. those other three outstanding issues which have been outstanding issues which have been outstanding for some time now. the
big question, is there any room for manoeuvre to suggest they can now be sold? that manoeuvre to suggest they can now be sold ? that is manoeuvre to suggest they can now be sold? that is what ursula von der leyen and boris johnson sold? that is what ursula von der leyen and borisjohnson had been discussing this morning, it is what they have been discussing for some time and we are no clearer about knowing whether there is about to be an imminent breakthrough. you can see on your screen... white mother here is ursula von der leyen. let's listen n. good afternoon. i had a constructive and useful phone call with prime minister borisjohnson. we discussed the major unsolved topics. our negotiation teams have been working day and night over the re ce nt been working day and night over the recent days and despite the exhaustion after almost one year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines had been messed over and over, we both think it is
responsible at this point in time to go the extra mile. —— missed. we have mandated our negotiators to continue their task and see whether an agreement can be reached, even at this late stage. the negotiations continue here in brussels. thank you so continue here in brussels. thank you so much. there we are. there we are, a short statement from ursula von der leyen saying we have mandated the negotiators to continue the talks. let's go to the bbc europe correspondent. we we re to the bbc europe correspondent. we were sort of being given hints before this this might be the outcome, they have agreed that they will continue talking. they have been talking all year as ursula von
der leyen was saying, why not talk for a fee more hours or even days?” suppose ursula von der leyen said pretty much what i would say. they have reached the conclusion having spent all of this time talking and having achieved so much on so many of the topics under discussion, what would be the argument. it now? she called the phone call with boris johnson constructive and useful, as we heard. she dropped into imperial measurements to talk about going the extra mile, perhaps a nod to the british side, who knows? there is no deadline. the last time they had one of these conversations they said today was some kind of deadline. i think they felt that created a false impression, today would be make or break, it would be entirely off and maybe there would be a deal and perhaps that was a bit of a mistake in presentational terms. now all we
know is they continue talking. we have heard rumours there has been progress about access to the single market and how you set terms for that access. there are rumours in the background fulsome progress. the mood music going into today was overwhelmingly pessimistic, we should not forget that. what people here would say is as long as the two sides are talking, there is some kind of prospect for a deal and interestingly, after listening to ursula von der leyen, we do not know when they are minded to admit that the whole thing has become impossible. so the talks go on and that implies they might go on for a good few days yet, i would suggest. talking about the mood music, as he where, after the dinner boris johnson and ursula von der leyen had overfished, it all seemed rather frosty and fractious atmosphere. then she started saying she had had
a constructive and useful phone call with borisjohnson, slightly more positive language, perhaps. they are a lwa ys positive language, perhaps. they are always a little bit surprised about how we interpret things and what impression goes out to the public. a couple of officials have said they thought there had been an overreaction about borisjohnson was served scallops and turbot for his dinner, fish caught in the channel. was that provocation or a joke at his expense? we are left with very little in the public domain. lord frost, the british negotiator, and michel barnier, the european negotiator, are pretty serious guys and do not say much in public about the atmosphere in the talks. if you listen to micheal martin, he says 9796 listen to micheal martin, he says 97% of this is done. that needs tremendous progress has been made. i
sometimes think we should worry less about what they say about the atmosphere or how they appear to be getting on with each other in the headlines and look at what they have achieved, and that is quite a lot in quite a short space of time in terms of negotiating international agreement. they should not forget that was all that talk before this weekend that a deal was very, very unlikely that as long as they are talking, then a deal is certainly not impossible and it would have been impossible, of course, if they had pulled the plug today. many thanks again for keeping us right up to date with the latest from brussels. let's go to nick in downing street. we heard it from ursula von der leyen, constructive and useful chat with borisjohnson and useful chat with borisjohnson and the talks go on. the outstanding question is, has anything changed? when ursula von der leyen says talks
we re when ursula von der leyen says talks were constructive, is that because there is now some sort of path towards a deal that involves compromise on both sides? is there some way they may be able to solve thoseissues some way they may be able to solve those issues which have so far proved completely unsolvable? the truth is, at this stage but we do not know. up on a point, there has not know. up on a point, there has not been another deadline mentioned. it does suggest these talks may have some way to go over the next few days. they are not saying in 48 hours we are going to take stock and see where we are, there is no talk of difficult conversations. both sides on the edge of my show this morning they're saying, let's go as far as we need to to try get a potential deal. we will hear from borisjohnson later potential deal. we will hear from boris johnson later and it potential deal. we will hear from borisjohnson later and it will be interesting to hear whether he thinks there will be a deal on the table thinks there will be a deal on the ta ble after thinks there will be a deal on the table after those really pessimistic comments over the last few days. and we can talk now to the irish
broadcaster, rta europe editor, tony connelly. he always have your finger on the pulse of these negotiations. -- 1020 on the pulse of these negotiations. "1020 -- on the pulse of these negotiations. --1020 -- rte. on the pulse of these negotiations. -- 1020 -- rte. there on the pulse of these negotiations. --1020 -- rte. there was progress overnight. things are zeroing in on theissue overnight. things are zeroing in on the issue of the level playing field and the european union's we are concerned about what would happen if the uk diverged from eu standards. would it give british companies an unfair advantage over european ones and the level playing field would no longer be level? if the eu improved or tightened its standards in various fields, like the environment and so on over and the uk did not again, could you have an unfair situation? what they seem to be really looking at is how quickly could eeee retaliate if they feel
that the uk has diverged and that has caused a negative effect or a trade distortion or some kind of unfair advantage uk companies? how quickly can be eu do that? would it be automatic? horizontal? there could be distortion in one area and the eu could retaliate in another. the uk could retaliate as well. that seems to be where the cursor is settling at the moment. we do not know the details of what mechanism orfix know the details of what mechanism or fix they will get out of that but the feeling is in brussels that they should not be beyond the power of experienced trade negotiators. boris johnson and ursula von der leyen saying they want to go the extra mile. do you think that deep philosophical divide on competition policy, level playing field, can be bridged injust a
policy, level playing field, can be bridged in just a few days of talks? the feeling is they should make an effort. whether they can get there or not. as your correspondent said, everything else has been done, apart from fisheries. if they can get the level playing field right, the feeling is fisheries can be sorted bya feeling is fisheries can be sorted by a classic negotiation over numbers. but again, to come so far and to be so close to the 1st of january are not go that extra mile and find a mechanism, a clever workaround that both sides can say, thatis workaround that both sides can say, that is fair enough, we have more or less met our red lines, and i think they will try to do that. in 80 seconds, do you think there can be a deal? —— a few seconds. seconds, do you think there can be a deal? -- a few seconds. the feeling is it is more likely than it was a few days ago. thank you for talking to us. let me fill you in on a joint statement from boris johnson and
ursula von der leyen. negotiating teams have been working day and night over recent days and we think irresponsible at this point to go the extra mile and to keep talking. that is the decision. you are watching bbc news. lets talk more about whether there can bea lets talk more about whether there can be a trade deal or not. we have a german reporter with us. what is the german perspective on this? we heard from angela merkel saying everything should be done to keep these talks alive right up till the last minute. i very much think that is what is going on and that is what she thinks. we have seen this in the past month, years, that germany was a lwa ys past month, years, that germany was always saying we can do anything to actually get a deal. they would never walk away. i think. they will try to negotiate anything till the very last minute. let's be honest. germany would be hit quite badly, to
come up with a no deal scenario. they have huge interest to get an agreement done. —— as well, with a no deal scenario. we know boris johnson wanted to speak to angela merkel and emmanuel macron but the european commission said no.|j merkel and emmanuel macron but the european commission said no. i was a bit surprised that angela merkel and emmanuel macron both said we do not wa nt to emmanuel macron both said we do not want to talk to borisjohnson because, he has seen this with their withdrawal agreement before that. —— we have seen. i think at the moment, what they want to demonstrate is unity and that they actually are behind michel barnier and i kind of
think that they really do not want to get involved in that. obviously, they are behind—the—scenes but it is a lwa ys they are behind—the—scenes but it is always a bit difficult anyway within the eu 27 angela merkel and emmanuel macron are big players but they literally want to demonstrate unity, demonstrate that they are all, you know, in one block in those negotiations. time is so short now. what is your hunch? even at this 11th hour, almost 12 hour, can there bea 11th hour, almost 12 hour, can there be a deal? yes, maybe i am a bit too optimistic but i just be a deal? yes, maybe i am a bit too optimistic but ijust think both sides have so much to lose with a no deal. so i do think they would go literally even further than the deadline, i would say, to actually get something done. we are talking about a deal which is already quite thin and not, you know, like the
disruption would already be massive. with no deal, it would just be quite a disaster frankly for lots of businesses and companies. good to talk to you. good to give us the german perspective on all of this. she works for several german publications in london. thanks very much indeed. more on the latest from the brexit decision to keep talking. the two site will keep talking, going the extra mile as boris johnson and ursula von der leyen have said in a joint statement. now, it's time for a look at the weather with stav. it is looking unsettled with low pressure dominating the scene. today we will see windy weather spreading northwards and eastwards. as we move through the afternoon, it looks like central, southern scotland and northern england could see the heaviest of the rain. winteriness
over the higher ground. it will be a windy day with gusts in excess of 30 miles an hour in land, 40 or 50 on the southern coast. it will be my other england, wales and northern ireland. still chilly across scotland. on sunday night, it will stay mild and breezy with further showers but monday, low—pressure sticks close by, so another windy day the sunshine and showers. the most heaviest and frequent in southern areas. another mild day, including scott temperatures foremost in double figures. —— scotla nd foremost in double figures. —— scotland with temperatures for most.
this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. brexit talks will now continue as both sides agree to carry on with negotations after being unable to come to an agreement on trade. eu chief ursula von der leyen said it was worth going the ‘extra mile' we have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the task and to see whether an agreement can be reached, even at this late stage. following the decision to continue the talks, the prime minister has held a conference call with members of the cabinet. the conversation between the leaders but has anything changed and are they any closer to