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tv   Politics Europe  BBC News  October 29, 2017 2:30pm-3:00pm GMT

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now on bbc news, it's time for politics europe. hello, welcome to politics europe, your regular guide the top stories in brussels and strasbourg. on today's programme: the eu is preparing the groundwork for a new trade deal. not with britain, but with australia and new zealand. so could the plans be a template for a future deal with the uk? the european parliament has been debating what can be done to halt sexual harassment, with many staff in brussels saying they have been victims themselves. and, as the eu votes to bring in tougher border controls, we will look at whether they will be enough to deter illegal immigration. so all that to come, and more, in the next half hour. and joining me for all of it, we havejenni murray from the times, and the telegraph's tim stanley. thank you for coming. here is our guide to the latest in europe, injust 60 seconds. the european commission outlined
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plans that would reduce the veto power of member states in a number of sensitive areas, like taxation, and replace it with qualified majority voting. no solution in the crisis in catalonia this week. while the central government decided whether to impose direct rule, the regional government said that would make declaring independence more likely. one of europe's richest men, andrej babis, is to become the next prime minister of the czech republic. the tycoon—turned—populist, who has been compared with donald trump, must now form a coalition. meps debated sexual harassment, with several holding up #metoo placards in solidarity with victims, and saying they also have had negative experiences. this is to say enough is enough. we refuse to be silent. and new eu import restrictions on rice, as levels of fungicide in the indian crop are
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argued to be too high. better stick to naan, then. and of course, the crisis in catalonia, as we saw there, is coming to the eu. it is going to get worse before it gets better, isn't it? this is really disastrous. this is like two people in a pub who start insulting each other, and they both get to the position where they have each threatened to throw their beer in one another‘s faces, and no—one can stop them. the central government says catalonia must not declare independence. and you have a weak leader, in the spanish president, who doesn't want catalonia to leave. he doesn't, i think, want this crisis, but he is quite weak politically. he has been accused of giving the catalans too much of their own way. and equally, you have a weak leader in catalonia, who has been saying he wants independence for years, clearly would like to pull back from the brink now, said he wants negotiations with madrid, but there are internal pressures within catalonia saying to go ahead. and this cannot end well. if the catalans declare
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their independence, which they are likely to do today, and the spaniards declare that they are going to suspend the constitution, and they are going to suspend the powers of the catalans, they are going to build such mutual hatred. there will be violence on the streets. the eu says it won't recognise catalonia. businesses are already fleeing catalonia. and you just think, this is like two trains heading for one another, and they are going to smash. they need to talk. and the chances of it turning ugly were pretty high, weren't they? it was always a crisis waiting to happen, from the moment the catalan government decided to have its unlawful referendum, which those in favour of unity with spain boycotted that. but then we saw the violence. unlawful — but madrid's overreaction, in most people's opinion, has given moral impetus to the unlawful act. i see it as a contest between two different kinds of nationalism. you have the nationalism of catalonia, which is struggling to become a new country, and on the other hand you have spain, which says that if catalonia lives, then our nation state cannot hold together.
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all of that taking place in the context of a constitution which does empower madrid to do something about it. but if madrid does do what was the logical thing to do, it is obviously going to be so morally objectionable that catalonia arguably has the right than to walk away. looking in, letting them get on with it. it is difficult to know what they will do, because while on the one hand people say that the eu likes the idea of a europe of regions, it depends on strong nation states putting money into its budget, if nothing else. and jean—claude juncker has said europe would be far harder to govern as a europe of regions. on balance, they have more to lose. it is a developing story. trade talks between britain and the eu are not happening. it won't happen until the eu side backs down on theirs, or britain on theirs. the eu has started to talk among
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themselves about trade with britain. they are also looking down under to forge closer ties with australia and new zealand. an eu trade deal with new zealand and australia will be in place by the end of his term, in 2019. and this week, the eu side said talks are ready to move on to the next stage. the uk won't be able to open talks with australia and new zealand until it leaves the eu in march 2019. but the prime minister remains optimistic about reaching a deal, because these countries are part of the commonwealth, and they have historic ties to britain. the final eu trade deal with australia and new zealand will be carefully scrutinised by eu and uk representatives, because it could be viewed as a litmus test for the type of deal the eu could eventually sign with britain. but such comparisons are perhaps unwise, as theresa may has always maintained she is looking for a bespoke trade deal, and not an off—the—shelf model.
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joining me now is the conservative mep and international trade spokesman david campbell bannerman. thank you for coming in. a bit of context, first, about the importance of all this. australia in the league table of countries which are important trading partners with the uk, somewhere around 20. or 19th, depending on how you measure it. yes, but these are important markets. we should have done these trade deals way before this, actually. but yesterday we had a vote in the european parliament. we have agreed negotiating guidelines of the council, and negotiation will be the next stage, so i welcome that. i'm off to new zealand tonight. it's a long flight, but we're moving ahead. and, as you rightly say, the new zealand deal, 80% of it is based on canada, the ceta deal, which is very releva nt. we have done that deal, and it doesn't necessarily give encouragement to those who say we can do these deals in the blink of an eye.
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but the canada deal, it does nothing for trade in services. well, it does have... very little. and the economy depends very crucially on services. as does the eu economy. so again, we should keep these outside trade deals in perspective. they are not necessarily the pot of gold at the end of the brexit rainbow. well, the tariffs are important. new zealand lamb, for example, is subject to quotas. obviously half of that comes to britain. these things are relevant, and we sell a lot of land rovers and mechanical goods to new zealand and australia. it is worth getting rid of the tariffs, and that is very key, because they are still operating world trade organization rules. and so there are quite heavy tariffs on certain areas. so that is worth having. but you're right, services has to be a big bolt—on. it is very important to new zealand, as well. and new zealand is not
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just agriculture. a lot of it is now services, and that is very relevant to the uk. and we want to protect the city of london, but that is very doable. i believe in the super canada deal, which is taking ceta and bolting on a lot more in services. you mentioned lamb. if you want to talk about lamb, you are an eastern england mep, with a lot of farmers on your patch. how do they feel about agricultural produce, including lamb, flooding into the market cheap from countries like australia? there will be some concern, and british lamb producers have shown concern about the new zealand deal, in particular. the welsh first minister says it will be the end of farming in wales. well, it depends what our agricultural regime is going to be post—brexit, to be honest. we signed up to the single farm payments, and i think we can look after our farmers, but open up our markets. the quota is pretty restrictive on new zealand lamb, for example.
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and what about the consumer? we have to look after british consumers. we can drive down food prices post—brexit by being outside the customs union. you are a great brexiteer, who believes passionately in your cause, but there is a fair chance you will be dealing with angry farmers. i don't know if they will be burning tyres on the m20, but you could also be looking at prices in the supermarket going up and up and up. i think we can look at the whole area of driving up quality in shops and supermarkets, opening up markets for ourfarmers, as well as new zealand and australian farmers. i don't think it is a zero—sum game, nor should it be looked at that way. hopefully not. that isn't the case. but you know, we do believe in free markets and liberalised trade. the eu is very resistant, by the way, because of particular french producers.
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they are already saying they will exclude sensitive products from australia and new zealand in that trade deal. but the british trade deal which follows brexit may not do so, but we will look after our farmers, absolutely. when you look at the debate going on this week on the subject of trade policy, european union, and getting to brexit day with a trade deal done and dusted, with every other deal done and dusted, notjust in march 2019 but months and months before that, how much of that are you convinced by? this is like being asked to clap your hands if you believe in fairies. and i'm sorry, i can't clap my hands. we know perfectly well we are not going to get... he does believe in fairies! every time you say that, one dies. a relatively simple canada deal should have taken seven years, and it's not resolved. these trade deals will not happen. and, even if they were to happen, they will not be to our advantage. at the moment, there has been research saying that we are going to lose a quarter
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of the value of our trade in services, and one fifth of our trade in goods, with the eu if we leave. and, if we make fantastic trade deals with the ten other biggest economies in the world, including the united states, including india, we will make up one tenth of the value of what we are going to lose. and the other point is that that will take years, and at the moment we are entirely ignoring the thing which matters a great deal more than tariffs, which is whether we stick to eu regulations. because at the moment the canada deal has nothing to say to that, which means that if we say we are trying to export iron to france in the future, and we are not sticking to the eu regulations on irons, they will stop us at the border and search them, which is why our customs are not going to be able to keep up with all the demands that brexit is going to be bringing in. explain why she is wrong — why there is a tinkerbell.
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i am open—minded. i'm rather excited about this discussion about trade, because thus far brexit has been talked about in political terms too much. it is about people punishing each other. britain has done this terrible, silly thing, and you're going to get hurt for it. trade doesn't work by those rules, does it? beneath the politicians are spokesmen and businessmen who want trade, because it enriches everyone, and that's what the next stage is going to be. once we leave the eu, that's what is going to be exciting. the fact we will be able to make money with other people. among the great things we have working to our advantage is eu regulatory compliance. we have exactly the same regulations as the eu. those rules and standards could change over time, and we are going to have to change along with them, or we lose the market. you can have flexibility. when britain is in charge of its own regulations, when it's outside the eu, it has exactly that flexibility to adapt to developing markets. i will say the canada deal took three years to negotiate. we start from a different place.
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we have no tariffs and quotas. we're starting from a different place, and all our laws are convergent, hence the repeal act. you know, all the eu laws will be uk laws. what we are about to do is diverge on everything, and the minute we diverge on a single regulation... that is one of the benefits. that means in practice the eu will have to check our imports of the goods in case we are no longer sticking to their... it's all agreeable. no, it isn't. just over 20% of our economy is international trade, 80% is within the uk. the rest of the world, 90% of growth is going to come from outside the euro. david, your confidence is infectious. maybe that is a good thing. thank you for coming on. let's have him back in two years to find out how it's working. the most powerful debate in the eu this week parliament was sexual about
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harassment and whether the eu should do more to combat it. during the discussion the focus shifted onto the parliament itself, with many stories emerging of staff being the victims of harassment and abuse. here is what the eu commissioner had to say when she opened the debate. women that have been in some form or another harassed by their boss, colleague, their teacher, their neighbour or a stranger in the street, these stories shout to us. it is a feminist outcry from across the world from women who have said enough, this is enough. we refuse to be silent, we refuse to accept it. we have set aside 6 million euros last year and 12.7 for this year, million, and projects across the eu has been a lifeline for many organisations who would otherwise not be able to do the work. there was concern about this wherever you look. and joining me now is labour mep neena gill. who has been following
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the debate closely. we know the problem, what can the eu do? firstly, we have to put our own house in order and that's what we have been trying to do. clearly we need to make sure there is a safe place for victims to be able to come through and raise these issues. but beyond that, we're looking at having a committee where meps who, like many people in this situation, have disproportionate power against very many, let's say young women, because it is disproportionately women who are affected. so what we are doing is asking the bureau of parliament to make sure. 0k. i want to come to the parliament and what is going on inside. beyond that. i want to come to that in a second. there is a lot to be said. the union, the commission, brussels, what can they
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do about this problem across europe? we need to make sure it is actually... it is already illegal, but all member states have to implement it, implement laws properly, that there is a legal punishment or procedure in countries, member states. that is up to member states and national governments. the eu can pass regulation to that effect. and, also, we need to propose that there is a new regulation about violence against women. there is something the eu can do. and the un is talking about it. it is notjust a problem that faces europe. it is a global problem. the un and the eu and other regional bodies which we are working with, we could make it unacceptable that it's not ok, like we've made smoking in this country — that it is not acceptable to trivialise sexual harassment. smoking and sexual harassment
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are rather different things. but we take your point. you mentioned the parliament itself and what is said to have been going on there, with women not safe inside the parliament of the eu. what sort of examples are we talking about here? well, we have, you know, majority of the people in power are still men, both in terms of the officials and parliamentarians. you have very many young women who come to work in parliament or come for work experience and, of course, you have this imbalance of power and, often, somehow, there is a feeling, a bit like in the film industry, in politics here as well, that it's ok, young women are expected to do more than the job they are there to do. someone has said there is a cultural silence around the parliament. people felt unable to raise
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concerns, or telling stories of what they have been through. exactly. this is the same scenario, same situation elsewhere, in westminster, if you are in a big corporation, you know that yourjob is at risk. and so that is the problem. the reason there is silence is because most people are too afraid and they don't know the mechanisms. now, two years ago the parliament set up a body to say, we know some of this harassment exists and we want to set up an organisation where the assistants can go to. but really it is not well known and it hasn't operated as well as it should have been. but now with the brussels—based paper setting up a confidential forum, more people have come out and more women have come out and made these allegations. and i think it is totally unacceptable that it's going on. what do you think, is there a role for politics on the european level
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to make a difference? the problem is, as someone who has lived through 30 years of all of this, as every single woman i know has done, the sheer practicality of it. i know a young woman at the moment who is working in an organisation with absolutely fabulous liberal policies. her married male bosses are not answering her queries during the day. they are hitting on her every night with text messages telling them how much they want to — and i won't use thier colloquial language — go to bed with her. what is she to do in that situation? if she reports them they are not going to lose their jobs. they are going to hate her and she will get a reputation as a troublemaker and her career in the industry, where she is just starting out — it may well never go anywhere. if she goes public, other employers, other men, will think, i don't want her in my office. that is the problem. it is right down to the basic power imbalance.
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and it doesn't matter how many confidential helplines you have. if that woman reports that abuse than those bosses know who is talking about them. we have to move on. thank you for coming on the show the morning. who is coming in, who is going out, this week meps voted to introduce entry and exit checks for people visiting the borderless schengen area outside of europe. it is to plug a gap in the eu border security and europol will use a new database to identify terrorist and track criminal suspects. adam fleming reports from strasbourg. comings and goings at the parliament, this is all about entry and exit to the eu by nationals from non—eu countries. in the analogue era all you needed was a passport with a visa and some stamps in it. under the digital entry — exit system, there will be a joined—up someone has stayed in the eu for longer than the 90 days that they are allowed. it is essential that we effectively manage, protect and secure our external borders.
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that we have full knowledge of who comes in. it is in this spirit that we have proposed the entry — exit system. it is designed to help stop terrorists, like the perpetrator of the berlin attack last christmas. he travelled using 15 different identities. but some meps have been formed between security and human rights. it is a balance compromise in the first place. i was against these borders. the latest development shows us that european security is a problem and we have to strengthen our borders. on the other hand it has to go hand—in—hand with fundamental rights. the time that personal data will be held has been a big deal. it has been reduced during the passage of legislation my main concern is that here there is a huge collection of travellers' data
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from all travellers coming to the european union and going outside, and a retention for up to three years of this data, no matter if that person is suspicious or risky, and that is something which i think is inproportionate. we need to focus on those persons who are risky and who are suspicious and collect more data on those, rather than having a general suspicion towards travellers. trust ukip‘s gerard batten to find a brexit angle. he has even written a book about it. we will be affected after we leave the eu because we will be a third country so biometric data will be shared with all countries of the eu. it is not unreasonable for european countries to want the system. the usa and uk has a system. they need a system. my concern is we are sharing this information across the board with the eu and this will be shared with countries cannot trust, they
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are deeply corrupted, institutionally corrupted. another country that comes up is canada. airline passenger data, which has been held up with a ruling in the european court of justice. some meps think the same thing could happen with this legislation. if it did, that might mean the entry and exit system isn't ready to go in 2020 as planned. adam fleming with that report. we are back again right in the middle of the argument about the balance between security and privacy. yes. has the balance shifted? it is perfectly reasonable for the eu to say it wants to better monitor who is coming in and out. the context of this after all is that huge march of refugees across the continent, the context is those countries setting borders within the schengen area again, which they don't want to and shouldn't be doing. and the contest is terrorism.
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it is perfectly reasonable. on the other hand gerard batten is right, as an emerging country outside the eu it is reasonable for the uk to say we don't want you holding our citizens' data for three years. so would once have been an internal eu discussion is now between the eu and a nationstate, that seems inevitable. let the eu deal with it and let britain deal with its citizens' privacy. we heard in the report that the worry about information, background on individuals being harvested and held, but when you look at the threat faced by the world, including countries in europe, can we simply not be squeamish about this? i think you have to wonder what government powers have got, because none of us want to end up in a situation where some right—wing government, 01’ some very left—wing government then starts to misuse information in a way we don't anticipate. it is important that we worry about what they do. tim is right. the world's
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preoccupation has shifted. we don't know who are members of isis or al-qaeda among the million refugees who came into europe last year. and it is absolutely right systems would demand it, the eu should be intelligent about following this data. britain wants open borders... it is a trade—off, isn't it. there is no way to get a position happy for everyone. that's all for now. thank you to all of my guests, in particular tim and jenny forjoining me through the programme. goodbye. we will see some big swings in temperatures in the weather this week. at the moment cold air firmly in place that is targeting northern england and scotland. quite a big
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drop in temperature. in aberdeenshire yesterday it was one of the warmest in the country but since then there has been a change in the wind direction, becoming more northerly and limiting temperatures. a drop of nine celsius and winds of up a drop of nine celsius and winds of up to 30 mph. there has been plenty of sunshine to enjoy. through this evening and overnight those brisk winds continue to certain and odd passing shower towards coastal areas but the winds will also keep temperatures are a few degrees above freezing. different inland with a combination of light winds and clear skies, one of the colder made of tom. temperatures could get down to minus two celsius and some frost evenin minus two celsius and some frost even in the south. high pressure firmly in charge tomorrow. for most
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of us it is a fine if somewhat cold start, plenty of sunshine. some changes in north—west scotland in the afternoon with more cloud and the afternoon with more cloud and the stronger breeze. maximums of 12 celsius. the cold weather will not last too long. some pockets of frost possible on monday night but the high—pressure moves further south and by tuesday draws in the south—west winds across the country which will boost the temperature. good to be quite clothing at times in the west, bringing some scotland, brighter rain in western scotland, brighter spells in eastern england. highs of 12-14dc. spells in eastern england. highs of 12—14dc. high winds are still here wednesday, bright and sunny spells in england and wales, cloudy in
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scotla nd in england and wales, cloudy in scotland and northern ireland with some rain possible in western scotland. cold a year in the far north. in two thursday the cold air pushes southwards, dropping temperatures, highs on thursday of maximums of 12. a week of big swings in temperatures day by day. this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at 3. at least 300,000 march through barcelona in support of spanish unity and against catalonia's unilateral declaration of independence. the international trade minister, mark garnier, faces an investigation after he admitted asking his secretary to buy sex toys. then heathrow airport says it's investigating how details of its security procedures were found lying in the street. parents will no longer be able to use a legal loophole to avoid paying child maintenance, under new laws to be brought in within months. lewis hamilton needs only a fifth—place finish in the mexican grand prix to be crowned world champion.
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and spotting fake news and debunking the people in power. the journalists trying to sort fact from fiction — that's coming up in click at half past three.
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