tv Politics Europe BBC News January 21, 2018 5:30am-6:01am GMT
top hotels is now over. gunmen killed at least five people and wounded six others after storming the intercontinental hotel. the attackers burst in, shooting at guests and staff and detonating bombs. more than 150 people were rescued. turkey has carried out airstrikes in northern syria against more than 100 targets belonging to kurdish militants as it opens a new front in the syrian conflict. the turkish military said that dozens of warplanes were involved in the attacks against the syrian kurdish ypg militia. after intense negotiations, republicans in the united states have scheduled a new senate vote on spending to try to end the government shutdown by monday morning. now on bbc news, it's politics europe. hello and welcome to politics europe, your regular guide to the top stories in brussels and strasbourg. ensay‘s programme senior
figures in the eu say britain can a lwa ys figures in the eu say britain can always change its mind about brexit. the uk government said it isn't going to happen. so what is the eu playing at? irish prime minister leo varadkar throws his weight behind deeper eu integration after brexit and spells out his vision for the future of the block. we speak to one of his key allies. and the eu gets tough on plastic but it shies away from the plastics tax, so will its strategy work? all that to come, and more in the next 30 minutes since joining me for all of it is kate andrews of the london—based institute of economic affairs and alex barker, brussels bureau chief of the financial times. welcome. first it is our guide to the latest from europe injust 60 first it is our guide to the latest from europe in just 60 seconds. first it is our guide to the latest from europe injust 60 seconds. big news this week as the eu declared war on plastic. the commission's new strategy aims to outlaw the use
jean—claude junker, in their but let's talk about donald tusk, jean—claudejunker, in their minds, do they think brexit is reversible then? donald was definitely does, and he wants to make that clear to the british public. i don't think he thinks it will happen but it is important that he says it could happen. why? what is he getting at? the ideal outcome of these is to donald tusk, i would say, is that the uk to stay in the model that they built over 50 years to the continent to co—operate so that quite happy for it to happen and they see a small window where it could happen easily. between now and 0ctober? yes. what aboutjean—claude junker are true? is he talking about the uk changing the pyrmont once they have left and then rejoining? he mentioned articles a9, the process that moldova would be... indeed. and it is a pretty rough road. you are looking at except in
the euro, accept in things like not having a rebate, i don't think it is necessarily the past that the british public would want to go down. what is your reaction hearing these two important people within these two important people within the eu, the commission president, saying that yes, our hearts are still open and council president, you can come back, or not sleep at all? a few things are going on and alex is right that it isn't in their interest to see the system they have built and have invested in so very much to lose one of their most important members and so i think there is still the sense that they don't want to give other countries the assumption that it is an easy process and something they could do but to the sweet talk, i think this is getting closer to when the negotiations are really going to get nitty—gritty and both sides want to be seen to play nice. it was a ha rd ball be seen to play nice. it was a hardball game in the beginning but i'iow hardball game in the beginning but now i think you want to paint yourself as if he were open—minded to getting a deal because you don't, it will be catastrophic for many
countries involved. as a sound as though they are not accepting the decision by the briton made with the referendum? no, i don't think so, certainly some people you could talk to in brussels who think the idea of reversing shouldn't happen and hope it doesn't. but if it came to it, and the uk for whatever kind of circumstances and the changing its mind, 27 would think what better validation for a project in the country trying to live and then deciding it cannot, so i think the road back would probably be quite smooth. also the person saying this and where you are saying it from matters and the second referendum in the uk, it could have pumped more political weight because politicians in westminster have been instructed by their people and the public to carry forth something and when people from other countries to which it has a slightly different angle, you can say they are not respecting the result of the referendum are actually i think we should be slightly more generous as they are
saying we are here, let's get the conversation going. to do that. leo varadkar leather debate on the future of europe with meps in strasbourg this week. that is the future of calls without the uk. so we re future of calls without the uk. so were there any shots across the bow regarding brexit? adam fleming gives us regarding brexit? adam fleming gives us his take on the irish pm's speech. the new year means new thinking and the european parliament is holding a series of debates about the future of the eu with eu leaders. first up is the taoiseach, leo varadkar. he went to the parliament with references to your‘s big figures past and present and threw his support behind a pet project of many meps — european white candidates for the parliamentary elections. white candidates for the parliamentary electionslj white candidates for the parliamentary elections. i support a europewide list of the european parliament. i would like to get people in cafes in naples and restau ra nts people in cafes in naples and restaurants in galway talking about the same election choices. perhaps thatis the same election choices. perhaps that is an ambitious idea but i
think it is one we should strive for. the eu needed to be ambitious too about security, cutting the cost of medicine, helping the rest of the world. but there were limits to integration. all future holds, europe needs to be competitive economically. and one of the ways to ensure this is by allowing competition among member states. and i think this is particularly important for peripheral and less developed countries. whose domestic market are small and need investment. my strong view is that national taxes that fund national budget should be determined by national parliament and government. that led to raised eyebrows because ireland is notorious for low rates of corporation tax. and it has been taken to court over a deal with apple. as you would say that ireland should be allowed to find ways to make geographical advantage, i ee, make geographical advantage, i agree, but surely the alternative
cannot be between a one size fits all taxation system, but would work through the central, big, core countries to the detriment of eve ryo ne countries to the detriment of everyone else and a no holds barred tax competition that we have right now. of course, there was an enormous elephant in the room. brexit. as the negotiations move forward into phase two, we will continue to rely on your support and solidarity as we work to ensure that what has been promised in theory is delivered in practice. and there can be no backsliding on this. so it is important that these commitments are fully reflected in the legal text of the withdrawal agreement and firmly embedded in the uk's future relationship with the eu, whatever shape is ultimately takes. and from my part, i hope that the relationship that exists between the uk and the eu is as close and as deep as is possible. but how closer relationship with the uk? when you
think that nearly 50% of exports from irish owned companies go to the united kingdom within agriculture in some sectors is as high as 90%, you potentially have quite a lot to lose. and yet, and yet, despite the fa ct lose. and yet, and yet, despite the fact that no one should be fighting ha rd fact that no one should be fighting hard for a genuine branded trade deal they knew, that doesn't appear to be the case. his name in the visitors book, leo varadkar‘s eurovision on the record. the other leaders who have signed up to give fa res leaders who have signed up to give fares include the prime ministers of portugal and croatia and the bd, president macron of france, chew here in april. adam fleming. i joined by the irish mp mairead mcguinness. welcome. the dup mp sammy wilson said leo varadkar was
naive, arrogant and inexperienced for siding with the eu over the uk and the brexit negotiations. what do you say? indeed, he gives another term which he apologised for later on, buti term which he apologised for later on, but i disagree with all of that because i think the performance of the teesside's speech which was about the future of europe, he was anything but, he was clear, focused on and he didn't dodge the hard questions. you play the piece around taxation, he was able to respond by saying the other member states who perhaps have a prop to go for higher rate of tax but when it comes to exemptions are actually collect less tax and the effective rate is lower so he delved very comprehensively with a range of issues i'm not sure how mr wilson came to the viewpoint but perhaps he had it anyway and just felt he had to reflect it but i think the word has moved on from the type of politics i would hope because what happened this week in strasbourg was very significant and
hugely important for europe. leo varadkar was the first leader of the country of the eu 27 to put his case forward and he had a set piece of a speech which was well—received but i think more importantly his responses and the humanity of his responses and the humanity of his responses and in particular how he articulated to the special relationship between the uk and ireland where as he said his mother and father met in the uk, fell in love, got married and indeed one of his sisters lives there and her children are uk citizens but clearly, irish as well, they have that pirate go for possibility, though i think that many reasons his speech was profound and their reaction has been positive. except samuelson was pointing to the fact that in his mind, ireland was used by the eu as a stick to beat the uk in phase one of the negotiations. the issue of the irish border was a red line during the first phase. and for a moment it looked as though the eu was going to play hardball on it
but was the financial offer was made, upped by the uk government, it seemed the eu settled the matter very quickly so were you really used in the first phase? gosh, i think thatis in the first phase? gosh, i think that is a very cynical and incorrect interpretation of the work we all did going up to the end of last year. but it wasn't resolved, the irish border issue wasn't resolved, that was the point. well actually, i think you're wrong in that. what was agreed is very clear that there will be no return to a heart border and, look, i spent all his light with the irish medical 0rganisation talking about cross—border health collaboration post—brexit. it is a really serious issue not the politics but the people on the ground. and when we come to look for the future, it is around issues like healthcare, access to medicine, medical devices, which uk citizens should be really concerned about because it has been quite
astonishing the number of pharmaceutical companies that have beenin pharmaceutical companies that have been in my office in brussels pleading with me to understand their situation and they are worried about being able to continue if there is a clea n being able to continue if there is a clean or rather, not clean is the wrong word, a severe deal and no good relationship at the end of all of this process. right. and if we bearin of this process. right. and if we bear in mind the consequences of that, the politics has to work so absolutely disagree with your interpretation. except it wasn't resolved. i must finish this point. anyone who uses the border in island politically acting correctly would certainly be no friend of ireland and we had enormous support in the european parliament and elsewhere around the border question because europe is that this project. sure, andi europe is that this project. sure, and i said there was a lot of support from the eu but it seemed to dissolve in terms of it in issue and you see it has been dissolved, in what way have the irish border issue being resolved? what way have the irish border issue being resolved ? yes, what way have the irish border issue being resolved? yes, there is a guarantee of a heart border, let me
finish the question, because the questions about what will happen in terms of the trade deal and in terms of public relations and customs are going to be looked at in the future. because in the draft agreement it says the uk will propose specific solutions to address the unique circumstances of the island of ireland so it wasn't resolved, it was kicked down the road. well, i would interpret it very differently and i would disagree, absolutely and vigorously with your interpretation that once the money was sorted that the irish question was practically dismissed. i think that is an appalling interpretation of what happened. the text of what is agreed, the bottomline in the text and we will not return to a hard border on ireland, arrangements will have to be made. we don't know how to trade relationship talks will develop. there is no transition agreement reached yet, that is the next phase, in order that there is none of that difficulty around the border. if the united kingdom continues
on the path of wanting divergence then the united kingdom has a problem in meeting its commitment which it made in the withdrawal agreement which must be written into legal text. so you do want a written legal text... may i finish? i must go to my other guest as well, map one mack. briefly, you were right in saying that it is written and sealed but the context and the support and the commitment is there. many people would disagree with the a2 that it has been completely resolved. alex, do you think the issue has been resolved? in many peoples mind that the uk and are on a collision course. ireland's place in the customs union and market. can it happen? there are all sorts of contradictions in the paper. it must be read quite carefully. there is no solution at the moment but they have
set out a framework of the steps we need to go through in trying to find a solution. the parts that are contradictory promises that the uk was making to itself about the integrity of the uk. the parts that ireland is interested in were bilateral promises about what happens in the circumstances were you cannot find a solution. there we have alignment, it will be in an mortify. is whether battleline will be drawn because if these solutions that have been written into this agreement and even kabul says we are not at the final end point of disagreement patches mairead says we are not at the final point. —— kabul says. mairead says. nobody has agreed on the definition so it is impossible to know if it has been
agreed or in many peoples minds, thatis agreed or in many peoples minds, that is not what the term was meant to be used for. the idea that there would be no higher border means that it has been sold, that is not the case. neither side wanted a hard border. that is not new information. i think it was also used as a scaremongering tactic. that was always ridiculous to think that the issue could be solved. well, mairead, on that basis, if everything related to the irish border was in full alignment, would you agree to the uk diverging in other areas? it depends on what you mean by divergences and there is dispute about that. and what other areas you are talking about. i mentioned health. this has not been discussed in the uk because there is a lack of awareness around pharmaceuticals and the fact that the european success story around registration and control and management of drugs and supply of
these things. if the uk were to divert on those issues they would be real problems. i think the uk, when it looks at certain sectors and perhaps all sectors will understand better the divergences does not mean something is improved. in fact it means it is much more difficult for us means it is much more difficult for us to continue. remember, we are close neighbours. we do not want divergences of the relationship, we wa nt divergences of the relationship, we want that to be strong. we are in a difficult position that the united kingdom decision is being respected and with our e u colleagues and our leadership said that the support of our colleagues will be required as we move into more difficult phases. so we are a lot more to do? there is an enormous amount. work we did last year was the toughest part. the ha rd est stuff year was the toughest part. the hardest stuff is yet to come. the transition arrangement, i think politically in the uk this may be problematic because after march
2019, as i see it, the uk will leave yet remain until 2020 were at that point there will be the shape of the new relationship. last year was passed, batten down the hatches, this year will be far more difficult. thank you for that happy new year message. it is not something that i want to say that sometimes you do need to speak the truth. this week, the european commission declared itself a leader on the war on plastic by launching a drive to clean up the plastic choking oceans and filling landfill. what is in their self described holistic plastic strategy? the eu wa nts to holistic plastic strategy? the eu wants to ensure that every piece of packaging on the continent is reusable or recyclable by 2030. that is also the target for their aim of recycling half of all plastic waste generated in europe. to do this, £881,000 will be invested every year until 2020 in the search to
modernise production and make recycling processes more efficient. the commission vice president said the strategy hopes to eliminate nondegradable single use items such as coffee cups, cutlery, stir is and drinking straws. 0ne commissioner last week floated the idea of a tax on single use plastic to fill brexit shaped holes in the eu budget after 2020. while the plastic strategy does not commit to a plastic packs it says it will explore the feasibility of introducing measures ofa feasibility of introducing measures of a fiscal nature at the eu level. i'm joined now by an environmental lawyer. welcome. do you welcome this strategy? it is a landmark moment in tackling plastic pollution. what we think is also that may be it did not go far enough. plastic is a pollutant. it is a pollutant for the environment and also for health.
many people understood the seriousness of the pollution of plastic and what it has called for the planet. everybody has watched blue planet, it seems to think but the visible aspect of the pollution. how far should they have gone with their strategy. what would you to have been. they did quite well and they did a good job to do today, it is not tomorrow and they did promise that something we are big or from other sorts of plastic may need to be banned. the commission promised that micro— plastic will be banned and also other sorts. that is good news and we look forward to that. we think that more could be done to phase out single use plastic. we all need to take responsibility for single use plastic. less than £1 million a year or roundabout that
for improving the recyclability of plastic. in the scheme of things it is not that big a figure. is this virtue signalling or will it achieve something? often they can be a level of virtue signalling that given the fa ct of virtue signalling that given the fact that comprehensive strategy is to tackle recycling and make recycling easier and plastic easier to recycle, this is quite a good step. i am to recycle, this is quite a good step. iam happy to recycle, this is quite a good step. i am happy that they have not gone straight for attacks because once that happens, people are going to feel the brunt. what they are doing is being practical. likely, andi doing is being practical. likely, and i don't know how soon, in our future plastic will be phased out anyway. to tackle it now and to look at how to make it more easily recycla ble at how to make it more easily recyclable is a good thing. should there be a europe wide plastics tax on single use items. tax has an advantage. it is quite good. what you need to understand with tax if that it focuses on the consumer. we
all have to take responsibility for plastic pollution. for example, if you want to cook with some courgette, you need to buy them free by free and you need to buy them wrapped in plastic. why is that? supermarkets have a responsibility on the tax will not impact that. so you do not promote the idea of attacks at this stage?|j you do not promote the idea of attacks at this stage? i think it can be useful but i think would be better to at the industry. one commissioner thought it might feel the whole, the money raised from a plastic tax europe wide could fill the hole that britain will leave when it leaves —— leaves the eu. the hole that britain will leave when it leaves -- leaves the eu. the commission... they are just endlessly creative about trying to find new ways to raise money and it is normally knocked back by member states. you pick on things that are
not popular, plastic, pollution, bankers, foreigners... ultimately, something like plastic taxation, i think it needs to be done nationally. it is a political sensitivity and it will work in some countries but in others, no. no, not across the 27, or the 28. briefly, on the target that you mentioned, kate, is that achievable by 2030? for all plastic to be recyclable? kate, is that achievable by 2030? for all plastic to be recyclable ?|j don't know if it is achievable, i don't know if it is achievable, i don't know if it is achievable, i don't know enough about the industry to say so. we talk about going to supermarkets. if you force them to use something that will be more expensive than plastic, that will again be pushed to consumers. doing this at a national level was more helpful because they can gauge what the response will be. much will happen in the next ten years, in the next decade and who knows? happen in the next ten years, in the next decade and who knows7m happen in the next ten years, in the next decade and who knows? if that target achievable? next decade and who knows? if that target achievable ? the next decade and who knows? if that target achievable? the first step
would be to ban dangerous plastics from cannock —— dangerous chemicals from cannock —— dangerous chemicals from plastic in order to make them re cycla ble. from plastic in order to make them recyclable. that is the first step. the commission is aware of that and the strategy shows the quick action is needed. at this point do you think the eu will push ahead all drop the idea? sometimes policymakers are leading the public in an area. here i think they have teenage gap open in public opinion and think they need to fill it. china made an important decision about not buying in foreign plastic and taking the plastic we were sending for recycling. that will change things and in terms of policy making they will need to move fast. thank you very much for coming in. that is all for now. thank you to my guess. —— guests. hello there.
there's something milder on the way through the next few days but with the way things feel at the moment, you may need some convincing of that. some cold air still in place across many parts of the country. however, the mild air is on its way. before it arrives, we have one problem to deal with during the day ahead, a band of wet weather sliding in and remember, the cold air remains in place so the wet weather will turn to snow and also bring ice in places during sunday. if you are travelling, bear in mind across central and northern parts, there could be disruption because anywhere from wales and the midlands northwards, especially over high ground, the wet weather is likely to turn to snow for a time at least. during the afternoon, as the mild air starts to finally win out, much of the wintry weather will tend to turn back to rain. here is a snapshot at 3:00 in the afternoon. still likely significant snowfall in parts of north—east scotland over the high ground. down to the south—west, more likely rain by the end of the afternoon and temperatures
across northern ireland are really starting to lift later in the day. not so for northern england, temperatures here just one or two degrees. a mixture of rain, sleet and snow. similarfor east anglia. but for south wales and the south—west, this will all be rain because temperatures will be in double digits and it will be windy across the country as well. during sunday night and into monday, we lose most of the rain and what is left of the snow. the band of rain will flirt with southern areas. the temperatures, most spots starting above freezing on monday. a milder feel to the weather. apart from this area of rain, on monday, it doesn't look like a bad day. lots of dry weather with some spells of sunshine. large areas of cloud and patchy rain and drizzle for western coastal areas. the temperatures, 5—10 degrees. that is the story for the week ahead. for the most part, mild air dominating, something colder and never too far away from northern areas. if we look at the forecast for tuesday and wednesday, down in the south, highs of 12 or 13. a bit cooler in northern areas. wind and rain at times. generally, for the week ahead, a milder feel but wet and windy as well.
hello, this is breakfast with christian frazer and babita sharma. the siege of a luxury hotel in kabul has come to an end — 12 hours after it was stormed by heavily armed militants. five people were killed but security forces were able to free more than 100 guests. good morning, it's sunday 21 january. also this morning: new plans to make sure faulty goods are removed more quickly from shops and homes. the ukip leader henry bolton fights to keep his job as the party holds an emergency meeting to discuss his future.