tv Brexitcast BBC News April 1, 2018 12:30am-1:00am BST
russian diplomats expelled by the united states over the poisoning of a former double agent in britain have begun leaving washington. earlier, russia told britain it must reduce its diplomatic presence by just over 50 people. palestinians are observing a day of national mourning for at least 16 people killed in clashes with israeli soldiers at the gaza border on friday. the un secretary—general has called for an independent inquiry into the deaths. two men, believed to have been members of the islamic state cell known as ‘the beatles‘, complain they can't have a fair trial because the government has stripped them of their british citizenship. the funeral of world—renowned scientist stephen hawking has taken place in cambridge. the theoretical physicist, who had motor neurone disease, died on 14th march, aged 76. now on bbc news, brexitcast, the arena spectacular. hello.
it's adam fleming. not in brussels for once. i'm in london. only with chris mason. we thought we would do our usual little nerdy podcast. in this cupboard. except it's not a cupboard. we are here in the bbc radio theatre with 300 friends. applause. hello, everyone! and, of course, laura and katya are here too! hello! hi! and the reason we're doing it is because it is about a year to go to a brexit, so welcome to brexitcast: the arena spectacular. brexitcast. .. brexitcast, from bbc 5 live and bbc news. brexit means brexit. breaking up is hard. the people voted, they need to get on with it. a process which i can only describe as a dog's brexit. brexit means brexit. but what does brexit mean? hello, brexitcastsers. welcome to — well, just another edition of our podcast — except this time we're in the bbc radio theatre with a studio audience of around 300.
the extraordinary thing — and i don't know if you guys feel the same — but us four are meant to be used to go on the television and radio, and that notion that people are watching and listening. but it's quite something else when people are actually in front of us, as opposed to imagining that you might be turning off or yawning or throwing things at the television — you're actually here! actually, i spotted all of our bosses sitting on a balcony. noo! hello! and we are being watched on bbc world news, bbc news channel, listened to by regular listeners of the podcast, and also by an audience on 5 live as well, so, welcome, everyone. we hope. i don't have a sit in these chairs. normally when i record the podcast, i'm sat like this. just slouched. just do it! so i want to involve you guys in the audience a bit. that unfortunately means audience participation. so where's joey, joey, our colleague? where are you, joey? joey is one of our researchers, he has been busy with the world's biggest felt—tipped pen,
writing out brexit cliches on massive pieces of card. so i thought, every time any one of us says one of these phrases... 0r anyone says! ..yeah, joey is there hold of the card and the whole audience is going to read what it says. you get the concept? so, let's do a practice. so, katya, when will we have certainty on the transition deal? what does michel barnier say? the thing is, adam, whatever michel barnier and david davis says, and whatever is agreed today, the thing is nothing is... all: nothing is agreed until everything is agreed! well done! yes. so it's a yearish to go until brexit day, on the 29th of march 2019. i think, shall we speak to somebody in the audience? i thinkjosh has a question. good, josh. this is where i have to stand up, walk around here, come with max the cameraman.
where is josh? hello, josh. nice yellow shirt! um, what's your question for the panel and the audience? i've got two, actually. firstly, in the first year of the brexit process, what was the most significant moment for you, asjournalists, or for brexit, and the second is, adam, what's the secret of greeting a good binder? no, will be here till christmas at least! good questions, josh, particularly that first one. laura, for you? off the top of my head, i would say the election, because it changed the balance of power in parliament, and it gave hope to remainers that was not necessarily there, that they might be able to slow down or potentially, for a minority of them, try to stop the process, because theresa may's authority had drained away. but i actually think the most important moment, for me, anyway, was the mansion house speech. it was meant to be the newcastle speech, but was changed for snow. because it was the first time
that theresa may stood up and said to her party, to the public, and also to the eu, nobody is going to get everything they want. and i know i have to compromise. and we spoke about this on brexitcase and the news and everywhere. there were always going to be compromises, and it was not until that moment that theresa may admitted to that. and it changed something in the political water, for me. you know, we're journalists, so we never keep to the rules. biggest moment, there are lots. i think, symbolically, when the uk's ambassador to the eu delivered the letter in brussels, and to donald tusk, who sort of represents the 27 eu member states, in brussels, and that triggered the formal process of brexit negotiations, the article 50 process. so that was sort of a big moment. i think what happened just now over russia and the salisbury poisoning was another big moment. yeah. it shows the eu, how much
they want to stay close to the uk after brexit. rhetoric aside and negotiations aside, this is a very clear message about what the eu's intent is. you know, it wasn't just out of solidarity with the uk, of course. the eu 27 are very worried in a wider way about russia. salisbury, though, felt very close to home for them. and as we know, they want to make sure that there is a close security deal with the uk after brexit despite all talk of cherry picking and so on. joey, joey, joey! quick! all: cherry picking! or as i like to say, as it is pronounced by some abroad, "sherry picking. " a key moment for me was speaking to — um, the secret squirrel contacts, we like to talk about, and he said to me, i am actually not to speak to you on this evening, katya, because don't want the brexit negotiations to happen through you or your colleague,
laura, and that was really interesting, i mean, that was interesting. because the two sides wern't talking. they were not communicating. they didn't want to communicate through us, if you like. and that is fascinating. yes, there were certainly moments where it people were — well, you know, we can't go there, because that could influence negotiations. the two sides — they might not want to admit it — but they obsessively look at what each other is saying, and tweets. particularly your binder pictures. can i tell you, instead of my best moment, my worst moment? a few weeks ago, i'd bumped into michel barnier at a st patrick's day party. aww. .. here we go. so sweet... he said, where your cameras, where are your cameras? and i said, "michel, i'm here to get drunk." and instantly regretted it. did he buy you a drink? the drinks were all free. where were you? the irish embassy st patrick's day party. applause.
that's the — that's the soft power of the irish government. it hasn't affected my reporting. i've had plenty of drinks at the british embassy too. now, chris, i want you to go find henry eaglesfield. where are you? he's down here. i'll go... so slick, isn't it? as an 18—year—old, i was unable to vote in the election or referendum. is it likely that i will have a say on brexit either by election or referendum before we leave the european union? the short answer is a think probably not, but i would not rule anything out. it is not feel that way right now in the something unexpected happens, but i would not rule anything out, because politics has been volatile, but it certainly does not feel that way now. but there is a concerted campaign with some powerful voices who are pushing for it.
and the eu is very... yes, they'd be... yeah, they would like... they have never hidden the fact that they feel that brexit is a terrible thing. they don't agree with those in the uk that believe it is a chance for the future. they say over and over again they think it is a lose—lose agreement. but they think the uk will lose most of all. a bit like animal farm, everybody is a loser, but some lose more than others. they think that's very much the uk. but i do have to point out, they are realists. so this sort of conspiracy idea that the eu is plotting to have another referendum is not something that you come across. you know, they say, you know, emmanuel macron, "any chance you might change your mind? the door is open." and no, we won't sing abba right now. but they really believe it is happening and is continuing. and as we go now into this next stage of negotiations, you have both sides looking for a fair brexit. we should have a card for that,
that is the new one, "fair brexit" or "pragmatic brexit". but, of course, each side, and very much the eu, will look after their own interest first. and what is your perspective when you talk to your mates about what they say about that sense of not having had a say in this huge decision that was taken that will have ramifications for a long time, and you guys didn't get a say? yeah, so a lot of my friends would have voted remain. it just feels like we don't get a say when we are the youngest generation and we have not had a say, and everyone in my school will grow up not having had a say in what is a really big decision for the country. let's hear from somebodyjust as passionate, but on the other side of the argument. sophiejervis, where are you? go speak to her. i almost ran past her as well! you look like you're proposing. and she's come dressed for the occasion. instead of a ring,
you get a microphone. back to brexit, what is your question? yep, so i think the likes ofjohn major, saying we don't have of any leverage in the decisions, and tony blair sort of holding out for a second referendum, actually undermines our position in negotiations. i wondered if you agree. certainly some in cabinet think that. and some people here... so on the day afterjohn major's speech, i was talking to somebody from cabinet who really was gnashing their teeth. and they said, "doesn't he get it at any time in that sort of position says something like this, it makes it harder for us?" but i think there is a sense amongst that group, and there is a campaign and a group of people people who are kind of co—ordinating to — maybe not overturn it, but certainly put the brakes on in a different way. for them, it's a greater cause than their party.
it is an interesting thing that we have seen since the referendum, is that politics is split down leave and remain lines. party alliances are not what they were. that has made the commons a little unwhippable, to use that ridiculous westminster word that if you aren't a nerd that makes you think, "what is that about?" i think it's understandable that people think that, and it's not necessarily remain—tending people this way, or rather, leave—tending people thinking that either. so we are joined here in the radio theatre by a german journalist working in london. what is it like reporting all this stuff, and brits being emotional about eu, for a german audience? surprisingly, our audience is still very, very interested in brexit. so people really look at this and think, what is going on there? if you look at what people comment on what i report, it has split, a lot
of german readers — users — actually think brexit might be a good idea, so do you think everybody on the continent thinks that the eu is a perfect project. there is a lot of criticism there as well. a good idea for germany orforthe uk? good for germany. there is a lot of euroskepticism in germany. in 2016 there was honest grief that the brits were leaving, but now, i think it won't make much of a difference whatjohn major says and what tony blair says when it comes down to negotiations, because now they look at this as a factual thing, and it's the nitty—gritty of rules and autonomy. as we get into the details of about how the customs union works, what that directive is, how the fishing quotas will look — do you get much of that detail, orjust the big picture stuff? i mean, that's an interesting question. in germany, we have been going into the nitty—gritty of the european union for 20, 30, a0 years. so every morning, i get a press review about what is happening in brussels, and it's 35 pages of all the little stuff,
fishery, technology, digital, whatever. so germans are pretty much informed about what the european union is, so they don't need to know now, i'm afraid. where is anna? where is anna carruthers and her amazing nails? is that it with the nails? anna does brexit nail art, and if you are a stranger to that, it is a massive thing, isn't it? huge! it is massive on this broadcast, now, thanks to you. what is your question? what are likely to be the main differences, if any, between the border arrangements between northern ireland and gibraltar, and how are the irish and spanish governments like to approach negotiation differently? i think the honest answer is we do not know. there is nothing wrong with saying that. because, because... joey... all: nothing is agreed until everything is agreed! but i think they are happening in two different — they are happening in parallel ratherthan being... spain and the uk are
talking about gibraltar. speaks in an affected spanish accent: gibraltar! and they are, that is a bilateral, kind of — i don't know that is technically bilateral, but it is a twin track process with the spanish in the uk train to work it out. they say will be fixed, it will be sorted, don't worry, it will not be an issue. of course, it's hanging around as one of the possible damocles' of swords that could crash down and cause problems at crunch time. it is going to be a separate thing to the other process, we have now got the commission in ireland and the uk having their own little triangle or triptych, i suppose, with their own little talks parallel to the process... which they were not allowed to do until now. we have talked about ireland is a problem. it is only now that they are able to do anything. the difference is that i think the eu 26, in this case, and the heads of the eu
institutions, are 150% behind the irish government, and they mean it when they say it you have to be happy with this arrangement. they take the good friday agreement very seriously, and that is a very real concern. for spain, it is kind of more of a national pride issue, and it is seen as such. it is used by the spanish prime minister for domestic reasons, and if you were to use this, and to put into peril an agreement that the eu very much wants, notjust the uk, then can expect the weight of the 26 to come bearing down on rajoy, i think. but the interesting thing is that we have had a lot of political heat around the irish border question, and yet, up to now, the gibraltar question, yes, different, has not really forced its way into the discussion. it nearly did, though, didn't it? i think a lot of brexit, it is economic arguments. when it comes to fishing, it is people's livelihoods. of course, i am not belittling that.
what i mean is that when it comes to the irish border situation, people remember the troubles. it is about peace. it is about violence. and i think that is what catapults the irish issue into a status of its own. no question about that. and the other thing is, it's a serious point — no politician in ireland, the uk, the eu, either wants to be or to be seen to be the politician that might tip the balance towards going back to a much more dangerous and unhappy time. but this does give us an excuse those to watch some tv, because you mention northern ireland. where is elliott? you have matching goodies. —— you have matching hoodies. good evening, and honoured to be
here. i believe in brexit so i have to get the organisation a bit of a plug so follow—ups please, and is a mixed race brexit voter i was deeply disgusted and defended by the leader of the not so democratic liberal democrats comments so can someone please educate vince cable that when we voted to leave, that means having more diversity and being open to more diversity and being open to more inclusive immigration system as opposed to what we have now. 0k, only one question elliott, because that was long. but it is interesting, it would remembervince cable and his spring conference speech, he made a comment talking about, a man he was suggesting and i cannot remember the precise quote but suggesting it was white voters over a but suggesting it was white voters overa certain age but suggesting it was white voters over a certain age who spoke up for chose briggs because of prejudice and it was interesting because vince
cable is also the leader of a small political party who is keen as all politicians are to build up their profile, particularly acutely for him, and it did fill in retrospect he was maybe a bit too sharp with some of his anguish. i think what you do key into is one of the things that the campaign was full of lots and lots of different strands and for a lot of people, it was about immigration. everyone will remember the nigel farage controversial poster with a breaking point slogan. elliott, like you, lots of brexiteers in parliament, we met around the country, lots of people we re around the country, lots of people were ci’oss around the country, lots of people were cross about that. they were appalled, they thought it was crossing a line, it was and what brexit was about for them. it is also true that immigration from lots of people was a motivating factor. i think what will be interesting to watch now, in the negotiations, is whether immigration is used as a bargaining chip, actually. because amber rudd has been noticeably quiet about immigration figures, and about promises
to bring down immigration. it's thought very possible that, during the negotiation process, which will continue past a year from now — and that's something we haven't said yet. brexitcast will go on forever. and this is something to point out. but it will be interesting to see, because you have so many eu countries — poland, the czech republic, slovakia, for example, they have a lot of their citizens living in the uk. they have other citizens who want to come to the uk. spain also, is another country, italy another country. so it's possible, it's thought possible, that the government may use some kind of eu immigration quotas as a bargaining chip. it is out there, anyway. i had to ask you, elliott, picking up on the conversation around vince cable, and those remarks which will have so annoyed some people, and perhaps have appealed to others — how often when you're in conversation with mates does the issue of brexit come up, and then how often does it become very divisive? in other words, the kind of thing where leavers and remainers
are at each other‘s throats? some of my friends voted to leave, some didn't vote, somebody to remain, and we debate it. i obviously have my point of view, and one thing i try and get across is, like i said, we voted to be more inclusive. so at the moment, we have a migration system which favours people predominantly of one race, from one continent. we voted to be more open, to have more people from more races, from more continents. but for it to favour people not based on their ability. fairness on their skill level, not fairness in terms of their skin colour, which is what we currently have, right now. and if my friends ever do go off, i do always make that point to them, and then they usually agree that i'm right. it is really interesting, though, because i can see a couple of people in the audience really shaking their heads at that. and i think one of the difficult
things for the politicians, as they have tried to get this process going, is that people voted for all sorts different reasons. people who voted to leave voted for all sorts of different motivations, so the politicians have been trying to kind of wrangle with that and grapple with that. theresa may decided on her definition of what people had voted for, which means controls on immigration, leaving the european court, yada, yada, yada. but, from policy point of view, it's so different than, "here is a general election, here is our manifesto, we will do these things." there was yes — no question about a massive, diplomatic, political, emotional diplomatic relationship. and we remember where borisjohnson and michael gove did look like they were running an election campaign, because they made buses of policies. and they loved it, but they didn't think they were going to win. next question is from stephen hurley. run, run, run! you're young.
you'll love this question. stephen, what is your question? as europe's finest cake officianados, which of the brexit suspects would bake the best cake, and what would it be? that is a great question. give us some names. juncker, may, merkel. .. wasn't angela merkel a chemist? so she would have it all. she'd have all the temperatures really precisely worked out and everything. also, she is called mutti, and muttis bake strudels and things. and also, i think theresa may's cake would have a lot of wheat in it. what was itjust before christmas, about delia smith? she does delia smith goose on christmas day. one of the things that she really likes in interviews, that she does personally. i'm interviewing her tomorrow,
and i might ask, shall i? i'll ask her. didn't david davies worked for a sugar company? he did, and he has seven teaspoons of sugar in his cup of tea. "keep on spooning them in," he said to me once, "until they don't dissolve". disgusting. so i don't know. corbyn does jam ? i don't think michel barnier is a very bakey person. in the cafe he has like a piece of steamed fish. the terrible cake in that shop. it is an austrian cafe. not a strudel in sight. dry cake! also, laura, you had a big milestone of your own at the summit. what did i do?
for people listening in brussels. you went to kitty's for the first time. not for the first time. you told me it was the first time. though i did not! this is the irish pub immediately opposite the european commission, and also the bbc bureau. and the story changed, and we had to start working again. we had finished the day at 11:30 brussels time, and then the story about the diplomatic expulsions started to move on, so we ended up working until about 2:00. but we had been for one drink. i had been, but a long time ago. i think that'll do, when i was 18. every good night ends with a party game, doesn't it? so me and chris have got... you know that one when you put a stupid thing in your mouth which means you can't speak properly? we're going to put these horrible things in our mouth. why would you want to do that in front of anyone else? then we are going to say brexit buzzwords and brexit vips and you have to work out what we are saying. juncker. mutual recognition.
what? mutual recognition. well done, who was that? a prize for the audience member right there. very good, take a bow. stefaan de rynck. he's one of michel barnier's team. he listens. david davies? no. manfred. wow, that is proper specialist knowledge. right, 0k. i'm taking this out. because i think it's time to say thank you to everyone for being in the audience, and thank you to everyone who was watching, as well. this is brexitcast, the arena spectacular. way from the far north and west of
the uk some brightness today, many places stay disappointingly and cool places stay disappointingly and cool, the across the eastern side of the country will tend to continue over the night but it will ease, wintry over the higher ground further north and west under clear skies this will be a cold and frosty end the night falls off it means the east today we start off on a dry note from most, cold and frosty, lots of sunshine around, the day the cloud will build up at times, we will see if you perhaps showers across eastern counties of england. then across the south—west wet and windy weather will arrive here. this will continue to move north into colder air, a mixture of rain sleet and snow over the high ground, as a preacher central northern wales, north midlands, northern england into northern ireland, central southern scotland, some snow down to
lower levels of prove disrupt up. across the south later it turns milder with the sunshine and showers but do watch out this no risk on easter monday, if you have travel plan, kitchens to the weather. hello. this is bbc news. i'm nkem ifejika. our top stories: heading home. russian diplomats begin leaving washington in the latest tit—for—tat expulsions over the nerve agent poisoning of a former with israeli troops. two men accused of taking part in islamic state beheadings, complain they won't get a fair trial after losing their uk citizenship. hundreds pay their respects at the funeral of the world—renowned physicist, professor stephen hawking. and on a collision course. china's out—of—control space station could crash into earth in the next day or so.
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