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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  July 15, 2018 11:30am-12:01pm BST

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one i prepared thank you very much. one i prepared a little earlier. hello and welcome to dateline, the programme in which some of the uk's most distinguished columnists lock horns with those who write for the folks back home under the dateline london. this weekend — has theresa may's brexit plan been trumped? and after the president practises his golf swing against his fellow nato leaders, will it be a case of straight down the middle with vladimir putin, or will he be heading to the bunker? with me, john fisher burns of the new york times, alexander nekrassov, a russian journalist, the documentary film maker and italian journalist annalissa piras, and the british political commentator adam raphael. overpaid, oversexed and over here, the wartime grumble of the british about the gis, us soldiers barracked here. boy, though, did we — and the rest of europe need them. that's still the calculation 70
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years on, judging by the way in which prime minister theresa may lavished praise on president donald trump, hours after a newspaper interview was published in which he suggested a free trade deal wouldn't happen because her version of brexit would leave the uk bound too closely to the european union after it has left. oh, and by the way, wouldn't boris johnson — he says very good things about me — make a great prime minister? adam raphael, he rowed back on that interview the next day when he was standing next to theresa may. but had the damage already been done? yes. trump got it right basically. you can't have a free—trade deal with the united states which is consistent with the brexit white paper. it was one of those instances where, frankly, he impressed his host by saying exactly what the truth was. it is an impossible situation which theresa may faces because she has got trump on one hand but she has got her party on another and this is bitterly
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divided on this white paper. we had two resignations already. there could be more to come. she will have to make further concessions in europe to try and get an agreement and it really will be a form of customs arrangement of some sort. it won't be called a customs union because that is a no word as far as theresa may is concerned, but it will have to be some sort of widespread alignment of all british trading interests with europe and regulations. the real issue is can she get it through parliament. the votes this autumn in parliament are very uncertain. there is certainly no majority in parliament for a hard brexit. there may not be a majority in parliament for what theresa may wants. if there is not that then we are in unknown
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territory, general elections, votes of confidence. no—one can be confident about what is going to happen. interesting months and days ahead. on monday the new british brexit secretary, because the old one resigned over the white paper, goes to brussels to present it to european negotiators. presumably the rebels will have been emboldened by donald trump's newspaper interview. what on earth possessed him? i think if we try to make coherent the outbursts of donald trump, it would drive us all mad. we saw him... what possesses him when he gets to up every morning, it is difficult to say. as adam said, he is not entirely wrong about brexit and he is not entirely wrong about other issues.
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there was a meeting with the european research group, the ha rdline brexiteer group led by the conservative backbencherjacob rees—mogg, and that predated the white ppaper. clearly they had a sense that things were moving away from them and theresa may seem to be moving towards some kind of soft brexit, some kind of deal where we remain closely aligned to the eu. she doesn't take a doctrinaire position. we hear a lot about the 17.4 million people who voted for brexit, for whom i have a good deal of sympathy. i have seen how much we stand to lose if we do not protect our national identity. but we don't hear so much about the 16.1 million people
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who voted to remain. and it seems to me that what is forgotten about this very often is that in democracy there is the will of the majority but also respect for the minority. theresa may is steering a difficult course in which she has come up with something which could, just could reconcile a majority in her own party and might even reconcile amajority in parliament. and if she does that, it will be a famous thing. i have no such optimism. as fortrump, i regard him not as a politician but as a narcissistic salesman with a psychological disorder. it sounds very rude, but he is bizarre. the idea that there is any predictability in how he behaves, it is not there. he will wake up in the morning and decide whatever he does decide. the idea that some sort of consistent pattern of behaviour from him,
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i don't know. i am looking forward to what is going to go on in helsinki. we will talk about that later. do you think the negotiators when they see this white paper will think it is something they can work with? i think the noises from brussels are very clear. this is a good step forward but still does not respect the fundamental deadlines. that is what michel barnier said. they will check it against a deadline. the guidelines have always been the same so there is a certain level of boredom about it, about the four fundamental freedoms. these are guidelines for the european union. they're negotiating guidelines by the ministers. in the end, if the politicians want to cut a deal, they can cut through the guidelines. not really because of the four freedoms at the pillars of the european union.
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britain cannot have its cake and eat it so they cannot cross those lines without all the others saying... an italian would know how fragile and deeply under attack those four freedoms are elsewhere in europe, including in your native country. it seems to me we have a dynamic within europe which could change this picture pretty substantially. for example on the question of freedom of movement. but freedom of movement is already changing, and i think that the good point about the proposal of theresa may is that they are starting to say that they will find a way to allow eu citizens but without having freedom of movement. this is all under negotiation already but the big question mark would be, is it worth it? because at the end of the day if we end up in a situation which is the same as before brexit,
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but with less power, would it be worth it? theresa may created this mess herself. she should have started with a position of strength towards eu. the eu was horrified by brexit. they were weak. they were expecting a very tough approach to them. you think she should have taken the donald trump approach? of course. the trump approach was, you give us what we want or we leave. can you imagine if britain walks away from the eu? the eu would have collapsed. that was the point that he made to theresa may. but she should be strong. she decided to be weak. she decided to please everyone. that is why the mess which she created now. i fundamentally disagree because theresa may's mistake in british political terms
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was that she laid out a series of red lines which she could not deliver. she has been in retreat from these red lines ever since the florence speech and she goes on retreating and she continues to retreat. that appears to be disastrous. the reality is she is in a very difficult position in a sense that she has an impossible party, she somehow is to reconcile her party. the idea of donald trump that she can just lay down the rules to the eu and they will just succumb, it is nonsense. she would have destroyed her party and this country because the economic consequences of a total break would be disastrous for this country. historically inaccurate to what donald trump and alexander are saying. there was a moment when britain said a no deal brexit
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is brexit, and the answer for the 27 was extraordinary. for once in european history, they were moving as a unique bloc. they said, we're not going to be bullied by britain. it was one against 27. this dream that britain could have been tougher is frankly... leaving the language aside. sorry, sorry! it is lost in translation. we haven't even mentioned the two cabinet ministers that resigned this week. it shows you that how extraordinary this week has been. nato is not an organisation that normally appeals to pacifists. but they ought to admire the way the other leaders of the western alliance pacified donald trump. apart from the expression of alarm which briefly passed over the face of the nato secretary general, jens stoltenberg, as president trump turned a breakfast photo op into an attack on germany for its energy dependence
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on russia and unwillingness to spend more on defence, the leaders took the blows without striking back. next, he'll deploy his charm on vladimir putin at a one—on—one meeting in helsinki. anneliese, journalist like you see speak truth to power but that is really what donald trump was doing. he was pointing out that the europeans had got away with spending not as much as they should on defence for a long time. they are just relying on uncle sam. no. the point is that every american president has been saying that for a long time so this was not a kind of new thing. what donald trump was doing was what he does very well. he was giving reality tv drama, stealing the show, by getting attention. there were a lot of very important issues that the european citizens should have known about. they were on the table and crucial for our security, but donald trump decided to divert
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attention from those issue which are very competent and controversial for him and to put it on a question of money. everyone understands money so he said, i am here to get more money for us, for nato, and europeans do not want to put the money on the table. actually that is not the main issue. the main issue is that nato is 70 years old, is outdated and the world has become much more unstable and nato needs to change the way it works. one of the first points is cyber warfare, new forms of cyber warfare. and the russian meddling in internal politics in other countries is the number—one concern, because it is a way of waging war to other countries that does not respect the conventional kind of warfare. none of that made it onto the agenda.
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no, for a reason because donald trump doesn't like to talk about meddling in internal elections because he was elected with strong suspicions of interference from russia. every time donald trump goes abroad he addresses his voters first of all. i am just explaining why he said that. secondly, the reason why he went to germany was a very logical and cunning thing to do because this absurdity which is spoken about him being elected with the help of the russians turn the tables around and he said excuse me, you are buying stuff from the russians, you depend on them, so why you two don't talk to me like that? that is a point he was making, and it was a very clever move. there was a lot of discussion about nato and its failures in afghanistan, for example,
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when nato collapsed completely and showed its total incompetence, its total corruption and so on. nato, when you say it is to change, it has to disappear gradually because nato should have disappeared when the cold war was over. that was the arrangement... if people like you were more dispassionate... let me finish. the point was that there was an agreement between... that nato would not move eastwards. that it would gradually succumb. now you are talking about nato basically taking over the whole of europe, moving into asia, worrying china. nato has become an aggressive block so please stop...
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i lived in moscow in the 19805 and listened to alexander, it is like being taken back 30 years. you speak like a hardline kremlin ideologue. you don't like an american imperialist, but who cares? what we are discussing is that the west lied to russia. the west is in an aggressive alliance with nato. why did donald trump choose to do what he did just before going to helsinki? the two things that need to be connected is this. everything is interconnected. his principal point was that are the one that american presidents have been raising for 40 years. the us cannot be expected to go on bearing the 90% of the cost of nato, whether or not he will succeed
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using the blunt instrument that he did i don't know, but i go back to my childhood. my father was a senior nato officer. we passed a grassy mound ringed by concentric circles of razor wire behind which were some people wearing uniforms that i didn't recognise. it was my first sighting as a teenager of americans and my father said to me, these are the people who keep the peace. it was true then, it was true now. europe has to be confronted about this. he may have been vulgar, brute, but he wasn't completely wrong. do you see any credibility in this suggestion that he may consider removing some of the troops that
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are currently based in cuba? he might threaten it. —— in europe. i rather doubt whether he will carry it through. as always, you are dealing with a salesman who believes in putting these maximum demands first. john is right, europe does need to step up to its own defence. we can't continue just to rely on united states. with a president like that we would be mad to do so. the fact that germany has been spending way under for many years is wrong. germany has a very close relationship with russia over this gas line. of course i also agree with annalissa, all of these things are interconnected. trump is so vulnerable on russia because of his links to russia, financial links to his property
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empire, he all the time is feeling he has to safeguard it. he says contradictory things to contradictory people. i find it extraordinary. it is a high risk visit. goodness knows what he is going to say to the russians. i don't have a clue. it is an interesting question. what do you think vladimir putin will say to donald trump? what will he be asking for? it is going to be man to man on helsinki in monday. it is a proper summit, the first time they meet. i don't expect a lot to come out of it. but putin has several issues which he has to raise with him. one of them is the ukraine. the ukraine, given the western version... i am talking about the crisis itself. the western version is that russia invaded the crimea, russia attacked the eastern ukraine and so on. it forgets there was a coup,
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an aggressive government... this is a very sensitive issue. that is an issue he will be talking about. in syria, you need to take the troops out. you need to talk to trump. iran is on the table. nuclear weapons, definitely. terrorism, definitely. as for private conversation which they will have without anyone, i think they will talk about this stupidity about russia deciding the american elections which is impossible! there are indictments. there are claims russians were trying to influence... i'm sorry, it is a political falsehood.
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i think they will talk about it. trump promised he would raise the issue with putin. he will have to ask, did your boys meddle or not? do you think they are worried in western europe in particular about what donald trump and vladimir putin end up talking about? indeed they are. everything is interconnected so we know that trump wants to get the troops out of syria that there is a possible deal with putin in a kind of crowning him the foreign power... he will want a deal on iran because that is what trump is worried about. what is happening here... moscow has a lot of influence in teheran. absolutely. there is the issue of oil. they want iran to stop it... there are a lot of deals going on which do not
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involve the western world. that raises the question whether the eu, whether we should welcome these two engaging with each other even if we don't like how they choose to carve up part of the middle east. i don't think that the position that alexander has just presented of a totally innocent kremlin, whether it's the ukraine or syria or so many other issues, or novichok for that matter, is going to be convincing. if mr putin takes a position i don't see much business to be done. is it relevant to him? syria has almost been settled because of russian intervention. i think trump has to be very careful. whatever trump says abroad,
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he is aiming at a domestic audience and therefore his real concern now is what is going on with the investigation by robert mueller and his affairs, how closely he is linked to russia, how much russian finance underpins his property empire, what tax evasion he is involved in. he has got to give no ammunition to his critics in the united states by appearing to be close to putin. i ratheragree, ithink there will be an exchange of views but i very much doubt there will be much of substance because it is too dangerous for him. he has to be very careful not to provoke mr putin. if they were deeply involved in the american election in 2016, he has to be very careful not to provoke mr putin into leaks which he... if he does know what happens, there could be very damaging leaks which could drive donald trump
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ever closer to impeachment we've mentioned syria, and we have heard that the city and state flag is now flying again. the rebel holdout has crumbled. what sort of arrangement could russia offer to donald trump that would suit both men over the future of syria? in a sense, russia has achieved what it wanted in syria and syria is a united country. the bases are not that important because, russia unlike america which has bases everywhere, russia is basing its strategy on the nuclear arms. it is not basing its strategy on bases because they are tiny. i think what happened there in syria was an unusual combination of iran and russia,
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america and israel cooperating so well that they have managed to avoid a regional war emerging from syria. that is a great achievement by the way. people forget about that. i think on syria they are actually moving both in the right direction. i think the challenge for putin is the ukraine. it is a very serious challenge. basically it is the main challenge of his presidency. i don't actually see how donald trump can help him. that is a serious problem because there is no way forward, it will alienate european partners. the means to agreement is very clear. it is on the table and russia has to accept. it is useless. it is unfulfilled. president putin is shown to be very cunning when it comes to creating new opportunities or new ideas.
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the idea of some form of un peacekeeping force, some form of ceasefire that can be implemented is not rocket science. that could happen. the problem is that donald trump seems to have a very... because of the russian interference problem and other things. he wants to get out of syria. he can push anything through. we will find out on monday whether donald trump can play things as well as vladimir putin when the two men meet at that summit in helsinki. that's it for dateline london for this week — we're back next week at the same time. goodbye. it is another glorious summer they
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are out there for most of us but not for all so let's take a look at where we have seen some beautiful weather so far. glorious across devon but this is indicative of much of england and wales but further north and west the cloud gathers and the rain has arrived as you can see in the highlands. this weather front continues to bring wet weather across the west of scotland and northern ireland. it is going to introduce fresh conditions and ahead of it predominantly dry and sunny. some of the rain has been heavy at times and we start to see moving further the least as it pushes into northern ireland and then to western scotland. we not expecting too much across eastern scotland and into the borders, just clothing over as they go through the day with the rain
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arriving later on. maybe more cloud in northern england and north west wales but elsewhere the light south—westerly breeze and the temperature set to soar. highs of 30 celsius. a little bit fresher behind that front, 17—20. if you're heading for a centre court action this afternoon it looks as though it is going to be a hot one. it could be the hottest men's final day for a couple of decades at least. that means through the night, we still keep the warmth. although the temperature falls away, it won't fall far across england and wales. the weather front continues to produce words and a band of rain pushes sherilyn. that'll be the story into monday. sunshine chain around for a western scotland and northern ireland in comparison to the day. our front will bring a few scattered possibly thundery showers as it bumps into the warm here and
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still hot and humid across much of eastern and south—eastern england again. the temperature into the high 20s. that front will continue to push through and that will be welcome if it has been too hot for you of late. not expecting much in the way of significant rain across central and southern areas with a good deal of fine weather behind, like twins, still some sunny spells and the temperature in the high teens, so ——, possibly mid 20s. this is bbc news. the headlines: the prime minister has revealed the advice she was given from us president donald trump about brexit. he told me i should sue the eu. sue the eu? not going to negotiation, sue them. theresa may also warned conservative mps they are putting brexit at risk by arguing over her proposals for how the uk will leave the eu.
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the us president, donald trump, is playing golf again this morning — he will leave scotland later and fly to helsinki for a summit with the russian president. it's the world cup final this afternoon — with france the favourites to win against croatia in moscow later. the wimbledon men's final takes place this afternoon.
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