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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  July 28, 2018 11:30am-12:01pm BST

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hello, a warm welcome to dateline london, i'mjane hill, and this week we're discussing the british prime minister's summer charm offensive in europe and asking, what is the new deal in the middle east? we'll discuss syria, iran and the us's approach. my guests this week: the british politicaljournalist steve richards, with us before he heads off to the edinburgh festival with his one—man show; from germany's die welt, stephanie bolzen; the editor of the abu—dhabi—based daily the nation, mina al oraibi; and the american writer and broadcasterjeff mcallister. it's summer — school's out, and so is parliament. but there's no rest for senior members of the british government. theresa may says she has now taken personal control of the brexit negotiations, and she and her ministers are fanning out across europe on a charm offensive, trying to win over leaders to her vision, the chequers vision, of future relations between the uk and the rest of the eu once we've left the bloc. steve, it's been a bumpy few weeks —
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how many times have we discussed whether the pm is safe? she remains fragile. she remains, i think, in the most extraordinary position of any prime minister for many decades. their shears, promoting, as you say, going around european capitals, her proposition for brexit, very detailed. which has already triggered to cabinet resignations, several ministerial resignations, several ministerial resignations, there is no evidence at the moment adam is a majority for it in the house of commons the reaction of barnier representing the rest of the eu suggests there are huge barriers to overcome from the brussels perspective. it is an
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extraordinary situation, because on one level certainly her proposition in the white paper will not survive in that form. there might be proximity to it, but it will not survive. the chequers deal as we have come to college, maybe we should call it a compromise. what it is as her version of brexit, and it is as her version of brexit, and it is absolutely identified with her. whether she can become identified with another former brexit rather than no deal, which i know she would regard as cataclysmic, is a massive question. one of several questions which makes this autumn in british politics and to some extent european politics and to some extent european politics seismic. no one quite knows what is going to happen but it feels very, very turbulent. stephanie, how do you read the big cat to her
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ministers go out, spread the word across europe, do soundings, press the flesh? how is that being viewed from your perspective? you can really recognise a lot of eagerness is not a bit of panic in downing street to create the impression that the prime minister is in control, going out there to the continent, she is now taking over the control of the brexit negotiations. there was this week the demotion of most of the new brexit secretaryjust coming in and a day until after it was said, the prime minister is in charge. the prime minister goes out, she saw the austrian chancellor, the big news this morning is there will bea big news this morning is there will be a summit in september and they will talk about brexit as if there was any news there. that is announced in march. they will be a summit in the form of head of state meeting. you are saying that as it did he spend they put on that? so
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much spin happening now. i don't think that is very healthy because they can only disappoint with that. apart from theresa may travelled not travelling the continent, jeremy hunt was in berlin for the first time. in the new foreign secretary. thiam it didn't go down very well. he was perceived as threatening. he said, if europe is not flexible and has imagination, something we have heard for a long time, there will be i'io heard for a long time, there will be no deal. this will be the fault of the europeans. some commentators in berlin said, he soars like donald trump. so it is something that the british government going around making friends is not quite what for i'iow making friends is not quite what for now they have achieved. how do regard... sounded like donald trump interesting, how do you feel watching from a us perspective? weakness in strength, i don't know
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quite how you had all this up. it makes no sense. tony blair pulls my criticism of the chequers deal was actually the most trenchant that has been uttered, the resignation speeches of the departing ministers had no particular new ideas or system. at least blair was my criticism, which says this is the worst of all possible worlds, we have to take most of the european regulations and be tied to europe in the same way without any control of what europe does, it is correct. it isa what europe does, it is correct. it is a nonstarter. brexit remains... begets an exciting week to week with this meeting, leaked summit, the fundamentals do tend to get lost. all the exporters say this is a disaster for us. crashing out brexit isa disaster for us. crashing out brexit is a disaster. we have stockpiling food being discussed, possibly, by the departed or the no longer powerful brexit minister, grow the
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company saying, we have no capacity to stockpile food and we haven't been asked. they are talking about stockpiling medicines and things you can stockpile. how you get out of this mess, with this odd combination of referendum which really is not a parliamentary device that makes sense ina parliamentary device that makes sense in a parliamentary system, it is stopping of fault. the conservative party is stuck, it is all congealed, mrs may as prime minister because no one else wants to take the brass ring, which has no particular solution. the opposition is not proposing any real opposition. i don't know how to get out of this impasse. some kind of a second referendum when there is a particular deal to offer is the only way that the politics are going to start aligning with the fundamental economic reality which is that brexit has currently discussed makes i'io brexit has currently discussed makes no sense for britain. mina, your
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ta ke no sense for britain. mina, your take on this. time is ticking, people are discussing a referendum, it but we have again this deadline of next spring coming up, so ten months away, less than that, and there is no agreement. i take it different turn on theresa may, i think wed her stepping up and saying, this is my deal, here's what i will try to bridge four, has changed the momentum that we have had where you had people in her own cabinet that no longer believed in collective responsibility, so they we re collective responsibility, so they were going their own way, at least now whether it feels succeeds you can say that it is clear that this is the vision of the prime minister and she's going to try to fight for it, even if there is not the image and everyone agrees with, it is different from six months ago when we did not know whether the foreign secretary in private discussions we re secretary in private discussions were trying to undermine his own prime minister. we have reflected here a number of times about theresa may's strength or weakness, but if
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the conservative party changed its leader, it doesn't change the fundamentals. there are still a deadline of march 2019. it fundamentals. there are still a deadline of march 20 19. it changes nothing. newspaper editorials sometimes say we need strong leadership, borisjohnson sometimes say we need strong leadership, boris johnson implies that he could do it and so on. he couldn't. there was still be a hung parliament. there was still be a european union protectors of the purity of the single market and other things. so all of the problems would still be in place if they changed their leader. that doesn't mean they might not contemplate it, they are contemplating it, but it would solve nothing. her problem is that she has now become associated with this plan. i agree with you on one level, it is like a protective shield, a very battered protective shield. at least she clings to a plan where most others have not even got such a detailed alternative. but it is so battered, no majority in
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the commons, partially rejected by europe already. it is really difficult to see where he says, which is why there is now more talk ofa which is why there is now more talk of a referendum. which is why there is now more talk ofa referendum. she is which is why there is now more talk of a referendum. she is the key to that, because she has always opposed one. but if you remember, before she called an early election, she said there would be no early election, nature changed our mind. she was genuine, said she did not want an early election that she went walking in wales, saw the opinion polls, giving hera 20 in wales, saw the opinion polls, giving her a 20 point lead, highly deceptive. there may be a way through a referendum. s parliamentary allowances. they will be no parliamentary majority bonded deal. jacob rees mogg and others are relaxed about a new deal, there are about 60 of them in the house of commons. the rest are not. i still
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think no deal is not feasible. you cannot impose no deal without parliamentary backing. it would be historic decision, the less the majority for it. when we say no deal, we are talking about leaving and going at the wto rules. leaving with no agreed proposition between the uk and the rest of the eu. unless something positive can be done. but they cannot even, the government, managed the public relations element of no deal, because they have now decided they need to start talking up that possibility. in talking up the possibility, she is saying, one minute is all about stockpiling food, that alarms people, then it emerges that they are not talking about that, so itjust preparing the spin or no deal is problematic. imagine managing it in reality. as i said, i don't think they would get
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parliamentary backing for it. stephanie, in the wider european question, on the other member states, it is not like no deal has no implication of a lot of other member states. there's an impact on both sides. it is almost ironic that the no deal scenario is not only domestic but actually a threat to the. it puts pressure on the eu ‘s, andi the. it puts pressure on the eu ‘s, and i would not say they shrug their shoulders, but it will hit many countries very hard. especially germany. at think there's something thatis germany. at think there's something that is not... and doesn't have any effect, no politician in germany are beyond has said, the bridges have said there is no deal, we now have to compromise. the german car industry which is always named as the... they look at this and they say, ok, our second the... they look at this and they say, ok, oursecond biggest market by the usa, but still be had the single market in front of our doors. they really completely agree for the time being with the german
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government, which is the integrity of the single market and the rule of the european union, which works very well for german business, we're not going to put this at risk. we want to save theirs. and i find this almost ironic that actually, in this country, politics... the business. business is almost desperate, saying, please, listen to us, while in germany at least the government co nsta ntly in germany at least the government constantly talks the business. they agreed that if it is coming to the 12 hour and you need to make a decision it is europe and not the uk, they will have two support and not give a special cherry picking solution to the british. the other irony is that brexit has made europe more popular with european public than at any other times as 1983, according to polls. borisjohnson has had this ironic effect of making europe is recognised that the eu is a more positive thing for them. even
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marine le pen says doing to in the u” marine le pen says doing to in the u,, listings and other ways, and the italians are talking about leaving the eu and that has gone off the table politically. european unity in the face of what they consider to be inefficient and not intelligent operations by uk pence to make britain look more irrelevant. britain look more irrelevant. britain has used, you still hear the same cake and eat it for two years. when you're on the continent, you have a feeling that the europeans have a feeling that the europeans have already moved beyond. if you talk about a second referendum, they will say, no, we're not having that, they are going to leave. that is also a risk for the british government if they say, well, we may be what an extension and have logged in negotiations. but the europeans will say, what carp for another limbo? in fairness to theresa may,
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any prime minister would be trapped in this situation. the referendum was held and brexit one. but you do? you have a hung parliament, partly down to her for that early election. you have a divided party, and you have a series of obligations which are contradictory. the soft border in ireland, but not wanting to be pa rt of in ireland, but not wanting to be part of the customs union. her plan, in fairness to it, is an attempt to square all those circles. because they are not wearable, it is a plan thatis they are not wearable, it is a plan that is going to fall by the wayside. —— because they are not able to be squared. it was an attempt to meet all the contradictory demands, and is no other equivalent at the moment. the
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labour party position is different, it would be part of a customs union, it would be part of a customs union, it claims it would get alignment with the single market and not being in it, but that raises 20,000 questions. so there is not this summer, start of the summer, clarity is really about what form this will take. we will see. that is parkland for now. the next brexit talks are late august. let's see whether here on dateline we get through the summer without discussing it. hollow laughter. we believe that for now. there is much more to discuss. lets turn to the middle east, because the recent helsinki summit between donald trump and vladimir putin was overshadowed by those extraordinary comments that the us president was later forced to row back on ,but what was actually achieved in terms of policy? no communique was issued, but it appears syria was discussed. is the us now renconciled to bashar al assad remaining in power? and how does that tie
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in with the trump adminstration's approach to iran? mina, from your vantage point in the gulf, what is your sense of what's going on? it is clear that for the trump administration the priority is to push back around. and to limit around's activities, militant nefarious groupings in the region. that has become the parity for the trump administration, you have had various us officials come out of the gulf and other parts of the middle east to duplicate that. we recently reported that the national we were expecting a summit and jordan and egyptin expecting a summit and jordan and egypt in the autumn and probably washington, and not clear in the us, to discuss exactly that. to push on the koran issue. in helsinki, be studied under the details of the
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meeting, but it was discussed as disabling the issue of syria. the russians for sure have been the guarantors of that assad regime. the survival of assad has been because of russia and iran. there is the contradiction. it can't feel he can do business with putin, he does not wa nt to do business with putin, he does not want to be doing business with the iranians and the reigning president who he is threatening the capital letters on his twitter account. there is that contradiction. it seems that the thinking amongst american officials is that we work with the russians to sort out syria and push back around. the reality on the ground is different. it is not that keen, it is very messy and ugly. that keen, it is very messy and if that keen, it is very messy and ugly. if we put aside the moral question of syria, which is the fact that millions of people have been displaced, have the publishing the displays, at least 80,000 detainees unaccounted for and only this week we are getting hundreds of death certificates being issued are people
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who have died from torture and detention. if we try to put that aside and say, security wise, how does this work is mac the syrians are not calling the shots in their own country. it is the russians and iranians. even if the top administration, the region, the world except that the assad regime survives, they are not in control of this country, and to be beholden to militias that have run directly by the arabian revolutionary guard and supported by russian air power, given the russian pull—out, the iranians are not going to give up the vantage point they have been able to establish and they're very strong presence in syriac, going into leopard on. the helsinki summit, even if there was a agreement about assad come on the other dynamics are left to be answered. what is the us administration's answer to that? who knows? i think, administration's answer to that? who knows? ithink, fundamentally, it is
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ha rd knows? ithink, fundamentally, it is hard to understand what the us administrator is any more. because there is the present's tweets and his nomination, and error is the bureaucracy that works for him and they often are at loggerheads. on a run, it appears that the fulminations are more policy than they were with russia. john bolton said bad things about around, but the same time the tweets went out, and the secretary of state did not —— did too. but these than success. there is another sideshow with israel having an excellent relationship with russia, concerned with pulling back the militias from the israeli border. maybe for trump's own internal purposes, getting some degree of cooperation, enough to satisfy israel, would feel like progress that he can show that he has gotten with putin, who will
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be pushing the iranians to take his ball back from the israeli border. there is no israeli border. glik, sorry, i agree. there is no israeli border. glik, sorry, iagree. the there is no israeli border. glik, sorry, i agree. the fundamentals, there still is a desire in washington to bring down and pull out of the nuclear deal, which has caused the value to drop and making life difficult for iranians and creating dissent. there is no endgame that makes any sense. the iranians have cyber attacks and they could do a lot of things to make life have for donald trump if they wa nt life have for donald trump if they want to, but he is gambling that they will be scared of him, but there are american soldiers in syria that the arabian militia can start any potshots at. i think he was to look like he is being tough on orion. —— the iranians militia. no
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good american strategy, i don't think anything is well developed out ofa run. think anything is well developed out of a run. listing to nikki haley, she reminds russia, we expect russia to use its influence here inside syria. is she over estimating the influence? no, russia has great influence. assad knows that he is beholden to the russians. they had been instrumental in making sure that his regime and army control the country. they are over estimating how much russia can influence around. the russians are getting ready to step right in with american sanctions getting slapped on, the russians have not taken a place to add to consider these sections, neither the europeans are chinese. they are thinking, we can at strengthen our ties to and make a run beholden as at a time when are being squeezed. that is unclear. the russians also wanted more stabilised
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arab world in the middle east. regardless of whether we agree or disagree with their strategies. they do not want the iranians are doing, destabilising syria and iraq, yemen, it is not working in the long—term benefit of the russians. they could try to pressurise around, then iran is getting pressurise more and the tools they are using are going to get hardened. rather than thinking, how can we negotiate with american administration and so forth? the fear is that we will see more bloodshed when they think they have nothing to lose. what a desperate situation we are in that we sit here and you quite rightly say, for the sake of this discussion you have to park the moral arjun, we have to forget about the millions of people who have been killed displaced, and that... but we shouldn't, because, yes, it will have security imperatives. there are millions of people have lost their homes, young,
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predominantly men who are unemployed have lost everything, had a cousin 's have lost everything, had a cousin '5 brothers killed in the pension. eventually someone has to give them that money and arms in syria. and then what happens? and it has had a knock—on in terms of refugees, which speaks to european issues that we have discussed for many months. watcher been discussing is a busy question, where europe? europe has been standing at the side and watching for a long time. this week it was a secret meeting in berlin, hagler merkel and the foreign minister met the russian foreign minister. —— angela merkel. it came out that the german government did not comment, but the russian foreign ministry dead, an excellent meeting, they were also talk about refugees. there is some information, and i think this is part of the whole dynamic that is now happening, that
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europe now will come in and help build up syria, and this is part of the russian plan. so russia does not have the money to build up syria again, and the europeans are keen to build up syria. they want safety and security, but they wanted the refugees to go back to syria. the moral argument is part, if you remember, there was a time when the allied forces talked about allying themselves with assad to remove ices, and then they were talking about working with the rebels to re move about working with the rebels to remove assad, so this is a consta ntly remove assad, so this is a constantly moving moral set of dilemmas. —— to remove islamic state. the whole iran deal that trump remained on originating from the eu. jack straw was foreign secretary at the time, and with britain, germany, france and others they got that enron deal going. it is such a decline in the european
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union in recent years that such a initiative would now be impossible in the current state of chaos. the problem with the deal was that only dealt with nuclear, and nothing else. that is the weakness of the europeans. that's it for dateline london for this week. we're back next week at the same time. goodbye. a big change in the weather this weekend. we have lost the heat and humidity and now have something fresher but windier. there are still some flashes of thunder and rumbles of lightning today. this weather friend
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is pulling away north and eastwards. —— weather front. the heaviest of the rain is across northern ireland and scotland through this morning and into the afternoon. further south, sunny spells and frequent showers, particularly for wales and south—west england, where we could have earned and lightning. —— some thunder and lightning. that and lightning also possibly for scotland for a time. nowhere in the info showers. —— immune from the showers. perhaps the wind will be 50 mph for southern and western coasts. temperatures are 10—12dc lower than recent days. still hot in east anglia in the sunshine. a cool day for northern ireland given the rain and wind. further showers around this evening. most of them will fade but persistent rain for north—west scotland and another spell of rain arriving for wales and south—west england later in the night but for
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others a cooler night, a more comfortable night. quite a messy picture tomorrow. more rain to come. notice the squeeze in the isobars and wept again it will be windy. northern ireland potentially drier. heavy and persistent rain stretching from south—west england through wales up into the midlands. it will continue north and eastwards through the day. dry in scotland until the rain arrives in the afternoon. notice the strength of the wind. gusts could get up to a0 or 50 mph again, particularly on the southern and western coast. noticeably more windy than it has been for some time. temperatures fresh. 17-22 17—22 cells in the top temperature sunday. as we going to next week, still some showers around, on monday, tuesday and wednesday.
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not as hot as it has been recently but later in the week it turns drier and the temperatures start to rise again. this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at midday: mps warn british democracy is in crisis because of targeted campaigns of hate and misinformation on social media. welcome relief for some as the cool air arrives — but the changing weather is causing travel disruption across the uk. the chief constable of the west midlands admits his police force is occasionally providing a poor service, and apologises. we are incredibly busy at this time. sometimes the service that we provide in peak times does not meet what the public would expect. also coming up , australian sailor wendy tuck has become the first female skipper to ever win the clipper round
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the world yacht race. the families of the sailors onboard were waiting at liverpool to welcome them back to dry land. that was this morning.
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