tv Dateline London BBC News November 24, 2018 4:30pm-5:00pm GMT
dateline london is coming up. now it's time for a look at the weather with nick miller. north—west scotland fared best for sunshine and will again tomorrow, thanks to an easterly flow coming into the uk and most of the cloud stays in the east and south on with that today we have had outbreaks of rain and showers and through this evening and tonight we will keep showers on the south coast, but into the east of scotland and north east england, a few in northern ireland as well. temperatures getting into low single figures, close to freezing in the clearest spots. maybe a touch of frost going on to the morning. tomorrow, still an easterly flow and showers around in scotla nd easterly flow and showers around in scotland and the north of england fishing into northern ireland, some clipping the far south—east. elsewhere, variable cloud, clear spells, quite a bit of dry weather away from the showers and still the easterly breeze, stronger wind in
scotla nd easterly breeze, stronger wind in scotland compared with today and overall tomorrow it will feel cooler thanit overall tomorrow it will feel cooler than it has done today. that your latest forecast. hello and welcome to dateline london, bringing together in debate leading uk commentators with foreign correspondents who file their stories with the dateline london. on today's programme: theresa may exercises her muscles in brussels this weekend, but will the knock—out blow to her brexit deal be delivered at westminster? is a gulf opening up between the west and the gulf states 7 and as the british museum lends to nigeria valuable stolen bronzes, is it time to hand back the loot of empire? with me: janet daley, columnist for the sunday telegraph nabila ramdani, who reports widely on thre arab world us broadcaster michael goldfarb, host
of the podcast, the first rough draft of history and the belgian journalist marc roche of the weekly magazine le point. a weekend in brussels for theresa may as she and the leaders of 27 other countries sign off on the uk's divorce from the european union. mrs may has been fending off last minute objections. brinkmanship, perhaps from countries like spain and france, hoping for further british concessions. because only a majority of eu countries need to approve the deal, in all likelihood the brussels summit will end in smiles and handshakes. back in london, though, the withdrawal terms face a much tougher audience. her former brexit secretary, an enthusiast for leaving, thinks the terms are worse than staying in the europeran union. with the support of the democratic unionists, a party from northern ireland, on paper the prime minister has a majority of the votes in the house of commons — just. but the dup won't back the deal, and 80 of her own conservative mps say the same. if we were to go back to the european union and say ‘people didn't like that deal can we have another one? ,' mrs may says, i don't think they are going to come to us and say ‘we will give
you a better deal‘. now if this deal can't get through at the westminster parliament, is it not all a bit of a charade? as theresa may said, it is take it or leave it, this is the only deal to leave the european union and at the same time keep links with it. brexiteers are happy, they leave the european union and the remainers are somehow unhappy also because for many years there will be a link through the customs union. and the remainers are somehow happy also because for many years there will be a link through the customs union. britain has no choice, this is a good deal, a compromise deal, it makes business people very happy, gives continuity to business and more than anything it gives a future to britain in europe but outside the eu. i think that people like janet who disagree should forget
about delusion of grandeur, forget about going on your own, you should think this is the deal and you should embrace it for the national interest of britain. i thought the only people who made you an offer you couldn't refuse were the mafia. this is a new political development on the world stage. there are sound reasons why people are saying it would be better to stay in and some of them mean it because they are mischievous and they are remainers and want to stay in anyway and other people are saying it sincerely because what they mean is that it is a basic principle of modern democracy that the legitimacy of the law derives from the consent of the people and once you remove the principal, once you abricate that, you are doing something that should be morally repugnant. therefore if we stay in without a voice in making the laws and rules and regulations and we accept like a colony or a conquered nation rules that have been made by other countries
then we are losing the plot in terms of democratic... you are a vassal of the european union, it was united and the british were disunited. this has been going on for two years and the first time i said the grass was long and this is where we would end up but i am not sure this will happen now. why are we going through this two—week long charade? she will have to write a couple of columns and when she brings this withdrawal agreement to the commons the arithmetic as of today does not work. what i really want to talk about,
majorities and majorities, 16 million people voted to remain, 17 million roughly voted to leave. the 16 million have no party that is arguing their case in parliament. oh yes they do. there were remainers in both parties arguing strenuously and getting an enormous amount. . . what is the labour party policy? that is a complete mystery. can we talk about the specifics? now we are going to get
to what seems to be inevitable, just as julius caesar was offered the crown three times, yesterday theresa may was offered the question will you resign and she declined to answer. we are entering a new season where if the parliamentary arithmetic is correct then she is not going to get the withdrawal agreement through then there will be a general election and then what on earth will happen? there doesn't have to be a general election, there has to be a leadership election although the party could do the same thing and decide by acclamation to appoint a caretaker who will say explicitly i will not stand at the next general election but i will see us through this period. that would be the most sane and rational way to approach this. when has the sane and rational bean used in the last two years?
britain has been renegotiating its relationship with europe for centuries but the myth that the uk can now throw the entire chessboard in the air and go it alone has been exposed and i think the biggest problem facing britain at the moment is the vast disconnect between ideology and practical reality. if you strip all the ideology out of brexit, the nationalism the flag—waving and sense of exceptionalism and entitlement, you are left with mind—numbing practical problems that would potentially go on for decades if they can be resolved at all. i think the brexiteers are more excited by the idea of brexit the reality of it and european politicians actually slaving over fiendishly complicated divorce bills and it sums up the problems, hugely sensitive issues such as gibraltar and the irish border
who are the kind who would require huge amounts of time and energy and yet they are being tossed into the big brexit pot. that is the problem. the irish border problem was addressed, and it got lost in the shuffle. the irish border problem now miraculously the eu has decided could be solved by technological means and trusted trade agreements, they described this five minutes ago as magical thinking. it is very fudged, and great heavy weather is being made of the fact that the withdrawal agreement still talks about the backstop and puts it into law although it would be a world stopping event and if it can be resolved with technology and trusted trade agreements, the backstop disappears and the need for us to stay in the customs union definitely disappears. that is only in the
political directive, and is not legally binding but the withdrawal agreement is legally binding and that still talks about the backstop so now an outright contradiction between the withdrawal agreement... they talk over each other. can we get back to the question i asked which is, is this summit a charade, if this deal is going to be defeated at westminster? of course it is. the eu is very big on charades. the whole bloody thing is a charade. what is probably going to happen now
is a managed no deal, we are going to get no deal and come out and it is going to be much less traumatic than everybody has been claiming it would be. within six months everything will settle back. they talk over each other. if that has come to pass. us president donald trump has concluded that it doesn't matter whether or not saudi arabia's crown prince knew in advance about the plan to murderjamal khashoggi. the united states will remain a "steadfast" partner, regardless. uk officials appeared a bit more embarassed about their partnership — 200 of its military engaged in a joint exercise this weekend. not that all is well in uk—gulf relations. the british have courted displeasure with their efforts to sponsor a ceasefire in the war being waged in yemen.
on wednesday, a court in the united arab emirates jailed for life a post—graduate student the uae says is a spy. the british foreign secretary warned of "serious diplomatic consequences". there are signs as the weekend is upon us that the uae is sending a different signal about this case, it is possible this young man could eventually be released but there seems to have been real shock at the sentence and a kind of disconnect between what the british were thinking would happen and what actually happened. this is a horrific story that has captured the imagination of the british audience and public for all the right reasons and the uae is currently considering clemency and the laptops and the uae is currently considering clemency and the talks for a presidential pardon given the relationship
between the uae and to think it is likely to be granted. i think this is also probably in response to the public outcry which has been led by the media but the british government, diplomats seem to have been taken by surprise by the sentence and you have to... would have thought british diplomats would have looked more closely and to this case as special as it involved an alleged british agent being charged for spying. there's something changing about the relationship between the west and the gulf states? in the past they have been thought of as close allies, the west not always keen to call out some of the things happening it might normally not approve of in those countries, broadly following a foreign policy line that the western approved of. i think with all these cases highlighted actually shows the abject amorality of the west including britain relations with super rich gulf states. both parties do this cosy relationship, pretend they can
sort problems together and that the petrol dollar profits can keep flogging whatever happens. the truth is that the gulf states will do whatever they want as long as they remain one of the markets for british arms and can assist in the west in perpetrating devastating prosecuting devastating wars against middle eastern nor and not african countries. due process of any kind ofjustice actually goes out of the window if countries such as the uae and saudi arabia do what they have in mind. meanwhile britain pretends to impose civilised values when in fact the west‘s entire value system is based on multi—billion dollar profits and the maintenance of security on its own terms. what do you make of donald trump's remarks this week that we are going to remain steadfast partners and says it doesn't matter whether or not crown prince knew about it. there is one thing you can say,
the man does actually say without any diplomatic hailing about, what the truth of the relationship is which is very similar to what was just being said. there has existed going back 50 years or more a perfect feedback loop. we give them money for oil, they ship a considerable amount back in forms of arms purchases and the us has never broken from that so when trump says we are going to buy $150 billion worth of arms, no such order exists. the usual trump lies and tweets and it does not matter because he is saying an essential fact that when he says if we do not
trade with them somebody else will. he does not mean britain, he means russian and china. russia will not trade with them because they trade with iran and that will become a problem but china will trade with anyone. this props up the house of saudi and the continued acts like an absolute feudal monarchy and saudi arabia's economy as feudal, the money goes into the family and gets distributed to other tribes and people and this is what sustains the economy. unfortunately the harsh reality is the crown prince can it is alleged send a hit squad to turkey and literally butcher a dissident journalist who was part
of the insider group who was saying in public you are not the reform of you used to be. clemency is now being considered for matthew hedges, it seems to have caught the nitish foreign office on the hop. these situations are so opaque that we don't actually know how much people knew and what they knew and it is difficult to read these situations but it is on the face of it appalling and it is a very peculiar way for a country that considers itself to be an ally to behave. why would the british descending a secret agent to a country that is an ally? that is even any plausible pretext for doing so and they were not claiming he was an agent for some other country, for britain, something has gone seriously wrong. and that doesn't bode well for the long term relationship. the main arms dealer with the uae
is france and so for france to criticise the uae is out of the question. if you are going to do by you have this marvellous model but it is a nastier human rights abuse because i never going to cover this poor girl accused of prostitution, she got torture, no lawyer and only the intervention of the president... these poor indian workers in dubai who do not have a president or a foreign secretary, those are nasty places. this seems to be more susceptibility to public opinion now. the crown prince is saudi arabia has been reined in and i think that is because it was very bad optics in washington and so i think
they are not involve a role to public opinion as we might once have thought. one other thing, and the case of donald trump he does so much personal business with all the gulf monarchs and the saudis and this is actually potentially dangerous for him although i don't think he recognises it. the american constitution, there is a section that works to try and prevent the creation of aristocracy and within that paragraph there is a clause which says the chief executive cannot profit personally from relations with other countries. qatar has taken out a massive lease on his son—in—law's trophy building losing vast sums of money is now they have guaranteed he will be in profit. the saudis whenever they are in washington... we're getting off the subject. the point is that there's no reason for donald trump to stand up to the saudis because he is it seems profiting from this. no previous american
leader has either. never. it's the unfinished business of europe's colonial past — the treasures from africa and asia held by the collections of empire. this week, the governor of easter island pleaded for the british museum in london to return one of its giant statues, taken by british soldiers in the 1850s as a gift for queen victoria. the governor said: "you have our soul". the museum has, though, announced it will loan another stolen treasure, the benin bronzes, to a museum in nigeria. on friday, a report commissioned from a french art historian and a senegalese writer, recommended that the law should be altered to the allow cultural works to be returned. it's a big step forward, they were stolen and this is a very dangerous and complex situation and what is at risk as the very idea of a global museum, it will resume in which cultures can
be compared and displayed to a world audience, it is a kind of cultural ethnic cleansing in which everything has to go backward when it came from. will you carry it to the extent of the italian renaissance paintings and america being sent back to italy? they were not stolen they were bought. by very rich people and there were many who would say that was a corrupt use of wealth. that is a difference between religious relics and burial remains, that is a different case but art objects if you are going to decide that art objects belong to the world that there is a benefit in the cross—cultural
meeting, we are all into cultural things now... they were taken by military means and that is why macron decided to give back the benin statues. the british museum have too many works of art. anyone who wants to see the great benin bronzes will have to go to nigeria. and that i think will be very important in the development if you do not give it back you also help this country to create a museum and create curators. the status of art stolen during european empires as part of a new ongoing process of decolonisation. it does notjust happened with a declaration,
it goes on for decades and these are part of it all. the main difficulty in dealing with colonial art as it is worth millions and nobody likes to give up assets that are worth millions. another important aspect is that gallery owners in the west believe that works are displayed in museums such as the louvre and will be seen by far more people and be safer than as opposed to be displayed and relatively isolated places in africa. louvre has opened up in abu dhabi and is going to build even more tourism, the rich get richer. it is the story of the gulf states. i do not think you can come up with a single view about returning art because every set of objects and state is different. that was the criticism
that the director of the v&a made when it was announced, it was a sort of all guilty approach. everybody knows i am a liberal, i hate that word but if you think of some countries why not send to nigeria the benin bronzes for six months. on the other hand in mosul there were fantastic treasures destroyed by isis and in many parts of the world unfortunately the west is the cause for this and civility and you would have a point but nevertheless they are actually safer and it was part of the treasure house of humanity
of civilisation, all humanity and also rises and a thousand years then i would rather they be kept safe in the subbasement of the louvre than be returned to a country that in ten years might be overrun by civil war. you cannot decide who is innocent enough to hold the great works. why should all the rich tourists see? and belongs to the national countries. you would have to be richer to go to nigeria to see the benin bronzes than to europe. if you are nigeria it belongs to you so why cant you see why do you have to go to the louvre? why can't you decide your great artworks belongs to the world, that this is no longer a kind of parochial concern and just your national interest?
these constitute a world of comparative culture and if you destroy the idea of the comparative historical museum there will be no scope any longer for cultures existing side by side. it belongs to the rich world. you maan only rich people go to museums? yes and it is very important that the people of nigeria can see it and that this art is set back, it is not ours. a business loan that sometimes never ends. on a more diplomatic approach that macron took when he pledged to return some of the works back to africa but you notice the only makes this kind of declaration during his trips to africa. do you want africa to disappear from the world cultural stage? that is a question we will have to leave,
thank you all very much. i hope we will not be sent back from whence we came. that's it for dateline london for this week — we're back next week at the same time. goodbye. north—west scotland fared best for sunshine and will again tomorrow, thanks to an easterly flow coming into the uk and most of the cloud stays in the east and south and with that today we have had outbreaks of rain and showers and through this evening and tonight we will keep showers on the south coast, but into the east of scotland and north east england, a few in northern ireland as well. temperatures getting into low single figures, close to freezing
in the clearest spots. maybe a touch of frost going on to the morning. tomorrow, still an easterly flow and showers around in scotland and the north of england fishing into northern ireland, some clipping the far south—east. elsewhere, variable cloud, clear spells, quite a bit of dry weather away from the showers and still the easterly breeze, stronger wind in scotland compared with today and overall tomorrow it will feel cooler than it has done today. that your latest forecast. this is bbc news i'm christian fraiser. the headlines at five: the eu summit on brexit will go ahead tomorrow. the spanish prime minister drops his threat to derail the summit, saying britain has given him assurances over the future of gibraltar. but in belfast, the dup renews its attack on the deal, saying it could separate northern ireland from britain. i'm here in brussels where theresa may is due meet donald tusk and jean—claude juncker i'm lukwesa burak in london.