tv Brexitcast BBC News October 5, 2019 2:30pm-3:01pm BST
west with brisk winds as well, particularly for western and northern parts of scotland. through tonight, the heavy rain becomes slow moving, causing problems, localised flooding, certainly poor travelling conditions. it will dry out in western parts by the end of the night, pretty mild, 9—12 degrees. tomorrow, eastern areas could see quite a lot of rain, some problems with that, further west turning drier with some sunshine. hello this is bbc news. the headlines. democrats leading the impeachment
inquiry into president trump issue a legal order demanding that the white house hand over more documents. the un's human rights chief questions a decision by hong kong's government to ban the face masks frequently worn by pro—democracy demonstrators. the government indicates it could clarify its new brexit offer after the eu called for "fundamental changes". the wife of an american diplomat leaves the uk after becoming a suspect in an investigation into a crash which killed 19—year—old harry dunn in northamptonshire. now on bbc news, it's time for the latest edition of brexitcast. last week you had a giant flask of coffee? tea 7
that is what i will say it was. and a punnet of raspberries. and now i'm the raspberry! greetings from brussels. i am gazing adoringly at you. thank you. i am the raspberry. welcome to brexitcast. brexitcast from the bbc. no one has got a clue what brexit is. brexit is... no—one has quite understood the full extent of this. we rely on the dover and calais crossing. i met borisjohnson once. the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters, they are going to get it wrong again. remainers and leavers, that will end well. brussels, i would describe as a dog's brexit. we have still not got any raspberries, but it is chris at westminster. you've got a banana, as well as me. laura at westminster. adam in brussels. and doctor ardler in brussels. i like to say doctor when i'm wearing shoulder pads! it has been another big week. really.
i feel cross eyed. my binder has got much thicker. and are we poised to get a new brexit deal? laura, what does it look like? brussels asked for concrete proposals, viable, legally operational, and what did the prime minister come up with? a draft new protocol on ireland, northern ireland, with helpful, explanatory notes and a legal text that no—one has seen fully yet. broadly speaking, everybody ready? broadly speaking, the solution to replace the backstop, which was the thing in the last deal that fell in the commons to guarantee against a hard border coming back is... northern ireland for goods, cows, agriculture, stuff that is made in northern ireland, stays in the single market following eu rules, but northern ireland gets a vote on that every four years. it kind of gives people in northern ireland a veto. they might get a veto
even before it comes in because the northern ireland assembly might have to approve it during the transition period. if this ever happened, it is due to start at the end of the transition period, the start of 2021. it is not immediate. if this was to fly, it would have to happen in a month's time. exactly. the second bit, which is more troubling in terms of politics, is the whole uk leaves the customs union and that means, of course, there would have to be some form of customs checks on the island of ireland, and an increase in checks between great britain and northern ireland going that way, but not the other way. that is where it all gets very thorny. tradition suggests, if two countries are not in a customs union, you have to have customs checks and convention says that is a border and this whole project about the backstop is trying to find a solution to that. customs has always
been the conundrum. the government's position is that in the draught protocol basically this can all be done through technology and stuff that has to be physically checked can happen in a factory or at the end of the supply chain, rather than actually being at a border. in fact, there is a commitment to say they would never, ever have checks on the border. but you guys in brussels have been hearing how that has gone down. katya, you went to see guy verhofstadt, the brexit coordinator. the greatest centre parting on the continent, i think. he's taken to wearing a cardigan now. moving on... he has a greatjob. what did he have to say? he is known as quite excitable and what is interesting is that angela merkel has been quite quiet about this. emmanuel macron has been quiet about this. the irish taoiseach and the deputy prime minister of ireland have been more vocal,
as you would expect. we will go into the reservations and why they are not shouting it from the rooftops necessarily. remind us why this guy matters in this whole process. the european parliament matters because, like our parliament, it has a veto over any new brexit deal. so the european parliament has to be on board. if they don't like it, they can say no, and it does not matter if the negotiators in the eu and uk say they are happy with it. the parliament has to be happy as well. guy verhofstadt is a very key figure when it comes to brexit in the european parliament. i asked him question after question and in the end he wanted me out of his office. that is outrageous! no way. i said one more thing. let's have a listen. it was your last question! i promise i will go. you are worse than a politician. iam learning. i promise you can literally kick me out.
do you think borisjohnson is not serious about making a deal with brussels? is this a cynical proposal? that is a good question because we have serious doubts about the seriousness of these proposals because today a memo was leaked, signed by downing street to tory mps, to immediately blame the european union. if such a document has really been sent to the tory mps, we can have doubts about the seriousness of these proposals. i love that. before we talk about what you think he meant, can i ask — when you are doing an interview with a politician, what happens when you are saying that you are being a bit stretchy with the time, a press person stands in your eye line going like that. wind—up, wind—up, wind—up. did he have anyone with him? he just tried to walk me out of the room! he would not let me sit down.
it was a planned interview. he wouldn't let me sit down. he kept trying to walk away. he could have called security. i was bolshie at first. in the end as you heard i was going, "please, please, just one more thing." "i promise, i promise." he is an ultra and he even appeared at the lib dem conference, so he has bought into trying stop this happening from a political point of view. but how representative do you think someone like that really is of the eu overall? it has to pass through the parliament, any deal. the interesting thing about guy verhofstadt and his gang, the brexit steering group, bsg, not battle star galactica, bsg, they are made up
of some very gobby people, like philippe lomberts, the green mep, who will come out and trash the government quite often. but in official terms they have been quite relaxed. they are really on top of the citizens' rights thing, they pushed that, but when it comes to the deal they have been supportive and not that troublesome in a political sense. that's why it is important to say that the written statement they put out was really, really grim for the uk because normally they try to be helpful. also, they do liaise with barnier‘s team in the european commission, so this statement will not have come out without the knowledge of the other bits of the eu. i think we are in a very, very big political dance on both sides and it is not always elegant. i think both sides have got their good cops and their bad cops.
for example, boris johnson made a good impression in the eu with his covering letter that came with a proposal to jean—claude juncker yesterday. a big bit of progress. it was received well. there are elements in his proposals that have been praised by the eu leaders, but more than one of the diplomats said, steve barclay, that is the man we want to hearfrom because he is known as the tough guy, the brexit secretary. it is almost as if borisjohnson charms leaders in berlin and in paris and at the g7 with his letters, and stephen barclay comes in and start threatening countries like spain. that is interesting because here, stephen barclay, and let's all remember he was man enough to come on brexitcast and do a hard quiz, so thanks for that and let's invite him again, but from a political point of view i will be less flattering, this is a number ten move with david frost, the eu negotiator on behalf of boris johnson,
and stephen barclay is part of the team, but this is a number ten push from them. big picture, the view here is that the eu seem to have said things that are quite nice about the rules, the idea of northern ireland staying in the single market for goods and accepting eu rules, they see that as a big concession. the other thing that is fascinating is they know customs is the tricky bit, but i have been told by some very well— placed people that they had very strong signals from eu capitals that they were prepared to contemplate these kind of proposals. when you hear the foreign minister in ireland say today, if this is the final proposal, there will be no deal, very tough talk, but this is may be the basis of something. maybe the basis of discussion. but whether it can be done in ten days. he said final proposal, that was a very carefully worded thing. it was.
just like when the prime minister said it would be take it or leave it and it is not turning out to be that at all. one thing to say on regulations front. sorry, one important thing. although the eu does feel the prime minister is very coming towards their concerns when it comes to regulations, the fact that stormont will have a vote on those, there would be a time limit on it and maybe not even start at all as adam pointed out, it means that there are many in the eu who see it as giving with one hand and taking away with the other. that is why there are questions about when the prime minister says this is our big compromise, "what will you give me, eu?" many in the eu say it is not a compromise if there are so many caveats that it may not happen. what you have in this delicate political dance is both sides wanting a deal. the eu does believe the prime minister wants one, but it wonders will he make other,
new more compromises necessary? if he is leading up to a general election will he feel he will lose votes? will they make more compromises when it risks exposing the single market, possibly the northern ireland peace agreement, and seeming to abandon the member state of ireland. it is also delicate. dino, the producer sitting behind you, laura...what do call we that? the cupboard. he said, before we move on to tory conference, can you do some admin? number one, we are doing a new playlist on bbc sounds. that's good. not that we weren't out of our depth la st not that we weren't out of our depth last time. will you do some crooning? we don't do the singing, we introduce the songs, but our brexitcasters give us a list of songs. go on to the e—mail.
two, today is national poetry day. congratulations, everyone. we do have some brexit poems coming, so stay tuned for that. we have a special guest who is going to be the reader of our poetry as well. guy verhofstadt. in his cardigan? you saw the reception that katia got. three, people stop me on the street about this, why are you wearing headphones? please explain. the main reason is so that we can hear each other. i think people are getting at is, surely there are things that are more discreet than these giant things. i like these headphones. they are very comfortable, heading into winter they double as earmuffs. they are the only ones we could afford. it is because it is a podcast. and also because we are subtle. very subtle.
we have matching subtle microphones and headgear. it is more understated than it has been of late. did you see my segue? the commons. boris johnson had to go and answer questions today about his new plans and given that this time last week we spent a long time talking about how frustrated and angry and upset and really traumatised the house of commons felt. today was much more conciliatory. the prime minister was trying to play nice and take concerns seriously and anyone might imagine he might need some votes soon! the tone was different and he was trying to show that these were serious proposals. so cynical, at such a young age! sceptical, never cynical. always sceptical. what has shifted it? number one, they need votes. and some cabinet ministers have
said, look, you might not want to go as hard core on the old rhetoric as you did. even in his conference speech, and we will talk about that later, there was less of the very pointed, very anti—parliament talk. there is no way he will move back from his broad argument, "i am the one to end the horror show, and everyone else is trying to prolong the agony" — which he campaigned for, to start with. i think now there is something on the table to talk about, we are in a different phase. if last week was the screaming wall of noise, which it was here, this week, both the speech in manchester and the performance today, it felt warm, almost, or at least a willingness to listen. he still had a pop atjohn bercow, who has now almost lost his voice. he got conference cold without even attending a conference. strained: colleagues, i am very grateful to the large number of people who could have come
up to the chair expressing concern about my throat. it is much appreciated but i want to confirm to the house that the state of my throat, which is purely temporary, is not down to the consumption of a kangaroo's testicle. laughter i wouldn't eat it. it would probably be poisoned. he sounds like he has got a 120—a—day habit. when you said the prime minister was not hard on parliament during the tory conference... that was one bit that was not necessary. he was cracking jokes about parliament being trapped, like i'm a celebrity...|'m a jungle? i'm a celebrity get me out of here. he was poking fun. the classic old style borisjohnson warm way. he was making a political point.
there is one thing that is important to say, the eu say it is troublesome, but it is clear to me that there is a much better chance of there being a majority for this deal in parliament than for the previous one. this is still such a bumpy, bumpy period and as it happens during the conference, we sat down and had a chat with borisjohnson and i said, given everything that has happened, breaking the law, chucking people out of the party, all sorts of awful things and this is what he said. in the last few weeks you have lost major votes in the commons, chucked some mps out of your own party, the highest court in the land has found you broke the law and give the wrong advice to the queen, how do you think things are going? about as well as can be expected. i think it is going perhaps even slightly better. really? this was always going to be a very difficult time.
i thought, what does bad luck like? in the dark moments of the soul it must be quite something. on the discussion in the commons this afternoon and i know westminster types have a danger of starting to talk about numbers and wrapping presents before you have bought them, as it were, because obviously the conversation in brussels matters, but my favourite quote from steve baker from the erg, asked what he made of the plan, he said it was "tolerable." for mr baker, given his opposition to theresa may's deals and how he sees himself as the guardian of what he sees as brexit, tolerable is much doing the conga down whitehall in terms of an endorsement. like doing the conga followed by mark francois and john redwood. perhaps morris dancing? how solid is this potential new majority because if this proposal for borisjohnson is a starting point towards a potential deal, surely all these people
who are doing the conga today might stand to be a bit disappointed? you do not have to go far from tolerable for it to be intolerable. it will partly be about the psychology, maybe labour mps will vote for it if they think it is going to win, if they think it is real, but we might be in a situation today and if you're listening on the podcast, it is thursday. it is some date at the beginning of october, there might be a deal that tentatively is likely to get through parliament, but cannot get agreed with the eu, whereas previously there was a deal agreed by the eu, but could not get through parliament. you have talked about this before, do the warmish noises that we are hearing from the commons help shape the reaction in brussels given that you said before, brussels might be up for one last heave at some time but only if it could be certain of clearing the commons. yes. that is one of the big questions.
david frost, the prime minister's envoy is in brussels tonight and tomorrow to answer the massive list of questions the eu commission have for him but all of that aside and the war noises have for him but all of that aside and the warm noises and the suggestion they may be a majority in parliament for boris johnson's deal, the proposals on the table are not acceptable to the eu — full—stop. let us be honest about it. the chances of getting a deal now between now and the eu leaders summit is zero, let's be honest. the only possibility would be the prime minister turned around and said, you know that northern irish backstop, actually i will take take it, that is fine. otherwise we really are dancing around in circles, there still is some hope that it is possible and get your diaries out, there is a skeleton of a timetable for getting it done, meaningful vote four, well actually meaningful vote one is pencilled in according to some people for saturday the 19th of october, so forget your weekend plans.
really? if, if, if, if, if. but it is interesting that we say about the northern ireland backstop, so in number 10, they think that is what the eu might say. they think that is what the eu might say, thanks very much, you can have the northern irish backstop, they will not agree to that. as things stand, they will not agree to that and they are up for talking about the details they put forward, absolutely. on the two big principles which they say are customs and consent, so all full of snappy phrases, customs and consent, as far as far as they are concerned, they have gone quite far on the eu rules bit, they are not going to move on the others. it is no deal and they are willing to do that whether it is no deal or if by some hook or crook or whether it is no deal perhaps after that. i think the best little nugget
of video over the last week, which if you have seen before, you will love to see again and if you have not seen it, you will love. it is about your corridors in manchester, because the prime minister is walking down a corridor en route from one interview to the next. i know what this is. he was in need of refreshment. thank you. what's this? 0h! disposable cups. the wonderful thing about that is that there is a full—stop between each word. i tell you what, she is a highly experienced at downing street operative. it was whisked so smoothly away. it was suggested to me that boris johnson is still secretly scared of michael gove because he banned everything and dictated to the cabinet that they all had to go in with the proper coffee cups, no more disposable cups. no disposable cups.
it is beyond the thick of it, if that had been written as a bit of a script, you would think it was a bit too cliched for that. do you remember what day it is today? thursday, but not for poems. it is national poetry day and we did a punt earlier on to brexitcasters to write some poetry and people got their scrolls out and sat in meadows and people looked into the distance and then we thought... we have recruited a poet in residence. here he comes. john pienaar! jp, hello, hello. the best voice in broadcasting. i like what you've done with the place? john, what have brexitcast listeners come up with? i have been given a run of poems and i will go through one or two of them and tell me when to stop. shall i do them as me,
or brian blessed? the first one is that you and then the second one brian blessed, and the third one is guy verhofstadt. here's the first one and thanks to pete for this. oh, very good! marvellous. well done. this is from jake yap. that is good. i like, i like. you need to know a lot of stuff to understand that. that is quite niche.
we are like the little corner of the party who would understand that. thanks to ann carruthers for this. she has done nail art. that is classy. theresa may sat behind borisjohnson. and the final one. here goes. thank you. while you're here, we have to ask, what is your prediction of what will happen?
no idea! shall i go on? that is a long time in broadcasting. cheers, john. goodbye. should we create a poem now? like a poetry slam? i think that is a terrible idea. you have no thrill for risk. bye, everybody. rain featuring heavily in the forecast for the next 2a hours, starting to show its hand over western parts of the uk. through the
afternoon and this evening it is going to spread east and some of it will be really heavy. the radar picture shows how things have been developing. patchy rain in the west. heavy rain getting into northern ireland and it will continue moving east and it may bring some travel problems and flooding. the best weather further east, especially for the north, shetland and orkney seeing sunshine. temperatures 12—16. tonight the rain becomes slow—moving, staggering east. some intense bursts, some thunder and lightning. some poor conditions on the roads if you're travelling overnight. quite windy especially in northern scotland but it will be mild. tomorrow, eastern areas hold on the rain, so there may be localised flooding. further west, drier and brighter, with some sunshine.
this is bbc news, i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at three: democrats leading the impeachment inquiry into president trump issue a legal order demanding that the white house hand over more documents. much of hong kong is shut down as demonstrators defy a new ban on wearing facemasks. the government indicates it could clarify its new brexit offer after the eu called for "fundamental changes". iran releases a british—australian woman and her boyfriend, who'd been detained for three months on spying charges. prince harry begins legal action against the owners of the sun and the mirror over alleged phone hacking. england reach the quarterfinals of the rugby world cup — with a game to spare after a 39—10 victory