tv Brexitcast BBC News January 11, 2020 8:30pm-9:00pm GMT
but a lot of dry, fine weather, even here. temperatures seeing a range of 4—11. hello, this is bbc news with lu kwesa burak. the headlines. there's been anti—government demonstrations on the streets of tehran, after iran finally admits it shot down a passenger plane by mistake. 176 people died in the crash. tonight, the canadian prime minister says he expects a full investigation. this is an extremely serious matter. canada and the world still have many questions, questions that must be answered. power—sharing is restored in northern irealnd, as key ministers are appointed at the first assembly meeting for three years. we can agree that there was too much suffering and that we cannot allow society to drift back and allow division to grow.
the shadow brexit secretary sir keir starmer has launched his campaign for the labour leadership, saying the party needs to put an end to factional disputes. now on bbc news, brexitcast. it all feels a bit different somehow. where has the jeopardy gone? it's left the building. i haven't run anywhere this week yet, apart from around the park. that exercise that never quite happened in 2019, or ‘18 or ‘17! it's still brexitcast but there's other stuff happening this week. should it be megxit—cast? sorry. should we not say any words like exit any more, aren't they all banned? what will we be called? bleep—cast, beep—cast? outcast? i like outcast! we have been that for many a time, for many a year, even if that's not the official title. welcome, for now, to... all: brexitcast.
brexitcast. .. brexitcast... from the bbc. danny dyer: no-one's got a bleep clue what brexit is! donald trump: brexit is, errr... dominic raab: i hadn't quite understood the full extent of this. we are particularly reliant on the dover—calais crossing. keir starmer: this election blew away the argument for a second referendum. boris johnson: i urge everyone to find closure. let the healing begin. ursula von der leyen: i am sorry. we will miss you. yanis varoufakis: a process which i can only describe as a dog's brexit. this is katya adler in brussels, next to... adam fleming in brussels. laura in westminster. and chris in westminster. happy new year, everybody. happy 2020. 2020 is already pretty different. it's really funny, here in westminster, at least, the difference. i know it was obvious there would be a difference because the conservatives won a big majority, but the actual feel of it, walking around parliament,
there is the excitement of new mps who are currently still working off their smartphones in corridors because they don't have an office, excited to be in the building and finding their way around. there will be discussions to come about what brexit will look like butjeopardy has just completely gone and itjust feels... it couldn't feel more different. it couldn't. a lot of people i have spoken to this week, "remember 2005, 2006" when the things that were of issue, were important, but the kind of drive of things were, "will there be a rebellion?" "if there is a rebellion, how big will it be?" that's the point, politics never has more jeopardy than when you can't be certain whether the prime minister will survive the week, the government will survive the month and whether the fundamental reason for their existence — delivering on brexit — will even happen. and more than anything else, with barely a whisper of argument, the brexit bill we have talked about so many times, today passed by 99 votes. here it is. order. the ayes to the right, 330.
the noes to the left, 231. cheering. we heard one mp there say, "wow." for lots of tories, brexiteers, it's the ultimate vindication of borisjohnson‘s strategy. he ran an election saying, "get brexit done," was the slogan. we know it's the first bit, the departure, it's not the long term relationship, but the vote today means it's finished in the commons, off it goes to the lords and he will be able to stick to the timetable he promised the country. i think on the brussels side, it's always a slow start at the beginning of the year. speak for yourself. a lot of focus, even in the uk, for those who felt the issue of brexit was too close—focus, are now standing back and thinking about the environment, obviously because of the fires in australia. they are thinking about geopolitics with iran. on iran, it brings you back to brexit, because you can see the uk in the diplomatic sphere with germany and france still working together.
i wouldn't say people are saying, "this is the way to go and this is the way forward", but it's a reminder that... boris johnson likes to talk about his friends and partners in the european union. just in the last 24 hours, we have had michel barnier and ursula von der leyen, the new commission president, lavishing praise and respect on the uk. but of course, this is before the gloves are taken off ahead of the start of trade talks after brexit. we should be clear, the big, momentous thing that happened this evening with the withdrawal agreement bill in the commons, it's passing what's called the third reading, the final stage in the house of commons, so it now goes to the house of lords but we don't expect their lordships to kick up much of a fuss. a few days after that, when it gets through the house of lords, it will get royal assent when the queen rubber—stamps it symbolically and it will be the law. how will theresa may be feeling today? probably quite relieved, actually. i think people can mischievously
say, "she will secretly be bitter and furious," but i think probably quite relieved because it's hard to understate, as chris was suggesting, for the tories, my goodness, this is a majority of a scale they never dreamt they could achieve, less than six months after they had a government that was completely falling apart. for them as a party, you can see it in their body language and you can feel it in the chatter around the place. labour is in on itself, and we will talk about that a bit more later. but maybe in the recesses of theresa may's mind, she's said to have a bit of a dark sense of humour, so you never know. on the technical details of the legislation, the government has added a few things that were not there in the version that existed before the election. a few people have tried to add things to it themselves, but haven't succeeded. bring us up—to—date on what has gone in and what has not. with a thumping majority, the government can... they can't do what they like, but they won't be troubled
by the kind of amendments and changes of policy the opposition might want to make. today in particular, the lib dems tried to put down an amendment on erasmus. a lot of people are interested in this, the european exchange programme for students, and the lib dems tried to get the government to put into legislation that erasmus would continue and prosper and they'd have to do it legally. that amendment, no surprise, was defeated. but to be clear, that doesn't mean that erasmus is somehow over and brits will forever be excluded. it doesn't mean that at all. it basically means the government is sticking with the policy, what they say is, "of course it can continue, and we will work it out in the future." that's not good enough for some people, but if you are listening to this or watching this and you are worried about erasmus, what happened today doesn't mean it's over, kaput, will never take place again. also an amendment from the scottish national party who were arguing that elements of the withdrawal agreement bill are in contravention of what should be a power the scottish government would oversee, and the snp all voted for it and the conservatives
and others voted against it. you had the row, the discussion and debate, but the outcome was a foregone conclusion. never in doubt. it's such a different atmosphere. it was interesting to hear the new commission president yesterday in london, she had her first face—to—face meeting with the prime minister. what is the proper pronunciation, as a german native? ursula von der leyen. love it. do the first bit again. i think i said ursh—ula in a radio 4 piece yesterday. she gave a speech at the lse where she studied in the late 19705. she said for her, the withdrawal agreement, all the leaving bit is done and dusted. i thought again, that
feeling today again... i'm going to say, "wow", even though we've discussed why we don't. the fact that it has sailed through like that today is... you do, you know, for all of our... we have followed every tiny second of it, and you're just, like, "blimey". it's a bit the same when the commission president says, "done and dusted, thank you, goodbye, let's move on." you do feel like, "wow, that was three years, three tortuous, big years, and now that door is closing and everyone is moving on by the end of this month..." they still have to work out how to actually implement the northern ireland bit. but that will be done in parallel to trade talks. that's what will make this year so complicated. but the central question that has been hovering over this for three years that we have so enjoyed chewing over on brexitcast — will this happen or not? it is happening, that bit is done. so what ursula von der leyen — not as good a pronunciation as katya, and i am most impressed by her astonishingly, hyper—fabulous clinton—esque hairdo.
i don't want to be flippant but it is astonishing. katya speaks german. what? i've only got my head round ursula! it's this fantastic hairspray advert on german tv in the 19905. i love it. it was great, a woman who gets out of an aeroplane with the wind blowing... is it her? no, but it could have been. ..in high heels and bouffant hair that doesn't move and the wind blows. everything else moves but her hair doesn't. and it has the slogan for the hairspray. i need some of that. we need that for the news. i'm also interested in her punk past. some things in brexitcast don't change even though the politics has changed radically since we were last here. i was wondering, as she said she had been a punk in soho at some point, so i wondered if she had a full mohican orjust crazy hair. but anyway, shall we have a listen to the serious business that she was talking about? ursula von der leyen is a self—confessed anglophile. she loves the uk.
she waxed lyrical yesterday about how much she loved living in london and how much it taught her. she is an atlanticist as well. but anyone who thinks this kind of anglophilia will make her softer when it comes to trade talks is mistaken, i feel. so amidst the avalanche of lovebombing for the uk in her speech yesterday, there were clear warnings as well. without the free movement of people, you cannot have the free movement of capital, goods and services. without a level playing field on environment, labour, taxation and state aid, you cannot have the highest quality access to the world's largest single market. the more divergent it is, the more distant the partnership will be. i guess that's the essence of it, isn't it? talk of trade—offs might not be as sexy as the jeopardy
of the last 12 months, but trade—offs, the compromises around the negotiations to come, is where this story is going. yeah, sure. the big question politically is whether borisjohnson will be able to stick to his timetable. remember, he said he wants it all done and dusted in a year. but i think there are a lot of clues from her and also clues on the british side on how this is likely to play out. this is the expectation from whitehall, and i don't know what you are hearing in brussels as well, but there are likely to be what ursula von der leyen described as priorities, different layers of agreement. i know already different whitehall officials have been talking about, how do you get something by the end of the year. so you can say you have met the promise? right, so you have met the promise and some bits of the deal are done, but then there will be layers of agreement, as it was described to me. how do you sequence different layers of agreement, how do you choreograph it so the political promise can be kept, the deal can be done,
but with other bits to be tied up? would it matter if the political promise wasn't kept, given the size of his majority? i suppose it would be tricky and embarrassing, but will it bring the government down? no. quite. but it's notjust about not keeping your promise, or leaving, brexit two months later than you promised. in this case, it would mean paying into the eu budget for longer. so it's notjust a date change. i think the eu believe borisjohnson when he says he does not want to extend this standstill transition period that will start as soon as the end of this month, basically, and last until the end of this year. but even, laura, when you say the word prioritise, that's something you are hearing from ursula von der leyen, as well as from michel barnier, but this will be where the difficulty starts. whose priorities, right? the eu is hell—bent on prioritising its main issues of interest first. of course, goods, because it sells more to the uk than the uk sells to the eu.
security and defence cooperation. these are the things that the eu will want to prioritise first. and, of course, fish! and that will be difficult for borisjohnson. it will be massively complex. even if you take the one issue of fishing, it's not just complicated because of all the different national and supranational, if we can use that word, interest. if you take that as an example, economically, it's actually — and no offence to anyone in that industry listening — economically in terms the uk, it is tiny, but politically, it's enormous. and symbolically and all that. and all these different issues, there are so many. it's like a patchwork of all different little things that might explode on their own. but the signs from the uk side are that they don't want to do a "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed" approach. they want to do this piece by piece. maybe that's the only way they believe you can really get it done, because can you ever get it all agreed?
michel barnier, who's staying on as a chief negotiator, did a speech in stockholm today where he said a lot of similar stuff to ursula von der leyen but went into more detail, and i got the impression from him that he was saying that the deal on all the other stuff will be conditional on two other deals being done first. one, the fisheries deal, which they want to have done and dusted by the summer. and also an arrangement and agreement on the so—called level playing field, how you manage economic competition between the two sides. i got the impression from him that it's only when those two things are agreed that he will be prepared to move on to the other stuff. doesn't that sound very familiar? like the withdrawal agreement phase one, sort out citizens' rights, money and the irish border, before we get onto the other big and juicy stuff. do i have to say parallelism versus sequentialism! indeed. i have that written on my pad! that could be the new name of the podcast. parallel—cast and sequential—cast. we could head off into even more niche areas.
there is an interesting thing about the balance of power now. what do you guys think? one of the officials involved on the uk side said to me the other day that the fascinating thing about the next set of negotiations is, yes, they will be complicated, tough, the eu will not play softball, but the way they put it is, the balance of power has changed here because previously there was always a bloc of about a0 or 50 mps in parliament who the eu were sure would stop the government leaving without a deal. now, with a majority of 80 and a government that, as katya has said, believes borisjohnson is serious about his timetable, the balance of power is different. they can't be sure that whether it's 0liver letwin, david gauke, yvette cooper, hilary benn, these people they can't pull strings to stop the government saying, "fine, the deal‘s not finished, we don't care, off we go". the essence of that was the question i was going to ask you in brussels. how does brussels now look at the british government in a way that it didn't before the election,
given how the numbers have so radically changed? i think whether it's a massive majority or stonking or whatever you want to call it, that does not impress the eu. the eu still thinks that it holds most of the cards. it still thinks that if there is no deal come the end of the year, the uk would be worse off than the eu. it believes the uk needs this deal more than the eu does. but what the government does have is a very clear mandate. think of all of that time under theresa may when the eu was saying, "you've got to be sure about what you want, you have to be telling us what you want." they know boris johnson wants divergence and this is going to be the big clash. as adam said, what the eu is hell—bent on getting is tying the uk to competition rules, if you like, on tax, environment and labour regulations, because they're worried about a deregulated uk being too much of competition to them.
this is going to be the big tussle, alignment versus divergence. another thing that came out of michel barnier‘s speech today in stockholm, which i will stop quoting soon, was now borisjohnson has very clearly said the uk will not align or sign up to eu rules in perpetuity, they're going to have to look at it a different way. my hunch is that the deal will be less about upfront alignment, signing up to follow eu rules, potentially forever, as they develop, and more about what tools does the eu have have at its disposal to manage that divergence? so if the uk, for example, decides to bung a load of money to a company in a region to save it because it's in trouble, so—called state aid, what would the eu do as, not retaliation, but to manage the flow of product affected? would you put a tariff or quota or ban on something on that product? it's anti—dumping they are talking about.
yes, i just get the sense they're moving away from this idea of getting the uk to commit to following the rules, and it's more about manufacturing a process that will be how you manage the potential divergence, about incentives and disincentives for the uk to pursue a different path. and i think at this early stage, and it's very early, i mean, the eu council has not even agreed its mandate. brexitcasters who have been following along for a long time will know how much the mandate matters, notjust to give adam a print out to put in a binding. they are going to have their own massive mandate. it's going to be huge, apparently. how big is your mandate? but... stonking! laughter. there's the title, stonking mandate—cast! mandates being waved around. it's very early in all of this, but it sounds like actually from all the conversations collectively, maybe this is going to be a sort of evolving, piecemeal kind of thing that will be a sort of, a living, breathing arrangement, rather than a tome that is a definitive tome forever. i mean, i think you will get something at the end of this year so borisjohnson can say,
"you see, i've got it". and i think they will find a way to continue the conversations into 2021 and 2022... and 2052. yes, however long it takes. and that living, breathing, three—dimensional thing will play out in terms of the uk's priorities as it looks elsewhere around the world, won't it, in terms of trade deals? we have seen this interview that our colleagues at countryfile have done, tom with theresa villiers, the environment secretary, on our old friend chlorinated chicken and whether the uk would ever be up for chlorinated chicken and hormone treated beef and all of that and even though we had some conservatives saying during the election campaign and before that they were none too keen on said poultry, theresa villiers is now saying definitively it ain't going to happen. they will stick with the eu ban. exactly, so it's trade—offs again in terms of what... but that will have consequences for a us trade deal. sure, and of course, all the personal political relationships will matter, too, right? hugely, which is why if we go back
to ursula von der leyen and seeing her with borisjohnson this week was quite interesting this week, very different to seeing him with juncker, certainly very different to seeing, you know, tusk and may and juncker and may. what did you make of seeing them sit alongside each other? well, the first thing that struck me was, having watched many hours of jean—claude juncker doing speeches and o and as, he was not a details person, whereas ursula von der leyen clearly is. there were all these boffins from lse in the audience, saying, "what do you think about subparagraph this on citizens' rights? " and she had an answer straightaway. there was one bit where she didn't have an answer and she called michel barnier and he stormed the stage. so she is very across the detail. stormed the stage? yeah, he did a stage invasion. ok, the new year's challenge for adam is can you actually deliver a sentence without quoting or mentioning michel barnier? yeah, well, ok... fairenough. was storming the stage just
walking up to the lectern? anyway, my favourite bit of the whole royal visit by ursula von der leyen, though, was when she went into downing street and borisjohnson showed her into the room in downing street. they headed for the armchairs to do the slightly awkward chat that these people have to do when the cameras are there, to show that they are friendly and they had this conversation about how they "went to school together". so it was on of those moments where, "was he telling a lie or did he want
it to be true so it showed they were really good friends, that it was a fresh start?" we know that he introduced british bulldog, or so he said, he introduced that marvellous playground export of british bulldog, where someone's arm invariably got broken. i bet he is amazing at british bulldog. you saw him charging down that japanese school kid in the rugby match all those years ago. oh, yeah! i bet he was a fiend at british bulldog! 0k, brexitcasters, anyone have any old cine film of the playground of the belgian international school, the brussels international school, circa 1972? it's a curious biographical oddity, though, that here are two people who are the offspring of eurocrats, you know, which is why they were at that same school, albeit at different times, in brussels and here they are on opposite sides of this negotiation. yeah, weird. it's like politics is like its own little world and perhaps people who are involved in it's offspring get involved. quite similar. let's talk about the birthday slot.
so today, it is the duchess of cambridge's birthday, not very relevant to the brexit debate. it's relevant to a few other things. # joyeux anniversaire a... to michel barnier, 69 today. he's done it again! is he 69? blimey. he's 69. and he got a tiny little bit of cake. this is in stockholm european commission office in stockholm where he did his speech about the future relationship, and then at the end they surprised him with a tiny cake with one candle on it. and then he told this story about... it was literally about the size of a cupcake. and yellow, wasn't it yellow? he is well known for a being a very healthy eater so i bet he won't even have even eaten that cake. i thought you always bumped into him in a bakery? yes, with the croissant. you know once he told me off because i bought a quiche for my lunch and i bumped into him on the street and he was like, "that is a very unhealthy lunch". what had he bought for his? quiche is unhealthy?
yeah. anyway, but the reason i wanted to bring this up, though, is because it gets us... barnier—cast!. ..talking about how you might mark big moments like your 69th birthday or leaving the eu after more than 40 years of being in it. yes. so we want brexitcasters to get in touch with us to tell us how they are planning to mark the moment, whether they are celebrating it or being sad about it. so if you are planning something for the 315t of january at 11pm london time, midnight brussels time, drop us an e—mail about it, firstname.lastname@example.org, or get in touch with us on social media using the hashtag brexitcast and we promise not to gate—crash it. it isjust to get an idea of what people are doing! speak for yourself! yeah, ithink we might be busy that night anyway. storyboard it, storyboard your ideas for us. and just to prove that some things about this whole brexit process haven't changed in the big political change of the last few weeks, we thought we have got to play you this before we finish this week, which is mark francois, the conservative mp, a big figure of the erg, you know, those letters that were used so often in 2019, with this polite request
in the commons a little earlier. we will leave the european union at 11pm gmt on the 31st of january. as we leave at a precise, specified time, those who wish to celebrate will need to look to a clock to mark the moment. laughter. it seems inconceivable to me and many colleagues that that clock should not be the most iconic timepiece in the world, big ben. will he make representations to the house of commons commission, whose decision this is, that big ben should bong for brexit? there we are. a bit of alliteration, the question targeted at the brexit secretary, stephen barclay, who basically said, "not my call", because it is the job or the responsibility of the house of commons authorities. oh, i worked this out, so this is the big ben brexit done bing bong ding—dong.
very good. that is what that was. say it again. don't make me say it again. the question is whether big ben is going to bing the bong for brexit. that's better. what is that sound i hear? it is a distant bonging, i think, telling us that time is up. bong! goodbye! goodbye. brexitcast. from the bbc. hello. the day hasn't been all doom and gloom by any means at all but if you are anywhere near a weather front chugging its way to scotland and northern ireland and then down into the north of england through wales and into the south—west, well, you will have known it has been very wet and very windy. further to the south and east, you have got the cloud and wind and rain to come during the rest of the evening and indeed overnight. the front really not moving very far, very fast. clearing skies getting into the north of england,
to scotland and to northern ireland. some showers getting wintry to about 300 metres, and it will be quite a chilly start, especially on the eastern side of scotland, one or two rural spots, —2 or so, so a touch of frost. that won't be the case while you have the last of the cloud and wind and rain across england and wales. by about lunch time, that should have quit east anglia and then brighter skies following on behind. yes, one or two showers into wales and the south—west and many more showers across the northern and western parts of scotland and the odd one for northern ireland. but a lot of dry, fine weather, even here. temperatures seeing a range of 4—11.
this is bbc world news today. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: anti—government protests in tehran after the government admits accidentally shooting down a ukrainian passenger jet. 57 canadians died in the crash. prime minister trudeau demands a full and complete investigation. canada and the world still have many questions, questions that must be answered. in the wake of harry and meghan‘s decision to step back from their roles in the family, the queen and other senior royals will meet to discuss the situation at sandringham on monday. taiwan's president comfortably wins re—election and calls on china to abandon its threat to take back the island by force.
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