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tv   British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson  CSPAN  March 22, 2018 2:00am-4:21am EDT

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television coverage was dominated by violent credit -- clashes between police and protesters at the democratic national convention. wick -- richard nixon won a decisive victory. joining us, former presidential candidate pat buchanan served under reagan and the author of " the greatest comeback: how richard nixon rose to create the majority." and, presidential studies and codirector of a program at the university of virginia. turmoil"68: america in sunday live at 8:00 -- 8:30 a.m. eastern on c-span's washington journal, and later on c-span3. >> british secretary 4 -- boris johnson was questioned by members of parliament about the poisoning of a former russian -- russian spy in england. mr. johnson suggested that english soccer fans may be asked
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about the world cup tournament, unless russia is able to guarantee their safety. he also spoke about foreign-policy challenges. >> thank you for coming. >>if we can -- if i can ask directly, going to ask royston to start. >> not entirely appropriate my opinion, i'm sure you agree. do you believe president clinton was directly involved in the order? it's exactlynson: right that we should begin with that subject. i'm grateful to the committee today.
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what the prime minister said week ago was very clear. we give the russians to alternatives. they could either explain how stocks could mysteriously escape . that has become -- that especially has come to be used. the attempt of murders that took endangeringeckless in this country, the first use of nerve agents on european soil in 25 years, was a direct response -- of the russian state. to get to your point, mr. smith, as we saw in the case of alexander litvinenko, the responsibility for such assassinations and assassination attempts dug us connect -- inexorably back to the kremlin. recently, carol
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corder cox bay, excuse my pronunciation, said the attack could have been carried out by people including president putin, but no longer under his control. do you find that a plausible explanation? johnson: i would go back to what i just said. of ait comes to the use trump type of nerve agent in attempt toto assassinate somebody who would be identified by the russians, a target for liquidation, not long after, president putin said such people would choke on their own dirty pieces -- deserve to be poisoned, no matter how exactly it came to be done. the pathway, the chain of responsibility seems to me to go back to the russian state.
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>> foreign secretary, why do you think putin, russia felt able to undertake such a despicable, illegal attack? secretary johnson: well, i think there's several reasons why the attack was made, the unlawful force, as the prime minister has directly to find -- correctly defined it. that president putin, the russian state wanted to give to potential sectors in their own agencies. this is what happens if you decide to support a country with different values such as our own. you can expect to be assassinated. i think the reason they picked united kingdom is simple. it's because this is a country set ofes have that
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values. it does believe in freedom and democracy. this has time and again called out russia over its abuses of those values. in the western balkans, the balkans. we see what's been happening with the russians in syria. , is it --'s in the eu it's britain that has been most forthright and obstinate in sticking up for our values. i think that's probably the reason why it has decided to make the gesture in this country. why do you think they used this particular nerve agent, rather than something more easily concealed and contained? secretary johnson: obviously, we can only speculate on that mr.
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gates, but i thought it was -- king clark put his finger on it the other day when he said this is "a russian signature on the deed." by using a specific type of nerve agent known to be developed in the soviet union in no former russian agent was immune. arm.e can escape the long people, it has really become clearer and clearer how reckless attempt, the assassins were in their contentment, if you would like. hospital,fficer in
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two people injured. the public will be at serious risk of their health. fearter: why didn't they what our reaction would be? is it related to 10-12 years ago is it to do with -- how to do withit her russians seized the u.k.? might be a point where we are less supported internationally? secretary johnson: i, i, if that was their assumption, i think that they would be greatly disappointed. there's a big difference in global reaction. the assassination of alexander litvinenko. muted inago, rather responded.
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what we have seen over the last couple of weeks has been a mounting discussed globally -- isgust globally. i've been surprised by the strength, the solidarity that there is with the u.k.. the determination, whether it's nato, the eu, or the course -- court statement, or the un , there'scouncil support for that in this country. mike gapes: have you got any thoughts as to -- why they chose this particular type? secretary johnson: think that's -- i think that the most
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common -- there might be thetion in the kremlin to, loss of russian life in the wagner. the mercenaries, you will remember syria -- what happened in syria. speculation about that. the timing -- i think the timing is more closely connected with the recent election in russia. non-democratic figures ,o when facing an election facing a political moment, it's often attractive to conjure up in the public imagination the notion of levity. .it was what i think an attempt to excite the russian electorate. mike gapes: may i reiterate
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actually the support i've had for volunteerism across europe? this committee, any number of exactly yourating words. what were you going to say -- >> we've just been asked mike's question. understanding an of why the russians behaved like this. there is an alternative -- make are carried motives out. there has been much spent on defense. we see a nation that doesn't understand russia. -- doesn't understand the nation. you could argue they are attacking us because they hear we have been week, rather than seeing the nature of russia in ukraine, crimea, syria, london. regardless ofson:
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, thehappened 12 years ago litvinenko assassination, i ofnk most people, both sides the commons, all backed ventures that i listened to. approved the response of the u.k. issuing this time. it's been a mixture of a firm, diplomatic response, a function of undeclared russian agents since the 1980's. coupled with a series of measures. pushing back on russia. i don't believe that would've been fact. when the decision was made to make this assassination attempt. he will know what they are, countering russian disinformation with our colleagues, looking at what we can do to tackle cycles of our all thatng sure above
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we will have a series of way. those that may have illicitly or ,orrectly obtained money connected to vladimir putin. we are working with our colleagues. >> you said they had to talk to each other. is that still your approach when it comes to russia?what are your plans in terms of communication in light of what happened,? secretary johnson: thank you. yes. the policy is effectively unchanged, the prime minister said on wednesday. no one can say that we have been trying. that was the reason for going to moscow, to show we are willing
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to engage. not coming anytime soon here. he certainly isn't. there would be no high level u.k. representation of the world cup. we all know that. things are going to be difficult. of course they will be for a while to come. that doesn't mean all contact and engagement will be stopped. that the u.k. has in spite of everything many admirers among the russian people. people are going to listen as to what we have to say. we are very disappointed by russia's actions in the british council -- in clamping down the british council. that provoked the bit -- the biggest hostile reaction we know of. if we possibly can, we want to continue communication, to about the hand of friendship to the russian people.
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our call is with -- our quarrel is with putin's kremlin. priti patel: how did you decide to go forward in terms of communication, making progress? on some of these issues that are affecting us -- key progress on some of these issues that are affecting us. secretary johnson: there's several areas in which we have to be honest. the russians to play our role across the geopolitical landscape. they did in syria, where the crisis is getting worse. we have people dying at the rate of about 80 a day. russians to get their clients states. this is not leading anywhere.
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to have a proper negotiation .that can be influential. to engage to. have make that point. priti patel: come back? you meant -- can i just come back. you mentioned syria. insia's position in syria terms of going back, the support we are facing in this country, which is all lines of culpability, accountability, getting them to take culpability for the what has happened, how far do you think we can push the russians? the council for their own actions there? secretary johnson: we fled the denunciation of what they've done, sanctions certainly on members of the
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assad regime responsible for the come 61 matt -- massacre -- we've held them accountable in the u.n., syria. difficult with the russians, members of a p5 country. we continue to toughen resolutions to put the pressure on assad, the russians. we continue to do so. there's sanctions and crimea, where it's the fourth anniversary exactly of that invasion. is the u.k. that has been played in the lead across the world in imposing sanctions on russia. sanctions, i talked about this a few days ago. those have been responsible in 2015 alone. those were responsible for a .4%
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extra and russia's gdp. the u.k. has been at the forefront, both pushing for these. we will continue to do so. >> just wanted to press you a bit. when alexander litvinenko was murdered, obviously the -- person -- wanted to get a proper trial. it took a long time. as the russians about extradition -- asked the russians about extradition. then, there was a change in government see in 2010. why did it take such a long time for the government to agree to have a full inquiry? secretary johnson: it's a really, and mr. bryant, you've been following this issue, this tight official for a long time with a great deal of aptitude and clarity, but as to the why
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we took the decision to respond not immediately but in a measured way, to let the grass grow under our feet this time around. not in the case of surrogates daughter. the reason is -- sergey's daughter. the reason is, debate -- british state basically behaved in the wake you would expect us to. we scrupulously followed legal processes. then, we thought that the russians would do the same. every efforting is was made to persuade the -- fors to hand over trial. respondedns as ever and denial, distortion,
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delay. that is their tactic. i think we've learned a lesson from that. that is why we've moved in a different way this time. chris bryant: the litvinenko trial happened. as a result, it's being decided by the judge, the closest we can have to a proper trial, the judge decided that the trail ran straight rack to the kremlin. secretary johnson: the case was the first thing i think i raised in my first ever meeting. we have continued to raise it. chris bryant: i know, but we didn't do anything, did we? secretary johnson: if i can -- we. it's difficult on the basis of, when you have absolute denial by the russian state for what they've done -- chris bryant: have you met evan?
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-- navenyjanko? secretary johnson: i wouldn't want to -- chris bryant: you haven't had the opportunitychris bryant:. he is one of the most clear-sighted, calm, outstanding individuals i've met, has a lot of good ideas. >> could push this up to an appointment? it's not true that the .overnment and do anything they ran in july 2007, came into put in place a series of measures. >> after the, i understand. i'm talking about after the inquiry. >> motives still in place. >> i understand. judgethe inquiry, the pointed it straight back to the kremlin.
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that point is a good one. can i just then ask you, obviously, we prefer to have the full trial with suspects and all that. if that proves impossible, all ae same reasons, will we have public inquiry led by a judge as soon as possible? as much as can be held in a proper initial process? secretary johnson: we continued to demand the extradition, to get back to your point about the british state doing nothing. we continue to demand their extradition. that's a point that i raised with my russian counterparts when i have met them. your question about the judicial inquiry, what most people would want to see now, the priority is to allow our police, our law enforcement agencies to get them -- get on with their job.
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what we are doing now is handing over, making sure that the toanization -- has access their -- the nerve agent -- a source of the nerve agent so it can be properly evaluated. most people would accept impartial conditions. -- most people, going to be impartial conditions. chris bryant: another question. i've had it put to me that the reason we did nothing after the litvinenko inquiry was that russian money in the u.k. is now so important that it's an existential risk to london to lose that money. secretary johnson: i don't believe that. -- the u.k. doesn't understand the nature of the russian strength.
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what do you believe that the russia's full-spectrum more, generation work, -- spectrum war generation war? have you believe that playing out? secretary johnson: the russian threats consist in a state of mind that's been found -- consist in a state of mind that's been found in the kremlin. an's in nature -- it's anxious feeling about how the cold war ended, what happened to the soviet union. the feeling that russia is in control over a much diminished sphere of influence. moscow, the minions have been rolled back. he wants thatey, russia -- lost out. he wants trouble wherever he can. that's what you see in the
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provocations, attempted -- assassination in part in a gro, meddlingtene in the european election campaigns, to say nothing of campaigns elsewhere. -- and of course the action in syria. it's time for the world to take russia seriously again. the principal for this is not us. as domestic organs who want after they've seen these, humiliations, that want to feel russia is strong again. russia's ruled by someone strong , in terms of expressing strength and desire for revenge, even in salisbury. bob seely: i asked the question because, the answer that was full. he primarily looked at forms of political cold war, what was
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called disinformation, assassinations, etc.. to think other tools, economic tools, the russian set their doctrine -- said of their doctrine is a mixing of military and -- of political and military? secretary johnson: of course. hybrid warfare. if you think about what happened in salisbury, things like attacks on a tv station in france, disabling a network, unexplained hacking, these are things that all made attempted murder of agents in salisbury. they probably companies the threshold of the nato treaty. they didn't quite justify the togetherf nato coming for a joint response.not unlike demands of -- that thermonuclear
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strike. they are harder to identify, to prove. it's that type of hybrid warfare that russia is now engaged in. >> a couple of questions briefly. >> very briefly. >> back to -- if something is finance, cyber, on the espionage front is our response, to full-spectrum war full-spectrum? secretary johnson: i want to be clear. we do not wish to engage in a new cold war. i deprecate that term. i remember the old cold war. it was a miserable time. i grew up genuinely worrying that the world, our country was going to be evaporated in a thermonuclear strike. i don't think we face that existential threat, but it is a threat nonetheless. we have to be tough.
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to get back to your earlier question about defense spending, it's absolutely right that we as a country are one of the biggest spenders on defense in nato. 2% threshold. bob seely: during the cold warbob seely:, your character is -- during the cold war, senate intelligence and united states -- work exposing russian disinformation campaigns. should we not be trying to do something similar, sending up some kind of inquire me -- inquiry under parliament to send a message to our own people and the russian people? a record of the campaign? should we not be doing more to expose them to the light of truth? secretary johnson: i certainly more we, we do need to do
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to expose russian disinformation. the u.k. contributes to various that areions in the eu engaged in an effort. we will continue to do so. , got his boots on. you're saying people being taken in by stuff coming out from russia today. the russians are very adept at factories andse so on. all sorts of stuff. we certainly need to counteract those. investing in good journalism, supporting the bbc world service. that is as you know and impartial, independent organization.
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-- trusted and loved around the world. >> you spoken about the intent of the russian governments -- you have spoken about the intent of the russian government. most of us would recognize much of the actions in recent weeks have been domestic supported. for a domestic audience. some of this has not. it's designed to rule -- to undermine the fabric of the world we've built with such pain and difficulty over the best part of the last 70 years. -- seven years. would you take that as a threatening situation, of course for the united kingdom but also for our european partners, particularly the smaller members with clumped together either in nato, european union, or any other form to make sure they are able to exercise their own national mandates free from the pressure of a neighbor?
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secretary johnson: that's exactly right. this may be part of the russian intention. it's a far as it is, so far, they've been wholly confounded in their efforts. what they have done is reinforce the solidarity that you have discovered in your conversations with other palminteri and's -- parliamentarians. reinforce the solidarity of nato. i have to say, i was very surprised by the strength of the language and endorsement of the u.k. analysis that appears in the court statement. the power of nikki haley had to say to the un security council. these were things we did not go looking for but which came spontaneously. countriesause so many
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over the last few years have felt the effect of russia's disruptive -- go back to appointments you made because in addition to supporting free independent media and one thing i have done is to invest in support for journalists with their legal difficulty. we are putting 8 billion pounds into independent media in the russian which. -- russian language. of russian state sponsored media outlet, it is clearly an important thing to do. i would also like to draw attention to the fact that these lies to the spread very effectively in the work that our sister committee has done is
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extremely important. can i ask, what support you would be willing to get in front of to enable those forms of inquiry? hold inquiries for embassy, networks is extremely important to make sure committees can reach up to partner nations like the united states who have lessons to give and would be extreme useful. sec. johnson: thank you, mr. to be. -- mr. tugendat. i will get to the specific point which is d.c. want to have a session at the u.k. embassy in washington. i thought that was very interesting idea. the only difficult to it that is it would've been construed as u.k. interference in domestic u.s. politics and we had to
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think very carefully. we support the committee going out, fact-finding. support all such inquiries in every effort to get to the truth and in turn contract the lies. just counteract the lies. >> also the british people as assembled here in this parliament and therefore enabling the committee system to work through the imzy network. it is seen as important aspect. if we're not willing to explain to people the difference between parliament and government through our imzy network, it does call into question our ability to communicate many of the finer points. i can see that you would like to hold your inquiries around the world.
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i can see where this is leading. this is leading to you just supporting you and having wonderful meetings. can i think about it? >> is it not about this committee? make. complaint to it is about other committee. it is not solely about us. sec. johnson: if i understand correctly what was proposed was there should be a paneled committee holding a session, and hearing onbers to a ..k. soil it is a normal idea. with still than happen. it was held in a hotel.
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mr. liebert lost some of the impact. sec. johnson: i am going to look at that. your point is heard and understood. is not relevant to this committee as it is to others. sec. johnson: i do not want to deter honorable members representing the people here assembled in parliament. from being able to hold their deliberations in anywhere else where the u.k. has representation, where that is reasonable, we will certainly look at it. i don't want to make a blanket secessionsto also and also some panels. i do foresee difficulties. >> i think that was a no.
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quickly. .ou referred to british council what discussions are you having with it as counsel about how to help -- with british council about how to help? there will be other people who have to read with their families from russia. sec. johnson: we have had extensive discussions. handleow we are going to their leads. i think it is a desperate shame that so many british council and staff are going to have to come back. doubt, --mittee may may know, there is still some ambiguity about what rights the british council may still have
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in moscow. out.e keen to bottom that doing everything we possibly can. we will look after them. tot take this opportunity take them for the alps -- may i take this opportunity to thank them for their outstanding work. six are all over the subway in moscow. they have done fantastic things with concerts with young people. that was why one of the strongest negative reactions to what russia did was from people who valued british council and british culture. unveiled a statue outside of the british council in london. there was a big ceremony and the russians were very happy to have that.
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said in order -- about the continuing u.k. contribution to organizations not least in the european union. we will continue to do so. i welcome that very much. we will continue to work with the european union on the values-based issues. we thank you for saying that. sec. johnson: yes we will. of course, as you know, studied the detail of the prime ministers speech, we will do it in concert with our european friends. sometimes differently. we may have tighter sections. we may take other initiatives. the me clarify one thing which is the british council representatives have is not been expelled. there's so a question at the moment about how the british
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council may not operate. >> are you going to be very quick? we will come to that. >> i've got a couple of other questions. went tos committee moscow, i commend your ambassador, i know we've got an extraordinarily tough gig at the moment. i was impressed by that work of the british council. -- still think that was the right decision to there is anohnson: negotiation going on about funding for british council. >> do you think there is something in the wake of what has happened recently >> just
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recently? sec. johnson: i am a massive fan of the british council. you they will be getting more money. >> i am glad to have that. -- here that. it, canmpt to finance you give us details about where you can take additional measures to tackle the finances? sec. johnson: associates of vladimir putin. himself?tin sec. johnson: there are powers under the criminal finance ordersto make wealth who are lawle enforcement agencies were
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obtained their wealth illegally. we have a national crime agency working hard on various lists of names. them.eserve interest to we've got to be clear about how this country works. not a country where we in the that isnt can say, boy, not how it works. on the basis of the evidence whatever crime is being committed. -- they are involved in network is intensifying. it is one of the areas in which the work is intensifying across borders. this is something we are doing together with our american colleagues, friends colleagues.
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we are working together on this issue. individualsnow name in the crosshairs of the law enforcement agencies. that would be legally very unwise. if you want any chance of successful prosecution, by identifying some sort of medical directive or mandate. >> i know you'll be aware of and understand concerns of the political finances. , canthstanding into tennis you reassure the committee that there is the political will and government to tackle the financial element of this. sec. johnson: we believe that is the next day shoe to drop. where the u.k. activity
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will go. it is not just financial. in thed've mentioned list of things we're doing, what the promise to set about making amendment to the new sanctions bill. all this cross party agreement has worked. >> one final question on the finances. limited hardships were set up in 1907. -- limited partnerships were set up in 1907. is that something you will look at as well? sec. johnson: i'm sure we will certainly. >> it was something that came up. grateful. thank you. the most important element that
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we promised to do to come to russia is in this bill. i want to make sure that there's no reluctance on the part of .overnment sec. johnson: all i can say. this is not my pr -- this is not my clinical fiat. -- my political fiat. and fashionable districts of the city, if that wealth has been corruptly obtained and we have evidence for that, then we now have the statute to have an unexplained order against them or to find other means to deprive them of their assets and go after them. >> the thing that has concerned me is prior to the attempt at
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murder -- attended murder, the reluctance about magnitsky law. i hope that has changed. i also hope that there are five have recommended the government does. the public register which seems to be a part of legal aid. prohibiting agents that are not -- [indiscernible] providing companies with resources. elements going to be a part of [indiscernible] so we dissuade corrupt money from come to london and we can legally target criminal cash as
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well? sec. johnson: first of all, on magnitsky and why there was delay, to be fair to the government. the -- if you look at the text actually what it says is we should be able to hold to account anyone who is responsible for human rights abuses. >> who will determine that? that will be a matter for our law-enforcement agencies to determine. point to mr. seeley is human
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rights abuse is a stronger formulation. i think we have reached a good place on that. as i understand it, the cross party agreement on the language, i am happy to support it. on the issue of beneficial ambition, and making sure the total clarity about that, the advance just far in advance of every g20 country and having those public central register of beneficial ownership. that is something that two other countries do. the issue related to overseas
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territories where there is a contrivance he about some of the ways in which they make information available. moment, it is true that how they operate the slightest regime. they do make that information available to agencies, two people cracking down on crime. that is what they do. is put it in do the public domain for journalists and every body else. that is the idea. the question is, how do we get that? the discussion going on with parliamentary colleagues is about the pace that we insist upon for them to achieve that.
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there are several issues that are raised by that. the first is constitutional. is it right for us in the u.k. to do something like that when we believe in government and u.k. we wouldn't want to order the -- we make the way no comment on their property. the great suffering some of these jurisdictions have experienced in the last year with the worst national disaster that we have seen for generations and hurricane. their case is they need to proceed slowly because of the risks -- the british virgin islands, for instance.
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the tourist economy is very limited. is you would see a divergent of investment away from british overseas territories to the netherlands antilles or it happens. jurisdiction is much less demanding than the u.k.. movement we are encased in. guess we are engaged in. -- we are engaged in. magnitsky, he was murdered almost nine years ago. since then, there prevented the government on five separate moneyons showing that from that fund was laundered here in london. 12 other countries have issued
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investigations. that is not happening here in the u.k. why is this? sec. johnson: as i said to the power under do have existing statutes to go after people we think are involved in abusing rights. what we are doing now is straightening the power under an amendment to a sanctions bill and give further encouragement to law-enforcement agencies to after such individuals. taken anotherot a attempted murder on the streets of britain for the government to finally have woken up. it should not a taken -- i agree with you that we should be tough and robust. i've got to tell you that
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nothing you have said this afternoon is going to have a boot clanking in the kremlin. is you said about engagement it is about time our government -- putin ishe fact a kgb person who has enriched himself to the tune of hundreds of billions. he murders his opponents at home and abroad who sections the use of chemical weapons in syria and the best way to deal with this is to go after his, him and corrupt people around him. minister deputy prime -- [indiscernible] has bought two flats.
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11 million pounds. what are you going to do about it? sec. johnson: i disagree with your first point. --ections -- the reactions it is overwhelming parliamentary support and i do think it will make a great difference. on your second point about the individuals. nothing could be more prejudicial to our chances than cracking down on some of these than for me to politically identify. >> can i get straight onto that? one of the ways that the blogging their money out of this country is by allowing the russian sovereign debt and that debt to be used to reimburse russians in a way to bring back their money on shore in moscow.
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if that gold is moving towards moscow, we are enabling those bond auctions. i believe i'm right in saying that leslie, $4 billion of eurobonds were sold here in london. sec. johnson: where a crime has been committed, -- >> i am not referring to a crime. the sanctions on individuals only works if the state is allowed to find a loop around the section. this is -- around the sanction. sanctions on businesses because as he said, we're not dealing with a normal regime. state go to the russian and say that a particular area has been sanctioned, they will look for a way around the
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sanction and a way to help the individual. the gangster regime of the kgb is all one. sec. johnson: we sanctions about 149 individuals to have restrictions on their travel and their ability to transact business in this country. if you have evidence of other individuals who are breaking the law -- you are entitled. --k with the state is using >> the state is using its organs to undermine. >> we will look to see. google will you consider the sections on russia? sec. johnson: i did not say that. you areneed to do is --
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talking about getting around sanctions. there's nothing we can do to stop sanctioned individuals from getting around. russian debt markets use london clearinghouses. sec. johnson: if there's something we can do to stop individuals -- >> that is called sanctioning russian debt markets. sec. johnson: you make an interesting suggestion. this is a matter of policy, not criminality. ago, just a month or ago -- -- a month or two [indiscernible] a lot of money went and they
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were to pay a bank and then they sanctioned. london is being used to raise funds and to give our currency to banks and other sanctions. we are enabling the russians to play the sanctions. is that because -- sec. johnson: i hesitate to comment on any individual case. this whole conversation to make arestinction from those responsible for crime and freely people trading and living their lives in this country. was vladimir putin freely elected this week? i prefer to go
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whatthe judgment which was they said. very little free and fair media. people discouraged from taking part. there was an absence of genuine competition. that doesn't strike me as a free and fair election. the answer to that is no. the olympics, not withstanding the fact that we suspected cooperation with the russians, we did cooperate to make sure that could happen safely. are we doing the same for the world cup? or something different? sec. johnson: we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of u.k. fans.
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they are going to watch football. there's been a lawful -- an awful lot of work with the russian police to try and coordinate. it is up to the russians to guarantee the safety of fans going to russia. under the fee for contract to look after our fans. we will be doing every thing we can in the front office to make sure that accident -- have access to the best possible advice. we will make sure they have that. we are watching it closely. at the moment, we are not inclined to dissuade people from going because we want to hear from russians what steps they are going to take to look after our fans. i want to hear from russia how they plan to look after u.k. nationals come to the world cup.
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i have seen one interesting theistic which is so far applications from english fans to go to russia for the woke up are about a quarter of what they were in the stage for the real world cup. just for the rio world cup -- for the real world cup. mean we're not due to concerned about how they may be treated. >> i do have an interest in english football. the question i'm asking is have we suspended intelligence cooperation with russian intelligence or not? sec. johnson: i don't make comment on intelligence matters. >> we have. we said we were suspending with the russians. sec. johnson: i have told you --
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what i have told you is we are cooperating at the police level with the russians. now about howns that cooperation will go forward. my challenge to the russian authorities is to show that the 24,000 u.k. applicants for tickets to the football world cup are going to be well treated and safe. trust way you are yourself is your doubtful they will be. it is in their fee for contract and they should. fifa contract and they should. ishow much dirty money estimated in the u.k.? sec. johnson: we do not have a figure. >> greater lesser than five
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years ago? how do you know the scale of the problem? sec. johnson: what i can tell you is what i said to the committee is we have the power to go after money. >> russian money in london is too important? sec. johnson: no. we are determined to go after money that is been correctly obtained. this we will use of the devices against individuals. >> will you come back with a list of people have been properly sanctioned? sec. johnson: i will certainly guarantee that the national crime agency and the entire
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apparatus on the case. it is about government policy. sec. johnson: it is very important for the committee to understand that it cannot be government policy to single out individuals. >> it seems that the framework is sufficient. sec. johnson: i respectfully disagree with that. it is vital we do that work in cooperation with the government. [indiscernible] people are not being brought to justice. sec. johnson: i revert to what i said. evidence,an find good we have convictions. the worst thing would be to
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politically to start to raise a human cry against certain individuals who might have their wealth by means that were legal. >> very quickly and then we will move on. >> i hope that the message you got from the committee is that we think they should be much efforts -- goand after this individual. -- government can certainly the national crime agency to take a much more urgent and serious approach. money brought into this country by people responsible for corruption in russia of the gross abuse of human rights.
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that is the message i hope you got. [indiscernible] sec. johnson: i totally get what you are saying. no one would be happier than me if we could color several corrupt oligarchs. -- thancould be more for me to identify those people. nothing would be worse than having a case that misfired. >> the next time you come here you will be up to tell us that action has been taken. let's agree on that. i'm a football fan, season ticket holder. there is no way i would be going to russia to watch the national team.
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[indiscernible] putin is going to use it the way that hinder use the 19th of six olympics. -- 1936 olympics. they are using this as a pr exercise. i'll be looking very carefully at the participation. >>what do you mean by that? i do not think england should be participating in the world cup. i don't think we should be. i don't think we should be supporting putin using this as a
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pr exercise. safe tohink it is not travel to russia. particularly when some have been booted out. -- two england fans who could be attacked. attacked on russian soil than the european championships. i really think you have got to wake up to this and take a much more serious -- take this much more seriously. sec. johnson: i think that your characterization of what is going to happen in moscow at the world cup, yes, i think the comparison with 1936 is certainly right.
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to think of putin glorying in this sporting event. i must say i thought about it a lot. i mentioned it when i first into parliament at your suggestion, mr. chairman. i suggested we might consider u.k. representation at the world cup. , the decisiont not to send high-level political representation. taking very hard about the tournament itself and english football and english fans. global fans. on the balance it would be wrong to punish them who worked on
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this for a long time incredibly hard, giving up their lives to it. i think would be a pity for them. your point about the safety of the fans is well-made. visit crucial importance -- this is of crucial importance to us. we need to have a conversation with russians on how they propose to fill their obligations to look after all fans. we shall be having a conversation. one of the -- we must have a discussion at a u.k. national level on how to proceed. the expulsions we had from the officere lost who was going to be responsible for the fans. you can't imagine anything more counterproductive. fansk's ability to help
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went in russia. there is an issue. i am not going to hide it from this committee. we need to consider that. at the moment, the numbers, the there iss are well -- a considerable number of fans who want to go. group they will be going to places like leningrad was exposes hunt this of russian nationalism. a long way from moscow and those car journeys -- group -- >> you are right about leningrad. were closing the consulate in petersburg. >> you can see the risks. of course we can. to appreciate the risks, to
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understand our latest leaking, all fans get on our website. we will keep it updated. ,e will also be for government we need to take. to get the russians to guarantee the safety. if we can. fans,are talking what there are many u.k. businesses operating in the united kingdom. surely this is one of those moments where they should think hard about the safety of their own staff. importanton: it is so that notwithstanding the strong ,eelings of the soul episode just feelings that this whole episode has invoked, we make it clear to the people of russia that our quarrel is not with them.
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we don't want russia phobia. we don't want anything like that. i say what i say and i use my language carefully. >> do you think there is a situation at all when the british government -- sec. johnson: we need to understand what steps are going to be taking to give england fans the safety they require. >> when will you be making that judgment call to mark -- just a call? sec. johnson: there is no call for a boycott. we urge fancy get on our website. just fans to get on the website. -- fans to get on the website. >> this support we have received from allies, you have also said on these financial sanctions no after there is
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individuals known to be responsible for corruption. doing in terms of asking our allies to undertake specific actions with regards to sanctions, targeted interventions in regard to russia? tomorrow we have a council, do you expect anything specific to come out of the opening council tomorrow that could lead to firm action? actionsnson: let me say are a matter for our friends and colleagues in the world. what they may and may not choose to do. by an that pleased me say this, i think that so far , the level of support
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intensity of i have detected from colleagues around the world has been far beyond what we expected. the statements -- with that statements basically backing up americansis from the in the u.n. of what has happened . pointing a finger very firmly at russia. a very strong statement from nato. i think these are things that we didn't get 12 years ago when alexander was assassinated. rex tillerson was very critical of jump on younger -- of jean-claude younger. >> let's be clear, we have had some very powerful statements of
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support. welcomed the powerful support we have had. there was one thing i would like to clarify. yeah. question was about georgia and ukraine. the more violent and of russia's. from. in your view, is -- russia's , why doesn't the u.k. government call it an occupation clearly the georgian territory
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integrity has been violated. sec. johnson: we don't for legal reasons use the term, occupation. we refer to them as breakaway republics. ms. patel: occupation refers to write so there's a range of legal reasons we don't use it in this case. >> event is occupied, you expect the russians to do certain things. that is essentially correct but i think -- >> that is essentially correct but i think if you wanted more details -- >> this is a part of the problem. ,hey have a proxy government
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ity act through others, means you cannot call them an occupying power. that in ourme diplomatic framework, the language we use, we are missing a check of language -- a chunk of language. sec. johnson: it goes back to the point i was making earlier about the malignant way the way the russians behave. , there's perpetual denials of any activity at all. it is very difficult sometimes to find the right way of countering this short of a military engagement which of
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course is very difficult for us. i saw the prime ministers of georgia recently and we were discussing this. the point that mr. gates made it beginning. the k has been the most forthright in what is happened. they have us in our sites -- and their sites. can we move on? mike? know, our as you judge an international call to justice.
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the committee produced a report on that. receivedmoranda we from the office for global britain, you said that you would be building on lessons learned's -- lessons learned. can you tell us what could have been done differently? greenwood was not elected he was is superb candidate. -- elected. he was a super candidate. also said considerations that have been advanced to me. we were running a lot of campaigns that year. we were doing a lot of stuff. we will make sure that we can
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test the next election and that we succeed. congratulate the indians on the success. >> you are going to carry out an exercise to assess, how has that gone? have look atly what has gone on. we didn't the reasons succeed. we have had plenty of successes. >> specifically. failure and you, we were told you are going to find of the reasons. i am asking you. sec. johnson: it is my guess
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that you had a whole session on that, on this matter. >> we have sessions and we were told there was going to be an assessment and you were going to look at the lessons. we produced the reports in your response to our memorandum sent to us refers to building on the lessons learned. i'm asking what specific lessons? sec. johnson: i have given one which is even with the results at our disposal, you run too many campaigns it wants. -- you run too many campaigns at once. we are able -- we know the timing fairly well. w andided to go for the was perhaps reading.
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-- for the w and was perhaps greedy. >> our importance to the international rule of law. no question about any position. , you have aou then speech at the general assembly in september last year. the prime minister has a totence where she threatened set aside 30% of the contributions to the u.n. and would only be paid if there was improvement in the results. how does that reflect the idea of a global britain? we're starting to move toward an old-style american outreach to the u.n. sec. johnson: it is right to
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want to reform the u.n. the u.k. is the sole biggest contributor to the u.n. but we are -- we value the u.n. and what it achieves around the world. reform. the process of we support them in that. to threatenessary the constitutions to achieve the reform? sec. johnson: you have to encourage value for money. the way to encourage is to constitutions may be withheld. u.n..l see is superb of sexual violence will be one of the one of the criteria on whether the constitutions will continue?
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>> where the making every effort to stress how we approach this issue. >> you haven't answered my question? sec. johnson: are we going to withdraw funding on the basis of sea >> itction on would be among the considerations we would make. >> i think the u.n. itself wants to work with us to somehow get -- a slightly different issue with the u.n. is responsible and the u.n. is a body is very determined to take proper action against sea. >> all of your assessments, is that related to particular agencies? .t was reported in the press
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as opposed to the general culture. sec. johnson: i don't want to get in comparison to other u.n. agencies. >> i look at your report. >> your conclusion is the u.k. should run test should not run -- sec. johnson: i didn't say that. >> it wasn't the conclusion of lord had. sec. johnson: i did not say that. i have never given you my views.
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>> did you reply? sec. johnson: yes. i think you will find my views are close to the lord. since the development of the start of the icg, [indiscernible] >> we have run concurrent .lections i was involved in the peak is icj elections. the world changes and more countries wanted to compete for these jobs. >> do think we are able to tackle the issue? sec. johnson: there are also some issues raised and i will be
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responding to the committee to report in due course. it, andu mentioned opportune moment to inform the we have been able , thanks to new funding, to fund comeore diplomatic posts as a result of the chancellors freeing statements. we are going to be able to not only have 250 extra diplomats overseas, but we would have 10 sovereign posts including a new diplomatic office in chad. for the first am ever come i think. as a result of that, the british authorities will not have --
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normally we would be spending altogether in our agencies engagement in any other country in europe by 53 billion. we'll will have more sovereign folks for the foreign office than any other european diplomatic service. indeed, thank you. you keep me up well for that. amongst other things, when the -- we will be contesting it. and wewe come to funding welcome the statements. i realize the time was marching. >> actually certain? sec. johnson: i am told there is one more sovereign posts in france.
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>> if you have been to germane up, you might not be as joyous. i have been there. be very careful. sec. johnson: -- >> i know you felt strongly about aleppo. the same way i did at the time. to the russian discussand we tried to with the russian ambassador to time the situation in aleppo. is bombing why he hospitals and aleppo.
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the full-service it has the time. what do we do? what do we do in aleppo? thank you for the passion which you taken of this cause. the people syria as well as everything you've done for the kurdish people. you are right in that it is one of the most miserable situations i can remember. and absolutely shameful episode for us. ask the u.n. to investigate all these episodes,
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all these crimes, and to identify what really happened if you possibly can. usedxcuse that is always by assad and the russians is that they are going after terrorists. that's the loophole that they use. resolution 2401, how they've been able to keep the bombing going. in reality, they're killing hundreds of innocent people. our argument to russia and to the iranians and to everybody who is responsible for this , even despite the massacres that a taking place, they are not going to win. it's going to be such a carthaginian peace that they will never be able to control the country.
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70% of the population, 50% of the territory. there is a huge amount of slaughter to come. said, they are sowing the dragon's teeth. the best thing they can do is get around the table and try to begin the process of creating a constitutional settlement for syria. >> do we in the u.k. have any ?ay i think the second point is the most interesting one now. i think it is the fear of indictment that is more powerful than anything else.
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the old mantra of assad must go is certainly not one that is working. --ommission of inquiry know, syria,s you the military in crisis, the region, the various countries, ,ebanon, georgia -- jordan humanitarianism has become the diplomacy. we need leadership. assertively are you going to pursue that angle? ?n terms of indictments we start a process with our
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allies and colleagues? are there any plans coming to convene something the connection take this to the next stage further? under resolution 2371, the u.k. needs to work work on the daesh in iraq and syria. , i would like to hold aside to his crimes. said, i believe we should create an increased -- a commission of inquiry. the way forward is for the people of syria. they have to have a political process and a new constitution. that is where the fate of assad will be decided. cano you think countries
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say enough is enough? ,e thought last year as well everyone is jaded and broken by what we seen. you would have seen as well. there's a surgeon who is a hero is achieved amazing, lifesaving technology and operations, etc.. in the hospital, taking operations. community,tional hopefully britain, can lead the way and say we cannot continue like this. we need to recognize that in the right way. sec. johnson: the leverage that we have, and you look very tough at this point, is not giving money to the assad regime to
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rebuild. it is vital that britain holds that line now. i am afraid there are other partners who are saying, we have to start giving money to the assad controlled areas as well. to give upt would be of the most important lean we have. the chemical weapons attack, if that's just an angle--is that just the minor threat or in some have ann we international law that prevents the use of chemicals that can be enacted? sec. johnson: i want to stress that there is no proposal at the moment that we should take action. neither from the americans or the french. you that april 4
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last year, when there was attack with the chemical element of poison, more than a hundred people and giving kids, america did take action. i pay tribute to the american demonstration for what they did. probably, as if there were to be such an action again that it would be important u.k. to keep its options open. is there redlined? do we have a redline? sec. johnson: we did. the sad thing is that we found it to be crossed. >> electronic warfare, they hack into the skype call and target a hospital.
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that information is gone the target. ukrainians download compasses, we said the same thing. so these are clearly war crimes. we have at least two dozen chemical attacks in syria in 2007. special than nothing. this is a plethora of war crimes across the board. i'm expecting more than just angry words. our people recording these and at least naming those individuals responsible because clearly the russians will block anything which arrived is what implicate people in the russian military command as well. are you in these gathering information? where and how? sec. johnson: we are certainly gathering information. the trouble is at the moment that we don't have jurisdiction.
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russia will certainly veto any reference to the international come accord as it stands. >> so for britain it's a waste of time? they grind clearly but they grind small. let's see what we get to. >> turkish forces and now the turkish government is saying it's going to create an area of operations to attack the syrian kurds enjoy them out. what is our position? what representations are remaking to our nato allies? and in your assessment, what is united states view of this?
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sec. johnson: mrs. an appalling problem. it's a situation that has certainly deteriorated. question. of course turkey has a legitimate right to defend itself and protect its borders and protect itself against attack. turkey andnderstands their anxieties about the pkk and kurdish terrorists. mp tocan't be the only ,eceive personally presentations from kurdish constituents with harrowing images of what is happening. secretary, i'm all too aware of the suffering going
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on and elsewhere. we do worry a great deal about what is happening. i've talked to my turkish colleague about what is happening and amongst other that thisour worry conflict is dragging away from the fight that we need in the country. kurdish fighters that a been so viable so far. it's a very difficult situation. turkey is our nato allies. -- to abandon. be --estion should
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sec. johnson: i think she totally understands the of pauline dilemma what is happening now. alliesurging our turkish to use every possible restraint in what they are doing. this is one of the most worrying developments in the hall syrian war. i've talked to my colleagues. >> thank you. i happier topic for you. that being the commonwealth coming up very soon. you are a passionate campaign to promote the idea of global britain. we would like to hear more about this. and if i may say so, i think
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with global britain being so pivotal to policy, it's time down a bit more bulldog spirit to promote our country and to show that we are not going to go for ourstand up interests. what is your plan? we are sharing the commonwealth the next two years. we have a huge opportunity next month to promote britain with our allies. i think it will be a fantastic summit. i know that many members of the committee are already involved in one way or another. i certainly welcome that. it is a chance to celebrate an institution that stood the test of time that commands incredible affection, loyalty, from members. in my view has been undervalued by this country.
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i will give you the gambia is coming back in. we are welcoming a new member. we are going to have a session with zimbabwe. we're going to have some sort of event with zimbabwe to celebrate the fact that they are becoming a part of a co-op leadership. arebig themes of the summit prosperity and trade, increasing trade. we have won the highest growing economies in the world. massive growth in so those economies. we're talking on cyber security as we spoke earlier. we'll be talking about the war against plastic waste. a lot of work with that. a big problem with
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that. also quality education for every girl. that is a crucial importance to the world. pakistan, they have a big gap between education of boys and girls. they're getting a lot of help from the u.k., that. this is excellent but the u.k. had neglected to come up with some considerable time. what are we going to do it next year or two years to actually show that we are serious again summit is and do something he would do as a matter of course for making a better priority that we had up until now? the most. johnson: powerful thing we can do is take
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action. get going for an free-trade agreements. we can do with commonwealth friends and partners. great efforts for the commonwealth. showing that we love our commonwealth relationship. the very next day, the flags were removed. doesn't that show that we don't really cherish them? i am not fully educated. i see it every day. point, therecise will be waived over london. we have the members for africa here last week or two weeks ago. we spoke quite intensively about
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this memo you sent us. is the minister aware of the memo and i was wondering if you could tell us have they read it? does the government have an understanding of what we mean by global britain? and if they don't understand it, how can they promote our country if our ministers don't know what it means. sec. johnson: i'm thrilled this committee has decided writer report about that subject. more global britain is, the better it is for the globe the better it is for britain. there's no question about it. people are realizing quite how massive our cultural, economic, military, and if the medical practice. spend, it doesn't do
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justice to the soft power impact of the u.k.. i totally agree with whatever think tank that concluded the other day that we are the second-most in such a the world after united states. i believe united states owes an intellectual debate to britain so i'm content with that hierarchy. the club -- the job of the global britain campaign is to show to our friends and partners that are decision of the european union can be accompanied and is being accompanied by an intensified engagements with the world, not just in the eu but around the world. we are adding another two or 50 diplomats. it's also an attempt to show the people the u.k. that this adds
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to their incomes. by being global and free-trade, we will be more prosperous. that is the essence of the campaign. >> this new money, you'll find no opposition to that from this committee. we are incredibly supportive of your battles with the treasury. past that you the are moving poster china in order to reinforce fronts in the eu 27. presumably your and we now looking to reinforce with countries like ryan -- china key tells was 200 the post we going? my understanding is this is to order 50 additional u.k. posts. i'm want to pass the ball down the line.
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>> we got the letter from treasury. 200 are so bodies overseas. sec. johnson: summer posts? -- sovereign posts? exactlyters will decide where to place these people but at last we know how much we have to work with. where is your priority? sec. johnson: you will be amongst the very first in a. -- first to know. as you know from them and we sent you, chad coming today. chad.welcome the record should
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reflect that. we will be adding 10 new sovereign posts. can you say back conga -- the purges the congo or china or the use seven or not america? in the global britain document you will find we think give you -- there are three key areas. mean we won't be opening posts in other areas that we think there are three key areas the u.k. needs to be project reactive. the americas, north america, the european region, and asia. i don't mean to exclude other areas.
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that covers quite a lot. that covers an awful lot. sec. johnson: we had not come prepared to make this visit announces today the you will get the information soon. reporter: as soon as possible, -- >> as soon as possible, i will be very grateful. >> on the same day you promised to publish a memo, intel's of your publish it? sec. johnson: i'm afraid that memo the contents of that where produced by whichever means of an organization. it is not the policy of government to publish information in response to
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leaks. i continue to the assertions that were made about that memo word directly contrary to what actually said. >> would you publish the memo so we can make that judgment ourselves? sec. johnson: that is not deep policy of the government or any government upon a leak to publish a memo. it is not the policy of the government simply because -- >> are you still joking? sec. johnson: it's not my joke. do you regret promising to publish? as i say it is not the policy of the government -- >> i think we've heard the answer enough.
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last november you promised an answer to my question to take up the report on the negotiations and implications of no deal. it was published by the previous secretary. she is me. year, it had not yet been established and you said you're going to take it up and when nothing happened, i raised the point of order last week on this, the anniversary of the publication of that document i got to seely letter. are you aware of this letter? sec. johnson: i am. was it due to my point of
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order last week? somehow we got a letter but we haven't got the response. we're still awaiting the response and it got an apology for no response but now we need to tell and a report. a response? the non-apology nonresponse is better for you than for me. i can't really elucidate the matter any further. we most important point is are actually certainly will get a great deal. as we are working for. >> we do not accept the implications would be very serious?
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and that it is appropriate and in customary the parliament receives, normally within two unacceptable that we have been waiting more than a year? sec. johnson: i understand your concerns completely. it's not a matter for us. i think the point i would make is, no deal is better than a bad deal. we have heard that answer before. i'm very concerned about the judicial system.
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it got tens of thousands of people at the same time. we need to ensure that are fair [indiscernible] sec. johnson: thank you. yes, you are quite right in what you say. about thecerned system or the workload they have. i may, i would like to write to you about what steps we may be taking to support the legal system. i have an idea in my head. i don't want to mislead the committee now that we are doing. quick comment than a question.
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on this website, i want to perhaps ink in must be updated. it was certainly updated when we think it is necessary to do so. the key policies is the european single market and quote, the single market is the key to euros place in the global economy. that it applies to growth in the u.k.. sec. johnson: i think you must be looking at an old version of the website. just in case is wrong? i think, no i don't. will be mighty coming of the single market.
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i will study the age of our website the you have troubled up. >> it shows that the u.k. government has maintained conurbations until these 2064. completethat it was crop that the u.k. would pay any money to you after brexit. you still agree with that? there's no reason what we should be making large concretions of the year. >> will be paying television still 26 before? is that true? sec. johnson: i see no reason or she would -- when we should be paying for access a single market or mentorship in the way we are now. the government is resolved that will not be making large contributions to the you. continue todo is
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ventures in common such as horizon or eureka. these are education exchange projects were a bill is attached. be paying for those that is no reason making contributions in the way that we do now. i am afraid that i wasn't there for the spring statement. alas, i had to be somewhere else. it is the view of the government that we will not be making conservations in the way that we do now. we may contribute both the toncellor and prime minister eu associated bodies in which we wish to have a close relationship.
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>> i would like to drill into what you any chancellor would agree on. the transition deal. outdidn't we go for an opt for the security policy? sec. johnson: it would be very post march 2019 to be in a situation you suppose for instance that eu decided that they wished to relax sanctions. under the current, if we want to stay in as it is currently configured, we would be obliged to do the same. that would be crazy.
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there might be other ways in which we might -- there might be an embargo based on such and such a country that we do not agree with. under those circumstances, could ?he u.k. except -- accept what we have gone for is the ability to opt out under article sp as we be able to choose. let me correct one thing i said earlier. i said accidentally i refer to the attendant murder of agents rather than agent. it is vital for reasons that the committee would understand that i say agent. i hope the record will reflect that.
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>> did you meet -- >> did you mean that in the plural? confirm.son: i can't i think we can take it, the operation. up?an i finish sec. johnson: that should not be taken as any news. , when you were or otherbout agent, type agents? sec. johnson: let me be absolutely clear about that. i have been here for quite a while. i wonder how you are getting on? >> you are being extremely generous. vividlynson: i remember
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, i want to give the every possible assistance. >> let me wind up with two questions. we have talked about our security relationship with the rest of the european union. we have gone for opt out. what kind of message does that send out? why did the government decided not to leave the eu battle group? the execson: configuration of our arrangement under the implementation period of that is to be decided. event the essence is what test essence of what the u.k. is asking for. >> does the office have any
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contracts with the scl group? none? >> we will check. >> you don't think so? you will be aware of it. that is a no. ok. thank you. elements,tion to the the issue of lgbt writes. why then did no government administers say please don't abolish same-sex marriage? i did have a long conversation about that matter. i made the point tam just point to him that one of the reasons why the city which i used to be
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mayor, one of the reasons because people feel like they can live their lives anyway they want. it is a great economic benefit to show that spirit. that was the argument i made. did. >> why did the letter that was sent to me on behalf of the government made no mention of this? sec. johnson: i am telling you what i did. incorrect --iving sec. johnson: i would be very happy to send you a letter about it. 2016, he january 21 of said the murder and diplomatic response. on the 11th of august, 2016, he
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said britain must normalize its relationship with russia. that many are sensing here that will say all the things now and in september, you'll bring up knowing that the normalize blisters all over again? is the most of what thing we've got to do 70 steady constant -- not flip-flopping, just the be absolutely.t sec. johnson: we have remained committed to staying engaged. it is toughness and standing up against russian around the world. itself has distinguished and let the pact. we continue to do that.
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-- package we announced yourself stand up to applause on wednesday and to agree with the prime minister. >> i do now. sec. johnson: i think it is the right approach. if i may say so, no matter how tough it is, it is very tough, it should not exclude the duty of this country on matters like the world cup, syria whatever it happens to be, the duty of this country is not just to be where the russian but to engage with russia. i see no inconsistency in what is said. >> can i change the subject? you have been very generous of your time. talk about just sent a tweet was number 10 is revealed to more
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government contracts with nsc -- scl parent company. i would be very grateful if you would write to us about that. libya. we talked about red lines in syria and whether we should have -- perhaps some of us think we should. i think most people would agree that was probably the right thing. migrants come across the med. thousands of people being tracked by dysfunctional government. what point do we say what is there is not good enough? either do we suggest there should be an alternative or walk away completely? sec. johnson: i don't think we
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can walk away at all, because actually the libyan crisis, although it is very tough is capable of solution. what it needs is for a handful of men to put aside their differences and their political fiefdom and come together in the interest of the whole country of libya. we all know the are. just we all know who they are. they can compromise at what needs to happen is the need to libyan political court. the new u.n. special representative is doing a fantastic job. he is getting our support. it needs a small group of people to lay aside their differences
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and reach a constitutional change, then when that is spending, have elections and take the country forward. it needs the international support. communityernational doesn't back different courses and different sides and everybody gets behind the u.n. plan. >> is russia joining? sec. johnson: another reason to engage with russia and encourage on that part. >> [indiscernible] question, i was spending too much in the western countries to find a solution? about about the saudi was not being met with approval.
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[indiscernible] to smuggle weapons and drugs into saudi. which is destabilizing. is there way for the u.k. to work with the tribes in the east rather than joining this cluster of countries tried to solve the problems of the west? sec. johnson: you are probably right that those are two separate things going on. the u.k. can be useful in both. in the northwest, as it were of the country. there is a war going on, the primary conflict has been going on too long. a humanitarian catastrophe has been going on there. the u.k. can play a very important role in encouraging moves towards a logical
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solution. solution. a political the hood sees to guess that would sees to -- to stop using iranian made missiles to attack but it requires some that there would have to be a political solution in which they will have to have a role in the government of yemen in which the iranians are specifically excluded from exercising military political power in that country. in which the security of saudi arabia is protected. area where the
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issue is to be found. the u.k. is engaged in that work. it is a priority for us. the committee has asked about some of our priorities. you mentioned two of them. libya and yemen are areas we want to try to -- we consider the u.k. has an exceptional role and want to promote a solution. >> i'm sure you sent out some excellent replacement. your relationship will be important in making sure the saudis listen to the views of the united kingdom. i thought it was a very important and successful visit and an opportunity for us to make some of those points to the saudi leadership. he saw a commitment to invest 65 billion or so in this country
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from saudi arabia. work with the saudi's on been someone's vision -- bin salman's vision. people have their anxieties but this is a man who is for his country. the earlier strides, that would be a big difference for the world. we need to encourage it. he has spoken in arabic about going back to an earlier form of islam which was significantly more open. that is all very important.
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did you also bring up yemen. the reason i ask this specifically is we have had a very outstanding relationship with saudi arabia. know, one ofi those areas that they are not on the path to success. sec. johnson: they understand that. approach is severely limited. that is a point that the crown prince understands. yemen is a subject of continuous dialogue. >> thank you, chair. the suggestions from washington about -- it looks as though they're going to set up the iran .eal
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i would like to ask whether you organize it is likely to change to the iran deal question mark is the u.s. walking with from the deal, would you accept modifications? the inclusion of the banning of ballistic missiles? sec. johnson: the deal is very important and valuable if we want to keep it going. there are things we can do tohout opening up the deal stress the accessibility of the missiles.ange of that. do there's the issue of the most difficult thing.
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up the gistto open of your way and that would be very difficult. i think it is. it has got to be done. there's a huge amount of work going on to try and do that. there's strong agreement between us and our allies. the effort now is to persuade our american friends of the value of maintaining this arrangement. want to be absolutely certain which way the president is going to go on this. i hope he will see the logic of our case, that you are better off with a jcp away -- poa. and the iranians going -- i would say just be
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clear i think it is it will be much less valuable it would be difficult to work. >> thank you. what do you think it says about the unity of the cabinets echo -- cabinets? i'm really struck by this. sec. johnson: it is an honor, the measure of the hand in glove , the harmony that exist over all departments of justice -- overall departments of government. i just given that we -- given that we ended with a
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question on iran. it is a wonderful year. before we close, i want to thank karen pierce. i wish her every goodwill. i am sure you will achieve the restoration of the face of british judge. very much. thank you. order, order. >> we go into private session. >> with us on the phone is congressional courtly reporter jennifer shaw. congress has a midnight friday meant -- friday midnight deadline. there is an omnibus spending bill on the table. what's going on? jennifer this is that massive 12 : bill that would fund the government until ste


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