tv Dateline London BBC News March 20, 2017 3:30am-4:01am GMT
in western mosul, as iraqi troops continue their offensive to retake the city. thousands who've fled the fighting are living in overcrowded camps. as many as half a million people have no running water, electricity or access to medical supplies. a top us lawmaker says there's no evidence so far that president donald trump's campaign team colluded with russia during the us election. but devin nunes, who's the head of the house of representatives intelligence committee, said he does believe russia tried to influence the result. brazil's president has tried to reassure foreign countries that the corruption scandal engulfing the country's meat industry doesn't mean its products are unsafe. it follows allegations that three major meat—packing plants had been selling rotten produce for many years. now on bbc news, dateline london. hello and welcome
to dateline london. could theresa may be the prime minister who takes the united kingdom out of the european union — and unwittingly helps to break up the united kingdom itself? and six years of civil war in syria — is there an end to this? my guests today are: mustapha karkouti, who is a syrian writer, in our glasgow studio kevin mckenna of the guardian and the herald, annalisa piras who is an italianjournalist and film maker, and iain martin of the times. in a democracy people have the right to choose whether to leave a union where the government seems remote and does not that was at the core of the argument against the european union and for brexit — now it is the same argument beindused by nationalists! in scotland calling for a new vote on independence. will theresa may go down in history as the prime minister who lost
the united kingdom? kevin in glasgow. decide to call for a second referendum? it is quite risky, isn't it? yes. any decision to call for a referendum carries a degree of risk. the first minister seems to have been quite clear on this. this isn't just about taking scotland into europe, away from the uk. i think the first minister lost patience with knocking consistently on theresa may's door, looking for scotland's interest to be represented in any future brexit negotiations and having the door slammed in herface. the first minister talked about themntinuous intra nsigence of the uk government since june 23rd last year. this is because scotland voted 62% to 38% to remain in europe. the second thing i think that has
alarmed the first minister and many to have enveloped the uk government with regard to brexit. every week or so we have another brexit minister or spokesman being dredged up. again saying that they don't know how this will work out. there's this disdainful attitude that some of these ministers seem to show for their former european partners, which makes one believe that the negotiations are not going to be very beneficial for the uk. scotland will be left out and have to take whatever the uk — or london — decides for it. and i think that nicola sturgeon said that we need to have a voice ﬁefe eﬁﬂ fﬁe eﬁiﬁ’weﬁ we feﬁ " " ' and to seek our own
relationship with europe. she feels she has a mandate because was an overwhelming victory for the snp both in a uk—wide election and in a scottish election. let's bring in iain martin. politically, you could see why it's attractive. this is what the snp always stood for. kevin touches on the resentment that many scots feel that this is such an important decision and we are being ignored but economically you could say the case for leaving the united kingdom is worse now — or more difficult to make — for the snp. it is much worse and this is a bit rich for kevin to talk about chaos when we see the snp can't even answer basic questions about the economy such as which currency scotland would use. i think it is key to remember the scottish people and the polls are very clear about this — they do not want an early referendum. voters in scotland, just
as in england, are perfectly reasonable and weather or not they voted for brexit it is preposterous the idea that you might in the middle of trying to negotiate this difficult deal — difficult set of negotiations in late 2018 early 2019 — that simultaneously the uk government would also have a referendum on breaking up the uk. nicola sturgeon has made her point and maybe it suits everybody that the prime minister is saying you can't have itjust yet. whatever protestations are made in public, maybe that is fine for nicola sturgeon because she can point again to the arrogance of westminster, telling us what to do. that is true. it may be everybody gets a bit of what they want but i think it is worth remembering that the snp are brilliant at politics but they are not perfect at it. they're not infallible. and they are not now where they wanted to be or intended to be after the brexit referendum.
by now scottish anger about brexit was supposed to have led to a clamour for an instant referendum and move into the european union, which incidentally the snp are now backing away from and now seems to favour a halfway house — some sort of norway status — because so many snp voters actually voted for brexit. a third of snp voters voted to leave the european union. sturgeon finds herself in a tricky position. alissa, how do you see this? in terms of europe as a whole, the spanish government is concerned that if scotland were to secede, or gets out, however one wants to present it, the same would happen for catalonia, and other countries have similar anxieties, don't they? i think this was an old argument against independence of scotland in the eyes of the european union but this has been surpassed by events. by brexit? by brexit, absolutely. you can put it whichever way you want, britain is sabotaging
if the brexiteers were to be punished by the break—up of the united kingdom, i guess a lot of people would not be so displeased any more. would that make it easier? we do not know what relationship scotland would want if it were to be independent but would that make it easier? would there be more of a welcome for the scots? i think so. - of the regional dimensions of the european union, and don't forget that the european union is changing very fast. all the conviction and prejudice are changing as well.
there is a lot of goodwill towards redesigning the european union. how do you see this? it is all up in air now, isn't it? nobody has a solid and comprehensive view about this battle — the battle over the two unions. what ever happens to the first, brexit case that is, the united kingdom. there are noises now, centairﬂy.scotlandrhasskartad~= the relationship between northern ireland and ireland, which is part of the european union. today, gordon brown, former prime minister, came up with this new or third option, he is calling it.
give scotland, the devolved authority, more power, even to the extent that they can sign international treaties, and also power to do their own agriculture policies. a lot of other things but at the same time remain in the united kingdom. kevin, i wanted to bring you in about some of the criticisms that iain made. you could say if there is another referendum in two or three years, simply fatigue for having the same party in power for scotland may not as we know, you cover criticism about how the nhs is working and the education system, which any government gets, but it is not a great platform for going to the people and saying
we should be independent. there were a couple things that i would like to pick iain up on. we're not talking about a referendum any time soon. and probably more towards spring, which is two years away. that is within theresa may's own timetable for the conclusion of brexit talks. we're not too far away. with regard to the economy or predictions of scotland's future economy, any uncertainty is surely going to be eclipsed by the economic apocalypse which could be visited upon the uk as a result of a hard brexit, and a chaotic brexit, which is what we are at the moment. to address that point about the internal workings of the country, the snp,
as a government, does have a responsibility to improve for instance the attainment gap in scotland in education and that is one thing the nicola sturgeon as first minister of scotland asked us and the country to judge her on at the next election in 2021. yeah, it behoves the snp to do this. we talked about calling a referendum at any time is a risk. there is never any perfect time. the first minister of scotland believes there has been an attack, an undermining, of the sovereign status of holyrood's parliament, which both her party and the greens together have a yes i'll bring in iain on that. i don't know if there's going to be
an economic apocalypse but looking at how this is being handled and the kind of things that are being said in parliament — and the scrutiny or lack of it — from the labour opposition, it is not a very picture. from the labour opposition, it is not a very pretty picture. in terms of brexit and also the budget. we have seen a complete u—turn on a major part of policy within a couple of days and we've seen the interrogation at prime minister's question time, by the leader of the opposition, which was not exactly forensic, let's put it politely. inspire a great deal of confidence — that people actually know what they're doing. it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence anywhere. i'm not sure it is restricted to westminster. talking about the european union having brought prosperity of 28 countries does not really applying in greece. i am a brexiteer, who always said it would be tricky, negotiations would be difficult.
i think a deal is possible but not guaranteed. i do not buy into kevin's nonsense that this is somehow the apocalypse. britain's had a depreciation of its currency. he pointed out it's very uncertain, which you do agree with? r..,.__:._ :_ m... ._,...k.-7 people's views on these things are uncertain. same as in scotland. this week mr david davis — the brexit minister — said he does not even have a simulation of what the cost would be. let's run this round the other way. can you imagine if he said i have run the numbers and would you like a paper on the economic apocalypse which is coming? key thing, which is not focused on, that is focused on in germany, is that the uk runs the eurozone. it runs 75% of the debt markets. the eurozone, which is a giant debt machine runs out of the city of london. this iswhy ge—rmany'daes—ﬂﬂt
a deal, if everyone is sensible, is possible. but if you voted for brexit and you saw the battle bus that said 350 million a week for the nhs if you vote for us, which is a very specific figure, which perhaps nobody believed, is completely wrong. there was great specifics about how it was going to be fantastic and now there are no specifics about what the way forward really is and the people negotiating it. sure. all the evidence so far is that the overwhelming body of public opinion in the uk, people just really want to get on with it. mavis nnllinn extremelv well a reasonable person who's going to try to try to get a deal. a deal is possible but she is also preparing the ground—incase— —— —— —— there is not a deal. which is not the apocalypse. go and tell the british farmers that 40% tariffs slapped. because of the deals that the uk
would fall on automatically if it you would sell your beef like americans? you used to be a nation of shopkeepers and you knew e! now you say you will sell everything to new zealand or canada or america. who's saying that? one thesis of brexiteers is you will swap the single market of 509 people with them. who's saying that?! it is not one of the other, it is both. france and germany want to trade with the uk and the uk wants to trade with france and germany. if everyone a sensible deal can be done.
but may has said no deal is better than a bad deal. kevin, you wanted to come in. yeah. when i talked about some of the unfortunate rhetoric of some of the ministers responsible for these negotiations, people like liam fox are talking about building another empire. no, he didn't! no — he didn't. and saying that britain has nothing to apologise for in any of its history. no, he didn't. we're talking about 27 member states we have to with. i don't think anything that they have seen the last eight months coming out of westminster, out of britain, instils in them any confidence that they are dealing with somebody who, as you keep saying, is sensible about this. meanwhile, in scotland, scotland has a history with europe which predates its history with england. we were dealing and trading with europe at a time when england and the rest of the uk was wanting to fight them or compete with them in africa and asia.
scotland has a longer history of european involvement and multiculturalism than the rest of the union. ok, let's bring in ian. kevin is a brilliant journalist and an old friend. i can remember when he was an irish nationalist, when he was a british unionist and now he is a scottish nationalists. it is nonsense to say that liam fox said he was trying to invent the empire. it is simply not the case. that is what one off the record official said to a newspaper and it is not the same thing. we are really watching that in the third world, with great interest, the debate on brexit and scotland. we also look at it with a great envy, because we do not have we can sort it out very quickly by using the army and they put
an end to it. i don't think that will happen here. a final thought — how interested are people across europe on this? i go to germany and they are interested in one thing, which is mainly the german elections. france, the same thing. the headlines in a lot of the european papers this week were about the stand—off with turkey, as they put it, with turkish interference as they see it. the situation in the world is very, very serious. we have a situation of chaos. all across the borders of the european union and north africa and the middle east, ukraine. today, the first contingent of 800 british troops are on the estonian border to try to deter the aggression of russia. there are big things going on in the world. what is not really clear in britain is that for the rest of europe brexit is sorted.
so now britain has to get on with it. they will say today in the german parliament, someone in the commission of foreign affairs said, we have understood that it is going to take a very long time for the british to understand the kind of self—inflicted pain that they have chosen, so we just need to wait and see. and that sums up the situation. that is a complete misrepresentation. why did the poles, when they came to londonjust before christmas, bring the entire cabinet? they are most worried about russian incursion. iwﬁe: ‘e—eeseeee; f: —— — — — ——~— and the leading intel security and listening power in europe. it has very strong relations with the french, but it is a key part of the european security system. seriously. but the poles realise,
and increasingly the germans i speak than the narrow question of the european union. britain is going to have to do more, france is going to have to do more to defend its border. because of russia. that are much more important to the eu as an institution. let's move onto one of those very serious issues. against a brutal dictator. six years on the dictator is still in place and syria is in ruins. can anyone see an end to this war, whose humanitarian consequences affect us all, to no end? it doesn't seem that there is an end at the moment, not even really in the foreseeable future. unless of course the world attitudes towards what is happening
in syria changes. and that means, really, the involvement of the west directly. with troops? not necessarily only troops. you have so many other... troops will not sort it out. the west has used troops before in other conflicts. the last of which was the former yugoslavia. so troops were not enough. and reconstruction as well. you're talking about hundreds of billions of pounds for reconstruction in the country. over the country the estimates by united nations agencies and the world bank and the rest of them is huge. _ the uk and france and germany, certainly, they should have come around and bring over a vision to sort it out. stop or contain
russia to start with. and also put a limit to iran interfering, not only in the country but in the entire region itself. yemen and elsewhere. how do you see this, annalisa? there are those who say, yes, it is terrible, but i don't want to see it any more. a lot of people don't want to admit that, but i think we all have all heard that kind of story. it is a tragic situation. people have become used to horror and they can't take it any more. but it is also a huge responsibility for political leaders and people in the media to actually explain it more clearly — that not looking at it will not make it goaway. .. , ,. north africa and the middle east, they are in fire. there is a very difficult situation there that is not going to improve.
we have seen america disengaging from a lot of those kind of scenarios and russia is increasingly belligerent. we cannot pretend that this is not happening and look only at at our naval and think about brexit. the world is dangerous and we need to do something. kevin, i want to bring you in on that. there is a sense that some people have compassion fatigue, and there is much worse ahead. it's notjust humanity doing terrible things to other human beings, but it is somalia, the drought, people are on the move and the migration question. this will be the story of at least the next decade and it seems to be getting worse, doesn't it? first of all, you can never overestimate the common humanity and humanity of ordinary people
who respond to these crises in many countries. the charitable giving, taking refugees and asylum seekers into homes. you can't overestimate that. but there is a fatigue going on, because whenever there are these humanitarian crises in what we have previously called the third world, parts of the middle east, and africa, we put up our hands and we express horror at it and then we move on. but syria is going to be with us for another generation at least. and the west, if they are going to make any movement, the west has to face up to their responsibilities in the region and face up to the part that it played in quite a lot of that instability. we're just running out of time.
i want to bring in iain. i agree with that. it is shaming and shameful. but i think it's also kind of understandable. a lot of it is down to the position that obama took. but that came after the iraq experiment, afghanistan and the financial crisis. there was no appetite in the west to engage properly with these problems. the result is a human catastrophe and i think it's really down to a failure of leadership in the west, across parties to then vacate that space and vacate responsibility and allow the russians to fill the vacuum i think is a catastrophe. the people are being killed daily. human life means nothing nowadays, unfortunately. the people of the region are paying the price of the failed policy of the west. in iraq and afghanistan.
and libya, everywhere else. thanks to all of you. that's it for dateline london for this week. i'm leaving the bbc in a week's time, so dateline london next week will be my last programme. i hope you canjoin me and my guests then. goodbye. hello there, good morning. big changes on the way over the next couple of days. we've got some weather fronts moving through. once they do, we start to get this cold north—westerly wind, and that is going to bring some much colder air across our shores. that will be most noticeable later on on monday and into tuesday, in particular, much colder air.
it's going to be quite a chilly sort of feel to things on tuesday, before we get there, though, it is wet and a windy start to the day today, but the cloud, the wind, and the rain should help to keep temperatures up for most places first thing this morning. in fact, for the southern half of the uk, temperatures of around about the double figures. a bit lower than that in the north of scotland, but generally speaking, no real problems with the temperatures this morning. but it will be quite wet and quite windy, a fairly messy picture. got a lot of isobars on the chart, so it is quite windy, and there is a fair bit of rain to be had as well. in fact, in the western side of scotland, we are going to see pretty strong winds through this morning. some pretty strong winds through this morning. could see gusts up to, what, 50, maybe 60 mph. that will push that rain ever eastwards, quite quickly. but still some wet weather in the north of scotland, but something a bit drier beginning to develop out west.
but some showers are never too far away. sunny spells and showers in northern ireland through the morning. a fair bit of rain across northern england, that gets all the way down towards lincolnshire. east anglia, . ,, e. ,, to wales and the south—west. largely dry, actually, in the south—eastern corner, but cloudy and windy. don't have to go too far west to find the wetter and windier weather. so a large area of wind and rain across much of england and wales through this morning. not a pretty picture on the roads, with a lot of spray and surface water, so take care for the morning commute. that wind and rain makes its way towards the south—east for the afternoon, with something a little bit brighter coming along behind. but, with some showers, 13 or 14 degrees, but with the wind and the rain our temperatures are dipping back into the single figures towards the north and west. that trend to the lower temperatures continues through monday evening, and as the sun goes down, we start to see wintry showers getting down to lower levels in parts of scotland, northern ireland, and into northern england, as well. further south, it will be quite cold, but essentially dry. there will be a touch of frost,
north wales and northwards. icy stretches and some snow hazards as well, first thing on tuesday. but some sunshine, particularly for eastern areas. some wintry showers of a high ground, but in the north and west of the uk, some of the showers will be heavy, potentially thundery, sleet and snow readily getting down to lower levels. on into wednesday, and there will be a cold start to the day, again. with a touch of frost—amt! where it will be quite wet. elsewhere, a scattering of showers. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm lebo diseko. our top stories: fear and hunger in western mosul — half a million people face an uncertain future after surviving the so—called islamic state. we have a special report. they say they have no running water, no electricity, no access to medical supplies and people in the queue are really afraid the food is going to run out before they've been able to get some. "no evidence of collusion"