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tv   Sportsday  BBC News  March 29, 2017 6:30pm-6:46pm BST

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brussels marking the start of britain's departure from the european union after 44 years of membership. that's all from the bbc news at 6pm, so it's goodbye from me and if hello. this is bbc news with martine croxall. the headlines: the prime minister has officially triggered britain's exit from the european union, saying the government was following the democratic will of the british people. today, britain is leaving the european union. we are going to make oui’ european union. we are going to make our own decisions on our own laws. we are going to take control of the things that matter most to us. britain's ambassador in brussels handed over the letter to the president of the european council at lunchtime today. so, here it is, six pages. the
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notification from prime minister theresa may, triggering article 50. donald tusk said he missed the uk already — and promised to defend the remaining 27 member states in the negotiations. in other news, a week on from the terror attack in westminster, a vigil has been held to remember the victims. the united kingdom has formally begun the process of leaving the european union. shortly after noon, a six—page letter from the prime minister was handed to the president of the european council, donald tusk. the invoking of article 50 of the lisbon treaty marks the start of two years of negotiations on the terms of britain's departure. here's a flavour of what's been said on this historic day. the article 50 process is now under way and in accordance with the wishes of the british people, the
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united kingdom is leaving the european union. this is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back. britain is leaving the european union. we are going to make out european union. we are going to make our own european union. we are going to make our own decisions and our own laws. we are going to take control of the things that matter most to us and we are going to take this opportunity to build a stronger, fairer britain, a country that our children and grandchildren are proud to call home. we will not give this government a free hand to use brexit to attack rights, protections and cut services. or create a tax dodgers' paradise. so let me be clear, mr speaker, the prime minister says that no deal is better than a bad deal, but the reality is, no deal is a bad deal. the prime minister says that she thinks that
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brexit will bring unity to the united kingdom. it will not. on this issue, it is not a united kingdom and the prime minister needs to respect, respect the differences across the nations of the united kingdom. if she does not, if she remains intransigent and if she deny scotland a choice in our future, she will make scottish independence inevitable. i will roll really is to be the official opposition, even though we are much smaller in number, but it is notjust to hold the government to account through this process, it's also to say there is another direction that is possible, because one thing we should rememberfrom possible, because one thing we should remember from today is the eu's response to that letter is to confirm in writing for the first time that article 50 can be revoked unilaterally by the uk. time that article 50 can be revoked unilaterally by the uki time that article 50 can be revoked unilaterally by the uk. i discussed the article 50 letter in general terms with the prime minister when we met in swansea last week. i should be clear, though, i didn't see the letter before today and we we re see the letter before today and we were not invited to contribute its drafting. this is unacceptable and
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the culmination of a deeply frustrating process in which the devolved administrations have consistently been treated with a lack of respect. it is all the more regrettable that given that the uk's bone stated aim was the main frame of the whole of the uk and they have missed the opportunity to give clear expression to that aim. it is ridiculous for a british prime minister to say we have got back our independence, we are going to go global, we are going to be democratic, we are going to be great, but you other 27 countries should stay by jean—claude juncker. it doesn't make any sense. i have at least for 15 years taken the view that the european project is a mistake. good idea to begin with but a mistake. iwould mistake. good idea to begin with but a mistake. i would like to see the european union break—up, i would like to see a europe of sovereign independent nation states that work together, trade together and britain playing a leading role in that. let's find out how the triggering of article 50 has gone down in brussels — my colleague ben brown is there. yes, a momentous day here in
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brussels. the european union, in its history, has only got bigger, with new countriesjoining history, has only got bigger, with new countries joining and today, suddenly with the letter handed to donald tusk, the european council president, here was a country saying, no, it wanted to leave, so let's discuss where we are, where this leaves the european union with my two guests here outside the european commission building, tom nuttall from the economist magazine and jeppe kofod from the european parliament, of the socialist and democrat. a day of history but i is saddened by what has happened today? very saddened. coming from denmark, wejoined at the very saddened. coming from denmark, we joined at the same time as the uk, so for us, it is like losing a sibling, it is not a day forjoy, not for the uk or for europe sibling, it is not a day forjoy, not for the uk orfor europe or denmark or anybody else. is it a day you thought would ever happen? you knew of course that there were a lot of eurosceptics in the british parliament and in the british public. i never thought it would
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happen. i thought that the british people would stay in the eu and fight from inside for reform of the union, but not leave it. i think it was a bit unthinkable but now we are here, it is a sad day but we have to get the best out of this very sad situation. tom nuttall, you have been looking at theresa may's letter and the reaction to it, particularly from the european parliament, what is your assessment of where we are tonight? well, in some respects, i think eu officials will have been comforted by the letter. in particular, it did not contain the threat we have heard from number ten before that britain would prefer to leave with no deal than with a bad deal, but there was one particular remark which has raised a few eye brows remark which has raised a few eyebrows and that was the linkage of security policy with the negotiations to come. some people, i think, are seeing that as a veiled threat for britain to withhold co—operational security in intelligence matters if they don't get the deal they want. that will not go down well in european
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capitals. what is your reaction to that, do you see that as a threat to withdraw security cooperation? well, i hope the uk will not do it, i hope europe will also stand along with the uk. we will not get into this nitty—gritty fight, we have bigger security threats out there, we have an assertive putin in russia, china rising, instability in the middle east and africa and we should work together and the whole idea of splitting up for using security as a bargaining chip to get a better deal on economics will be detrimental to oui’ on economics will be detrimental to our cooperation. two years, do you think there can be an overall deal on everything, including trade? is that possible? i really hope so, i will buy for a fair deal for the british people and the europeans. i think we have do focus on the citizens of the uk and the citizens of europe, that their rights and safety is safeguarded throughout the process of the next two years and hopefully after when we have a good dealfor hopefully after when we have a good deal for everybody. tom, how'd you
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see the timetable? by the time the negotiations start, it will be less than two years. is it possible to getan than two years. is it possible to get an overarching deal?|j than two years. is it possible to get an overarching deal? i think it is basically impossible to get a full free trade agreement, ie a post brexit settlement, done in that time. no one in this town thinks thatis time. no one in this town thinks that is a remote possibility, soap the question is can you get the basic divorce done, settling the bill, working at the right eu citizens in britain and vice versa and sorting of the border with ireland. these are matters that are pa rt ireland. these are matters that are part of the article 50 divorce settlement. the aim will be to get that wrapped up in two years. when you add on the various procedural matters at either end, it will be 14 oi’ matters at either end, it will be 14 or 15 months and that in itself will be very tricky. as they like to say over here, the clock is ticking today but ticking more loudly in britain than it is here. if you are right, when would we get a trade deal, if ever? good question, it depends on who you ask and the level
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of ambition that is sought by that deal. there are various examples you can look at. and eu trade with canada, which has been provisional application, it took seven years to negotiate and canada is a friendly partner. on the other hand, what british negotiators say is we are not starting from scratch, we are starting from a position of complete convergence and we want to make sure we don't raise barriers, so it shouldn't be difficult to get sorted out. how do you see that? how long do you think it will take to get a trade deal because we do have common standards already. yes, but it is also relying on a willingness of the british government to safeguard these standards we have developed together in the eu with the uk as a member state. if they want to abandon these standards on neighbour rights or environmental health care, consumer protection and so on, financial services, regulation, then we will have a big problem. so if we can agree to the standards, then it will be more easy. what does that mean in terms of a tariff? obviously
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britain can't be rewarded as a country that is leaving, the eu doesn't want to punish britain, maybe, but at the same time, it doesn't want to reward it, so what doesn't want to reward it, so what does that mean in concrete terms? let's see what happens. we have models out there, a country like mah way that is part of the single market but not the eu. i understand thatis market but not the eu. i understand that is not the way the uk government will go so what construction, we will have to see. but we shouldn't downgrade any standards for that would be dreadful for the british people and also the europeans. we should keep our high standards and find a way to cooperate on that. tom, how'd you see that, what sort of model are we talking about, is there any idea of that yet? number ten has always said they don't want to take any of these so—called off—the—shelf models. you mentioned norway, that will not be a model because that would involve accepting free movement of eu migrants. switzerland presents another model britain won't follow. some people talk about the less
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ambitious free trade agreements that eu has signed, we mention canada. canada hardly has any provisions for trade in services, the most substantial part of the british economy. another arrangement you hear about is ukraine, and association agreement signed between the ukraine and eu a couple of years ago. in the end, not of these will provide a model for this relationship. the prime minister spoke of a special and deep relationship with the eu. in the end, that is what the eu will seek as well so the terms of that relationship will have to be created by the two sides not based on anything pre—existing. by the two sides not based on anything pre-existing. jeppe, from the european parliament's point of view, there was a resolution published today that some people are interpreting as quite hard line and tough on britain. is that how you seeit? tough on britain. is that how you see it? is there any desire to punish the united kingdom for leaving? not at all, i think everybody wants a fair deal but you also have to say, when you are separating, this is the most complicated, maybe the most expensive divorce in history, then
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we also need to look after our own interests, that our citizens, our businesses, our standards are safeguarded, so that will be the negotiation and this has been made clear by the resolution today. but i have to emphasise, if you look at it, there are two things, the rights of citizens and uk citizens, but also europeans, but also the parliament will insist on transparency. we want the public, the media, the civil society to followed negotiations so it is not done behind closed doors but in the open so everybody can see it a fair deal. jeppe kofod at the european parliament and tom nuttall of the economist, thank you very much indeed for your time today. lott has been said today already in the wake the delivery of that letter to donald tusk —— a lot. perhaps was one “— donald tusk —— a lot. perhaps was one —— one of the nicest things was donald tusk, saying of britain, "we miss you already. " ben brown in brussels. we have been assessing reaction
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around the country to the triggering of article 50. in a moment, we will hear from of article 50. in a moment, we will hearfrom jon kay of article 50. in a moment, we will hear from jon kay in wrist but first, cambridge, where a majority voted for remain, and nearby wisbech, which voted leave. poles apart the part of the same county and now, still part of the eu. when it came to in or out, and wisbech reacted very differently. one of the biggest remain vote in the country was in cambridge. nine months on, little has changed. the city has a large european population and last week, the lib dem leader sought to reassure them. i often say to people in my patch and elsewhere who are eu nationals who are panicking about their future, nationals who are panicking about theirfuture, i nationals who are panicking about their future, i say i nationals who are panicking about theirfuture, i say i am 90% sure you will be fine. but brexit has made many foreign investors nervous. we are probably looking to set up more offices in the continental europe because of this and as i
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mentioned earlier, i yesterday had an e—mailfrom mentioned earlier, i yesterday had an e—mail from the germans asking me to move our business there. a lot of people from home were asking me if i felt any hostile environment or anything like that. but, no, to be there, cambridge is a lovely international community. since the exit, it raises uncertainty for members of ourteam, exit, it raises uncertainty for members of our team, they in europe say what will happen in the future? cambridge may boast some of the most intelligent minds in the country but it was the brexiteer is of finland who saw the writing on the wall. more than 71% of people here in wisbech opted to leave the eu and today couldn't come along soon enough. wejust today couldn't come along soon enough. we just got the influx of people coming in and we haven't got the infrastructure, we haven't got enough schools, hospitals and they
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