tv Dateline London BBC News July 23, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST
this is bbc news. the headlines: president trump insists he has the "complete power to pardon" and attacks the media for its coverage of the claims russia interfered in the us election. next week, his eldest son and his son—in—law are due to testify before congress about their contacts with a russian lawyer. venezuelan soldiers have fired teargas at hundreds of protesters trying to march to the supreme court in caracas. the opposition group say president nicolas maduro is seeking to consolidate his power by re—writing the constitution. the hospital seeking to remove life support from the seriously ill baby, charlie gard, says doctors and nurses have faced abuse in the street and online. it comes as the high court considers whether charlie's parents should be allowed to take him to the us for experimental treatment. now on bbc news, dateline london. hello and welcome to
dateline london, i'mjane hill. this week we are asking, what are the advantages of brexit? we look at donald trump's stalled plans to reform obamacare, and we discuss the ever increasing problem of migrants to europe. my guests are the conservative commentator alex deane, the middle east expert rachel shabi, thomas kielinger of die welt, and the american writer and broadcasterjef mcallister. welcome to you all. the second round of brexit talks were held this week — for four days at the end of which both sides described discussions as robust, and michel barnier, the eu's chief
negotiator said more clarity was required from the british side on a number of key issues. some conservatives in this country are beginning to talk of a transition period. there will be further talks at the end of august. certainly in the uk the advantages of leaving — or remaining — are getting lost in the rhetoric. let's take some time to discuss them. alex, last week polly toynbee called brexiteers lunatics. .. i think it is extraordinary rhetoric. i know we will not have a discussion like that today! a majority of the country voted to leave the eu, imagine having such contempt for your fellow countrymen that you would use such a term. if remain won, i would not refer to them like that. after four days of talks, what is your reading of it? it's a two—year process, at the beginning people posture and pose on both sides and people set out the very highest points of their stalls,
they know that you will go inwards to a convergent point so you want to stretch things as far as possible. the fact that there is a lot of good mood music, they get on on a personal level, michel barnier and david davis, and they have a history where they understand each other a bit. my instinct is, good start. this will emerge quite quickly, a good outcome is in the interests of both countries and europe. so far, we have been looking at britain as being the odd one out. and a character we want to get rid of, that's the wrong perspective. europe will be very interested in making sure that this is an amicable separation which does not destroy the network of connections and trade relations, and in the end, i think i predict quite an acceptable outcome for both camps, as it were. i do not buy this adversarial
atmosphere which still reigns over the negotiations. i think that eventually, we only have 18 months left. but minds had to assert themselves here! it is not long. this will have to be positive, aside from the money and separation issue, and the divorce bill, that needs to be resolved as there is a lot of anger attaching itself to money. there really is, there has been so much focus. do you have confidence that that is an inevitable sticking point that will work out? why is there so much anger? that people who voted to leave did not realise it would be a thing? it's inevitable the subject arises. it is a large amount of money. we put in more than we get out.
a lot of money goes from the uk every year. the second largest net contributor to the eu is about to leave, of course it was going to be an issue that after a0 years in partnership, i do not normally say a phrase like this but there is something slightly grubby about trying to grab the pennies, as that group goes out the door. if it was right for us to join in the first place, we could discuss that if you want, i am convinced it is no longer right for us to be here now but if we could part as friends and have a reasonable relationship thereafter, it seems the shouting over a set amount of money, whatever the amount of money comes to be, is somehow losing sight of the broader picture of the relationship between our country and the european friends and partners for generations to come. if you'd think from that perspective, the demands for at the end will be a relatively small amount of money, but that is short—sighted. i hope we can come back to that. jeff and rachel, i'm interested in how you are portraying that and what people are making of it elsewhere, as various european nations continue to battle it out?
for me, it is interesting, the way that it has been portrayed is, of course, shaded by people's positions. quite emphatically. we saw some of that last week. it is a concern, i do not think we can deny that, however much goodwill we think that there is or there should be between eu and the uk in this negotiation. it does seem clear that the people charged with the negotiation are not equipped to do so. now, i do not... in a practical sense? they clearly did not think on it before, they did not have a plan. i do not think they are constitutionally, or in terms of their personality, very well equipped to deal with it. they do not seem to be good negotiators or seem to think about what is best for britain... which is, of course, we want to leave in jobs and the economy, the environment, environmental protections, employment protections for the uk,
that should be front and centre of their thinking. in looking at the way negotiations are going, it clearly does not seem to be the case. i think it is ok... i do not think it is ok for people who want to remain to disparage those who voted to leave in this way. but i do think that it is ok to say that actually, if the mood does shift, because this does seem intractable and impossible, it is perfectly acceptable for politicians to be sensitive and responsive to that. four days into the negotiation, i cannot see how you definitively say what you are saying, you say what you want to see... i began by saying it is too early to say how it was going and you say, but obviously all of this is not working. it has been a year and we haven't heard of any progress since we decided to leave. we are starting negotiations soon and i would agree with you...
it is nice to hear the good mood music and the practicalities are going to overwhelm the project. the fundamental differences will have to reassert themselves, will there be free movement of people? will there not? will there be re—entry into the common market, on a wholesale basis or sector by sector? where everybody gets a veto? the financial times recorded that there were 750 individual treaties that the uk needs to renegotiate with third parties just to get back to a standing start. there are food safety points, the movement of atomic products, a giant number of vocabularies that
need to be carefully pulled apart. in the middle of this, a lot of people in europe end up getting a veto over specific details. it is showing a softening of interest in the hard brexit, and the banks and foreign companies are now beginning to get space in frankfurt and dublin, and big banks putting money down for 50 private school spaces because they expect more people. this will not be easy, and all of these transitional arrangements are not clear yet. all of these businesses need certainty. we are at the point where people make decisions for the point where this was already going to be done and nobody knew what this would be like, i think all of the barnacles will get thicker and thicker, and it will feel like a dumb idea. ok, you said earlier, at the risk of rerunning the referendum campaign, from here, where we are now, what are the key benefits going to be? once this is done, from your perspective,
what will be better? they are as we were a year ago. we can govern ourselves in the way a sovereign nation can do, and we currently can't within the eu, determine our own trade agreements, the competence that the eu reserves for itself, and controlling our own borders. what we do with those things is up for negotiations but it is up to us rather than determined by others. if you think of those principles behind those broad areas, in sovereignty terms, we were one of nine, when wejoined, and vetos were common. now we are one of 28, those out of the eurozone where they coalesce together is smaller. on money, i know we can talk about how much we putting and what it equals but clearly we put in more than we get out. we should be able to decide how we spend our money and that is what a sovereign nation gets to do. and on immigration, this is where people are most upset,
but when commentators on the remain side said it was racist to want to control our borders, they helped the campaign to leave the eu. it is very helpful to be sneered at and it is still happening others, polly toynbee and others. we could fill the entire programme with this, but still 18 months to discuss, alex, as you pointed out! so, the white house spokesman sean spicer has gone — he resigned after anthony scarmucci was appointed as president trump's director of communications. —— director of communications. it comes at the end of a week of more difficulty for the adminstration around health care — the president sounded more than a little frustrated midweek with the republican senators who are refusing to support his proposals for replacing the affordable care act, or obamacare as it's often called. let's begin with the events overnight, what do we know of the new man, the new director of communications. what is going on there?
he is a friend of donald trump, a new york guy, giving advice, they talk a lot. he is really a buddy of trump's, he worked in banking, but sean spicer, he has been leaked against a lot, in a chaotic white house, he could not take the thought of another enemy, they did not like each other, and the fundamental problem is that donald trump believes that he is his own best communications director and he does so through his tweeting. he thinks his communications staff, when things are not going well with the fake media and with the country, he thinks it is the communications shop's fault, not his fault. he has a parade of people beneath him who he often disses and trades out and contradicts
and sends up with wrong information but it is their fault. sean spicer became unusable in a classic sense of a press secretary because nobody could trust what he said, and he talked himself off the air. the usual tv briefing because he did not want donald trump to see him all the time, donald trump would see the briefing and get mad at him. anthony scaramucci is a pugnacious fellow and i'm sure that he will satisfy donald trump for a while, but i don't know for how long! and what about those disparaging remarks he made about donald trump, big mouth and being totally out of his depth and so forth, he was very negative about the trump presidency. he does not sound very close to him, does he? i agree, but donald trump himself... he calls on people and manages to make deals with people he hates! it is a good question. what will happen with health care? this keeps hitting the buffers, it was a massive campaign pledge,
where is it now? for trump, it wasn't so much a campaign pledge, he does not care one way or the other. he does not really care about policy. he does not care at all about it. he wanted to win. the republican conference really wanted to defeat obamacare. that is right that they had no plan. shockingly, they knew because obama would veto any attempt, as he did 55 or 80 times or something, they would never have to worry on details but when needed, it turns out their bill was going to get at least 20 million people uninsured and obamacare is popular, it's gone over 50% popularity rating for the first time. people are realising it may be taken away and so people think, this is pretty good. if you give people an important set of benefits, as obama counted on, it works into the system and they do not want it taken away any more. that was difficult for
the republicans to recognise in advance, they would go for their meetings and people would be screaming at them. it essentially became politically toxic and impossible. i do not think there is a way of wholesale reform but the system needs tweaking. it is a republican health care system called romneyca re, invented by the heritage foundation 25 years ago, it doesn't offend their interests in a fundamental way, it needs tweaking and money but it will be done if they are willing to work with democrats. that's an interesting part of the equation, moving it wider and taking it further, there has been a change in public opinion over obamacare. now most people, including republican voters, support it and that has to be partly because they have understood the benefits but once it was introduced, and also because with the threat of it being taken there was a campaign that, quite proactively demonstrated to people, this is what you would be benefiting from and how you would be benefiting.
this is why it is a bad thing to take away. moving forward, i think on it as something like migration, where we look at freedom of movement coming up against the economic need for migrants in this country, i am not saying people who voted for brexit are racist but i think there was a lot of misinformation about migration and benefits to the country perpetrated over 20 or 30 years in the uk. i am interested in how the usa turned the conversation around, in a factual way. i wonder if it can be done over things like migration in the uk in an equally factual way. it does not seem to work with the audience, they do not pay attention until it is a contentious issue. as it is now, with economic benefit versus borders. they haven't just escaped intentions. it becomes controversial and they zero in on those issues without implication.
it is interesting, when george bush's press spokesman changed, or obama's spokesman changed, we had no idea but we are so fascinated by the trump white house we are gripped with this show with sean spicer in the centre. people will miss him. many satirists and commentators will miss sean spicer and wish he was there, but it is telling of a wider piece. i saw an analysis that one day last week, the cnn news coverage was 92% about trump and the administration, 8% left for the rest of the world. that is an outlet that trump hates. isn't it fascinating? he is a genius at it, by being centre of attention all the time and saying impossible things, doing a million things that no president in his right mind could or should do, he gets himself in the centre
of attention all the time, that's what he cares about most. people think the show cannot go on like that, but it can! but we do know melissa mccarthy now has to work currently on another impersonation, that's what we take from all of this. let's turn our attentions to the migration crisis. the un tells us that 40,000 migrants has struggled across the mediterranean so far this year, nearly 2&00 have died in the attempt. the migration crisis has all but disappeared, certainly from the british media this year, but it is not the most pressing problem facing europe. do you think it is, actually? rachel, despite what we have discussed in the last 20 minutes, migration is an issue in this country that has, for some reason, gone off the radar. i think it is because people think we are leaving the eu so we are no longer party to this issue or issues around it. i do not think it is a crisis of migration but a crisis of approach and solidarity. so, when you look at the situation,
like in italy at the moment, it is just under extraordinary pressure because it has become the port where migrants have gone. there is a massive increase in numbers going to italy. the balkan route has closed, and the eu arrangement between turkey and greece, that route has been closed. part of it is just, migrants are going to move, whatever you do. if you close one illegal route, they will pursue another illegal route. that is the point, that it is illegal. it is perilous and unsafe, thousands of people are dying. they are drowning, because it is illegal. the best way to tackle this is to make it legal. to open up a legal route. the other way is to share responsibility and shared the dispersal. that is the thing, there seems to be a big clash between southern europe and northern europe.
clearly, southern european countries are taking more of their share, notjust in terms of numbers but the financial implications of that will stop and other european countries are just turning away, and if the eu is supposed to be a collective there is not a collective approach to migration and that is the crisis. not the actual problem. the political element... it is an explosive issue, in germany and austria, which also has elections this year. austria is threatened if any more migrants come to italy and try and migrate further north, they will put the pounces ——panzers, on the brenner pass and make sure that they do not come through austria, they will be dead set against any further distribution of numbers. also, there is a crisis because you have to be seen as a politician responsible for your nation's welfare, dealing with the possibility of thousands more africans on your shores.
that is just scaremongering, if you look at the numbers, it is tiny percentage points across europe. most of the migrants are either internally in africa or are going to third world countries, like lebanon, jordan, they are not coming into europe. for you to raise this spectre of millions of africans... it is pure scaremongering. it was last year, it may not look like a large number but you need to ensure they are being integrated in europe, that is one thing that has not been resolved. we do not know how to make sure that they find a home or a place to work in, so forth. it's a social, intellectual problem, and a racial problem. europe has a demographic problem that it needs an influx of migrants because it is ageing!
not at the extent it is currently happening. the african influx of migrants, and their nominations, they are not going to add to the workforce, as it were, as they are being displaced, housed in rather shabby accommodation. it needs to be resolved. no country can absorb... germany took one million, there was no limit. well, there was, it was one million! they are now corralled in areas outside towns which no longer resembled the little german town it was before. it is a town stuck on the side of people who were not there two years ago, it is causing huge unrest. there can be no amount of movement that quickly, and suggesting that it is wrong, it is impermissible to point that out, that is crackers. what we should be proud of as a british country is the amount we spend in countries
where refugee camps build up on borders. we are among the largest contributors of those things and that is where resources should go. but europe—wide, it's the wrong way round. we essentially incentivise, deadly traffic going across waters, we are incentivising that by picking people up, often with the people doing the picking up and indicating to traffickers where they will be so they can collect passengers, we are operating a ferry service, instead we should take them back to the country they came from, because in international law if you go through a safe nation you are no longer a legitimate refugee taking asylum seeking refugee status. this is the problem... the solution is making people not want to migrate which means their own countries need
to be stable and prosperous. with libya alone, you have a 20 year project. forgive me for pointing out something obvious, coming across an ocean you are leaving a country which will not be syria... you return them to the nation to which they are safe, investing far more in refugee camps but if you let people make their way through france or wherever, you encourage and facilitate that kind of human movement. for a long time, we need to be honest, our neighbours like the french were complicit. carry on until you get to calais, then we bottleneck and it becomes britain's problem. we obviously cannot resolve this, people are desperate and are going to try. there may be perverse incentives in them being not dead, that is the problem. there's a huge human cost. yes, nobody is paying enough attention to think
about bigger solutions. is it that political failure? since the tremendous political interest in this subject one year ago, it was cataclysmic in germany, austria and eastern europe, it has completely disappeared. thomas is right, the austrians will assert a national interest. alex mentioned the solution of the camp in the countries they come from, we at least have to invest, if we cannot improve the economic performance of these countries, they create economic or otherwise migrants, they need to build up camps, safe holding areas, as we have done in lebanon and syria and jordan. some have been operating for 50 or 70 years now, in the middle east. this is not a solution. but it is better than people dying in the ocean. you need to restore public trust in the process, making sure it is notjust boatloads of young men any more. it has undermined public confidence
in these asylum and refugee placement processes, people supposedly fleeing oppression are men of fighting age. i am so sorry, rachel. this happens every week. that's all we have time for this week. it's good to see you all as ever. plenty more to discuss next week on the same place. thank you for watching and goodbye. sunday is heading the same way as
saturday and with a lot of cloud and patchy rain from overnight across england stop pushing south across scotland. a lot of dried whether. england and wales, after a largely fine start, so was it get going again into the afternoon. some heavy ones around with pleasant sunny spells in between. some of the showers continuing into the evening. still around parts of eastern england, with that cool breeze from the north sea, only slowly clearing stock elsewhere drier, sunnier and warmer. quite contrasting temperatures. by tuesday, a lot of dry weather around. sunny spells. more rain from the west as we go through wednesday. hello, and welcome. this is bbc news. president trump has insisted he has complete power to pardon people. it comes amid reports that he's been
looking at ways of pardoning himself and his family should investigators decide there was collusion with russia during the us election campaign. next week, his eldest son and his son—in—law are due to testify before congress. but there was no mention of the controversy when the president spoke at a naval ceremony in virginia. from washington, laura bicker reports. donald trump hoped this would be a celebration of everything made in america. instead, donald trump is gearing up for what could be one