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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  August 20, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST

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but a police manhunt continues for the driver of the van which killed 13 people in barcelona. spain's king and queen are to attend a special mass on sunday in honour of the victims. tens of thousands of people in the us city of boston have demonstrated against a rally by the far—right. the small turnout of supporters for the right—wing "free—speech rally" had to be escorted away. police made a number of arrests after scuffles with what they called anti—police agitators. now on bbc news, dateline london. hello, and welcome to dateline london.
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i'm jane hill. this week, we discuss the latest uk proposals for leaving the european union. we'll look at india, 70 years since independence. and we ask, is there really a crisis in donald trump's white house? my guests today are the writer and political commentator adam raphael. stephanie baker, senior writer with bloomberg news. london correspondent for le point and le soir, marc roche. and columnist for the national and the arab weekly, rashmee roshan lall. a warm welcome to you all. we will talk shortly about those brexit proposals. let's start though this week with a word about the two terrorist attacks in spain, which killed 1a people in two cities and injured many more. let's reflect on the events of a grim few days. adam, your thoughts about yet another attack in europe, a similar modus operandi from the past too? yes, what can one say?
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it is again a second—generation, young men committing these things, obviously radicalised, alienated, not surprisingly it happened in barcelona. it was obviously going to be a key target. there are rumours of a cia warning to spain, we don't know if they are true or not but in a place like las ramblas, there is clearly a potential target there and it surprises me that a vehicle was able to drive for 500 metres down las ramblas. another soft target, we see it time and again, marc? yes, and after nice i said that that sort of place should not have cars allowed because it was a similar
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situation to the promenade des anglais. basically there is very little to say other than that we have to tell the police and also, i think we have to do better work at integrating the young muslim men who seem to be forgotten about in our multicultural societies. well, the hunt is continuing, they think, for at least one more member. we will see what develops in the days ahead. until that attack took place in barcelona, there was a lot of focus, again, as we have reflected many times, on brexit. the next round of formal brexit talks begin later this month. to that end, the british government released its position paper this week about its ambitions for ireland and particularly the border. the prime minister theresa may was adamant about the need to maintain an open border between northern ireland and the republic when the uk leaves the customs union. she said she wants easy movement
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for both people and goods, much as exists today. but the european commission swiftly retorted that frictionless trade isn't possible outside the single market. we'll discuss whether the position paper has thrown up more questions than answers. what do you think, adam? i'm afraid we are still in the delusional stage in this country. these two papers are at least some advance towards reality, but... for instance, the brexit secretary david davis said that the talks with europe were going incredibly well. actually they are not. they are going incredibly badly. fundamental dishonesty amongst the politicians in this country. the cabinet is split three ways, we're in a very bad hole. it is only going to be a question of time before this is revealed and the british public realise they have been sold a total pup. what happens then, goodness only knows, but i think these two papers, at least there is a transitional deal acceptance, which is important,
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because the idea of marching off a cliff face would be a disaster for everyone in this country, not just for business but for ordinary working people as well. we're slowly moving towards reality, but my goodness, the europeans are right when they say we are still in never never land. many business leaders have said that this paper gives us clarity. we know that business likes certainty, but it does not get to the heart about what we do about the customs union. well, trade is essential. there will be an agreement on the eu citizens, there will be an agreement on ireland. the two main issues are the divorce bill, that will be the big issue, especially trade, because the british want to have it all, they want to negotiate trade deals before they have left the european union — which is impossible. the situation is that the european union is very
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strong and united, 27, and the british are divided. so the clock is...clicking. it's certainly ticking, that's for sure! the clock is ticking and we have lost one year because of the political situation in britain and the british government is in a weak position because it is divided, as adam said, and political opinion and business opinion is also divided. europe is very united. stephanie. i think business is united, comparatively speaking, certainly compared to the cabinet and i think this week, finally, number ten has come out with policy proposals but they picked the two most difficult issues — customs and northern ireland. it is definitely a victory for the businesses saying we need
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a transition period, but it seems what they are proposing is notjust short on details but very unrealistic that the uk would be out of the single market and out of the customs union but we'd be able to negotiate a similar relationship that closely resembles what we have now. all the while not having any of the obligations of freedom of movement or paying into the eu budget. it sounds great, but why would the eu agree to any of that? the hint in this is that they will have some great new it system that will be the magical solution to solving these problems. i have spoken to consultants that have said that actually that is far off, it is very costly, many years to go before it becomes a reality. so what they are proposing, i think it's unrealistic and on top of that, i would say that actually, the customs union is only part of the problem. people forget that the british economy, 80% of it is services,
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which is not affected by this. the big prize at the end of the day is if they can get a deal on services to protect the british economy. i woke up the other day listening to the brexit secretary, david davis, talking about how ambiguity is deliberate, the lack of clarity is a good thing, and i felt... i was not around in 1947 when britain was leaving india, but my grandparents, my parents' generation, would probably have recognised the brexit chaos. at that time there was a much shorter turnaround of time, there was a great lack of information provided. in fact, lord mountbatten, the last viceroy to india, he did not allow the new borders of india and pakistan to be announced until after independence day. at that time, you could say that perhaps that is all right because at least the british had to just worry or not worry about all of those natives, millions of indians and the new country of pakistan. but the confusion that has been created here and the polarisation that is allowed because of the lack of information, you wonder why britain would want to do it to themselves. it's their own future they are playing with. because 52% of the population voted for it and plenty watching this programme will believe that things aren't going terribly,
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things are going as they should, this is what they voted for, this is what they want. the lack of clarity, the lack of information... so, one day you read that 759 international trade agreements and deals have to be negotiated by britain right after brexit. the other day you read that there is no reason to have any import tariffs at all, let's go off and buy oranges cheaper from south africa and buy from tunisia because the eu levies very heavy import tariffs on them. "it will be fine." perhaps there is a bit of this and that, but it could lower the temperature if the government used some of the information it is getting and provided it to people to allow them to test the limits of politics, as decent and responsive citizens. the government has fundamentally disagreed. you mentioned 52% voted, they did, but the latest ipsos mori poll published by the economist suggest that three—quarters of the people believe that britain is on the wrong track. that does not mean that they want to get out, that is by no means clear and i'm not suggesting that if there was a referendum tomorrow that people would change their minds and choose to stay back. it's very unclear. public opinion is extremely fluid
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and very, very uncertain and the divisions in the cabinet, to some extent, reflect that. no—one really knows where they are. the politicians, frankly... i don't make a great case forjournalists, but we can rightly or wrongly, speak honestly. many of the politicians cannot speak honestly because they daren‘t do so that because they're too frightened because they don't know which way it is all going. we are left in the hands of these characters, liam fox, david davis... borisjohnson. i personally have very little confidence in them as a trio to negotiate our way in this difficult task. particularly at a time when the european union is doing extremely well, the euro is high, germany and france are relaunching their politics. it looks like on the one hand, you have britain which cannot get a position and the european union, which goes forward
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with or without britain. adam, you said earlier, it's not going well, it is going badly. actually, to what extent do any of us know that? does anyone go into a negotiation...? you don't put all of your cards on the table, do you? that is the process of a negotiation. at least they are behind schedule, now it looks like the trade talks in october could be delayed until december. they are behind schedule. that's clear. yes, in terms of the timetable perhaps. the level of snarkiness on on social media and the bad tempers and everyone telling us that they want brexit reversed or not reversed, i think a lot of this has been created because people don't know. there will be trade—offs. for some people who want to leave the european union, it is fine, that there will be trade—offs. some people will be worse off in some ways but better off in other ways. but let people know.
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the uk government is going to be trusted enough to be not thought of as giving alternative facts. for the europeans, brexit will take place. i love the idea that marc says that all 27 are wonderfully united. they are! it's for the birds, marc. you wait, their divisions... that's the typical british hope. we are united to resist the british proposal. you might be right on that. to return to the specific point of ireland, which is what the position paper was about. stephanie is right to say that this is one of the trickiest areas in the negotiations, isn't it? and it ties in with the problem of britain wanting to bring down immigration but if you don't have a hard border it could be risky in terms of people smuggling, they're all issues. yes, for europe, there is a problem
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that we will have a frontier that will become fluid and not really policed because you will have smugglers, terrorists, traffickers of humans who will be able to go into the... the irish effectively have a veto. frankly, if these proposals put forward by the british government, whatever, unless they are acceptable to the irish government, it will be difficult for the eu to agree to them. so, i suspect that is one of the most difficult issues to resolve. i personally believe the money is not a huge thing, we will be paying billions anyway. in the divorce bill? but the trade and ireland, those are the key issues and frankly, we remain in a delusional phase in this country. on this i agree with marc. especially having a government where the defence of the union is for survival and the union has an agenda in ireland, which is different from dublin. it seems like everyone
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wants the same thing, which is no hard border, but how do you get there? it's an external border to the eu, there will have to be checks on goods going to and from, whether that is a virtual border or not. people may be the easiest part of it but you already have french farmers talking about concerns about that being a back door route into the eu for agricultural products. chlorinated chicken from the united states! that's the future! there is something to look forward to! we can agree that the ireland issue is very particularly difficult with regard to brexit. we know the british government talks confidently about doing trade with nations outside the eu. india is one of the key markets — and this week that saw india mark its 70th year of independence. trade and much else besides. rashmee, how are relations between london and delhi at the moment? polite. i know that sounds curiously
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bloodless and without passion, but perhaps that's not a bad thing. because, you know, there has been enough passage of time for both countries, the relationship, the equation to evolve into a steady relationship, of mutual respect and all of that. that sounds quite diplomatic. bear in mind too we're talking about the 70th anniversary. 70 as a birthday is not particularly momentous, it is not life—changing, it is not like a 215t or a 50th or a 75th, or 100th, so you have to look at the passage of time more closely and see where they are. i think i would describe the relationship as currently made up of the smirkers and the scoffers. the day after the brexit referendum occurred in june 2016, there were the smirkers who said, "watch britain partition itself, let it feel the same pain
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of division that it had brought to the subcontinent, let us see what happens to it." so there was a bit of delight that was being taken at the predicament of britain. then the scoffers will say that britain is this distant connection, a cousin seven times removed or whatever. its only cultural relevance now is cricket and tea and the fact that there is a fading fondness for pg woodhouse, his writing and all of that. i don't think that's where we are, i think we should let the events of the past be in the history books but let them be in the history books. let britain teach that history, contextualise it. as for trade, i do not think that is happening any time soon and the reason is that indians, just like other members of the commonwealth — new zealand, australia, canada and so on — they want to have mobility of people just as much as the mobility of cash and goods and investment,
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and britain has shown itself to be rather unwilling on that front. unwelcoming, is that what you think? yes, for example, foran indian to buy a two—year visa to come to britain, costs four times what it costs someone from china. indian students cannot work here after they finish studying. they are not allowed to come in that easily. workers are not allowed. 30,000 indians were told that their work permits would not be renewed. they were told in april. there are issues and indian officials feel that quite strongly. if we're going to do well after brexit, do we need to be more welcoming as a nation, is this a key stumbling block in terms of trade? i think that india is a key test case as to whether the uk can negotiate trade deals with other countries. india is not a major trading partner of the uk. it has a huge trade deficit
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with india, so doing a free—trade agreement with india is more of an advantage to britain than it is to india. india's biggest trading partners are the us, china, and germany is in the top ten. we saw merkel this week saying that she wants to restart the eu's talks with india on its own trade and investment agreement. and so, from the indian perspective, what is more important, a trade deal with the uk or the eu? i think that's self—explanatory. let's turn our attentions to the united states. white house chief strategist steve bannon is the latest member of the trump administration to be fired, at the end of a week in which the president's new chief of staff, john kelly, was photographed shaking his head and staring at the floor during a particularly chaotic news conference which centred
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on the violence in charlottesville, virginia. several commentators have described this week as a turning point for the trump administration. do you think it might be, adam? no, i think it's a sort of reality tv show. i don't know what the ending is but it is extraordinary, there has never been a presidency like it, i would rather doubt whether there will ever be a presidency like it again. it's an extraordinary phenomena, the white house is in chaos, but you can fire any number of people like steve bannon and what have you, and they have fired five people now, the likes of flynn and scaramucci and whoever, but in the end, it is the president who is the problem and he's tweeting at four o'clock in the morning. he's a very odd character and you could say that he is a reality show tv man, which is what i normally say, or you could say that he is a property speculator that got lucky or not lucky.
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he's also a demagogic politician but he has shown himself to be particularly inept politically, in some of the statements that he has been making — he obviously has no idea of how to manage men and women at all. so i have no idea what the outcome will be but i think the congressional elections, which come mid—term will be pretty horrific and the real issue to me is, will republicans, at what stage will senior republicans say enough is enough? but that's the key point, isn't it? i'm hoping stephanie will tell me that! stephanie, what is your estimation? notjust the steve bannon thing, it's cha rlottesville, the violence, the murder of a young woman, and that was the point at which quite a few strategists i spoke to over the course of the week said charlottesville is something different, and in terms of the reaction of trump to this, this is a turning point. do you see it like that?
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many people have said this is a turning point, based on the things he has said previously, and it has not turned out like that. i do think this is different. it took a while but you finally had two dozen republicans come out and criticise trump by name for his equivocal response to charlottesville. so i think that is significant. including business leaders. he has presided over an unprecedented rift between corporate america and the white house, after having billed himself as the business president and welcomed them into the white house. they have all abandoned him and you even had last night the billionaire carl icahn, who had been supportive of him, stepping down as his advisor on regulatory affairs. so i think this is a turning point. the challenge here is the legislative agenda is packed for the autumn and it is notjust on, you know, ambitious proposals that trump put forward for tax reform or infrastructure spending.
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i think those look very unrealistic now, given the political climate and how he has squandered his political capital. but things like getting a budget passed, raising the debt—ceiling, these are making sure there is not a government shutdown, these are big issues and the question is, will congress be able to get its act together to pass those things to avert a shutdown of government, given the lack of leadership in the white house, and the divisions? some people are worried that the departure of bannon means that there is no longer any point person for relations with congress and now with bannon out it is unclear how that will play out. he has made a big story out of the fact that he will wage war on anyone who gets in the way of the trump administration, and that means house speaker paul ryan is in the line of fire, and certainly the more moderate forces he warred with in the white house, the likes of gary cohn, the economic adviser,
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and steve mnuchin, the treasury secretary. bannon in some ways was also fighting, he said, the intense lobbying of goldman sachs. himself being a former goldman sachs banker. with him gone now, the goldman sachs lobby in the white house has no counter—power, and what is good for goldman sachs is not necessarily good for the us, as we know from the financial crisis. i think that every week is supposed to be the very worst week for the donald trump presidency. every week he is supposed to have done something that is so outrageous, this is the moment where everything will fall. i'm not sure that that is actually true because he has still got an amazing amount of support in his base and that base, as adam will know, from having covered the nixon presidency, even at the time that richard nixon was being investigated and things were really bad for him, he had a core level of about 25%
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or 27% support. so i think if there is that, i don't know what cowardly congressmen are going to really be willing to do very much to the president, unless people discernibly split from him. and will that point even come? has a new centre been created by hewing out more of a right—wing agenda? i don't know, we are seeing that in india, it is happening in hungary... do we reach a point where some republicans say this is damaging to the brand and the republican party, does it have to come down to that practical point? they are afraid of going against the popular feeling. he's been elected. because if you're up in the mid—terms...? that's it. how do you fight a populist like trump or brexit? you talk about the people.
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it's notjust enough to be appalled by donald trump, you must have a positive agenda. some good points have been made that the core base remains and would probably vote for him, come what may. i think the polls show it is there, that's the point. the question is, does that erode? frankly he will not be able to deliver on jobs in the rust belt, he cannot deliver on jobs and tax reform, at what stage does that belief start to erode? i do not have a clue but personally, i am not as concerned by his outrageous statements out charlottesville, it is typically inept, but in a sense, for the politically correct, it has really mattered and that has really divided america and it has focused attention on his lack of political skills. but in the end, so long as that core base remains, he probably will survive. you have of course the race issue, which with 0bama was a bit... we were told the race issue
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was no longer there. it's coming to the fore again with charlottesville and black people having to face the ku klux klan. you feel america is going back to a dark past. let's see what the coming days and weeks bring on those stories. it may well be up for discussion before we know it again. thank you to all of you. thanks for being with us. join us next week if you can. have a good week. bye— bye. today's weather is going to be
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influenced by this. are came gert has been moving northward. —— hurricane in. now it isjust a lump of moisture and tied in with this weather system racing across the atlantic. for most of us today a decent day. cloudy through the day. for most of us it stays drive. the obvious exception wales and south—west england when things cloud over and light breaks of drizzle. turning heavier as we go through sunday evening. later in the night, across northern ireland as well. this band of rain is studied to a weather front which earlier in the week will be pushing northwards allowing some of warm air into south
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of the uk. that's your latest weather. hello and welcome to bbc news. my name is gavin grey. spain's interior minister says the terror cell behind the attacks there this week has been broken up. officials believe the cell consisted of 12 young men, most of them moroccan nationals. one man, younes abouyaaqoub, is still at large. police searching for him say they believe he may have been the driver of the van which mowed down so many people on thursday in barcelona, killing 13 and injuring 130. from there, james reynolds reports. the king of spain, determined to show that barcelona has nothing to fear.
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