tv Politics Europe BBC News September 17, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm BST
police investigating the london tube bombing have arrested a second man, he's 21 and was detained in west london last night. the home secretary, amber rudd, has accused borisjohnson of being a ‘backseat driver‘ following his newspaper piece setting out his views on brexit. meanwhile, borisjohnson has been criticised for a ‘clear misuse‘ of official figures by the statistics watchdog after he revived the referendum pledge that up to £350 million a week extra could be spent on the nhs after brexit. the un secretary—general says myanmar‘s leader, aung san suu kyi, has a "last chance" to end the military offensive that's forced 400,000 rohingya muslims to flee to neighbouring bangladesh. and gennady golovkin‘s world middleweight title fight with saul alvarez ends in a controversial draw. now on bbc news, politics europe. hello and welcome
to politics europe. your regular guide to the top stories in brussels and strasbourg. 0n today's programme: angela merkel and martin schulz fight it out in the closing weeks of the german election campaign. what will the outcome mean for the future of the eu? never mind brexit, let's push on with the european project — that was the message from the president of the european commission.
is he right, that britain will regret leaving? and brexit will leave empty seats in the european parliament. what should the remaining 27 countries do with them? so, all that to come and more in the next 30 minutes. joining us today are journalists toby young and anne mcelvoy. first up, here's our guide to the latest from europe in just 60 seconds. jean—claude juncker took centrestage in strasbourg with his state of the union speech this week. but meps also discussed diesel gate, the volkswagen emission scandal, debating new testing regimes in germany and austria introduced earlier this month after a parliamentary enquiry made recommendations. 1.2 billion euros in eu aid was given to italy to help repair damaged caused by recent earthquakes. the massive pay—out is the biggest ever under the eu solidarity fund.
and meps approved a motion calling on norway, a member of the european economic area, to give up commercial whaling off its coast. away from the european parliament, protests took place across france on tuesday against president macron‘s controversial changes to the country's labour laws. and with german elections just over a week away, polls show that chancellor angela merkel is 15% ahead of her social democratic rival martin schulz. her party, the christian democratic union, should remain the largest, but is likely to fall short of a majority. let's talk more now about those coming elections in germany. voters go to the polls next sunday, on the 24th of september. chancellor angela merkel is the clear favourite to secure a fourth term in office. but what could it mean for germany, europe and the uk if she is re—elected? i'm joined by the former labour mp gisela stuart,
who was born and raised in germany. she's in our worcester studio. thank you, gisela forjoining us. tell me, we have had lots of surprising political results around the world. are people right to be so certain that merkel will win a fourth term? i think if you look at polling results, it's usually the trends which are indicators the problems for the social democrats is that it is simply not getting any better in returns, so i rather regret that it dos not look as though martin schulz will win that election. and the interesting thing in the german system is also who is going to be the third party? and the third largest party. and we may see in particularly the east of germany, the alternative for germany may get greater and more votes than we are currently predicting, but the balance of power looks as it angela merkel is going to form a fourth term. the question is who will be her main coalition partner?
and one of the things which i really find quite exciting is that whoever the major coalition partner is usually tends to go for the office of the foreign secretary and the leader of the green party, cem 0zdemir, has been talked about and i thought that would be quite an extraordinary development for germany. it would be quite a change! anne, you have been out on the campaign trail and it seems almost extraordinary she's about to secure a fourth term. people tend to get, you know, start to have a bit of a backlash about that time. was there any discontent that you found ? there was immense discontent in 2015 after the refugee crisis and that decision to admit a million refugees — that was probably the time when she was most shaky in power. in a very sort of angela merkel kind of way, she stuck to her guns but it didn't happen again, and she made sure she dealt with turkey, she has done various deals in eastern europe to keep the refugee problem further
from germany but in all fairness people also just quite warmed to angela merkel, they feel like germans — gisela will know this from her own upbringing — they like stability, there are historic reasons for that. they've just been through the major upheaval of unification, mutti merkel, mummy merkel is reliable, she's seen as solid, but there is also, you know, she has a bit of an edge to her, she sticks to her principles when she feels that it's right. and so i think also, she has not had a contender up against her and when martin schulz said "she could be vice chancellor in my government," the country fell apart laughing. i think the afd, the mood in the east, were very unpleasant, they were worse than i had expected. how did you feel about nigel farage going over there? very badly. i'm usually one of those people who doesn't mind people being a bit off in having their views and you know, you have a perfect right to exist and all of that but i think he crossed a bad line when he went up there and campaigned with the alternative fur deutschland, that was in many ways
a racist rally and you have to be very careful that this extreme sort of end of euroscepticism doesn't shade into that. toby, do you agree he was wrong to address the afd? i do, and it makes life for leavers and those of us who voted for brexit much more difficult if one of the leaders of the campaign associates himself with parties like that. and gisela, the social democrats, labour's sister party in germany, actually got close in the polls a few months ago, so what has gone wrong? they did, and at one stage i thought we saw the return of men with beards, having talked about fashion earlier, who sort of re—energise a voter base, martin schulz scored in a sense, because people didn't know him. he had been really much bigger in european politics and he was kind of a new, fresh face. and he didn't manage to build on that. the other thing is something angela merkel has been able to do is she's been able
to suffocate her coalition partners. she has been very clever in taking the credit for all these things the government has delivered and not allowing the social democrats to carve out a basis of where they have achieved things and could sort of show how a germany led by them would be better than one under merkel. toby, you mentioned brexit — a lot of people say we are almost waiting for the german elections to get out of the way and duncan smith has referred to mummy merkel saying that we know what germany wants, germany gets. do you think that negotiations could speed up after the 2ath? it's possible but it depends on who she enters into the coalition with. if it's the fdp, the fdp leader christian lindner is reasonably sympathetic to britain, has counselled not punishing britain for electing to leave the european union, so i think it would be good news from the brexit negotiation point of view. but gisela, a lot of people have a very different view on this. labour peer lord liddle said "those
who expect a triumphant angela merkel to rescue the british coals from the fire are living in the fantasyland that the british have inhabited since lastjune's brexit vote." what did you make of that? well, let's deconstruct this statement. i think british hopes that angela merkel would ever come to their rescue didn't amount to anything when david cameron thought she would be the great saviour in his re—negotiations, nor now. angela merkel will defend german interests. and in as much as german interest depend on good trading relationships, i think we will have these negotiations, but also, there will be a big battle in terms of the european union and fiscal transfers which angela merkel will have to hold the line. 0k. so, i think the best thing that can happen for all of us is wants the governments there becomes realistic, it is in both our interests to get a settlement. gisela, thank you. now, the big event in strasbourg
this week was the annual state of the union address from european commission presidentjean—claude juncker. in an upbeat speech, presidentjuncker said the eu had a window of opportunity and should seize the chance to catch the wind in its sails over the coming years. there was only one mention of brexit. he accepted the uk's vote to leave was regrettable but said brexit isn't everything. and that britain would regret it also. 0n trade, he said the eu should open talks with australia and new zealand with an aim to agree deals by late 2019. other economic agreements with mexico and south america were also in the pipeline. he suggested a full european defence union should be created over the next decade. and that the requirement for unanimous votes on foreign policy should be ended to allow for quick decision—making. the schengen area, the passport free travel zone could also be extended to bulgaria, romania, and eventually croatia. but presidentjuncker ruled out
turkeyjoining the eu for the foreseeable future, condemning the detention ofjournalist by president erdogan‘s regime. he did however call for the creation of some eu jobs new structural reform could be created over member states and he suggested his own post as president of the european commission should be merged with the presidency of the european council. he said europe would be easier to understand if one captain was steering the ship. here with us now to discuss this further are the meps who were there to hear presidentjuncker‘s speech. ukip‘s gerard batten and labour's richard corbett. thank you both forjoining me. let's start by asking you both what did you make of the speech? it was very upbeat, as you said.
a reminder that the rest of europe hasn't focused entirely on brexit. they have other things to worry about, other ideas, other proposals on the table. he got loads of ideas on the table of course, the commission of the proposals which is the trouble, they come up with ideas that they don't decide, if elected governments legislation also elected meps to decide but that's the role of the commission, to come up with ideas. the key thing is the mood there was that despite brexit, the rest of europe is moving on. i suspect you disagree. he exceeded my expectations because what he did was laid out before integrationist programmes, politics, economics, military, he said exactly where the eu is going to go and nothing all that has been on hold for a while by the referendum is going through. he laid it all out, this is precisely where the eu has always intended to go and it is now full steam ahead. he referred to the 27 country members, not 28,
so he's already discounted us which is good from our point of view. what people should really understand is if we are invited to remain a year ago this would now be our agenda and our fate because that would have been taken as an endorsement to move ahead with all of these projects. we are well out of it. is there some truth in that, richard? you campaigned to remain but do you supportjunker‘s programme? put up a lot of ideas, some of which have been around for years and will not get anywhere because it needs the member states to agree. so we would have had a veto. yes, we would have a veto if we remained and if we had gone ahead with leaving. one of the things david cameron agreed to give up in return for some pretty meagre concessions during his deal was veto over closer integration within the eurozone, so we wouldn't have been able to veto a common european defence
force in the eurozone. no, in or out we cannot stop other countries integrating, should they so choose. one thing he said which was significant is that the european single currency is the currency of the union which is what it says in the treaty and that the other countries would now be actively encouraged tojoin, he is setting up a eurocurrency agency and want to get the rest of them... referring to the fact written has a treaty. that is why. .. was that a real suggestion britain would have had two join the euro's state? if we had voted to remain, it would have been taken as a signal that we accept the eu as it isn't where is going. we would have ended up with more integration? it says the euro is the currency of the union in the treaty. so vince cable has been pretty critical overjuncker, he said he is in the wrong place, he doesn't do any favour for british pro—europeans, a bad choice for the particularjob, the present and extreme
federalist vision. while it's true if you take same view or the seine misunderstanding of what the commission says is what happens. only to come up with ideas and proposals but it doesn't decide. you are saying it isn't that powerful? it is always cajoling them along but it isn't theirjob. vince cable said this week of a brief interview for the economist radio where he says angela merkel should have done more to help david cameron in the negotiations and it's, you know, it's not enoughjust the sort of say sad face, you know, if you ask anyone in german government or in brussels how they feel they say they are sad but we don't care but it is not policy, it is a rictus and a reaction to britain leaving at whether angela merkel will be there for a good couple of years and her successors and those in brussels, juncker doesn't really like to engage in this argument, we will have to think about how to engage with britain but the fact that you are not in the eu or eurozone,
this is a large economy on your's doorstep and important in many ways an oddity we've begun to hear a great argument yet for brussels or indeed from berlin on how it wants to deal with press brexit britain. and really interesting leaked papers from the commission this week that suggest that actually france and germany would like to see some action on migration — perhaps emergency brake on the schengen area. is there a possibility that the uk could have had a cross—europe agreement on free movement? you're not going to stop free movement. there is a conflict there because they see what mess they're in. but what mrjuncker said, and this has been said in parliament by many people, we need to solve the illegal immigration problem by making it legal. they want to have more legal roots to migration. if you allow more people in, they are not actually illegal, so it is not a problem in their view. so i think there is certainly some conflict there. but i would say, listening to the groups in the parliament, if i'm correct, five out of seven actually agreed with mrjuncker. it was only the ecr and ukip — the efdd group, sorry,
that had a problem with it. these things have been proposed many times over the years, and these things generally happen. they take years, but they are implement eventually. vince cable makes a good point. who knew that you would agree? juncker is — all the things he's being saying — particularly in this speech — have been very unhelpful for those remainers on this side of the channel, particularly for those petitioning for a second eu referendum. because if there is to be one, ifjean—claude juncker said things like this, you know, the leave campaign would probabaly win by a bigger margin. although ewould say that we were in a two—track europe before, and britain was on the other side of that federalist argument. britain and others cannot be obliged tojoin these things against their will, so it remains a british choice if they want to join the euro, or the idea of a european army has been around for donkey's years, and it has never been agreed on. is it helpful for someone like jean—claude juncker, who is not particularly popular in the uk, overall, to be suggesting british people are going to regret their vote? well he's possibly right on that.
whether he's the right person to say it, perhaps that's doubtful. i have people writing to me and saying "i voted to leave, but not for brexit at any cost — we were told it would not cost anything, it would save a large number." and i meet them as well in the streets. have you met people like that? i've met — i've been looking at twitter today, and some people have been saying now they've seen juncker's speech, they're sorry that they voted remain. so there's arguments on both sides! one thing you guys might agree on is what juncker said in that unguarded moment after a decent outing in brussels. someone asked what the biggest threat is to the european union, and he shouted "me"! he's only in trouble for telling the truth. all he is doing is telling the truth. we will have many more debates on this to come. france four, germany nil. sweden one, hungary nil. no, it's not time for the european championship, thank goodness. these are some of the seat allocations being discussed in european parliament as a result of brexit, when the uk will bid au revoir to it's 73 meps. a second idea has also been discussed, to use 51 of the freed up seats to create a transnational
list of candidates. adam fleming has been finding out more in strasbourg. the uk's exit from the eu will have an impact in the hemi—circle of the european parliament, because 73 seats will become free. this portuguese mep was tasked with finding out what to do with the life—size versions of these. how will they look different after brexit? first of of all, there will be a reduction in the size of the parliament. the department is now 751. it will have 700 seats in the end. so, we will use a part of the 73 seats of the uk. we will use 22 for a new allocation of seats, because the current situation is unfair for a number of states. it means france will
get four new seats. hungry won't get any. sweden will get one more. but germany will stick with its 97, because theat‘s the maximum allowed under eu law. but some want to see a better reflection of population changes. they're disappointed that has been delayed until the european elections, in 202a. and because of brexit, things are more complicated in northern ireland. this is where the sinn fein meps sit, and they think that the republic of ireland should be given three extra seats to accommodate irish passport holders in northern ireland that they believe should be of the vote in the european elections. we're calling on the irish government to make that case and make it possible there should be three meps elected from the north. so would notjust the 13 seats for the south of ireland, it would be an additional two if the allocation went through.
but it would also be another three on top of that. it's reasonable that we would make that case because of the fact that, as eu — or technically eu citizens, we have got rights that are absolute. and the french president emmanuel macron has started a new argument by supporting an old proposal: international cross—border constituencies, where people vote as europeans. i think it will make us, so to say, "more european," bringing debates of european level, rather than having separate national debates. i think it would be a good step forward, towards a more european democracy. if you're elected on a transnational list, who is your electorate? to whom are you responsible? to whom are you accountable? how can your voters identify with you? yes, it's all immensely technical, but it has obsessed some of those who work here here for decades.
and there is still some way to go. the report can be amended and it's then voted upon by meps, then the member states have a say. it is exhausting. actually, can i sit in one of the seats, please? adam fleming reporting. next week, theresa may will go to florence, to make a speech that has already been talked up as a political game—changer in the brexit negotiations. downing street is staying tight—lipped about the content of the speech, but that's not stopped other tongues wagging here in westminster. indeed, it is going to be the chat of the week. so let me ask my guest, toby, what tone she should be looking to strike? i think she should be looking to strike a statesman—like tone, not too belligerent. i think she needs to appear to be rising above the fray and not responding in kind to the sorts of language we have seen from people like jean—claude juncker and so forth. i think she was to get this under way so that she can see something
else at the conservative party conference and won't have to focus on brexit at the conservative party conference, they can talk more about domestic agenda. and actually we heard from brussels that this intervention should delay the next stage of negotiations, which suggests something pretty significant is coming. there could be something significant coming. and remember that the timing of the german elections plays, and remember that theresa may has been advised by david davis and others to put a marker down before. because of course, one something is set in berlin, no matter what you say about jean—claude juncker, a lot of the policy is driven from berlin. if angela merkel gets up, newly elected, great mandate behind her, and says something that could seal off an avenue for the uk, that would be unfortunate. i think she is getting a lot of pressure around the cabinet not to underbid. don't be belligerent,
don't have that "you're all against us" kind of tone, but to sound confident about what you want. one of the things that went wrong for david cameron is that he aimed low and got less. it is going to be a little rock 'n' roll. it was never going to be as easy as leave claimed. but this could be a lazarus revival for her after a terrible election. ok, but she is in florence, but she will be thinking about competing forces back here in westminster. there are suggestions she will put an offer on the table about our financial settlement. that might not please some of her backbenchers back here. i am sure whatever she says, she is not there to please everyone. she will probably slightly annoy everybody. but i don't suppose she will be going out there having not already agreed a line with the cabinet. i think what she will say...
i think the money will now be agreed. yes. across the cabinet. and what you think of florence? number 10 is saying this is because of our deep historic trade ties. do you think that is a... it is a difficult analogy. you think of florence as a major banking capital that now isn't. if you end up with the new renaissance, well, it is going better than might have been predicted. possibly better than in brussels. i think this is an opportunity to set out a very clear line that the whole cabinet is united behind, and we then stick to, as far as we possibly can, until we leave in march 2019. one of the potential political wins here is to distinguish the position from a messier, noisier, harder to grasp labour position. do you agree? i think so. the labour position is a mess. but the prime minister needs to be clearer than they are. we have to leave it there.
thank you very much for your time. goodbye. it has been another day on the poolside. it is being another day where we see plenty of showers as well, and also sunshine. this was the sunny start to the day we had in cornwall, but the showers hooping going across eastern parts of england in contrast. in the last hour, they have come into a number of places in yorkshire and lincolnshire,. some of the showers have been quite intense, we handsome thunder and lightning mixed in with those, some very heavy downpours as well. that as we go on through the rest of saturday, we are looking at templates around 15—18. through the
evening and overnight, showers will continue to affect eastern counties of england for a time. some local cloud moving in a long, some mist and fog patches developing through the night developing through parts of england, we have clearest skies here, where we will have the coolest weather overnight. it will be cooler in the countryside, temperatures potentially around one. looking at the weather for the week ahead, we have cool and showery weather with this over the next few days, it will become a little bit warmer, but we will also see outbreaks of rain edging into the west towards the middle part of the weekend. monday, another day of showers. they will be widespread across central and eastern parts of england, mist and fog patches clearing here. in the dry weather is further west. northern ireland, scotland and wales, but it is cooler in
north—east scotland, where outbreaks of rain will move in. it will move away, a ridge of high pressure moving in, temperatures around 15. it is one of the dry days of the week ahead, tuesday night, we change the wind direction, a south—westerly is dragging in mild air of the atlantic, but there will be some rain in the north and west. these are the temperatures we will see overnight, it will be much milder evenin overnight, it will be much milder even in the countryside. a much milder start on wednesday to. this weather front will be particularly slow—moving, the rain really mounting up across western areas of scotland, as you go through the day. but the cloud breaking through eastern england, some sunshine here and temperatures in the low 20s. it will feel a lot warmer than recent days. the weather will change a little bit, it will be a little bit mother at least through the middle pa rt mother at least through the middle part of the week. that is your weather. this is bbc news. the headlines at 3:00pm.
in the last few minutes the home secretary has said the terror threat level has been lowered from critical to severe. police are searching a house in stand well near heathrow airport in connection with the bombing on the london tube. officers are still searching a property in sunbury—on—thames in surrey, after the arrest an 18—year—old man yesterday the home secretary has accused boris johnson of being a "backseat driver", following his newspaper piece setting out his views on brexit. i don't want him managing the brexit process. what we have got is theresa may managing that process. she is driving the car to continue the allegory. i will make sure that as far as i am concerned and the rest of the cabinet, we help her do that. the un secretary—general says myanmar‘s leader, aung san suu kyi,