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tv   Newsnight  BBC News  October 20, 2017 11:15pm-11:46pm BST

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transport are also putting measures in place. you need to get across, you need to get across. it's a 15, 20 mile journey round, if more, so if you live here it is part of the way it is, we have storms every year. with winds set to increase here tonight and into the weekend, gusts of up to 70mph are expected here, along with some of the year's highest tides. now it's time for newsnight. how's brexit going? well, the bluffing and bluster in brussels continues, but how do the public feel? i've sat down with voters in sheffield. put up your hands, how many of you think there is an element of them trying to punish us? absolutely! there seems to be a big hate campaign against theresa may all the time, like it is not really relevant if a piece of boarding falls down. also tonight, southern comfort. oxford and cambridge have too few students from the north of england. we'll hear about one way of solving the problem.
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and trevor noah gives us an outside perspective on the us. someone can get more offended that you're calling them a racist than at the fact that they are a racist. and that's become like a new thing that i've stumbled across. "how dare you call me a racist?" "well, how dare you be racist?" hello. so how is brexit going? looking at the outcome of the summit in brussels, and the fact that they're still not talking about the long—term brexit stuff, which is mostly trade, you could argue it is going off the rails. the eu is still holding out for more money, suggesting britain faces a ghastly choice between paying up and having a bad deal, or having no deal at all. but put on the happy glasses, you can look at it the other way — that there was a nuance shift
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in tone in brussels, a more constructive one. and at last, the other 27 have said they'll start preparing for talks on trade. good news or bad news? we're still too far from the end of this for a final determination of whether brexit has succeeded or failed. but to get to a result, someone has to make a next move. will it be britain or the eu? our political editor, nick watt, is in brussels for us. well, it wasn't exactly high noon for theresa may, but she did need eu leaders to recognise that she has taken a risk on the eu and on brexit, so she did get warm words, and she did get an indication that the eu leaders may be willing to move to trade talks in december. so here is my report on how eu leaders responded to theresa may's plea for help. time is a prized asset in any negotiation, and until this week the brexit talks had been grinding on in brussels in the slowly. now there is a distinct feeling
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that the pace may be picking up. after prime minister may's intervention last night, and our discussion about the brexit this morning, my impression is that the reports of the deadlock between the eu and the uk have been exaggerated. i would like to reassure our british friends that, in our internal work, we will take account of proposals presented there, so the negotiations go on, and we will continue to approach them positively and constructively. i am ambitious and positive for britain's future and these negotiations, but i know we still have some way to go. both sides have approached these talks with professionalism and a constructive spirit, and we should recognise what has been achieved to date. this council is an important moment, a point at which to assess and reflect on how to
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make further progress. often these european summits have a dramatic deal with late—night showdowns. for theresa may, this one had a rather more gentle feel, because she had put in the diplomatic legwork with a series of phone calls to eu leaders before arriving in brussels. they duly responded by acknowledging her recent olive branch and agreeing that they would begin their own preparations for those trade talks, if they decide to move onto the next stage in december. emmanuel macron struck an upbeat note, but he did say that the recent offer of around 20 billion euros does not go far enough. translation: if you look at all of these financial commitment in a rigorous manner, if you look at both our common interest, and look at the commitments made by mrs may in florence, up to today, we have not completed
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half the journey. in a dig at the uk, macron mocked talk of a no deal brexit. translation: there is onenegotiator on the british side with political authority, that is theresa may. at no point has she raised no deal as an option. where there is noise, bluffing, fake news, actors, secondary figures or spectators to this discussion, that is like in the media. that is not part of our discussion. so there we have emmanuel macron leaving the french briefing room after a very lengthy press conference, almost reminiscent of the president obama press c0 nfe re nces . he said that there had been some progress on brexit, although he did say,
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as other leaders are saying, that theresa may has got to go barber that on the financial settlement. but president macron also went further than other eu leaders, saying he will make sure that brexit will cost the uk more than it costs the eu, and he had a bit of a swipe at brexiteers, saying they had never spelt out the full consequences of a vote for brexit. whether we go fast or slow, today told us that it all comes down to money. president macron‘s suggestion that the uk had only completed half of the journey in the financial negotiations raised the prospect, in some eyes, that the eu will be demanding in excess of a0 billion euros. that sounds like an astronomical sum of money — a quarter of the annual health budget. but the 20 billion euros floated by the prime minister would mark a continuation of the uk's current contributions to the eu budget
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until the end of 2020. any extra sum would cover past liabilities as a member state and would probably be paid out over a number of years. a settlement of around a0 billion euros might eventually work. i've been told that uk ministers would accept a deal that falls short of 50 billion euros. so the real question is, who will buckle first? theresa may is telling eu leaders that she will not agree to a definitive figure until the end of the entire brexit negotiations. the eu is saying that they need clarity, because an informal offer from the prime minister could be dropped if she falls from office. theresa may can expect a frosty reception in some quarters back home. you know, to see a british prime minister going to a dinner and effectively begging for crumbs
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from the table is pretty dismal. if you appease bullies, and i'm afraid brussels is a bully, we have seen it many times in the past, they will always come back and ask for more. so either, either the germans act as a peace broker and give us an opportunity to move this on so we can talk about a complete package, or come december, she will have to give a deadline and say, if you are not prepared to start grown—up talks about trade, we simply will be leaving. so movement is definitely under way. if future trade talks are approved in december, a hurdle will have been cleared, but the next set of hurdles will be a little bit higher, because the eu will be negotiating with an outsider. nick watt. well, for some remainers, the challenges of the negotiation make brexit look hopeless. and in some recent polls there has been evidence of a small shift
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in public sentiment away from leaving, a small majority towards regret for the referendum decision. but polls have problems, so we thought we might try to take the temperature of public opinion on how brexit is going with a small, mixed panel of members of the public. now, the advantage of listening to people set out their views in detail is that you get a richer, more robust idea of what they really believe. the disadvantage is that you don't know whether your panel is truly representative. but with that caveat in mind, listen to the views of this panel of nine people from around sheffield. looking at it now, you probably follow it somewhat. how do you think it's going, any of you? i don't think it's going too bad. i think they're the biggest set of peace—time negotiations that we've ever had in our entire history. i think the only people blowing smoke about it are the people trying to sabotage the vote anyway. you think it is a sabotage thing? yeah, they are constantly coming out and saying she's doing it wrong, she should be doing it differently.
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i think there should be a united front on our side of the channel. itjust gives them all the ammo they need over there to drag it out in the hope that we will stay. our government, theyjust don't seem to be acting as one. it would be nice if they did. we made the decision to come out now, so they've got to work with it. i think that still remains the case, that we do not get to hear enough genuine information about how the negotiation is going, whether it is a newspaper, tv or radio, even a political party. whichever way they want to spin it, that is how it is going to them. but you cannot weigh up whether it is going well or not. a divorce is a divorce. anyone who has been through a divorce around here knows that they are not pretty. but that's the media language... it is tabloid language, it's not a divorce, it is a separation. it is a separation, but what is a separation? it's a divorce! i hear what you are saying... how many of you would say that it is going badly? as you look at it now,
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this is obviously going badly. how many of you would say it is going badly? maybe... i would say in the middle, because how is it going? we haven't got any definite information on how it's going. you know, people are saying it is going well. in what way? give me a good example of how it is going well. do you not think it is like two sparring partners? they both come out of the corners fighting, and it's like, who is going to bluff a bit? who will make the first move? that's the impression i get. both sides are sort of testing the water. i'd like you to put up your hands. how many of you think that there is an element of them trying to punish us? absolutely. i would say so, yes. so, the remainers and the leavers. how many of you, for the record, think they are not trying to punish us? mike... do not feel bad, you are on your own in this group. so you think there is an element of that? they've got to. if they make it too easy for the uk, i would like to know how many other
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countries are going to think, actually, this isn't a bad idea. so really, they've got to come down on us hard. otherwise, who else may want to join us? at the moment it seems that europe are not giving an inch on anything. that is why. .. is that your impression? that is my impression. anyone else? i think they are trying to set an example. like we've said, they aren't going to make it easy. do you know the name of the french guy leading the negotiations? barnier, michel barnier. what is your impression of him, ben? i think he's an example of the pure technocrat on their side of the channel. he is the personification of everything i despised about the eu before. he's the reason why you vote leave. given the chance, i would do it again. it shows how much power he holds. he's never been elected. he's completely unaccountable to the voters, but is in complete
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control of the negotiations, so to speak, from their side. let me ask some of the people who are more remainers. whether we should give money... sonia, yielding on the money to get them more trade, is that worth it? simply? yes. so we can get things moving on. but that is being held to ransom, then. it's what we've asked for. we've got to do it, you can'tjust turn around and say, we are leaving... by the way, we don't want to pay the bill and by the way, we want to trade with you. it's like... they aren't going to do that. they are going to go, are you stupid? they need to trade with us as well... no, but they don't. they don't. they don't! sorry, gillian... i think we are strong enough to be able to walk away, it has all been in the press about walking away with no deal. you know, it might hurt us a little bit, but i think it would hurt us more to give in and pay what they are asking. so, i'm going to do another show of hands here...
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i want to know, at the moment, the eu will not talk about trade until we offer more money. how many of you think that ultimately they are bluffing, that they will talk about trade if we hold out and do not offer more money? yeah, so there is a feeling here that that they are playing hardball. all right, give me your impression of the conservative party at the moment. there has been a lot of talk about boris this, philip hammond that... i'm interested in whether you think the tories are doing a good job of managing the brexit process? albert, what is your...? under the circumstances, i think the media are constantly dragging them down. and not giving them an opportunity. and you are a labour voter? that's right. subsequently, they've got to do this job. we are in a democracy, we voted to get out. i think everybody involved should do that but it is so frustrating. sheffield alone voted out 51—19. we have six labour candidates, mps, who represent sheffield. all of them, i believe, are stayers.
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now, that is not my representation. i think the actual labour party as it is is constantly saying obstruct, obstruct. this isn't about any opposition, but... against each other, not the democracy of the country. surely not? i think it's always been like that. you are not allowing the government to get on with it. as soon as they say something, there is somebody to drag them back down again... that is politics. but sticking to the tories, does anyone want to offer a view on how they are doing? i would like to say that there seems to be a big hate campaign against theresa may all the time. like, it's not really relevant whether a piece of boarding falls down... it isn't really relevant whether she has a coughing fit on stage. i think most of the people that i know and most of the population are interested in what the tories
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have to say about things and how they are running what is probably the most important decision the country has taken since the second world war, and really it would be really good if the media could tone it down a little bit. and give her a break, for a start. who thinks thatjeremy corbyn would be a better brexit negotiator? not a chance! with labour? not a chance, no! does anyone want to say that jeremy corbyn would be a better brexit negotiator? no. i don't think he could be any worse than what we have already got... because he's got a history of negotiating with problematic people, and he's not frightened of the challenge. hindsight is a lovely thing, but he is brave enough, that's the thing — he is brave. now, you might have heard, that the british are basically asking the europeans for two years after we leave in march 2019 for two
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years when, more less, we are kind of still in. nobody... from my point of view, when everybody did the vote, nobody said, this is what is going to happen when we leave. so, there was no plan? exactly! so... did anyone think that it's a painful delay? that we are slowing it down, that it's hopeless... i think it is, i do. giving it the two year transitional period, if you are a staunch leaver, you are not getting those values enforced as quickly as you would be. you would be surrendering more financial burden in that time. and maybe it is not quite the quick brexit that people were looking for. it has been suggested already, it's a life changing thing. you know what i mean? we aren't going to go back, probably in our lifetime, so an extra two years is probably sensible to make sure that we get what we want. i am a staunch leaver,
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and i am happy for that transition. i'm quite happy with that. because some people said that this could be seen as a betrayal. so long as you have got a strict time limit... yeah, i don't want to think that we've got a date that we are aiming for and we've still not got things that need sorting out. i'd rather take another year and make sure that the decision that we do take is the right decision, ratherthan say, no, we've got this date... umm, what should we do? you know... does everybody agree with carol, more or less? take yourtime? take your time, you know? how many of you would say eu, the rest of the eu, is ourfriend? i don't... i think because of this, they are making us enemies. several of you said... because philip hammond, the chancellor, referred to them as "enemies" at some point this week. he apologised. they are not. how many of you would use the word "enemy"? no. so how many of you would say
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that they are not our friends? let's not go as far as enemy, but how many of you would not use the word "friend" to describe the rest? i do not think that they're being friendly at the moment. that's the best way i would put it. do you not see it as like a family? you may have brothers and sisters, but you do not necessarily particularly like them all the time! but at the moment, we are bound together by, you know, financial reasons, whatever. .. i would say european—wise, on a population level, absolute friends. whether the political classes at the top are our friends, that's a different matter for me. it's like saying they are enemies, i would definitely say that michel barnier is not a friend, but the average frenchman? yeah, absolutely, they are a friend. is no deal a scary option for you? falling back on no deal. we've got this far, what is a no deal? we've voted to come out. it doesn't matter whether we have got a deal or not, we are coming out. i don't think they are going to stop
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and say, there are no ferries going out of dover because there's no deal. you cannot come into france, or whatever. they have just got to accept that it might be a bit slow. but they are going to get the goods over. i don't think it will end up with no deal. it won't benefit anyone to have no deal. it's media scare tactics. it is, yeah. every time, bringing it in. let's create these queues, let's make sure no aircraft land in europe... it is farcical. we will do a show of hands. which of you would like the british government to be playing it more tough? it's time pressured... laughter it's applying pressure in the right place for the right agreement, isn't it? it's not, you know, play hard ball for everything. and surely, it's easier to go in tough, and then make out that you are making more concessions than you intended. it's all about gamesmanship, isn't it? but we aren't going to agree to every single thing anyway. it's impossible.
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there are things that will go well for us and things where we say, i wish that had been better... so, in the real world we've got to accept good and bad, through all of these negotiations. i think the negotiators on the leave side really owe it to a lot of the hard—working families and people in the uk in various different industries — the fishing industry for example has been decimated. i think the government owe it to those people really, to give us a good deal. anybody here want another referendum ? no! oh god, no. no way. we will have a referendum about a referendum! last one... does the prospect of brexit, as you look at it now, make you more scared or more excited ? roger, you start, and we will go round. can i have a third word? ambivalent! oh, god. umm...
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let's say excited. excited, if it is done right, for me. still undecided, pass. excited. because i think we are stronger than we think. that's interesting, because you were a remainer. excited. i am numbed by it. i am concerned for my daughter's future. i am awkward, because i am going to say both! because realistically, it is scary. but, i'm also excited about hopefully what will happen in the end. it's a long and painful process but hopefully it will be positive. excited. thank you, all, very much indeed. thank you to that group, we were chatting for the best part of an hour. the party labels under their names are not formal party affiliations, they are the parties that they said they supported. oxford and cambridge stand accused today of a bias towards applicants from southern england. the labour mp david lammy has obtained figures from a freedom
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of information act request that show london and the south—east of england received about half of the offers of places from both oxford and cambridge, while the north—west, the north—east, yorkshire and the humber between them received below 15%. the two parts of the country each have similar populations. the finding is a variant on an old theme — certain groups, like those from private schools, have long been are over—represented at the top two universities, while many schools never enter anyone at all for oxbridge. so what to do about it? the universities say the problem is getting less privileged students to apply. could oxford and cambridge learn a thing or two from trinity college dublin? it has made big strides in opening access. patrick prendergast is trinity's provost, and hejoins us now from dublin. a very good evening to you. so, did you have the same problem, the oxford and cambridge problem, that there was a narrow circle of applicants and admissions?
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yes, if the outset we identified the problem about 20 years ago. that we needed to broaden access to the university from all socio economic groups. we created an access programme specifically for that purpose. bringing students in through an access programme that was specifically designed to address this issue. what was the active ingredient of the programme? it was a preuniversity one—year course, so students would come and do a course led by us for one year. if they did well in that course, then they would be admitted to the university, into a programme of their choice. so they did not coming in a root like you may have, through your a—levels but through a different route, the access route. that allowed for them to do courses to get the idea of what a university was about, before they would land, if you like, into a university programmes straightaway. they do a pre—course.
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a foundation programme, as we call it. they are effectively getting an extra year of teaching? exactly, they are being taught by university academic staff, so they know what the university environment is like. they are getting to know whether they want to study that subject at university, whether it is right for them. and when they come to university, they are ready for the challenge is a university course presents. it's an ambitious scheme but it raises a lot of questions. what proportion of those who want to do the course then go into trinity? a very high proportion, over 90% or so would come into trinity. it works very well for admissions. when the students come into trinity, after their one—year foundation programme, they do very well as part of the student community. so you haven't had to lower your standards to take
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those students into the university? you have to understand, we did not think that would ever happen. these students are very smart, capable and bright. theyjust didn't come from a traditional background for entry into university. as soon as they get in, they do very well in many cases better than students who come in via the normal route. we want the students as they bring value, and ability, into the university student body. we aren't doing itjust through the goodness of our hearts, we want to bring them in because we know that all students in university would benefit from their presence. a quick answer if you would, do you think that those students would be fit for the university and would cope with university well, without the extra year of teaching? i think the extra year of teaching, the
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foundation programme, i think that they need it and they benefit from it. that is part of what makes their university career successful. and, it allows them to get ready to contribute to the whole university community when theyjoin a students. patrick, thank you very much. thank you. the south african comedian, actor and tv presenter trevor noah has a tough job. for one thing, he replaced the hugely popularjon stewart as host of the american news satire programme the daily show. not an easy act to follow. and then on top of that, noah took on the role two years ago, just as american political satire was about to be assassinated by real political events. however, trevor noah has made the show his own and is now a fixture of late—night tv in the us. but he's one whose own life has had more than its fair share of drama.
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our correspondent nick bryant met up with him and asked how you satirise a president who many of his viewers would regard as self—satirising. i think donald trump is a challenge and a gift at the same time. i mean, on the one hand, it almost feels like he escalates the joke himself. on the other hand, i feel like there is still a lot to unpack in the world of donald trump. has he changed the game? has he steered you more towards commentary rather than comedy? oh, definitely, definitely. i don't know if he's steered us in that direction, because you must remember, i started on myjourney on the daily show with donald trump, so in many ways there is only one daily show i've ever known, and that is a daily show where donald trump is somebody who is running for office and then president of the united states. and because i come from a country where our politicians are similar and our news cycle is very similar, this is not something that is new to me. so in my world, nothing really
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changed — ijust transplanted myself from south african politics into american politics, found a familiar figure and discourse that i understood, and i've continued and started shaping the daily show in that direction. ta—nehisi coates, the black author, has described donald trump as a white supremacist, that his presidency is all about the negation of the presidency of barack obama, the first black president. right. would you go that far? well, i would say this — i don't know if donald trump is a white supremacist. i do know that he prefers white people over black people, you know, i do know that he has said on multiple occasions, that, you know, he doesn't want black people involved in the counting of his money or, you know, involved in the running of his world. i do know that he has specifically gone out of his way with his companies to oppress black people. i do know that he hasn't been as quick to react in the aid of black people as he has been with others. i do know that he has supported and continues to retweet white supremacists on his twitter account. so i would say to people, i'd go, "you tell me." it's weird, because america is the kind of place where someone
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can get more offended that you're calling them a racist than at the fact that they are a racist. and that's become like a new thing that i've stumbled across. "how dare you call me a racist?" "well, how dare you be racist?" and that's the world that donald trump is in, is people try to trap you into being afraid of saying what the person is doing, as opposed to them being afraid of acknowledging the world that they're living in. racial identity is a key theme of your book, born a crime, and perhaps it would help if you'd explain that very title. well, i called the book born a crime because i was born in south africa during apartheid. i was born at a time when it was illegal for black and white people to fraternise, especially in a romantic way. and my mother is a black woman, xhosa from south africa, my father is swiss, from switzerland, a white man. they got together — this was against the law. they had me, and so in effect i was born a crime. you came from an abusive situation at home, your natural father


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