tv Dateline London BBC News January 20, 2018 11:30am-12:01pm GMT
my guests this week: mina al oraibi, the editor of the abu dhabi—based the national, the times columnist david aaronovitch, the author, thomas kielinger of germany's die welt, and marc roche, former london correspondent of le monde, who now writes for the magazine le point. welcome to you all. let's discuss france and britain, first. emmanuel macron came on his first official visit to britain this week. among the agreements reached between the french president and british prime minister? theresa may committed to spending an extra £41; million on border security in calais. france said they would lend us the bayeux tapestry in a few years‘ time. with brexit inevitably the backdrop to this meeting, mr macron said the two countries were making a new tapestry together. marc, is this the new "entente cordiale"? see what he did there? what did you make of this meeting? how did you
read it? well, the bayeux tapestry, you give a big gift for love in french and a small gift for friendship that's what we say in french. it symbolised this meeting, but a military cooperation, better arrangement an calais. and fights against terrorism. the background was brexit. president macron was very clear. the usual british tactic is divided to rule. the eu is united. for financial service, you wa nt to united. for financial service, you want to access the single market, you want to access the single market, y°u pay want to access the single market, you pay for it. you accept free movement. and you accept the court ofjustice. of course, that is unacceptable for the brexiteers in how government. let's hope that after that agreement, president macron, he's not hostile to the city, he is a former banker. let's hope he will
accept a bespoke agreement which is needed, not norway. something new so we can turn the page brexit. he's not hostile to the city but plenty of people have sat round this table in the last few weeks somewhat chuckling at the way that france is trying to encourage british financial institutions to relocate to beautiful paris. absolutely. france isn't the only one, frankfurt is doing that, amsterdam, dublin. the problem is, very few institutions will leave the city because in the end, london can continue to be financing europe. although out of the eurozone and out brexit. i dent think that'll be problem. of all capitals, one at paris? ——i problem. of all capitals, one at paris? —— i don't think. put a few banks there. thomas. a nice french perspective. but to go back to the bayeux tapestry, it is a division three tactic by france. as you place
this prediction on history in england, 1066 and all that, everyone knows not worrying about 1066, we are talking about 2019, 2021, that is the salient point to discuss. why this bayeux tapestry thing? he is marc quite right,, the biggest conundrum is continuing to operate 80% of british economic output invested in financial services. yes. to have that all cut off, i wonder what price britain will continue to pay or wants to pay, in order to preserve this big advantage? at the moment, to looks pretty much impossible. if you leave the union, the eu, you can't operate in the eu without passporting writes. how do you solve this conundrum? macron didn't help. he kept saying in accordance with position of jean—claude juncker and donald tusk, you can't cherry pick, if you leave,
you can't cherry pick, if you leave, you leave but i wonder if there is wiggle room. the eu is in need of money and britain leaving will leave them in need of a certain amount of a big slice of money. if britain we re a big slice of money. if britain were to continue to want to pay into the coffers of the eu, which is a small price anyway, considering the huge advantage of the financial markets for the british economy, might not brussels reconsider this absolute adamant position? no, possible. if britain is willing to cough up billion euros every year —— 11 billion euros. there are red lines of mrs may, no court of justice. she said it. and emanuel macron has given an interview to the bbc this week and reiterating exactly the point that you are both making. we are still a couple of months away from the final deal. i predict certain u—turns here or there, both in brussels and london, in orderto
there, both in brussels and london, in order to not come to a cliff edge resolution of the brexit issue, which would be catastrophic for britain. what was interesting about macron's visit, in addition to brexit and the single market future, there was this focus on the bilateral relationship that we speak less of an hour. the importance of france's relationship with the uk and whether that is military support. —— we speak less of at the moment. britain saying they will support france's efforts in africa, not having troops on the ground but actually sending helicopters aboard and air support. it's important to show that there are areas we will work together on. i think the tone was important at this meeting, how can we get beyond the bickering and being angry at the fact that brexit is happening? and trying to find points of conversions. and on the bayeux tapestry, what i think is important is looking at macron, how he's forging his presidency and diplomacy. the use of cultural
diplomacy. the use of cultural diplomacy. in abu dhabi we have seen that, ten years in the planning coming to the fore. also, his focus on the french language, and wanting to project france's position. we see different western countries, whether it's the uk, the us and germany in a pickle. france is saying we are here, strong, we will project our presence. that's interesting, did you read it that way the visit, david? probably not the first to have coined the term macronise. probably someone else did it as well. we were macronised. what does that mean? cultural diplomacy? certainly cultural diplomacy. macronise understands what a lot of british people have forgotten, we live in an independent world. that interdependency would stop if we leave the european union, it carries on. he had an idea about how the
world might be shaped in the period after that happens. and there are certain things that britain and france need to do together in that world. it would be a good thing to have good long—term relationships with britain. but the other thing they emphasised, which is really sad for me, as a british person, it symbolised the loss of british influence in the world. it really did. yes, of course, they want good relationships with us, etc, but there is emanuel macron, maybe because angela merkel has done her 12 years and we will come back to her later and there 12 years and we will come back to herlaterand there might 12 years and we will come back to her later and there might be another german leader. he will be shaping the continent and the world and we won't be. that was brought home to me. we will get the bayeux tapestry to remind ourselves, because we have decided as a country... and we have always been prone to this, to live with one foot in the past always. the french have been prone to this as well quite often. the germans, with very good reasons, have made a sundering with the past.
but we face a situation and a future whereby we won't be able to exert anything like so much influence about what happens. it's interesting, you take us neatly onto oui’ interesting, you take us neatly onto our next point, you mentioned angela merkel. this is a really fascinating weekend in that regard. sunday is a crucial day for german politics and, some argue, for eu stability more broadly. delegates from the social democrats, the spd, will vote on whether to enter formal coalition talks with chancellor merkel‘s bloc. nearly four months after the country's election, angela merkel has still not managed to form a government and many in the spd are anxious about entering another coalition, given their vote was eroded in september, after four years as thejunior partner. thomas, martin schulz has been travelling the country trying to sell the idea. trying to rally the support in the run—up to sunday's vote.
trying to rally the support in the run-up to sunday's vote. you have givena run-up to sunday's vote. you have given a good introduction into the problems, the ten juanma, given a good introduction into the problems, the tenjuanma, wondering whether they will continue in government with merkel and they might disappear from the screen —— the spd, wondering whether. rigging and germany, if it was an ongoing concern, and germany, if it was an ongoing concern, business, would be tied to issue a profit warning —— looking at germany. frankly about the health of their political culture. the problem their political culture. the problem the conservative party has, merkel and her cohorts, they have gradually destroy conservatism in germany for the purpose of forming coalitions. getting more and more left wing, left of centre ideas on board to the extent that nowadays you rather have a situation where there's very little difference between the two major parties. one of the reasons we keep returning such indistinct election result is that people cannot differentiate between these two parties. they have become so much a mishmash of general ideas. the conservative party has become
somewhat left of centre. the punishment is there. they scored 32% in the election. they are about to disappear, already down to 20. latest polls say they are sinking evermore. the country is at a standstill, politically. it seems that there's nobody left to want to govern germany in a sense. on the other hand, she is being administered perfectly well. the economy is growing and expanding. people don't feel the absence of a government in their daily lives at all. which is probably an indictment against why do we need politicians in the first place when the administrators are doing the job so well for themselves. schools are being taught, taxes are being collected. and all the other efficiencies that modern states have are in place. it is a profit warning. germany is needed for future decisions to be taken about europe. france wants germany to be
there. what you need, really, is a very strong germany for europe. at the moment, emmanuel macron is taking all of the weight of europe because he is saying we needed to speed. but europe doesn't want to have all this agenda taken by brexit. there are other things, refugees, the crisis in the eurozone, that could come back. there's a question of poland, there's a question of defence. there isa there's a question of defence. there is a question of foreigners first and all that. at the moment it is all blocked the main country is blocked politically. it is urgent bev is a government in germany. whether it is weak or strong it doesn't matter —— there is urgency for a government. you called for a strong one, that is the point, i don't think you will see one emerge in the near future. don't think you will see one emerge in the nearfuture. it don't think you will see one emerge in the near future. it will be viable in certain functions, economic and otherwise but it won't be ina economic and otherwise but it won't be in a position to really represent the country as a whole because there
is such a wrangling going on between the two main parties. this could be called keeling up's paradox, suggesting germans want change but they don't want any change. they want politicians to suggest to change without any reality of change because actually their lives are very good. the danger for europe and for others out of germany in the last 30 years has essentially not be any kind of extremism that has been a retreat by germany into parochialism. stop the world, i want to get off! yeah. as long as industry is working, as long as we have good employment and so on, we don't want to get too much involved in the business of how things are structured. the paradox is, though some people in britain would hate it, it is required that germany does step up to a leadership role in europe. the economy. you can't take all the benefits of the
economy of the european union and then say, but we're going to leave then say, but we're going to leave the business of how europe is going to be to be to others. that is one of the fears, there is a complacency, that the economy is doing fine, we don't need a government. it is complacency, to have wea k government. it is complacency, to have weak leadership and weak government. it is not a k. after a while it starts to a road structures that people now thinkjust while it starts to a road structures that people now think just ticked while it starts to a road structures that people now thinkjust ticked on as normal and that's not true. even if angela merkel is able to form this coalition and they go ahead with the government, people are already talking about possibly the need for early elections in two yea rs. if need for early elections in two years. if they have a government thatis years. if they have a government that is perceived as weak and u nsta ble that is perceived as weak and unstable you will have elections within two years, it is hard to make long—term decisions. we take for granted the fact that we have had merkel around since 2005. 12 years! four british prime ministers later and she is still here. the idea that stability. what do i perceive to be the development? there will come a time when people are so fed up with the traditional parties that there will be an emergence of a new party
like in france. macron showed it. austria had a similar development. the current powers that be no longer deliver the goods, frankly. as you say, people post long, and all of the traditional sort of activities of daily life at all impaired, you have a sense that your country is not pulling its weight on the world stage. —— daily life is not impaired. but that is divided between west and east. east with a ft. between west and east. east with a ft, the extreme right wing, which is a new problem in germany. —— east with a ft. fascinating, the vote is on sunday. if that goes through it needs to go to wider membership. there is a long way to go and we will certainly be talking about that again. let's move further afield. the head of iran's revolutionary guards, muhammad ali jafari, guards, mohammad ali jafari, declared this week that he can now drive from tehran via baghdad all the way to beirut,which shows how successful iran's involvement in iraq and syria has been.
but russia, iran's ally, wants out of the war, and is farfrom happy. mina, what's happening here? that's quite a boast, he was boasting. quite a frustration for ordinary citizens that would never feel safe to go from tehran by car and that journey. all the feel safe to go from tehran by car and thatjourney. all the lives that have been lost but also all of the fears, whether it's kidnapping, intimidation, if anyone else tried to make a similar route. that says something that they control, the iranian revolutionary guard, threw themselves or proxies, the militias they support that they can clear the roads for them. it is very worrying. we talk about the importance of nation and government. if you have a leader of the armed wing in iran saying they can traipse through these arab countries with very little push back it is hugely concerning. this idea of a corridor from iran all the way to the borders of israel were things that people
would talk about five or six years ago, nonsense, conspiracy theorists of the arab world, but they have made that happen. partly because of the fight against isis, which was important. the defeat of isis was very important for the people who suffered under them and also for the world to move forward. but at what cost in terms of what comes in its place? the vacuum should be filled by the national army in iraq but in syria, the problem continues to fester. while iranian troops or militias can go through syria and into beirut, what state have we left syria in? whether it is the turks bombing from the air certain areas, the russian continued air campaign and a lack of clarity to how syria can be put back together. increasingly worrying. we talk about elections and coalitions forming, we see what is happening in iraq at the moment. as we look to the elections in may coming up. as you have different armed groups wanting to go into parliament and say that they
are now valid, even though certain groups are considered terrorist organisations by the us and other entities. going forward, what the world really needs to pay attention to is if you are having these armed groups controlled out of tehran, what is the long—term strategic aim of iran? that raises eyebrows. and what does the long—term strategic alliance between iran and russia mean? if you wa nt between iran and russia mean? if you want to proceed on this route without any hindrance all the way to beirut, it begs the question, what about the russians? do you have an ongoing policy agreement between those countries, what is the relationship between the two?ﬁ those countries, what is the relationship between the two? it is a marriage of convenience between russia and iran and in large part in syria. the syrians have paid a heavy price for this. they continue to pay a heavy price for this. the russians don't want to see iraq and lebanon and syria weakened and having iranians control that in the long—term, their strategic aim is not to have a theocracy that calls
for the exporting of the revolution that continues to be part of rambus my constitution. long—term, you imagine they are going to hit. —— pa rt imagine they are going to hit. —— part of the constitution. it would be convenient for russia to keep the president assad regime in check in syria. except for the russians, the main issue is now getting the european sanction out. by getting out of the region and concentrating on trying to solve ukraine and crimea and all of that, you can get the sanction out. election coming up for president putin, the economy is not doing well, oil and commodities are quite low. they want to get out of that. this —— this struck me as classic hubris, would drive with a big letter x on his car for a start. quite a few people would take him out from the airand would people would take him out from the air and would drone him as soon as look at him. secondly, during the recent iranian
protests, one of the things that people were spontaneously protesting about was the amount of money and loss that was incurred by iran's adventures abroad and so on. there is the question about its sustainability at home. one tends to see sustainability at home. one tends to see iran purely as an external power but it has a very powerful set of internal politics, which acts as some kind of limitation to them as well. there were talks this week in brussels with the focus, again, as we discussed many times, but the focus very much on the nuclear deal. that is my point, that is where other nations are focused on that, perhaps to the exclusion of all else. european nations. yes. you are thinking the nuclear deal is nice and tidy if you are in that region. you rightly raise this point, saying that the nuclear deal alone fixes these problems is absolutely incorrect. that was one of the fatal m ista kes incorrect. that was one of the fatal mistakes of the obama administration, they were able to
say that the nuclear deal is separate from these other dynamics. but where is the money coming to allow for this military might and the paying of militias? whether it is militia men from afghanistan, lebanon or iraq, largely that came from as the sanctions were being lifted from the nuclear deal. it is interconnected. the big question going forward, people want iran to stabilise but you have had this internal semi—revolt that was put down. where the eu's position on it was that there are some recent events in iran but let's talk about the nuclear deal. and not even putting out a voice to champion hundreds of people who are now in prison. because they went down to protest. it is important with the new regime in saudi arabia and the modernisation going on, that now saudi arabia is the only counterweight to iran. we should support them. i thought i would never say support them. i thought i would never say that! laughter
you should always qualified when you do say it. but i think that saudi arabia is now the only counterpoint to iran. buti arabia is now the only counterpoint to iran. but i think a lot of arab countries in the region see the problems with iran's projection of military power. people say it is natural, iran is a large country to have influence. it is not influence, it is armed groups on the ground challenging people's ways of life. saudi arabia, yes, but you have a coalition of arab countries that are together, trying to figure out how they face this and we have the repercussions of that. whether it is 11 on or iraq or yemen. yes. because military power is being used, you get pulled into all of these losses that people of the region suffered. you are right in that saudi arabia can bea you are right in that saudi arabia can be a counterweight, but they are not alone. many people want to say that as well. power in an area which is already suffering from huge instability, that is not going to lead to anywhere other than making
it more unstable than it already is. any prediction about the middle east i any prediction about the middle east , there is so much emerging, so much embryonic situations. what kind of iraq are we going to see at the end of isis? what kind of syria will emerge? nobody has an answer. rejecting military power into this cauldron is futile. to your point about syria... -- projecting military power. still huge activity on the border in turkey. huge. they continued flow of refugees, one of the pressing things is that you see very few people in europe talk about the refugee issue saying this was a crisis that came to your‘s we have to push back. reality is that we have heard of a family of nine syrians is freezing to death in lebanon because they've had no support. people have continued to die and suffer. this crisis continues to fester. turks also looking at close to 2 million, 1.5
million syrians there and their future is unclear. it is humanitarian and a security risk. and the prospect of turkey '5 military interventions getting stronger against the kurds. that could lead to another refugee crisis and another flow. and so on. it continues to fester. again, what you want to see, we talked about leadership. what we really required to see in the world is a greater degree of foresight and leadership amongst the west and some of the other countries about how we're going to deal with this. it's been reactive. it's not europe, the middle east, the us is the only country that can do it. and at the moment the us is not there. actually think that the uk and france and germany, they play a role that they are uninterested. partly because they are so caught up in brexit but also thinking it is only for the us to play the role bust the vacuum for the us to play the role bust the vacuum isn't filled by us and europe, it will be filled by russia
and iran and others. europe is afraid of the refugees, that is the main issue. one of the populist right wing and extreme right is coming from that. —— all of the populace. europe has a tendency to wa nt to populace. europe has a tendency to want to leave them in turkey which is not a solution. david is right in detecting a yearning for new leadership. why are these things becoming so popular? i am worried about the renaissance of nationalism. remember the kind about the renaissance of nationalism. rememberthe kind of era in which he became a leader, it made him look strong. it was a fierce... —— he was a fierce antagonist. do we want another church? do we want the re—emergence of that sort of power struggle that he faced? —— another churchill. it is difficult for a modern leader to burnish a profile because the world is so much in chaos. it is so unpredictable. he would not have known how to deal with these other problems we have been discussing for weeks and weeks.
i hedge my bets about new leadership. in the region we have very interesting new leadership, especially as mark mentioned. it is interesting to see how they see this need to open what is going on in the region. there is a good topic for another dateline london. do we need another churchill? thank you to all of you. that's it for dateline london for now, we're back next week at the same time. thanks for watching. goodbye. hello, once again. it's not unusual to have a real mishmash of weather across the british isles at this time of year, and we certainly have one through the rest of the day. across the northern parts, mainly scotland and the north—east of
england, it's still that wintry look to proceedings. sunshine, yes, sunshine, no further south. northern ireland, a greater part of england and wales, you're stuck close to a weather front, so a real contrast in fortunes. still some winteriness about the showers across the north of scotland, elsewhere dry, fine and sunny. look at the temperatures at lunchtime, one, two, three degrees or so. similar sort of prospect in the north—east of england. come back towards northern ireland, right through the greater part of england and wales, its on the cold side, leaden skies, dank and drizzly affair. may be a bit of winteriness about proceedings here across the high ground of wales and into the peaks as well. maybe across towards east anglia as well in the more intense downpours of rain. much of this light and patchy for the most part. it remains windy across the far south—west. much milder here, as you will see in just a second. and there's a chance of some sunshine here but elsewhere for the greater part of england and wales, it is a three, four, five afternoon and leaden skies, and as i say, drizzly and chill to go with it all. further north, some sunshine, one, two or three degrees only. far too late in the day we'll get
rid of that rain down towards the near content, keeping the supply of showers going across the north. and into that cold reservoir of air we push another frontal system from the atlantic. it stays pretty mild across this south—western quarter, but we have a real issue looming for sunday morning. snow and ice, because as the rain falls into that cold air, i'm sure you know what's coming next, we are going to convert some of that rain into snowfall. i highlighted scotland and northern england. it isn't just there, but as we get that moisture up and over the peaks and the pennines getting into the high ground of scotland. and then not necessarilyjust on the high ground but to quite low levels in the east we could find two or three centimetres of snow lying for a time through the afternoon until we roll a little bit more in the way of warmth. it is only a a little bit but it is enough to flick that equation back from snow to rain. then we will begin to see the first signs of the mild air
beginning to win out, which it does as we start the new week. but it will be a wet and windy start for a time across the southern counties of both england and wales. this is bbc news. the headlines at midday: the us national government shuts down after senators fail to agree on spending a year to the day after president trump's inauguration. what we have just witnessed on the floor is a cynical decision by senate democrats. the blame should crash entirely on president trump's shoulders. british tourists injamaica's montego bay are warned to stay in their resorts, as violence on the streets prompts a state of emergency. britain to get bespoke trade deal