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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  November 14, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm GMT

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a draft plan for brexit is presented by the prime minister — but will her cabinet, parliament and eu member states accept it? theresa may insists the withdrawal plan is the best one for the country and what people voted for. we will deliver brexit — and the united kingdom is leaving the european union on the 29th of march, 2019. but the plan can't go ahead unless the cabinet agree to it — they've been discussing it inside number 10 all afternoon. other voices have already been critical. from what we know of the government's deal, it's a failure in its own terms. it doesn't deliver a brexit for the whole country. you are not delivering the brexit people voted for, and today you will lose the support of many conservative mps and millions of voters across the country. we're live from near
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the british houses of parliament on what has been a day of drama. government ministers have been locked in hours of discussions on whether they can all agree to the draft agreement to leave the european union presented by prime minister theresa may. they have to agree and then it can be presented to parliament to be voted on. the prime minister is expected to inform us about the outcome of the cabinet meeting soon, but that keeps getting pushed back. here's the bbc‘s political editor laura kuenssberg. and on and on and that is the question which has been passed so many times. a question which matters right now. some of the answers about the agreement she has brokered with the agreement she has brokered with the eu has emerged. time to fight for her pack, an arrangement with
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brussels is far closer than her brexit rivals hoped. everybody is present and correct, the prime minister. not correct for some alongside her. i am confident this ta kes alongside her. i am confident this takes us significantly closer to delivering what the british people voted for in the referendum. we will ta ke voted for in the referendum. we will take back control over borders, laws and our money, leave the common fisheries policy and agriculture policy while protecting jobs, security and integrity of our united kingdom. already that is almost no we labour would back the plan. from what we know of the government's deal, it is a failure in its own terms. it does not deliver their brexit for the whole country. it breaches the prime minister's own red lines, it is not delivered a strong economic deal which supports
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jobs and industry and it —— and we know they have not prepared seriously for no deal. brexiteers are not the majority in here but the prime minister needs them. do they sound impressed so far? you are not delivering the brexit people voted for and today you will lose the support of many conservative mps and millions of voters across the country. but then it was time for the verdict of cabinet. were they really ready to sign up? could be or whidbey? ministers who campaigned for brexit agreed to a tighter partnership than they wanted? the international development secretary is understood to be very unhappy but for theresa may and her supporters this is a compromise, the only practical way forward. there is turmoil ahead. if the cabinet six
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behind, if the agreement includes the possibility of two different kinds of brexit, northern ireland staying more closely tied to brussels than the rest of the uk so the prime minister's dup allies, whose vote she relies on, simply might kill the deal. it certainly does not appear we will be able to support it because it breaches the red line in terms of having differences between northern ireland and the rest of the united kingdom. in terms of regulation, we would still be in a customs union as well. we cannot have that. if it is different for northern ireland, why not scotland ? scottish different for northern ireland, why not scotland? scottish tories are anxious. it is ironic that in the la st two anxious. it is ironic that in the last two years, the prime minister has told us no deal is better than a bad deal and now she is arguing it isa bad deal and now she is arguing it is a bad deal instead of a no deal. fracking protesters surrounded number ten today, blocking the street. in these difficult days, the
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brexit agreement could be a trap or an escape for theresa may, a desperate hostage to events order she gets through, an unlikely quiet hero. that is a sequence of events which might take place quickly this evening once the cabinet has broken up evening once the cabinet has broken up and if they give it their backing, we could expect the legal text which we have not seen to be published in brussels and perhaps some comment there from the european commission negotiator, michel barnier. we're told there will be no press c0 nfe re nce barnier. we're told there will be no press conference tonight but we might geta press conference tonight but we might get a statement from the prime minister as to how the cabinet meeting has gone. joining us now from downing street where we are waiting for theresa may to come and speak with media about the results of that cabinet meeting is the bbc‘s vicki young no surprise that is running over? it is always difficult. they said it
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would be three hours long and it is longer than that. it does tell us that every single cabinet minister is having their say. that is what theresa may dies, she allows eve ryo ne theresa may dies, she allows everyone to speak. it also tells us they are looking for clarification, perhaps reassuring since some cases. it is not just perhaps reassuring since some cases. it is notjust on the brexit side of the arguments, those who are pro—leaving the eu are concerned about as being tied to closely but also on the other side, there are loyal cabinet ministers like the scottish secretary. he is concerned about fishing rights and concerned about fishing rights and concerned about the issue of northern ireland being treated differently from the rest of the united kingdom because he knows and scottish conservative mps know if that happens, the snp and others in scotland will be seeing if it is different for
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northern ireland, why not first scotland? northern ireland, why not first scotland ? aka nji voted northern ireland, why not first scotland? akanji voted to stay in the eu. theresa may is fighting on all fronts. we think it will drag on possibly for another hour. what sort of things will the cabinet ministers be working out in their own minds? that is a very interesting point. i spoke to one cabinet minister three weeks ago who is not an ardent brexiteer but was convinced this will not get through the commons if you think that, you will probably think why are we going to put it forward as an option for mps? are those who campaigned for brexit that entire political careers, there are several of them in there, they will have to consider, do the back post
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because then we'd leave the eu at the end of march, at least we get brexit. will we think the alternative may be another referendum. it does not seem likely at the moment. that is gaining traction amongst politicians. that will be one of the most compelling arguments this is about the national interest, she has negotiated for the best compromise she can get. she was the only thing the referendum because freedom of movement will end but you are protecting jobs and businesses because you are remaining ina businesses because you are remaining in a customs arrangement which allows free trade to go on. she will feel she has done as much as she can but it is not entirely clear that the whole cabinet are convinced. the
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other consideration, if you are michael gove that instance. even if he doesn't pass the house of commons, you want to see in negotiations because this is only the withdrawal agreement. absolutely. some of the big questions are being pushed into that kind of negotiation. that is an awful lot further to go here. it is awful lot further to go here. it is a basic arguments. if you're in the cabinet and do not agree with everything, do you stay there and fight your corner and have a bigger influence? but boris johnson fight your corner and have a bigger influence? but borisjohnson walked away. what influence is still have? you can see it is much better to remain in there. that was the message today from former conservative leader william hague who said you can walk out but you will be replaced by someone else. someone has to make a decision and try to make this work. you have to decide as an individual whether you wa nt to decide as an individual whether you want to be one of the doing that.
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thank you very much. we will file all the reaction and bring you all the details from downing street when that cabinet meeting breaks up. let us that cabinet meeting breaks up. let us return to the studio. so what are the details of the draft withdrawal agreement and what happens next? chris morris has been looking at what we do know. it is all about how we leave the european union, it is not a better future long—term relationship. if eve ryo ne future long—term relationship. if everyone approves, it means that over time the uk will pay £39 billion to the eu to settle financial obligations. it settles out basic right to citizens in the uk and the citizens in europe. many of them are dismayed by what is on offer. future immigration policy is yet to be decided. there will be a
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transition period after brexit when all the rules will remain the same until 2020. it could be extended for about one year. the toughest part of the negotiations set the terms for the negotiations set the terms for the backstop, the guarantee there will be no hard border in ireland under any circumstances in the future. part of the snow hard border plan will be a temporary customs union covering the whole of the uk. there would still be notified us or taxes on goods moving between the uk and the eu. northern ireland would be in and the eu. northern ireland would beina and the eu. northern ireland would be in a closer relationship to the eu single market and the rest of the uk. the uk would in theory be able to leave this temporary customs arrangement but it would not be able to make that decision on its own. the agreement does not set out details for the long—term future relationship with the eu after brexit. that is a separate political declaration. it starts to map out
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that future. serious negotiations on that future. serious negotiations on that will only begin after brexit has actually happened. 0ne that will only begin after brexit has actually happened. one key question for everyone, will a temporary customs union form the basis for the permanent relationship still to come? still much we do not know in terms of the wording of this particular deal. earlier my colleague simon mccoy spoke to the former prime minister tony blair — he gave his take on the draft agreement which the prime minister is presenting to the cabinet. if the compromise is such that you stay bound to europe's rules in order to minimise economic damage, i get it completely but if the whole purpose of brexit was to make a break free of those rules, what is the
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point of doing that? and the difficulty all the way through is you have a choice between a brexit which is essentially pointless which is the one that theresa may is offering. and a brexit which is painful which is breaking out of the single market and customs union. the reason is there has been four and a half decades of british commercial, trading and investment relationships growing up on the basis we're part of this european single market, this unique trading system which has one set of rules and regulations. so if you leave it it will be painful. 0n the other hand, if you remain tied to it, but get out of the political structures of decision making, you have a brexit that is pointless. that is the essential conundrum. it is not theresa may's fault that she can't resolve it because it is irresolvable. unfortunately, the way she has chosen to resolve it, honestly is going to satisfying no—one. if it satisfies no one in
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parliament, what do you think should happen if she has to go? the obvious thing is for her to say, i have tried my best. the point you put to me earlier, i have tried my best and done the best deal. if parliament things it's not a bad deal —— it is not a good deal, we have to go back to the people and ask them if you really are, to the people and ask them if you really a re, after to the people and ask them if you really are, after this two and a half years of experience, when you know the different parameters but you i shall have reality to work on, do you want to leave? in which case, people like me, if people vote to leave, that is the end of the argument or do you want to stay? i believe if that happened, you would find europe would step forward with a different offerfor find europe would step forward with a different offer for britain because the politics of europe have dramatically changed in the last two yea rs.
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dramatically changed in the last two years. the very anxieties which caused the british people to vote for europe are no black felt across europe. so you could get to a situation where it is not the offer we had before versus brexit but the renewed offer which meets many of the british objections. that was the former prime minister laying out his position. we are trying to read between the lines as the cabinet meeting goes on and on. laura kuenssberg has said that a senior tory has told her the sense of anger amongst brexiteers is so high, it seems there will be a call for a no—confidence vote in the course of thursday. that comes from laura kuenssberg. 0n thursday. that comes from laura kuenssberg. on that note, i was brought back to you in westminster, perhaps it is one indication, it is
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the danger of having a hiatus of people waiting for so long? certainly feelings were running high yesterday and house of commons. we saw the brexiteers come out en masse to express their disappointment in the deal. ian brady, the chairman of the deal. ian brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee, the backroom boys of the conservative party, was seen boys of the conservative party, was seen going into downing street today via the back entrance. he clearly has a role in this and he will be taking —— keeping the prime minister informed about the view in the house of commons. if this gets signed off by the cabinet, he will play a significant role. rob, you have been talking to a lot of people around westminster, there is a deep sense of anger on the part of the eurosceptics in the conservative party? that is. firstly, this feels like a profound moment in british politics. firstly, we have the
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outline of the deal. this extraordinary deal. important also, since the referendum we have had a phoney war since 2016, theresa may has been very anxious to avoid a confrontation with her governing conservative party. in particular the brexiteers you mentioned. this is it, this is showdown time, she has reached what she considers is the best deal she can. now we see the best deal she can. now we see the fallout from that. this is what happens when you confront a divided party. lots of people are very unhappy indeed. you get the sense this is a political decision for her. 0bviously her team have been negotiating intensely over the last week and probably have come to the conclusion they cannot go any further within the parameters they have been set? yes, and this is the moments where the expression kicking
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the can down the road comes in. theresa may has been anxious to avoid that showdown between the brexiteers and the remainers but she has reached the conclusion she is not going to get a better deal. it is quite clear she wants to avoid a disorderly brexit next march, britain just disorderly brexit next march, britainjust crashing disorderly brexit next march, britain just crashing out of the european union. she felt now with the time to parkour tanks and make her stand. we can see it will not be easy. if you were to press me and see what happens next? i think it is this, she gets to win the day if brexiteers think this deal is rubbish, this is not what we hoped for, but on the other hand we will get to leave the european union next march. and she also gets away if enough people on the remains i think this is terrible, we would much rather stay in the european union but we do not want a disorderly brexit. if you say, i'll be at that
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point? i simply do not know. 0bviously faced with the prospect of the alternative which at the moment is no deal although they would deny this, they would find some way other than no deal, faced with that prospect, they might decide, is this something you have vote for? absolutely. i think what theresa may is relying upon is you may not like me much, or my deal but consider the alternatives. reading their european union without any deal at all. 0r some kind of domestic races in the uk. -- some kind of domestic races in the uk. —— leaving the european union. this is not a secret, like the emperor's new clothes, nobody likes this deal. i suspect theresa may herself is not fond of it so it is a ha rd herself is not fond of it so it is a hard sell but will some opponents of it say, i do not believe her threats? i do not believe if we vote
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against it we will crash out of the european union without the deal. that is the problem she faces. people might look at her threat and see, ido people might look at her threat and see, i do not believe it. with some of the 17 million who voted for the brexit think some of the brexiteers arejumping the gun because brexit think some of the brexiteers are jumping the gun because the text has not been released and also, it proposes leaving the commons fishery policy and the agriculture policy, out of the single market, the prospect of doing trade deals around the world, if that is their goal, then surely the withdrawal agreement is something he would vote for? two quick points, i have the most amazing dinner on friday with someone amazing dinner on friday with someone who has done a lot of research into leave voters. she does not think and most of the evidence suggests that no one is following this closely. the nature of the deal, who knows? perhaps that is one thing that works for the prime
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minister, this is the other bit of pressure she's hoping will work on politicians of all sides and views that they will think, they know the voters are sick of talking about brexit. they just wanted voters are sick of talking about brexit. theyjust wanted out of the way. also, you ask about the deal, remember this isjust way. also, you ask about the deal, remember this is just about the withdrawal agreement. the whole point of this, anyone who thinks people like me will stop talking about all this, that is for the birds. if britain leaves the european union next march in an orderly way, there will still be the debate about the future relationship with the european union. it is not over yet. this is just with the european union. it is not over yet. this isjust the with the european union. it is not over yet. this is just the starting gun. thank you very much. you might have noticed we have very little comment from europe and brussels. we heard from the irish taoiseach who said he did not want to comment publicly about what was in the deal, lest he disrupted what is going on in downing street this evening. he
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did not want to make things more difficult for the prime minister. many people in brussels have taken the same attitude. let us cross to brussels. there is a meeting of the 27 ambassadors in brussels today, what are they saying? they are taking a leaf from leo varadkar and eve ryo ne taking a leaf from leo varadkar and everyone else, they are not seeing a thing. the meeting lasted three hours. we understand they were given an outline of what the draft withdrawal agreement contains but we also think they were not given the agreement itself. we saw some boxes being brought out at the end of the meeting but they were not opened. we think they contained the report but it seems the ambassadors were not shown the report. we are seeing a 2—stage process. you and i have been in brussels many times since the referendum. we are always being told
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by european politicians, we want to know exactly what theresa may wants out of brexit and for the first time we actually know. we have an agreement she is backing but the eu is not going to respond until we hear from the cabinet meeting. it would only be if and when their prime minister emerges from the meeting and says, yes, my cabinet endorses this, then the european union will begin its official response. not only does that have to be ratified in this building here but also by the european parliament and a majority of the european council, the 27 leaders who will come together later this month to discuss it. yes, they all have to ocheit discuss it. yes, they all have to oche it as well. why would we not expect any of the 27 to rock the boat. they may reason? is about the exact nature of the backstop and perhaps fisheries. so this is not a
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finished article as far as the eu 27 are concerned. they want to look at the detail of the text and consider whether they like what they see. you mentioned ireland and leo varadkar, let us get an irish perspective. i have been speaking to tony connelly, here is outlining how he understands the deal as it applies to the irish border. this has been the most intractable issue as you know. what the text seems to addresses how to avoid a hard border on the island of ireland and avoid infrastructure coming back because of regulation checks. it will have a single backstop which will be the uk wide customs arrangement with the uk as a whole. including northern ireland, they will be in a customs union with they will be in a customs union with the eu so he would not expect checks
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on the irish sea or customs checks on the irish sea or customs checks on the irish sea or customs checks on the border but there are going to be other specific provisions for northern ireland which cover rules of the single market so that any goods produced in northern ireland will be able to circulate in the single market. they will need to be checked. this is all an insurance policy so that after britain leaves the european union and before that isa the european union and before that is a free—trade agreement that deals with all these things, this backstop would kick in. european officials and politicians have been very quiet today, leading the action for theresa may and everyone at westminster. you're been talking to people, what have they been saying about what michel barnier has arrived at? the eu ambassadors are being briefed about what is in this document. they have been leaving their telephones and ipads outside so that is no leaks. essentially,
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most member states think this is a balanced deal. it gives the uk a temporary customs arrangement. edgar sa nta na ta riff temporary customs arrangement. edgar santana tariff and quota free access to the single market. —— it gives then tariff. they feel this is as good as it gets in terms of avoiding a hard border in ireland and giving theresa may something she can conceivably sell to her cabinet and the house of commons. none of the 27 states wa nt the house of commons. none of the 27 states want the big sick to happen but except it will happen. ireland perhaps more than others has all range of reasons for not wanting brexit to happen, do you think the irish government will feel delighted or satisfied with what is on the table? my understanding is that even though no one is speaking publicly in dublin about this because they wa nt to in dublin about this because they want to give theresa may as much time and space to do her work in
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westminster, the government feels the good friday agreement has been protected by this. the peace process in ireland has been protected. the word i would use as they are content by what is in this text but that is something we have to judge for ourselves once it is made available. seniorfigures across ourselves once it is made available. senior figures across the european union have been careful about not speaking controversial terms well the political drama is playing out in westminster today. we have heard from leo varadkar earlier. we do have a very important and sensitive cabinet meeting in london at two o'clock today and i do not want to see anything here today which met up in that cabinet meeting and make it any more difficult than it is ready for the prime minister. you will not wa nt for the prime minister. you will not want to put me in a position to do that. my reading is the good friday agreement is not negatively impacted by this, in fact it is protected by the draft agreement. should the uk
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cabinet being a position this afternoon to say it is content with the text, it is proposed that the commission task force would be in a position perhaps tonight, to publish the text with the possibility or probability of an eu council meeting around the 25th of november. the text would have to be ratified, as we know, by westminster and by the european parliament. we know, by westminster and by the european parliamentlj we know, by westminster and by the european parliament. i think what i would emphasise is that while we are concentrating on what is happening in westminster at the moment, there's cabinet meeting israeli standing at the crossroads is that plots its way forward outside of the european union. —— is really standing. it is also having a huge being on the european union. if there's cabinet is content we move on to the house of commons and we will see if that supports the deal
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outlined. if the cabinet were to say no, suddenly very european union is much less certain about its future as well. but as an appetite in brussels for brexit to be resolved. the eu is facing challenges and if the cabinet comes back and says no, some people here in brussels will certainly be disappointed. a very good points, thank you very much. that was the latest from brussels. 0ne one of the key issues in brussels as we heard there, is the question of how to avoid a customs border for northern ireland. but it also presents questions for the people in northern ireland — their sense of identity and their relationships with britain and ireland. emma vardy reports. this island's history is marked by
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struggles over land and sea. today brexit is redefining its modern borders. people here have found themselves caught in the middle of a political storm. you don't want to go back to the days of old. whatever happens, happens. idon't go back to the days of old. whatever happens, happens. i don't think it can makea happens, happens. i don't think it can make a gigantic difference to what higher powers decide. at northern ireland's larne harbour, everyday trucks arrive from britain. checks are needed on live animals but currently little else, because the whole island, north and south, is under the same eu rules, but now that will change. in future, new checks may be needed on some items coming into northern ireland from britain over the irish

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