Skip to main content

tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  September 18, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT

11:00 am
isil-prop began tkaeugz machine, which is beginning to work. that's co-led by the uk, the usa, and the uae there's another group working on isil finances, cutting off financial flows. and cutting off flows of foreign fighters. these are through strapdz of work. the military operation which you're aware of coordinated by the general. and all of that is is continuing. this is not going to happen overnight. we have always been clear about that. >> looking at the competing parties inside syria, with the success of al misra, anyone more successful than isil? >> let me answer the question a
11:01 am
different way. we would not regard success by a al nusra as a satisfactory or acceptable outcome. if i was put on the spot of ranking control i would have to think quite hard about that. both would be unacceptable to us. we have made that clear to any of your partners in the coalition who have ever been inclined to think otherwise. >> it includes al musra but other parties as well. we recognize the situation on the ground is not as we would like it to be. it is complex. sometimes compromises do have to be made on the ground, tactical
11:02 am
compromises. you know, the history of warfare is you have to make tactical compromises. >> the complexity, for example, is everyone. isn't this an area where british diplomatic capability, the capacity to coordinate in a sense combined with our unlimited hard power actually can't make difference in isolation. soft power diplomacy is where the nation's main effort in trying to bring others together. that's where our main effort ought to be focused, isn't it? >> it's part of it. i don't agree with the first part of your analysis there. in iraq, we have conducted more air strikes than any other coalition partner apart from the united states. our surveillance and
11:03 am
intelligence gathering assets in syria are making a very major contribution. again, i would hazard second only to that of the united states. so we are playing a significant role in the military. in terms of working on financial flows, we have an expertise in interjecting clandestine roles. we have an important role to play there. and we play through our intelligence and security agencies. a very important role in cutting off the flow of foreign fighters. and actually in the propaganda war where, again, we like to think we have some experience and capability to deploy. >> on monday, the prime minister's justification for the
11:04 am
british strikes was very narrow line drawn. parliament a ear authority wouldn't actually change the situation under international law. what are the constraints in syria if we don't have an existing government to operate there and if there is no immediate connect on monday. >> the coalition forces that are operating in syria are doing so on the basis of the collective defense of iraq and the challenge that the iraqi deposit is facing from isil and its base in syria. >> so there will be no justification for operations against the deposit of syria in that instance, which is why they
11:05 am
are not happening. >> not on that legal basis. different countries, of course, have a different approach to their analysis of legal basis for action. and famously, the united states has its own legal approach to discussing action. >> i'm sure you're thinking about when you're going to come to parliament to seek authority to operate in syria. it is very heavily trailed. might be able to tell us when you expected to ask parliament for that authority. why should parliament authorize involvement in this with conflict when the overall strategy is yet to be worked out. >> i don't think the overall strategy is yet to be worked out. we go back to the question in the beginning. we would see authority to attack isil targets more widely in syria has being a part of the
11:06 am
campaign against isil, which at the moment is by iraq. a military logic says you look at the enemy holistically. you look at the supply lines, support base, and command and control. and those are the things you want to attack. we are able to a attack some of them but not all of them because we don't have authority to attack those in syria. i think the logic of extend issing our mandate to cover isil targets in syria would be very clearly in support of the mandate we have in iraq for the collective defense of that country. >> can i ask for an assessment of how successful the current policy of attacking isil in iraq
11:07 am
is. particularly when mosul under isil control. we were given the impression months ago that it was fairly imminent. it doesn't look like that. >> well, the -- on the question of mosul, general allen, who i have a lot of time for, has always been very cautious about the timing of the retaking of mosul. there have been people in the iraqi government who have been, shall we say, more bullish. they have their attention deflected by challenges in anbar province. but general allen always said it would be next year that mosul could sensible be targeted for retaking. i'm going to ask simon to just
11:08 am
say something about general allen's view. i know he met with him recently. before we do that, to answer your first general question, how successful do i assess the intervention in iraq as being. and it stopped isil's advance dead. if we go back to 15 months, 16 months, we were looking at an apparently unstoppable surge across iraq, down the river valleys towards baghdad with baghdad appearing to be under imminent threat of falling to isil. coalition air power stopped that advance dead. it forced isil to change its tactics from acting like a conventional arm to a guerrilla force, operateding in small cells, moving by night. making them far less effective and less able to control the
11:09 am
country that they have taken under a conventional manner. and the fact that the coalition air power will not roll isil back. it will merely hold them in check. it has to be iraqis boots on the ground that do the hard slog of rolling them back and clearing and holding iraqi territory. simon? >> thank you. i just wanted to update. in terms of the emergency situation, it is is a success. if you look at tikrit where isil murdered thousands of people, you can see it now approaching
11:10 am
nor malt. commercial life is returning. attempts to clean up the streets and so forth. still a substantial military operation to take ramadi. they are making progress, albeit slowly. we know that isil our very expert at ieds, bobby troops, house-to-house fighting which means you can go quickly and potentially lose a lot of people, or take it progressively and chief your result in a more steady way. in the north of course there is a certain amount of fighting around the extent of the conflict. and with mosul, there is clearly a plan to retake mosul. but it requires a lot of shaping of operations. we have to make sure the iraqi security forces are in a condition where they will be able to have success there. and the training of those forces is now leading to appearing on
11:11 am
the battle field. we're not wish to go overstate the success in iraq. it is certainly not an entirely negative picture in terms of retaking territory from isil. >> can you gives some idea how much of mosul is free of isil and how much still remains in the hands of mosul -- of isil. >> my understanding is the city itself is still under isil control. particularly areas to the north will be under peshmerga control. nobody is is claiming otherwise. mosul is still under isil control. >> and a substantial number of the iraqi army? >> peshmerga operates as a separate force. and the kurdish authorities have
11:12 am
made clear while the peshmerga will act in the area adjacent to mosul, that would have to be carried out by iraqi forces. >> yesterday there was some discussion about the future for syria. and there was some suggestions about no fly zones. this should be a cease-fire agreed by all sides. how do you see that? >> great. a cease-fire would be great. we would go with that. >> who is working on that? >> stefan, the u.n. special envoy has been working on the idea of a cease-fire. but these things are easy to sit in a room and talk about. they are more difficult to
11:13 am
implement on the ground when there are so many parties involved, and so many shifting alliances. they referred to one such alliance earlier on. it can frankly involve strange bedfellows coming together. tactical alliances around particular towns or sphs being defends, assaulted. it is is a very fluid and complex situation. and i'm afraid the prospect of achieving a cease-fire i regard as being further away of getting western powers and turkey, russia, iran to agree on a way forward. >> how do you think turkey's attack now on the kurdish in syria and also the iraqi kurds
11:14 am
liberated kabani? is it helpful? how do you see that? >> the best turkish attacks have been in iraq, not in syria. but clearly this is an additional and very significant complication to the situation. the military people have always thought that the involvement of turkey would be key to resolving the situation in northern syria. and the fact that turkey has agenda which is different from the agenda of any of the other players. because it is focused on their own tensions with the kurds as much as it is focused on tension with isil and tension with the syrian regime is a complicating factor. it is just one more complicating factor. one of the players, significant players here, has a different
11:15 am
set of agendas. and we're only going to move forward when we can find common threads all the players can sign up to. and we connect to get that accordingly. >> finally, just is ask about a statement in the'v]z house. there will be inspect of german strikes. that suggested there was some legal people doing it. who is going to be doing that? >> who made the statement that you're referring to? >> it came from your side of the house. >> i mean, the situation is that we have a very robust process of any such action as the prime minister made clear on monday. and then there is a whole set of
11:16 am
rules of engagement wants it moves to the military phase that ought to be complied with. and a rigorous process for monitoring that and assessing outcomes. that's how it works in the ministry of defense. i'm not sure who said it. i'm not sure what was meant by admonishing. >> i'll try to find out who said it. i was there when it was said.
11:17 am
>> how united is the european union on this issue of whether or not we should deal with assad? and you said that even the united kingdom might deal in some transitional phase. i would be appalled by that, any engagement for our country with this brutal title. what would that consist of? if the russians and iranians would say we are prepared to counten ance and there are elections in six months time and in the meantime, there will be an interim regime and the existing players will continue to play a role within that
11:18 am
interim regime, i'm not saying we would accept that. we wouldn't rule it out. we have concerns that would need to be measures in place to ensure that the actions couldn't be continued, that the assad and his cronies couldn't use that power to continue that campaign against the syrian people. but there clearly -- there are two options here. there's either a political solution and transition or there's a military solution. we believe it will mean making compromises and doing things we wouldn't be ideally comfortable
11:19 am
with but which get taos a better place. what i was trying to convey in answer to the chairman's questions is we have not said our position as being so eye dee logically pure about the need for assad to go we wouldn't be prepared to discuss how some kind of short transition couldn't take place. >> each in the conflict and basically you can see a victory. there would be results from outside from iran, the saudis or
11:20 am
wherever. that is feeding the idea there would be a victory of the groups that are there. who answered the original question about success. you said success in iraq will be as a result of their strikes. iraqi boots on the ground. is success not going to be measured by the same, the boots on the ground. can i ask you how many thousands need to be trained up by and by win for victory to be assigned for the side we are backing. >> well, we don't -- let me challenge the premise of your question.
11:21 am
we don't believe a military solution is the way forward in syria. we have to take syria forward into the future. it may well be the case that some elements are believed a military victory is still possible. it has said its level of ambition is limited to holding the areas that it currently holds. it no longer even aspires to control the whole of government, the whole of the country. for the incumbent government that doesn't sound like belief in military victory.
11:22 am
so the solution has to be political. the involvement of the rugs, iranians and now to some extent the turks, suggest to me that it will be unlikely that any one side will be allowed to gain a clear military victory. so the solution has to be political. the solution is how to deliver that. i agree with you we're not going to get that by talking nicely to the players in syria. this will have to be a decision made by the sponsors of the key players in syria. in particular, iran and russia deciding to call the shots, make it clear that it has to be changed.
11:23 am
they can do that. they can make a phone call. russia and iran could have a discussion, make a phone call to damascus tomorrow and change the future of this. >> in terms of british air attacks, how much difference do you sort of think that it is going to make over and above what the americans are already doing at the moment? and secondly, given the complex and fluid nature on the ground, how are our forces going to differentiate between the variety of groups on the ground at the moment? >> i am concerned by the repeated confusion between the challenge of dealing with isil in syria and the why the problem of the syrian civil war.
11:24 am
if we seek parliament's approval to engage in targeting isil forces in syria, it will be as an adjunct. it will not be in orders to play a role in the syrian civil war. these are two different issues. of course isil is involved in both. but i don't envisage we would be wanting british forces, british air strikes to be getting involved in complex three-way fights in northwestern syria where regime forces and other syrian forces are involved. what we are looking at in particular is isil's command and control notes around iraqa where the organization is run from, the supply lines running from
11:25 am
the north. we are unable to attack the lines at the moment. we are unable to attack the command and control. the military logic drives us to believe there could be utility in having greater freedom. >> the americans are able -- >> the americans are -- >> what if the americans don't? >> i think we had this discussion at the last meeting. we are currently flying operations in syria. and where we are identifying targets, for example, through our intelligence gathering missions we are having to task u.s. assets to take action. that's in efficient and sometimes leads to targets not being attacked, available target not being attacked. it just doesn't make sense to have it is self-evident that if you have a military force comprised of different components, some are able to act in one place but not another,
11:26 am
that undermines the utility of the overall force. >> we look forward to the request to parliament. you didn't say when you were looking to do that. >> i think the prime minister has made clear we are continuing to look at this question. we do think there are arguments for it. but we are clear that we require parliamentary authority. we will only bring such a proposition when we are confident that the circumstances and the evidence that we can bring forward in support of our request is likely to fine favor in parliament. >> final question. then we will move on to the happy subject of the budget. >> so just to follow up on the question mr. hendrick asked there.
11:27 am
just to follow-up on the question that mr. hendrick asked there. you mentioned air strikes because you have had boots on the ground. you have had forces you couldn't rely on to make that effective. and the last time you were here to make the syrian strikes effective to have boots on the ground as well. i'm not clear where you see the boots on the ground coming from. i know this is a tricky issue. i'm wondering if you would commit to giving us an update, providing an update to parliament and where you see the boots on the ground coming from. >> again, we are confusing two issues. by the way, i didn't say air strikes in iraq have been successful because of boots on the ground. i said air strikes in iraq are only able to hold the line. it would require boots on the ground to roll back isil on the ground.
11:28 am
and we have always recognized that fact. that fact. >> would you say that logic as well to syria? we have to get to the controlling. >> so will you bring something forward to parliament? >> in terms of the question -- >> no. i can't commit to bringing something forward to tell you where -- how this campaign will play out in the long run. at the moment we are attacking an enemy in iraq. and if we form the judgment that
11:29 am
that air base military would be more efficacious if we were able to attack isil targets in syria as well. we will ask parliament for authority to do that. that's all i can stay at this stage. our diplomacy is focused on persuading russia and iran that their priorities can be protected. >> we pointed out that the props imposed between 2010 and 2015 had been severe and going past trimming fat. and the capacity now appears to be damaged.
11:30 am
i understand if you're going to have a further round of cuts and there's been speculation, and you may wish to confirm or deny it. up to 20% of your budget might get chopped. if that's the case, we are no longer talking about any fact at all. we're actually talking about priorities and very difficult choices. could you notice on the latest numbers. >> well, first of all, you'll forgive me. you'ren dulling me for 15 seconds if i remind the committee that we inherited a completely unsustainable budget deficit which itself was undermining our national security and national credibility and our influence in the world. the idea that we do nothing and maintain our influence is is for the birds. we had to deal with this to regain credibility.
11:31 am
we have regain credibility by put anything a plan. but we now have to act. to do that, that requires further tough decisions, including departmental spending cuts. >> the cuts of those amounts or any amount between them. but it indicates that that is the range of options treasury wishes to consider. >> you talked about the importance of our diplomatic network and our diplomatic
11:32 am
services. and the previous statement you said it's the crown jewel. it is diplomatly less than that spent by the french. a country that is not 10 times the population of the uk. more like six times. maybe seven. can you give us some idea in detail how you can make further reductions on the scale of 25% or perhaps 40%. the figures you've used without significantly reducing the size of the diplomatic network. >> yes. >> first of all, let me make a point that we should be
11:33 am
targeting efficiency first. we can take out those percentages by being efficient. we have done a huge amount of efficiency again. but when you compare our budget with the budget of the french foreign ministry, we operate a network of roughly the same size as the french foreign ministry. we do it with fewer people. we do it with a budget that's 25% lower. and i think we should be proud of the fact. we should not be beating ourselves up with a smaller budget. we should be proud of the fact we have a similarly sized network with fewer assets than i would be prepared to argue for the effectiveness of our diplomacy anywhere would we go head to head with the french. but let me deal with your specific question. there are further efficiencies that can be made. i'm visually identifying them
11:34 am
now. my new sick will be identifying them. there are always efficiencies you can make. you go through this process. you go back five years later. technologies have changed. but we also have to look at lower priority activity that we would be prepared to sacrifice inflicting series damage. to answer your specific question, i used the phrase crown jewel. i will use it again today. there are two crown jewels. there's the network and there is the policy break.
11:35 am
the ability to have a sufficient density of policy-making capacity here in london that we can lead the foreign policy making process. across government and beyond. everything also is subordinate to the other two priorities. one of the things we will be doing is looking at how in any given outcome we would manage the network. >> there's been a significant reduction in the numbers of staff overseas. and increasing reliance on locally engaged staff. do you think that can go much further? >> no.
11:36 am
>> why? >> i don't believe there's much for the scope. the you can based foreign office staff. but we are pretty close to the i reducible uk. >> so therefore you would agree perhaps locally an alliance can't go much further because you might harm the knowledge and capacity to feed into the resources of which you need at the center. >> yeah. i think the innovation of expanding the role of locally engaged staff was the right thing to do. i think it's been broadly successful. they do make a huge contribution. i should probably just share with the committee. it surprised me.
11:37 am
when i first heard the term locally engaged staff, we were talking mostly about people from the local population of whatever country we were present in. actually, a very significant proportion of locally engaged staff are british nationals who happened to be living in that country perhaps because their family lives there or their spouse is working there. >> on the question of making savings elsewhere, are you talk building reducing the number of posts to continue the process of, for example, we have reduced
11:38 am
a number of posts in europe over recent years? if you got minimum numbers, you can't cut the numbers. but you will have to make hard choices about not being represented in some countries. >> i would hope not. as i said, i would regard the network as being a crown jewel. we may wish to look at some of the subordinate posts in some countries, consulate generals and so on. we have cut down on the number of consulates in europe. we found the 24-hour core model works effectively. so we have to be flexible and innovative about this. the last place we would want to go is reducing principle overseas post. >> how do you get the evidence
11:39 am
you need to make decisions of this kind? is there a special process, special unit? are you asking some particular individuals or groups to look at this given the international priority shift a country might suddenly be a place that is receiving 23,000 refugees in three days? >> one of the things that we are already doing and have to do more of is is the ability to surge staff. being posts but also between functions within the foreign office in london. priorities can change and change rapidly. we need to be able to respond in a way that is appropriately agile. >> there is still an fco grant to the british council. is is that one of the areqat
11:40 am
you may well be getting rid of? what are the implications if you do before the branding of the british council and the sense of its identity with the soft power of its country. >> it plays a vital role in soft power. it has been generating an increasing proportion of the resources it needs to do that. i should have said earlier on that of course the exercise that treasury disasters do is in relation to departmental resource budget. the other budget is in a different category because the amount will increase as the economy grows in size. >> the local government -- >> well, some of it will be spent in support of refugees
11:41 am
being rehoused in the uk during the first year in accordance with oecd rules. but what this means is that what i am talking to the british council about is a further reduction in none over funding granting aid and looking at the options for the british council to spend more over funding. i don't know if it will happen in this spending review or future spending review, where we will probably end up is with i british council that receives more grant in total from the foreign office but with a much larger proportion of it, or all of on it, being over. and that will mean that the british council will need to
11:42 am
generate its own resources. >> would you accept there's a danger that you end up relying, over relying on protecting funds such as oda, and rather than having a comprehensive view which you would have done if you had the resources that weren't targeted or protected in that way? >> i think what we have to make recognize is we have made a decision to focus resources on oda eligible countries. that's a decision we have kphrebgtively made. >> i'm talking about fco
11:43 am
spending. it is relying on oda funding to fund certain things, does that not shift the focus and the priorities of you. >> it means we can only bid for oda funding to do things in oda-eligible country. it is available to the office, to address priorities that we find in oda-eligible country. many of the challenges that we are dealing with, particularly conflict and stability type challenges do present themselves in oda-eligible countries. >> can i finally ask you about the bbc world service? the funding was taken from your budget and given to the responsibility of the bbc. as a result of that, the
11:44 am
licensee payer is responsible for funding the world service. as you know, the bbc is going through a very difficult long-term review. and i was stuck that the new director general of the bbc on monday implied that he might be seeking public funding to support new services such as korean language, russia, arabic services. have you had any discussions with the treasury whether in fact, the foreign office might many start going back to funding the world series. so reversing the decision that was taken two years ago. >> no. >> is that likely? >> i don't think that would be a discussion we would be likely to have. it may be a discussion that the director germ of bbc has had with the secretary.
11:45 am
i don't know. but i suspect that would be the correct channel for such a decision. >> so you wouldn't envisage where part of the world service would come from the bbc and part might come for some new language services from a grant and aid from the fco, as was the previous arrangement? >> well, it is is not in conceivable. quite honestly, facing the challenges we are facing in the spending review, we're not exactly looking for new bids for grant in aid funding from the foreign office right at the moment. but it may be that the bbc has ideas to work up bids or proposals certainly entitled to do so. but i think that the way in which the world services funded and perhaps as important, the cope and extent and direction and alignment of the word series
11:46 am
agenda is an important subject that we need to consider and the bbc needs to consider. and i think the director general's intervention on monday was a helpful step in that ahead of the chance for to review a process next year. >> we had evidence in the last parliament. we asked your bred defer about a questionable korean language service to north korea. and at that time the view we got was not a very positive one. there were some political problems or it wouldn't be effecti effective. do you have a view whether the bbc should broadcast into north korea? >> if there was no resource constraint, i think bbc is is seen around the world as a highly valued source. it has maintained the reputation for impartiality in a way that
11:47 am
has made it a very, very strong brand. and i would always prefer to see a bbc service in a country in a local language rather than not be such a thing. but in a restrained environment if you asked me whether i thought broadcasting to north korea was a top priority, i would have is some doubts. because i suspect that there are other channels of information being broadcast into north korea, including, i'm told, having just come back from there, widespread availability of south korean domestic broadcasting material, albeit it is illegal to receive it in north korea. it is not unknown for people to illegally receive such broadcast. >> thank you very much. >> just a quick question on my very favorite subject, which is
11:48 am
ukti. and i wrote a report in 2002, having interviewed literally hundreds get their perception of the service, the level of service they are getting from ukti. and i will send you a copy of that report. because there was a great deal of dissatisfaction about the traction that they are getting from ukti. with all the issues of budget for the foreign office, can i ask you for your evaluation of what changes, if any, will be made to ukti in terms of funding. its structure and its accountability. i'm very much hoping that you're going to be the fine secretary that will make the tough decisions needed to get an effective ukti going. >> well, ukti now has a separate budget allocation. it's a body that answers to both the foreign secretary and the
11:49 am
business secretary. the new trade minister, lord mort, is is conducting a review of how ukti operates. and will be making recommendations for reform of the way ukti operates. we will look at those and we will consider them across the government. we recognize that there is a need to change the way that ukti operates. we look -- i think it's probably fair to say, we look enviously at the models that some of our competitors have for supporting smaller businesses in foreign markets, which are often based not on central government machinery but on chambers of commerce. >> okay. >> this is a different model. don't have chambers of commerce in the way that germany does. therefore we don't have the density of the chambers of commerce network. we to the floor the level of affiliation. i think i was told something like only 10% of british
11:50 am
businesses belong to a chamber of commerce. whereas 100% belong to a chamber of commerce by necessity. but looking -- part of the work that lord mort has commissioned commerce. it's a comparative study of how our competitors support their businesses, including small and medium enterprises. we very much recognize there needs to be reform to make ukti work. in all its phases, upstream, as we've called it, in terms of encouraging uk enterprises to export and encouraging them to take the plunge into the market, and downstream, working on foreign platforms around the world to roll the pitch for british business and to identify specific market opportunities that british companies can exploit. >> we encourage lord mort to
11:51 am
import daniel's expertise on this. >> the migrant refugee crisis. >> foreign secretary, i'm sure you'll agree that the refugee crisis we've seen over the past days, weeks, and even years, is a european problem. i'm told we're working with our european partners on these issues. in the coming days, the european union will be meeting to build on the 120,000 and 40,000 from previously. will you be traveling to that meeting and will the uk be taking part in that meeting? >> we will not take part in the quota system that is being proposed. we've got the justice and home affairs opt-out. this is more properly a question for the home secretary, but i'll
11:52 am
do my best to answer it. we've made clear that because of our justice and home affairs opt-out, we will not take part in this quota allocation system. we have doubts about whether it's the best response. we have, however, as you know, made a separate commitment to take a significant number of syrian refugees, 20,000, and to take them directly from the place where the most vulnerable are, the camps in and around syria. we are not convinced that simply reallocating the fit and the able who get through what is a pretty brutal filter of making their way from syria to europe, is the best way to deliver a humanitarian response. what we are proposing to do is to take 20,000 of the most
11:53 am
vulnerable, those who perhaps are not able to make that highly risky journey to europe, and to take them in and to offer them a place of safety here. we still believe that for the majority of syrians and for the sake of the future of syria, the best response in most cases is to provide generously for the support and security of those people as close to their homes as possible. i think, if i may, i'll take the opportunity to pay tribute to the extraordinary generosity of the turks, the lebanese, the jordanians, who have taken in literally hundreds of thousands burden actually for many years now. and we're -- i think we should be proud of what we have done to support them.
11:54 am
we are the second largest donor after the united states. we've just increased the level of our spending by another hundred million pounds to a billion pounds. and we continue to believe that supporting these populations close to their point of origin in the hope and belief that we will resolve the problem in syria in due course, that there will be a new syria to rebuild, and that we should be encouraging these people to be part of syria's future, not simply to disperse into the comfort of western europe, north america, leaving the future syria denuded of its most capable citizens. >> sure. i mean, look, i think -- i'm sure i speak for other colleagues, i don't think i speak for other colleagues on much, but the extraordinary generosity of people in jordan, turkey, and lebanon, taking people into their homes, i'm
11:55 am
glad you mentioned that, foreign secretary. let me focus on the european usu issue for a moment. are you saying it's not a problem, we should rather take them from source than work with european partners to deal with those already here? >> we want to work with our european partners, of course we do. it's about how we can best contribute. the 160,000 or whatever that are already in europe are by definition safe, they're in the european union, they will be protected in the european union. what we're proposing to do is take 20,000 vulnerable people, people who would not be able to make their way under their own steam to the europe even union, and to offer them protection in the uk. we think that is a genuinely humanitarian response, getting to the most vulnerable, but we also think that it avoids creating a pull factor.
11:56 am
you will have seen, as i did, articles in the newspapers this morning suggesting that the announcements that have been made about reallocating people around europe are already generating a new wave of immigration towards europe, a message that the door is open will inevitably drive the people traffickers to yet further efforts. we've got to be very, very careful to act in a way that is responsible, that delivers effect to those who need it most rather than to those perhaps who need it less because they're already in a place of relative safety. >> i mean, people aren't going to stop come to europe. isn't there a question of european solidarity? the united kingdom is in relative terms a rich european country, a big european country refuse are we leaving our colleagues in hungary, poland, and elsewhere to bear the brunt
11:57 am
of this crisis rather than having solidarity with them? actually, foreign secretary, dare i say it, building some friends during your negotiations. >> i think you'll find our friends in poland are pretty resistant to taking these migrants. the huge -- >> refugees. >> -- bulk will end up in germany because germany has made a very generous offer towards them. we want to work to try to ensure an orderly process in europe, where if we can help with support to border security arrangements, of course we will. if we can work with european colleagues, we will work with european colleagues on addressing the upstream problems. clearly in syria we've already rehearsed the upstream problem, it's a very particular issue there. but they're not only coming from sear i can't. the majority of migrants
11:58 am
arriving in germany i believe are from the western balkans. so there are different drivers. we can absolutely work together with european union partners to address the drivers of migration in upstream countries. >> on the issue of the 20,000, on the issue of the 20,000, your action last week is welcome, but it looks like it's just a start. the uk could take more. is it just a start? could there be more taken? >> simon mcdonald, who has the benefit over me of having just ceased to be the british ambassador in germany, tells me it's 40% in germany are coming from the balkans, i'll correct the record there. the prime minister said very clearly, i thought, on monday,
11:59 am
although he was challenged many times in the house, that he thought that the number of 20,000 was about right. he thought that we had got it about right, that that represented -- over five years. >> 5 million refugees. >> that was the prime minister's response. >> so you think 20,000 is an appropriate response over five years? if i may say so, you're falling into the trap of looking at only part of our response. i said earlier, and i spent some time elaborating the view, that what we are doing in supporting refugees in the region is equally important. and i think a response that says we will be the largest european donor by far to providing safety and support and succor in the region and we will take 20,000 of the most vulnerable, women, children, people who are sick,
12:00 pm
people who have suffered particular trauma, and we will bring them here and we will deal with their needs, which will sometimes be complex. i have to say, i think that is a more measured and generous response than simply saying we'll take a quota of able-bottomable able-bodied young men, half of whom have graduate-level education. we are dealing with a real humanitarian crisis here. >> let me just finish up. i know you want to move on and other colleagues will want to come in on this. you say it's equally important. foreign secretary, i did acknowledge the work that your department has done, also the people of jordan and lebanon and turkey who have a huge burden to bear. but you say equally important. this is still an important part on it. and at the moment, there's a huge amount of criticism. i don't think it's unfair. that the uk is not playing its full role from a european
12:01 pm
context. 20,000 represents over the next five years -- >> where is this criticism coming from? >> everywhere. humanitarian organizations, other groups who want the uk to do more. working with our european partners and showing them solidarity would be a good place to part. >> mr. holloway? >> thank you. i totally see where people like stephen are coming from, the goodwill that it's based upon. as a tory rebel, in inverted commas, i don't always support the government. but i think in this the prime minister are completely spot on. your effort is designed to help the many rather than the few, by helping people, you know, in that area. >> we can certainly help a lot
12:02 pm
more people by helping them in the region, than we ever can in europe. but there are some people, and this is our point, this is the uk's position, there are some people who need to be brought here, because they are particularly vulnerable. and that's what we've now committed to. there are others who can be supported in the region. what we're seeing across europe is people, most of whom, because they are almost by definition, you know, not the most vulnerable, that they've been able to get themselves from the region to europe, which is a pretty arduous journey, people that could be supported in the region but who understandably, and i don't blame them personally for this, prefer to try to get to europe. i think if we're looking at how to make the most of our resources, to provide the
12:03 pm
maximum humanitarian response, the way we are seeking to do it, maximize impact in the region and bring the most vulnerable to our own country for protection. and it's not just housing them. some of these people will have suffered deep trauma, will have psychological scars, physical scars that need to be healed. we have the capability to do that here in a way that we couldn't do in the region. i'm afraid i think we have got the balance about right. while there clearly is plenty of scope for different views on this, we have to make a judgment. and the judgment we have made is that accepting 20,000 of the most vulnerable here, whilst stepping up our program of providing support in the region, is the right balance. >> some years ago i lived undercover in a refugee camp in
12:04 pm
france, and my overriding feeling from that time was that the vast majority of the people in that camp were economic migrants. don't get me wrong, if i came from a poor country, i would do exactly the same thing. what sort of analysis do you or simon have of the percentage of people who are currently on the move within the european union? what percentage them are people who come from countries where there is currently war as opposed to those who come from countries that are less wealthy than our own? >> i'm not able to give you a figure. and clearly those who are coming from syria almost entirely will be people who are fleeing the effects of war. but it is also clear that not all of the people arriving are from syria. there are people from, i'm told, from afghanistan, from pakistan.
12:05 pm
turkey, i understand, has a policy of not requiring visas from citizens of islamic countries, which makes -- which creates an opportunity for people traffickers, but also for enterprising individuals who are seeking to move towards europe from other parts of the world. whilst i think we all understand the motivation of those coming from syria, and it's very easy, there will be people from other parts of the world who are seeking to join in this flow of humanity and to try to obtain a better life for themselves in europe. and i think we all understand, this is the complexity here. at an individual level we can all empathize with people wanting to improve their standard of living, to create better conditions for their
12:06 pm
families. at an individual level, that's an entirely admiral thing to want to do. but equally, we understand that collectively we can't accommodate all the people in the world who would rather have a european living standard than the standard of living that they currently enjoy. we have to distinguish between those who are fleeing persecution and the effects of war and those who are simply seeking better economic conditions. >> would it be fair to say that you and the prime minister see what a lot of european leaders don't see, that potentially hundreds of millions of people could be motivated to move into the european union if we give the impression, which it's a reality, that the doors are currently open? >> i should have say id, of course, when we're talking about syrians and afghans, we're
12:07 pm
talking about the eastern european group. the central european group, people coming across from libya, is dominated by africans. there are some syrians in their as well. but it is dominated by africans, somalians, nigerians, sudanese. our judgment is that the majority of them are economic migrants. so clearly there is a very large potential pool of economic migrants. and we have to tackle it in three ways. we have to be clear and robust about our threshold for granting people admission and settlement in the european union. we have to help reinforce border controls in countries of origin and in countries of transit. and we have to invest through
12:08 pm
our aid and development budgets, and not only the uk's but i would urge european union partners to focus their aid and development budgets, on investing in the countries of origin, to reduce the push factors. of course it's not as simple as people leave a country in which they are settled and they've grown up just because they could have a higher standard of living in another country. they don't, by and large. they leave the country of origin because they don't have any standard of living at all. they can't get work. they can't support their families. so creating conditions where people can enjoy some prospects of being able to support their families, even though it may be at a much lower standard of living than they would enjoy if they were settled in the european union, is likely to have a very positive effect on migration flows. i think it's sensible thing for us. >> finally, i'll lead off with
12:09 pm
one of my constituents today. the broad thrust of what they were asking is if the italians or the germans take in lots of people, inevitably they will become citizens of germany. 800,000 people from syria. and more broadly, if the european union is open and economic migrants as well are issued with european passports, presumably those people could settle in the uk, if they have european papers. >> of course under the current system of free movement, once they are nationals of eu member states, they would benefit from the rights available to eu nationals of free movement, yes. >> so if we remain members of the european union, we could theoretically see many hundreds of thousands of people from less wealthy countries of the world and also refugees coming into the uk. so we would take more than
12:10 pm
20,000. >> theoretically. clearly we are one of the richest countries in the eu, and while there is concern about movement of migrants within the eu into the uk, it is not the case that the poorest countries in the eu have emptied as britain as filled up. clearly the numbers of people who move because of the gradient of national income, as it were, is limited. bulgaria still has a lot of people in it, even though bulgarians' gdp per capita is far lower than germans' or brita britain's. >> of course you're right that those 800,000 people, if they turn up in germany, and they eventually become german citizens, will add to the 80-odd million people already in
12:11 pm
germany as people who potentially could choose to come to the uk. >> is there anything -- >> i'm told it takes years to get german citizenship. >> how many years? >> on average, over ten. >> thank you very much. i anticipate there will be bumps along the road in the course of implementing the iran deal. what are your greatest concerns about the terms of the deal itself and about its implementation? >> i'm comfortable with the deal. i think i've said this to the committee before, but i believe that by approaching the negotiation, i'll passover th o simon in a minute who led the british team in vienna, by approaching it from the perspective that we don't trust them and they don't trust us, it
12:12 pm
took a long while. but it does mean we have a deal which is robust. i also take a view, and this is my personal view, that we wouldn't have a deal at all if the iranians hadn't taken a decision at some point in time that the cost to iran by continuing to defy the world by pursuing a nuclear weapons program was just too great and it was not in their national interest to do it anymore. we wouldn't have had this deal. so i am clear in my mind that iran has taken the decision to abandon that route, not for reasons of altruism, but because it judges that it is in iran's national interest to abandon that route. so i'm confident that the deal, once fratified in washington an passed through tehran, it will
12:13 pm
be implemented. iran will not gain any sanctions relief until it has carried out the steps of compliance required in the agreement, remove the reactor so it can no longer produce uranium, dismantle the majority of its centrifuges, abandon a large part of its r&d program, export its 90% stock of enriched uranium, et cetera, etc. when we a robust inspection regime in place. and i'm confident that the nuclear part of the deal, the nuclear deal will will be implemented and delivered on. what i think i was referring to down the road is the probably for a broader rebuilding of a relationship with iran.
12:14 pm
iran is a major power. it's an important country in the region, 70 million people, the world's second largest gas reserves, fourth largest oil reserves, an industrialized country, an educated population. we can't ignore them. we won't be need to engage with iran and iran needs to engage with the world. but we don't see eye to eye on me issues, and we will continue robustly to challenge iran on the issues where we disagree with them. and they will continue to robustly challenge us where they disagree with us. and so i envisage that this will be a difficult relationship, but better to have a difficult relationship than no relationship. >> so how do you respond to critics who say iran is still free to continue to research and develop more advanced centrifuges, the ir- 6 or ir-8?
12:15 pm
or that they will still have 24 days after a request from the iaea? if their answer is not satisfactory, no one will know what the answer is because it won't be made public and there is no way of knowing. the restrictions on production of fissile material will only last 15 years. give me your response to people who say these things. as you say, do we trust them enough to give them the ability to research other more advanced centrifuges? >> all of these issues were discussed at enormous length. clearly if we had simple been invited to write a list of all the restrictions we would like iran to be subjected to in perpetuity and that was that, we would have included more things
12:16 pm
than were included in the deal. but it was a negotiation. it was a deal. and we are confident that the safeguards that we have, the restrictions that we have are adequate. i'm going to ask sir simon gast to answer those specific points. he was the man sitting up all night poring over the numbers. >> so we're going to blame him. >> that's what i'm lining him up for. >> i'll deal briefly on the four points you raised. on research and development, this was a difficult part of the negotiation. iran has a substantial number of people involved in its nuclear industry and it clearly wanted to maintain the argument that when the restrictions are lifted, it will be able to follow a civil nuclear program with degeneration and so forth. so we did put constraints on the research and development program so that it will not undermine a breakout period of at least 12 months for at least 12 years.
12:17 pm
after that period, iran will be able to gradually increase its research and development, that is true. but of course, as with everything in this agreement, we need to contrast it, not, as the foreign secretary says, in a perfect world, but the world we would have lived in had we not got the agreement. the truth is iran had already installed advanced centrifuges, which they will not be able to use or complete or work on. so we have really pushed the research and development program a long way down the track. on the inspection period, of course the additional protocol is itself quite an intrusive mechanism, but it works in a way which refers problems ultimately to the board of governors of the iaea. what we've introduced is the 24-daytime window which is your backstop if things go wrong. as others have said, when you're
12:18 pm
processing uranium, you can't remove the traces of uranium in 24 days or even 24 weeks. everything can still be traced. in fact the inspection process we have is more intrusive than the initial protocol. on the past military dimension, the iaea have agreed to a program with the iranian government which they need to pursue in order to allow sanctions to be lifted. i don't think anybody believes that we will get a complete understanding of anything that has ever been done in iran. that probably was never going to happen. but i think we will get a pretty good sense of what past activities have been undertaken. lastly, your point on 15-year restrictions. this is an agreement which, as you know, has different time scales within it. some things happen after ten years, some after 15 years. the limit of 300 kilos is for 15 years. the limit on 3.67% enenrichment is for 15 years.
12:19 pm
there are other provisions treating uranium processing that last 25 years. others have no limit. so we're pretty confident that we are dealing with this problem very substantially for a long period of time, and that iran will have every inseven at the beginning of -- incentive to abide by its obligations in the treaty much longer than that. >> thank you for that. clearly we're committed to the deal. foreign secretary, do you think that commitment to the deal, are we paying the price for losing support with some of iran's neighbors who are less happy with the deal? >> i think we have to distinguish a concern, which is perfectly legitimate, by iran's neighbors, about iran's behavior in the region, in the
12:20 pm
neighborhood, from concerns about the deal itself. i think most of the regional powers, most of the regional countries, when they've understood how the deal works, are reasonably comfortable that it will be effective in preventing iran from developing nuclear weapons. there is a line of attack that says the iranians will always cheat. i heard this when i was in israel a couple of days after we did this deal. i expect i shall hear it tomorrow when i meet prime minister netanyahu, that the iranians will always cheat, they can't be trusted. >> it's not just israel saying that, is it? other countries in the region of course say the same thing as well. >> there is a suspicion of iran. and we've approached this deal on the bases that we don't do it on trust.
12:21 pm
we do it on the bases of robust mechanisms. we start with an assumption that we're going to try to cheat and we're going to put in mechanisms to make sure it doesn't work. i think the more serious challenge from our interlocutors in the region is you shouldn't deal with iran because they're doing bad things in the region. and i have some sympathy with the line of reasoning. but it's flawed, because the deal that we've done is a deal to lift sanctions that were put in place specifically because of iran's illegal nuclear program. if iran now ends that illegal nuclear program and we can verify that it has ended it, with you must in all conscience, if the integrity of the international system is to stand, we must then lift the sanctions that are related to that program. now, what some of our
12:22 pm
interlocutors in the region would really like is for those sanctions to be roll over to deal with iran's broader behavior, okay? you're not doing nuclear weapons, but there are lots of things you are doing that we really don't like and we want you to change that behavior as well. we share that view, that iran should change its behavior in the region. but we recognize that we can't use the international sanctions that were put in place because of the illegal nuclear weapons program to address iran's other behaviors. we will, however, continue to press iran on its behavior in the region, as will other countries in the region and other international powers. and we hope that as iran reengages with the world, it will rethink the way it wants to engage in the region. there are people who will say that is a naive view.
12:23 pm
we will have to wait and see. but i think it is self-evidently the case in history that when you isolate a country, as we have done with iran, for very good reason, it is likely to become more bellicose in its behavior than if it is fully engaged trading with, enjoying investment from, exchanging students with the rest of the world. that's what we have to hope, that this reengagement will strengthen the moderates in iranian society, will give iran more of a sense of having a stake in the region and wishing to reengage in the region as an important nation-state, rather than as a destablilizing force in the region. >> in your recent visit, did you manage to talk about some of those incursions into
12:24 pm
neighborhoods countries or interference with the iranians? >> yes. and we have a different point of view from the iranians. we see these things differently. we see hezbollah, hamas, differently. we see the situation in bahrain differently. we see the situation in yemen differently. that's perhaps not surprising. but the fact that i was in tehran talking to the senior players about how we see these things differently i think is a step forward. and again, we have to hope that as iran reengages with the world, just as it did with nuclear weapons, it will start to make decisions based on its assessment of its own national interest to modify some of its behaviors. it's not going to happen overnight. and it will be doing so for reasons of national self-interest, not for reasons of regional altruism.
12:25 pm
but actually responsible nations, acting in their national enlightened self-interest within the international rules, is a game we can all play, even where we don't agree with the policy objectives of the nations in question. >> is there a plan b if the u.s. congress manages to deny the u.s. government support for this deal? >> well, the numbers today are looking like the president may not even need to use his veto. we're clear that he already has more than enough support to sustain the veto. so i don't think that's a contingency that we need to plan for now. we do, however, know that in the iranian system, they'll have to vote on this deal. and there are plenty of people
12:26 pm
there who are picking holes in the deal, as they were plenty of people in the u.s. congress who were picking holes in the deal. but i am pretty confident that it will get approved, both in the u.s. and in iran, and moved forward to implementation over the next couple of months. >> you reopened the embassy. we've taken previous evidence that there were obstacles to reopening the embassy. how were those obstacles overcome? they were very specific obstacl obstacles. can you share with us how they were overcome? >> these things are always a judgment call. and you have to balance the different priorities and agendas. our judgment was that we've moved far enough on the key
12:27 pm
issues, that the situation on the ground has changed far enough, and the assurances that we have received were reassuring enough, that on balance it was now right to reopen the embassy in order to obtain that greater level dialogue with the iranians, and in order to support british businesses in pursuing business in iran as that country opens up. >> very specifically, foreign secretary, i just want to push you slightly on this, on the equipment that we needed to get into our embassy, was that cleared without interference? did we receive assurances from the more hardliners about the security of our staff, and have the iranians agreed to take back the nationals who stayed in the
12:28 pm
uk, something which was reported to be a condition for opening the visa? >> on all of those areas we've made sufficient progress that we believe connection now move forward. and we -- none of these was sort of ideological positions. they were practical issues where we needed to see practical ways forward. and in all areas we found practical ways to proceed which have allowed us to go ahead and reopen the embassy. that doesn't mean to say we won't have continuing and robust discussions with the iranians about some of these issues in the future. but we are confident there has been a conscious decision in the iranian system to accommodate the reopening of the british embassy in tehran. and we shouldn't underestimate the significance of that for the iranian regime.
12:29 pm
britain enjoys a special place in iranian mythology. we are uniquely -- we carry unique historical baggage, i think it's fair to say. to take the position to push ahead and facilitate this was a serious political decision made within the regime that has used -- you know, somebody has decided to use some political capital to do it. so i think we have to regard that as a real commitment. >> so if we can now move on to egypt. >> yes. on egypt, obviously we're concerned about some of the things that have been happening in egypt over the last number of years, after the uprising started. and also the invitation we understand has been given to president sithi to visit the
12:30 pm
united kingdom in the foreseeable future. i think a number of people are concerned about the issue of some of the human rights abuses and the things that have been done by sithi's government over the last few years. i just wanted to ask about three specific cases. when we had the clearing of the city on the 14th of august of 2013 which led to about a thousand people, there was accepted, i understand, at the time, an agreement that a full inquiry would be carried out. it doesn't appear anything has happened in relation to that. now i understand human rights watch have applied to the u.n. council, human rights council, to ask that it be carried out. can i just ask, what is our government doing in relation to
12:31 pm
that, either in putting an inquiry or asking u.n. bodies to get involved in this? >> first of all, we share your concern about many of the things that are happening inside just a minute. we raise these issues with egyptian counterparts. the foreign minister had a meeting in my office yesterday and he's having a meeting on specific consular cases. but we also recognize that egypt is a very important country. a huge population, a vital component of stability in the middle east, arguably one of the most important countries in africa. and britain's national interest, as well as the interests of the egyptian people, requires us to
12:32 pm
engage with the egyptian government. we can't ignore a country of 90 million people which is on our doorstep. so we engage with them. we judge that engaging with the regime, talking to them about these issues, is more likely to elicit a positive response than refusing to engage with them and, you know, shouting at them from a distance. i've had personally discussions with president sisi wherive found him willing to engage and talk in a calm and detailed manner about the most -- for him, most difficult subjects. this is someone who is willing to engage and discuss. our judgment is that by engaging with egypt, by recognizing that egypt faces some very big challenges, economic challenges and security challenges, that we
12:33 pm
have a huge amount of shared interest, particularly in the security challenge. and by working together, we will get a better outcome for the uk, a better outcome for the egyptian people, and a better chance of addressing some of these very significant human rights problems, in particular the concern we have that the political space in egypt is shrinking, not expanding, which is what it should be if we're going to have a long term, sustainable situation in just a minute. >> i'm one of these people who believe in talking to people. i think you need to speak with people who disagree with you. so i don't think we shouldn't be talking to them. i think what people like to know is, there's been discussion, on the issue of the inquiry, has any kind of answer been given by the egyptian government? is it the case they accept it
12:34 pm
and will do it in a year's time? any concrete response? >> i haven't got the briefing here. but i'm happy to write to the commit. we have discussed this specifically, this question of the inquiry. but i need to check the record before i write to you. >> we were there in 2013, three times, july and september of 2013, and it was the thinking under which we were going to reengage with the egyptian government that they were going to commit to an inquiry, and it was going to be internationally overseen. what's happened? >> as i said, i recall we discussed this incident, but i need to check with regards to what commitments were made, what's currently happening. and i'll write to the committee. i don't have the briefing papers with me. >> i will also ask about two other issues, specific cases
12:35 pm
where we've had 183 people being charged with i think the murder of 16 police officers in what we would call a kangaroo court, and they've all been sentenced to death. has there been any discussion about this mass execution and this sort of quite clearly -- >> first of all, i don't think mass executions have taken place. >> no, but the mass -- >> the sentence, yes. >> what i would like to know is do we know how many people have actually so far been executed as a result of that sentence being imposed, and is there going to be -- you know, are we taking up this issue about the way this trial has been carried out? before i became a member of parliament, i was a criminal lawyer. i know the issues of having a big trial. but 283 people in one go is
12:36 pm
quite hard work. >> i've discussed these issues both with president sisi and much more regularly with the foreign minister. the gegyptians take the positio that there is a judicial process and they cannot interfere with the judicial process. there are also executive powers which only come into play once the judicial process has run its course, including the appeals process. my understanding of the trial you're referring to is that those sentences are now subject to appeal. and president sisi's position, in the discussions i've had with him, has been consistently that he cannot intervene while the
12:37 pm
judicial process is ongoing, but reminding us he has an executive power of clemency once the judicial process has ended. i think engaging with the executive power, where there is a separation between the judicial process and the executive, and making clear that we expect those executive powers to be used to achieve acceptable outcomes, even where the judicial process does not throw up an acceptable outcome, i think that is the right way to engage and certainly the best way to try and get a result. simply bludgeoning the egyptian government over decisions made by trial judges is not going to achieve the objective. so again, i recognize, you know, we have to live with the fact that we will be roundly condemned for talking to people while these processes are going
12:38 pm
on. my judgment is the most likely way for us to have any influence on this process is to engage. >> and just so without putting kind of words in your mouth, from what i understand -- >> did you say you were a trial lawyer before? >> but from what i understand from what you're saying here, and please disagree with this, is that you're thinking in a once the judicial process is over and it gets into the executive issue about clemency and mercy, president sisi is saying at that point he will be exercising it? >> what i'm saying is at that point we have the relationships built, we have the ability to access the decisionmakers, and if our relationship is strong and growing, we have hopefully the leverage to make our voice heard. >> and coming to a third issue
12:39 pm
that's happened, and do confirm for me if this is correct, we understand about 40,000 people have been over the last year or so detained in prison and some are being tortured. that's what human rights watch is saying. are you able to give us any idea as to how permanent that is and if that is accepted, that that is the situation? >> i wouldn't disagree with the number. i don't have an exact number, but i wouldn't disagree with that number. and egypt is facing a counterterrorism crisis. but our consistent advice to the egyptians is by confusing the counterterrorism response with the broader political champ-down, is ultimately a mistake, and it will mean that
12:40 pm
the policy is unsuccessful. we've explained to the egyptians and others is that our own experience is the way to deal with a terrorism threat is to focus on isolating the hard-core terrorists from the soft core passive supporters. and clamping down on soft-core passive support is not in the end a successful strategy. so we do not think that rounding up thousands of people, tens of thousands of people is a credible counterterrorist response. we explain that quietly, patiently, using examples from our own history. and we try to persuade, to encourage, to inform in a way that we hope will lead to a more productive and constructive approach in the future. but we can only do that by engaging. >> can i just clarify, i think
12:41 pm
myself and i'm sure many people here all agree that engagement is the way forward. but obviously these issues have arisen. >> i understand. >> just finally, on egypt, given the seriousness of the indictment, potential indictment around the actions of the egyptian government in august of 2013, there is some suggestion that there might be third party action to seek to detain president sisi should he come to the united kingdom on charges of crimes against humanity. do you have any concern about that, feif he does come to the united kingdom? >> yes, it won't happen. as a head of state he will come with special mission status and exemption. that's the base on which heads of state visit the uk, and indeed foreign ministers. >> sure.
12:42 pm
that will give us comfort. i think we're home and dry. >> taken on from your point about the need to engage with people and discuss, i totally agree with that. we've had a discussion about dash earlier, isil, but the issue about -- >> i famously did that on "news night." >> would it be right to say, would you agree with this, that we hear about all the people leaving and the exodus taking place in syria over the last number of years. but actually, the way it's been reported in our media is that a lot of this is somehow linked with dash. we know that a lot of the people fleeing syria are fleeing from the urban areas.
12:43 pm
it's because of the barabongs being thrown by saddam -- assad, i'm sorry, assad, and then, you know, the military conscription as well that he wants to do, and people are running away from it. whilst there is a need to deal with dash, do we need feel there should be other solutions looked at in relation to assad as well? things like no-fly zones. for example, no-fly zones, in terms of not necessarily -- >> precise points, i don't want to reopen the first 45 minutes of the session. >> okay, but just the issue about no-fly zones, for example. >> no-fly zones. the problem with no-fly zones is they only work if someone is prepared to police them. and syria has a sophisticated
12:44 pm
air defense system provided by russia, probably operated in part by russian technicians. i am not aware of a competent air force that is offering to police a no-fly zone, a no-fly zone which exists only on paper, like a yellow line by a parking warden, undermines our credibility. if we're going to talk about no-fly zones, we, the united kingdom, we had better be clear that we are prepared to share in policing them. and i don't think we are. >> on that point, while i said that syria has an air defense system and the russianss are -- >> state of the art. >> and the russians are intimately involved in the operation of that system, would it not be possible to actually
12:45 pm
engage by firing from aircraft carriers parked somewhere in the mediterranean, just taking out one or two of the helicopters which are currently dropping the barrel bombs, and then given that assad doesn't have limitless numbers of helicopters, he doesn't have large numbers, i was told maybe about 60 or so, maybe more than that, but the fact is a symbolic shooting down of one or two of his helicopters might then encourage the other pilots to not be flying them. and then saving the lives of very large numbers of civilians and perhaps potentially reducing the number of people who leave syria in order to live. >> that's a different strategy from a no-fly zone, seeking to destroy the air assets that assad is using to bomb the syrian people. and it's perfectly possible
12:46 pm
military strategy. i don't know whether you're suggesting an appetite for such action on the part of the uk. i would be surprised if -- >> i'm not saying the uk alone. i think the uk, france, united states, and other countries, making it very clear they want to stop the barrel bombing of the civilian population in cities in syria. >> that's very interesting. but of course it was your party that proposed a very -- well, it was your party that opposed a -- >> i've said that publicly. make you should get with your colleagues. >> but look, i mean, i think the answer, just to follow up, syria's defenses -- defense systems are sophisticated. and i think there's a slight temptation to forget that, because in all the actions that have taken place, the syrians
12:47 pm
have not ever engaged with allied aircraft. they've clearly made a decision not to engage allied aircraft, because allied aircraft are not targeting syrian forces, they're targeting i s ining i say i wil forces. i think it would be a very big decision to start using coalition assets to directly attack syrian government operational assets. that would be a major step and i think it would need to be that you be extremely carefully. >> i agree with you. >> let me see if the anti-ship missiles work. >> this committee last visited egypt, we met with the presidents, and we discussed the
12:48 pm
constraints on freedom of expression in egypt. and particularly the imprisonment of the al jazeera journalists. he gave the impression that it was an embarrassment to him, that it was something that happened before he came on the scene, and that he wished it hadn't been so. i wondered if you were making any kind of progress in continuing to discuss with the egyptians the fate of the al jazeera journalists who have just been sentenced once again. >> i think it goes back to the exchange i had earlier, that there's a distinction between the judicial part of the system and the executive part of the system. the new sentences that have just been handed down are judicial sentences. i haven't yet discussed this case myself with our egyptian
12:49 pm
interlocutors since that. mr. elwood will be having that discussion this afternoon. and i will be interested to hear from him what he has heard about the current executive thinking about this process. none of this is quick, because the egyptian justice system doesn't necessarily work very quickly. but i have to reason to believe that the president's position, and he told me very much the same as he's told the committee, has changed. >> given the number of people today, that's probably just as well. mr. simon, thank you very much for your time this afternoon. this afternoon on c-span radio and, 11 of the republican presidential candidates in columbia, south carolina. coverage starts at 3:50 p.m. eastern time.
12:50 pm
tonight at 8:00 p.m. on c-span, a senate armed services committee hearing on efforts to combat isis. president obama has authorized the deployment of up to 450 more american troops to iraq to train and assist the iraqi forces batting the islamic state, signaling a major shift of focus in the fight against the sunni militant group. central command commander general lloyd austin and the chief policy official at the pentagon testify. after that at 10:00 p.m., u.n. ambassador samantha power talks to reporters at a "christian science monitor" breakfast about a variety of foreign policy issues. the pope's upcoming visit to the u.s. c-span has live coverage from washington, the first stop on the pope's tour. on wednesday, september 23, pope francis will visit the white house starting with the welcoming ceremony on the south lawn followed by a meeting with
12:51 pm
president obama. then on thursday, september 24, the pope makes history on capitol hill, becoming the first pontiff to address both the house of representatives and the senate during a joint meeting. follow all of c-span's live coverage of the pope's historic visit to washington. watch live on tv or online at next, a conference on homeland security. the american bar association hosted a homeland security conference on the ongoing threat of cyber attacks in the u.s., ways to prevent them and their impact on the nation's economy and security. this panel is on privacy and data security. >> thank you, joe, and thanks to you for the hard work you do in organizing this event every year. it's always sobering to me to realize that but for 9/11 none
12:52 pm
of us would be here in this room. we wouldn't be having conferences, we wouldn't be having jobs we all have and responsibilities. it literally changed the economy of our country in many ways. this morning i wanted to open up the subject matter with a brief video clip from the last republican presidential debate. >> i want to talk a bit about terror and national security. governor christie. you have said that senator paul's opposition to the nsa's collection of phone records has made the united states weaker and more vulnerable, even going so far as to say he should be called before congress to answer for it if we should be hit by another terrorist attack. do you really believe you can assign blame to senator paul just for opposing the bulk collection of people's phone records in the event of a terrorist attack? >> yes, i do, and i'll tell you why. because i'm the only person on this stage who's actually filed
12:53 pm
application under the patriot act, who have gone before the foreign intelligence service court, who has prosecuted and investigated and jailed terrorists in this country after september 11. i was appointed u.s. attorney by president bush on september 10, 2001, and the world changed enormously the next day and it happened in my state. this is not theoretical to me. i went to the funerals. we lost friends of ours in the trade center that day. my own wife was two blocks at her office having gone through it that morning. when you actually have to be responsible for doing this, you can do it and we did it for seven years in my office, respecting civil liberties and protecting the homeland. and i will make no apologies ever for protecting the lives and safety of the american people. we have to give more tools to our folks to do that, not fewer, and then trust those people and oversee them to do it the right way as president. that's exactly what i'll do.
12:54 pm
[ cheers and applause ] >> thank you, may i respond? >> go ahead, sir. >> i want to collect more records from terrorists but less records from innocent americans. [ cheers and applause ] the fourth amendment was what we fought the revolution over. john adams said it was the spark that led to our war for independence and i'm proud of standing for bill of rights and i will continue to stand for the bill of rights. [ cheers and applause ] >> megyn, megyn, that's a completely ridiculous answer. i want to collect more records from terrorists but less records from other people. how are you supposed to know, megyn? >> you support -- get a warrant! get a judge to sign the warrant! >> wait, governor christie, make your point. >> listen, senator, when you're sitting in a subcommittee blowing hot air about this you can say things like that. when you're responsible for protecting the lives of the american people, then what you need to do is to make sure that
12:55 pm
you use the system in ways it's supposed to work. >> here's the problem, governor, you fundamentally misunderstand the bill of rights. every time you did a case, you got a warrant from a judge. i'm talking about searches without warrant indiscriminately of all americans' records and that's what i fought to end. i don't trust president obama with our records. i know you gave him a big hug and if you want to give him a big hug go right ahead. [ cheers and applause ] >> you know, senator paul, the hugs that i remember are the hugs that i give the families who lost their people on september 11, those are the hugs i remember. and those had nothing to do with politics. unlike what you're doing by cutting speeches on the floor of the senate and putting them on the internet within a half hour to raise money for your campaign while still putting our country at risk. >> we have plenty more we want to get to. >> i think you get the gist of
12:56 pm
the discussion today. and we have all of those points of view expressed, represented on our panel today. i want to introduce briefly our panelists. >> i hope we do better than that. >> well, i hope so. let me briefly introduce our panelists and i will do it briefly and i'll urge you to look at their bios. they're all very distinguished in this subject area. first we have laura donahue. laura is professor of law at the georgetown law school. she's director of the georgetown center on national security and the law. she's director of the center on privacy and technology. she writes extensively in this subject area and we're always delighted to hear from laura. we have jennifer daskel, assistant professor of law at american university, washington college of law. she previously served as
12:57 pm
assistant attorney general for national security at the department of justice and as a -- prior to that, she was senior counterterrorism council at human rights watch. bob lit has been serving as general council of the office of director of national intelligence for the past six years. previously he was a partner at the firm i'm with. he also prior to that served as the deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the department of justice as well as a principal associate deputy attorney general. we have ron lee. ron lee is former general counsel of the national security agency, the nsa. he's currently a partner at arnold and porter specializing in national security, cyber security, and privacy issues and government contracts. we also have dan sutherland, associate general counsel,
12:58 pm
national protection and programs director at the u.s. department of homeland security. dan prior to that served as a -- on the senior national intelligence service at the national counterterrorism center. and prior to that he was first officer at the civil rights and civil liberties division at the department of homeland security. so we have a very distinguished panel and i'm going ask each of them to briefly -- two or three minutes -- to describe what they view as the current and emerging issues in this debate of privacy versus our national security. after they've made those remarks, setting forth what they believe to be the current issues, we'll open it up and have as lively a debate as you just saw at the republican national convention. laura? >> thanks very much. hopefully a little bit more civilized in some sense. i'd like to highlight three areas where i feel that emerging technologies are bringing us --
12:59 pm
bringing up very serious constitutional and statutory questions in the united states. the first is the impact of digitization. the second is the scope of global communications and digital storage networks worldwide, and the third is the shift to big data analytics. so let's start with digitization. i'd like to suggest that third party doctrine is out of date and no longer reflects how the world works so as we all know, this stems from maryland -- smith v. maryland, a case from the 1970s. in that particular case, there was a woman who was robbed, is her purse was taken, the man afterwards was harassing her at her home and the police went into his home, got a warrant to go into his home based on a trap and trace device placed on his phone. the court found in that case that individuals have no privacy interest in third party records, particularly calling records, and it's on this basis we saw
1:00 pm
the metadata program continued in the united states. the fact is, as many of the judges suggested in these cases, zero plus zero still equals zero. so the fact that we now no longer have land lines but cell phones that follow us around and that information records a lot more information about us, if we have no privacy interest on the numbers dialed and received then we don't have any more privacy interest because we have more records available. and i'd like to suggest this is wrong. it's not zero plus zero equals zero or bringing something into existence exnigh low as the judge put it. it's zero plus one i can't tell a bite. the amount you have on people based not just on their cell phone usage but all of the metadata we generate is significantly different than the type of information at stake in 1976 or 1978 when the case was decided. the second point is on global communications and digital storage. since the 1970s,


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on