tv Politics Europe BBC News December 18, 2016 2:30pm-3:01pm GMT
mean notjust mean netjust be the vengeance and mean notjust be the south which is affected. the central of southern england and the midlands could be affected. it will not be a particularly cold late, but we do have worries about the density of that falk first thing tomorrow morning. the frontal system beginning to pushing across scotland during the course of the night. during the day, the temperature reigns of 7—10dc during the day. hello. this is bbc news. the headlines: buses arrive to restart evacuations in the stricken city of aleppo, two days after they were started. the transport secretary, liam fox says
britain could remain a member of the eu customs union after brexit. the leader of the rmt, mick cash, has denied that his union is using the dispute with southern rail to take on the government. thousands of commuters have been affected by the strike action over who should control train doors. the first i heard about a lot of these actions you are talking about, is in the newspapers when #24e got published. we're not about trying of a trot conspiracy to bring down this government. and tonight, personalities across the sporting world will be celebrating this year's sports personality of the year, with a record 16 contenders being short listed for the final award. now on bbc news, it's time for politics europe. hello, and welcome to politics europe, your regular guide to the top stories in brussels and strasbourg. on today's programme: eu leaders meet in brussels to discuss syria, migration and brexit. the race to replace this man heats up. we have the low—down on the runners
and riders to become the new president of the european parliament. meps approve new rules to curb lobbying activities by members of the european parliament. and we visit the snowy north of sweden for the latest in our meet the neighbours series. so all of that to come and more in the next half—hour. first, here is our guide to the latest from europe in just 60 seconds. european leaders met for a summit in brussels this week, discussing the migration crisis and the conflict in syria. they also talked brexit over dinner, but theresa may was left out — she was not invited. one new face at the talks was italy's new prime minister, paolo gentiloni. he took over from matteo renzi on monday, who resigned after losing a referendum on political reforms.
greater european defence cooperation moved a step closer after the european parliament passed a motion calling for a permanent eu military headquarters. the process for deciding who runs the railways is also set to change. meps approved new rules to make competitive tendering compulsory for public service contracts. it is set to come into effect in 2023. and meps will be banned from taking second jobs as lobbyists after voting through proposals authored by the labour mep richard corbett. and with us for the next 30 minutes, i'm joined by ukip‘s william dartmouth, and theresa griffin, for labour. let's look at one of these stories in more detail. this move to ban meps from taking paid lobbying jobs.
a lot of people watching this will say, how was this ever allowed to happen in the first place? it is all completely mysterious, but this is completely irrelevant because meps are still allowed to have outsidejobs. so, for instance, the brexit parliament negotiator, guy verhofstad, has four outsidejobs. one of them, according to the financial disclosures, pays more than 2000 euros a month. this is meaningless. but the significant thing about the corbett report is this. it actually, there have been a series of procedural devices rammed through in order to suppress dissent in parliament in order to have more of these laws. let's just take the lobbying side. we've got a lot... i will get another opinion. is it relevant? it is relevant. it is extraordinary. it has been my group's position that the job of an mep is your onlyjob, so you can serve your
constituents properly. but it is absolutely right it is now being made explicitly clear that meps cannot act as lobbyists. were a lot doing it? no, no, no. some did? a few, a handful did. we had to make it explicit they could not anymore, and also the former meps should not be able to come back and lobby the institutions. that should not happen. what about these other outside jobs that william dartmouth was saying? it is our position we wanted to have one job only, but because it is consensual, we could not quite get to that position. so you can still do it? do you have anotherjob? no, of course not. being an mep for the north—west is my full—time job. do you have anotherjob? no, i don't. i'm looking for one because we are all going to be out of it in two years. what i find utterly mysterious is that labour mep richard corbett, who will be out in two years, has basically spent two years
of his mandate pushing through this complicated procedural package, which is all about suppressing dissent. that is the main thing. that is not what i was asking. but it is an important question. but i ask the questions and you are meant to answer them. we have run out of time. i am having trouble with both of them today. it is notjust brexit preoccupying europe at the moment. members of the european council covered the gamut of big issues in their end of year summit, cramming meaty subjects into just one day of talks. eu leaders strongly condemned the targeting of civilians and hospitals in aleppo, as you would expect them to, criticising russia and iran for supporting the syrian regime. the existing economic sanctions on russia over the crimean invasion were extended for six months, but a push for extra sanctions over support for the syrian regime was rejected. leaders endorsed plans for greater defence cooperation, including creating a new mini
military h0, battlegrounds of troops from member states and joint procurement of drones and helicopters. council members also discussed extending a deal to pay some countries to limit the number of migrants coming to europe from pakistan, afghanistan and egypt, though a decision was put back to a later date. that often happens at summits. brexit only came up at the informal dinner after theresa may had left, where the remaining 27 states discussed their negotiating position in private without mrs may. following the summit, council president donald tusk spoke about how the eu could not end the syrian conflict by force. this is what he had to say. it is impossible to stop this conflict by force. the eu has no intentions and no capacity to use this kind of measures or methods.
but please stop blaming the eu, because for sure, the eu member states, the europeans, are not the reason we witnessed today this tragedy in aleppo and other parts of syria. so we've got carnage in syria, terrible things going on in aleppo. we have the us president thinking the kremlin tried to interfere in the us elections this year. what did this summit do? i think it should have gone further. we extended quite rightly the sanctions in terms of the ukraine for six months. but did not toughen them. i believe we should have toughened them, however, in terms of syria, we should have imposed sanctions on russia in terms of their action in syria and aleppo. we have seen intolerable suffering, with people being bombed out of their homes and their local communities.
those sanctions, by the way, it should not be against the russian people, it should be against the oligarchs, the oil companies, the people actually taking the decisions in putin's government. what did the summit achieve? very little. there are always eu summits happening. on syria, everybody shares the deep concern about the suffering going on. but the point i would like to share with you is that the eu is not the right structure to attempt to do anything about it. it should be the united nations. it should be between the united states and... how can the united nations do that when russia has a veto in the security council? absolutely. it is a forum in which they can talk. it does not invalidate the point that the eu is the wrong structure. donald tusk was right to say they do not have the capacity. he seemed to be putting it out to say don't blame the eu. nobody is blaming the eu. it is the reaction to it. we could do more.
that may be the case. if you are going to have sanctions against russia, and we have some. you think they are inadequate. yes. but to make sure everybody is in for these, do you need the eu? yes, absolutely. but that is our position at the moment. we should negotiate this further. we have been witness to intolerable suffering. we have to have sanctions not against the russian people but against the regime. but again the eu has done no more than what it has been doing already. it needs to be more. by the uk remaining part of the eu, it is more likely that we will be taking more people with us to deliver sanctions against russia. we need to be at the table not stuck outside. do you think the summit‘s decision to look at creating a mini military headquarters and co—ordinate troops is going to cause concern in the kremlin? no. no, not at all.
i would like to make a related point, or share that with you if i may. we were always told we were scaremongering, suggesting there were plans for an eu army. and here there are. it makes no sense at all, and would do nothing except to undermine nato. our commitment should be to nato and not to this eu fantasy army. should we develop a military capability? —— should the eu? no, i don't think we should. i think the structures we have at the moment are adequate. we need political solutions to work with the people of syria to reconstruct their society, education programmes, cultural programmes. that will not be easy. they are still in war. president assad is still in power. let's be honest, that is meaningless. it is not meaningless. how could you do it? what i have been advocating strongly for the past few weeks, as have my social democrat colleagues, is having airdrops of aid into syria.
really, over skies controlled by russian jets? there are ways of doing it with drones. there isn't, actually. we don't have a single cargo drone. the whole of europe does not have a single drone capable of carrying cargo. there are ways of working with partners where we could have achieved something to get aid... who has cargo drones? we could have worked with partners. who has them? we could have worked with partners. we are not getting an answer so i will move on. have you had enough of elections? there's another big one injanuary. don't worry, you are not invited. it is exclusive, just for meps, like our two guests today. they get to decide who will be president of the european union and as well as chairing the sittings and being responsible for the smooth running of the chamber, the lucky winner also gets to represent the parliament's view to european leaders, and acts as its representative to foreign dignitaries. it is nice work if you can get it. joco has been to strasbourg, where in between the usual glasses of gluvine, we have found out
that the campaign has made a lot of meps very angry. the city of strasbourg, viewed by many as the home of european politics. but it is also known as the capital of christmas, with its famous market festooned in lights. a mile up the road, the atmosphere at the european parliament is somewhat less festive. this man, the socialist politician martin schultz, is stepping down as president in january. his decision has triggered a fierce leadership battle over who should replace him. there has been something of a gentleman's agreement between the two dominant players here at the parliament. the socialists and the centre—right european people's party essentially divide up the five—year presidency post between them for half a term each. so by rights, it should be the turn of a candidate from the epp to take over. no, says italy's gianni pittella, the current leader of the socialists in the parliament. he wants to end the cosy arrangement of taking turns with epp. he is putting himself
forward for the presidency. you know, politics is politics, and suddenly because martin schultz has decided to go back to german politics, we would give up the fundamental political argument, it does not work. this has infuriated the epp who hasn't assumed their candidate, another italian, antonio tajani, would automatically get the top job. we respected the commitment. we allowed the candidate to be president of parliament for the first two and a half years of the term. we did everything right. we respected our commitments to them for the whole 2.5 years and we are of course disappointed now that all of a sudden they say they want to go in another direction and want to present their own candidate and aren't going to support your candidate as was agreed on paper and signed
by them 2.5 years ago. others are also stepping into the frame. helga stevens from the european conservatives and reformists group which includes british conservative meps, says it's time to shake things up. so, you are standing, representing the third biggest party in the european parliament for the job of presidency. people will wonder why. people have been very happy i have been taking a stand and have been put forward in this way. they are excited to see a different face, a new face, somebody who can bring some fresh airto this building. a sentiment echoed by the smaller eurosceptic parties who want to end what they see as an establishment stitch up. people want something else, something different. we can see the numbers of those are growing. we see more and more referendums to come. people want to change the politics and the great coalition of the social democrats and the christians don't want to change anything. they want to stick to the idea they have and they have a closer union. as meps leave for the christmas break, there isn't much of a whiff of political compromise in the air
but deals will have to be done as none of the parties in the parliament has an overall majority. the winning candidate will need to get more than half of the votes to be elected as president onjanuary i7. and she didn't say cheers. we are joined now by the green mepjean lambert. she is the european greens candidate for president of the european parliament. what do you hope to achieve by running? what we hope to achieve by running as the greens is to open up this process. you heard there about the deals that always gets done. we think it should be possible that you look at people that you think are actually going to bring something to the presidency, that can maybe change the view of the public towards the european parliament and have a greater connection with the public. in terms of the process, do each of the political groupings, do they each put up one candidate? they can put up a candidate, you don't have to. we were considering up until very early this week in not running
a candidate at all but then we saw what was coming from the big groups and thought, come on here, you know. isn't it rather, for europe candidacy, isn't it rather a disadvantage the way we voted onjune 23? i can see some people think that. my group actually see this as, you know, it's as much about solidarity. theresa may keeps telling us that we're there and fully engaged until we actually leave. sorry, are you worried you might split the what i might call the staunchly pro—eu vote and make way for a more eurosceptic candidate? i don't think that's likely. i think if you look at all the candidates that are there, even the ones that, i mean, unless you are really talking about the representative of the front national who hopefully will be out, that would be a real shock.
that particular group, the nf, are running a candidate, yes. who are you going to support? gianni pittella. the chap we saw in the film. he's in the social democrat group. there is a reason i'm supporting him. it is because, as we said, we need a fresh approach. we need to communicate with citizens right across the eu and gianni is standing on a pro— jobs, pro— growth, anti— austerity agenda so it's the end of any coalition, it's about actually coming with what we need for local communities right across the uk which is jobs and growth and stability. haven't european candidates, not just for the parliament but various others, been standing on that kind of platform for the past ten years? and that growth has been hard to see and the youth of the eu or the eurozone are enjoying mass unemployment. which is a fundamental problem and as you know, we have supported the youthjobs guarantee throughout the uk. i gather that your party voted against it.
well you actually voted for the ports directive which is going to destroyjobs. we don't want to go into that. let's not go into that. who are you supporting? i'm supporting our own candidate, but i have to say, it's very... who's your own candidate? what? who? um, he, uh...he's...he's...he's... it's...it's...it's about to be determined, but... you don't know who it is. no, they haven't. is about to be determined but... who's your favourite? but i have to say..! no, no, no. you haven't got a candidate yet, i checked. can you answer the question? who do you want to be your candidate? i'm sorry? i haven't decided yet. so you don't know? no, no, ido... i will know when the candidates are actually presented but we haven't decided... well, what's the choice? i'm sorry? what's the choice? there...there's a process which will be gone through. what aboutjean lambert? a bit of british solidarity here. jean lambert will be my second choice because you have to be amused that what's happened is that the socialist group have doublecrossed the epp. we are watching it with
great, great interest. i don't know what that means, could you explain that? you saw it in the film. i don't know what it means either. i really need to make a point about of the epp candidate... just remind me. tajani. is that the mainstream conservative group or the not—so—mainstream ? mainstream conservative group. that's the christian democrat—type group? but tajani is an acolyte and an ally of berlusconi. not all of his group voted for him, there was a big split. all of our group voted for gianni. we cannot have an establishment figure who's close to berlusconi being close to the european candidate, can we, jean? that's absolutely true. it would be a disaster. whoever wins will have a role to play in brexit. absolutely, they will. part of theirjob is making sure parliament is fully
represented within this, involved in the discussions and has a position. we have a vote at the end of the process. will the green group vote for you en masse, is that how it works? the green group will certainly support me en masse, they've said that. and then it's a question of who else one can pull in from other political groups. i think this is important to actually make it a presidency that works for the parliament which isn't just marooned in one group. if you were to win, would you try to stop brexit from taking place? it's not our role to stop brexit as the european parliament. that's the decision of the british people. our role, particularly as president of the parliament, is to make sure the european parliament is engaged in this, that our views, our knowledge, is fully taken into account. absolutely. went to we get the result? 17th of january. there we go, i'm going to put it in my diary. now, with a christmassy edition of our meet the neighbour series, adam fleming reports from the snowy north of sweden. dogs barking
we're going this way! i am in kiruna in swedish lappland, 90 miles north of the arctic circle. they're enjoying a few hours of light before the sun goes down and doesn't come up again until next year. and of course, all a way out here, you meet an italian. you either like it or you hate it. if you like it, it's paradise. if you don't like it, you go crazy. two weeks. if you love it and get used to this lifestyle and environment, it's hard to go back to any other lifestyle. it's not all dogsledding and the northern lights. kiruna's also home to the world's largest underground iron ore mine. it bringsjobs and one big problem. as it expands, the town is sinking. the entire city centre is going to be torn down and moved two miles. 3000 flats will be demolished along with 200,000 square metres of public
and commercial property. including the wooden church, once voted the country's favourite historic building. deputy mayor stefan is going to need a bigger map. this will be the new city centre. if you imagine it going out like this. as a politician, is this a blessing for your town or a bit of a curse? it's both. we are getting paid to do something new so we can focus on all the new technology that we have around in the world today and doing their new proper environmentally friendly thing to do when you are creating a city centre but the curse is that of course, about 30% of the city's inhabitants are worried. down the road, the new city hall is taking shape. although the builders are sent home when the temperature drops to —38 degrees.
first will come infrastructure like roads and water. in 2019, residents will decide whether they want to move here or take the money for their old home. it is an undisclosed sum, mostly paid for by the mining company. when it comes to other things happening here, immigration is a big topic. sweden was one of the top three destination countries for asylum seekers during the migrant crisis. when it comes to the economy, sweden is one of the few countries in the world experimenting with negative interest rates. and what about all the swedish cliches? high taxes, loads of welfare, lots of leave for when you have children and things like that. is sweden really like that? yes, it's true. enough of that stuff. here are some more pictures of cute puppies. a christmas gift from politics europe. the gift is appreciated, adam, reporting from the north of sweden.
when you look at the mood music coming out of stockholm both by the prime minister and the foreign secretary, both social democrats, certainly the prime minister is, they could be, if we have any allies, it will be the swedes in these brexit negotiations. yes and there is a big slice of public opinion in sweden which is actually in favour of leaving. so we could be looking at swexit. really? i mean, they don't... it's news to me. it's news to me too and i am married to a swede. they don't want to join the euro, i understand that. but they don't really want to leave the eu. they are big supporters of britain. big, big supporters of britain. again, they are not in the eurozone. i was speaking to a swedish
colleague yesterday who was saying it's a shame because a lot of mutual support came from the uk and sweden especially when it came to improving environmental standards. and trade issues. trade, holding vw to account, the emissions scandal et cetera. we are working closely with our swedish colleagues who definitely want to remain. we'll have to leave it there and we'll see. we'll keep an eye out. keep an eye out. that is it for now. thanks forjoining us. bye— bye. eyes once again i have had a quick look through the front door. always im proves look through the front door. always improves the #qu5u89 of the forecast. it is still fairly laden skies here. hints of brightness, not much more, one or two have had. i have shown this picture a fair few times, it is rather glorious. whether it stayed that way throughout in keswick is a mute point. the cloud is slowly but surely wandering around he under the influence of high pressure for the most part. that has come for some
central and southern parts the british isles with its own problem. we have had fog through the weekend and it'll return with a vengeance through the night across the heart of england and eastern wales. the odd pocket could not be ruled out across scotland and northern ireland. our greatest concern is for the midlands to east wales, down into central and southern england. if you have travel plans first up on monday, bear that in mind. there will be a lot of dry weather around. enough about the cloud for the odd spot of drizzle. i wouldn't rule that one out completely. my greatest concern is there across the midlands and that great swathe further south, with the odd pocket there. won't be that much in the way of breeze overnight, that bit further north, until they come up into the north—western quarter of scotland where we'll have a weather front thickening the cloud to produce a dreek day here. a similar prospect to northern ireland. as you will see, as the weather front eases its way into scotland, slow progress,
and through northern ireland, much, much brighter skies. the best sunshine that many of us will have seen for a wee while, we'll finish the day with one or two showers. further south eventually thicken up the cloud across southern and central parts of eastern england for there again to be not much about it but a word to the wise there, could bea but a word to the wise there, could be a spot of rain, so you might need an umbrella or waterproof. a quiet start to the week, mainly dry i would have thought. then from the middle part of the week, we liven up and tale turn quite windy. it will bea and tale turn quite windy. it will be a slow process. we still have the old weather fronts here providing the odd bit and piece of rain but look at this, coming in from the atlantic, later on in the day on tuesday, certainly for the north—western quarter of scotland and eventually to northern ireland, it'll turn much wetter and windier and all the while further south, still quiet but eventually you get to seat rain and cloud coming from the north—west.
—— to see the rain and cloud coming from the north—west. this is bbc news. i'm annita mcveigh. the headlines at three. in syria, buses are being used around the city of aleppo to evacuate both rebels and supporters of president assad. but there are reports some buses have been burned. trade secretary liam fox says britain could remain a member of the eu customs union after brexit. ahead of another strike by southern rail conductors tomorrow, rmt leader mick cash denies accusations his union is using the dispute to take on the government. and great britain's heroes of rio could be in for more success