tv Dateline London BBC News December 31, 2016 11:30am-12:01pm GMT
will solve all its problems with migration, unemployment and insolvent banks, donald trump will begin a glorious four years as president, the middle east will finally be at peace, and we can all dream. back in the real world, let's hear what our expert panel think. i'm joined by stryker mcguire of bloomberg markets, abdel bari atwan who is a writer and broadcaster on arab affairs, agnes poirier of marianne, and steve richards who is a british political commentator. britain first, to coin a phrase, and we can all predict that article 50 will indeed be invoked by march, beginning the formal process of leaving the european union. but where will brexit, and indeed the eu, be by the end of 2017? with political change in france and italy, and possibly in germany too. what do we think is going to happen? i think 2017 will be much more difficult than this artificial period we've been living through prior to the triggering of article 50. all kinds of things have been read into what has happened since the referendum. "the uk economy has been better than expected." we haven't triggered this thing yet.
and so far, the focus has been on the british position. what is theresa may's plan? again, completely artificial. in 2017, we are going to get real, because we will hear the european union position as well. and when that becomes clear, i think the dynamic of the internal politics of the conservative party, the position of other mps in the house of commons, scotland, will become 100 times more complicated than the position at the end of 2016. so i think brexit in 2017 is going to become very, very difficult for theresa may in particular, and the and the government as a whole. that's something to look forward to. can i make a prediction about 2017, which i rarely do, which is that brexit will be top of the news agenda in britain, and all across europe it won't be. it will be one of the things,
but the french election will be top of the agenda. of course. the german election in germany, the italian banks disaster... it might come a close second, i think, after all the elections taking place in germany, italy and france. but i agree with steve, i think 2016 might have been the honeymoon for brexit. really? yes. hell will break loose in 2017, just because it's going to become real from the end of march, when the famous article 50 is triggered. because, so far, we've been discussing brexit, but just discussing it to say there's nothing to discuss. predictions in 2016, except 2017 is the real thing. however, i'm not sure that the shock of reality will do much for the tories, or for theresa may, the british prime minister. would you agree that the core of this is notjust what political uncertainty there may be in britain about scotland, and how
you deal with that? but the political uncertainty in europe is vast, and that the eu itself, never mind brexit, the eu in a year's time could be a very different beast? well, no, that's for sure. 0n the other hand, the devil is in the detail. if you start looking, which i have done, i urge everyone to look into the details of trade deals. it's the stuff of nightmare. can we wait til after christmas? laughter we can. it's the stuff of nightmares. this is what civil servants will do throughout europe and britain, pulling their hair. because the eu has to approve every single change of quarter that britain is going to do. it looks to me very possible that in two years' time, britain will have no trade deal or agreement with the eu, and they will be somewhere in the wilderness. some people think that's actually certain, because you can't negotiate
a trade deal with the eu when you are a member of the eu, so you have to be out of it, and it will take two years to get out. you can start negotiating a sort of road map, or you can start talks behind closed doors. everything's possible in diplomacy, i suppose. where do you think we are going to be on brexit in a year's time, or throughout this next year? ijust think it's going to get worse. we are, as steve says, we are in this strange period of complacency, even smugness, on the part of brexiteers, who justifiably point out that many of the remainers' economic arguments or predictions before june 23rd didn't come to pass. which is true, but don't let that deceive you, it will kick in. we are in this weird period now. you even hear it anecdotally, people saying, this is going to be
a good christmas but then we'll have to start tightening our belts. and we are going to get inflation, growth is going to slow. is it going to go into recession at some point, who knows? bari? i believe 2017 will be the year of the preparation the divorce, and i believe it will be a very painful divorce between europe and the uk. that's how i see it. for both sides? yes. the lawyers will come, and it will be very, argument and counterargument. it wouldn't be an easy landing for theresa may. it will be a very, very hard time ahead. the people who actually initiated or supported brexit disappeared. we don't see them any more talking or arguing. so, i think britain will face huge
difficulties to get any sort of privileges from europe in the coming two years. i think free trade, which britain is looking for, the deal they are hoping for to compensate for the losses of brexit, i think it will be extremely difficult for them. europe are looking for a quick exit of the uk from the eu. isn't the counterargument to you gloom mongers that at some point reality will indeed set in, and you've got to make it work? britain isn't going to be towed out into the atlantic, europe isn't going to go away, we'll still want to trade with each other, so somehow we've got to reach a deal. yeah. and there is another argument which is that the crisis will not be will not be in the uk, but will be in the rest of the european union.
with the security threat which became a huge issue again at the end of 2016, the elections in other countries which means that theresa may... there's no point for example theresa may negotiating with president hollande, we know he will not be there. the italian banks. so it could be that there is a sort of wider identity crisis for the european union, which overrides britain, which will be seen as ahead of the times in getting out of an imploding institution. i think that is unlikely in the sense that in the uk we are always predicting that the european union in one form or another is about to implode. "the euro can't survive," so far it has, and so on. so i think it's unlikely, but it's possible that the big crisis of 2017 is within the european union, and britain isjust getting on with it on the sidelines, which is a safer place to be. i think it's more likely that the negotiations will be a dominant theme, certainly in britain, and it's going to be tough.
yeah, and can we add to shift the focus to britain, i think domestically in britain, i see the brexit inquisition worsening. because, i've seen it in britain, brexit has separated families. children and parents and grandparents. it's the first time i've seen this, and i've been in britain for 20 years. also, there is this "whose side are you on? if you don't share my brexit conviction you are therefore against me." that's what i call brexit inquisition, and i think it's going to get worse. it's not going to be very good for the british people. that's what happened in scotland as well. a referendum that was meant to solve and resolve an issue, divided families, friends, and didn't resolve it. at new year's parties you had to be very careful what you said to your friends and relatives! let's move on. donald trump inherits the presidency
of the united states, and also a nation in which more voters voted against him than for him. a nation divided geographically, politically, culturally between red and blue states. can he pull america together in 2017? will he surprise us by using his entry level position in politics to, as he puts it, "make america great again"? this is the year, 2017, when the slogans have to become reality, or not, presumably. well, the answer to all those questions is probably "no". but, having said that, you can't make anything great in a year. when did america cease being great, is one of the questions i had throughout 2016... how long is this programme?! let's stick to 2017. you can't unite a country any year, either. what probably will happen, which is going to appall people who are appalled by trump, is that for a short period of time, he's going to pour a lot
of money into the country. it's going to be at a huge cost later on, but he's going to cut taxes, and he's going to pour $1 trillion at least into infrastructure. which needs it. of course it needs it. we see this in other countries as well. so there could be this sort of bubble, and that is going to, again, that will not heal the divisions, however. the people on the other side will say, yes, but what is going to happen in the future? it will be a tricky time. people outside of the united states are really waiting for him to fail. and they are appalled by what is going on. somebody was telling me yesterday, it looks like kazakhstan, where you have the president installing his relatives, and his daughter moving into where the first lady used to be, and so on. billionaires on the cabinet, where there's never been a billionaire. i thought that was quite striking that there's never been
a billionaire on a us cabinet. not that that means anything, but it's interesting. how do you think 2017 could shape up? there are those who think both houses of congress are republican, there's a chance to make a difference on the supreme court, and you've got a republican president. you've got two years, because that's the next mid—term elections. two years to prove that republicans running everything can do so to make america great again, whatever that means. well, great again, i mean, great again is one thing. i agree with you that there might be a temporary economic relief, just because he's going to inject so much money. now, "great again"? i think 2016 showed that we all look up to america in some way. we've done that for 200 years, probably. and, this was the end of something, great. so for trump, i don't think trump will make america great again.
i think "great" to some people implies the role of a superpower. "greatness"! if anything, the united states is turning inwards. look at enemies who have been made already. he's not even in office. china. absolutely. just china! how is 2017 being seen in the middle east in reference to donald trump, what difference will he make? i have a cynical feeling that donald trump could create another sheikdom in the united states, to be honest. because if you look at his cabinet, it is either generals or ex—generals, and billionaires or businessmen. typical middle eastern formula. laughter is that a good thing, bari? we need just the headgear, that's all! seriously... he has headgear already!
different headgear! the problem is, we are extremely confused in the middle east. who is this man? what is he going to do? he signalled to the left and turned to the right. we don't know actually what his intention is. he said he wants to make america great, but he is, if you look at him, he is supporting or following vladimir putin's policies on the middle east and other parts of the world. so where is that independent american president here? this is what's worrying me. the other thing is, i believe this man's foreign policy in particular could be based on business deals, not political deals. he will look at things from the eyes of a businessman, a billionaire, not from the eyes of ordinary people.
this is extremely dangerous. about the rift in the united states, i believe this rift will widen, i don't believe it will shrink, next year or the year after. i think we are dealing with absolutely new phenomena in international politics. i am worried, i am worried because i cannot predict. ok, the middle east is the most unpredictable area in the world, but also, now, america is an unpredictable quantity. what is he going to do with china, to phone the taiwanese president and talk to him, even before he took office? this is a sign of war. this is warmongering, to be honest. is his policy like that? i don't know. it's interesting how tentative everybody is about this, we can't be certain about anything in 2017, but we are all very tentative about what a trump presidency might mean. all the american commentators
are very tentative too. yeah, but i think what is interesting is the only policy he mentioned when he made his brief victory statement the following day after he was elected, was this focus on capital spending. it was the one policy element he included in the speech. this is fascinating on lots of levels. 0ne, if it's true, if he does it, he will be much more keynesian than the former shadow chancellor here, now britain's best—known dancer, ed balls. in property, he knows about debt financing, doesn't he? that's been his track record. so that will be fascinating. the other thing is, you mention this is an all—republican ticket in washington, but a lot of the republicans in washington are small state, small government republicans. here is a president planning to spend big. although i think there could be tensions within the republican elite
so—called, at a point of their total dominance. i think the other areas are completely uncertain, this is just very interesting. as you say, they certainly need that investment, as the uk does. he intends, it seems, to do it. whether he will or not is an interesting question. it's a funny kind of conservatism, isn't it? it's not conservatism as anyone would understand it. progressive economists have for years been saying "we need stimulus, we need stimulus, we need stimulus." now, people like paul krugman are saying, "well, yes, trump is talking about stimulus, but it's the wrong kind." that it's not going to translate into stimulus, because tax breaks to really, really wealthy people, that doesn't mean they're going to spend more, it means they're going to save more, which doesn't help. but you know, marine le pen's economic policies is exactly like trump's. it's about big infrastructure investment. it's keynesian, but it's also national socialist. but that's why many working
people in france will vote for marine le pen, and it's also why people like marine le pen, donald trump and others, ukip in this country, have broken the mould of politics. of course, because the left has stopped doing it. so, somebody's taking the flag of keynesian policies. it's a strange combination. when trump was elected, some people said, he's going to be muzzled by wise advisers. dream on. this is not going to happen. let's come to a wise adviser. laughter in 2017, bari, the middle east we touched on, but specifically, we've seen the fall of aleppo in 2016. in 2017, is the war in syria going to be over, do you think? well, i think it wouldn't be over. there will be a new baton of war. definitely assad is there to stay. the talk about removing him from power is eroding completely now. turkey, which is a major player
in the middle east, now is actually drifting towards russia. and also towards assad in the later stages. they realised that they were wrong in the last six years, fighting, or concentrating on toppling assad, and it didn't work. so, i can see some sort of formula coming this year, 2017. yesterday, there was a meeting between the three foreign ministers of turkey, russia and iran. they are working on some sort of formula. this formula is to create a new momentum for negotiations between the syrian regime and the opposition. so, we can see some sort of stability here. but the problem is, islamic state, that major danger, is still there. the war against mosul, to remove them out completely from mosul,
did not succeed yet. there are huge casualties. there is also raqqa, which is still in syria, and there are plans to evacuate to root out islamic state from it. until now, there is no concrete plans to attack them, simply because they proved to be a very, very hard nut to crack. we've got a few minutes left, maybe time for some predictions. british domestic politics. will there be a general election in 2017? prediction there won't be a general election, theresa may hasn't got a cause to justify a general election, because parliament will vote to trigger article 50. so, she said there won't be, and what she says tends to be pretty close to what she does, so there won't be a general election. and it will be a year dominated, as ever, by europe, and its impact on the internal politics both of the governing conservative party,
and indeed the confused opposition labour party. her difficulty is she's not ever going to please everybody. there are those who don't want brexit to happen, there are some who want brexit to happen tomorrow, and to be a particular type of brexit. whatever deal she comes up with, she can't keep everybody happy, it's just not possible. it's going to be very difficult for her. i had some sympathy for her, because she has inherited an impossible position, whereby exactly that. and it's notjust that she can't deliver for the remainers or the brexiteers, but there are different forms of brexit amongst the brexiteers. by definition she can't please all of them. so it's going to be very difficult. because in the uk, europe is such an emotive issue, mps are feeling neurotic and highly charged, a lot of the brexit mps fear this dream they've had will be somehow stolen from them during 2017 or beyond. and equally, there are remainers
who are so convinced this is heading towards a cliff edge, they wonder why she won't stop it. and somehow she's got to deal with this, and it will be very difficult. and in france, how about francois fillon becoming president of the republic? it's a guess. probably, yes. but the important thing here is not francois fillon, but that marine le pen is not going to become president. this is a prediction and a hope. or perhaps a hope first and a prediction, because we know we can't make predictions any more! and it's also, i think, the end of the french left, a bit like what happens in the uk. i predict, whoever it is, the french left candidate will clock less than 10% on the first round. i think they are in the wilderness for the next—generation. that's true pretty much across western europe, is it not to the centre left? it is, yes.
prediction? now, i don't know where you're going to go with this! laughter i'm just going to cough and pass it back! it'll be an interesting year. what we learned this year is to expect the worst, and hope for the best. next year it's going to be the same thing all over again. in the united states, people are going tojust be amazed, i think, over and over again by what's happening in washington. outside of the united states, people are going to be looking at what's going on, and they are going to be astounded overand overagain. it's going to be unpredictable, as you said, bari. that unpredictability is where we are these days. maybe one thing one can predict is that america has thrived, despite rather than because of anybody in the white house for 200 years. in other words, there is a genius within the american people, 300 million of them, to get things done. fairenough? well... it's not irrelevant,
who's running the country, i'm not suggesting that. of course. and, at some point, whatever people feel is wrong now, may well be righted in part down the road. i think we are looking well beyond 2017 for that to happen. it's not going to fall apart in 2017. california is not going to secede! no, although there is a movement to do so! laughter we will watch that movement. prediction, bari? gavin, i cannot give you an optimistic prediction when it comes to the middle east, u nfortu nately. it is a very, very hard year. i believe the bloodshed could continue. now russia has the upper hand in that part of the world, western influence is shrinking. i believe, personally, that islamic state, isis, will go underground. unfortunately it is like a wounded tiger, now. they are hitting here, hitting there. they could actually try to prove they are still alive and kicking
by carrying out a lot of terrorist attacks, probably in the middle east itself, but also in europe. it is a very, very frightening year, when it comes to the middle east. the problem is it will flow to the sides of the middle east. it is difficult to tell. but at least in syria there is some progress, here. it could be we see less bloodshed in syria in 2017. but, as i said, islamic state is a monster, a huge monster. they managed for the last two or three years to recruit a lot of people. we can see what happened in germany, they declared responsibility for the attack on the christmas market, and also they declared responsibility for other atrocities. it seems, unfortunately, we will see a lot of terrorist acts somewhere in europe, but also in the middle east. it is sad to say that, but this is what we can
see, 0k, what i can see in my crystal ball. 0k. well, in that case, i think we will leave 2016 behind and hope for a better 2017. that's it for dateline london's look ahead to 2017. you can contact the programme on twitter @gavinesler, and you can argue with our guests, if that's the way you want to go. we are back next week at the same time, please make a date with dateline london. goodbye, and happy new year. the good news is the fog isn't quite as dense, widespread or long—lasting as dense, widespread or long—lasting as it has been recently. it was a murky start across southern england and east anglia, some problems on
the roads and airports. that will ease as conditions improve. still foggy over the hills and a grey day for many in england and wales. still some sunshine in northern england. any sunshine this morning in scotla nd any sunshine this morning in scotland and northern ireland gives way to cloudy conditions in the afternoon. rain in the highlands edging down as we enter the afternoon. if you were out early this evening in the south of scotla nd this evening in the south of scotland and northern ireland be prepared for a wet and windy spell. as the bells ring in 2017 much clearer. 0ne as the bells ring in 2017 much clearer. one or two showers, feeling cold. before the rain arrives in gwyneth and anglesey, across the south most places will be dry. a fuse box of rain or drizzle and a strengthening south—west wind, but nothing in to windy —— a few spots of rain. colder conditions north of the rain band and feeling cold by the rain band and feeling cold by the strength of the wind. but arctic wind will edge south across the rest
of the country as we go through new year's day. in the south some milder weather to begin with, a cloudy and damp morning for many of you. heavy bursts of rain around and the northerly wind making it feel chilly in devon and cornwall. still fairly dry for many in east anglia and the south—east but thoroughly wet, cold and with a northerly wind across parts of the midlands, and northern england. some sleet and snow over higher ground. far north of england, scotla nd higher ground. far north of england, scotland and northern ireland, a bracing, fresh morning to clear the head. most will see some sunshine. there will be some outbreaks of rain, hail, sleetand there will be some outbreaks of rain, hail, sleet and snow. also into northern england and northern ireland through the day with some good sunny spells in between. in the midlands, east anglia and the south it stays cloudy and damp throughout. some of the rain on the heavy side and over the hills wet snow mixed in at times. it clears on monday and
tuesday, a good deal of sunshine around but cold, especially with those widespread frost by night. hgppy those widespread frost by night. happy hogmanay. this is bbc news. the headlines at 12:00. the queen's new year's honours list is dominated by britian‘s 0lympic and paralympic stars — including andy murray, mo farah and lee pearson. i feel ifeel more i feel more still like andy murray. it feels more normal. 0bviously, it's a big honour. i'm happy with that. it's a nice way to finish, or is not, the new year. —— or start. and from the world of showbusiness, there are knighthoods for ken dodd, the actor mark rylance, and the opera singer, bryn terfel. almost three quarters of the people on the honours list are recognised for work in their local community — like sylvia morris. her daughter died of leukaemia. we set out to continue the initiative of my late daughter, who agreed to front a campaign on the day she was diagnosed with leukaemia, which resulted in thousands of people joining