tv Dateline London BBC News April 2, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST
after a landslide killed 200 people. the local governor said whole neighbourhoods had been swept away in what he called an "unprecedented tragedy". president santos called on authorities to start preventative measures as the rainy season begins. president maduro has made venezuela's supreme court reverse its decision to strip the opposition—led congress of its powers. despite the announcement, hundreds marched in the capital, caracas, to protest against the original decision. the speaker of congress said the court had staged "a coup". the uk says it will defend the interests of gibraltar, following warnings that spain is attempting to use the brexit process to pursue its claim to the rock. the eu has suggested london and madrid will have to agree on gibraltar‘s place in the brexit talks. coming up now, dateline london. hello and and welcome to dateline.
two examples of power to the people for us this week, but with very different responses from those in charge. russia saw some of the largest street protests of vladimir putin's 17 years in power, which ended with more than 1,000 arrests and the organiser in jail. nine months after the british voted to leave the european union, prime minister theresa may sent a polite letter to brussels triggering divorce after 44 years. to discuss the week's events in russia and the eu, with me are three journalists who write to the world from london: the russian—born writer alexander nekrassov, michael gove mp, who was a conservative cabinet minister until last summer, and is now a columnist with the times. stephanie baker of bloomberg news. and stefanie bolzen, from germany's die welt. welcome to you all. let's begin with britain's exit from the european union. last summer, by a margin of 52% to 48%, people here voted to leave.
theresa may wanted to stay in the eu, but now she has the task of negotiating notjust brexit, as it's become known, but also a trade deal with europe. since 1973, britain's laws have absorbed growing quantities of regulations devised between the 28 member countries, on which a court in luxembourg has the final say. those who want to stay argue this pooling of sovereignty has made it easier to trade and has created new protections in areas like employment or consumer rights. supporters of brexit say it's simply a case of taking back control. michael gove, you were a supporter of brexit, a big advocate during last year's campaign. on wednesday, the tone was sadness on all sides. by friday it had become steely. should we be preparing for a long and bloody war between the two sides before the deal is reached? i think we should be preparing for a professional and hard edged negotiation which at the end of it will result in a strong partnership between both sides. it is absolutely the case that while donald tusk expressed his sadness that britain was leaving, he is also clear
that he wants at the end of this process, all european negotiations want at the end of this process, a free trade deal between britain and europe and the preservation of security cooperation and other links which are in all our interests. i suspect that when historians come to look back on britain's membership of the european union, they will see those a0 odd years as an anomaly in britain's history, and they will conclude that people like hugh gaitskell and charles de gaulle were right, that we were destined to be friendly but separate. is that right, stefanie bolzen? i came across a sentence by winston churchill who said, if we ever had to choose between europe and the open sea, we will always choose the open sea, so we are now out there on the open sea, and we have seen by the answer of the president of european council, but immediately the tone here in britain has changed, and one is talking about provocation by the eu 27, going down the path
of war, and let'sjust say it is a sensitive situation we are in, and i think everybody who was a stakeholder is to be treating us with a lot of responsible too. how much, stephanie baker, do you think we are at breaking point? we heard this from britain saying we must do the two things together, we must have our divorce negotiations but also our trade agreement running side—by—side, and brussels says, angela merkel says, divorce first and then we talk trade. i think this shows you how complex these negotiations will be. they can't even agree on process, let alone the issues at hand. there was some hope, and some people expressing hope that theresa may's letter to donald tusk this week might have led to some kind of associate membership that was voiced in various quarters, but remembershe did reiterate her stance that she does
not want the uk in the single market or the customs union because she wants to be able to negotiate free—trade agreements with other countries. but this is the issue that worries businesses the most, if you look at what businesses are doing and how they are reacting to this, they are re—evaluated business in the uk and implementing their contingency plans, and you already see the big players in the city of london, lloyd's of london, goldman sachs, opening offices on the continent, shifting jobs, and you will see a slow burn. now you see theresa may finally recognising, she finally mentioned it in her letter to donald tusk, that financial services are important to the uk economy, and then tusk pushed back saying we will not give any special deals for specific sectors. so she has overpromised to the british people on what is possible, and i think it will be hard for her to deliver.
and difficult for her party, as well, michael gove, because she was a remainer and she has to convince them that she is now committed to brexit, there will be people in the party who say, we cannot compromise on this, people will be trying to do the negotiation almost on her behalf. the prime minister will face pressures from people who feel strongly on either side of the debate, but she is in a stronger position domestically than any other leader in western europe, she is 19 points ahead of her principal opposition about it and doesn't face an election. so of course there are domestic waters to navigate, but actually, theresa goes into these negotiations with a united and solid conservative party behind her, a labour party incapable of providing opposition, and with a country including those who voted remain pretty solidly convinced that we now have to proceed with our departure. more than that, she also has the goodwill of a variety
of international partners outside the european union as well. so of course in these negotiations there will be give—and—take, but i think it is important not to underestimate the strength of the position the prime minister is in. how prepared are they to negotiate with the other 27? angela merkel has been adamant on separating the process first. first we talk about the divorce, and that is mainly the status of eu citizens in the uk and on the continent, but it is also about the money. somebody in berlin said to me this week, it is a question of trust. the british prime minister will have to give something very substantial in the beginning, and i wonder where you say she is strong domestically, but she will get a lot of grief about that. this did yourformer boss, david cameron, because he got his renegotiation, and everybody said, that is not very impressive, he had to give away too much. there is a willingness
to give the prime minister a benefit of the doubt. the point about divorce first and trade second is those elements of the divorce that have been mentioned by michel barnier are all areas that we want to see progress on as well. he said that he wants to make sure that the position of eu citizens in the uk and uk citizens in the eu is settled, we want that as quickly as possible. he also said we don't want a hard border between northern ireland and the republic, we want to ensure that. and it is also clear that while the nature of what britain might pay in the future, the sum is not going to be resolved rapidly, and it is also clear from other european prime ministers that they don't want the sum resolves necessarily rapidly to be able to move on to other talks, theyjust want an acknowledgement of the fact that britain will play its part in making sure that the european union budget which would be revisited until 2021 would be resolved satisfactorily. how do you think they will be looking at this in moscow,
alexander nekrassov? this is the european union that britain was part of for nearly half a century, and it seems to be fractured. i appear on russian television to explain to the russian people what is going on here and what is going on with europe generally. the feeling is that there is a project fear continuing in britain, for example the remainers have not calculated how much it will cost by the brexiters if they pull out. and how will it cost britain? what happens if the eu goes down financially? nobody talks about that. secondly, i think the remainers and brexiters have a big difference,
with the remainers being allowed a voice and being more tribal, whereas the brexit people seem to be apologising all that time, apologising to leave. are you apologising? no, i'm glad that we voted to leave, but i also recognise that having voted to leave, we have to respect the rights of priorities of the eu 27, so i want us to be in a position where we are the end of this process remain friends and partners. so i think it is very important for those of us who argued that we should leave the european union to respect the right of the eu 27 to respect their own priorities and implement their victory in their way. you mentioned finances, alexander. there are big elections coming up, and one outcome in france could be if marine le pen were to win. the euro would be in trouble. i think her chances are very slim. she would have never gone to moscow with the visit a few weeks before the elections, because that is basically suicidal. that does mean she has no chance.
but coming back to the europe thing, the important thing to understand is that everybody has concentrated on britain, britain is entering troubled waters, nobody knows what is going to happen. europe is entering the same waters. nobody knows in europe what to do. my personal opinion is that europe is more terrified than britain, because what might happen when this country leaves them. i think they are absolutely terrified. in my personal opinion, britain should have slammed the door in europe's face and said, we are leaving, if you don't give us what we want, we just walk away, europe will sink. can i just interrupt? i am german and going a lot to germany and other european countries, and i do not find anybody who was terrified because the uk is leaving, because the uk leaving europe is doomed. this is not the case.
not europe, the eu. even the eu. germany has never had such low unemployment since 1991. it is in a very good place... germany was profiting from the eu, the only country that was. what about poland ? what about poland? austria is going well. i think it is time for everyone to say that the project benefited germany most of all. let's be fair. let's be honest about it. why are we always pussyfooting around this? this is not about pussyfooting... germany is terrified, merkel is terrified of britain leaving, because it can start chain reaction. and there are other countries that are looking at britain, thinking they should do the same. so why did we see so much unity after the 23rd ofjune 2016? there is no unity. no? if there was unity, they would already be in a position, they have had nine months after the referendum,
they could have worked out, there is no position, no unity, they don't know what to do... i saw something different yesterday. and i suppose the thing, michael gove, is the situation, because of the elections in the summer in france and the autumn in germany, serious negotiations without knowing who is in charge in france and germany can't really start until after that, can they? certain things can be resolved. it is the case that concern among some french politicians and german politicians about what they might term populism would mean that they would not want to be seen to be giving britain too much for fear of encouraging those populist movements. however, i sense that both in france and in germany, the surge of marine le pen or the alternative deutschland has been capped, and whatever the long—term future, in the medium term there is confidence that emanuel krom will be french president and angela merkel will remain as chancellor. and there was a lot of confidence last summer that hillary clinton would be president
of the united states! yes, but if we are talking about attitudes prevail and i think the leaders of the eu 27 feel more comfortable in their skins and therefore more prepared to deal with britain ina therefore more prepared to deal with britain in a businesslike way, rather than having to look over their shoulder at resurgence in our owi'i their shoulder at resurgence in our own backyard. stephanie baker, we are back again one way or another to the question of the money. there has to be a dealfrom the eu 27 point of view that doesn't make being outside the european union more attractive than being in it, and whether or not you are right, alexander, about other countries looking for an exit, there is always that fear that once one country has left, it was supposed to never happen and it is happening. but in terms of agreeing the money, there have to be compromises. has anybody done any proper analysis as to how much britain should be paying to leave? there was a report that
estimated 25—30 billion as a more realistic figure. in contrast to the 60 billion officials came up with. that is a bargaining position. it is, which is why theresa may might be prepared to pay more for future access, but this has never been done before, so we don't know, what is the trade—off? i will give you eu pensions if you give me the wine cellar? there are so many variables that need to be worked out, which is why she wants, sensibly, to do it simultaneously. obviously from the eu 27's point of view, uk wants to leave, that is fine, all they care about is the terms of departure. they don't need to give a future free—trade agreement with the uk. that is a secondary issue. and speaking to your point, i think brexit is all consuming
in this country, and i don't think it is in the other european capitals. it is lower down in the pecking order, and they think it has in some sense, given the fallout from the referendum, encouraged a degree of unity and taken the wind out of the sails of some of these populist movements on the continent. and recently, you see every weekend in germany thousands and thousands of people going on the street and protesting in favour of europe, so i still can't see why you think every german will think the eu is doomed. i think to be fair germany because of the way in which the euro was constructed has had an advantage, and i think the unhappiness within the european union, and again i recognise it is for eu countries to resolve their own fate, is in the south, greece, portugal, italy, spain, where the pain of the single currency has been felt. and we have this to talk about for months and months! let's move east. michael gove, you were a supporter
of brexit, a big advocate the russia, the most from innocent ofa number of the russia, the most from innocent of a number of politicians to accuse vladimir putin, he accused medvedev dev of corruption. he urged people to return to the streets to protest. that resulted in 1000 arrests. with him starting a 15—day prison sentence, those who go outside the law must be punished, growled mr putin from the arctic. there's more protests, inevitably. 0nce putin from the arctic. there's more protests, inevitably. once they start, they always continue. what is
the russian response? if we're seeing handcuffs, who we keep ratcheting up the reaction? first of all, corruption is a problem in russia. no—one is going to deny this. but russia is one of the few countries in the world, maybe china as well, where big politicians, well, cabinet ministers, actually, bankers, governors of vast regions are arrested and put in jail for corruption. give me another example of any country in the western world where such things happen. i don't know about such things. so there is a war on corruption. but u nfortu nately, a war on corruption. but unfortunately, this corruption problem has a western angle to it. you probably read about this russian money laundering in london and other places in the west. western banks are open to such money. and
u nfortu nately are open to such money. and unfortunately the problem is some of these officials, quite a few of them, in russia, all these sort of criminals, they move that money to the west. so until the west helps russia and the banks here stop accepting billions and billions of dollars coming from russia, to fight corruption in russia, is very difficult. it's the same with china, by the way. a lot of chinese money is coming into the western banks and nobody asks the question. nobody says anything. in regards to the protests themselves, i must say, they were not massive. i'm not trying to demean them or anything. 1000 plus people? they were not massive, but russian standards, that is not something like we had 2012. as for is not something like we had 2012. as foer is not something like we had 2012. as for mr navaly, he makes marine le
pen look like a schoolgirl with some of his statements, russia is only for russians, no immigrants, all that sort of stuff. you need to be careful about that sort of position. will there be a crackdown if these protests continue? i don't see large protests continue? i don't see large protests opinioning. navany don't have the support in the country, and putin has vast support, 80% plus. and another thing that people here probably don't understand is that the more the west putting pressure on putin, the more popular he is in russia. all these sanctions, all these constant reminders that russia is going to invade or attack or interfere like we have in washington, you know, russia is now deciding who the president of the us is going to be, this plays into his hands. of course, western banks are
enabling russian corruption, there is no doubt about it, and putin is incredibly popular and will likely win election next year. to say that the russian authorities would crack down on if it weren't for the terrible western banks is a bit ridiculous. the corruption goes to the heard of the russian government. the protests are interesting. they're different from the last protests in 2012, partly because they spread beyond moscow and st petersburg, teenagers and university students who don't get their news from russian state television, so they get their news from the internet. they're not only watching his youtube channel but videos of russian troops in eastern ukraine,
so russian troops in eastern ukraine, so how does the russian government deal — to stop these protests from spreading, saw the russian prosecutor—general block international pages of some of the protesters calling for new protest tomorrow. he's going to be have a ha rd tomorrow. he's going to be have a hard time reining in this new young kind of opposition movement that breathed new life into what was previously a moribund opposition. michael gove, you're just back from america. a time ago, they would have said they were on the side of the protesters on the street. but not 110w. protesters on the street. but not now. it is striking. there's certain people who, the former national security advisor michael flynn and the former campaign manager, paul manafort, absolutely in the gun
sights of congress and others, because of allegations of corruption and collusion. separate from that, the president and rex tillerson are looking for a reset. now, every previous president has sought a reset with mr putin. 0bama wanted one, bush wanted one. when bush became president and he met putin, he looked into his eyes and he could see his soul, and thought he was a good man. there would be disimlusionment. fundamentally, it's very difficult to see how any american president worth their salt can forge an understanding with putin when their strategy interests are not aligned and also when putin's incursions into the ukraine and his attitude towards his neighbours is not that of a country thatis neighbours is not that of a country that is respecting the national sovereignty of other states. your
country renewed your sanctions against russia. is there more to the relationship or is it frozen until president putin leaves office? there's a sense of powerlessness towards what is going on. you have seen the killing of nemtsov, people going to jail. there's a feeling of there's not much you can do. in berlin, they're looking at what is going on in washington and they're relieved for the time being that donald trump can't move on russia. he can't commit anything. he has been saying in the past he could lift sanctions. whatever he may now do towards russia is seen in the context of what is going on. must be very frustrating for some of the people in moscow who were celebrating when president trump was elected. we have seen hillary off.
and now his hands are tied. it's very important to understand what we're witnessing in washington is not an attack on russia. it's an attack on trump. and i find that it's quite amazing that people missome very important points. we have us congress trying along with intelligence agencies and all sorts of think tanks, to unseat the us president. which is remarkable. so in moscow, in the kremlin, they're quite bemused by what is going on. asi quite bemused by what is going on. as i said already, putin is approaching another election next yearin approaching another election next year in march, and he's basically not doing even anything because the west is doing everything for him. the election campaigners around for london, paris, berlin and washington. and fears among some, marginal at the moment, but word whispered, inpeachment, is said a bit louder now in washington that.
donald trump doesn't look as secure as he may have done. i think it's unlikely he'll be impeached with a republican—controlled congress. the interesting thing that happened this week, michael flynn, former national security advisor, his offer to testify before the house and senate in intelligence committees in exchange for immunity from prosecution. either he has something really explosive to drop, or he is worried that he's already violated so worried that he's already violated so many rules, he wanted to get something in exchange. we don't know that so far. the senate intelligence committee seems to have pushed back on his offerfor immunity and is not ready to entertain it. it's something for us to look forward to. thank you all very much for being with us on dateline this week. that's it for dateline london this week. you can comment on the
programme on twitter. thank you for watching. dojoin us again. hello, there. saturday brought some intense april showers, with hail and thunder and lightning reported widely. some cloud will be linger towards the north—east, even the odd shower, but notice it breaks up as it we go through the day. the best of the sunshine here in the morning, could bea sunshine here in the morning, could be a shower in eastern areas through
the second half of the day. but still, with lights winds and some sunshine, 13 to 17 would be very pleasant, with the best of the sunshine around some of the our coastlines in the afternoon. if the boat races do go ahead, it's much lighter than last weekend, when it was really quite choppy. and some sunshine should linger into monday, but again, a chilly start. a bit of patchy mist and fog to the drive to work, but england welcome to bbc news, i'm tom donkin. a landslide in southern colombia has left more than 200 people dead. police and rescue teams are at the scene but their efforts are being hampered by bad weather. many people are still missing and it is feared the number of people who lost their lives could rise. the local governor has called the situation in the southern city of mocoa "an unprecedented tragedy". sangita myska reports. urged on by soldiers, people living in the city of mocoa run for their lives. there is no time to collect possessions, because this