tv Dateline London BBC News April 3, 2017 3:30am-4:01am BST
to use children as human shields in the battle for mosul. it comes as the militants are all but surrounded in the old centre of iraq's second city and there's a growing concern over civilian casualties. president trump has indicated that the united states would be prepared to act alone to counter the nuclear threat from north korea. in an interview with the financial times newspaper, mr trump is quoted as saying the us could take unilateral action if china did not put more pressure on pyongyang. more than 200 people, many of them children, have died in landslides in colombia's southern city of mocoa. the colombian army and emergency services are helping in the search. but with many others injured or missing, the country's president says the final death toll is impossible to predict. now on bbc news, dateline london. hello and and welcome
to dateline london. 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, 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. ichael 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? no, 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's 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? this is still to be seen. it's remarkable...
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 had 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. any 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 would 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, they just 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? nobody talks about that. secondly, i think the remainers are being allowed a voice
and being more tribal, whereas the brexit people seem to be apologising all that time, apologising to leave. i am 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 tells me she has no chance. but coming back to the europe thing, the important thing to understand is that everybody's 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're leaving, if you don't give us what we want, we just walk away, europe will sink." can i just interrupt? i'm 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. 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. holland is going well, austria too. 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. there are others looking at leaving. so why did we see so much 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... 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 forfear 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 i think the leaders of the eu feel more comfortable in their skins and more prepared to deal with britain in a businesslike way rather than having to look over their shoulder at insurgents in their 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 it 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—30,000,000,000 as a figure. 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. 0bviously 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. corruption is not a word you hear much in british politics. in russia, though, last weekend alexei navalny, the most prominent of a relatively small number of politicians to publicly oppose president putin, produced a report accusing dmitry medvedev, prime minister turned president turned prime minister again, of corruption. he urged people to take to the streets to protest. for muscovites, that resulted in more than 1,000 arrests. the week ended with mr navalny serving the start of a 15—day prison sentence. "those who go outside the law must be punished", growled mr putin, from the arctic. lexander, there are going to be more protests, inevitably. that is the nature of the beast, once protests have started, they always continue. what will be the russian response?
we're already seeing handcuffs on mr navalny. do keep ratcheting up that reaction? first of all, corruption is a problem in russia. nobody will deny this. but russia is one of the few countries in the world, maybe china as well, where a big politicians, or cabinet ministers, actually, bankers, governors of vast regions are arrested and put injailfor corruption. give me another example of any country in the western world where such things happen? i do not know about such things. there is a war on corruption, but unfortunately, this corruption problem has a western angle to it. you probably read about the russian money—laundering in london and other places in the west. u nfortu nately, western ba nks are open to such money. unfortunately, the problem is that some of these officials,
quite a few of them in russia, all these sort of criminals, they move that money to the west. until the west helps russia and the banks stop accepting billions and billions of dollars coming from russia, to fight corruption in russia is very difficult. it is the same with china, by the way. lots of chinese money is coming into western banks. nobody asks the question, nobody says anything. as regard to the protests themselves, i must say, they were not massive. i am not trying to demean them. 1000 plus people on the streets of moscow? by russian standards, that was not something like we had in 2012. that was not massive. as for mr navalny. he makes marine le pen look like a schoolgirl with some of his statements. russia is only for russians,
no immigrants, that sort of stuff. you have to be careful. as to my question, more of a crackdown if these protests continue? i do not really see large protest continuing. navalny does not have the support in the country. still, putin has vast support, 80% plus. another thing which people here do not understand is that the more the west puts pressure on putin, the more popular he is in russia. all these sanctions, the constant reminders that russia is going to invade or attack, or interfere, like we have in washington, 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. of course putin is popular and will likely win re—election next year but to say that the only reason that russian corruption is continuing, that the russian authorities would crackdown if it were not for the western banks, that is ridiculous. the corruption goes to the heart of the russian government. the protests are interesting. they are different from the last protests in 2012, partly because they spread beyond moscow and st petersburg to nearly 100 russian cities, but most importantly because of the number of young people that came out to protest. teenagers and university students who do not get their news from russian state television. they get their news from the internet, so they are watching not only navalny's youtube channel, they are watching videos of russian troops in eastern ukraine. how does the russian government deal with, what does it do to stop these
protests from spreading? already we have seen the russian prosecutor general block internet pages of some of the protesters, calling for new protest tomorrow. he is going to have a hard time reining in this new, young opposition movement that has breathed new life into what has previously been a moribund, demoralised opposition. michael gove, you're back from washington. there was a time when america would have been very publicly saying it was on the side of the protesters on the streets. presumably not at the moment, with the administration of president trump, giving the difficulties he is facing over the relationship between some in his campaign team and the russians? yes, it is striking. the former national security adviser, mike flynn, and the former campaign manager, they are in the downsides
of congress and others because of allegations of corruption and collusion, but separate from that, or so it appears, the president and rex tillerson are looking for a reset. every previous president has sought a reset with mr putin. president 0bama wanted one, president bush wanted one. bush said he looked into his eyes and said he thought he was a good man. i think there will be a disillusionment. fundamentally, it is very difficult to see how any american president worth their salt can forge an understanding with putin when there are strategic interests are not aligned, and also when putin's incursions into the ukraine and his attitude towards his neighbours is not that of the country which is respecting the national sovereignty of other states.
europe has renewed its sanctions against russia, but there is there to the relationship now, or is it frozen until president putin finally leaves office, whenever that is, stefanie bolzen? there is a feeling of being powerless against what is going on in russia, and we have seen protests in the past, the past, the killing of boris nemtsov, we have seen one person go to jail. he is now living in london. there is a feeling that there is not much that we can do. in looking at what is going on in washington, and they're probably relieved that for the time being donald trump cannot really move on russia, he cannot commit anything. he has said in the past that he would lift sanctions. but whatever he might now do towards russia will be seen in the context of what is going on. it must be very frustrating for some of those people in moscow who were celebrating when president trump was elected, this is a man we can do business with, not like dreadful hillary clinton, we have seen her off, but now his hands are tied? what we are witnessing in washington
is not an attack on washington, it is an attack on trump. —— not an attack on russia. people have missed this point. the us congress, is trying, along with intelligence agencies, to unseat the us president. that is remarkable. in moscow, in the kremlin, they are quite bemused by what is going on. putin is approaching another election next year in march. he is basically not doing anything, because the west is doing everything for him. the election campaign is run from london, paris, berlin and washington. there must be marginalfears among some, the word whispered, impeachment, maybe it is being said a little bit louder in washington than it might have been a few months ago. donald trump does not look as secure as he did.
it is unlikely that he will be impeached with the republican—controlled congress. this week, michael flynn, the former national security adviser, his offer to testify before the house and senate intelligence committees in exchange for immunity from prosecution. that indicates that perhaps he had something really explosive to drop, or is he is worried that he has all ready violated so many rules he wants to get something in exchange. we do not know that so far. the senate intelligence committee seems to have pushed back on his offer for unity, and is not ready to entertain it. —— immunity. it could take months for that to pan out. that is something to look forward to. thank you all very much for being with us on dateline this week. you can comment on the programme on
twitter. hello that, last week we have the warmest day of the year so far with 22 degrees recorded on thursday. this week, we keep the dry theme but just that bit fresher. as a consequence through the night, we could see some chilly nights and a touch of light frost in rural parts. we start off today with a little bit of patchy mist and fog in places. it will lift away. decent spells of sunshine through central and eastern parts of the uk. weather fronts
working their way in from the west will bring breezy conditions and showery outbreaks of rain. a bit more disappointing. highest values in the sunshine, 18 degrees, not out of the question. as we go through monday night and into tuesday, we see the weather fronts crossing their way bringing of rainby , ~ ~ ~ of 5; rain by dawn ' " " ; 1 " of 5; rain by dawn on' " ; 1 " outbreaks of drizzly rain by dawn on tuesday morning. somewhat fresher conditions but breezy, shah worry rather into the farther north and west. largely dry elsewhere. —— it will stay a bit more cloudy. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's tom donkin.
the top stories: flying over the front line. we have an exclusive report from mosul where islamic state fighters appear to be using children as human shields. we are now over old mosul where the battle is at its fiercest. there are many civilians trapped in the narrow alleys. waiting and hoping. parents of missing children in colombia help in the search for their loved ones. among the 200 people killed in devastating mudslides. president trump says the united states would be prepared to act alone to counter any nuclear threat from north korea. as campaigners protest at the unsolved murders of mexico's