tv Dateline London BBC News February 10, 2018 4:30pm-5:01pm GMT
with my dateline london. with my colleague, jane hill. welcome to dateline london. this week, we're discussing theresa may in china, trying to increase trade before brexit, whilst trading blows with the european union, and even some of her own colleagues. donald trump delivered his first state of the union address at the end of his first year as us president. he vowed to end the era of "economic surrender in trade" — who does he mean? and is it a bad business for the middle east if military he said a transition period isn't a
given, that the uk's decision to quit the customs union and single market means irish border checks are unavoidable. the british cabinet minister in charge of it says that he was surprised by the comments after a ll he was surprised by the comments after all the work that was going on. ian, i am after all the work that was going on. ian, iam hoping that after all the work that was going on. ian, i am hoping that you are the man to tell us and explain... well, this was bitten‘s attempt to leave... we have really outdone ourselves this time. what is going on is that the cabinet is split it doesn't yet have in agreed negotiating position in terms of what it must ask the european union for in march, when the next round of talks begin. the european union has
its own problems as well. there are a lot of moving parts in what is turning almost into a crisis. but it is happening. it is almost a year to go until brexit. i suspect there will be some deal at some point, but britain is not doing its reputation for diplomatic skill any good at the moment. it just seems bizarre that this close to brexit the cabinet and the prime minister, who is under a lot of pressure and under pressure from some conservatives to go, do not yet know exactly what sort of relationship they want with the european union afterwards. and you think that is still the genuine case inside the cabinet? it is not a question of actually we don't want to reveal everything, we don't want to reveal our hands to the public or indeed to anyone in brussels?
you think there is still, despite the fact we are meant to have had this cabinet meeting where some of these things were thrashed out recently, theyjust can't reach agreement? i think we have got to be careful of exaggerating that because the cabinet has moved a long way since the brexit referendum 20 months ago, so they are agreed that the uk is leaving the european single market, agreed that it is leaving the customs union, which it has to because that is in the european treaties. there is an argument about what nature of free trade agreement they should try and seek with the eu and if the eu would allow the uk to have such a deal. the primary sticking point is customs arrangements and whether the uk signed a replacement for the existing customs union, something like turkey has because turkey is a member of a different customs union with the eu, or whether the uk tries to do it all through a free trade agreement with some sort of agreement on other standards and regulation and that sort of stuff. so you would expect by now they are to be in a clear position on that.
as i say, they have moved a long way. the uk is leaving, it is leaving in probably in a much harder brexit than might have been the case a year ago or a year and a half ago. it is having a pure brexit if you like. but on that final sticking point, the customs union, that could be where there is a lot of parliamentary fireworks over the course of the next six months. that might be where mps... remember theresa may does not have a majority, or a majority with the help of a minority party, that might be the point at which a rebellion in the house of commons brings the whole thing crashing down. agnes, how do your friends and contacts in other european countries read what is going on? well, it is nice to hear iain because he is somebody who is in favour of brexit. very much so. he sounds reasonable. i wish you were doing the negotiation actually. we are in enough trouble as it is. you are talking about comedy and farce and i will try not to laugh because i receive e—mails saying stop laughing whenever brexit is mentioned.
but the problem is you are among the very few sober, reasonable, pragmatic, likeable brexiteers i know. i am sure you will admit it yourself, you can understand what the british government is doing and some brexiteers like jacob rees mogg, who do so badly for the image of britain because friends of britain like me on the continent don't understand what is going on. one day we are bemused, another day we are laughing our heads off and other days we are in despair. this week i thought, i thinkjeremy corbyn would do such a betterjob than theresa may in terms of negotiating brexit. he is a eurosceptic, he is a brexiteer, jeremy corbyn, although he belongs to a party that is pro—european and he would do such a betterjob. i admire michel barnier in brussels
because they are keeping their cool. if we look back at december, brussels helped theresa may save face. they said, ok, this is fine, eu citizens will retain their rights during the transition period. in march we are going to move on to start negotiating trade deals. and there is the customs union, so if you don't belong to it, you need a hard border. but brussels and ironically jean—claude juncker, the head of the european commission, did intervene to rescue theresa may and the british position, but it is worth asking
why that happened. a lot of that was to do with pressure from german industry. with pressure from jean—claude juncker, a former prime minister of luxembourg. the luxembourg economy is essentially an offshoot of the city of london. there are other things happening in european politics. germany does not have a government. germany are not the strongest... is michel barnier and jean—claude juncker keeping their cool, to take your phrase, or are they sabre rattling? are they deliberately so, trying to remind people that time is running out? i think they are saying, what is the truth? the thing that concerns me about this is that is somewhat artistic quality to this british, internal negotiation. it is as if the cabinet can decide what it wants, it will happen. the japanese trade delegation, senior executives who went to downing street this week, and for them to put their head above the parapet, the way
japanese businessmen work, to hint that they are unhappy about the way things are going because they produce half the cars that britain makes and half of those get exported to europe, and if it goes through a non—european union arrangement, those are 10% tariffs at least. some of these parts move across the channel three times before they end up in the car and all the backlog at the ports. you can see how unbelievably difficult it is. gary younge said the brexiteers i like the dog that chased the car and finally caught it. they don't really know what to do, they can't drive it. i feel that all of this wrangling internally when you are facing an entity were 27 countries each can veto whatever is accomplished, even if german manufacturing was a little bit more leeway, now they can get that fudge and everyone is willing to give britain a little more time. ijust don't see this working out. it is the negotiation. one of the main thing
is the european union wants and needs to have a transition for is because its budget round goes up to 2020 and the uk as the second—largest contributor is due to pay £10 billion a year. it is a significant sum. and trade losses and all the other things is a rounding error. you try asking german electors at the moment to stump up an extra 20 billion quid because the uk does not get given a transition deal. i think a deal probably will happen. i am acknowledging the brits are making a mess of it primarily because they are trying to do it without a functioning prime minister. the british system is like a school. essentially when you know that the headteacher has lost control and has no authority there is complete bedlam and chaos amongst the pupils. that is why i advocated straight after she lost her majority that the uk needed a new prime minister, someone to actually set a clear direction.
i think there probably will be a deal but it is a mess. yes. 0k. that is enough brexit for now. plenty more to come in future weeks. let's turn to matters elsewhere because much too many people's surprise jacob zuma is still president of south africa. he has refused to resign and hand over to cyril ramaphosa despite repeated requests from senior anc officials. the parliament took the highly unusual step this week of postponing the sake of the union address, worried about protests and disruption. —— state of the union address. jacob zuma has always denied the numerous charges of corruption that are against him. nesrine, are you surprised he is still there or is he always the great fighter? i am surprised that he finally has been challenged because it looked like for a long time until very
recently that zuma wasn't going to go away. any time soon because he just had so much of the credibility and the vested historical legitimacy of the anc. he has been at it for decades and there really were not other figures that could match his historical status. what is going on right now is the intersection of a lot of things in south africa. number one, people feel that he should notjust go, that he should be held accountable for crimes and corruption. there is another school that thinks we do not want to actually have egg on the face of the anc. this is the man in which the entire anti—apartheid victory was invested after jade nelson mandela and he should be allowed to go with dignity. there is cyril ramaphosa who thinks— who is caught in between in that he does not want to be tainted by him, but he also does not want to look like he is completely cutting links with the history of the anc. so it is kind of lesson about him and more about the history of post—apartheid, black led politics in south africa.
-- less about him and more about —— less about him and more about the history. and how people do not want it to be sullied as a failed experiment in corruption and how other people feel about and should be passed sea mlessly a nd effortlessly and jacob zuma knows all of this and he is just sitting tight hoping that he can negotiate the best deal which is his salary and pension and not giving up a penny of his perks and benefits etc. so what happens to him ultimately depends on which one of these factions wins and which way cyril believes is best for his leadership going forward. where are those voices saying all these multiple charges of corruption, which he denies, but there has been so much for so many other years and other matters besides, not just financial, where are the voices saying this is tarnishing the brand?
they are there and they feel that for the anc to be able to break with this tiniest past there needs to be accountability, but like i said earlier, there is also another defensive group, which i kind of understand, that thinks, it is corruption but it is our corruption and we need to make it go away quietly and not give other people the chance to weaponise jacob zuma's corruption against the anc in general. or we have to continue it. once corruption gets set into complicated institutions like this, he is not the only one taking money and usually the change goes on the bottom up to the top. it is a tough thing for cyril ramaphosa, assuming he doesn't get into power. there are institutions that are fighting corruption and it is a complicated country with the press and the persecutors, factions within the anc and the other parties, they are all still trying to make it clean, but it will be very difficult after a long history of corruption for the next person to get rid of it, notjust for historical reasons,
but because there are people with their hands out. and that is cyril ramaphosa's problem right now. he does not want to looked like he is sanctioning discontinuation of a corrupt system which does not begin and end with jacob zuma, but at the same time he does not want to basically rattle the infrastructure of corruption which exists, so he does not want to make it look like... it reminds me of the transition of the santos in angola who when he left his position and handed it to other people made sure that this network of patronage and corruption, it is less corruption it is patronage basically, and made sure it existed so he could still maintain his interests and his network exists. it exists in business, in the economy, it is one of the reasons why the south african economy is in such dire straits and has been for such a long time. it is because there is this sort of cabal of business interests that runs it. also the trade unions.
the most troubling aspect of this is the economic component in that just look at the numbers. you are looking at unemployment above 25%, living standards have gone backwards. if you get this change and it happens, then we all have to hope it makes some kind of difference, but he is still really going to be as a former trade unionist and businessman himself a creature of those interests. trade unions are incredibly powerful. the communist party in south africa is a very powerful component of that coalition, holding it all together. what south africa needs is radical economic reform. it need market—driven reforms to encourage foreign investment. it needs reform of its political system so that you have stability and the rule of law and corruption
is driven out. he may well get office, but good luck to him. does that benefit people? precisely. and then the elections are coming up. it is one of those examples in the world where you think what will it actually take when you look at those economic numbers and the corruption and cronyism in built in the economy, what will it take for voters to try something different? one of the lessons of global politics in the last few years is people when tested strange things can happen and new forces can emerge. i wonder whether south africa is one of those places. the problem with the anc is it is sort of like the muslim brotherhood in the arab world. they have spent so much time in opposition that once the establishment was overthrown there is nothing else, so there are too many people that still associate the anc with an anti—apartheid opposition. it will take a long time for another party or another
body politic to develop. it is also a history of apartheid and a history of who was in opposition at the time? if i may i do not see jacob zuma ever going to jail because of that. he is such a smooth operator and in all these scandals he looks like teflon man. the next election is next year and the hard bet is really for cyril ramaphosa and he is going to negotiate something. they are playing at outsmarting each other, but in the end of the anc is going to hang onto power i think. so, there were huge cheers from the crowd in the olympic stadium in pyeongchang as athletes from north and south korea arrived under one flag during the opening ceremony of the winter games. now as the sporting competition is under way, the north's kimjong—un has invited the south korean president, moonjae—in, for talks in pyongyang.
it would be the first meeting of korean leaders in more than ten years. how do all of us think we should be reading this invitation? jeff, can i start with you? i think why not? pretty interesting. i think for the north it is a no—brainer. they have got the nuclear weapons, the hydrogen bomb, the missiles that continue to fly. why not appear to be magnanimous, why not make it harder for truck to do the bloody nose attack that washington keeps talking about? —— harderfor —— harder for trump. why not divide south korea to some degree from washington and japan? it is a very skilful thing. it does not cost him anything. trump interestingly might try in his inimitable way to take credit. "i have been rattling my sabre, now something is happening, let's see what happens." that is the dealmaker of trump. in fact, there is no solution to the north korean nuclear problem. they have got the weapons they are not giving them up, there is nothing except a war that would stop it and there are a lot of voices in washington that understand this. but this makes this much harder for him to try anything radical
even if mike pence is saying it is an evil regime and we have to fight, fight. it is notjoining up with what is going on in south korea. mike pence looked particularly uncomfortable during the opening ceremony. he did not really know where to look. i have to say i am always very sceptical when the olympics and the ioc get involved in a political story. it is one of the most political organisations... has the ioc got anything to do with this? and questionable organisations or movements. north korea will not listen to trump, but they will listen to the ioc! just think what the payoff is worth! look at the political rhetoric at the opening about unity. they even had john lennon's imagine some at the opening ceremony. i am pretty wary of it really having much of a political impact. i think it is really ultimately
about the sport and i am not a great fan of winter sports. like lots of people you do end up getting sucked into watching this extraordinary display of people you have never heard of and boys you don't know the rules for. and somehow it is captivating. but i do think there is a legitimate claim that trump can make that the fact that he has kind of kept the north koreans guessing has created some sort of movement. it may be that it has encouraged the north koreans to do something which, as you suggest, is to their advantage. but there is movement where there was not any movement before. but the south has also been making moves. it was the south that said bring this big, hefty delegation to our wonderful winter olympics. this is a man in the south who was elected partly on a platform of trying to engage a little more. but i think there are is something people do not realise. we think of north korea as an isolated country. south korea and north korea are not completely as alienated from each other as people think. there are families that are supposed
to cross the two countries. south korea is very sympathetic to north korea's position. it is not what you would expect. people assume the south korean population is threatened and annoyed by this north korean neighbour. if they are threatened and annoyed by the north korean regime, you look at the number of people at risk of a north korean attack, that is what drives people in seoul. a dictator just north of them with weapons. but there is also a not insignificant amount of fraternal prankster between the two countries that i think people underestimate. the second thing is, maybe trump can claim, if the movement is because trump has been sabre rattling, i think we can claim that is something that trump did
but i don't think it was because he was particularly strident or threatening. i think maybe this is the beginning of some sort of global sorrow solidarity of people hating trump and sort of getting together. a perverse motivation for all the little people to get together and for all the falling out countries to get together because the one thing everyone can agree on is that they hate trump. i am not sure that is true for the japanese. one of the main things he is trying to do is to help the japanese who are understandably incredibly concerned. so he has a play with china which he is worried about comic he is worried about chinese expansion. he wants to reassure the japanese that he has their back.
and the real dividing line and the american fear is that the south koreans would be prepared to do a deal with north korea that did not have a nuclear question addressed within it because nuclear weapons are in the north. we are not talking about kim jong—un but for all the talk that he is a madman and a lunatic, which i never bought into, i think that was really clever what he is doing. i do not think we should underestimate north korea in this. we are talking about trump, but it comes from north korea. in the same way you have them parading missiles in the streets of the country and then he sends his sister to south korea and they are having kimchi, fermented cabbage, together and everything is going to be well. i think we should not underestimate north korea and every little helps and like you i am not a great fan of the ioc or winter sports
but it is soft power. in the region and injapan, they don't know what to do any more with all of those missiles fly over their heads. so wait and see. but i think it is a clever move. soft power can be beneficial. a sporting event does not have to be just a figleaf? it can boil some wheels. -- oil some wheels. is there an endgame possible with the north korean regime? the way it is. unbelievably barbaric, brutal, willing to do anything to stay in power. will they be willing to make any significant concessions? there have been rapprochement to periods with the south before and they got closer and then they got away again. you can see ways that it might be possible that the south would like to make some kind of deal, but the nuclear weapons are probably off the table because the north koreans are not going to give them up,
that is their regime protection against trump and anybody else who wants to do something about it. that means a deal internationally is not feasible. but in the long run it is like iran. you have to deal row with realities. and the un. what we hope is that the regime collapses with its own weight but the north korean regime is a regime like nothing else on earth. i am old—fashioned, i am on the side of democracy and japan. we allare. right now we have to draw it to a close because we are all very keen to get away and watch the bobsleigh and the ice skating. thank you very much indeed. i have to let you leave, particularly ian, to continue his enthusiastic viewing of the winter olympics. that is all for this week. i hope you canjoin us again next week at the same. well the weather has been so up and
down the last few days. we are back in the mild air temporarily today and from tonight, it is going to turn will hold once again. in fact, rain and snow heading our way. on top of that, we have got some very strong winds, as well. that will affect central and northern areas of the uk. this is the card that is costing the —— crossing the country right now. there is a bit of a spending which is a sign of the developing or intensifying of the weather front. by the time that we get the afternoon, the rain starts
marching in after that brief spell of slightly brighter weather. but, still across much of england and wales, we are in between weather systems. 0ne clearing the way, east here. this is the next one coming in behind it. you can see these snow showers which will be in place in the uk in the next 2a hours. so, here is the low pressure. you can see the wet weather and be snow. lots of snow mixing in. mostly falling across scotland and the southern uplands, there. bring to be self, and the isobars, there. going through the irish sea. certainly around liverpool, very windy. transferring across some eastern pa rt transferring across some eastern part of the country like lincolnshire. temperatures above freezing, but called in the north. not far off freezing. tomorrow, the deals will be pushing out to sea, and coasts of lincolnshire and east anglia very windy for a time. and then, basically, a mixture of sunny
spells and frequent wintry showers. the frequent wintry showers will be across northern areas, one' in the south—east. temperatures around a degree is in itself, but it will not feel like it in the strong winds. this is sunday night. we are in the cold air. look how far south be mild air has been rushed. this is thejet strea m air has been rushed. this is thejet stream that is driving our weather. into monday, as well, you can see wintry showers across the north, but also quite a bit of sunshine around us, as well. come monday. with temperatures coming up to around 80 degrees. goodbye. this is bbc news. the headlines at 5pm... the haitian ambassador tells the bbc his government wants 0xfam to explain how it dealt with allegations of aid workers paying for sex. the worst part is when they say if those crimes were reported
to the haitian authorities no action would have been taken — it's really an insult. israel attacks dozens of syrian targets after one of its f—16 jets came under anti—aircraft fire and crashed. at least 18 people are dead and 60 injured as a double—decker bus overturns in hong kong. also in the next hour... britain's bid for an olympic title at the 2018 winter olympics. this is great skating from elise christie,