tv Dateline London BBC News March 24, 2018 11:30am-12:01pm GMT
hello and a very warm welcome to dateline london, i'mjane hill. this week we reflect on the european summit and hopes for successful brexit talks. russia was also much—discussed in brussels. and we'll question what can or should be done to regulate social media platforms, in the light of continuing revelations about facebook and cambridge analytica. my guests this week: the guardian columnist nesrine malik. the writer thomas kielinger, a correspondent for many years for germany's die welt. john fisher burns of the new york times. and bronwen maddox, now at the think tank the institute for government, previously with the economist and the times. welcome to you all. so, is there finally some momentum in the brexit talks? at a summit in brussels this week, eu leaders approved the guidelines for the negotiation of future relations with the uk, and while that was expected, observers picked up on a degree of optimism about the whole process that perhaps hasn't been seen before. britain's departure from the bloc wasn't of course the only matter under discussion.
there was wholehearted support for theresa may's robust stance against russia in the wake of the salisbury poisoning, a russian double agent and his daughter remain unconscious in hospital after they were attacked with a nerve agent in a usually quiet westcountry town three weeks ago. let's start with "brexit". bronwen, on brexit, theresa may says she thinks there was a new spirit of co—operation and opportunity, do you agree? momentum is too big a word for it, they move forwards, that is all my chris and they agreed a transition and agreed to begin the first phase of thoughts about future trading relationship itself. as each side move relationship itself. as each side m ove very relationship itself. as each side move very much? well, a bit... britain got some of what it wanted, the ability to stop trade talks with other countries during the so—called transition period and the eu got a bit of what it wanted, you might have free trade on goods but we will not do an awful lot about services.
still looking at something may be more ambitious. in other free—trade deals we have done. but i think that the language was different on both sides and there was a desire to move forwards. she's not exaggerating that. there is an awful lot of hurdles and some of those have simply been picked up and moved down the road, not very far down the road, in the case of the irish border, moved to may, where people have too agree what to do with it. there was a desire to move forward, thatis there was a desire to move forward, that is good enough. would you echo that is good enough. would you echo that reading? i have an additional thought about why the atmosphere was so thought about why the atmosphere was so good, and that is, we owe it to russia, for this to have happened! the russian threat has led to these diverse nations to come together, more closely, and put their disagreement with britain behind them for the moment, disagreement with britain behind them forthe moment, and disagreement with britain behind them for the moment, and realise this is no way that we can hold
brexit against london, we had to find a common platform to countenance the real threat of the future, which is not what britain will do with her own country after she exits the european union, the real threat is, how to cope with russia in the absence of america as a main partner. we do not have america to fall back on, it is totally unpredictable, this entity, oi'i totally unpredictable, this entity, on the world stage, now. in the meantime, europe had better look after herself and come together. theresa may was helped by this new awareness in europe, that really, we come at a crunch time, and this man, vladimir putin, is to be contained. there is a new sense of a news for containment. that issue minds. resident putin thanked much so. resident putin thanked theresa may for increasing the size of the majority by which he was re—elected. —— president putin.
of the majority by which he was re-elected. -- president putin. and there is a new coherence behind the european position. we will talk more about russia, nesrine, john, your thoughts, what optimism do you have on brexit? it feels there is a changed tone on both sides, there is a sense that the eu is bullying the british into a position, nor is there a view that the british are being unreasonable but the reason for that, is because britain has made quite a few concessions, or, actually, as you said, kick it down the road, and that might be quite a smart thing to do for the initial stage, which is to get it moving, let's get unstuck from the first stage of negotiations. and then do the resolution of the fine print afterwards. and so i think, all said and done, it is at the expense of britain, more than it is at the
expense of european union. but i agree that there is a sharpening of minds, notjust because of russia but also because of the us, there is a sense that there is not... there isa a sense that there is not... there is a threat, there is an abandonment, on the part of the us, that focuses minds, because you cannot really depend upon the us in terms of nato, foreign policy support, to act as able walk against russia, and you have a rising threat from russia. so if there was at least rhetorically some motivation oi'i least rhetorically some motivation on the part of the eu to be provocative, or triumphant, that has been dampened, i think. —— act as a bulwark. the russia point that was made, i think that is absolutely fundamental, the europe that was rediscovered in the events of salisbury and elsewhere, paradoxically in part because of the link between our security services and the american security services.
which have been helpful in resolving, or at least, tracking down those responsible for quite a numberof down those responsible for quite a number of terrorist attacks, across europe as well as in the uk. i think there is also another factor in all of this, which is that we in the press and in particular the westminster lobby press tends, because politics is an mostly binary business, we tend to take a binary view of things, and after all, we like controversy and drama. and as the third stage of these negotiations is upon us now, i think there is a sign of sobering up and a realisation, what they used to say of apartheid south africa, that the problems have to be worked out because the alternative is too ghastly to contemplate. it seems to me we reached that point some time ago, we made some pretty and porting
concessions, the europeans are also coming to the realisation that there has to be a working out of these problems. there are some big problems, the irish border is one of the biggest problems. and we have been talking about that from the get go and still, it comes up every time isa go and still, it comes up every time is a major issue. we will find a way through that, and the question of financial services, and my reckoning is, on both of those issues, we will find common ground. and a year or more from now we will look back and think, we made much too much of this, it was always going to be an accommodation. sensible minds on both sides would see to it that that is what happens. actually, brussels has been saying this, that it is coming down with the compromise. the famous brussels fudge as we used to call it. my also pertain, we will see what the consequence will be, and too often contemplate... the
whole business of brexit is too big to fail. i wish i could be so reassured, but the line the eu has taken through this is that this is a threat to the european project of the single market, all very well for the single market, all very well for the brits to talk pragmatically about middle ways and compromises but we really cannot compromise because it will bring down the whole project. we don't want other countries following suit. we see the change in tone... the threat has been blown out of proportion. inaudible the question of other european nations following suit can be looked at in nations following suit can be looked atina nations following suit can be looked at in a different way, there is a dynamic, i have said this on the programme before, under way dynamic, i have said this on the programme before, underway in europe, most of easily represented re ce ntly by europe, most of easily represented recently by the result of the italian elections which means that european leaders have not only to find a way to accommodate vexatious business of "brexit" but they must watch their backs because there is quite a knot of other eu states which share views of the direction the eu has taken, the federalist
direction. —— there is quite a lot of other eu states. not so dissimilar to ours of other eu states. not so dissimilarto ours and of other eu states. not so dissimilar to ours and quite a number shared common views on focus issue of immigration. number shared common views on focus issue of immigrationlj number shared common views on focus issue of immigration. i wish i could share this optimism that things will be worked out in the end but it is not a threat, the eu is not threatening the uk, it is very pragmatic, this language of adversarial threat and enmity, and trying to bully the uk, it is really unhelpful, because... it is not personal, no one in the eu wants to punish the uk because it is in their interests that the uk does well. if there is any unhelpful time, if there is any unhelpful time, if there is any threats, it is coming from the right flank of the conservative party, that seems to, whenever progress is made, either participate in publicity hijinks, like throwing fish from boats, on the thames... dead fish, to protest
against deals on fisheries, or, stand and objects to every single thing that has been achieved by saying, this is going to be a compromise and it is going to delete ha rd compromise and it is going to delete hard brexit. ithink compromise and it is going to delete hard brexit. i think this view that the eu is either going to kowtow in the eu is either going to kowtow in the end for pragmatic reasons or because they are in a weaker position, has become mainstream because of the propaganda of the tory party, which is the rational party in all of this, i feel. let me put the record straight on what i meant to say, by threat i did not meant to say, by threat i did not mean they are threatening over london, i feel they feel it is a threat to themselves, as a major player, that britain leads the european union, and what we do with the rest of us, starting with a budget, a huge amount of money needs to fill the gap in the budget, so they feel a threat for themselves. the bridge movement is unsettling the eu. itotally
the bridge movement is unsettling the eu. i totally agree with you, fortunately, we have moved beyond threatening each other. i think it is going too far to give jean—claude juncker a waiver is going too far to give jean—claude junckera waiver in is going too far to give jean—claude juncker a waiver in all of this, and indeed, angela merkel as well, she has said some pretty provocative things. if we look at theresa may's handling of this, she has been studious for the most part, for the la st studious for the most part, for the last couple of years. in trying to lower the temperature, and introduce... the tory party the irrational party? that is overstating it, nesrine, this issue is split, political parties and their leaders are purging. is split, political parties and their leaders are purginglj is split, political parties and their leaders are purging. i meant their leaders are purging. i meant the rational part of the tory party, as opposed to the tory party en masse. they wouldn't call themselves that... they would give you reasons why not. we don't have time to go into all the reasons. on the russia point, following the poisoning of
the spy here in the uk, the former spyr the spy here in the uk, the former spy, what is your best guess as to how other european countries might go on to react now? we have seen tit—for—tat expulsions, london, moscow, are we likely to see more of that? european reaction to this? it's interesting, it has already been more emphatic than i expected, i thought the reaction at theresa may had on the first three days after saying, will you come and support us, is probably the most she was going to get in terms of qualified support, and then something stronger, saying, there seems to be no closer plausible as the nation. —— plausible explanation. i think europe very much wants to make sure that the security piece remains integrated, and so on. people are very concerned. but across europe, about
what russia is up to. it seems to me, vladimir putin will in time come to look on the events in salisbury asa to look on the events in salisbury as a disaster. i will be surprised if you looks on anything as a disaster! he has such an ability to... fascinating subject for another day, but something we will be watching and doubtless following on the programme. no apparent end in sight to the controversy around facebook. cambridge analytica has the data of 50 million facebook users may have been illegally harvested. could tracking people's personal information, and thereby producing targeting advertising, have swayed the us presidential election? or britain's vote to leave the eu? both companies deny any wrongdoing. but is it now time for international regulation of these platforms? is that possible or desirable?
don't people know what they're signing up to? who would like to kick off on the next ordinary topic that is mired... we must calm down a little bit, every new media, certainly the newspapers, in the 18th century, radio and television in the 20th century, now social media, every new media has been a cause of concern, even panic, about manipulation of opinion. there is a tremendous potential in social media for doing that. but in the end it seems to me that. but in the end it seems to me that what we know, as opposed to what we may imagine to be true in this case, suggests that what was donein this case, suggests that what was done in this case was not so different, was an extension of what had already been done before. indeed we know that brittany coates, senior
official at facebook, has said that she was involved in doing very similar things on behalf of the obama administration. brittany kaiser ——. what has happened is that technology has advanced. —— brittany kaiser. great opportunities for gathering this meta data. and in the end, we need to rememberwho gathering this meta data. and in the end, we need to remember who is sovereign in all of this, it is the voting public army you can put data in front of people, you can put it on youtube, it is up to them to decide who they vote for. the last point i would say, hasn't this got something to do with just out toxic donald trump has become, brexit in its own way has become, that if manipulation... using personal data... isn't it more that the public feel anyone who uses facebook perhaps, they feel betrayed...
embarrassed? i have seen cases of this in my own family, where i would have wished that my own daughter, for example, had been a little more careful than she has sometimes been on her acrobat facebook entries, and yes, there is probably room for legislative and regulatory tightening in all of this but it is worth asking, if there would be so much fuss about this if the alleged beneficiaries of what had happened, with cambridge analytica and facebook, had been hillary clinton and the remain campaign instead of villages. the toxicity of trump and brexit has added a twist. —— instead of brexit and hillary
clinton —— donald trump. instead of brexit and hillary clinton -- donald trump. take back control, the brexit slogan, the individual users of facebook must ta ke individual users of facebook must take back control and be more careful with what they do, unfortunately, so many people spell facebook with f-a-i-t-h. where is the individual responsibility, where is the balance between companies being clear and individual responsibility. one is how people make their political decisions, i am from saddam, people make decisions on what forward they receive on whats app, fake documents circulate, my mother would even be like, well, a spyr mother would even be like, well, a spy, sent to prison, he was not a spyr spy, sent to prison, he was not a spy, he was a journalist. when you make something that seemed quite
official, intelligent people make decisions based on how credible the evidence is. that is one problem, it was ever thus, whether it was old media, radio, social media, that is a problem of how news is circulated and how people have become unaccustomed to taking their information from very limited sources, government, that one news channel, that one newspaper, too many medias now, for that kind of information to be circulated. i think that is an ungovernable issue. a problem we will have to live with. the other issue is, very intense, very troubling data mining. sweeping people's likes on facebook, it wasn't age, location, number of
contacts, it was patterns of behaviour, the pages you browse, it was how may times you went and looked at a certain profile. that is not illegal. the question is, should it be illegal? should it be regulated. goodness me! if individuals feel like they cannot browse a side when it comes to friends and family and products, without that information being monetised, and then manipulated, to sell them either a product or a candidate, that is something we have to think about seriously. we have the way into all of this just how beneficial social media has been. how many tens of million of people in this world feel their lives are better for social media? including some of the gathering of some of the data you are talking about, i quite appreciate when i go on the internet, for example, advertise men's pop up, relating to trips to grand prix races or golf clubs. —— adverts pop up. that saves me a lot
of trouble! if we were to regulate and we were to deny sources of income to social media, guess what, we will have to start paying for it! perhaps that is the answer.|j we will have to start paying for it! perhaps that is the answer. i am withjohn on this, social media has been hugely beneficial, and people need to get a bit more sophisticated, as one writer put it, if it is free, you are the product. you need to understand being privations of that and work out what you do with your likes and so on. in that sense... it is very hard to say, let's have it exactly as it is but impose some great regulator in the sky who will keep all the benefits you have got but take away the things that might be uncomfortable for us. it doesn't work like that. there is a question of tax, and they make their riches only because of the societies that they are dealing with. we need
something done around the country. that is as far as i go on regulation. the question isn't whether social media has been good or bad, especially in the developing world, social media is how people do business, addictively on facebook, the question isn't whether it has been good or bad, i think it has been good or bad, i think it has been very good personally, in terms of political engagement, commercial participation, etc, the question is, a very specific one, which is, as faras a very specific one, which is, as far as political manipulation of peoples information in order to target them with certain misinformation, is itjust advertising? do we come to the conclusion that this is a sophisticated form of advertising, targeted advertising, and we can't do anything about it? is there something far more sinister? it could be something as simple as social media making it clear upfront that any of your information, all of
it, can and will be used, to target you for... the fundamental issue, people did not know... transparency. it is not even about regulation, it is about being upfront and transparent and then people make their own informed decisions. yes, i ee, their own informed decisions. yes, i agree, one thing that has been missing so far, it has not been subject to the general warning that anyone could... in the blurbs for the medicines, they have to remind what is likely, and what results might occur if you take this tablet or that tablet, soon, the same will have to apply to facebook. personals bonds ability is a major factor. we are much too inclined in our age to regard ourselves as victims, i don't think social media users are victims, many of them have been irresponsible in the use of the media, and this scandal alone, this controversy, is likely to cause a lot of people to think again. quick
thought on other matters, we mentioned the trump administration earlier, in separate matters, john bolton appointed this week, i'm interested , bolton appointed this week, i'm interested, i know —— you know him, you have interviewed him, we remember his bellicose language in previous administrations, those of a certain age. the iran nuclear deal, in particular, he is very likely to ta ke forward in particular, he is very likely to take forward what trump has said he wa nts to take forward what trump has said he wants to do and the nuclear deal will be bad for the world. it has put a brake on iran's nuclear ambitions, but i think that we will get a possible saudi bomb, and so on, proliferation. he goes out for an argument, the washington post, the only line of which i can remember in that newspaper, he said he failed to achieve a compromise with anything including the cut of his -- with anything including the cut of his —— the colour of his massage and his —— the colour of his massage and his hair(!) here's a controversialist false. —— the colour of his moustache and his hair. i do know mcmaster, from his
lead role in iraq in combat, rightist officer of his generation, and he won his ph.d. by writing a thesis on the failure of the american military command to be honest with the american public and with the president, during the vietnam war, seems to me that he is very significant, this was not just a push but a poll situation, for some time he had wanted to get out, because he thinks things are travelling in a way he could not live with. very good to see you all. 20 food for thought. —— plenty of food for thought. do join us again next week same time same place. but for now thank you for watching and goodbye. last weekend, we were talking about
snow and severe wind—chill, still the prospect of some snow in the forecast, is not yet, fairly typical early spring weekend, the rain will ease across england and wales, spells of sunshine, but also if you shower was, and a swirl of cloud to the south—west of the uk, the spanish met service have named this as storms you go, bringing stormy conditions to spain. for us, spilling a lot of clout across england and wales and that will continue to bring outbreaks of light rain and drizzle through the afternoon. slowly easing off, that cloud nibbled away across northern england, some sunshine, sunny spells and showers for scotland and northern ireland, some of those
showers wintry, maybe even a rumble of thunder. to the east of scotland, the best of the sunshine. nine to ii celsius for much of the country through this afternoon. that cloud continues to get eroded from the north through the evening and overnight, clearerskies, temperatures taking a tumble close to freezing, degree or so below in rural spots. hanging on to the cloud, across parts of southern counties, and here, temperatures between four and seven celsius, as low as minus three. for the far north of england, scotland and northern ireland. chilly start to the day. right for many, good deal of sunshine, the one exception, south—east england, hanging onto some cloud and patchy drizzle. bells of sunshine, one or two showers, maybe for north—west scotland, they could be wintry in nature. the wind will be fairly light, high is between ten and i2, will be fairly light, high is between ten and 12, should feel quite pleasant. things change slowly as we go through next week, it will feel colder again and there will be
risk of snow on tuesday and wednesday. —— spells of sunshine. still some uncertainty, keep an eye on the forecast. dry, bright, cold, sunshine through the morning, slowly disappears as the cloud builds from the west, outbreaks into western parts of scotland, northern ireland, wales, south—west england later in the day. the head of the rain, highs of ten or 12. keep an eye on what is happening through tuesday and wednesday, we can see once again east, north—easterly wind, feeding colder air across the uk, and the prospect that some of us could see some so. “— prospect that some of us could see some so. —— the prospect that some of us could see some snow. beltrame this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at i2.00pm. the french police officer who swapped places with a hostage in an armed siege at a supermarket has died. three other people died and 16 more were injured in three separate attacks, all carried out by a man who said he supported the group that calls
itself islamic state. owen smith says he'll continue to argue against brexit, despite being sacked from the labour front bench over the issue. . the views that i reflect the views of the vast majority of labour party members including those who supported jeremy corbyn in the leadership contests in the last few yea rs. in the us, thousands of people prepare to take part in the latest rallies calling for tighter gun controls. also in the next hour sport relief raises more than £38 million for charities. it's below the record 55 million