tv Dateline London BBC News June 4, 2018 3:30am-4:01am BST
rudy giuliani, donald trump's lawyer, says the president has the power to pardon himself over russia collusion allegations. he argued that nothing limited the presidential pardon and that mr trump had no need to use it as he had done nothing wrong. italy's interior minister says his country wont‘ be "the refugee camp of europe." speaking in sicily — matteo salvini, who heads the far—right league party, said his country needs centres to facilitate the expulsion of illegal immigrants. critics have denounced his plans for large—scale repatriations. kim jong—un is reported to have replaced three of his top military officials ahead of his summit with president trump. reuters news agency said an unnamed us official has confirmed reports that more moderate leaders have been appointed to lead the north korean military. now on bbc news, dateline london. hello and welcome to
dateline london where, each week, some of the uk's best—known columnists debate the week's big stories, with journalists whose dateline is london, as they report those events to the world beyond. this week: donald trump declares war, but don't panicjust yet — it's a trade war. italy pulls back from the brink. spain topples over it. in the uk, the conservatives look for compromise over brexit. and donald trump marshals his diplomatic forces for peace. to discuss all of that with me — greg katz of the news agency the associated press, stefanie bolzen from the german newspaper die welt, the iranian writer nazenin ansari and iain martin, columnist with the british newspaper the times. there's an old joke that the united kingdom and the united states are two nations divided by a common language.
but whether you say "aluminum" and i say "aluminium", a 10% tariff on imports of that and 25% on imports of steel is not a friendly gesture. on friday, donald trump's administration imposed the duties, saying negotiations with the european union, canada and mexico haven't made enough progress in the two months since he first threatened tariffs on foreign metals. the french said it was illegal, the british called it absurd, and justin trudeau, canada's prime minister, looked hurt. stefanie, the european commissioner responsible for responding to this said that it wasn't so much a trade war as a dangerous game. but how seriously are they taking it in brussels? i think they take it very seriously and the reactions coming out from brussels, which you saw at the end of the week, they were quite harsh. now, the big question of course is will this be now a tit—for—tat escalation, what everyone is talking about, but it will be very difficult
also from the european perspective because every country has different interests and now the next question is what comes after steel? and from the german perspective, the big fear, of course, is after steel, we will see tariffs on cars. germany, in 2017 only, exported cars to the value, volume of $20 billion to the us, by far the biggest auto exporter in europe. so, of course, they don't want an escalation, they want maybe a bit more appeasement. while there is france, doesn't have the same interests, so we will see how much this joint answer will stay, and how it will look like. greg katz, why do you think he has taken this step, given that liam fox as others have been suggesting — and, indeed, paul ryan, the speaker of the house was suggesting — the real problem is china and yet,
he is hitting allies who he might otherwise want to work with against china. well, i think this is really classic trump. he loves to provoke things, he loves to divide and conquer, he loves to challenge all the assumptions in place and for, since world war two, we have thought of this alliance is almost unbreachable between the us and europe and now, he is, like, throwing a hand grenade in brussels and it is very consistent with his approach. he has some fairly arcane explanation for why this is really going to damage china, but the immediate impact is to damage everyone else and to put all of these complex trade realities at risk so it is classic trump, it is theatre, it is exciting, it gets headlines at home with america first, and it is making enemies throughout europe. and iain martin, in terms of the practicalities of this, is he right to think that europe, like south korea before it, will blink first? well, he may be right on that. i mean, it is economically a very bad idea, everyone loses, but he is being consistent. he has always said america first. i see it very much in terms of a bigger story which is essentially trump almost declaring war on europe, and i think this is — what comes next is nato.
so he really, he's breaking that alliance which has been the mainstay of western dynamics since 1945, the idea that america has europe's back. and remember, there is a big nato summit coming injuly. and at that, i think you will probably see something equally dramatic from trump, maybe even something as serious as a threat to withdraw from nato. now, this poses all sorts of questions for europe, because europe reallyjust has to adjust to a world in which began under obama with the pivot to the pacific but now has an american president who is really not interested in europe and not interested in having europe's back. and doesn't think, nazenin ansari, then that europe has anything that's worth having, and therefore, he can afford to do this? we have — this is the first time
in us history that the united states has taken such action against its own allies and trading partners. but the united states, i think, sees itself in a sort of a cold war and certainly, wilbur ross, you know, noted that economic... who's the commerce secretary, yeah. ..the commerce secretary, that economic security is military security, and for them, it's important how europe, for example, postures towards the major crisis that, in their — in the us administration's perspective — is most dangerous, and that's iran and north korea, and also russia. so, you've got all these crises going on and the united states is trying to make a point that "this is important for me". europe is making a stand, it's a symbolic stand. they are saying that "we will go to the world trade organization" but there are two countries that take national security — as wilbur ross, as us, has also said, that is a national security issue — that when it comes to national security issues, the world trade organization rules don't apply, and that's the united states and russia.
and russia is trying to also come in between the united states and europe, trying to advise the european union — "we are here if the us abandons you" but who has got the healthiest economy worldwide? it's not a great choice. it's what they call a hobson‘s choice. yeah, i know, and especially with the next topics we are talking about, which will reflect very much that europe is not only faced with a completely new era in relationship, trans—atlantic relationship, but also internally with brexit, with italy, with eastern european countries having a very, say, different policy towards brussels thinks in terms of domestic, judicial reforms and so on, so there is so many battlefields in europe domestically and internationally, it is a bit exhausting. if anyone is playing, it's sort of a game of multidimensional chess. well, let's stick with europe, because italy averted
a constitutional crisis after five—star and the league, the populist parties who topped the poll in the country's general election, blinked first. they had wanted to appoint a finance minister who thinks italy should never have joined the euro in the first place. president mattarella said no. he feared italy could crash out of the eurozone without italians having been asked whether or not they wanted to leave. all eyes were on rome but it turned out, everyone was looking in the wrong direction. spain's chronic political condition erupted unexpectedly into crisis on friday when manuel rajoy, the conservative prime minister lost a vote — i should say mariano rajoy, the conservative prime minister, lost a vote of confidence in the parliament in madrid. he will be replaced by a socialist. meanwhile, britain's conservatives tried to resolve their brexit divisions how else but over a nice cup of tea. iain martin, let's start with britain, since we are here, and we saw in the papers this week suggestions that some of the ex—cabinet ministers that used to sit around with theresa may have been trying to persuade her to find a compromise. they say she is listing to the extremes on both sides
of the argument and there is a middle way. what did you make of their intervention? well, the problem is that britain's two years into this brexit process and it's still in a situation where the government is still negotiating with itself, so it is still ahead of the key june council, onjune 28, where a lot of this is supposed to be resolved. the brits still don't really have a clear position on whether or not the uk is going to stay inside something like a customs union or have a customs agreement with the european union. the cabinet is split. the prime minister's view is unclear. a lot of cabinet ministers say that the civil service are running, really running the policy, so there is complete confusion. and i think british politics is about to get — it's — it's — it's kind of becalmed and a bit dull at the moment, but i think it's going to be a very — potentially very — explosive month or two because if the prime minister cannot resolve this and if the talks crash injune or insufficient progress is made, i think you might, at that point, be back into leadership territory
because britain will then be stuck. and remember, the clock is ticking all the time. i'm someone who voted for breakfast, uh, for breakfast? for brexit. well, i'm sure you always vote for breakfast! it's the best meal of the day! brea kfast mea ns brea kfast. but the — but even having said that, it is — by the time that european politics comes back in september—october, it will be six months until brexit — not breakfast — is due to happen. and the situation then becomes something close to a national emergency, so it seems becalmed at the moment but i think britain is heading for a political explosion. stefanie, is that the sense among the european union leaders? they always say they do not know what britain wants and a certain, i suppose, an element of that is gonna be part of the brinkmanship of the negotiation — you always call out the other side — but are they privately concerned that how close we are now getting
to the wire on this? yeah, of course, there have been concerns for a very long time and, as you said, they were saying "britain is leaving, britain needs to tell us what they want." and also what the commission now is doing, they are very much rules—based, they are saying "these are our rules. take them or leave them. we are not gonna give you the cherry—picking that you like." and the most important country currently is ireland. you think or not, it is a small country, but it is becoming — it is a crucial player right now because of the problem of the border in northern ireland and ireland is putting a lot of pressure on the commission now to make sure that britain doesn't get a deal that will hurt in any way the good friday agreement and we will see any form of borders again in the north of ireland. so we are back to this question of do we have the technology yet to achieve this without kind of actually having a physical border? but iain, in a sense, i mean you've written this week about the difficulties
in negotiations. there are some people arguing that actually, we should be saying no to brussels on some of these things. we shouldn't be compromising. well, the commission, i think, for all that britain has serious problems, the commission is behaving very badly on the subject like galileo which is the — britain is the leading security and intelligence power in europe. europe wants a close relationship with the uk on this stuff because of terrorism and all the challenges facing the continent, but wants to shut the uk out of galileo because, as you indicated, it is a rules—based organisation. on other areas like the city, the city of london, where effectively, the city of london is the headquarters of the eurozone. it powers the debt markets of the eurozone. it is where most of the business is — business is done. it is the world's largest capital market. we're pretty close to a situation now in the uk where the bank of england and most of the financial establishment, apart from the treasury, have really woken
up to the idea that actually, we cannot have a situation where this financial giant centre, city of london, is regulated by e—mail from brussels or paris. so there is a lot shifting but at some point, soon, the crunch comes and someone's going to have to decide. if ijust may say, you say, "well, you should say no to brussels" but then again, in the end, it is about the red lines that the uk government has put out, so for example, uk will not be governed any more by the european court ofjustice. how do you want to have a security treaty and say this cannot be controlled by the european court of justice? it is impossible. but this is the fundamental disagreement and why britain voted to leave the european union. i mean, that's really at the absolute heart of it, it's the sovereignty question. let's move away from britain to these other countries that have suddenly bubbled up into political crises this week, italy and spain. yes, the third largest economy and the fourth—largest economy in europe, and it's political turmoil in the southern belly of europe, and that is one
of the problems that europe as an institution is facing. i mean, even if you look at the debts of italy, which is more than 2 trillion, and with all these new promises that the new government has given, whether europe — i mean, the debt will go up at least by 7% of the gdp, so how is europe going to react and maintain this situation? and this is interesting, greg, isn't it? because although we talked about the political crisis and president mattarella saying no to this eurosceptic finance minister, this is still a government will take a pretty sceptical view on the advice it receives from brussels. the ratings agencies were saying friday of last week we might even be looking at reducing the standard and saying that it's not much above junk level in terms of the debt that you can buy off italy.
i think we're running out of ways — which we've been saying for 2h months — we're running out of ways to say that the eu is in trouble. laughter. you know, europe still exists but there is no unifying concept that i can see. when i got here 20 years ago, francois mitterrand, helmut kohl, um, you know, you had these giant figures with, really, a vision of european unity and now it is just in such disarray, it almost doesn't matter where we look. we haven't mentioned the lack of democratic progress or ideals in poland and hungary. the whole thing seems to be fraying. i was in paris two days ago visiting family and i saw that francois mitterrand, now one of the bridges is named after him. so, you know, these pillars of european unity, they are now — there are monuments to me but the ideas are gone, i'm afraid. your paper was founded, what, at the end of the war by the british occupiers, die welt, and at one point, they published, i think, articles — leading articles — in both the british view and the german view, and that kind of attempt to find compromise seems to be lacking, even among those powers who broadly
agree with each other, like germany and france. and in germany. i mean, our editorial house was built literally on the wall so it was overlooking the death strip, as you called it. so germany is at the heart of this, very much. but talking about compromises, thejune council is also very important in terms of the reform of the eurozone which macron is saying this is the time we have to take a decision. and there are no... he's trying to be sort of a mitterrand or kohl figure. yes, so if there was now one advancing joint idea that might be finally reforming the eurozone, and that might be really not happening because the government, german government cannot compromise on this because especially mrs merkel‘s party will not want to be seen as giving money away and control to the european commission, and especially now to the italians. and so a combination of a new prime minister in italy a populist government, and a socialist prime minister who depends for his survival in spain on podemos, a much more left wing party. yeah, but spain isn't so much a problem. crosstalk. spain is very europhile. yeah, spain in euro.
but italy, i remember when i was a brussels correspondent and it was the time of the bailouts of spain — not spain but portugal and greece — and everybody was whispering, "that's all right, but if it's italy, we will not cope any more." and italy is — it was always, in a sense, going to come down to this question of the future of the eurozone. italy, which is a major economy and one of the founders of the european union. greece was always much smaller. and that essential crunch between german standards and values and views of how currency should work, and the italian view. and the numbers on italy and what has happened to the italian economy since the euro are just really horrifying. hence why the ratings agencies are giving warnings about that. but also, but what's driving things in terms of why people are voting as they are. i mean, real wages in germany, since 1990, have increased by, i think, about 120%. they have increased in italy by 3%. so you have an electorate sold the promise of the euro.
there were lots of warnings at the time that it was imperfectly designed and that it was heading for this smash at some point. and it seems to be almost impossible to reform. i mean, macron is doing brilliantly in many respects but there doesn't seem to be any sense that he's convinced the germans. we could have had this conversation six or seven years ago and we might have been saying the same things and yet, it is still that. yeah, and also talking about italy and the love of the italians for europe. they felt very much let down because of the refugee crisis. i mean, what country had to cope? it is not germany, it was italy, over decades, or a decade at least, because of the dublin agreement that they took in hundreds of thousands of refugees and were pretty much left alone with it. so no wonder people say, "well, they don't help us, why should we stick to the project?" i mean, greece has been suffering from the refugee crisis as well. and malta, too, of course, to be fair, is another eu country right on the front line. yes. and there have been reports of refugees actually returning, selling their passports
and returning to turkey or syria, so, because they can't cope, you know, the culture change as well. so europe isjust faced with so many tremors and fault lines and at the same time, it wants to stand up to the united states in a symbolic way. so, there you go. first, it has to agree its common position. well, talking of the united states, there was a kim in the white house this week — no, not that one, though president trump expects to meet that kim in about ten days' time in singapore. this was donald trump's fellow reality television celebrity kim kardashian. she struggled to get her usual level of coverage because a little—known north korean, like some broadway babe, was now the toast of new york. greg, this was the arrival of the former head of the security intelligence agency in north korea with a very outsized envelope. it seemed a very television moment, posing in the white house with donald trump. what's the substance, though, behind this, do you think?
well, it's an elaborately co—ordinated and orchestrated, a—la—trump effort to create more excitement about this on—again, off—again summit. the gentleman from north korea was given sort of a hero's welcome, and rose garden treatment, and we don't do 21—gun salutes but they almost went that far. this is all part of trump's build—up. it's a carnival—type barker—type atmosphere, like the people in huckleberry finn who were going up and down the mississippi selling things to unsuspecting strangers. this is trump's approach. it's a big circus with him. and i happen to think there's a chance this north korea gambit could possibly bear fruit. i think this plays to some of trump's strengths. so i'm not of the crew that thinks this whole idea of an unscripted summit where you don't know the outcome is a disaster. i actually think there may be some upside to this. but in the meantime, i think trump is enjoying the "no, it is not going happen.
yes, it is. maybe world peace. maybe i get the nobel. maybe nothing happens. maybe we go to war." it's all part of the show. i mean, nazenin, his latest pronouncement on the friday of this weekend was to say, "actually, well maybe all we'll get is a is a peace deal, finally, between north and south korea" but that will be good. it's almost as if the expectations have been built up and then they're pulled back down again. i mean, would it really be a such a great achievement, given they haven't fighting for 60 years, to get a signature on a piece of paper saying "we're at peace"? i think, it seems they have changed their communications tactic. in the beginning, they had raised expectations that north korea is gonna denuclearise and everything's gonna be fine and dandy. until the chinese stepped in and then the russians stepped in. they have been advising kim "don't follow the libyan model" asjohn bolton made a mistake of saying it on tv and kim took it seriously. and also "don't make the same mistake as the islamic republic of iran did". you know, "get something in return."
so certainly, there will be summits. i mean, already they are making preparations for it in singapore and all that. and trump is saying "maybe we won't get it in first time, second time or third time", but don't forget, the iranian — the nuclear deal, it took them over 10,15 years to come to it. is the world ready to wait that long for north korea to come to a deal? i don't think so. that's why everything has been, you know, the gas hub has been turned up high. so you see all these turmoils. they want to solve everything together. i don't know whether it will happen or not. the japanese are worried because japan's defence secretary was saying over the weekend, "hang on a minute — don'tjust reward north korea simply for being willing to talk. they have to go further to get something." yes, but i — that's true, and the japanese are often overlooked in this, but they are, in western terms and in terms of the western alliance, the key — a a key power that should get
a lot more attention. i tend to — although i am a trump sceptic — i tend to think that there's something interesting going on here and that it might actually work. and he has this, just this strange capacity for keeping people guessing and we know from the history of summits that very often, it can come down to the personalities... gorbachev and reagan. precisely. whether the personalities click, or whether they don't get on — khrushchev and kennedy — and so in all of those cases, when it works, it's about personal chemistry. and ijust have a sort of sneaking suspicion that they are going to get on and going to go further than people imagine. i'm intrigued by this thought of kimjong—un and donald trump having personal chemistry. i must say, i get very nervous about even the terms we are using — he puts on a show, it's very interesting what he is doing. i mean, this is very, very high, top level,
serious international politics and from what i read — i'm obviously not a us expert, i'm here in the uk — but unisono, the correspondents are saying "there's a lot going on but what comes afterwards, no—one knows." and this, i, personally, this makes me feel very nervous. and fundamentally, this sort of problem, greg, that they have different views on what the nuclear denuclearisation of the korean peninsula means. well, of course they do, and the libya example is — is not heartening and the iranian example is not heartening. but i would argue it — it's a classic case where it's better to have these discussions than to be threatening each other with fire and fury at this point. the regime is also divided within itself. i mean, that's what the americans understand, that kim doesn't trust the north korean foreign ministry, so there is an internal fight and dialogue and almost power struggle. like him and the state department! precisely. so, and also, the north koreans know that they exist, really, at the whim of —
the regime exists at the whim of the chinese, but i think the contrast with obama, who we are all supposed to praise for his, you know, for his wonderful rhetoric and the great sort of statesmanlike way in which he was president of the united states, actually, was very bad at this stuff and didn't really get a lot done. so within the course of a year, trump has managed to — and i accept there are serious risks and what could possibly go wrong? — but he has managed to move things along and create the possibility of some kind of deal that wasn't there before. is there a lesson for iran in this, do you think? certainly, if they can reach an agreement with north korea for denuclearisation. north korea has been one of the suppliers of this technology, missile technology to iran. so if you disconnect north korea from the islamic republic with its missile capability, whether it's in syria or the middle east or elsewhere in the middle east, you are, you know, this is actually the strategy of they're thinking of, probably, to disconnect the two.
i think what is important with north korea and which is very important with iran is the status of the economy. iranian people, they're — what they will do with whether they will bring regime change or not, it doesn't matter on the united states. it is the state of the economy which is really dire. such as north korea. north korea needs the money. as somebody once said not so very long ago it's the economy, stupid. nazenin ansari, iain martin, greg katz and stefanie bolzen, thank you all very much. thank you, too, forjoining us. that's it for dateline london for this week. we're back same time next week. goodbye. hello. plenty of warm sunshine
around on sunday with temperatures reaching the mid to upper 20s. in the day ahead, different weather so i hope you make the most of the blue skies. few showers on sunday compared to recent days. the day ahead brings cloud. high pressure to the north of us, low pressure to the south. a little further and that we now on we're not worried about the showers for the time being. a chance of the north north—easterly flow coming into the uk and that, for monday morning, will drag a lot low cloud in from the north sea. patchy fog around as well. around ten to 14 degrees to start your day to northern ireland, western scotland and wales and england starting the day with some sunny spells around the we have cloud could drizzly and
places. for many central and eastern parts of the uk, that cloud will hold on through the day. you will not get to see the sunshine. a few spots in south—east england. south—west and wales sunny spells, the odd heavy afternoon shower and many other stride. northern ireland and western scotland singh sunshine at times. he could catch an afternoon thunderstorm that could deliver a torrential downpour. most of us will stay dry. court under the cloud, still a little warmth we see sunshine. clouds do with this over monday night into tuesday morning, drizzly places. misty and murky weather and temperatures are little lower compared with recent night the trend to this week as the temperatures are not as high as they have been and it is not call by any stretch of the imagination. big picture for tuesday, this front may bring a few showers in towards the channel islands although most of us will stay dry. and is glad to begin the day. a slow improvement to the day and we will start to see some
sunshine coming through. away from southern england and parts of wales could be rather cloudy throughout. despite increasing sunshine elsewhere, temperatures may be a little lower compared with monday. that's when you have blue sky. temperatures are going to recover as we go one into the week. just back and the low 20s. . some sunny spells, sunflower, light winds and in the first half of the week it looks mainly dry. later in the week some showers may come back, a few thundery downpours. they do not look as intense as the once we have seen recently but we will keep an eye on that and of course we will keep you updated. that is how this week is shaping up. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. our top stories: donald trump's lawyer says the president has the power to pardon himself over allegations of collusion with russia, but won't. pardoning himself would just be unthinkable, and it would lead to, probably, an immediate impeachment. italy's interior minister says his country won't be "the refugee camp of europe" and reveals plans for large—scale repatriations.