tv Dateline London BBC News July 1, 2018 11:30am-12:00pm BST
30 conservative mps have written a letter demanding theresa may gets tough with the eu over brexit negotiations, with the head of the nhs in england revealing that the health service is preparing for the possibility of there being no deal. people who rent their homes could be given more security under government proposals to introduce a minimum tenancy term of three years in a move ministers will help renters put down more roots in their communities. and new research suggests seven out of ten council leaders in england believe income tax needs to be raised to ease the crisis in funding in adult social care. you are watching bbc news. now it's time for dateline london. hello, and a very warm
welcome to dateline london. i'm jane hill. this week, what do my guests make of the deal struck by european leaders around migration? how are relations between britain and the eu as we approach very difficult cabinet talks? and we'll discuss the direction of the us supreme court as its longest serving justice announces his retirement. my guests this week: the british conservative commentator, alex deane, the irish times correspondent, suzanne lynch, these days in washington, the guardian columnist, nesrine malik, and the american writer and host of the frdh podcast, michael goldfarb. a warm welcome to all of you. so, at the eu summit this week, leaders reached an agreement of sorts around migration, to set up secure centres in eu states for migrants in which their asylum claims would be processed. however, these centres will be established
only on a voluntary basis, and observers are already criticising the lack of detail in the plans. the french president, emmanuel macron, said the deal struck the right balance between responsibility and solidarity, although france is one of the countries that isn't prepared to host such centres. suzanne, do you think there much to commend in this agreement, if we couch it as such? well, i mean, ithink the first thing to say is there is a huge irony here because migrant numbers to europe are way down — more than 90% since the big crisis in 2015. yet, this has exploded as a huge political issue on the european stage. i think that's down to domestic politics, really. in different countries around europe, primarily germany, where angela merkel is facing a call of no confidence, essentialy, from her bavarian partners, and i think, in particular, the new government in italy. this was the first eu summit of the new italian prime minister conte, and i think that he dictated a lot of what happened here. so i think we saw a real
european fudge here on this issue. there are major questions to be asked about these new control centres for migrants. we're going to be looking at some kind of centres within europe and then hopefully they're saying centres outside europe in africa. and these have raised serious questions about what these centres are going to be like, how are they going to control migrants — the ethical issues around that. but it left everybody being able to go back to their domestic audience with something to show, if you like. also, the central and eastern european countries like hungary, poland, etc, that have become so anti—migrant in the last few years, they were able to say, "well, this is not obligatory, so we don't have to take these migrants, so we're happy too." so i think you see kind of a classic eu fudge to this issue of migration. it's what we saw at the summit. was it a fudge, alex? for sure. the hungarians and the czechs refused to allow mandatory quotas for the numbers of migrants people would take, therefore it's voluntary, and you're right to say that, of course, the italians, with their new five star lega union, for as long as it may last,
they are going to be extremely robust on the migration issue. the only things those two parties really agree on are being tough on migration and eurosceptics. so that's what holds that government together. but the biggest challenge is where suzanne started — it's to merkel internally in germany. we've, in the uk, heard a lot from cdu spokesmen — not spokesman — but voices within the cdu this week, criticising merkel and harking back to her, "there is no limit to the number of people we will take." and her country is still trying to deal with the ramifications of that. you're right — numbers coming now are down, but the numbers of those already here present sizeable, domestic political problems for a number of countries around the table at the summit this week. nesrine, do you echo this? has much really been achieved? has much really changed one wonders, really? i think this is a classic case of, like sam said, domestic politics getting in the way of actually effective coordination. the problem with the migrant crisis in the eu is it's become too much
of a political hot potato for you to be able, really, to do anything about it across that many countries. my main concern is that the most effective, actually, move over the past couple of years has been to try and stem the tide in north africa, and there's been a lot of funding on the part of the eu that actually broke sanctions in a couple of cases to the sudanese government in particular. the carrot was that if you managed to stem migrants coming through north africa, then we will integrate you more into the global community and you will get funds. this is hugely problematic, but very effective. and this was talked about in this agreement, actually. i mean, we're all focusing, and the idea of the centres has caught everybody‘s attention. but actually, there was — to your point — there was an element of that in this agreement. there was, and that's because — i mean, it's been happening for a long time. this is the funding for eu to north african countries — to set up migration processing centres in north africa has been happening for at least three years,
and it's become an established part of policy. and so what we have going on here is two things — one is a sort of posturing for optics at home. the migrant numbers are down, it's not really a current issue, it's now become a domestic political crisis. i mean, the line on migration at the moment is that there's no migration crisis, but there is a political crisis on how to deal with migrants that have already arrived. so i think we're now kind of trying to deal with the situation after it has been precipitated, posturing on an almost nonexistent problem or a decreasing problem. you may feel different if you were in germany dealing with refugees who haven't intergrated at all. but i'm not talking about the — i said there's a problem with refugees that are already in the country. but the approach towards refugees that are incoming is, i think, overcompensating right now for trying to make people look like something is happening back home, when actually, the policy should be focused more internally than they should be externally. sorry, that's not what
the policy is for, though. the policy is plainly an attempt to say, "we can keep a robust defence on external migration so that we can preserve our internal freedom of movement." this is really an attempt to save schengen or something like schengen to enable the european ideal of freedom of movement between member states, but the only way they think they can really guarantee that is having much tougher barriers externally. it's an interesting point you bring up, alex, because part of the problem that merkel faces, and it was part of the negotiation and discussion, is that the migrants from north africa, the ones that are coming in, and let's be clear — you say that numbers are down — i looked this up — so far this year, the equivalent of two of the giant cruise ships that mar the lagoon in venice every week disgorging 10,000, 12,000 tourists into venice — that's how many have come in this year. so the numbers really are quite small. although let's remember 100 people drowned off the coast of libya this week. what happens is once
they get in, then — this is the schengen thing — then they drift. and where did they drift? they drift to where the economy is strongest. so they end up often in germany. and i don't think that the problem — this phenomenon — has been studied enough, statistically. i happen to know, personally, people who did come in in 2015, walking, you know, through the balkans, got to germany. i get pictures all the time, you know, they learn german, they have jobs, they do what they need to do. i think that, again, this is the domestic politics things. if i mayjust say, we use the word 'populism' a lot these days. this isn't populism, it's revived ethno—nationalism. and i think that that gets a lot closer to what the attitudes are that are being stoked by political leaders like viktor 0rban and matteo salvini. and it brings to the fore — dormant. do you mean it's not legitimate to be concerned about migration? no, i think it absolutely should,
and i think that ratherjust dealing with north african countries, as nesrine was talking about, i wait for the eu summit where the organisation of african unity has a full seat at the table to discuss this, because most of the migrants are coming from sub—saharan africa or from the horn of africa. they end up in north africa for embarkation. and i think that when you talk of a regional settlement, it has to be almost — it has to be, you know, well down as far as nigeria, at least, in order to begin to get some coordination and just to deter people and to break up the gangs that go into the villages and say, "oh, you can go to europe, give me $10,000," and then they end up drowning in the middle of the mediterranean. yes, and it is still the people smugglers who benefit in that way, and that is an issue that we've barely touched on. let'sjust, though, we must turn to other matters discussed at the summit, because while migration dominated, you will know that brexit was discussed as well, and donald tusk, the european council president, said it is the last call for the uk to lay its cards on the table
if a brexit deal is to be done. he said the most difficult issues remain unresolved. theresa may has summoned her cabinet to her country retreat. they will meet at chequers in just a few days from now where they must thrash out a white paper, the blueprint for the uk's future relationship with the eu. alex, theresa may said in response to some of the critical comments coming out of brussels — she said, "well, all sides want a quick deal, the next meeting, next summit is in october." what's your take on where we are now? well, she got a t—shirt. what does the t—shirt say? she was presented with a belgian t—shirt shortly before we lost to belgium. look, i think that these two conversations are interlinked. first of all, ironically, i think if some of the discussion about a more robust approach to migration in europe had been made prior to our brexit vote, we might have had a different debate about migration and what it meant to be within the eu.
but secondly, plainly, brexit was not the priority at this summit. migration was the priority. it was always going to be that way, especially once the uk government had decided to hold back its white paper. originally, the thinking had been that the white paper would be released prior to, or in some form prior to the summit, and now it wasn't. so i'm left wondering why that is. and i would point to three brief things. the first is that our national audit office says that our new custom declaration service is going to be ready for a no deal brexit. that's the first time that people are positioning about that kind of thing. so that's the the first admission, if you like. there might be a no—deal brexit. the second is that hmrc says they can clear 95% of good coming into the uk in under five seconds, and of the 5%, they can do another 95% of that in under two hours. those are still numbers that will frighten many people who import, but nevertheless, that's a lot quicker than people were thinking. and, thirdly, our goods and services exports are currently at an all—time high, notjust a great james bond song. but also, where our goods and services, including outside the eu — to india, up more than 30%. so my point is i think the government is starting to position properly as you should in a negotiation. we might go either way on this.
we might have a deal, but on the other hand, we might not. there is a sense that when people get—together at chequers next week, it is a crisis meeting in which the hard brexiteers will fight it out with those who want to at least exit the eu in some orderly fashion. if what you have just been saying is correct, maybe that is possible. yet you create a picture of things working out and the national press is completely saying, you have left out iain duncan smith's article in the daily mail this week. i do want to bring in suzanne in a moment. a very quick thought, though, because the cabinet is divided. the british press said we would never get a stage one deal with the european union, and we got it before christmas.
then we got a stage two deal as well. why is the cabinet divided? no—one will resign. these deals get done in the 11th hour, in the 59th minute of the 11th hour. iagree. i sat through deals at eu summit where deals get done at the 11th hour. so, one way we could look at the british government position is to say they are holding their cards close to their chest. they will have a stronger negotiation position and it will work out. but we are two years on from brexit and the british cabinet and british prime minister, theresa may, still has not resolved internal issues in the cabinet. in brussels, the eu is saying we cannot negotiate because we do not know what you want. we have the irony that david cameron held this referendum to resolve the eu issue and now, two years on, the conservative party is divided as ever. second, looking at specifics, the meeting at chequers,
what we seem to be expecting from theresa may is a proposal to keep britain in the single market for goods and not services. this is what is emerging as a possibility. a lot of european leaders said this weekend it is not a runner but maybe the europeans are playing a strong negotiation line. the problem is that britain will probably have to — they are not going to be giving a cart blanche and saying it is fine. there will be a problem over migration. how far are the british government, in some way, prepared to accept free movement? they will dress it up in some way, but i cannot see the eu saying it's fine, you can have something without free movement. i think that will be a red line on the eu side. we have a very banal statement which has been true for the past few years which is that the eu is in a stronger negotiating position than the uk.
it is a fact. the problem is that the way there has been domestic messaging on the part of the government is that if we are robust enough and believe in ourselves enough, we'll be able to wrestle compromises from the eu when it is not in the interests of the eu at all. it is a sort of an arms race of statistics. the no—deal british side saying, we can process goods in under five seconds. the latest bank of england growth rate numbers are x and a whole raft of statistics from people saying it will be a disaster. there aren't too many unknown unknowns for people to say how bad it will be. i have digressed. the eu is much stronger than the uk. on what basis is that? the second... just because? finish your point and then we will come back.
because there are 27 countries. versus one. you do not think that is a weakness and not a strength? if you could let me finish, you have 27 countries that are in the same organisation with the same interests. even if they do not agree individually with each other, they have to put up. it's just human nature and political intelligence. they have to put up a common front because they are one party. they cannot negotiate individually with the uk against the common interests of the eu. you can obfuscate it with loads of statistics and rhetoric. it's a fact that the second point is... let's hear the second point. it's really not a fact. the second point is that the british government, the tory party in particular, has its own internal issues. they have a warring cabinet now, not a war cabinet, in terms
of meetings going on with chequers. if you want to be in a strong position to negotiate with 27 countries that outnumber you in terms of population and security alliances, then you need to have a strong hand internally. i talked to michael about this earlier. we came on this programme for years during the eurozone crisis, and everything was always the same even when the details changed. everyone was always kicking the can further down the road. whatever happens in the eu negotiations, over the past two years or the next two years, the fundamental facts remain. until the tory party gets its act together and strengthens the hand of theresa may to go and negotiate with certainty on things like the irish border, we are going to be in the same position over and again. the irish border was specifically mentioned as a key sticking point. jean—claude juncker did say this week, others in brussels cannot deal with a divided cabinet.
that is why there is all this focus on the big cabinet meeting at the country retreat of the prime minister and that fact cannot be escaped, can it? people have to stop briefing off. people position for domestic purposes. people in the uk position for domestic politics not thinking squabbling assists the other side in a negotiation we are conducting. not thinking that the europeans read our press. they do so avidly. they love this kind of stuff. i can say it is a fact and therefore because i get to win, apparently, if i talk for ten minutes. assert that's the way the tories are... the cabinet is divided. we do know that. is that not a fact? i conceded it at the very start. but people in the netherlands say, "stop beating up on the brits. this is absurd." the car manufacturing industry in germany says we need a deal with the uk. it is absurd. bmw here last week...
they are german. they are warning against it. we bought half a million cars from germany last year. they all want to be able to export to the uk still. the reason why britain wants some kind of goods single market is because europe does more trade with european goods. with all the tensions going on, something will have to change because britain is leaving next march and that is a fact. it now falls to the british government and theresa may to get the party together. it seems she may be leaning towards a soft brexit and cynics say that is why the european union gave them a soft ride at the summit because they can see her leaning towards a soft brexit. what will the rest of her party do? the dichotomy i don't understand is how people are so alive to the divisions on the uk side, which are true, and wilfully blind to the presence of diverging interests in the eu. this is a ridiculous thing to say.
you know it is. 0ne comment from you and one comment from you. as you had conceded that there were divisions internally in the tory party, i had conceded, if you had chosen to listen, rather than wait for me to finish and barrel down, i had conceded that even if there were divisions within the eu, the way the organisation works is that individuals cannot negotiate with the uk. it is the basic structure of the eu. even if there were, let me finish, even if there were, and there are divisions internally in the eu, but they are part of the european union. once they leave, they can enact those divisions. that's all i meant. when i said that the negotiating position of the eu was stronger, structurally.
it was reported this morning that david davis met with michel barnier, his counterpart in the european union, but he has had lots of meetings with other countries trying to do a deal here and deal there. in the end, the commission is charged by all 27, it used to be 28, to be the negotiator. just as immigration, there are all kinds of domestic political things going on in hungary and italy, in the end they get together at the summit and they come up with a unified proposal and that is how they negotiate. i'm amazed you do not want to admit that is how reality works. we will have to leave it there, sorry. the meeting at chequers is in a few days' time so, guess what, we will be discussing on this programme next week? finally this week, 81—year—old anthony kennedy is retiring as a us supreme courtjustice. nominated by ronald reagan, he's the longest serving justice, and has broadly sat in the centre, staying with the conservative majority on issues like campaign
finance, but voting in favour of same—sex marriage. president trump has said he will announce his nominee to succeed kennedy on 9thjuly. michael, this is an opportunity for trump to solidify that conservative majority? by the way, "centre" is a relative term when it comes to the us supreme court. he is a libertarian conservative. he votes in favour of same—sex marriage and the broadening of gay rights. based on the idea that the state has no business interfering with personal lives. he was also reluctant to overturn the now infamous decision in 1973, roe v wade, which gave women the right to have an abortion. he is retiring. he has had a bit of pressure from the president to go and he will be replaced by someone who will vote to overturn roe v wade.
there are other things to talk about. but to me, the important thing to understand is this represents the single—minded success of an activist group within american society, going back to a decision in 1973, and some people on this panel were probably not born then. in 1973 this happened, and the religious right made common cause with kind of hardline tax—cutting conservatives. it actually affected their own livelihoods because they were not getting the full benefits of the tax cuts. they have pushed and pushed and pushed and they have finally got to the point where they have a president who will fulfil the campaign promise to them as he fulfilled the campaign promise to cut taxes. he will appoint someone who will be willing to revisit the abortion issue. it is likely he will appoint someone who is quite young, who will be there to do this...
this is the single most important thing that donald trump will do during his presidency. he has an opportunity to appoint a second supreme courtjustice. this was a huge issue. a lot of republicans who were anti—trump, most of the party were until he was elected, this is the one issue why they voted for him. there was a list of 20 people saying, "if you vote i will elect a conservative pro—life justice." this is what he is doing. a lot of republicans were prepared to look aside his other failings and say, he is going to get our man into the supreme court. he has been changing the hue of the court system. it will completely inflect american society long after he leaves the oval office. i think that's crucial. the issue of abortion is going to emerge as a major political issue in america.
in america, abortion is legal at federal level but the reality is states have different powers over abortion, provision varies across the country. a lot of states will push abortion laws to its limits, seeing how far they can go. we may see a case coming before the supreme court. it is a huge issue and it reminds people this is why it is important to vote. hillary clinton, if she had got in in 2016 we would have had two different supreme court justices. any prospect there could be an attempt not to do the confirmation hearings? they are actually rushing them. mitch mcconnell had stopped... i do not think so. i think there will be posturing by the democratic side. mitch mcconnell blocked the appointment of obama. he is saying we have to move it forward before the midterms in november. there is a very slight chance. republicans only have a tiny majority, a 51—50 majority. there could be pro—life republicans
who could push back a bit but they will do everything they can to try to get this passed. you could die of starvation waiting for the main senators to do the right thing. people have their own views on the trump administration. nominating judges is something they are good at. thomas hardiman from the third circuit, a finalist last time. brett cavanagh, on the dc circuit right now, is a very likely nominee. they are battle—hardened and tested, their opinions are out there. the trump administration will get the nominee through. this is a good reminder of the way that republicans have voted, right—wing people have voted, has been to preserve or bring back a certain way of life. democrats voted in complacency. i now feel like the threat might be more clear to people on the left, so that when they come to vote in the mid—term elections
or the next election they will realise you are notjust switching presidents, that you are switching supreme courtjudges, for the next 20 or 30 years. we will have to leave it on that note. i do hope you canjoin us next week for a very passionate dateline london. goodbye. hello again. temperatures are rocketing up once again. 27.5 in the north west wales. and so we are going to get pretty close to being the hottest day of the year. that
two, 30 three degrees on cards later this afternoon. we do have some clouds in the south—west with thunderstorms. the majority of them will be in hampshire, west woods maybe one or two in southern wales as well. —— in the west, maybe one or two as well. —— in the west, maybe one ortwo in as well. —— in the west, maybe one or two in southern wales as well. this evening and overnight emojis will be slow to ball away in england and wales. you'll be unpleasant. —— and wales. you'll be unpleasant. —— and overnight, it will be slow to go away. more hot and sunny weather. the outside chance of view thunderstorms in southern counties. a cold front moves across scotland with temperatures dropping a little bit. the hottest weather in england and wales with temperatures into the low 30s in the warmest areas. that the weather. —— that is the weather. should this is bbc news. the headlines:
dozens of fire crews continue to tackle an aggressive moorland fire near bolton. a major incident is declared after two fires merge into one. it is a dangerous area at the moment. in terms of public safety, the advice would be to simply stay off anywhere around the moorland of winter hill. the head of nhs england says extensive planning is under way to prepare the health service for a no—deal brexit. 30 conservative mps write a letter to the prime minister demanding that she gets tough with the eu over the brexit negotiations. the communities secretary, says he is "confident" that the cabinet will come to an agreement over the issue later this week. i think there is no doubt that there are strong views on either side and that's what i would expect as we lead into the discussions on friday.