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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  November 17, 2018 11:30am-12:01pm GMT

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for the newspaper publisher rnd in germany, eunice goes, portuguese journalist, academic iain martin, columnist with the times newspaper, and tim montgomerie, —— portuguesejournalist and academic, iain martin, columnist with the times newspaper, and tim montgomerie, political commentator, who founded the website conservativehome to give a voice to the party's grassroots. at times of crisis, there's always a classical analogy you can draw on. this weekend, theresa may resembles sisyphus, who according to greek myth spent eternity rolling a huge boulder up a hill only for it to roll back down again. the task was laborious and futile and with no means of escape. theresa may's boulder is her chequers plan for brexit. sisyphus was punished for his deceitfulness. mrs may's job is on the line this weekend, in part because many of her backbenchers, as well as the democratic unionists who've kept her government in office, think she promised them one thing in the brexit negotiations, only to deliver something else. now she faces two challenges — one to her authority from five cabinet ministers who want her to re—open negotiations with the eu and demand changes, the other to her very survival as prime minister from those conservative mps who've submitted their demands for a no
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confidence vote to be held in her leadership. the first question is do they have the numbers and will they move against her? i think so. the numbers are already in with the chairman of the tory backbench committee. i think we will get the formal announcement on monday. it has not been well organised and i think it is unlikely that theresa may will be toppled this time. i don't think there is a majority in the parliamentary party who feel there isa parliamentary party who feel there is a way forward without her, an alternative leader, so although the result of unhappiness with her, there is no basis of agreement for anyone else. what effect would a leadership challenge at this stage, evenif leadership challenge at this stage, even if it is over quite quickly, a
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vote of no confidence, and she wins with enough to survive, what effect would it have on the party?” with enough to survive, what effect would it have on the party? i think she will probably survive this. it is rather embarrassing for the brexiteers who have dropped her up for the last year since she ran a disastrous general election campaign, failed to remove herand then now at this crucialjuncture ahead of the vote on the deal, which has to be done by december 15, it will probably fail for these reasons, that it is not the moment to remove the prime minister. quite a few brexiteers who are opposed to the challenge against think the logic of is that it has to play out and go to a vote in parliament and so and go to a vote in parliament and so she could survive this confidence vote and then be gone with in three or four weeks anyway. if the vote went against her brexit deal she
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would have no option to resign —— but to resign? that would be a complete failure of the uk government policy and she would have to say either she is going to get a better deal or she would have to then get ready for no deal and present herself in almost interchurch chilean —— in a churchill style. i think at that point it is highly unlikely that the cabinet would ask her to stay. a lot hinges on the vote in december 15. but there could be more conservatives than people imagine ready to vote against her but i think she has behaved in such a way in the last few days that she will
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get the benefit of the doubt from her party for a few weeks more. you feel any admiration for theresa may at this stage? quite remarkable fortitude and serenity, i was quite struck by how syrian she looked —— how calm she looked. she seemed to be in command and she had the quality that voters, conservative voters and party supporters, appreciate. she comes across as someone appreciate. she comes across as someone who is talking straight and telling the truth. she is saying, "what i'm doing is extremely difficult and this is the best that can be done," and on the other side wea can be done," and on the other side we a bunch of brexiteers who essentially cannot even run an oxford union style debate. it was a mess. they expected more resignations, only two heavyweight
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cabinet ministers resigned, most of the resignations were really unknown conservative politicians. so they lost momentum. it looks very amateur. there is no one in their brexiteers benches who has the statute to go to brussels and negotiate something different, something credible with the eu. how do they regard her now, for example in germany, do they see her as admirable or tragic?|j in germany, do they see her as admirable or tragic? i think that some admire her resilience and her stubbornness but at the same time people know that she made the big mistake to trigger article 50 without being prepared enough and i think that is a key problem. and also it was her who set out the red
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lines at the start and there was no way back and all of a sudden she ended up in this problematic situation of not being able to manoeuvre a lot. she sold this dream of the brexiteers in a way but at the same time you have to give her credit that she was the only person trying to engage with reality nowadays. i am a constant critic of theresa may but this tenacity, almost indestructibility, people like my mum really admire it, and she gets cross with me and calls me timothy! because of the way i criticise her. she has so much could well because of —— goodwill because of this ability to keep going. she has been there and knows the challenge. but it doesn't add up to getting a good deal so it shouldn't
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be enough. if she sees off a leadership challenge, there seems to bea leadership challenge, there seems to be a problem of a lack of trust. we had a rather portend this statement from jacob rees—mogg when he declared in the house of commons that this is a prime minister who says one thing and does another. but that gets to it, notjust him but for example the democratic unionists think they were sold all i —— sold a lie. politically i think essentially what has been done is inherently deceitful, that if you like a secret or not so secret negotiating strategy has been run for at least a year and people in
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strategy has been run for at least a yearand people in numberten downing street who said some of the things which are crucial elements of the deal would never, ever be anywhere near the deal are now saying they are in the deal but there is only a small percentage chance of it ever happening... talking about the backstop. the politicians, david davis and dominic raab, were not running the negotiations. the negotiations were run, and if this is the case and it isi run, and if this is the case and it is i would rather she was more straightforward about it, if she said on one hand here and the brexiteers who i think ahmad and the ultra—remainers —— who i think are mad, and the ultra—remainers who i think ahmad, i think it would at
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least be straightforward and honest but to claim that it delivers or a void is precisely what she has been publicly committed to avoiding i think is a mistake. i don't think she is deceitful. if she had been candid about what is achievable she would be in a better position but this is speculation. the brexiteers have been deceitful. they claimed they could have the best of both worlds. it is not possible. the cost of leaving the eu on the terms of the brexiteers cannot be the undermining of the eu. it is the assumption... labour had six tests that said they would not accept the deal unless it was as good as what
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we have now. but the european research group is trying to get us into a position of no deal, trying to drive us to, because they do not have a plan, an alternative to theresa may's plan. i don't think thatis theresa may's plan. i don't think that is entirely fair. i am a moderate brexiteer but there are certain things in the deal i think our unthinkable for a sovereign nation to agree to. the arrangement on customs union is almost unprecedented in international law. even lord faulkner, —— falconer says you cannot have an arrangement that
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either parties cannot give notice from. if the talks on the future relationship to not work, and i do not trust the british government to negotiate a positive outcome, if that happens. sale, britain falls into an endless —— if those clocks fail -- into an endless —— if those clocks fail —— talks fail, britain falls into a fail —— talks fail, britain falls intoa limbo. fail —— talks fail, britain falls into a limbo. all of this anger about the backstop this week, it is an insurance policy at the end of the day. it never has to be put in place. but it must say something about the lack of trust. and northern ireland requires some sort of solution and so far i have not heard any good solution from any brexiteer so the come up with a
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technological solution. we have heard it again this weekend, five cabinet ministers including michael gove, andrea leadsom and others like liam fox are going to try to persuade her to renegotiation on the irish backstop. you just told me that your dress is midnight blue and it is nearly midnight. i share many reservations about this deal. i think it has two things that voters wanted in brexit, control of borders and our money back, sol wanted in brexit, control of borders and our money back, so i think it is good enough, but i think the time to raise objections was after chequers. to raise objections now and
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potentially throw this into chaos and say we want a better deal, as those five cabinet ministers and labour are saying, i think the wake—up will come when leaders gathered in europe but i think ministers will say to labour that theirdream is ministers will say to labour that their dream is a different thing and then they will have the real choice to vote this town and have the chaos ofa no to vote this town and have the chaos of a no deal. i think this bill will have a choppy time in parliament but still pass. in his view there would be nothing wrong with theresa may winning the vote on the back of labour mps even if her party didn't back because it would be seen the national interest. but what message is going to be delivered on sunday the 25th when the eu leaders gather?
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i think the message of europe will be very clear, this is as good as you are going to get. the manoeuvre in the last few days has been the discontent of many nations. i think it will be saying we are not pleased with what has been negotiated, we will continue to demand things about fisheries and all of that, but this means no matter who will be negotiating your not going to get a better deal unless you are ready to change your red lines. if you are ready to do that then we can talk but this is as good as you're going to get. it doesn't matter who goes to get. it doesn't matter who goes to brussels? no. and labour have to be honest. i don't think they're going to support theresa may. they don't have any room to manoeuvre. brexit is a political idea and the
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eu isa brexit is a political idea and the eu is a legal construct and i think people forget that because those two things don't really go together. the eu is based on contracts. but sometimes you have to get a political agreement. but splitting up political agreement. but splitting up the four freedoms is out of the question. the british service industry would like the free market and services differently. germany's argument that these freedoms are sacrosanct, you haven't let britain's services into your markets soi britain's services into your markets so i think you can be flexible when you want to be. there is a misunderstanding between both sides... one rule for some... as someone who is very anti—eu but
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regards himself as european and is pro—europe, i think that is the tragedy of the business and dishonest way on both sides that negotiations are being conducted. both sides misunderstand and misread the other. maybe i have been guilty of this is much as anything but i think the brits have thought you can forge things —— fudge things...m is childish to make comparisons with napoleonic europe. it is a union of democracies. you except there is a difference between the english common law approach and a highly codified... i common law approach and a highly codified... lam common law approach and a highly codified... i am not using napoleonic as an insult. it is all legal term. the brits have an
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endlessly flexible slightly dishonest view of constitutions that you can make anything work. the northern ireland peace process would never have worked otherwise. we take dramatically different views on how these things work. how do you have a union of 27 without those rules? britain can have an unwritten or on codified constitution based on trust but even that is unravelling as we speak. the rules, draft them, and the idea of the eu is not flexible... it is how it works and the eu also has to protect its own construction. it cannot encourage other countries to follow the example of britain. in the end the biggest fear in brussels is that
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other people so what britain did and like it and therefore britain is an example? i don't think it is about punishing britain are showing what is happening you didn't have to do anything in the past few years to show it is not a good idea to break up show it is not a good idea to break up the membership or leave. britain has always benefited most of the time the whole mess has actually already set an example. you are absolutely right. the eu should not have to change its fundamental character of the uk, which is why the uk's voting to leave and i want to leave. but rather than as having
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an honest parting of ways, there is deceit, and it has been at the heart of british politics and a problem for the eu as well from the start in that the british were sold a different idea of europe, the idea ofa different idea of europe, the idea of a trading body. it is precisely as you described. the british are having to face up to that reality. of course what is happening in parliament now is shambolic at a high think in a way i relish it and i think it is a good thing that britain is being forced to face up to the consequences of its actions and that means leaving the eu and i think it looks like no deal. you increasingly think because of the particular model the prime minister has signed up to that she can't get it through? i think people in
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westminster are saying that the deal can never pass and the reality of these things, like in the financial crisis the vote to save the us financial system fell and then it it was passed. the numbers are so bad at the moment for the prime minister, 50 or 60 conservatives opposed, she has lost the dup... the tories do not have a majority and the only govern because of the dup votes. then there is the question of the labour party. snp are opposed. she is 50 votes short apparently. it is not impossible but it will take something extraordinary. and the problem is that this is the
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withdrawal agreement. in a sense one might think the slightly easier bit of the negotiation because they still have to agree what relationship we have after we have left. if it has been this hard to get this bit, how hard will it be to get this bit, how hard will it be to get to a sustainable long—term relationship? very difficult and i'm afraid one of the reasons i don't wa nt afraid one of the reasons i don't want theresa may to negotiate their ha rd want theresa may to negotiate their hard work that is because of the mishandling of the first bit. —— to negotiate the harder it. we agreed to pay a £39 billion for steel before we were clear what we would get in return and i think it is incompetence. there were some commitments but they didn't get into double figures in terms of billions of pounds. it wasn't 39. where i disagree is that i think this withdrawal bill will pass but i think it is essential that the
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conservative party has a different leader and britain has a different prime minister for the second half of the talks. is there anyone... ? it is unfairto of the talks. is there anyone... ? it is unfair to single them out but is there anyone you think is capable of doing that kind of negotiation more effectively? i would back the home secretary sajid javid, i have known him from 30 years, he has a depth in business, experience in government departments and he is very eurosceptic government departments and he is very eurosce ptic but government departments and he is very eurosceptic but he backed remain. i don't think he is so sunk in any one trench, either side, i think he could unite the party. quite a challenge in itself. think he could unite the party. quite a challenge in itselflj think he could unite the party. quite a challenge in itself. i don't think i committed brexiteer like borisjohnson or think i committed brexiteer like boris johnson or remainer
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think i committed brexiteer like borisjohnson or remainer like amber rudd could do that.|j borisjohnson or remainer like amber rudd could do that. i would say dominic raab is also a possibility when you run the numbers. jeremy hunt. there is a lot of unhappiness at dominic raab's running away at this moment. possibly that i think he has behaved with honour in that he has behaved with honour in that he attempted to shift the government position and are tempted to say that the cabinet should try again. position and are tempted to say that the cabinet should try againm position and are tempted to say that the cabinet should try again. if one of these people emerged, how would they have a mandate to go back and do this next negotiation more effectively? in a sense they would have inherited, the second conservative prime minister in succession who has come in part way through, and they would be taking on this challenge. the public is still
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divided. do they need a general election or a referendum?” divided. do they need a general election or a referendum? i think if the deal passes, which i am sceptical about its passing, but if it does, it will then have such moralforce and it does, it will then have such moral force and momentum that the deal will be signed, implemented and the argument it will be between the uk and eu about the nature of the future relationship that britain will have formally left, which explains why the remain forces are anxious and working overtime because they know there is such a short period left once britain has left, it is no longer the remain campaign, it is no longer the remain campaign, it is no longer the remain campaign, it is the rejoin campaign. it is a much more difficult thing to sell. remain will be defeated if the uk leads the year at the end of march as planned. i'm not saying thejob
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is easy for the next prime minister to negotiate stage two but it is easier because britain has left. there are a lot of conditionals there. we will tackle them almost certainly next week. that's it for dateline london for this week. we're back next week at the same time. goodbye. after a rather grey and misty and drizzly and places start to the weekend, it gets brighter and brighter. more sunshine developing certainly by tomorrow but quite a few of you already there this
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afternoon. high pressure across continental europe, clearer skies working towards us this morning, especially in eastern areas. some brea ks especially in eastern areas. some breaks in the west thanks to the breeze from the south—east. this afternoon, most of england and wales will have sunshine. some cloud in parts of cornwall and south devon and the isles of scilly. and in snowdonia, the peak district and pennines, some cloud. some sunny brea ks pennines, some cloud. some sunny breaks in the east and in southern eastern parts of the grampians, orkney and shetland, some cloud through the day. western scotland, sunshine all the way through and temperatures peaking at 1a. most around 10—13. tonight, clear skies leading to a cold night. frost across continental europe but we
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will see temperatures above freezing but low enough for a touch of frost on grass and cars. a colder start than the last few days but lovely and sunny for most of you. temperatures just above where they should be for the time of year, 10-13, but should be for the time of year, 10—13, but starting to drop, and they dropped more next week. easterly winds develop bringing colder air towards us on monday. more cloud on monday, threatening the odd shower in the east. the best of the breaks in a cloud in the west, but sunshine as possible everywhere. but temperatures in single figures for the majority. on tuesday, colder again. single figures for the majority. on tuesday, colderagain. some sunny spells with cloud, but a chance of rainfor spells with cloud, but a chance of rain for the majority of england and wales. and you could see sleet or
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weds snow —— wet snow over hills. feeling colder in the wind. this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at twelve: five ministers in theresa may's cabinet join forces to try to persuade her to make changes to the draft brexit agreement. it's understood that this group of cabinet ministers are seeking to justify its continuing attempts to challenge the detail of the prime minister's deal by arguing that it may not be winnable briton mps vote on it here in parliament. the number of people missing in california's wildfires has now risen to more than 1000. 71 people are known to have died. the cia thinks the saudi crown prince ordered the murder of the journalist jamal khashoggi, according to reports in the us media. the bbc‘s annual children in need appeal raises a record amount of more than £50 million.
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