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tv   BBC News  BBC News  November 25, 2018 9:00am-9:31am GMT

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i'm christian fraser — live in brussels as eu leaders gather for a special brexit summit. after 18 months of negotiations, european union leaders are meeting to decide whether to accept the terms of britain's withdrawal from the eu. the jointly agreed withdrawal agreement and declaration on the future relationship will outline the terms of britain's relationship with the eu for years to come — with negotiators now hoping they will be able to move on to the next stage of the brexit talks. we need to build for the next phase this unprecedented and ambitious partnership. we will remain allies, partnership. we will remain allies, partners and friends. if it's approved, the deal will face a much tougher vote in westminster. theresa may has written an open letter to the british public appealing for support. throughout the hour we'll be turning to our reality check correspondent for clarity on what exactly is in both agreements — and where we go from here. hello and welcome to brussels.
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european leaders are here for a special summit, to sign off on the deal that will see the united kingdom leave the european union. after months of intense negotiations, the two sides have reached agreement on two seprate texts — a legally—binding withdrawal agreement and a political declaration, which sets out what the relationship between the uk and the eu might look like after brexit. a last—minute hitch over the future status of gibraltar was overcome yesterday — and european council president donald tusk has recommended that all eu countries accept the agreement. but even if they do, theresa may will still need to win
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a vote on the deal in the uk parliament, and that is looking tricky. she's now written an open letter to the british people, urging support for her brexit plan. we'll be bringing you all the latest here from brussels, examining the deal, and what it might mean for the uk and europe. leaders arriving — let's hear what the eu's chief negotiator michel barnier had to say. we have worked, i have worked, with my team, to reach a deal that means to organise in an orderly fashion the withdrawal decided by the uk. we
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have worked thanks to the unity, the full unity of 27 heads of state, the member states. they are trust. and also with the european parliament. we have worked, i have worked with my team and negotiate with the uk, never against the uk. i want also to thank the british team. now it's time for everybody to take the responsibility, everybody. iwill just add that this deal is a necessary step to build the trust between the uk and the eu. we need to build to the next phase this unprecedented and ambitious partnership. we will remain allies, partnership. we will remain allies, partners and friends. michelle barnier speaking in much
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more positive terms at the moment. european commission president, jean—claude juncker, says if the deal doesn't get through the uk parliament, the eu will not renegotiate. this is the best deal possible for both. i'm sad because watching the united kingdom, which is not nothing, the united kingdom, leave the european union, is not a moment ofjubilation but a moment of deep sadness. we've done everything possible to have this divorce be as smooth as possible, but there are no smooth as possible, but there are no smooth divorces. if the parliament says no and the uk is there any more you could do or is this as good as it gets? this is the deal. it's the best one possible. and the european union will not change its
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fundamental position when it comes to these issues. sol fundamental position when it comes to these issues. so i do think that the british parliament, because this isa the british parliament, because this is a wise parliament, while ratify this deal. this is the deal and it will not change, that will be used to the ears change, that will be used to the ea rs of change, that will be used to the ears of leo varadkar who had this to say. obviously still regret the fact that the uk is leaving the european union, i believe the best course of action would be for the uk to stay in the european union, the single market and the customs union but we respect the decisions not to do that so we respect the decisions not to do that so we spent two like you're trying to negotiate an agreement that protects our interests, our citizens and our economy and i believe we have that. an agreement which allows foran have that. an agreement which allows for an orderly withdrawal by the uk from the european union. an agreement which protects the freedom and rights of citizens particularly the common travel area and which provide a transition period during which we can negotiate a future
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relationship and if that's not successful then a backstop that kicks in that assures us there will be no hard border between northern ireland and ireland and will continue to have tariff three and caught a free trade between britain and ireland which is very important for our economies. a lot of work done over the pasta years, very difficult deal to negotiate, i anticipate that the next couple of hours that agreement will get the ascent of 28 governments, 27 member states that are staying and also the government of the uk and that will allow us to move on. leo varadkar pointing out that the backstop is still in the withdrawal text and that is the legal binding text the french president emmanuel macron is here having faced some very
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violent fuel protests in france yesterday he is here and this is what he's had to say on his way to the meeting. translation: the second priority is fisheries and the reciprocal access. our fishermen will be protected, we'll make it a priority with regard to the future relations and it will be clearly stated in today's final document. emmanuel macron. adam is with me now. what you make of what these people are saying? first of all everyone is reading from the same script, this isa reading from the same script, this is a sad day, we are not trying to beat the uk, and theresa may has done a good job debating and fighting for britain, the purpose is to draw the divorce talks to a conclusion and then provide a springboard for theresa may to go back, and sell her deal to the public and to an incredible ice sceptical british parliament. there
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is no backslapping. nobody wants the uk to leave, tell us what is going on in the room, they have got these documents in front of them, no vote? it's about endorsing withdrawal agreement. tusk will listen to eve ryo ne agreement. tusk will listen to everyone and make a judgment that eve ryo ne everyone and make a judgment that everyone is happy with it and they will not these documents through. they also speaking to the president of the european parliament as it gets to vote on the end of this and then theresa may will be ushered in for a maximum of an hour. not sure what they will talk about, probably about how the deal will be sold in the next few weeks, i imagine some leaders will want to ask what happens in the british parliament and what her plan is if it does not pass because i thought the most interesting clippers of the lithuanian president who basically gave away the lie to all of this when she was asked what happened if the deal doesn't go through and she
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said there could be our real election, a referendum, could be a renegotiation order could be no deal, kinda showing that we are finished here, things are done as far as we finished here, things are done as faras we are finished here, things are done as far as we are concerned. we like her, she always gives us the honest truth. talk to me about gibraltar, solved at the last minute, the spanish prime minister who has an election coming up next week shouting from the rooftops he has something that is unprecedented, does he? the problem was the spanish government looked at the withdrawal agreement and took two articles of that, put them together and said hang on, this would amount to a permanent status where the future relationship that is negotiated with the uk would automatically apply to the uk would automatically apply to the british territory on the southern tip of spain. the eu institutions, a lot of member states, said that's not the case. what happened yesterday was a letter was written to the eu from the uk and from the eu to madrid clarifying
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the position which is that the future relationship will not apply automatically to gibraltar, there will still be bilateral discussions between the uk and spain about how gibraltar interacts with the rest of the eu and spain. but both sides have come away with something to claim victory on, theresa may says she is sticking up for gibraltar, pedro sanchez the spanish prime minister says hang on, we have increased the spanish influence over the fate of gibraltar because the spanish government will be consulted more than they have been in the past about how the border between gibraltar and about how the border between gibraltarand spain about how the border between gibraltar and spain will operate, something for everyone, which is a metaphorfor the something for everyone, which is a metaphor for the whole brexit process. if you read these documents there is something for everyone. your ring binder which i'm disappointed not to see, is getting ever bigger, but you have now got
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two added protocols as well and one specifically referring in some pretty strong language to fishing. there are three protocols, one on northern ireland, one on gibraltar and one on cyprus because there are british military bases on cyprus which has been a bit of a wrinkle. fishing is not protocol. i think what you are talking about is you get the withdrawal agreement which is the divorce treaty, you get the political declaration which is sketching out the future, the third document which will be issued today isa document which will be issued today is a little memorandum which will speu is a little memorandum which will spell out their particular issues they are going to have particular vigilance about in the relationship, the future relationship negotiations and that's where they talk about issues they are particularly worried about, fishing is one of them, getting a fishing deal agreed as soon as possible. citizens' rights is another, this level playing
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field, the idea of constraints on the uk in return for access to the single market, the uk commitment on climate change. also how the european council, leaders will be involved in big decisions in the future like extending the transition period if needed and also the decisions about whether to go into the irish backstop or come out of the irish backstop or come out of the irish backstop or come out of the irish backstop. i need to go back to protocol school, i can tell. thanks very much. let's cross straight to westminster. let's speak to our political correspondent leila nathoo. the newspapers are full of speculation on if this vote goes down, we read in the times today about potentially remain as within the cabinet forming their own cabal and taking the prime minister in a different direction. ostensibly they have signed off the deal is here, but there are still various
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different schools of thought at the highest level of government and deep unhappiness, we had these resignations earlier this week and earlier in the year over the brexit agreement but there are still deep unhappiness and cabinet ministers are acutely aware of the challenges the deal will face, there will be a couple of weeks yet, we expect the second week of december, there is still plenty of time for wrangling and contingency plans and persuasion tactics to take effect in westminster, you see here today theresa may writing an open letter to the public to try to go over the heads of mps in the hope that pressure from the public to get brexit settled, to get behind the deal that's considered based on the national interest she hopes will convince in eyes who after witnessing this symbolic event hopes will think again. is this tactic
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working, going above the heads of her fractious colleagues on the backbenches, speaking directly to the public, i've seen some polling this week, is there any sense it's working? theresa may has i was had different audiences on brexit so she's had the whole eu side going on, negotiations on the front line, but she's been managing these negotiations in westminster, within her party and cabinet and then to the public. i think now is the moment she's trying to present this asa moment she's trying to present this as a kind of done and dusted deal. we talked a lot this morning about the prospects for negotiation, certainly brexiteers and some of her critics, the dup for example, think it's not too late to try to renegotiate. the words coming out of brussels are that that is not the case but i think she's trying to present this as work, brexit is settled, it's time to come together. there's a sense that people had been
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hearing about this for more than two yea rs hearing about this for more than two years and this is the moment to move on. she talks in her letter about trying to return to domestic agenda, to remind people there are other policies she has ideas on. i think there is a sense she could appeal to people is better natures to see fine, brexit is done, are we finally there? but the this deal has to get through the house of commons what happens after that is all up in the air. indeed, that's the big question, thank you for the moment. let's talk about what we do know, that's what's in these agreements. chris morris from bbc reality check is with me now. 585 pages, i think it is polite to
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say it's quite a tough read but that is because it's been through so many legal drafting is, it basically set the terms for the uk's departure, the terms for the uk's departure, the money, what happens to citizens, the money, what happens to citizens, the most difficult part of that negotiation, the potentialfor a backstop plan to keep the irish border open, as open as it is now, in all circumstances unless and until there is a future trade agreement which removes the need for that backstop. that is all in there but a lot of the attention will turn to the political declaration, because that essentially is the outline of the future relationship. we were talking about the things which have been bolted on in the shape of these protocols, gibraltar and the irish border. tell us about that and what the implications are. the protocol‘s are important, you
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will get that right by mid—morning. my will get that right by mid—morning. my head hurts! gibraltar is scattered in various documents but the bottom line is it is airing that any future agreement between the united kingdom there has to be a separate discussion between the united kingdom and spain about gibraltar. the spanish interpretation of that is a future trade agreement between the uk and eu would not automatically involve gibraltar unless spain specifically agreed. there was always going to be one issue right at the ends which would cause last—minute drama, a lot of candidates out there, fishing could have been one of them, level playing field rules could have been another, gibraltar kept people busy for the 48 hours leading up to the summit. non-legally binding. the main thing to remember is it's not
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binding, it'sa main thing to remember is it's not binding, it's a set of principles, lots of words about, we will attempt to have as close a relationship as possible but don't forget the formal negotiations on that declaration can only begin after the uk has left so if things go on schedule after the 29th of march next year, there has been a lot of focus on trade arrangements, there is the aspiration to have a comprehensive free trade agreements, both sides wa nt free trade agreements, both sides want that but the devil is in the detail, one of the difficulties is customs arrangements, there is part of the political declaration which tory brexiteers don't like in particular which says a future customs arrangements would be based on, they will build and improve on the idea of a single customs territory which is in the withdrawal agreement. that single customs territory essentially is the irish backstop. they fear as you could have some sort of temporary customs
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solution and the danger from their perspective as it could morph into a permanent customs union. they don't wa nt permanent customs union. they don't want a regulatory border in the irish sea. you look at regulations, how closely will the uk stick to the regulations of the uk single market, there is a line in there that essentially says the closer you stick them or access you get. the uk quite likes that line because it suggests that for a long time they we re suggests that for a long time they were told you either get a canada style deal or a norwegian style deal, just a basic free trade agreement or membership of the single market, they are interpreting that sentence is having a sliding scale in the middle but no language commits the eu to anything in there andi commits the eu to anything in there and i think that is the problem. the most difficult place for all of this are still on the irish border. what about the bulk of our economy, which is services, what happens? it's
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frustrating but aspirational, not just financial services but services of all kind. if you are a lorry driver, hairdresser, an architect, these services are sold across borders so there is an aspiration that relationship will be as close as possible but nothing is guaranteed. on financial services a system of equivalence, the two sides agreeing that they are roughly equivalent but there is no guarantee, written into the political documents, that the uk and the city of london, europe's most important financial centre, will get any more special treatment than any other country does with the eu. any more special treatment than any other country does with the sum it's approved, aeroplanes will keep flying, we've heard horror stories about transport, but also freedom of movement would end. that's the other thing to remember, it's not straight trade but all sorts of things. they
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call it mobility but essentially migration to you and i is contained in this political declaration. it means if we leave the single market freedom of movement will come to an end, notjust for freedom of movement will come to an end, not just for eu freedom of movement will come to an end, notjust for eu citizens coming to the uk but uk citizens wanting to go to the eu. it also envisages there would be no visas on either side, so don't worry about your holidays. long term there could be visas but that has to be negotiated. transport, a whole series of things, transport, energy, what happens to data, all of these things need to be negotiated because it's about the entire future relationship and those who say this is a blind brexit, the problem is we don't really know, nobody can guarantee how these negotiations will end up. i don't think it's blind but it is foggy because nobody can see clearly where it might end up. the thing which
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a lwa ys it might end up. the thing which always turns up in this document is the level playing field, those within the brexit camp would prefer the uk to be a singapore style economy with low taxation and low regulation, does this tie the uk to the regulations we are already tied to? there's a lot about level playing field in the political declaration and then one of the additional documents. itjust declaration and then one of the additional documents. it just makes it clear that if anyone in the uk thinks they can somehow gain a competitive advantage by being half m, competitive advantage by being half in, half out, there are a list of areas the eu is basically saying if you want to others because access is possible to the single market you need to abide by our rules. it can be negotiated but it is they are clearly. the other big part of the political declaration is security, internal security, police cooperation, that all has to be negotiated, what access for the
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police have to databases which are invaluable for fighting crime? police have to databases which are invaluable forfighting crime? i think an easier area to deal with its foreign policy, defence, i think we will see and are going to see a very close relationship in the future between the eu and uk and all those foreign policy issues. in terms of the programme from here, ratification of the parliaments and then another rubber—stamping exercise by the european council, is there anything in these documents which lays out provisions for disputes or things going wrong? there is quite a lot, lawyers say hang on, what do we do and politicians want to know, if we assume and it's not a guarantee this plan does go forward, the dispute resolution system essentially is there would be a joint committee of there would be a joint committee of the two sides to try to resolve the disputes, if they are not able to do
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that there would be an arbitration panel but if there are matters of european union law that independent arbitration panel would have to refer things to the european court ofjustice for a binding ruling on how you should be interpreted. in there. so yes there will be a complex system of dispute resolution. the final thing in this political declaration is another aspiration on timing, they want to try to wrap up future trade agreements and security, ideally well before 2020, a lot of people say this is not enough time which is why i've had discussion about the potential of extending the post brexit transition period but if you don't want to do that we are back to this thorny issue of implementing the backstop for a while. thank you for that comprehensive
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view of what is in the documents in front of the leaders, most of them, i think all of them are in the room, they are about to listen to the president of the european parliament before they sit down and consider the documents and then may well arrive, we think in the next half an hour, no sign of her yet but she will get about an hour to speak to the 27 leaders, we think it will follow what she was discussing last night with jean—claude juncker about the process going forward and what negotiation will look like and which it might be ordered and then we will talk as well about the difficulties she's encountering back home, they are she's encountering back home, they a re painfully she's encountering back home, they are painfully aware this is an task for theresa may given the opposition of her backbench mps. you are watching bbc news. let's speak to elisabet svaten, who's european correspondent for the danish newspaper politiken. just watching people come into the
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building here, all sorts of reaction from various leaders, it's been clear that national interests are starting to come to the fore, for the danish people is particularly fishing? yes, it's quite obvious, if you look at the map you can see a lot of ourfishermen you look at the map you can see a lot of our fishermen on the west coast and the british water is right in front of them and they have been fishing there for decades so that's been one of the big issues for the danish government. they had hoped the fishing deal would have been done within the withdrawal agreements but it's not so now it's into the next one. as you've talked about a lot this morning the future relations and from what i hear and officials in the danish government is this is not may be the best deal but it is a deal and it's better
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than no deal. why do they think that, do they think it keeps the option open that they will be able to fish in british waters because we think there is provision being stitched up by the european side where there would be access for british fish into the european market in return for access to british waters so they think that has potential do they? that's the option, from the danish perspective they would have liked that the eu would put on more pressure on to the uk when it came to fishing but now it's kind of fish for fish. we go fishing in your water and you can sell your fish to the eu. that's the second best thing for denmark. it's been very important but they are not doing like spain, they never threatened with a veto because the thought in again is that this is the
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best deal you can get a nude may be like to have a better one but this is the compromise and what i hear from the danish perspective, they would like to go on with negotiations for a new fishing agreement. spell out for us, if these negotiations collapsed and there was not a deal and the danish fishermen were frozen out of british waters what would that mean for coastal communities in your country? that would be very difficult because again if you look at the map these fishermen on the west coast, we have a lot of fishermen on the west coast who would either have to go to the baltic sea go up north or elsewhere, iam not baltic sea go up north or elsewhere, i am not good at geography. but the easy way is to go to british water
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and they have done it for decades. we have also been fighting this for decades before we went into the european union together. denmark went into the european union because of the british going into the european union. it's an important thing that you confession there. therefore you have this thing saying to the british do not allow danish or dutch or portuguese fishermen to go in there then we will not buy your fish that will be part of the common negotiations about the trade deals which will start, if everything goes right, if it goes, if this agreement goes through the house of commons that is of course also the big question in denmark like everyone else. if it goes through and this agreement will be the agreement then negotiations will
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start soon after. 0k. thank you very much indeed. that's just start soon after. 0k. thank you very much indeed. that'sjust an start soon after. 0k. thank you very much indeed. that's just an example of national interests which might come to the fore once this initial brexit process comes to an end, donald tusk seeing yesterday in his letter to european leaders ahead of the summit they have managed to keep this unity among the 27 and that was something to congratulate themselves on but what will happen in the next stage as denmark and the start talk about fishing and france wants something on the level playing field and spain want something on gibraltar? you can see all the bubbling up down the line which will no doubt because theresa may are one or two headaches. plenty of reaction from here in brussels and we will bring you the arrival of the prime minister when she gets here at the summit building but now we will pause and look at the weather.

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