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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  March 5, 2019 4:30am-5:01am GMT

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this is the briefing. i'm sally bundock. our top story: carlos ghosn, the ousted head of cargiant nissan, is granted bail by a court in tokyo. he could walk out ofjail today. i caught icaught in i caught in tokyo has released a man the political crisis in canada deepens — a second cabinet minister resigns from justin trudeau's government. trying to battle ebola, we report from the country with the most experience ——. gohn. the authorities in the us state of tackling the disease. of alabama say they expect to find more bodies after back—to—back tornadoes caused a trail of devastation on sunday. trump takes on india — the us president says he intends so far 23 people are to end the country's confirmed dead in lee county preferential trading status where the winds left a swathe with the united states. of damaged buildings and roads in their wake. the venezuelan opposition leader, juan guaido, has announced a new protest march on saturday to increase the pressure on president nicolas maduro to leave office. he received a rapturous welcome when he returned to venezuela on monday from a tour of regional allies aimed at gathering more support. the american actor, luke perry, has died at the age
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now on bbc news, hard talk. with just days to go when the british parliament votes again on theresa may's brexit deal, the political debate in the uk grows ever more polarised but the legacy of brexit won't just ever more polarised but the legacy of brexit won'tjust be deep fractures within the political party, this protracted national argument has also raised questions about how the machinery of government works and the role of the supposedly apolitical civil service. my supposedly apolitical civil service. my guest is lord peter ricketts. former top diplomat and national security advisor. now an ardent advocate of a second referendum. have britain's mandarins been exposed as an unelected, unaccountable break on brexit?
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lord ricketts, peter ricketts, welcome to hartog. thank you. how ha rd welcome to hartog. thank you. how hard did you have to think before you took the decision to enter the political fray on this vexed issue of britain and brexit? —— hardtalk. you spend your life being a faceless, apolitical, mandarin diplomat civil servant? you are doing something ‘s entirely new. diplomat civil servant? you are doing something '5 entirely newlj would doing something 's entirely new.” would still consider myself apolitical. you can be political
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without being a member of a political party. i am not a party politician. i have also been given a place of that in the house of lords which is a great honour. i assume i was put there because people thought it would be useful to have my experience in the public debate and it is not just experience in the public debate and it is notjust on the issues of brexit that i offer opinions. the country is facing such an important moment stop i think probably the most serious peacetime crisis since the second world war. i think opinions of those who have had public service and are no longer in the government, i think they are entitled to be in the debate. i personally make a point never to attack people. i don't want to get personal about these things but i do have views about the policy and i think the position the country is in makes it important that every view is heard. i am makes it important that every view is heard. iam no makes it important that every view is heard. i am no more legitimate than anybody else but i think i am no less. am i wrong thinking that at
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one point you and a bunch of other diplomats described the position of the government as a fiasco?” diplomats described the position of the government as a fiasco? i think that was a joint letter, yes. i think we are in a serious mess. that was a joint letter, yes. i think we are in a serious messm you are accusing the prime minister and her team of conducting a fiasco ofa and her team of conducting a fiasco of a negotiation, you are clearly making a very political point and indeed a point that is damaging to the prime minister. i am giving my position that opinion of the position that opinion of the position we are in. i am far from being alone saying that this position we are in has been pretty is that disastrous for the country. with the comments about the red lines on the triggering of article 50, we are now in a very difficult position. i spent a lot of my time abroad and everybody says to me, what has happened to your country? you used to be commonsense, pragmatic, hardheaded, common interest. why have you spent the last two years in the way you have?
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i wonder how your successors, as key members of the government team, that is the top civil servants running the departments, whether it be the brexit department which we now have, whether it be the cabinet, how would they view you on the sidelines as one of them in the very recent past now sniping, describing the negotiating strategy as a fiasco, and using comments which are not only being picked up in the uk but also europe and clearly do something to undermine the prime minister's position. i don't think they undermine the prime minister's position. i think people are up their mind. there is a long tradition of people who are no longer in government service speaking up on their own account and indeedin speaking up on their own account and indeed in this debate, there are people who speak up on both sides of it. there are prominent figures speaking up very strongly for the leave campaign and indeed have been
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very critical of those speaking up for remain. i think as an expert public servant, i have a right to express my own view and i am also careful not to attack politicians and also to say those in harness as public service i doing the very best job they can in the usual professional way you would expect of the civil service. if the leadership they have had from the politicians that i think justifies they have had from the politicians that i thinkjustifies criticism and i believe i am legitimate in that. it is the comments i have seen of yours and you have written a joint letter with others and it must be sent the civil servants who have ended that entered this debate seem to be remainers but let us park that for the moment. in the way you have made your arguments, it seems to me one thing you never refer to, you refer to allot the negotiating strategy failures but you never refer back to the fact that in june 2016 the british people gave a clear, directive. a clear directive to the british element that is 52% — 48% they declared they want britain
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to leave the european union. and we spent two years finding how difficult that is and what the cost of the uk is going to be. the fact the country is going to be worst off and probably less secure as a result of leaving the eu and i thought in a democracy that you had a regular consultation of the electorate and that people were able to change your mind once they learned the facts. that is parliamentary democracy, it is not the referendum direct democracy where your former boss and david cameron made clear when they sat upon this policy referendum, he said this is a once—in—a—lifetime decision. do not think there is going to be a second chance. he was quite explicit. he told the british people, this is your one—time opportunity to decide whether you wa nt opportunity to decide whether you want britain to be in the european union or not. that's what david cameron said but i think since the whole campaign was based on a series of propositions that have turned out to be just flat wrong and that some
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of the issues like northern ireland rarely figured at all in the campaign, given that this is such a moment of rupture in britain's relations with the rest of the world, i think it's not unreasonable at all the people should be presented with a deal and offered the chance to give their opinion and if their opinion is, in the light of this deal, they still want to go ahead, iam this deal, they still want to go ahead, i am not going to go against that. in what you say and your view of what you would put as the deceptions and lies of the original 26 -- 2016 deceptions and lies of the original 26 —— 2016 campaign, it is subjective, it is your view, you just feel that deceptions were made upon the british people, but they on the other side of the argument, the brexiteers side of the argument, they would say that you and your fellows, in some of the most renowned experts in the country, so—called, are peddling misconceptions, even about the downsides of leaving the european
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union. well, maybe they do say that. but if you look at what businesses are doing, people with a lot of money invested in the uk, they are making decisions that suggest they are very worried about the uncertainties created by brexit. summer making decisions that are not welcome in the uk, others are putting whole lots of new money on. — some are. putting whole lots of new money on. - some are. we will see, again. but i note a lot of major investors in the uk are deciding to move their business outside to other european capitals. they clearly think there is something difficult about this. that what i am really clearly trying to get to. you see the downsides and many other people see sunny uplands. they are notjust ideals of the brexit right but they say things are on the mend. despite the uncertainty, employment is at record levels and there is growth.
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investors from china to the middle east are flocking to this country. forbes magazine has just declared britain the best place in the world to do business. these are all reality is that you choose to ignore. i am not claiming that i have absolute truth on this everybody‘s view on this is subjective. we are seeing the effects of businesses leaving and taking their business outside. at the moment, yes, employment is high. growth is not spectacular but it's not disastrous, that's great. we still haven't left the eu and we do not know what the future will be. i am simply offering my perspective based on my experience. i never claimed to be speaking absolute truth rather than subjective.” claimed to be speaking absolute truth rather than subjective. i am trying to be quite subjective about
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the nature of your argument, though. you say categorically that there has to be, and there is a legitimate argument for a second recommended that referendum because you say it is now quite clear how damaging a brexit would be. you seem to think any form of brexit would be deeply damaging and that is your justification for a second referendum. my point of view is that your conclusion about the negativity of brexit is so subjective that it surely can't undo david cameron's promised that this would be a look once—in—a—lifetime decision. promised that this would be a look once-in-a-lifetime decision. are you saying that my view is so subjective that i shouldn't make it available for people to consider? it is what i believe, it is what i believe people need to be aware of and i believe that the brexit deal on offer in the prime minister's negotiated deal is certainly better than leaving with no deal at all but is sufficiently damaging to britain's future prospects that it is worth giving
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people a chance to confirm or otherwise the view they took on the basis of, frankly, a very skimpy campaign in 2016. let me, ifi may, tap into your expertise in one other key area of brexit argument. we have talked about the divergent views about what brexit will mean for the economy but you have also zeroed in on national economy that security. —— national security. you and others, including john sawyer, former head of mi6, have contended that brexit will do real lasting serious damage to britain's national security and its geopolitical standing in the wider world. explain that to me. well, let's start with britain's law and order. the cooperation that goes on between our police forces, and those on the continent. our digital services and those on the continent. that
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judicial. there has been a statement put out about real risks of our security about leaving the eu without tying down a continuation of the cooperation that goes on with the cooperation that goes on with the eu. at the moment, ourforces depend on data bases, the eu. at the moment, ourforces depend on databases, confidential messaging system and a whole range of instruments. we can only be part of instruments. we can only be part of those as a member of the eu. when we leave, we will have to negotiate we leave, we will have to some of those as a member of the eu. when we leave, we will have to some sort of status. —— negotiate. yes, we will have to negotiate. there is a whole raft of different security agencies. -- there is no indication at all that europe won't want very close cooperation with the uk. what they say is there are rules about
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who can be part of this instrument and if you are a country outside, you have to negotiate status and are given less good access. such as a european arrest warrant, countries would not be happy to extradite their prisoners to the uk as well. no country outside the eu is an associate. it will take years of negotiation and if we go ahead and leave before that is tied down, a law enforcement agencies will find it less easy to work. the metropolitan police commissioner has said the same thing so i am farfrom being alone here and i think it's worth highlighting. no question of --it worth highlighting. no question of ——it comes down to whether you bring a half glass full or half glass empty view on the brexit approach. jeremy fleming, gchq director, at a nato conference in 2018 said we are leaving you but we are not you
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leaving you but we are not you leaving europe. we have excellent relationships and we expect them to continue. britain's ability to develop strong relationships with that eu after brexit. again, it is a pick and mix. you no, well, let's unpack that. jeremy fleming was talking about intelligence relationships and i com pletely intelligence relationships and i completely agree with him. intelligence relationships happen outside the eu now and they will go on happening outside the eu afterwards, so they are not a part of this argument. law enforcement, judicial co—operation, foreign policy cooperation, defence cooperation, go through the eu and will be affected. well, sorry to interrupt, but if i may say so, it seems to me the biggest british foreign policy security, military decision of the past 20 years, the one of most significance, was the decision tojoin the one of most significance, was the decision to join the americans in the invasion of iraq, toppling
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saddam hussein. now, when that happens, the eu was adamantly opposed to that policy. it was britain, the united states, a few other eu member states like spain and pollen, who supported that, but the eu as a whole, led by jacques chirac of france, was absolutely opposed to it. so when it comes to those key elements of britain's national security policy, it's not the eu that matters most. it's a relationship with the united states, and it is nato. well, the eu was absolutely split down the middle, it was in the post, it was split on iraq, some countries taking one position... the franco german motor, which are still at the centre of the european union, thought that our decision to go into iraq was made. correct, and a lot of people would agree with them that that was a good judgement. so when you tell me, though, if we leave the eu our security, and military, our defence
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capabilities will be fatally undermined, it seems to me categorically to fly in the face of history and the evidence. but i haven't set a defence capabilities will be undermined. he said in a very clear way, the internal security issues of law and order and judicial co—operation will be affected. they won't stop altogether, but the police will find it harder, slower to take more resources , it harder, slower to take more resources, to achieve the co—operation that we have now. one intelligence it won't be affected, on defence much less, because events, eu has a defence capacity, but it is a very modest one. the main load goes through nato and our bilateral relationship with america, andi bilateral relationship with america, and i have never argued otherwise. and is on the truth, and you would know this much better than me as a former ambassador to france, that even though the french want very strong defence and military cooperation with britain whatever happens. they do, although if you notice now on the defence industrial side where we had very close corporation with the french, for example future aircraft, now suddenly all of that is orienting towards france and germany. so industrial side is more difficult. but just to industrial side is more difficult. butjust to finish on that point, i think written's weight in the world will be less as a result of leaving
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the eu, because instead of being an influential member of one of the largest blocks in the world, able to steer policies, we will be on the outside of it. and for washington, we would be less useful as in ally because we will have cast anchor from the eu. well, frankie that is not the way donald trump sees it, and hejust not the way donald trump sees it, and he just happens to not the way donald trump sees it, and hejust happens to be present of the united states, he thinks britain leaves the doubt —— leaving the eu would be a jolly good thing. well, he has a view as well. you tell me politely that it is going to damage relationships with washington, and the president of the united states is cheering us on every leave the european union. he thinks it is terrific for britain and transatlantic relations. well, i leave donald trump's beauty himself. i take the view that will be less influential international player and will have to work a lot harder to have an influence in the world outside the eu. is a couple of things i wanted to get to, before we finish the interview. one of the brexit, doesn't worry that the foreign office in particular, which was your home for so long, seems to be peopled by mandarins who think
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brexit is not in britain's interest, is wrongheaded, misguided and shouldn't happen? it seems to me there is a groupthink, there is a bubble in the senior civil service, but particularly in the foreign office, which is not representative of the country as a whole, and surely, again, in governance terms, thatis surely, again, in governance terms, that is problematic? why do you think that? why do i think that there is this preponderance of one view? because people like sir simon fraser who succeeded you as boss of the fco in civil service terms says it is in the dollar no secret that most people in the british foreign policy establishment favoured staying in the european union. well, favoured, but now, if you are in the civil service, and the reason for my question for you is because if you are in the civil service, i have com plete are in the civil service, i have complete confidence that they will be doing a professionaljob to deliver the instructions of ministers. i would deliver the instructions of ministers. iwould have deliver the instructions of ministers. i would have done if i had been a civil servant, simon fraser would have done, john soyuz would have done. and dolly robbins, who is a senior civil servant, who
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has been involved in much of the negotiations with michel barnier in brussels, is seen by those who support brexit, politicians as opposed to civil servants, as a man who brought his own beliefs and commitment and thoughts about brexit to the table, in a way that was deleterious to the negotiation from britain's point of view. well, i think that is disgraceful, to attack the civil servant that is in office like that. i mean, nobody knows what ollie's personal views are, only robbins has carried... polly robbins has got europe running through his veins, that is a quote from one brexiteer. sure, but only robbins is a very professional civil servant who has been given an almost impossible task by the redline the prime minister has set him, who has struggled manfully over the last two yea rs, struggled manfully over the last two years, andi struggled manfully over the last two years, and i think it is quite wrong thing to be attacked personally. i have complete confidence that those who are in the civil service be doing what ministers tell them to do and in the very best way they can. two quick points before we finish, one of them very germane to what happens to do civil servant after they leave their posts. you left the
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civil service. you are now a senior co nsulta nt civil service. you are now a senior consultant adviser to lockheed martin, the us defence and arms manufacturer whose weapons are used by the saudi government in their campaign in yemen. does the trouble you that, again, with your experience, your place in the house of lords, the respect afforded to you as a former a political civil servant, that you now worked for an organisation, in defence, a huge corporation which is involved in helping the saudis bond yemen? well, i have nothing to do with lockheed martin's arrangements in saudi arabia. i advise lockheed martin's uk offers. well, hang on, but it is a global corporations will fight you can hardly associate yourself from what lockheed martin's parent in america does. ifi can what lockheed martin's parent in america does. if i can finish, what lockheed martin's parent in america does. ifi can finish, i am not a spokesman for lockheed martin, iaman not a spokesman for lockheed martin, i am an adviser to them in their relations with the british government. that was cleared by the advisory committee on appointments. it isa advisory committee on appointments. it is a role which i can play between a major us corporate and british government on some issues of
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pretty fundamental importance to the uk, likea pretty fundamental importance to the uk, like a future strike fighter and other things that lockheed martin do. and just one thought on that. when you work for a company that is so locked into a relationship with saudi arabia, and many see the murder an independentjournalist saudi arabia, and many see the murder an independent journalist in, as it was, jamal khashoggi in the consulate in istanbul, does it give you pause about your own company's relationship? well, it is not like many, iam relationship? well, it is not like many, i am an adviser in the uk. but you take a fee from them every year, andi you take a fee from them every year, and i wonder if it gives you pause? i take and i wonder if it gives you pause? itakea and i wonder if it gives you pause? i take a fee from them in a relationship which is completely open and aboveboard, so what goes on in saudi arabia is not something i am involved in at all, either with lockheed martin or in any other capacity. do you have a view on it? i have a view that saudi arabia, you know, has more to do to account for the murder of jamal khashoggi. and should governments and corporations therefore exercise their ability to put influence and lethbridge on the saudis buy either imposing
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sanctions, or indeed withdrawing commercial contracts? well, governments have been doing that. and the british government and jeremy hunt, and i give them credit for this, has been active on that. i make no comment on lockheed martin's policy, it is not my decision to do so. and the final area i would like your view on, that is the vexed issue of what to do about british citizens who came to lack went off to syria, sometimes iraq as well, the fight for the jihadis of the so—called islamic state. the germane issue right now is the young woman, begum, who has been found in a camp in syria. she was a british citizen, but the home secretary has declared he is going to strip her of that citizenship because she went off to syria to support and do what she could for thejihadis. syria to support and do what she could for the jihadis. you think, syria to support and do what she could for thejihadis. you think, is a former national security adviser to david cameron, that was the right thing to do? well, i have been questions about it, because i think for all of these people, this young lady, but others as well, who were born here, brought up here, educated here, radicalised here, and
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therefore it is... we have some moral responsibility and some practical responsibility to bring them home and to have them face justice here, if they are not in a country where can face justice in a cce pta ble country where can face justice in acceptable conditions. and i think to strip people like that of their british nationality, when they don't have another nationality, i think the argument is she is entitled to bangladeshi nationality. she has no contact with bangladesh at all. it seems to me that our obligation is to have these people back to the uk, to have these people back to the uk, to try them if there is evidence they have committed crimes, and then to work to reintegrate them. and it may be that among these people will be some who will be is —— will be sufficiently horrified with what they have seen that they can then help in the campaign to prevent other teenagers being seduced by islamist propaganda and going abroad. was at opportunism on the pa rt abroad. was at opportunism on the part of the uk home secretary to declare that she was no longer a british citizen? our personally think it was the wrong decision, that we ought to accept she was a
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british citizen and have her back to this country. peter ricketts, lord ricketts, thank you very much for being on hardtalk. thank you. hello there. last tuesday brought some exceptional winter warmth. this tuesday, a very different story. quite a chilly start to the day, and it remains unsettled. we'll see some rain and some snow over high ground in the north, some sunny spells to be had as well. a lot going on on this satellite picture. there's one swirl of cloud here, an area of low pressure pushing away across europe, another one spinning to the north—west of the british isles, and another one in the atlantic. that one will be approaching from the south—west as we go through the day.
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this first area of low pressure feeding some showers in across northern ireland, northern england and scotland. it's quite a chilly start, particularly in eastern and north—eastern parts of the uk. temperatures for some spots down below freezing. so, as we go through the day, we will see this showery rain across northern england and northern ireland, some snow over high ground in scotland. here's our next batch of wet weather approaching from the south—west. in between, there will be some spells of sunshine, and actually, across northern scotland, some sunny skies in the tuesday afternoon. but outbreaks of rain, sleet and hill snow moving northwards across central and southern parts of scotland, still a few showers across northern england and perhaps northern ireland. a zone of sunnier weather through north wales into the north midlands, east anglia, the south—east, although that sunshine will tend to turn quite hazy, as cloud invades from the south—west ahead of this frontal system, bringing outbreaks of rain and a strengthening wind. as we go through tuesday night, we could well see wind gusts of 50 to perhaps 60 mph in exposed spots in the south—west, heavy rain driving
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its way northwards. a bit of snow developing, you'll notice, on the northern edge across higher ground in scotland. a chilly night in aberdeen, freezing. 10 degrees in plymouth, something milder spreading across parts of the south. but low pressure firmly in charge on wednesday. frontal systems, areas of rain spiralling around it, and as the wet weather meets some cold air across scotland, over high ground, we will once again see some wintry weather, plenty of showers flinging their way eastwards out of northern ireland, wales, into england, with some sunny spells in between. temperatures in the south into double—digits, but single figures definitely across north—western parts of the uk, and actually, that colder air will dig its way southwards during thursday. it will be quite windy, as well, across parts of scotland. some wintry showers falling to increasingly low levels here. rain showers further south, those temperatures ranging from around 6—11 degrees. and it stays unsettled as we head towards the weekend.
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we'll see some showers at times, some of those wintry over high ground, and it will generally feel a bit chilly.
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