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tv   BBC News at Nine  BBC News  March 21, 2019 9:00am-10:00am GMT

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hello. it's thursday. it's ten o'clock. i'm victoria derbyshire. as theresa may blames mps for the brexit shambles, who do you think bears you're watching bbc news with me, annita responsibility? mcveigh, at westminster. you come public, have had enough. theresa may heads to brussels to ask eu leaders to approve you come public, have had enough. you are tired of the infighting. you a three—month delay to brexit after blaming mps for are tired of the political games, the brexit deadlock. tired of the procedural rails. tired of mps talking about nothing else motion after motion and amendment but brexit. you want at this stage after amendment has been tabled, without parliament ever deciding of the brexit process to be over and what it wants. all mps have been willing to say done with. i agree. i am on your side. is what they do not want. is she on your side? mps across the house is that what you think? tell us this morning who you think of commons reacted furiously is to blame for the brexit chaos. to mrs may's remarks last night is it mps as mrs may claims? and said the prime minister is it her? should take responsibility for the brexit turmoil. instead of saying, "look, i'm the prime minister. the buck stops here." she said, "the buck stops over there. don't blame me. i'm not responsible."
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i'm david eades live in brussels where, with just over a week to go until the uk is set to leave the european union by law, there are still so many decisions to be taken. eu leaders must reach a unanimous decision. some member states may refuse to grant the prime minister the extension she wants. we will bring you the very latest from westminster and brussels throughout the day here on bbc news.
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i'm annita mcveigh in westminster. welcome to audiences here on the bbc news channel and around the world on bbc world news. the prime minister theresa may will head to brussels today to appeal directly to eu leaders to ask them to approve her request for a three month delay to brexit. but she'll leave political turmoil behind her at home after her statement in downing street last night, in which she blamed mps for failure to break the deadlock. she said the delay was a matter of great personal regret and she was on the side of people who'd had enough of political games. her remarks provoked an angry response from mps across the house, with some calling her comments toxic and reckless. our political correspondent, chris mason, reports. theresa may heads to brussels with the deafening noise of westminster throbbing in her ears to formally ask for the very thing she was desperate to avoid — a delay to brexit. last night, she tried to make the most of what being prime minister offers you — a downing street stage, an opportunity to rise above that
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din in the commons and talk directly to the country. so far parliament has done everything possible to avoid making a choice. motion after motion and amendment after amendment has been tabled, without parliament ever deciding what it wants. all mps have been willing to say is what they do not want. unlike parliament, she claimed "i'm on your side". but the reaction from many mps, the very people who will decide, probably next week, the fate of her plan, dripped with contempt. i will not support a government that takes such a dangerous, reckless approach to democracy. there is no way, given the language that she used tonight, that she is going to be able to reset this process in the next stages and have a genuine dialogue and search for the common ground, which is what this country badly needs. the prime minister's met the westminster leaders of the opposition parties
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and brexiteer conservative mps, who publicly ponder how long she can stay in the job. there's no two ways about it. the buck does stop with the prime minister. you can't keep telling the british public that you're going to leave on the 29th of march, 108 times from the dispatch box, and then morph that into the 30th ofjune, because the public are rightfully angry. back here, there is a collective sense that this is it. in the coming days, it will be the responsibility of mps to make some huge decisions. it is complete madness, one cabinet minister told me. contemporary british politics has never seen anything like this before. chris mason, bbc news, at westminster. so, after the prime minister's statement from downing street last night, what happens next? today theresa may will go to brussels to meet eu leaders
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and make that formal request to delay brexit for three months. if an extension is offered, mps will vote on the withdrawal agreement for the third time in the commons next week, assuming it's approved by the speaker, john bercow. if the withdrawal agreement is passed, the prime minister plans to leave the european union on the 30th ofjune. if she doesn't get an extension, or mps reject her plan, the legal default is that the uk will leave a week tomorrow, without a deal. let's ta ke let's take stock of all of this with oui’ let's take stock of all of this with our assistant political editor, norman smith. hello to you. i would like to ask you about the comments from donald tusk, the president of the european council, their stubble, because they will significantly influence what happens here in the uk. did he mean that if mps do not back the deal next week, they will not be a short extension but they could possibly be a long extension, ordid he mean could possibly be a long extension, or did he mean no extension at all and the uk out the eu on the 29th of
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march? if you look at his public pronouncements, it would seem that he is saying you have got to agree a deal and then we will give you a short extension, and by implication if you do not agree a deal, you are leaving the eu next friday. in private, however, the view in government is that the eu is desperate to avoid no—deal because it would be profoundly disruptive for the eu as well. they take the view if mrs may cannot get a deal through, then there would be an emergency eu summit right at the last moment, maybe thursday, maybe friday, at which the eu would offer an extension. the problem there, for mrs may anyway, is that any extension is likely to be an almighty long extension. the question then, could mrs may remain as leader if all that was on the table was an extension for who knows, one year, two, and they might even bolt something onto it, like you have to do have a new agreement, oi’ you have to do have a new agreement, ora you have to do have a new agreement, or a new referendum. it is not so
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much the rest of no—deal, that if the eu does offer an extension, it will be a very long extension. amber rudd has been commenting as well. it is crucial to see how the remain now respond. yesterday mrs may tilted toward the brexiteers. the big unknown is what do the remainers do? this morning i thought amber rudd was pretty much playing a neutral hand. why is there no new strategy? it is still her deal or no—deal. hand. why is there no new strategy? it is still her deal or no-deal. the important thing is to get a deal through and we will talk to mp5 to try and get their support so we can avoid no—deal next week. that is the message from the whole of government and certainly the prime minister. why is she pitting the public against parliament?” why is she pitting the public against parliament? i don't see it like that. i think all mp5 have a responsibility and a need to try and avoid no—deal and we will all be trying to do that over the next few days. thank you. let's talk about what theresa may said last night and
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the reaction to it. if you want to win friends and influence people and persuade them to back your deal, did you go about it the right way?m persuade them to back your deal, did you go about it the right way? it is a curious strategy, and at one level you can understand it. i think there is anecdotal evidence and everybody knows that people are profoundly cheesed off with the endless delay and seeming deadlock in parliament. tempting for the prime minister to lea p tempting for the prime minister to leap on board that and put herself at the head of public opinion. the brutal truth is what she needs to be focused on is winning the vote. did her intervention yesterday do anything to win the vote? answer, i think not. probably the reverse. there are two things that have happened. one is that many mps think that what you said was bluntly a bit reckless in terms of our democracy. you can't have a prime minister denigrating parliament at a time when there are all kinds of populist forces and political uncertainty. but more than that, blaming parliament by many at westminster ta ke parliament by many at westminster take the view that it is mrs may, her red lines, a refusal to involve
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parliament, her lack of leadership, and she is the problem. is there a way, and some mps are talking about, for parliament to take control of this process in the time remaining, rather than theresa may controlling the process, as they see it, and offering a choice of her deal or no—deal? offering a choice of her deal or no-deal? there is that it is an almighty long reach. the game plan is ahead of monday, head of the meaningful vote on tuesday or wednesday, they will put an amendment down which will indicate indicative votes, which is a way of parliament saying this is what we do like, the least worst option. and then to hope they get an extension and in that extension period to try to manoeuvre into a situation where a day or days are set aside for legislation to be passed to put in place this alternative framework. it is an almighty big ask and it has never been done before. there are huge divisions between mrs may's opponents, the norway brigade and
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the people's voters, all kinds of tensions. technically possible? i think it is very difficult to bring about. therein lies the problem. there many divisions. my colleague adam fleming in brussels was tweeting earlier, just over an hour ago, that there were 207 hours to brexit. make that 206 now. at any rate, just over 200 hours to break u nless rate, just over 200 hours to break unless something happens either here oi’ unless something happens either here orand unless something happens either here or and brussels between now and next friday. let me also tell you that you will be familiar with those petitions that if you reach 100,000 signatures can trigger a debate in parliament. there is a petition that is rapidly gathering signatures, more than 600,000 at the last glance, and taking up before my very eyes, and that is a petition calling for the uk to revoke article 50. and to remain in the eu. let speak now to remain in the eu. let speak now to the conservative mp daniel cutting ski here is a member of the pro—brexit european research group.
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—— daniel kawcynzski. there meaningful votes on theresa may's deal, you did not back either of them but you said you would now back them but you said you would now back the prime minister a couple of days ago, there that know your position? it is very important that the erg and other organisations in the house of commons fulfil their role in holding the executive to account. we sent her back to brazil to continue those negotiations because we had concerns over the northern ireland backstop. now i have changed my mind andi backstop. now i have changed my mind and i want to support the prime minister's deal because a lot of people in my constituency of shrewsbury, the local nfu, the shropshire nfu, my local councillors and party members, now feel it is time to get behind the prime minister. we have been a very divided country and we have appear to be divided overseas, and that is a very bad situation. we need to come together and get the deal across the line now. i urge my erg collea g u es across the line now. i urge my erg colleagues to set aside some of their concerns and get behind the prime minister. she clearly annoyed
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a lot of people last night, didn't she, in what she said and how to set it? she seemed to place the blame for all of this on mps, and parliament, and not so much on her handling of the process. parliament, and not so much on her handling of the processlj parliament, and not so much on her handling of the process. i will not comment on how the prime minister spoke last night. clearly she has moved mountains to try and get this deal through. the interesting thing is there is no other game in town. the norway mother will not get through. mr corbyn's customs model will not get through. another referendum will not get through. this is the only realistic thing that we can vote for and get across the finishing line. what about revoking article 50? it is an option, isn't it? that is a very good question but at the end of the day shrewsbury voted for brexit and many of my constituents expect us to pull out on time. we will not do that now, so there will be an extension untiljune the 30th. what
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we don't want is an even longer delay of a year or more with as participating in european union elections. this is how we get the deal across the line and avoid an extension and ultimately overturn brexit. lets talk about the process between now and next friday and the art of the possible, if you like, given that mrs may's deal has been heavily rejected twice already. do you really think the deal will go through on the third time and if not is the uk looking at a longer extension then? the first time it was defeated by over 220 votes. the next time, i think it was much less than that. 149. that is still a hefty amount. i am talking to fellow members of the erg who are now changing our minds. it is not a trickle but a steady flow toward the prime minister. over the course of the week and i am sure more and more
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constituencies will be talking to their members of parliament to say, look, the time has come to rally round the prime minister. if she doesn't get that deal through, would you prefer to go for no—deal rather than a longer extension? u nfortu nately than a longer extension? unfortunately parliament has on two occasions taken no—deal off the table, so that option is not credible. do you think the eu would allow a longer extension? that is your gut feeling? i do and i want to avoid a longer extension. i want to avoid a longer extension. i want to avoid being involved in the european union elections later this year. daniel kawcynzski, thank you for your time this morning. so what will the eu do? we can speak to my colleague david eades in brussels. hello. hello. thank you. there are so hello. hello. thank you. there are so many permutations and imponderables and it is hard to hang on to the here and now, really. the
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decision for the next few hours in the european union is relatively simple. they will hear from theresa may directly and she has put in a clear request for an extension to brexit until the 30th ofjune, which is what they will work around over the course of the next few hours. adam fleming is with us. you have been following this forever, and as long as brexit has been, you have been there, doing it. i think there will be something offered. this is a plan a and it is the easiest option for both sides, a short extension on the assumption the deal will go through in parliament next week. then it will be approved in writing by the eu leaders on thursday and the brexit process will unfold a bit later than planned. that is plan a. there is plan b, which will involve it not going through next week and eu leaders convening here at the end
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of next week. are we talking about a short extension? along extension with conditions? by the uk leaving with conditions? by the uk leaving with no deal on brexit day. the point from here seems to be at his plan be about which we cannot speak and you cannot go there. this week there was a lot of discussion about what happened when theresa may asked for a short extension but with the option of a much longer one? that is why we had discussions about what can you do to make sure that the uk does not have an outside influence in the choice of the next european president by the next eu budget which has to be decided next year, 01’ uses an which has to be decided next year, or uses an extended membership period to try and reopen the withdrawal agreement on the brexit deal. then the latter camp and the long extension had gone. that means tonight the discussion amongst the leaders will be focused on the technical, short extension and whether they will approve it or not.
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it will be difficult for those leaders to sit in a room for three hours and not ponder what might happen if things go wrong next week. on the basis of what adam was saying, all those areas in which may be the uk could still have some sort ofan be the uk could still have some sort of an influence if there was a longer extension, that is clearly exercising the french in particular. the french foreign minister has been the hardest line in terms of what he needs to hear from theresa may, what president macron wants. the french i making it very clear that they do not want this to go on any longer than necessary and if there is not a clear plan with real guarantees as to theresa may's strategy, they are not interested. listen to this. translation: situation in which mrs may was not able to give the european council sufficient guarantees about the credibility of her strategy would lead to the
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extension request being dismissed and a no deal exit. the interesting thing about that as there is not at this point common ground on what the best approach to theresa may's plan is. we are having a word now with an independent irish mep. listening to the french who are taking a hard line, certainly the taoiseach, the irish prime minister is taking a different line, there is a lot of work to be done. there is and we have to understand there are elections coming up in france, so everybody is positioning themselves. in my view i think what the taoiseach has said is the way we need to approach this. i watched the house of commons yesterday and i had desperation in the voices of many mps. they want to find a way forward with consensus. people are beginning
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to understand that and realise it and yes patience is sorely tested. everyone wants a deal in the sense of some sort, they all know what they want individually, but they don't know who they want to work with and how to achieve it. i guess from here the perspective remains the same, bewilderment that this cannot be done and huge frustration. yes, but this is about the eu and its future relationship with the uk. that is more important than any short—term arguments that people might make. yes, there will be difficulties around the election, but we have got to take a longer term perspective on this. remember the danes, the dutch, the french and the danes, the dutch, the french and the irish at some point in the last 30 years said no. yet we managed to find relationships and ways of working together. to me we cannot lose sight of that for short term,
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in some cases, political gains. there is a difference and as the french made it clear, this is about the country leaving the european union. all efforts to work out the deal have been made and they have been signed, sealed and delivered as far as brussels and the eu is concerned. from their point of view thatis concerned. from their point of view that is done and you either take it 01’ that is done and you either take it or leave without it. it cannot be that simple. there has to be a plan b that was spoken of earlier. we have to ensure that our future relationship with the uk is one of compromise where we can work together. anything else is not acceptable. yes, theresa may with her red lines from day one is finishing this as she began it. a small group of people not bringing the parliament and others with her. but we cannot let that be the determining factor of our
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relationship with the uk in five, ten, 20 years' time. it is more important than that.” ten, 20 years' time. it is more important than that. i can hear the emotion in your voice, obviously it is something deeply felt by many people. let me ask you about the european elections. you will be battling to stay in parliament. what about the dangers of a longer extension? you are dealing with the parliamentary uncertainty but also the changing of the guide here, possibly the changing of the guide in westminster. it is a whole different ball game. is that not another imperative to getting something done now? look, if it can be done now, it needs to be done. but equally we have to take the situation we are in. we would all prefer if we were in a different situation, if things were easier, but they are not. as they say, we
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are where we are. yes, the elections are where we are. yes, the elections are coming up, but that isjust part of the process here. look, to me, we have to take the longer view. it is not just about today. i think have to take the longer view. it is notjust about today. i think partly what convinced me of that was the passion and in many ways the desperation i had yesterday in the house of commons. those people want to find a way forward with consensus. if they need more time, we have to give it to them. thank you very much indeed for sharing your views with us. back to the here and now, we will wait for older leaders to gather in the course the next few hours to hear out what theresa may has to say precisely beyond just the request in letter form. and then to make a view, an extension is, i would guess, very likely. the exact detail of that we will wait to find out.
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for the moment, thank you very much. we can speak to our business editor, dominic o'connell. first, tell us what the markets are doing. i they reacting to developments over the last 12 hours or so? no, they are not, very little has happened. the economic barometer is what is happening to the pound sterling and it has moved down a bit against the dollar. but it has been at the 1.30, 1.32 range for about a month ever since it became slightly more clear they would not be a new deal. you might expect that after the shenanigans of the last day or so there would be a significant move, but there has not been. traders, like the rest of us, cannot work out what will happen. they expect there
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will not be no deal, that parliament will not be no deal, that parliament will not be no deal, that parliament will not allow a no deal, but the rubble will hit the road next week and if there is a lurch towards a no—deal brexit, expect to see the pound fall. if it is likely to be a no—deal brexit, and the pound could go to1.20. it no—deal brexit, and the pound could go to 1.20. it looks like there is a deal and it could be 1.40. go to 1.20. it looks like there is a dealand it could be 1.40. we are right in the middle of that at the moment. many businesses throughout this process have complained about a lack of certainty, about an inability to plan properly for whatever eventuality might follow. what i businesses saying at the moment about there are no deal planning? we have heard a lot about companies building up an inventory of stock, about being concerned about tariffs. we have a list of ta riffs about tariffs. we have a list of tariffs from the government that they will apply in the event of no
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deal. but they cannot plan for delays in terms of customs processing and cues. they are still very concerned about that. if there isa very concerned about that. if there is a deal, people expect there to be a sudden take—off along the lines of stoning taking off and more investment in the uk. some companies have said we have spent so much building up an inventory, that you might seea building up an inventory, that you might see a downturn immediately after their being a deal, so a counterintuitive response to a deal. the main thing is not a no deal, thatis the main thing is not a no deal, that is the main hope for businesses. there are not many companies who know whether we are closer or further away from a no deal after the last couple of days. i've gotjoe owen with me from the institute for government. let's try to take a very logical,
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step—by—step look at what might happen over the next seven or eight days. two scenarios, a meaningful vote three, that is theresa may's deal is passed or it is not passed. let's look at the possibility it is past, what would happen then? the dream scenario for the prime minister is her speech last night has persuaded more mps than it has put off and she brings back her deal next week and it is successful. but the parliamentary problems do not end there. she will need to pass the withdrawal agreement bill which is necessary in uk law in order to ratify the deal. that will not be another one of vote like the meaningful vote, that will be vote after vote after vote on issues, possible amendments coming in and around the house to do with the financial settlement, or the role of the ec]. she would need a stable majority all the way through that?
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precisely. in terms of no deal preparations, let's look at the prospect of meaningful vote three not being passed, what would happen then? there is a difficult question for senior ministers and civil serva nts to for senior ministers and civil servants to be answering in the coming days. the big red button to press go on those contingency plans need to have already been taken or taken on monday perhaps. what do they do about that even if we have not had the vote? there are real questions with this uncertainty of whether we were left possibly with no deal in a few days or a few months. departments will need to be answering questions about medical supply, answering questions about medical supply, and it is very uncertain which way those decisions will go at this point. if the deal is not passed,in this point. if the deal is not passed, in terms of extensions, what could we be looking at and what make the eu be prepared to give? this was one of the interesting things and
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donald tusk‘s statement last night. he talked about a short extension being contingent on the withdrawal agreement being successful in parliament but there was nothing about what might happen if that did not take place. everyone thinks that means a much longer extension, they would not be there is no deal next week, but they would have to be discussions about how long is that extension? what are we going to do in that extension? will anything be reopened from the withdrawal agreement to the political declaration? will the eu put some kind of conditions around continued participation? there is also the question of what happens for the european parliament elections. any extension that goes beyond the end of may, the eu has said will involve the uk taking part in those elections, which is politically quite difficult for a lot of the parties in westminster. thank you
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very much, as always a very clear look at what is possible in a very complicated picture. with me now is alastair campbell. he was director of communications for tony blair and he's campaigning for a people's vote. thank you forjoining us this morning. first on the campaign for a people's vote and also the campaign to revoke article 50 entirely. i notice you on twitter this morning saying there seems to be a media blackout about that petition. we mention it here and last time i looked it was heading well above 600,000 signatures. do you think thatis 600,000 signatures. do you think that is a possibility in the situation we are in? yeah, i don't know, but]eremy hunt, the foreign secretary, was saying that both the people's vote and ratification are a possibility. the reason the petition is going viral and the reason why
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the sign is up for our march on saturday had another huge boost was because of theresa may's conduct yesterday. the combination of prime minister's questions and her tantrum statement to the nation last night was extraordinary. this is a prime minister who threw away the majority that david cameron gave her, who has negotiated this so badly that she has lost the respect of her mps and the public, she has lost the respect of fellow european leaders, and yet still continues as though nothing has changed since she was the recipient of the biggest and the fourth biggest parliamentary defeats in our history. i really hope that as european leaders are gathering today, i really hope they understand that whatever message they get from theresa may, whatever message they get from jeremy corbyn, that they
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understand they must not give up on the british public because the british public have not given up on this. the country is looking at this and we are becoming a laughing stock. for the prime minister to pretend nothing has changed in recent weeks is beyond belief. clearly there are people who voted to leave who are extremely unhappy with the way this has handled, as well as those who voted to remain. but do you believe there is still an opportunity, given how little time remains, for parliament to take control of this, to take control away from the prime minister effectively, and for the public to put that pressure on mps to do so? listen, the vote for the amendment last week was pretty tight, but this is the thing. theresa may keep saying that parliament has been very clear what it doesn't want, but it
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doesn't know what it does want, but she won't let parliament express their view on that. i hate myself for saying this, but when i watched her last night, donald trump, we look at him and at least we know the quy look at him and at least we know the guy is a narcissist, but this was all about her last night, and all about her holding the tory party together, and as ever when there is a tough choice to make, veering off towards the hard right of her party, and conflating her survival with the national interest. how can it possibly be in the national interest that businesses, that communities around the country, just eight days away from when we are meant to be leaving the european union, and we haven't got a clue what is going to happen? it is mad. what do you think jeremy corbyn can achieve in brussels today? he is heading there and he is probably already there, arriving shortly for meetings. he walked out of a meeting last night because, we are told, chuka umunna
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was there, from the independent group. what can jeremy was there, from the independent group. what canjeremy corbyn bring to this at this point with a little over 200 hours to go as it stands until brexit? well, the best thing he could do is listen to that guy steve bray shouting on your background. there is no such thing asa background. there is no such thing as a jobs background. there is no such thing asajobs fairto background. there is no such thing as a jobs fair to brexit. let's be honest. the whole thing this wretched process has shown is that the false promises that were made in a referendum, we can leave the european union, and there will be no damage to our economy, that has gone. nobody truly believes that anymore. what i thinkjeremy corbyn should be doing is indicating to michel barnier and any other european leaders that he meets that, yes, he understands why they are saying there should be a short extension for her to get a deal through, but in my view that is not going to happen, and if anything i think mps will have hardened their views against her because of the way she conducted herself yesterday. and
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therefore at some stage there is going to have to be a process in parliament that looks at different options. i believe in all of those options. i believe in all of those options have been looked at, actually this will go back to the people, and what's more i frankly agree that it would be a democratic abomination for it not to go back, given that the brexit that was promised as undeliverable, the brexit she has negotiated is hated by pretty much everybody, and the public eye just being shut out of this. i tell you this. she said yesterday the country just wants to get on with it and the country has no interest in a people's vote. i tell you what, i thought that at the march in october it would be hard to get anything bigger than that but on saturday there will be of people at the put it to the people march. and she will get a loud message. european leaders need to understand they need to listen to the british public as well. don'tjust listen to theresa may and the politicians. the
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people want this put back and it has got to be put back now because of the total chaos that she and her useless government have created. when tony blair was by minister, you we re when tony blair was by minister, you were working with him, as we mentioned in the introduction. there was a huge demonstration objecting to the iraq war and british involvement in that. that gathering of the public didn't change tony blair's mind on that. is there any reason this weekend's demonstration to change theresa may's mind? there was massive opposition to the decision the government took in relation to iraq, but bear in mind a very large majority in parliament voted for that and we are a parliamentary democracy. she has been unable to get support in parliament for what she wants to do. and there is a very good reason for that, because it is a very bad deal for britain. i understand why people make the comparison. i also say this. i was a supporter of what tony
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blairdid, but this. i was a supporter of what tony blair did, but that much, even though, yes, it didn't change the government's mind at the time, it had a very important influence on the way that issue developed, even now. “— the way that issue developed, even now. —— that march. anybody who agrees with me that this is a total disaster for our country, there it is in the evening standard yesterday, there it is, put it to the people. i honestly believe if enough people turn out, the government, the opposition, europe's leaders, they will not be able to ignore the fact that the british people want another say on this and iam people want another say on this and i am absolutely confident that if that did go back to the people, you know what, i think the country would say we have looked over the cliff and we don't want it and we will stay. if nigel farage and boris johnson and jacob rees—mogg and everybody who is so confident about it, they should be fighting for a referendum as well. alistair campbell, thank you for your
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thoughts today. if you are just joining us, i am annita mcveigh in westminster, and welcome to audiences both here in the bbc news channel and around the world on bbc world news. the british prime minister, theresa may, is heading to brussels today to appeal directly to eu leaders to ask them to approve a request for a three—month delay to brexit. but she'll leave political turmoil behind her at home after her statement in downing street last night, in which she blamed mps for failure to break the deadlock. so, after the prime minister's statement from downing street last night, what happens next? today, theresa may will go to brussels to meet eu leaders and make a formal request to delay brexit for three months. if an extension is offered, mps will vote on the withdrawal agreement for the third time in the commons next week, assuming it's approved by the speaker, john bercow. if the withdrawal agreement is passed, the prime minister plans to leave the european union
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on the 30th ofjune. if she doesn't get an extension, or mps reject her plan, the legal default is that the uk will leave a week tomorrow, without a deal. the foreign secretary, jeremy hunt, has been responding to the prime minister's speech this morning on bbc radio four‘s today programme. she said she was —— he said she was just responding to the nation's frustration and the government can't do this alone. i think she was expressing extreme frustration with the way this process has been going on. and i think she was also reflecting the fact that people at home are getting very frustrated that the process is going on and on and it is not resolving itself and people worry about what may or may not happen in the future. but underneath what she was really saying is that in a hung
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parliament, mps have a different responsibility. so in a normal parliament where a government has a majority, it can get its business done with a majority in the house, then mps debate, criticise, do their normal things, come on the today programme and so on. in a hung parliament mps actually have to make decisions because government can't decide things on their own and we don't have those very often in our history. but she was really making the point that all of us as mps, whether in the government, or on the back benches, or opposition mps, have a special responsibility because a decision cannot happen without parliament giving it approval. let's speak to henry newman now. he's the director of open europe, an independent policy think tank. thank you forjoining us. what did you make of what theresa may had to say last night and the way that she said it? significant of course in how it might influence mps to vote next week, if indeed the third meaningful vote happens next week on
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her deal? good morning. if you are sitting at home and watching that on the news last night you were probably nodding along to it. most of the people i speak to outside of politics, whatever their views on the referendum, do want mps to come to some kind of decision. i did think there is a huge desire for more politics and another election, although some people do want a second referendum, but not a majority of the public. to find a deal and support for that deal, that requires mps in parliament behind us voting for it. that audience will have been very annoyed, on two different sides. the labour mps that she needed to back a dealfound it arrogant and rude, and also the key labour moderates who might be prepared to back a version of brexit, coming out last night and saying how angry they were with it. and on the other side, eurosceptic critics on her own backbenchers didn't hear what they wanted. they heard the prime minister saying there is a path to no—deal, which
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many of them white. you said there isn't a majority for a referendum but we don't know that definitively because theresa may has not encouraged the process by which indicative votes might take place for other scenarios. it has either been her deal or no—deal. for other scenarios. it has either been her deal or no-deal. and that is increasingly running out of road. it is her deal but also the european union's deal. there is one deal that has been agreed with the 27 members of the european union, which is her deal. it is ideal but it is also the deal. it is ideal but it is also the deal. if you don't want this, you're talking about no brexit or leaving without a deal. clearly there was so much division around the deal, her deal, the european deal, so shouldn't theresa may at an earlier point in this process have allowed other options to be voted on just to see where she could get a majority? i think she should have worked across parliament and the very beginning, especially after she lost a majority in the general election in 2017. ultimately, yes. that is a different point to where is there a majority in the house of commons? we
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have seen a series of votes on a customs union and on and norway style relationship. all of those have been defeated. theresa may has got plenty of problems and she has been handling things very badly and lots of different ways. we have also seen the labour party demanding cross— party seen the labour party demanding cross—party talks yesterday and then walking out of there because chuka umunna was there, a former labour mp and a member of the independent group. we see the labour party support a second referendum nominee but then voting against it in the house of commons. the labour party are calling for a customs union when there is one at the heart of the deal, which is called the backstop. that there are divisions everywhere, within the conservatives and labour, and that is the nub of the problem, and that is the nub of the problem, and why we are here, with just eight days to go until brexit with no settled deal. let's talk about here and now and next week and what is possible. do you really believe that theresa may can get this deal through and if not, what happens next? do you think europe will offer longer extension? i think europe
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will not refuse an extension because they don't want to be in a position where they are ultimately blamed for no—deal. whatever happens, we are likely to get an extension which means we will not be facing no—deal in nine days' time, although i accept it is very difficult for people sitting at home watching this, really worried about what is happening at a moment of serious national crisis. this is extremely uncomfortable. the vote next week is likely to fail again unless the prior minute changes tack. what you need to do to convince her own backbenchers, both on the leave side and the remain side, is to set out a timetable for her own departure. for than the policy problem has been linked to a personal problem with her leadership. she has now essentially lost the confidence of a lot of her own mps and i think what they want is a confidence that a different prime minister will take forward the next stage of the negotiations. that might be unfair because if she gets her deal through she will be a comeback win and a hero in some respects are delivered brexit to a hung parliament with deeply divided opinions on both
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sides. but they are clearly saying they want a different leader who would take the party forward to the next stage of negotiations.” would take the party forward to the next stage of negotiations. i wonder who would want thatjob right now? henry newman, from open europe, thank you. theresa may has some convincing to do among her mps here at home and something to do in brussels as well. let's cross their now and talk to my colleague, david eades. hello again. very interesting listening to henry there and i think it is possibly worth re—emphasising what the situation is here as far as the eu, what they are looking at, what they are prepared to offer in terms of that extension, and the request is now. adam fleming is with me and we canjust request is now. adam fleming is with me and we can just through that. —— the request is in now. adam fleming is with me and we can just work through that. there are clear conditions attached. we expect the leaders to approve the concept of a
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short technical extension. not finalise the agreement but approved the concept, which is on the basis that theresa may takes a deal back to parliament next week for a third attempt to get it through and if it goes through, the leaders next week will use the written procedure, as it is known, emailing each other, to legally approve the extension and it will come into effect and the uk will come into effect and the uk will leave by the 30th ofjune. at a meeting of the ambassadors from the eu 27 last night there was broad agreement that there would be a special summit if a meaningful vote next week fails and theresa may's deal is rejected for a third time. picture what the scene would be like
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if it is the eve of brexit date and no deal is there and people are standing on the cliff edge, what will that file? what will they be discussing? partly they would be discussing? partly they would be discussing a further extension, a long—term extension, which brings into play what happens to british meps with the european elections? who will be the people in charge here, the changing of the guide in the european commission, and the council? it is a whole different ball game. we have had a preview of those discussions because the eu was having them at the beginning this week when they thought theresa may would make sure extension to get her deal through, or a longer extension to have the process going on in the uk. it is things like with the uk signa uk. it is things like with the uk sign a pledge to abstain in the vote on the selection of the new commission president which will happen in the summer? would the uk signa happen in the summer? would the uk sign a pledge to abstain from voting
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on the eu's budget? would you have a pledge from the uk that it accepts it we renegotiate the withdrawal agreement? people were worried that the uk could use its leveraged and the uk could use its leveraged and the discussion about the budget to say, can we look at the northern ireland backstop again? people were worried about that at the start of the week. some countries are taking that seriously, the idea that britain might start to influence and medal when they know they are leaving may seem unlikely, but the french see that as a very real concern. the french are taking the toughest line on this. they are going way beyond their agreed line and they are talking incredibly tough on private and in public. yesterday i was talking to another country's ambassador and they said, we cannot allow the situation where the political chaos in the uk is
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imported into the eu. they are trying to defend themselves from that situation. we have a petition to have a debate to revoke article 50 in westminster. we see the second vote campaign ratcheting up because we are getting towards the end of the 11th hour. yet i do not hear any more though almost wistful remarks from across the european union of do you really have to go? can't you stay? has that gone? it is gone but present simultaneously. a few weeks ago when donald tusk made it special place in hell speech, that got headlines. but he started his speech by admitting that his dreams of another referendum and the uk changing its mind had died because the campaign for another referendum was not taken off in the uk. people said donald tusk was the last person
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to come to that conclusion in this town. however, in the last few days and weeks, it has started creeping back into the discussion and that is because the eu is saying to the uk, if you want a extension, it has to be for a big democratic moment in the uk, which could be another referendum, it could be an election, or it could be a rethink about the future relationship and the uk pursues a much closer relationship in the future than the one it is pursuing now. adam laying out all the potentials and the reality for the potentials and the reality for the moment, though, is it is about theresa may coming here to ask for an extension up tojune the 30th. let's talk about the petition that has gone viral which is calling for article 50 to be revoked. if they
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get over 100,000 signatures, they can trigger a debate in parliament. i looked at earlier and it was above 600,000. last time i looked it said the petition was down for maintenance. let's talk to the person behind that petition. let's go to cyprus now where we can speak to margaret anne georgiadou, she set up a petition to get article 50 revoked and it now has over 600,000 signatures. it is down for maintenance, is that because so many people are signing up because so many people are signing upfor because so many people are signing up for it? i hope so, i hope it is not something more sinister. what was the figure when you look at it recently? it was going towards 700,000. it is quite high. tell us about your background and why you started this petition. there did not seem to be a petition that did not
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have a date attached to it by the 26th of this month the government had to do x. people were supporting those petitions. this petition goes on to the 19th of august. it is just revoke and remain, very simple. it did not do very well for a week. i nearly gave up. but then i contacted a lot of people and it took off. perhaps the deadline of the 29th of march approaching is concentrating minds for people who want this option. tell us a bit more about you, you are british living in cyprus? no, i am visiting. they arrive yesterday on a visit and a holiday. do you have a political
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background or do you describe yourself as an ordinary person? well, i am yourself as an ordinary person? well, iam not yourself as an ordinary person? well, i am not a politician. yourself as an ordinary person? well, iam not a politician. but yourself as an ordinary person? well, i am not a politician. but i am interested in politics. tell us why you want article 50 to be revoked ? why you want article 50 to be revoked? i wanted to remain, i wa nted revoked? i wanted to remain, i wanted to stay in the eu. i became like every other remainer very frustrated that we have been silenced and ignored for so long. so i think now it is almost like a dam bursting because we have been held backin bursting because we have been held back ina bursting because we have been held back in a sense. it is almost like last chance saloon now. it is now or never a think for a lot of people. what would you say to people who voted leave and they said it was an expression of the democratic will of
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the people almost three years ago to leave the eu? the referendum is somewhat tainted, but it was democratic let's say in inverted commas. but the actions based on referenda are not democratic, they owe more for the majority. in a democracy everybody is included. in a referendum the losers have no voice. i was annoyed about that. we should have a chance, we should have a referendum. we must leave it there, iam a referendum. we must leave it there, i am sorry, we are running out of time. we appreciate you joining us and telling us about your petition. we will keep an eye on the number of signatures, approaching 700,000 as it stands.
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as we've been reporting, jeremy corbyn the labour leader is also heading for brussels. his colleague, the shadow international trade secretary barry gardiner, told breakfast news it was time for the prime minister to allow parliament more of a say. she has insisted it always has to be her way, right from the beginning when we trickle article 50, but also releasing the information on the legal position, releasing the information about the economic assessments, indeed on whether they should be a meaningful vote itself. at every stage she has opposed parliament having a say and has a lwa ys parliament having a say and has always had, that is for me to decide and ultimately she has been forced to concede background. it is now for parliament next week to take control of the situation and to insist there should be a mandate that is a cce pta ble should be a mandate that is acceptable to the majority of the british population on all sides, to get 80%, leave the extremes on either side, but make sure that 80%
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of people can say, yes, this is something we can go forward with. just to be clear, if she gets her extension, and we know that is why she is going to brussels today to ask that, if she gets her extension, we understand there will be another vote on the deal, will the labour party be voting against it? can i present it to you this way? if somebody comes and says to you, i will either chop your left hand off or your right hand off, you do not say, chop the right one for the left one stop you say, do not chop either. what she is doing to parliament, and this is the craziness of her position at last night, because instead of saying, look, i am the prime minister, the buck stops here, she said the buck stops over there, do not blame me, i am not responsible. that she is the one who for the past two and a half yea rs has one who for the past two and a half years has been insisting that only
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she can determine what is done. stay with us today throughout the day on bbc news for much more on brexit. yesterday was the spring equinox and that coincided last night with a super worm moon. whether watchers sent us photos of the moon and because it was so big and bright we had a rare phenomena last night, a moon bow. you can see the colours. it is quite rare. normally you see them they white or faint, but because it was so bright it added extra light. today it is mostly cloudy. we had sunshine yesterday, but today it will be limited. it is most likely in east wales, the
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midlands and the north east of scotland. a bit of rain west of scotland, otherwise it is looking dry this afternoon. even with the clyde temperatures will be 13-15. with the with the clyde temperatures will be 13—15. with the sunshine it could be 17. overnight there is rain in the five north—west of scotland and that will turn heavy in the early hours of friday. she rain and drizzle on the hills and coasts of wales. temperatures no lower than 7—11. on friday this area of low pressure is moving towards iceland, but this cold front will move its way southwards and eastwards and that will introduce a stronger wind and heavy rain. that rain will be persistent in the north west of scotla nd persistent in the north west of scotland and it will move south—east. there will be brighter skies eventually in the north and west. further south it is quite cloudy on friday. temperature is
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about 13—15. it will turn cooler in scotla nd about 13—15. it will turn cooler in scotland and northern ireland. it will continue to move south eastwards as we go into the weekend. high pressure still dominating things, but notice the blue is taking over the yellow and there will be cooler conditions throughout the weekend. with that area of high pressure it will be dry with some sunshine. this is saturday and we have got cloud in the five south. some uncertainty as to how quickly that cope will move away. plenty of dry weather. temperatures have come down a bit during saturday to about 10-12. on down a bit during saturday to about 10—12. on sunday this area of high pressure is staying with us, but we have got this mixed weather system pushing into north—western areas of scotla nd pushing into north—western areas of scotland and that will bring hill snow to the high grams of scotland. elsewhere on sunday it will be a dry
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day with decent sunny spells and temperatures about 10—13. settled weather continues into next week.
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