tv British Ambassador to the U.S. on Brexit Negotiations CSPAN October 29, 2018 6:30pm-8:02pm EDT
cyber security analyst and reporter on voting machines and election security. >> the department of homeland security has been working with states and counties to scan systems for vulnerabilities. that is only focused on the internet facing systems like the website that posts the result, or the website that stores the database. they are not looking at transmissions to see if those
are secure. they are not looking at voting machines, or tabulation machines. those are the core systems. the court critical systems of an election. the british ambassador to the us and politicians and epidemics talked about the state of brexit negotiations. the q&a ran about an hour and a half. >> would like to welcome everyone here today. i'm director of the center of the united states and europe here at brookings. i'm delighted to welcome you all today whether you are in
the audience on the webcast or watching on c-span for our panel discussion. let me think -- take a moment to think the partnerships that we have. this is part of our trans-atlantic initiative that simply would not be possible without the support and partnership that we have. we look forward to the work that we are doing in the coming years. if you would indulge me i would like to add to the conversation that will at least moderate shortly. britain's pending exit whether everyone agrees with are not will shape the future of the uk, the future of europe, and the future of the trans- atlantic relationship. my colleague amanda sloat who was on the panel today has an important report in which she
documents that it may have a detrimental impact for peace in northern ireland. we look forward to hearing her thoughts on that. brexit of course would transform the european union mage-- raising major questions about the future relationship of the continent to britain but european integration which is something we are going to look at in the coming months. within the eu on how far and how fast the process should proceed. brexit will also have an important impact on the trans- atlantic relationship. most americans are familiar with the term. it's one of those that penetrated immediately into the public consciousness. the re--- the united states has been very absent from negotiations which marked the departure of america's traditional role as an active participant in debates.
brexit is primarily a matter for the uk and toward that end, we are committed to engaging in these issues including launching a project on the future of this special relationship and how that will fit into the broader relationship after brexit. we are delighted to be joined by a stellar panel. edward luce is editor of the financial times on the colonist and-- western liberalism available on amazon. it will moderate the panel. >> the united kingdom's ambassador to the united states , thank you very much for joining us here today. amanda sloat is one of our senior fellows and divided kingdom, how brexit is making
the constitutional order. lucinda creighton is consulting and minister for european affairs. douglas alexander is a senior fellow for the science of international affairs and storm- - formerly served as minister for europe and secretary of state for scotland in the british government. i would also like to recognize the irish ambassador here with us today. please feel free to use your phone. if you are tweeting about today's event the hashtag is #bbti . with that, over to you. >> thank you very much tom. the pleasure is always to be in bookings and see so many familiar faces, so thank you for having me. it's a pleasure to have such a well-qualified and diverse panel to discuss this issue we
are facing. we've got halloween approaching next week. sure enough, theresa may at the same time as close to midnight, late night sessions and brussel- - in brussels. and they have to match by the 29th under article 50. what happens to your peers living in britain and britain's living in europe. which is also pretty much been resolved and which is unresolved and which we are going to focus on a lot today is not wrecking the good friday agreement and otherwise keeping the irish republic border open. we are going to focus on that now a day.
the key thing is that trick-or- treating is not going to result in britain getting any candy. it's going to be giving candy to brussels. how much and with what degree of bad will? a very diverse range of scenarios. people talk about radical uncertainty in geopolitics which is very much true. in the coming months and weeks of what's going to happen with brexit. having failed to secure a divorce agreement or having succeeded and parliament. after last saturday's 700,000 strong match for a people's vote, there was a second referendum and then the third.
ordinarily mainstream scenario, but theresa may gets her deal, and then we go to brexit on march 29 after which the real negotiations begin on what post brexit britain and europe looks like. let's start with uncertainty. -- let's start with the radical uncertainty. kim, [ laughter ] i go to you because you've been britain's ambassador to the eu and an advisor to the british prime minister. you are now of course the ambassador. you have experience of representing the british government and speaking on its behalf. what is your prognosis of these scenarios? the slightly apocalyptic speaking through parliament scenario and until recently,
fantastical people's vote scenario but perhaps slightly less fantastical. what are you looking at as the probabilities here? >> powerful introduction but thanks for coming to me first. you have presented what feels rather like one of those foreign options submissions with three options where we want to choose the middle one. let me explain why. the withdrawal agreement in the eu in the 27, the prime minister said in the house of commons yesterday 95% done and we have provisional agreements the rights of citizens living in the uk and the rights of uk citizens living in europe. most of the rest of the
arrangement. the hardest part was always going to be around the deal of what happens on the irish border. we've got 95% of the way they are. -- of the way there. if we get the pretrade trio-- deal embodied in the proposal, the issue of the border gets solved. that's plan a. if that negotiation should not be completed in the period that runs until the end of december. that's not where we expect to be or want to be. we are talking about contingencies. as the european council in december, in places
again, but all of us want the same object gives. the irish government which is no hard border. i am confident that we can get a deal. >> an agreement about the future . 15 years doing this work, i'm confident that is achievable with the usual creativity in the drafting-- of agreements. and be confident about getting the deal with european partners . i would accept that it looks like a tight vote when you have an agreement. the talk which is
in newspapers, when considering the alternatives,. it can do deals with other groups. my money is on her despite all of the predictions at the moment. get into that place. >> very briefly, we hope the best but prepare for the worst. to what contingency is this happening in the british government? >> they were also trying to find a way that involves a deal, not
know deal. yes we are doing contingency planning for that and not the plan. the plan is that we get to this place in the next month and a half. >> your political-- ireland and the span for the integration of europe. you remember the european parliament and the european union. the same time period has been the entrenchment and the success of the good friday agreement that is achieved in ireland. what is the know deal
contingency planning and ireland and sort of life activity? >> the risk surrounding the final phase of the negotiations are very high and they are the huge degree of concern in belfast and across the island around the prospect of a deal not being concluded. i think it probably will and i spent a lot of my time in brussels and a lot of my time in london. i think there is a desire on both sides to do a deal. the direct experience of being a member of parliament westminster, i think it's a highly risky scenario.
accounting across government departments and in dublin, it's a difficult thing to plan for and a lot of ethical planning underway. i think the implementation is very unclear. there is a legitimate and a deep emotional concern on the island. it's a very sensitive topic in london and those who advocate do not like the peace talks. the prime minister-- of the european council. this very hard one and very easily lost. i completed my high school exams in 1998 and i come from the
generation which we witnessed on televisions every single evening, from not just in northern ireland which devastated people's lives. thousands of people killed and that is something that people across the island of ireland are deeply concerned about maintaining and preserving the process. we are really concerned about could potentially unleash. before march and probably by the end of the year, this is a real risk and threat that we are really concerned about. >> minister of europe and the
last labor government, which we are going to bring into this conversation to a spokesman of foreign affairs. given your poly metric, your harvard of course which is not most left behind are but you are still in a position to judge the prospects. >> given the parliamentary experience and the leadership of your party, is at best-- but somebody did not turn up to the match. what are the chances that something could go wrong in this vote and we could crash into a no deal situation?>> i think the risk of real jeopardy is great. there is of course negotiating risk.
can they find common ground? there was agreement on that but so far not managing to find the formulation. in classic negotiations both sides want to find the common ground and the consequences of not finding the common ground for all of the reasons we had is extremely severe. in the days and weeks ahead we are-- we hope we will see progress but there was not simply an agreement reached. it was an undertaking, would be a meaningful vote on the out come of the negotiations. not just for negotiation risk but the ratification risk. the reason there is such speculation across the united kingdom is that there is no
majority in parliament for any of the negotiation outcomes under contemplation. that's an understatement, and come under fire and this can all be resolved, i have to say as we skate-- as we say in scotland, i have my doubts. it seems to me that the democratic union will not support partners in the conservative party when it comes to this issue of the relationship between northern ireland and the public. there are a lot of conservatives mps that are not prepared to support the deal as it is under contemplation. it seems to be that the labour party-- i am deeply, deeply skeptical but the conservative
are with the plan and with the border and agreement with the implications for keeping an open border implied. what is the dp concern? why is this such a issue for conservative brexit tiers? >> i really have been a perfect storm of events. you remember that teresa mae became prime minister following the resignation and she decided to hold elections strength in aiding her negotiating position and that is a disaster as result with the parliamentary majority and becoming dependent on the dp for government. the same time it's also worth noting that northern ireland has been without an assembly for over 500 days. at this critical time, the only voice that is coming out is the
voice of the democratic union party which is propping up the government in london and there really is no voice otherwise coming out. when i was in northern ireland in may doing research i met with a dp representative who had been involved in these campaigns and the way he articulated it was that the du p recognizes that norlin -- northern ireland has special circumstances but they don't want a special status. what they're concerned about with the back side is the idea that you would essentially create a border in the irish sea and you would be treating northern ireland separately. in many ways what's offered in the backdrop is the best of both worlds economically for northern ireland because they would be able to participate within the single market union but they would be operating within the uk framework. this raises unacceptable status issues for them.
therefore it has become an affirmation political position. >> you as an american how do you assess the trump administration's role? a traditional american administration would be trying to finesse and help insert itself constructively into these negotiations. that is not happening. >> it is not. it has been unclear what the u.s. position is. you have president obama who was very forward thinking in terms of supporting and he went to london before the referendum expressed american support for a strong uk within a strong eu suggested that the uk would be at the back of the queue in
terms of free trade negotiations. tomp has taken a very different approach, he called brexit a great thing referred to the eu as a [ indiscernible ] and is supportive of the weakening of the you breaking countries away from the eu. it's been suppressing that the u.s. has been less involved in the negotiations. the u.s. of course for decades supported the northern ireland peace process, we had majority leader george mitchell very actively involved. but i think the u.s. really has not played a very active role. i think the u.s. government has its best interest with no deal that would be very damaging. the state department has made quiet periods to encourage progress.
the u.s. really has not played the role that we might see from the traditional usa ministrations in terms of putting pressure on both sides in particular trying to find a way forward. >> it is not as you mentioned, it is not just voluntarily exempt when trump was in britain it was suggested he would make a great prime minister. he has a habit. >> [ laughter ] >> one of the great plays of the brexit campaign was a post brexit u.s.-u.k. trade deal. the agreement between the u.s.- u.k.. britain wouldn't be in the position to negotiate and america wouldn't want to negotiate so we may deem agents
-- arrangements and trump didn't say one reasonable thing when he was in britain about this. if britain is a factor in order to keep the irish border open, then it will be very hard to negotiate with britain a separate trade deal. that was a reasonable point. what are the prospects for assuming czechoslovakia is the basis for the divorce agreement one of the prospects for the great price of brexit making a trade deal with america? >> they have talked about this at each of the last several meetings i recently attended. we are teen on a free-trade agreement and the president always has -- teen -- in favor
of the free trade agreement and the president always has been. we can negotiate and i think we can even implement the agreement until we have less at the end of december. we have set up an in agreement and that is the structure in which we will negotiate. they are ready to go and i'm confident once we have less we will stop negotiations quickly. speaking on negotiations, you're right and just how far we can go in terms of even if we have to wait and see where
we get to in terms of the future relationship between the uk and the eu free trade deal we want that and how close we are to eu regulations so u.s. takes 20% so it's already obvious a natural trading partner including particularly whole services. this will be a top priority for the government once we are out. >> is it fair to say that if we get in the position were technically the usa and uk gets a trade deal and that would be an ideal position where they will go further. it would be britain playing ireland. >> a position of the government
is not good. >> the idea that donald trump is willing and waiting to do an ultra generous deal with the united kingdom seems to me to be optimistic to put it mildly. the fact is negotiators are insensitive people. if you look at the arithmetic if you're sitting as a trade negotiator with 500 behind you then the deal that you are able to strike is fundamentally different than if you are sitting with 70 million consumers. at the same time where dealing with the president who got elected on a promise of putting america first. the idea that he is for reasons of sentiment desperate to do a deal that helps the united kingdom seems to me to be
consistent with being there from the outset. somehow by leading the european union britain will's bend to stand taller in washington or in moscow and we will become [ indiscernible ] and there is no evidence. implementation period will be political decoration translated into a legally binding united kingdom agreement. no country is going to engage with the american kingdom until the character of the united kingdom's relationship in terms of future trade. i think the idea that at the beginning of april if we are in that situation the rest of the world is going to rush to britain stored to sign the agreement is
just another conversation. as soon as brexit happened it will be a rush of countries doing trade deals. i see no evidence it will be true. >> that's a fantasy that one can laugh at. it involves all kinds of popular things. >> [ indiscernible ] >> the fantasy is extended to end, you've seen british politicians like horst johnson and others talking about what island -- ireland would do to
accommodate itself. we can have people on the board checking across the borders. computer solving it all. we can actually cash out and tally the customs and keep that the how is this kind of and of course we've had the talk will you should leave the you as well, customs unions call the british isles. >> we've heard that one before. >> you are sitting in a way more comfortable seat right now. never the less, to what degree is this bringing up rather bad memories and changing the political climate in the republic? >> it's a very big question in
the sense, on the one hand, the relationship has clearly deteriorated over the last couple of years. we had a high point in bilateral relations when queen elizabeth visited and came to ireland and traveled around the country and you know it was a very strong relationship and personal relationship as well between a series of prime ministers. certainly, those relationships have been strained in the last two years, and of course some of the remarks from cabinet members on some leading topics in the conservative party, i think there's a point at ireland that there is a
nonpartisan so when boris johnson's fathers intervened and if they want to shoot at each other that is fine at this point everybody is saying that's nonsense. likewise when boris johnson wasn't the only want to talk about technical solutions to the border any there was a very serious line in the government. these are quite serious i.d.s but one by one -- issues but one by one they will be dealt with. >> that's another one. >> it's offensive and yes it has affected our relations but you are right ireland as a country is a much more economically successful place than it was in 1973. we have learned to stand on or
near -- on our own 2 feet. we have been given a self- confidence that did not exist. that has actually grown more over the last few years. unfortunately, the uk has done significantly so we have a sense of confidence about the economy and society and politics and nothing, no degree of insult that might be flung at us by certain individuals will impact us and if anything, we deftly feel a stronger more assured member of the union. there many -- there are many who when are in power to's london over [ indiscernible ] because
of strength and size but in reality we have see european solidarity. i am benefiting from that so that is why many are surprised to this day even though we've been having the same conversations for at least 12 months, while the border, the peace process, under the issue of, all of the predictions about fragmentation and divide and conquer have been proven wrong and every state but the solidarity has been proven to be working. i think that will continue. >> dismissing the insults but one of the most profoundly
disturbing distressing depressing aspect of british public debate over the last months has been the extent to which it has revealed very senior british politicians ignorant of relationships with our neighbors in ireland, a lack of understanding of the fragility of peace that was harmed and secured by politics and can surely be undone by politics. if i'm absolutely honest i think revealing of the character of the modern conservative is used to be the conservative and unionist party but what we are witnessing is the rise of english nationalism. it is revealing that many members of the conservative because they still travel under that name, have a disregard for the interests of the united
kingdom. if the cost of a so-called brexit and that is an opinion within the conservative party. >> you have written a paper, it's about the constitutional in britain. you have included a referendum to certainly more live talk of a second scottish referendum, i heard in reference to douglas's concern about some of the ugliness of the debate, i heard the acronym description of what a britain without northern ireland and scotland would be which is 499 kingdom and whales at the uk which would be an
expression. how likely is that? the scottish aren't looking for referendum right now. >> i think there's a lot of referendums in scotland right now they've had a referendum in 2014 i think we have learned that referendum does not answer the questions. there is the key over that having seen the messiness of brexit divorce it highlights in fact how messy scotland uk divorce would be and also the discussion about northern ireland shows that if the uk is out of the customs union a single market and scotland wanted to rejoin the eu union would you have a hard border with scotland and then england as a result of that? the questions become a lot more complicated. i think a lot of this will depend how brexit plays out. people in scotland 60% to
remain so, 62% overwhelming support in scotland certainly there is historically been a feeling that they are being dictated to by government that they don't necessarily support. the one thing i talk about is constitutional but really matters is the question of where powers will return when they come back to the uk. this is in fact become one of the big debates in scotland that could motivate questions a potentially independence referendum. when the governments were set up a number of powers were going to be reserved to westminister. everything else was going to be devolved to scotland. where powers come back from the eu like environment agriculture fisheries many in scotland particularly the scottish national party but others they are not reserve so they should be coming back to us and this
actually has gone to the constitutional court and is continuing to play out. if they are controlled by london for the sake of having a single market within the uk on things like agriculture and fisheries you will have to deal with questions from the welsh and others about how they are involved. >> in practical terms the scottish will be waived into the unity -- you. the spanish do not want to. there will be all kinds of forces discouraging from what understand scottish of public opinion is sort of paying heed to that. do they really want this kind of direction? >> i think brexit has change the calculation a little bit. the spanish perspective that this was a constitutional
process that you had a referendum in the uk and scotland were to become independent to constitutional means that answers some of the questions. i think brexit is the uk leaving the eu and scotland wanting to remain. that's the different question for scotland. scotland i think would have to reapply for membership but given that they currently implement all of the legislation, i think that would be a fairly easy case for them to make. >> i genuinely believe as of today the greatest threat to the united kingdom is not nationalism we made our choice back in 2014. the choice was in the united kingdom and in the mind of the prime minister she believes that
scotland did want to remain as part of the referendum. it would be the spark that would support the independence of above 50%. in fact to change the metaphor was the dog that never barked. we really have not seen any significant change in the months since 23rd of june 2016. in that same aspect there has been what bill clinton used to call that we witnessed the attempt to try to come to terms with the union when concentrating the possibility of breaking up a union between scotland and england. the reality is the public opinion the moment remains to independents. if you look again objectively what were the reasons why we made the choice? one of the reasons was economic, they clearly were unable to make the case but there were credible
answers on the currency membership. each one of those issues has actually become more difficult not were straightforward. in that same mind, they're not extending those difficulties calling a second referendum and proceeded to lose 21 of her seats. i certainly wouldn't want to lead you with the impression that scotland is chomping at the bit for another referendum. far from it. on the other hand, my senses if the nationalists are able to persuade people that there should be another referendum, it would frighten the next referendum on the little britain led by the likes of boris johnson. i do think that there are very
real stakes for united kingdom represented by the government in the course that's been sent but i think scott's say if we shoot ourselves in the foot then we will cut off her leg. >> that is a radical thought. of people's vote for our second bite of the apple. a lot of people the degree of unity in these talks have been underestimated. it's been clear that ireland is involved and moving the club, in an extreme scenario where we might be heading toward a brexit which would not damage britain it would damage ireland and other countries, do you think some of this strong rigid
negotiating for freedom on goods if you have all or none have two, if it comes to a situation that might be more flexible given the negotiating experience? >> we are not on the other side from the irish government. on the same side we are based, committed to a hard border. we work together to find a politically acceptable solution. there is no push for the border so that's when we see backstop.
this isn't an adversarial position. to your question, i personally am not surprised that the way that the negotiations have unfolded. if we get into a new deal brexit, we will survive, as it will be i think damaging to both sides. we will see much better way of finding our way out through. 95% will reveal the other half will do a political statement on the future. it needs to be substantive and detailed enough to provide for the house of commons.
it is difficult for me to see why it shouldn't be possible to reach that outcome. a look forward to what is to come. >> you have an admirable assumption of the people who share your rationality. the key is way up things in a judicious manner. my question is whether that also applies to the europeans? the assumption by the british or many people in britain has been more sympathetic to a
pragmatic deal. might that change? >> i think he is a great friend of the uk. going back to the slow-motion which led to the referendum in the uk, all through that period where they were trying to negotiate some sort of a compromised some sort of deal that could work for the uk was allowed to go back and have this referendum put into place to convince voters and there were cabinet meetings ministers
were having huge intensity so she is, i think generally can say nobody around the table is wanting to see what unfolds. to interpret that willingness to compromise the fundamentals of the european union before freedom i think is to grossly misunderstand her. she is totally wedded to the people and she is totally committed to maintaining the integrity of the single market. that is not the position that is fundamentally a german physician. i listened for the last two years saying the german car manufacturers will lean on german government and there will be compromises at the last
minute. i think that's completely wrong. i expected the issue to say the single market is nonnegotiable. this is a fundamental principle. germany really sees itself as the custodian of those ideas. if anything, the fragmentation makes it stronger. no, it is the answer. i don't see pressure coming as i anticipated. that's not going to happen and i think people are really misunderstanding what the european project means. >> even if they were playing
the role that some in britain hope she would be negotiating. >> this is a problem for europe as a whole. there is no question about that. there is a strong mandate for the majority but it is struggling. they don't know what they will do for the elections. there are a lot of variables. the europeans as existing, including some countries that have had pretty controversial disputes, they have all pretty fundamentally been unified. i think that that has to
continue. it will be a deal out of the terms of the basic fundamental principles of the european union. >> let's get to the other extreme. possibly types of people in this room. that march last saturday is the largest march in recent history. it's worth saying the last largest march was against the iraq war and that didn't work. never the less, this is 700,000 people, in order to get that fantasy scenario of the second referendum, you will need one of the leaders of the two main parties to support it? you will need the two to have a moment or else and some sort of scenario to be ousted and
replaced by somebody else. that is even less likely i think. what are the chances in your view that european members of the party like, 10 point and say voters want to remain in europe these are your people and that are 1.6 million more young voters in the british election then there were two years ago. 750,000 fewer old photos because mortality. -- voters because of mortality. there's an argument you can make that you just have to get,
what are the chances of the argument making headway? >> that has not shifted in the position he's adopted but the position that was negotiated after many hours, the option of a second was kicked on the table but there was a deadlock and then the option of a general election had been rejected. i think in terms of those 750,000 people that actually is the only credible by which the aspiration will be fulfilled. it would be that we do see all of the possible alternatives. the other party will position itself for general election.
it will be an unsuccessful in the general election. it is hard to believe but even conservatives are likely to walk into the division with the consequence putting themselves in front of people. i think both the democratic union and conservative party are deeply fearful of losing the general election. this problem will probably last a little longer. if proposals have been rejected, she won't win the general election could there be circumstances in which she shed we have tried our best. -- said we have tried our best. they will have a second vote and required the support of the
eu in terms of unanimous commitment. that would be forthcoming in those circumstances. it's a huge if and you are right inner observation which in a democracy notwithstanding all of our discussions you need the principal opposition to the principal party of government to move to create circumstances which the second referendum could take place in right now you need a conservative party to go down that route. >> the other question is what the referendum question is. is it a take or leave the negotiated deal or is it a second referendum on whether or not you go forward with brexit. >> a remain or -- a remain person would in a parliament
the prime minister could not have a general election and set out and say okay we will put it back to the people. in which case what was the question? i think the only circumstance which you get to that question is a constitutional crisis. you can clearly imagine circumstances in which at that point the prime minister says let's go to the people i will have to say would be very surprised if the european at that point was prepared to extend the article 50 if it was only to ratify the deal that had been done. i certainly think it would be a lot of voices with the other party to avoid that being the choice. the party will have already rejected and clearly doesn't want to see a deal so would leave the other party in a dilemma. i think you can's -- can see
the circumstances where there's a referendum is a choice. >> in the democracy in the world it's difficult for the prime minister to take a deal that's been rejected. there will be a motion if this plays out and if the deal is rejected the parliament there will be a motion of no- confidence and opposed as a leader and they will do business to whoever to make the prime minister. that's my prediction. >> i will predict it to be 1.4 million people on the next march. >> every possibility there will be no prime minister the next month but i don't think we should read that that there will be a change of government.
there's a critical scenario that we see a change upper minister but both of the conservative party resisting the option of going to the country at that point. >> [ indiscernible ]. >> this gets deeper into the problem. let's go with that scenario. the dep is not progressive, it has been described as the political arm of the 17th century. i'm not in tune with the larger public and that kind of sonar is also constitutional breakdown. isn't that in support? >> it's an overstatement to say we are in uncharted waters and we will be even more uncharted waters is circumstances where
parliament rejects all of the options and as i say every one of the scenarios that we are describing one is less slightly [ indiscernible ]. in a few weeks we could be in that place. >> actually rather the government having a general election it could be the next prime minister in which case it's either my deal or the other and that's another argument. >> the position is the political force because they will be able to vote down the deal and then not vote for the parliament and so that will settle the threat. they will call the bluff. it's important to recognize
this is a psychodrama and civil war. rationality has a very small part to play in the drummer that is unfolding -- drama that is unfolding. >> it's important to understand the fear of the hard-line so the greatest fear is for example tresa mays conception or proposal of the council last week to extend the [ indiscernible ]. they don't particularly want a deal they are quite happy to end up with no deal. it is better than the alternative. that to them is not okay so they are opposed. i think it is fairly predictable that they would rather a no deal scenario.
they don't want that. >> there was a survey that came out saying 80% and percent of the people in ireland supported it. >> i want to get to questions but very quickly, couple of questions one for you, you did a wonderful job, would it be sad to say more difficult now than it was earlier? what ways do you have to manage? >> i am aging fast. this is [ indiscernible ]. i am
diplomatic career will know that there was never stability in northern ireland when the irish agreement came britain itself had no stability during your career because of intense [ indiscernible ] as the prime minister and foreign minister, they know that there is no stability in modern europe without stability on the periphery. i want to ask a question which i asked nine months ago, where and how are the views and preferences and needs of the people of northern ireland who voted in a majority but the majority of people in the vast majority on the island of ireland see their economic and political stability and future in the context of a modern europe the one thing that
appalls me about today i haven't heard almost nothing the part for political as to the reality of the ground arrangement comes out. can the ambassador please inform us as to what deliberations have taken place to consult and bring on board the needs and views of the people of northern island and whatever political arrangements you're moving toward? >> the agreement was one of the highlights and the great pieces of statesmanship of recent years and this government is determined to maintain the process that's resulted. the
stability and peace needs to be used to move on. when i was overseas, personally it's just a huge transformation , now to be talking about difficult politics and troubles, prime minister really committed to presenting this agreement. this is taking a big political risk. it's the issue of a border between northern ireland and criticism from some of the colleagues over that. she's remained [ indiscernible ] and the reason is she is so
committed to this. in terms of what we are doing to keep the people of northern ireland with the endless debate in which northern ireland participated, there is a process under which the westminster government is consulting with the administration and that was met with certainly bigger meetings and the ministers got to the negotiations. [ indiscernible ]. i think they have demonstrated how committed they are to preserving life in northern ireland.
it is possible and that is where , that is what they will deliver. >> thank you. i think maybe because i'm so immersed in this debate, the views of people from northern ireland from both sides of the divide and particularly the boarding -- border counties are [ indiscernible ]. the one thing i would say is we are [ indiscernible ]. it is shameful from the party. at the same time one of the main
parties is refusing to take their seats. there is a huge vacuum in terms of representation. in terms of how they are being represented and of every set taken into deep consideration by the representative and government agent lily -- genuinely believe that they are representing and that the nuance and sensitivity of the division across the divide is very much appreciated. i have to say that is why everywhere i go the first question is asked what about the people? what about the agreement and border? there's a huge process of the
impact and the potential catastrophe that brexit may bring. >> belfast last week for couple days missing the organizations and there is very real concern and i was a fear in northern ireland. while i concur what she said in terms of the commitment of the government, it is inescapable truth that brexit has introduced the border question two northern ireland's -- irish politics but let's not forget that one of the architects talked about europe changing the geometry of the conversation in northern ireland. it created the space which
people could find common ground. in that same aspect i'm troubled about the effect it will have on the goodwill. the ability -- the reality is it will not happen. >> it was 87% of the 45% who voted to remain so a small percentage of bad. i appreciate your comments. i lived in northern ireland for three years. i feel very emotionally attached to everything. when i was back in may i was very struck how the stabilized everything has become.
i lived with a catholic woman who just joined the police service who had to move out of the flat because we were close to an ira stronghold and it had been encouraging to see how far everything has come. i was struck when i was there by how destabilizing things were. 's raised questions of identity, constitution, the northern ireland assembly over domestic political dispute very unlikely it's going to get reconstituted. westminster parliament is currently looking at legislation to give civil servants in northern ireland more authority. in addition to all of the identities and constitution questions that are raised, there is practically no governance in northern ireland. the dp doesn't actually control any of the bordering constituencies. a lot of the instabilities is
being questioned by people there . the paper i returned -- i wrote is raising both in terms of agriculture business and the one that struck me was the increase in all ireland services that have developed since the good friday agreement. one is health services but there was a decision which the dp had supported to close the one children's cancer hospital in belfast and centralize all children's cardiology in dublin. there is question about how you brexit what the axis of medical services with people living in northern ireland will be two people in the republic. this has a huge consequence across the border on all areas of people. >> thank you. the gentleman in the back. then the lady in front of you. >> very currently state that
the free-trade agreement will solve the border if you i think hearing dissent from the panel i want to know if the panel agrees with that and expand briefly on how that works? you may say to me it requires very close regulations and realignment but surely the greater the regulation the deeper breathing regulation the less opportunity. >> who would like to take that? >> very briefly i think you are right. the reports in today's paper is
another version of the regulations. i think potentially it places a huge restriction and potentially makes the statement that the free-trade agreement and other countries pretty much impossible. from a technical profitable part of you it doesn't make sense how it will work. the point which i think douglas made quite eloquently earlier actually the desire of other countries to sign free-trade agreements particularly in the u.s. which is held up by the obvious example it's very hard to see how either a customs or free-trade arrangement which
keeps the uk and very very close alignment is not, if not full alignment with the rest of the you how will that work or play with president trump, the desire for much greater [ indiscernible ]? i don't know how any of that is possible. >> let me offer some quick points. it was a danish commentator written seems to be going from a country that was in that once opted out and then the specific issue of trade the basic premise of your question is right which is the greater degree of regulatory alignment the easier the fraction of character of trade one of the difficulties is knowing what brexit administers in britain wants. do they want all of the
divergence making speeches about for years or do they want the free-trade which is it difficult to achieve both. the answer you get is we want a deal and let's just take a second. it stretches to 1600 pages it took seven years to negotiate and see if effectively excluding services and [ indiscernible ]. the idea that it resolves all of the economic challenges is misplaced. >> lady in the back row. >> thank you. what you think will happen in parliament does not vote for this deal? all of the countries have to
vote, what if one of them does not? >> it is the european parliament. >> i think we probably did a little bit about the first question. would anybody like to add to what i said earlier? young man in the front row. >> you mentioned some various reference, examples of scotland , is there some sort of [ indiscernible ] which ireland has a referendum reuniting as a way of staying in the eu? thank you. >> they voted quite strongly to
this conversation right now and i think it alienates the population. i think we have a tendency to think about the dep exclusively in this discussion and they are sort of a relic and a hard-line and that is a common view and a view that is propagated in the media and civil discourse in the south of ireland as well. i think it ignores the fact that there is a union of population in northern ireland, many of them do not vote for the dup and do not support the dup necessarily, but who are unionists and believe in the union and are threatened by the talk of united ireland and increasingly believe that the positions of the european union for the position in dublin is somehow designed to accelerate
that process. and i think we need to be mindful of the views and sensitive of the views in northern ireland in all communities, and we need to understand about the good riding agreement and the peace process and everything that underpins the peace process is based on the principle of consent of both communities. and i think we lose sight of that. i can quote the deputy prime minister who said he expects that there is a prospect of a united ireland in his lifetime and that may very well be the case. but i simply believe that is not helpful to be talking about that right at this point in time. it is way too sensitive and we had to deal with this really difficult hand that we've been dealt that respects both communities. it may very well be that -- i think probably is the case that
if you read this paper about constitutional implications of brexit on the uk as a whole, you probably have to conclude that it has accelerated this discussion. but my view is to try to -- to steal a phrase, de-dramatize this discussion and focus on the challenge at hand and try to keep all communities north and south of the border, catholics and protestants come to both this process to achieve the best outcome for everybody.>> i agree with that. i don't think it is likely in the near term, but is possibility. i also agree with the fact that we are having this discussion is what has been destabilizing in northern ireland because the beauty of the good riding agreement was it took the constitution of question off the table for the term that you had the uk and the irish government in the eu and it meant was a nonissue.
the unionists could stay and they could feel nationalists were able to operate without borders and without restrictions , and so the damaging effect of brexit on the psyche of northern ireland and the fact that this is becoming alive question again, i think opinion polls are showing there is an increase in support -- as a result of the contested nature of these conversations. the demographics don't necessarily supported and you don't necessarily have all nationalists aside from -- calling for supporting moving in that direction.>> we have three or four minutes left. the woman in the middle. on the right. >> i was wondering given what you talked about with the u.s. and the uk wanting a free trade deal one of the key priorities
of both countries, and especially brexit, and given that right after that, what would the u.s. and uk be able to not implement in -- what could they negotiate given that the uk will be deciding how closely aligned it will be with the eu? what are topics or areas that you see where they could be negotiating? >> it depends in part on how long it takes to negotiate the legal text, the political deal that we expect to do as part of the overall package about the future relationship between the eu and the uk. if there is a good deal of detail in that political text, at least some detail to have a meaningful vote in the house of
commons, which has been promised. it should have a reasonable idea of the direction for the uk and eu agreement as a kickoff the negotiations with the u.s. on a free trade deal. so this is all highly speculative and we'll see how it unfolds. for all the negotiations, we do a deal with the eu more quickly then we can finish negotiations with the u.s. and then that will make the u.s. steel much easier to complete. but it is speculative and we actually already used the working group that was established and that will strengthen the and to look at -- to look at regulations where there may be some low hanging
fruit, which we can do even before we have left the eu because it is consistent with the eu continuing their participation in the market. so stuff that we do from the outset and then as the relationship with the eu becomes clear in its detail, that will help us with the uk and u.s. element. >> we have time for a final question. the gentleman in the middle. >> the elephant in the room seems to be the european union. what should the eu do if the interest is to keep the uk in if it values the diplomatic intelligence and defense capabilities of many others and really wants the uk to reconsider and come to referendum. what should the eu do now if the papers are correct and they
are putting the customs union in the deal and they find that whatever solution to the back set, doesn't that get to of soft brexit, which they do not want? should they actually sabotage theresa may and get to a second referendum, but does not trigger a no-confidence vote? >> there are a lot of questions and there. we need very efficient answers from volunteers. >> i believe the eu should give us what we are asking for. >> that has been the british negotiating position from the -- i would make a couple of points. i think one of the -- of brexit is i think probably in the next 10 years we will see eu bring -- the only issue i think is big enough that could've caused
the british people to rethink the vote that they made would've been a significant eu offer on labor. but that moment, i fear, has passed. but given a recent speech in terms of reimagining europe and seeing it in concentric circles, there is no reason why the future they could not themselves in at least one of those circles. but i fear that the urgent and important task of resolving the difficulties that we've been discussing today is going to crowd out all of those longer conversations. >> i don't think we have filled -- that we have detoxified a. thank you very much for the panel.
>> tuesday morning we are live in albany, new york, for the 50th stop on the capital store. the lieutenant governor will be our guest starting at 9:30 am eastern time. american history tvs in prime time tonight. first a look at supply during the great depression. that is followed by class lecture on the history of nutritional standards and government dietary guidelines. later, a look at agricultural labor in the u.s. since the 1930s and the rise of organic
farming. american history tv continues with iowa state university professor, pamela riney-kehrberg, teaching a class on food during the great depression. she describes how families try to stretch the money and food supply, often by gardening or buying cheap ingredients and eating the same thing will times. this is 50 minutes. >> greetings everybody. this afternoon we are going to be starting our discussion of the great depression. and what we are going to be doing today is talking about how the great depression affected ordinary people. were going to talk about the nuts and bolts of the situation and the things that people would've experienced in their everyday lives if they were seriously affect. now, i do not normally use images like this,