tv British Ambassador to the U.S. Remarks at Hudson Institute CSPAN November 26, 2018 12:25pm-1:01pm EST
is necessary, and we will have spoken with the european commission on the possibility of being able at an early stage to discuss wisdom, alternatives to both. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister and at least one of her cabinet ministers has said is the house rejects her deal, there is a chance of no brexit at all. and i wonder if she could spell out with greater clarity how this fear might be realized? pm may: thank you, the honorable gentleman, that he would have heard a number of individuals around the house today, including from his colleagues on the labour benches, who clearly express the views that they believe many in the european union is preferable to leaving the european union. i believe it is to deliver on the boat the people took to deliver brexit. >> we are going to leave the british house of commons now as
they continued their debates. five remarks now from the british ambassador to the u.s. on the implications of the brexit deal, what it means or u.s. u.k. relations. we joined us live in progress. >> different factions of the eu, but it appears the different parties are getting stronger, but also you are getting groups countries, the new and sciatic countries, people seem to be organizing in different ways, and obviously some of positionsps will have more in sync with british ideas. is this going to play a role in how britain thinks? >> i think it will long be the future of the eu, particularly the expanded eu. been theseong
issues, and they tend to be quite fluid, by the way. issue of thee budget will come up, it is introduced in the budget, like we are at the moment, groups are mainly recipients, you get geographical groupings, as you describe. you always have that between france and germany, that franco german view. we used to work very closely -- still do -- with the nordic countries. but these things are fluid and can change. in the issue-based or geographically-based. to agree torybody the conclusion. to thater you subscribe
point, we believe everyone has a say. find political groupings, the european people's there are other small groups there as well, so there is a whole different range. walter: studying divisions in europe has long been a core british skill, maybe. [laughter] walter: i realize those days are past. amb. darroch: [laughs] levine further abroad to the commonwealth, i know britain was forced to give up accommodations when it entered e.c., i guess it still was, and that led to some that feeling.
you are now leaving the eu. is there hope that some of these relationships will become stronger? are you looking for bilateral treaties with, say, australia, new zealand, and canada? some sort of grouping? how are you approaching this? are darroch: again, these final decisions that be taken care of, but i think the number one priority when it comes to the brexit trade deals will be with the u.s. but not that far behind, you will find trade deals with smaller countries, of course australia, new zealand, and canada are the obvious choices there. interested are also in deals with bigger economies around the world and india. otherwill be bilateral than some great multilateral
deal. these will all be on the priority list. walter: the other big trend that we see in the world today, besides brexit, is the return to geopolitics and great power competition. know, as you say, but as aterests, middle power has to work out a relationship with china, with particular, russia it seems you have a very contentious relationship, and the russians have sent agents to murder people on british soil. how is britain going to approach russia after brexit or just in general? the trepidation on relations with russia is right.
when you see people poisoned with legal agents on our soil, is hard to have a good bilateral .elationship we wish relations with russia were not as they are, but when , when weke that happen disagree with russia, as with ukraine, it is just one result that we take issue with, so the relationship is not good. we expel the number of russian diplomats, and they expelled a number of brits. we had good reason to. they did not. it is pretty small in terms of foreign embassies as well. we would like to have better relationships with russia. we have important
international relationships, the un security council. that is not possible while russian behavior continues along the lines that it does. so things are not good. they are not going to change with us in terms of relations with russia. we will keep the channel open, and we will keep talking to them until the behavior changes, and that is just the sad reality. with china, the situation may be more complex that the relation in some ways looks at the bilateral relations, at least as an outsider, it looks that are come over there seems to be some emerging points of contentiousness there. britain has stepped up its precipitation in the south china sea and the south pacific, and it seems to be announcing an intention to build up its presence in the pacific. amb. darroch: on relations with
china, they have been on a a significant path of improvement for some years now. when i worked on david cameron's first administration, that is when we started this upward , with china, memorable visits, meeting president xi and this kind of thing, and it has continued since then. we believe very strongly that the way forward with china is centered on engagement and participation in the chinese economy, and our exports are doing very well there. it is not just about commercial activity. it was up for 2% last year.
so there is a lot that is good and strong and growing about the u.k.-china relationship. what we do in the south china sea is not intended as a provocation in china. it is about exercising internationally recognized rights to navigation, and we will continue to do that, because that is part of international order, and ships have a right to sail through, and they are going to do that. it is no intent of publication, ast an -- provocation, just support of our output. in terms of intellectual property, where we share the concern with much of the u.s. administration, and we would like to see changes. we are almost talking about the chinese about hong kong, where basically the deal is, a couple
of decades ago, hong kong had worked well, but we keep watching it and keep ensuring is looked up to both in letter and in spirit. it is not a wonderful relationship. there are issues, problems as with all relationships, but we are on a good basis right now. walter: there has been some commentary from hong kong that one country-two systems agreement are working less well, and that hong kong's distinctive position is being eroded. amb. darroch: again, i am not a massive expert on hong kong. it is working well, and the partners are leading up to it. sometimes are issues
we think it basically works well. if you look at hong kong right now, it is thriving. center onal enterprise and commercial strength. walter: let's turn quickly to the middle east, and then i will invite the audience to ask some questions. likewhere i sit, it looks the most important trend in the middle east today is the decline that we see a number of arab states have been formed by contention. syria,re countries like
nationalism, is not in control of its own territory. monarchies are looking at long-term declines in oil revenue, rising population, a number of trends that has been worried. has a long history of engagement and is part of the world, and a lot of relationships that go back, or in some cases centuries. to the greeks have any advice for the romance in this particular part of the world? amb. darroch: [laughs] that is a very vague picture assessment, and what you have described is quite a compelling view of what is happening. cannot remember being in brussels at the ambassador wendy arab spring happened -- obviously, i remember being in whenels as the ambassador
the arab spring happened. when you look at libya and syria in particular, that is not how it went out. i got lost in your picture. but for us, it is still a hugely important part of the world, there is a lot of rich history, a lot of lines that are disputed. a few people reminded me of that, which is nice of them. walter: [laughs] our bilateral relations, particularly with the gulf countries, are very important. if you want to look more optimistically, where some of the things are happening, in the gulf in particular, in terms of -- in terms ofe
the oil supplies running out, that will come in the future. know, both in syria and in , they are working hard to security, andlish a lot of resources have been put out. it is a tragedy what is happened in both of those places, especially the loss of life and destruction of syria. my friend who especially specialized in the inner world, it is a tragedy. i do not question whether it is now achievable, but we will try.
walter: there are some young people in the audience and other people watching on cnn. any advice for people who like to follow the u.k. news? what should they read? what should they do? amb. darroch: [laughs] there are so many different ways of following the news now banned that used to. i kind of gotten used to doing stuff online. i am so old-fashioned. nowadays, when you look at the early morning kind of news politico, there is a cnn in one, a "washington post" ios, you have to go through all of that before you get a proper newspaper in your hands. but there are a billion ways of
following. website,nd the bbc what they do is great, and they are so objective and fair in their coverage. an age where there is a lot of criticism in the media, i think british newspapers are great as well. i tried to read many of them. all.r: he likes them all right. ok, any questions from the audience at this point? yes, ma'am. please wait for the microphone, please introduce yourself, and please make your questions short. >> thank you, ambassador. u.s. and diplomats held a meeting in london 10 days ago with mary town insurance
companies and commodities traders to seek ways to prevent north korea's illicit ship to ship transfers and ways of evading sanctions. what is the scope of the u.k. and u.s. corporation in helping -- cooperation in helping north korea is made sanctions, and the sanctions as call for by south korea, north korea, and china. walter: ok, i think we have to question. amb. darroch: we basically strongly support u.s. policy on north korea. we think that it is dangerous for international security for north korea to have a military nuclear program. we want to see denuclearization there, and it is clear that sanctions had been a element in bringing north korea to the table.
so far, you have a historic summit between the two presidents. what you have not seen yet is real unification happening in north korea, and until we do, the sanctions need to continue. pyongyang,embassy in and so we know this about what has happened in the country with sanctions. it is certainly having an impact. that will have to continue into the north koreans deliver what they promise, which is in the military nuclear program. yes, we do cooperate a lot with the administration on these issues. we will cooperate on that as well. whether sanctions are mother was -- what thesee is, policy is, and hopefully it is effective. >> yes, sir.
you have written some books that would be recommended to the young people. douglas reed, who was very renowned internationally, until he wrote a particular book "the controversy of zion." also he wrote a book about american history. what are your thoughts about douglas reed? he should be well known to you. he has been a recognized, but i think people are going to value his writing. amb. darroch: this is going to sound horribly incompetent, but i have not read any of his books. i do not know, i am afraid. the best book i have read recently is called "hello world," and it is a book about -- four a non-expert
like me, about the impact of algorithms across different carss, whether driverless or a whole range of different things, and if you want a maybe the more modern generation will understand all of this stuff, but for me, this is the best piece of learning i have done in recent months. walter: in the back here. >> hello. thank you very much for coming. it is very lovely to see you again. walter: and your name and one question, please. >> cynthia butler. walter: choose one. >> you mentioned the irish border. the question is, do you know what it says in this particular deal regarding a hard quarter or a soft border, and is there a likelihood that there would be a national referendum? do you know i am saying?
amb. darroch: yes -- walter: on the irish border and a second referendum. if there is --darroch: i think a second referendum is extremely unlikely. i do not see how you get from where we are now with a deal on the table. i think the prime minister has as far as she possibly could to deliver a promise on northern ireland. that is what you have the on this limitation period with basically a customs arrangement for the union during the , 2021 -- sorry, 2020.
if you do not get it by then come up you have the backstop, and that is to ensure that are ensuring that she has delivered on her promise. beyond that, i revision control of the irish border. walter: yes, the lady here. thanks. >> hi. thank you. hannah, inside u.s. trade. on u.s.-u.k.ow-up trade relations post brexit. theow you said you want u.k. to be aligned closely with the eu but to also have a free trade deal with the eu. that is whatg if the u.s. is doing in the interim.
amb. darroch: that is a good question. it goes to the core of negotiations, once we have the brexit deal agreed in the parliament, certified by the british parliament, it , one that will start next year. that is my expectation. negotiationswo will run parallel, but we basically have to find a way , the frictionless border, trade between the eu and the u.k. that allows the freedom to do the kind of deal with the u.s. we do it.ow how i am not an expert in trade policy. but i expect to do something
ambitious in both directions, both for the eu and the u.s. of course i trust my colleagues, and i think they can. walter: ok, yes, sir. >> thank you. i am a retired foreign service officer. i wanted to ask you about the force agreement. britain has a force of its own. do you see a coordination with the european union after brexit? either done through nato or with some other channel? amb. darroch: yes, the russians were on it, so we understand why -- administration wants to
from it. on the future, it is it shouldle whether be at all based in the eu, but we have supported limited kind of defense initiatives designed to do things in parts of the world, either as an appropriate order, but that is as far as it goes. and in terms of any coordination around nuclear deterrence, whether it is a bilateral issues for americans or something we would be talking about. walter: yes, sir. your microphone is coming. hi, i am mark mouser with a foreign-policy journal.
about exerting influence without much support of the u.s. if the u.s. is going to withdraw, the u.k. do operations for an extended period of time? when i wash: security advisor, we went just, on the back of security and defense review, use strategy in which the objective was to be for ourdo two targets collective armed forces, two foreign institutions simultaneously. i think that is still the objective. we have just built the two biggest, one is just doing trials of the eastern seaboard of the moment, the one yet to set off on it, though sort of
will do thehey effort next year, so you have the two biggest aircraft carriers, or maybe the two biggest ships. billionsat the tens of in expenditure that i talked about earlier in terms of acquiring and upgrading our equipment, and adding that the budget, which is 2% of gdp, so the gdp rises, spending more on defense. and our capability, the quality isit and the number of dues improving all the time, so yes, the intention is that we should be able to do things by ourselves. obviously, it is optimum for political as well as ministry reasons to do things as possible, to the willing, or as part of nato or whatever.
in terms of our capability, we tend to do things by ourselves. walter: yes, this lady up here in the front. bringing you the mic. >> thank you. we heard that prime minister may will be withdrawing from the summit as well. can you give us some insight about what will your expectations be for the? -- that? trump meet with prime minister may, and willie talk about the treaty deal or brexit? thank you. amb. darroch: g20, i think the main agenda items in this week are climate change and trade. interesting. it could be quite contentious, we will see. and of course the bilateral everyone is watching are the two
presidents, president trump and xi, in the margins of the nuclear discussions. as it happens, the prime minister and president trump will be sitting next to one another in the previous sessions -- i think. so they will have plenty of opportunity to talk. i am sure they will talk about brexit. i am sure they will talk about other stuff that is going on on the international scene at the moment. they speak every two or three weeks on the telephone. a strong, substantive relationship. formal not organized a bilateral. certainly for them to interact. i am looking forward to hearing how the discussions go. walter: in the front here.
thank you. a recent piece in the "washington post" described the trojan horse in the eu and that you might actually lose value in the eyes of the u.s. after leaving the eu. i would like to know your reaction to that. amb. darroch: when i was doing my 15 years of the eu specialization, i spent my whole fromgetting instructions washington and relating them to my european partners, so i never really bought that description. it is up to us. we have the potential both to europee to be players in in terms of cooperation and foreign policy, in terms of security and other issues. being in a way more
significant international players, because we have freedom on policy terms to do some of our own thing that we need to. so i do not worry about -- in if we can succeed economically outside the european union, and i believe we can, if we continue to thrive, continue to invest in our national security, we continue to be active in the security council and in nato and in other international forums, i am confident about the future. i am confident that we can continue to cooperate with our closest european partners, including of course our friends in paris and berlin and other places, but also across the atlantic, the u.s., and more widely with beijing and others. walter: ah, yes.
>> thank you both so much. a dual citizen and an oxford graduate. this has been really interesting. personal relationships have had a really big impact on security in terms of the u.s.-u.k. special relationship. when you look around the world now, what areas do you think that is most true in? amb. darroch: hmm. um. willf the strengths, and i begin with the u.s., one of the strengths of the u.s.-u.k. relationship is -- one of the realities that one notices is just how strong the personal links are between diplomats. various specialization of various levels across the
atlantic, across the pond. political directors of the u.s. and u.k. talk home was daily, national security advisor saccone was weekly, and middle east experts -- almost weekly, and middle east experts talk with their counterparts, and so on. that is a huge difference to how well the relationship functions and how close we are on towards the objectives and operational decisions. that when you ask ministers to improve actions or positions or whatever, you can tell them exactly what the u.s. administration is thinking. not mean to u.k.-u.s., and for example, similar relationships between british and french and german political
rectors or national security advisers or other experts more widely. when i was national security advisor, i went out to beijing a number of times and talked to my counterparts there, i went to time, and i even, in my maturation looked a little bit better than they do at the moment, i went to moscow and talks to putin's national advisor. that channel is important. dialogue is more direct and there are more problems to talk about them there were. but as a basic principle, a lot of work to be done, diplomats a reallyt, and that can be beneficial to sorting out a lot of problems. decisions are taken by prime
minister's and presidents. you very much. it has been very helpful. i know the ambassador is on a tight schedule in washington. here so he can get out and fight the traffic as quickly as possible. thank you all for coming. thanks again to c-span and others who have been watching us and our next event in this series is tomorrow so perhaps i will see some of you then. >> thanks very much. [applause]