tv Dateline London BBC News September 8, 2019 2:30am-3:01am BST
ufititﬂié: htitﬂ‘ié: fit ufititﬂsé: bfit vu— well, little bit warmer towards the end of the week. this is bbc news. the headlines: a senior member of the british government has resigned over brexit, in a new blow to the prime minister, borisjohnson. amber rudd called mrjohnson‘s expulsion of twenty—one conservative mps from the party for voting against his brexit policy in parliament an assault
on decency and democracy. president trump has cancelled peace talks with the taliban after a deadly attack in kabul, revealing that he'd been due to hold a secret meeting with leaders of the group at camp david on sunday. a us envoy to afghanistan had reached a draft peace deal with the militant group last week. the canadian teenager bianca andreescu has beaten serena williams to win us open women's singles title. the 19—year—old won her maiden grand slam title after beating williams 6—3, 7—5. she becomes canada's first grand slam champion. now on bbc news, dateline.
hello. welcome to dateline london, i'm carrie gracie. this week: boris johnson's promise that he would do oi’ johnson's promise that he would do ordie to johnson's promise that he would do or die to deliver brexit by october the 31st has become do or die in a ditch. despite a full house of parliamentary defeats, nothing else changed in his message stop either doing or dying is still defiantly scheduled for october the 31st, so oui’ scheduled for october the 31st, so our question today: is the british prime minister digging himself a ditch in which to die or demonstrating exactly the determination that will do in the end? my guess, italian writer and filmmaker. ian martin of the times. mark rush. and stephanie baker of bloomberg news. thanks for coming in. the palace of westminster has seen many extraordinary political dramas over the past 1000 years, but there current one is right up there. in fact, the last time a british
prime minister lost his first vote in the house of commons was 1783, and that's not the only thing that went wrong for borisjohnson last week. let's do a quick recap. on monday downing street warned tory mps that if theyjoined an attempt to push through a deal seeking to block a no—deal brexit they would be expeued block a no—deal brexit they would be expelled from the parliamentary party and if the blocking attempts succeeded, the prime minister would call for a general election. on tuesday, 21 tories defied those threats and where promptly thrown out. on wednesday, the house of commons past the offending blocking bill and rejected the prime minister's attempt to call a snap election. on thursday, johnson's own brother quit his government. and on friday, the house of lords past the bill and opposition parties vowed again to thwart a snap election. so, by this time the prime minister himself was at the other end of the country tussling with another unbeatable beast, and evan aberdeen
angus bull, and that's the barest plot outline of a rich drama with a forecast of shakespearean characters played by themselves. let's hear from the guests. iain, was the aberdeen angus moment the worst moment of the week? what would you say happened here? there were so many worst moments of the day for borisjohnson. it is difficult to choose. i think, of it all, the worst moment... i think he had to do it, expel those 21, it was the vision of people like nicholas soames who has been a conservative mp for a very long time, a member of the churchill family, and previous chancellors and ministers actually being confronted and thrown out of the conservative party. that is something which he may be prepared to do but borisjohnson will not
have liked doing that. it is a different question. i have never seen a prime minister that the house of commons likes less. this house of commons really hates him. it is really visceral. and that will be a shock to him, because that's not how he sees himself or... but he's now in a situation that reminds me of churchill saying, of suez, when he was asked about eden's conduct during the suez crisis, that he would have personally never have started the operation but once he had begun it he would have never dared stop. so he's chosen his course of action. he has to dig in, try and fight back
and appeal over the heads of parliament to pro—brexit voters, of which there are still many. we'll come back to that in a moment. you made a distinction between parliament and the country there. do you think this is a storm in a parliamentary tea cup for borisjohnson or is this a cattle stampede in which he will be badly trampled ? i thought his worst moments where two others. as universities minister and announcing his resignation as an mp. i think the country as a whole had lost the plot with all these parliamentary intrigues. it is very hard for most people to follow. it is hard for me to follow and i follow the stuff. i think that story, your own brother deciding he cannot work with you, that is a story that everyone can fully understand. it's simple, it's straightforward. i think the second moment that was quite bad for him was when he was caught on television, bbc, being shouted down on the streets of yorkshire
with someone saying, "why are you in morley? why aren't you in brussels negotiating brexit?" that cuts through. the country can get that. they understand. it's a basic... the country is in crisis and he's campaigning in yorkshire. what is he doing? i do think those sorts of moments are far more significant than parliamentary intrigue. when is a new election? is it before or after the 31st? i think people... the election will happen and people will vote based on their gut instincts and the ins and outs we have seen this week will have been forgotten at that point. marc, your view. the week that was. well, the week that was. the strategy was right from his point of view, which was to assert leadership. the country wants a strong leader after cameron and may. they wanted something like layer or thatcher, quite strong leading. --
blair. he had behind him 52% of the country minimum because the levers, but he has also some soft remain at who want to get over with brexit. and the purging the moderate, although it was terribly counter—productive in terms of television, was the right thing to do in order to have a brexit full team to face brussels. the problem is why i think is the worst moment, when it was revealed that dominic cummings said... the chief of staff. yes, the chief of staff of borisjohnson, he said we have no plans for brussels. we will never go there. it is a shambles. and russell said, where are the british? which speaks to stephanie's point about being on the streets of yorkshire rather than brussels. absolutely. the mistake he made was not to pursue a dual tactic,
doing what he has to do to assertive leadership, unpleasant as it is, but the other, start negotiating with brussels. he says he is working hard, things are positive. it will use his powers of persuasion, he has a few weeks ago. let's not forget that boris johnson is the one who actually invented fake news about europe. he was dismissed by the times for falsifying a quote. his speciality is lying about europe, and in brussels they know it. the question is when the british public will realise. most of the things boris johnson most of the things borisjohnson has been saying about what's happening in europe and what he's doing about europe are false. there's no chance europe will be terrified by his no—deal threat. this has been very, very clear. he keeps feeding lies to the british public, so there should be a moment in which this should be exposed. and it's going to happen soon. michel barnier said very clearly that there is no new attempt to find a new deal. that the negotiations are paralysed.
nothing is apparently happening. likely it's not going to happen. let's put that back to iain for a moment. i don't that is entirely fair. barnier would say that considering it's his role and it's his deal. there is a lot happening behind—the—scenes was not the particular thing to focus on early next week is what's happening with ireland. and ireland... the irish government had a very difficult cabinet meeting this week. very worried about no—deal. there's a lot of diplomacy between london and dublin as the attempt to find a way through. the irish government are very nervous about this because they want to negotiate through brussels, for obvious reasons. i'm not predicting there's going to be a settlement to the irish border question, but people are trying. whether or not it's real and genuine and dominic cummings
and boris really want a deal, i do think boris does want a deal. there is a glimmer there. michael gove met simon coveney this week. one of the most interesting things which happened this week which was underreported because i was so much other craziness going on was that boris moved on island by saying that he could accept an all—irish economy on agriculture and food. it was a sort of story that may end up in the next couple of weeks if there is some sort of compromise based around the irish border, that might be the beginning of it. we'll see. but brussels will refuse it... the problem for brussels is the control of the sanity and the integrity of the single market. they don't want to import mad cow disease again. this idea of island negotiating with the brits, it is not reliable. but the logic ofjohnson's shift there was that they can't say this to the dup and they may end up...
he has jettisoned other people he hasjettisoned other people he has relied on for votes. it may be that the british end up in a situation which is renaming checks in the irish sea as something else with the help of brussels. they might... i'm not saying there's definitely going to be a deal, i'm just challenging the idea that there is absolutely nothing going on. there is clearly something. stephanie, economics, your bag, what do you think? iagree. i thinkjohnson's proposal about this common agricultural policy has been met with lukewarm reception in brussels. they want control over that border and that proposal doesn't adhere to that. which border? the border between northern ireland and ireland. that is the eu border, and by agreeing to that, that means they do not have full control over that border because the...
still, agriculture is 80% of the trade over that border but it does threaten the single market. i think what is more important is that there have been proposals floated to brussels but they are backtracking on what has been agreed by theresa may on a number of issues, including a level playing field and labour rights. boris wants to go for a candada free trade deal rather than what is along the lines of what theresa may wanted. this is a step backwards rather than a step forwards and it is unclear that the eu would go for it. i also think he has not proposed any other alternatives. there are proposals that have been floated by outside experts that many people thought could work. for instance, making it illegal to export goods that don't need those standards, you know, northern irish and eu standards, from those countries, making it illegal. but that proposal would require trust, and there is very little trust right now. there's also very little trust
on the british side. so the reason that the british have not done as described and put a full fleshed—out set of proposals, it's very difficult, is that david frost, the prime minister's key negotiator, his view, and i think this is correct, is that if the british take that approach it will be rejected out of hands for reasons we understand. the phrase that has been used by the british in brussels is, any solution which finds a way through and avoids a no—deal has to be a joint endeavour. and that would take macron and merkel essentially cracking heads and saying, "look, is there something that can be done on the irish border?"
discussed this week, it is extremely messy which would be much better to avoid in ireland and is very bad for britain as well. but is the summer ground playback macron and merkel and the commission in the next few weeks? if there... if there is a treated irish backs backstop, will it get through parliament? that is not clear. another interesting thing that happened this week is borisjohnson indicated that he will take as robust a position with the spartans, the hardline brexiteers in the conservative party, as he took with the tories remain as who he effectively expelled. there's some confusion about that. but he does seem to be of the mind that if he gets a deal, which i do think is his favoured option, if he gets a compromise deal, he will attempt to bring it back to the commons and will say to mps, "you keep saying you do anything to avoid a no—deal, here is a deal." are you convinced by any of that? i don't believe there is any likelihood it will happen, frankly. i think there are a lot of issues.
trust has been lost. the irish border is a real problem that cannot be solved with some kind of fudge about agriculture and beef products. there is so much more there. so there is no bridge building to be done in your view, there's only ditch digging? i disagree. i think so because the european union, the one indication they gave it is if you keep those red lines, and borisjohnson doesn't want to move the red lines, the only deal on the table is the withdrawal agreement of theresa may. so there is very little margin for negotiations unless boris johnson drops some of the red lines. that is a position of labour because i think that labour is moving towards saying, we could negotiate a deal that may be cases in the customs union. and then vote against it in their referendum, they said. sorry, i disagree. we'll come back to that. the landscape is changing.
there is a new commission. michel barnier is out. you will have a weakened angela merkel and a macron who is... there is an opportunity there. just before we look at what is on earth is going to happen next week, the serious question which i miss from my list of events of the week that's just been, what on earth did borisjohnson say to the queen at dinner on friday night and what did she say to him? that must have been an extraordinary occasion at balmoral. she is very politically engaged and she listens a lot. there is actually footage of her talking to ronald reagan and you see she has very punchy views, but the form will be that she will have with a raised eyebrow asked him how his week went and to try and expand what on earth is going on. i would pay good money
to have heard his response. yeah. any takers? i think she will be quite happy because i believe, i might be wrong, but i... her education, her university education, her lifestyle. she would be quite at ease with borisjohnson. she is old. 93 years old. the reason she is pro—brexit... how do you know? the reason she had so inclinations, you are absolutely right, the reason for that is that if you go right back to the early 19705, she has now been through how many prime minister. the first prime minister was winston churchill. it goes that far back. lots of politicians issued her in the early 19705 assured her going into the european union and the eec would solve the country's problems and wouldn't
be a threat to sovereignty and voters would not be troubled by the cytology, someone with a very long memory now sees the result of what happened, which was deeper immersion in the european union, which it turns out out they didn't want. she turned out to be right, i think. i don't think we can really do what she thinks about brexit. i think she cares deeply about the international reputation of great britain. right now, from the outside, people are looking at this country going, "what is going on?" i am getting messages from friends in the us, saying, "wow, crazy week! what is happening? " brits are known internationally as a sensible, clever and this is undermining that reputation which she deeply cares about. an american friend of mine said, this is fantastically entertaining because we can get a third series of fawlty towers. this is the next best thing! what is it that they
find so baffling? is it the purge that ian mentioned at the beginning? is it the fact that the commons hate him? is it the lying down on the benches of parliament by the leader of the house? is it the girl's blouse... it is the antics in the house of commons which looks very entertaining to an american audience because it is so foreign. john bercow looks like the harsh schoolmaster. most of the time in the us i think they are not paying attention. i was in the us for three weeks in the summer. it got very little coverage. this week it finally got coverage because borisjohnson has been compared to donald trump and because it was such a disastrous week and the antics in parliament were so comical. let's look at the antics or otherwise of the week ahead. we are going to get a vote again probably on monday on whether there will be a snap election and we're probably
going to get the proroguing of parliament somewhere between monday and thursday in the week ahead, and i suppose everyone in politics in the uk needs to think about the electoral arithmetic. annalisa, take us there. what are the calculations they need to consider on voting for or against a snap election? i think that the main difficulty here is establishing a date because borisjohnson is trying to get a vote before the 7th —— 17th of october which is the date of the european council summit and i guess that his calculation is that if he can get it before, he will still present himself to the voters as the guy who is taking on brussels and so he is a hero. if he goes after he will have been forced to... he can go to brussels and say, "i have the majority of the british public behind me." his position will not allowing to do that and it is going to happen afterwards.
nobody in the uk really can predict how the elections could go, but one important fact that has been quoted as one of the reasons for delaying, anticipating the vote, is the youth vote because there is 1 million young people that didn't vote in 2016 that are supposed to be able to vote and apparently borisjohnson wants an early date because they won't have the time to register in time. but that massive percentage of british voters could really, really make a difference. we have seen it in scotland. but they are mobilising... what i think is his main strength is labour. jeremy corbyn hasn't really taken too much profit from all the mess.
the government, the opposition is divided between leavers, the labour party, and reminders. 40% of labour voted to leave. as iain martin says, they are in a difficult position. they will have a referendum in which they urge people to vote against it. absolutely. the referendum, i believe, will be the same result, even what leave than the one... absolutely. no, 82% of the younger voters are leaving and they will vote. they are mobilising. there is another problem with the referendum which is tht if it happens, and i don't think it will, because it doesn't resolve anything, my side, the side that voted to leave, will go into the campaign saying that we won't accept the result if we lose. and we will simply say, well, we learnt this from the first referendum. you didn't accept that result,
we are not accepting this if we lose. make it best of three. what is most likely? we know more things now then we knew then. what is more likely? what is more likely is that the conservative party is now faced with really an existential choice, because if you look at the polling, there is a very strong brexit vote, but it is divided. it is divided between the conservatives who are polling somewhere stuck between 29 points this morning at 33 the other day and the brexit party, run by nigel farage, who is supposed to have gone away by now, and he hasn't. he polled 17% this morning. i'm not saying you can get it back at those two numbers together. there are all sort of complexities is about when the election is. however, the tories are really having to confront the choice. do they allow the brexit vote to be
split or do they come to some sort of arrangement with nigel farage and the brexit party? which is what he is urging. that is what nigel farage definitely wants. because the tories have always had a fear of the populist right. it is the mainstream conservative party in britain, ever since the 1930s and pg woodhouse satirising... the sort of teen pop character. —— tin pot. it is always been in the tory psychology, a fear of... i'm writing that for as she sat, but a fear of people who can be identified as extremist. so it is a big calculation they have to make. do they go divided are united? yes, do they do a deal with the brexit party? it is the same problem the other side have. the rebel alliance have to decide. i think this election is so hard to predict because the two party system is really broken down
and there are all these photos with this shift of the tory party morphing into a brexit party, a hardcore brexit party. it has left millions of voters politically homeless. from across the spectrum, tory remainers, who want to respect the referendum but don't want no deal, tory brexiteers who don't want no deal. tories of all stripes who believe in fiscal prudence — where do they go in this new setup? i think people are underestimating how many votes the liberal democrats will pick up. i think the lib dems will steal from the tory party and labour. the conservative party is banking on a complete realignment to pick up labour leave voters in the north and that is a real gamble when, at the same time, they have purged tory moderates and ruth davidson in scotland has stepped down and they are likely to lose anywhere between six to ten seats.
possibly more. we have only got a few seconds left. before we get to electoral politics, annalisa, surely the question for the rebel alliance this week is to answer the questions which will be in many voters' mind. why on earth do we need another extension of three months? we have been in this purgatory long enough. yes, but what is the alternative? when everybody knows, even the government has admitted that no deal is a disaster and it will damage the economy. you have to come back from the brink. just to comment on... i don't have time. one word. responsibility of the anti—no deal front will be key now. eu will not give a further extension. they won't. macron is against. we'll have to come back to that next week. thank you all for this week. we will be back same place, same
time they lot more to discuss. goodbye. hello. many of us have another fine day ahead, though a chilly start, perhaps even a touch of frost across parts of eastern scotland and north—east england for sunday morning. or england, wales, eastern scotland, plenty of sunshine, maybe an isolated shower but most will stay dry. claudia david northern ireland, and from that cloud you may encounter a bit of patchy light rain 01’ encounter a bit of patchy light rain or drizzle. bit warmerfor encounter a bit of patchy light rain or drizzle. bit warmer for eastern scotland, but most of those temperatures on a par with what we had during saturday. sunday night and into monday, the loud start to
move further east and brings rain. it does mean a milder start on monday morning though still chilly where it stays clear across easternmost parts of england. monday will be a cloudier and wetter day and the rain through western parts of the uk quite heavily her at home across parts of wales in south—west england. not too much reaching easternmost parts of england. a cooler day two. —— too.
welcome to bbc news. i'm simon pusey. our top stories: senior british cabinet minister amber rudd resigns, accusing prime minister boris johnson of an assault on decency and democracy over his handling of brexit. peace negotiations between the taliban and the united states have been called off. in a tweet president trump blames a deadly attack in the afghan capital, kabul. the canadian teenager bianca andreescu beats serena williams to win the us open women's singles title. hello and welcome to bbc news.