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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  September 11, 2019 4:30am-5:01am BST

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donald trump's announced thatjohn bolton is no longer his national security adviser, saying that he "disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions". the us president says he was fired, but mr bolton insists he resigned. he was the administration's third national security adviser in as many years. benjamin neta nyahu has promised to extend israeli sovereignty over the jordan valley if he's re—elected next week. in effect, the move would annex a large part of the occupied west bank. the palestinians say the move would bury any chance of peace for a hundred years. officials in iraq say at least 31 people have died in a stampede during commemorations for the shia holy day of ashura in karbala. one hundred are said to be injured. the crush took place as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims surged towards the golden—domed imam hussein shrine.
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now on bbc news, hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur. british prime minister borisjohnson has positioned himself as the country's brexit champion, but his pledge to take britain out of the eu on 31 october is in trouble. parliament has passed a law requiring him to seek a deadline extension from the eu so either he negotiates a new exit deal in short order, or he attempts to defy the law. how is this british melodrama being viewed in europe? my guest is french mep and former europe minister, nathalie loiseau. has eu patience with british indecision run out? theme music plays.
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nathalie loiseau, in brussels, welcome to hardtalk. hello. i want to pick you up on something you said yesterday, in fact, you talked of a "brexit madness". how would you characterise this madness? who exactly is mad? well, first and foremost, i would say that, even if we respect the decision of the british people, we still regret it very much because, at a moment in history where there is a need for unity,
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where we have big powers throughout the globe which are not always supporting of our priorities, the choice of being more isolated and weaker than what the uk is right now is it difficult to understand and, is right now is difficult to understand and, if i was a british citizen, i would certainly ask myself, is it exactly what we wanted that is going to happen? you are obviously not a british citizen, you're a french politician looking at britain. so i'm just wonderin, when you talk about "brexit madness" whether that is your judgement on the first few weeks of boris johnson's premiership, because he is the new factor in all this, isn't he? well, for quite a long time, the eu 27 have waited
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well, for quite a long time, the eu27 have waited with a lot of respect, with a lot of patience, and with a lot of concern, for a clear signal from the united kingdom. until now, we know what you don't want, but we still don't really know what you want. and especially now, we know that the british parliament wants an extension but we do not know what for. we know that the british parliament doesn't want a no deal, and we do understand why. we know that the british prime minister wants to leave, do or die, on october 31 so, forgive me if i say that it is not exactly clear where you want to head and how you want to leave the european union. no, you lay out very succinctly some
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of the varying political currents in london right now but my question to you comes back to prime minister borisjohnson because he is the new factor in this protracted brexit mess — i think we can call it — and he says and he said it again yesterday in dublin, when talking to the leader of the irish government, he said he overwhelmingly wants a negotiated deal. do you believe him? the question is not exactly whether we believe him or not, but i might say that i am now lost in translation because we have a british prime minister saying that he does not want elections but still pushing for elections, saying that he wants a deal but his negotiator comes to brussels and provides with no proposal, no idea —
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strictly nothing to replace the withdrawal agreement so it is a little bit confusing and, indeed, it does not really help to build trust. well, the government led by borisjohnson says, and ministers repeat this, that they are now straining every sinew to strike a new agreement with the european union negotiators in brussels. they say the old withdrawal agreement cannot stand and, as you well know, the prime concern they have is over the so—called irish backstop, that is, the plan to avoid a hard border in ireland, so they say we have serious negotiations about a different withdrawal agreement. to your knowledge, is that true or not true? if you remember, borisjohnson first said that he would not come to paris
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or berlin or brussels until we abandoned the backstop, then he changed his mind and he came to paris and to berlin and to biarritz, saying that he wanted a deal, and chancellor merkel as well as president macron told him, well, come with ideas, come with proposals, which are credible, which respect the priorities that we set together — no hard border on the island of ireland, protection of the good friday agreement, peace and stability on the island of ireland, and consistency of the single market. so far i have not heard michel barnier, the european negotiator, coming back to us and saying, yes, there are new, credible proposals respecting these redlines. let me just clear up a couple
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of points of detail on ireland and then we can move on. first of all, there is mooted in london now the possibility that boris johnson, over the next few days, will suggest to the european negotiating team that britain might accept some form of northern ireland—only backstop, that is, that the british would accept that northern ireland would abide by the regulatory framework of the single market and the customs union, that the rest of the united kingdom would not and thereby there would be some sort of regulatory border, if you like, a notional border, along with the irish sea. would that be acceptable to the european union? if you remember, this was precisely the proposalfrom the eu27 in the first place, when we were negotiating with prime minister may.
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the first version of the backstop was northern ireland only, in terms of regulatory alignment with the rest of the european union. at that time, it was changed due to the british negotiator, into customs union for the whole of the united kingdom. we, of course, have no problem with our own proposal but now, having said that, we all know that the devil is in the details and i have not seen and i have not heard of a precise proposal off borisjohnson. just one other thing on ireland, which puzzles me, the european union says that, if there is a no deal exit on the 31st of october, then there will have to be a hard border between northern ireland and the irish republic, to protect the single market. but that is strange because the british government say there is no way they are goign to build the infrastructure
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of a hard border, and that europeans, at the same time, say, oh, well, if the infrastructure is put on the border, that will threaten the good friday peace agreement and stability in ireland. so is the eu seriously saying it is going to put infrastructure on the border and thereby threaten the peace agreement in ireland? is that what the eu wants? what the eu want is pretty clear. it is within the withdrawal agreement which we adopted and, of course, we don't want a no deal and we don't want hard border but coming to downing street comes with responsibility. but coming to downing street comes with responsibilities. the british prime minister cannot say that he seriously considers a no deal and say, at the same time, that he has no interest in the protection of his own borders, when brexit was supposed to be about taking back control so it sounds weird to me to say, well, i am taking decisions but
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i'm not interested in consequences. let's get away from the detail and talk politics. is it true to say — and you are a close ally of his — that president emmanuel macron has tired of this entire brexit process and just wants to see britain out as soon as possible? well, if you listen to everything that was said by emmanuel macron for two years, he has repeatedly said that he would prefer having the united kingdom inside the european union, because we face challenges together, in terms of security, in terms of defence, in terms of trade or environment, climate change — all these huge challenges which deserve to be addressed... i do understand that... if i may, just make this very
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clear, he has also said — and he said it again after he'd seen boris johnson — "we are not going to go through this sort of crisis every few months," which indicates to me, that when people talk of a two or three—month extension, after october 31, the french are really against it. i would not advise that you single out one member state, compared to others. we have been united from day one on brexit. not against the united kingdom but in favour of a solution that protects the interests of our fellow citizens, of ireland, and there is a strong unity and indeed there is strong brexit fatigue, not because of brexit but because of the absence
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of a clear choice made by british authorities on the way forward. if we hear that no deal is not a solution, that the withdrawal agreement is not a solution, and if we have nothing to build on, what can we do? we are about to confirm a commission. we have a lot of work to do... we will get to that point of whether brexit is becoming a deeply unwelcome distraction to europe's other business but finishing on the idea of whether an extension can happen. your foreign minister seemed to be pretty sure that it is a no. but france does not want to be out of step with its european partners and most member states appear to beleive that an extension would have to be given and it seems france
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overstepped the mark. there is no change in the french position and no change in the position of the eu27. there has to be a good reason for an extension. you cannot simply say that, after two years, you are not ready. you have to tell us, what would you do with an extension? if i may... you know when the vote is coming because borisjohnson no longer has a majority and a general election is coming certainly soon after october 31 if not before. is that not a good enough reason to give an extension? let me tell you from experience about brexit, until things are confirmed, i know nothing. if there is a clear position from the prime minister
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and from the parliament about a general election with a date and with the need to prepare for the election, this might be a reason for an extension. if there is a clear position about a people's vote, that might be a reason for an extension. if there is a clear proposal which is credible and acceptable from the british side, supported by a majority in the parliament on a withdrawal agreement, this is a reason for an extension. if there is nothing, why should we wait longer? at some moment decisions have consequences and we cannot wait forever if no—one takes responsibility on the british side. it is a very sad. it is heartbreaking but it is your choice to make. if i may say so, the confusions and indecisions aren't all on the british side.
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let me pick you up on what seems to be one of yours. because last year you said you were in favour of the uk going for a second, another referendum, to settle this issue and sort out britain's position. and in the recent past, in recent weeks and months, you've said a second referendum would not be a positive thing. you say it would simply leave the uk as divided as ever. and you said i think it is necessary that the uk simply moves forward and that brexit takes place. so you've ruled out a second referendum, have you ? from europe's point of view? we have not. it's your choice. it's a political choice to be made by the brits.
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it's not ours. we have not chosen brexit in the first place. even if it has consequences on the eu 27, we will live with the decision that we have not taken part, too. if there has to be a second referendum, it has to come from the brits. it's not the eu 27, which would patronise or monitor the british people and tell them you have to go back to the polls. you have to decide, but please, make an effort. it's been more than two years we have been discussing this. everything has been discussed in detail. we know everything about how their withdrawal agreement should be decided, adopted, ratified, and the most important conversation has not even started on our future relationship. and on this i have a number of big question marks. because at the moment we had the government of theresa may, we knew that she was reassuring the eu 27 on the environment and labour laws, she didn't want to withdraw from the key communities. now we have a prime minister saying with brexit he will get rid of eu regulations on environment and labour, that has huge consequences for british citizens, for british business, but also for the european union. it's going to cost, according
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to the bertelsmann institute in germany, going to cost eu citizens at least a0 billion euros if a no—deal brexit goes ahead. we know it is going to cost the uk government and awful lot of money, in proportion, more. but it is going to cost europe a great deal. are you putting that firmly at the top of your mind as you consider what to do over the next few weeks? we have it fully in mind. when i was a member of the french government i prepared my country for this scenario of a no—deal, not because i wanted it, because i thought it
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may very well happen. and now we are prepared, we are ready, and we are going to face the consequences of a decision taken in the united kingdom. with all due respect, you also have to realise that these decisions will have consequences on the united kingdom, on british citizens, on french or european citizens living in the united kingdom. this is why i go back to yourfirst question. yes, this whole brexit story is pure madness. it was sold to voters as being stronger, being wealthier, being more in control, and what do we see today? that a no—deal brexit will mean that the uk is weaker, more isolated and it will cost an enormous amount of money. what do you say...
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really, if i have something to say... all right, given... ..i would say stop this madness. given what you've said, what do you say to those brexiteers, some of them very close to boris johnson himself, who say we will leave with no deal if we need to on october 31, we will than open ourselves to business with the rest of the world, but we will also then be in a great position to negotiate a preferentialfree trade — or pretty much free trade — deal with the european union because europe needs itjust as much as we need it. negotiating with the rest of the world when you are one single country is not as profitable as when you belong to the european union. and trade partners throughout the world are waiting with a lot of appetite to see a single united kingdom asking for trade agreements.
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they will probably take advantage of the fact that the united kingdom is isolated. regarding the negotiation, with the european union, for the future relationship, indeed we want a good relationship, a strong relationship, but it takes two to tango. and i would be very much interested in knowing exactly what borisjohnson wants to put in an agreement, and we all know that brexit doesn't end with the no deal. we will still have conversations about everything that is on the table now and needs to be settled. the irish border, peace and stability in ireland, the consistency of the single market, the alignment with all regulation, there are several possible scenarios for a trade agreement and they were explained in detail by michel barnier to his interlocutors many times. and the more you want, the more you put yourself on the table, there are advantages that come with commitments. and the higher the commitment, the bigger the advantage is. are you are certainly saying no
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closure, no sense of resolution if there is a no—deal brexit on october 31. but ijust wonder, i want to thank you in one different direction before we close, and that is whether you, as a french politician, a very close friend and an ally of emmanuel macron see a moment of opportunity here, in particularly for france, inside europe and the european union. you said, at least according to newspaper reports the other day that angela merkel was one of the problems with europe,
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you seem to be suggesting only mr macron could provide the dynamic leadership to take europe forward post—brexit. is that macron's ambition? to take the space — perhaps more space — left by the exit of the uk from the european union and imprint france's power on the project? well, first of all i will not comment on press reports on which i issued strong denials. but coming back to europe and what we're doing right now, it is not a question of imposing power from one member state to the others.
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it's a question of living up to the expectancies to what our voters have asked for when we went to the european elections and our voters are asking for a more united european defence, a more efficient european security, a way to deal with the digital transformation of our societies and our economies. this is precisely what ursula von der leyen is preparing with the next commission and what we will be working on. the member states and the council, the european commission, and the european parliament, where i belong to a group, renew europe, will be key to defining all majorities for our projects. so this is not a question of a person, even if emmanuel macron has put in a lot of input, a lot of vision on the european union's future, but this vision is shared by his counterparts throughout europe. alright.
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and we are ambitious for europe because we are ambitious for our citizens. nathalie loiseau, we're out of time, but i thank you very much forjoining me on hardtalk. good morning. we really are experiencing all flavours of autumn this week. it was rather cool and disappointing on monday, wasn't it? but tuesday made up for it. some lovely spells of sunshine for most of us — as you can see by this beautiful weather watcher picture sent in from leeds. however, today it's again a different story. we are seeing some wet and windy weather arriving, so some rain at times today and a noticeable blustery wind. and that's because of the remnants of ex—hurricane dorian. an area of low pressure that's been arriving over the last few hours bringing some wet and windy weather into scotland and northern ireland. and we've got these weather fronts
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straddled across the country first thing in the morning. not producing that much in the way of rain, but some patchy light rain across parts of east anglia and the south—east to start with. overcast skies and some rain into north wales and north—west england. but already, behind it, into scotland and northern ireland, you'll start off with some sunny spells and a few scattered showers. now, we can't rule out the odd rumble of thunder with those showers, but hopefully they should be few and far between. something that will be late noticeable will be the strength of the wind, a strong westerly gusting in excess of 40, maybe 45 mph on exposed west facing coasts. but there will be some sunny spells coming through later on in the day. and as a temperatures will improve. highs of 22 degrees, 72 fahrenheit. so that weather front will trail away then it's going to be replaced by another area of low pressure pushing in from the atlantic.
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this one has more in the way of tropical moisture tucked in behind it, which means a real difference in the weather to the north and the south. it will bring some rain into northern ireland, southern scotland, and north—west england for a time and some strong blustery winds here. but with that south—westerly flow and some sunny spells across much of england and wales temperatures will improve. and in the sunshine it will feel quite pleasant. we could see highs, maybe, of around 2a degrees, the mid—70s fahrenheit. a contrast to the north with 13—17 degrees the high. now, as we move out of thursday into friday, and the start of the weekend, an area of high pressure is going to build in across from the atlantic over england and wales. just allowing weather fronts to topple across the high and bringing occasional spells of wet and windy weather to the extreme north—west. but for many of us it does mean that friday and into the weekend conditions will dry up and warm up and we could see temperatures somewhere in the south—east of 25 degrees by sunday afternoon. take care.
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this is the briefing. i'm sally bundock. our top story: president trump sacks his hawkish national security advisor, john bolton. but does the move signal a shift in foreign policy? arab countries condemn the israeli prime minister's plan to annex parts of the occupied west bank, if he wins re—election. some say the move would be a "war crime". victims of war and the world's worst humanitarian crisis — a special report from yemen, where civilians are fighting to survive. the iphone goes pro — apple unveils its latest range of devices, but will it be enough to beat the competition?

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