tv Brexitcast BBC News September 15, 2019 12:30am-1:00am BST
the american secretary of state has blamed iran for the drone strikes that set fire to two major oil facilities in saudi arabia. houthi rebels in yemen said they carried out the attacks, but mike pompeo said there was no evidence for that claim. saudi oil production will be halved. the former conservative minister, sam gyimah, has defected to the liberal democrats, the sixth mp to do so in recent weeks. he was one of 22 tories who were stripped of the party whip when they rebelled against borisjohnson to block a no—deal brexit. police and oxfordshire have arrested a 66—year—old man in connection with the theft of a solid gold toilet worth almost £5 billion from blenheim palace. the toilet was part of the exhibit by an italian artist known for his satirical sculptures. now on bbc news, brexitcast.
adam, did you get a blunt text today asking a rather personal question? what are you wearing? but not in that weird way. what are you wearing because you're going to be on tv tonight? 0h! i didn't get one. you weren't wearing that sort of flannel shirt. wearing a very flannely gingham shirt. it wasn't that bad. i even ironed it. the blue shirt came out and this has passed the tv test, apparently. no, not the clothes show, welcome to brexitcast. brexitcast from the bbc. no—one‘s got a bleep clue what brexit is. brexit is... i hadn't understood the full extent of this. we are particularly reliant on the dover—calais crossing. i met borisjohnson once. the doubters, the doom and gloom, they are going to get it wrong again.
remainers and leavers, that's going to end well. the process, which i can only describe as a dog's brexit. blue shirt at westminster, just been told to sit up as well. this telly lark. finishing me off and we are only ten seconds in. laura at westminster. adam at westminster although normally in brussels. katya, also normally in brussels. trying to sit up as straight as i can. we do not normally have to do this, we are just a podcast. it's nice of us to hang out instead of just speaking through the airwaves. we should have a crack at explaining what we try to do for the people seeing this for the first time on the tv and who have not tripped across us in podcast land. might be frightening. here we are, four people sitting in a box with headphones on and it's not the usual thing of telly
and suits and autocues and that sort of stuff. that is obvious. and not our usual personae on television, because if you see us on the ten o'clock news or if you hear us on radio 4, we sound much more serious. and we give shorter answers. here, we go into detail and we go behind—the—scenes a lot as well about the news of the day. but we should not be scared of the details. i am not scared of detail. i love details. that is why i carry these things around with me. one of the running themes has been adam and his binders. where are the binders? you have come with a few chunky yellow pages. very strict limits on luggage these days. the whole idea is katya and i are in brussels and you guys are here while this massive story is unfolding, and a really good
way of understanding what is going on is hearing what is happening there, and us getting together and talking about it. you bump into people in parliament or around the european institutions and they whisper stuff in our ears. that sounds quite romantic, i am not sure if that is quite how it happens. talking of romance, the thing i love about brexitcast, i was going to say something really rude, it has been a journey with other people, because, if you're listening to this for the first time tonight, brexitcasters who have been with us for a long time, we know who you are. so there's anna. anna with the nails! she paints the brexit story on her nails. we love that. welcome, anna. there's one of her classics — no deal, boom, brexitcast and i think that's the irish border. what does the irish border
look like in a manicure? very impressive. one this week from gus, who i think is somebody very important in the british virgin islands. the governor general? your lordship, if you're listening. should i be pleased or worried that my son is listening to the brexitcast while cleaning his room? there is a photo of gus‘s son. is that a tidy bedroom for a kid? we can't see the floor and it's the floor that counts. let's talk about our tidy or untidy constitution. this whole suspension of parliament, prorogation — is it legal, is it illegal, is it happening or not? is it illegal in scotland but not in england, when will we know? let me put on my robe. i like a robe. should i get a judge's robe?
i want the wig. i wouldn't have to dry my hair in the morning. it would be transformational. the this week dressing up box is no longer in use, i am sure we can deploy it. if you are a this week viewer, it is lovely to have you, but you did not get andrew to leave behind any blue nun, and i am really disappointed for that. a couple of days ago, the scottish court, yesterday said that borisjohnson‘s suspension of parliament was illegal and that he had misled the queen. now, in constitutional terms, that is kind of as big as it gets, that is a big fat problem. but last week, the high court in london didn't say that it wasn't illegal, they said it was none of our business and it was a political decision and not a legal one. so what happens now?
the uk supreme court has to give the final verdict on it and they will start judging that on tuesday. so by this time next week, we will know what the ruling has been. in the meantime, there were sort of caper scenes as mps who went home on monday and tuesday night, those that did not necessarily come in, they started to come back and back with their cases and a group of them protested outside parliament and said they were outraged parliament wasn't sitting. the speaker's office said it was down to the government as to whether or not parliament would reconvene in this period between the hearing in scotland and the hearing next week, and the government saying we will wait to see what the supreme court is saying. but it is striking. with all of this news around that is category a news day to day, a day like yesterday and the verdict of the scottish court didn't seem as dramatic as some of the events last week. but you step back and you're like, wow, isn't it extraordinary! a court saying that about a british prime minister and the british prime minister being asked, did you lie to the queen?
rather alarmingly, he was asked while standing on the deck of a battleship. actually an announcement about ship building. here is what it was like. did you lie to the queen when you advised her to prorogue, to suspend prominent? absolutely not, and as i say, the high court in england agrees with us but the supreme court will have to decide. this is not normal. borisjohnson has not been in office for two months yet and already we are already at defcon 5. he is being asked questions like that, he is flouting conventions over the place, but just for people wondering what has gone on, the difference in point of law is notjust because scottish law and english law is different, although i have enjoyed explaining that to people, it is because the scottish court gave greater weight to the idea that the suspension happened because downing street was trying to evade scrutiny.
they did it in clandestine means. as i understand it, and legal opinion in this whole area is so untested, and it is like at the moment, we are on this big map without any lines on it. i felt a bit sorry for boris johnson because this idea today, we are not going to talk about yellowhammer, though we will talk about that in the moment. i'm going to talk about battle ships and be grand. there he is being asked about lying to the queen. we have spent a lot of time on brexitcast talking about to what extent these events might or might not be following the plan. borisjohnson, dominic cummings plan. today definitely did not seem part of a plan. but here's the interesting thing about it. although the events of the past couple of weeks have been i am sure, really shocking to lots
of people, and to people in parliament certainly. we have seen people in the streets, we should not give the impression that somehow a million people on the streets, it has been very dramatic. it was always in his team and we got that message from people he brought in, the total awareness that they were going to go down a provocative route, that it was likely to put this confrontation on hyperspeed to force this thing to a conclusion. because brexitcasters know, we have all been talking about this grinding, grinding process that's gone on and on, borisjohnson priority above all else is to stick to that deadline of halloween, and if that means forcing the confrontation, that is what they are going to do. it is shocking to a lot of people but from a political point of view, it is not surprising, but it's a funny thing to explain away.
we saw it a bit that way in brussels, because you would speak to politicians, diplomats, officials and some would say, this prorogation thing, that's been undemocratic, isn't it? but then say, hang on, maybe this is a bit of a good strategic tactic, because it focuses the opposition into a one week period, before parliament went on holiday anyway, and then it means you've got your october european council, where boris johnson will speak to his leaders, maybe one of them is texting us now. iwish, i hope. and then we have a two—week period after the summit in the middle of october where we can have another confrontation between the many different sides of westminster and it was a way of focusing that. but wasn't the idea that if that were the theory — using the subjunctive proudly. oh, that is fancy. what is the subjunctive there? if that were. that's posher than me. i've lost my train of thought.
if that had been the plan, then the idea of shutting parliament down would be supposedly, the attention will be on borisjohnson and he could do what he likes, he could talk about battleships, the nhs, education, and he is unfazed by mps asking about no deal preparations, and he would be able to control the narrative. have you watched his facebook people's pmqs? that is him controlling the narrative completely. but, he hasn't been able to control it now, so i wonder, i know that is the narrative, the theory doing the rounds in brussels but he has tripped up surely now. he has, technically speaking, he has lost votes in parliament, lost his majority by booting people out of the party, he lost a major case in court, been told that he has broken the law, so this is all really serious stuff.
but, there is a but coming, and people will find this quite outrageous, but look at what is happening. dividing lines have been around politics forever. divide and conquer, here we go. it is clear as day and it always has been since the moment, whatever it was, july 24th or 25th that he moved in, that the dividing line for borisjohnson and the tories and their strategy in the next election, when it comes, will be we want to get on with our lives, we know you want to get on with their lives, the us and them, them, they want to keep talking about brexit forever. so all of these events in a way, pushing the rules, pushing the boundaries, they could even be helpful in that narrative and this also happens on the brexitcast. so the government is saying that may be, a big part of me thinks something of this magnitude may be the inevitable level of pain trying to keep all of the factions together is what killed may's career. so trying to keep people together,
we push them apart. and then in that context, they can be actors of the establishment. but i think this is heading to some kind of resolution, they are not going to write a letter, they're just going to dig their heels in. they have tripped up lots of times they have not gotten the election that they wanted they have mistakes. sorry, this is a very clear question though. what happens if the supreme court say the scottish court was right
and the government was wrong? it depends on the day that judgement comes, but theoretically, it could mean that mps have to get back on their trains and pack their many cases and parliament sits again, whether the interesting things they stopped short of ordering the government to do that again, so it was almost as if they knew that the next move would be settled by the uk court and that is why it was perfectly possible that they might be ordered to appear in parliament again, although i have to say the expectation is that won't happen, but obviously legal opinion, this is all untested stuff
and we're back to seeing the discussion aboutjudiciaries being independent or not. and again, rory stewart gave an interview on the today programme a former conservative mp. "this normally happens in other countries," he said, i have to say there are a few eyebrows raised about that comment, what exactly is trying to say, but this is phenomenal. you're questioning the independence of thejudiciary, questioning lying to the queen by the prime minister. the way brexitcast is written in big letters, extraordinary, and in every sense of the word and somehow, you get so lost and all of these big events that they almost cancel each other out sometimes. do we talk today about yellowhammer? yellowhammer, the codeword
for the government's prepared effort for getting ready, care homes, petrol stations, hospitals, whatever. is it worst case scenario, worstest case scenario, base case? which of these, please? or just really bad? this is what the government published last night in response to that vote in the commons a couple of nights earlier, and it's badged "hmg, her majesty's government, reasonable worst case planning assumptions of 2nd august," but to address that point you're making, adam, this document or something very, very close to it was leaked to the sunday times a couple of weeks ago and the reporter in question said, "hang on a minute, the thing i had was pretty much the same thing" apart from the top, which talked about a base scenario, which is kind of whitehall—speak for the middle — on the doomometer, the middle of the "it'll be fine—it'll be horrific. base is somewhere in the middle where it a reasonable worst
case scenario is pretty near the horrific end. now, i don't know what conversations, laura, you've been having with various people privately, but when i put this to someone last night, the implication was that there are lots of documents that circulate around in westminster, and it was possible that there could be two that are circulating at slightly different levels or times that might have different titles to them. in other words, i was left with the impression that this was not, as has been interpreted in some places, not least in social media, that the kind of tippex came out and it was as crude as some would suggest. i think that's right. it's also worth saying, though, that the first sniff we had of this was almost 12 months ago when one of the best snappers in westminster, steve back — are we allowed to do name checks now we're on the telly? yeah, of course! steve back, legendary snapper, caughta minister, john glen, carrying it under his arm and he got that snap and it said
"operation yellowhammer something—something, civil contingencies act." and that is when the mystery started. and it has taken 12 months, finally, for the government to be forced to publish it. but it's really, really, really bad. it's really frightening. government ministers have been doing their best to reassure that this is the worst—case scenario. "this was the beginning of august and a lot has changed since then." and i think it's true that this administration, by people inside it and outside it, would say they have really stepped up the effort for no deal, i think that is genuine. but we know that actually, they can't make sure that everybody in the country will be ready, that businesses are all doing the right thing. have i broken the studio already? are you alright? don't kick anything. it was a leftover bucket of paint. theyjust painted the studio last week. i might borrow that for my room! is the lid on properly? the only way out is to make
sure that yellowhammer never has to become a real thing is to get a deal, which is what we spent most of the last three years talking about. so, huge amounts, so there's all kinds of whispers and there is a bit of optimism in the air. publicly, the prime minister is talking a lot more about the deal this week, from his trip to ireland when he was meeting leo varadkar. oh, chris, he started off saying there was a one in a million chance of no deal. i'm sorry, but he has yo—yoed all over the place and i have to say that the optimism is here. the optimism is not in the eu. the eu says, we will never stop trying, we'll never stop listening — partly true, because no deal is expensive and painful, politically and economically, but also because they have to show to their own publics — "we're trying." angela merkel, the german chancellor was saying yesterday that she is going to work to the last minute and there could be a chance of there being a deal because she has to say that because germany stands to lose 100,000 jobs in the case
of a no—deal so her voters need to see — german voters — that she is going to be open up until the last minute, but optimism? i was going to say, michel barnier‘s remarks to the european parliament in brussels today, which we were sent in french, and my french isn't great, but i think i know what "le situation du brexit restez grave uncertaine" means. he also said, "we have no cause to be optimistic right now, but we're not ruling out a deal." i think it's good to look at what is actually happening. so, there is this process at the moment where twice a week, the prime minister's europe adviser, david frost, goes to brussels. he and i were on the same train yesterday, he was not pleased about that. did you speak to him? i did, and he ran away. oh, no! david, if you're listening, you may as well start talking to adam now, or else he is going to follow
you until you speak to him. you won't be able to get a coffee or a sandwich. and you know who else knows what it's like being followed by me? michel barnier himself, the eu's chief brexit negotiator. and ifinally wore him down and got him to be super nice to us. because you have spent an eternity chasing him around. two years, yeah, and this is where it got us. listen to this. is there any progress? do you want to tell us what's going on? i am very impressed. hello. good to see you. brexitcast tv tonight, huh? bbc one, 11:35. will you be watching? always. always interesting. always many things to learn. there are smooth diplomat talks! was that the best day of your life? if katy perry had said that to me, that would be the best day. your beam is still quite large.
but to make it less about me, he has not been that super positive to the brits this week, has he? because we know that they were presenting these ideas for the irish border, like some old ideas that were presented in the theresa may era right at the start that were rejected by the eu. this is the whole idea, isn't it? one of our favourite words around the brexitcast, the backstop, an original idea was that northern ireland has a closer economic relationship with the eu than the rest of the uk and then you don't have to have a border on the island of ireland. and that was ditched because the dup didn't like it and lots of conservatives didn't like it either. and it is back in the ether as a conversation again. it is back in the ether, but not the northern ireland backstop as we know it. absolutely, because at people's pmqs, our prime minister said
absolutely no to the northern ireland backstop. but is there a diluted version of it? but what is a diluted version? this is notjust about keeping the border open forthe eu. and we have seen in suggestions from the uk of alternative arrangements, having checks further back from the border. that doesn't cut it either. it's about keeping the all—ireland economy going, keeping that infrastructure off the border. it's about protecting the single market for the eu, as well as protecting the northern ireland peace process. so when you checklist ideas coming from the uk, and there are ideas, the eu is saying it is not a proposal, but there are ideas being chatted around, those are the criteria by which the eu will take it off. so, if it's a tick on no infrastructure at the border, that is not enough, it still has to protect the single market and be perceived to protect the northern ireland peace process. and all of those reasons
are why it has been so hard to find an agreement on that. that is the real conundrum at the centre of why we're all here with so much to talk about three years on. and for the foreseeable future. butjust one brief thing. there is a whisper of positivity on the side that at least conversations are starting to flow and a chance... phone buzzes ooh, is that a whisper? i'll tell you after. has your pizza arrived? maybe. ..a chance that the prime minister might see jean—claude juncker early next week. and that will only happen if they think they have something to talk about, which will give us more to talk about on brexitcast next week. just one more thing. surely it is mine. we will be in strasbourg for the european parliament from monday afternoon, tuesday, maybe wednesday. maybe borisjohnson will see him there, as theresa may did. my other "just one more thing".
you can't have two "one more things". i gave mine to adam. i'mjust sneaking in an extra one for me. the rules are there to be broken. my father—in—law always said "promises are only real in the ears of those who hear them." that is very cryptic. we will be back with citizens‘ rights issues and the money that the uk owe us and if you want any kind of deal, free goodbye, everybody. hello. welcome along. so, latest thoughts on how sunday is going to shape up right across the british isles. quite a variety of weather on offer
and then we will take a look at the next few days after that. sunday starting off really very windy again after a wild night across the north and north—east of scotland. some storm—force winds there. weather front producing a fair amount of cloud and some rain for northern ireland, the western and southern parts of scotland in the first part of the day. eventually that rain just moving a little bit further south, getting into the north of england, maybe into the far north—west of wales. thankfully, by this stage, clearer skies getting into scotland and the wind much reduced during the course of the afternoon. very best of the sunshine across the south—eastern quarter of the british isles, temperatures responding accordingly. further west through wales and the south—west of england, i think there'll be more in the way of cloud, and that may well be reinforced as we get on through the evening and overnight, so the remnants of that weather front still producing the odd bit and piece of rain will gradually ease its way into the southern half of the british isles producing quite a mild night here, but further north, underneath the clear skies, you will end up with quite a chilly do, 4, 5 degrees,
something of that order. over the next few days, the week ahead, largely dry across the british isles. some pretty chilly nights to come. but there will be some rain across the far north of the british isles. monday, as i say, starts off on a relatively mild note across the south, but those colours beginning to drain away. something a little bit fresherjust trying to dominate across all parts. monday, as i say, the remnants of that weather front taking the last of the relatively mild airs away to the near continent. following on behind, the very best of the sunshine will be found across the northern half of the british isles, a pretty pleasant day. not too much in the way of wind. a high on the day of about 21 degrees. as the last of that frontal cloud slips away and the high pressure builds in, so tuesday will start on a pretty chilly note with clear skies, a lot of sunshine around. i think you will lose that somewhat as a frontal system just shows its hand towards northern ireland, the western side of scotland. quite a noticeable north—westerly breeze at this stage, so the temperatures struggling
across the north—east of scotland. 20 still to be had across the south. as we start the new day on wednesday, high pressure centred towards the southern half of the british isles, and it allows this weather front to roll around its northern flank, producing more cloud for the northern half of the british isles and there will be some bits and pieces of rain coming in across the north of scotland on its way to the northern isles and, again, top temperature on the day around about 21 in the sun.
this is bbc news, i'm maryam moshiri. our top stories: the us blames iran for drone attacks on saudi oil refineries, playing down claims of responsibility by yemen's houthi—led government. the white house confirms the killing of osama bin laden‘s son hamza, but won't say when it happened. a state funeral for robert mugabe, but the crowds stay away from the stadium. and in an emotional interview, the former star of welsh rugby gareth thomas has revealed that he is hiv—positive.