tv Review 2019 BBC News January 1, 2020 4:30pm-5:01pm GMT
side of the pennines, the north—eastern quarter of scotland. if that's the case, temperatures will dribble away. not overly cold for the time of year and many of you will not be scraping the cars first up on thursday but the dramatic change on thursday is that we will see not one, but to weather fronts affecting but two weather fronts affecting northern and western parts of the british isles on what is going to be quite a noticeably breezy day across many parts, a lot of cloud again ahead of the weather fronts, you see the extent of the rain into the afternoon eventually rocking up into parts of wales. generally speaking, the further south and east you are, the drier your day will be. take care, goodbye. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines... bushfires have killed at least eight people in south—eastern australia since monday and destroyed more than 200 homes. two men and a woman are killed
after a lorry collides with a car in stanwell in surrey on new year's eve. the mother of the british teenager found guilty of lying about being raped in cyprus backs calls for tourists to boycott the country. in their new year messages, the prime minister says brexit will mark a ‘new chapter‘ for the uk, while the archbishop of canterbury urges people to heal the divisions of recent years. now on bbc news, the brexitcast team look back on a roller coaster of a year in politics in review 2019's brexitcast no one's got a (bleep) clue what brexit is. brexit is, um... i hadn't quite understood the full extent of this. we're particularly reliant on the dover—calais crossing. i met borisjohnson once. the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters, they are going to get it wrong again. remainers and leavers, that's going to end well.
a process which i can only describe as a dog's brexit. this is katya adler in westminster. it's adam fleming in westminster. and laura in westminster as well. all together. the three wise people. and we're empty chairing, not ice sculpture melting, ourfriend chris. he is on holiday already. in new zealand. so he has gone as far away as you can possibly get from brexit. for anyone who is just tuning in and has not seen us, brexitcast is a podcast that is in your podcast feeds multiple times per week. the tv show on thursday night and we just talk about brexit. we also talked a lot about a big giant election in the uk. and a bit of porn. i mean, we are talking 2019 and looking back over the year. and that was a big moment for us, the danish mp advertising on a porn aggregating website. right, ok let's rewind swiftly.
the start of the year was a different cast of characters and in a completely different context talking about different stuff. i suppose the big moment at the start of the year was the mv—one. the meaningful vote one. it was when theresa may had a deal with the european union and she tried and tried to get it through parliament, but it was a total unmitigated disaster. notjust because the opposition parties did not like her deal and probably were not going to vote for it anyway, but she had a large tribe of eurosceptic conservatives who did not like herand did not like the deal. and that did for her in the end. and she had all of the remain mps as well. so no one was going to be happy. i remember you saying over and over again. how do you make everybody happy when everybody wants so many different things? yeah, and the eu sort of,
she went to the eu and said "we agreed this deal, and it was argued over and discussed, but can you just give me something else to persuade people to vote for it in parliament?" and really, i mean, they went to the motions and juncker went through the motions, but frankly, it wasn't very much. it was not enough. and then there was another couple of meaningful votes and they were not as disastrous as the first one, but still pretty bad for her and the most really disastrous thing was the european parliament elections, which we had to have because we had stayed in the eu beyond the original exit date of march, one of the conditions was that we had to be a part of the elections and the conservatives did super badly. they did extremely badly. and the brexit party did extremely well and lots of people saw that as the straw that broke the camel's back for theresa may and not long after that, with the lovely sound effect of adam, she was toast and she was done and
the conservative prime minister who had tried to keep her party together, very much tried to keep her party together and tried to keep the country together in an extraordinary period after the referendum, hertime was up. and a famously unemotional woman, she cracked. so i am today announcing that i will resign as leader of the conservative and unionist party on friday the 7th ofjune, so that a successor can be chosen. i will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold. the second female prime minister, but certainly not the last. i do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country i love. being in downing street at that moment was quite...
british politics is always brutal and that was a particularly brutal moment and there is no question that there's a small number of people in the tory party who tried to bring her down since the day she moved in. some of them were supporters of the person who followed her in next. when we look back at this and of course, the whole brexit chapter of uk history is going to be pored over for many years to come, but already with the benefit of hindsight, you could... i'm often asked does the eu regret not giving david cameron more when he asked for reform? does the eu regret not giving theresa may more at the juncture at the beginning of 2019 that could have kept a more moderate brexit than the more hard—line conservatives who are now in government? and actually, on both occasions, the answer is no for the europeans because when it came down to david cameron it would have meant breaking up those eu fundamental rules about freedoms, he wanted to get rid of the freedom
of movement for the uk. that was not something that the eu would countenance, because once you give that up for the uk, everyone else would've demanded it as well. or demand fiddling with other rules. and coming back to theresa may and she wanted to have a time limit at least on the backstop, the famous backstop to keep the irish border open after brexit, and the eu could not do that because ireland would not let them and the eu — other eu member states would've accepted a time limit and ireland said no and that is a key point. behind the scenes, i was hearing a lot of frustration from other eu member states because they wanted to get it done and dusted and they wanted to get this deal signed off with theresa may, but there was no way that they were going to turn their back on ireland and they wanted to ensure that there would be no customs mess on the island of ireland affecting their single market. so, there are no regrets on the eu side. there were a lot of ifs and there is a great story that i cannot tell all of, but there is a story that involves a lot of wine and a lot of very
important people from the uk and ireland in dublin at a particularly critical point who thought they might have been able to get there even on time limit, but the proper niche nerds will remember the so—called brady amendment and let's not go into all of that here. but something happened in westminster and all that possibility went away. so we are up to the end of may, that's when she resigned. that was the friday after the elections on the thursday where the results came out on the sunday. also, remember the backstop? the backstop takes me back. to solve the problem of how do you have an open border between northern ireland and ireland once the uk is out. the idea was you would have a sort of customs union between the uk and the eu, a shared customs territory which meant that the uk's tariffs to the outside world were the same as the eu's to the outside world and you could have a thing that went around the uk and the eu, which means you do not have to worry about the irish border. which meant that the uk
would, in a lot of ways, still be staying in the eu, even though it supposedly left. which is why it was not acceptable to the tory party and was never going to be accepted in uk parliament and that is why the government was desperate to get a time limit because then they said they would do that unless and until, but then it all went away. regulatory alignment following the eu's rules and regulations on lots of bits of the single market with the uk voluntarily following the same rules, so you would not have to have checks on goods going from great britain to northern ireland, which will rear its head again. hope people are not hung over they listen to this. just think if you manage to spend hours talking about the backstop. frontstopping all the way going to 2020. before we got to the backstop, we had to hire a new prime minister and we had the tory leadership contest. we did. happy memories? i mean, this hasjust been the most extraordinary story to cover. part of the nature of this
extraordinary story has been, for a long time, following the career of borisjohnson, who is the ultimate up and then down and then up and then down politician who had quit the cabinet and had been decried by colleagues as part of sabotaging theresa may's deal — although he did vote for it at the end. never forget that. but although he had been written off by loads of people in his party, he came back as mr big brexit. i am the man who, after the disaster of that european election, and setting himself a deadline that he would be out of the european union by halloween, ended up winning. actually. not too surprisingly, but it was an astonishing campaign. the total number of votes given to each candidate was as follows. jeremy hunt, 46,656. borisjohnson, 92,153.
and therefore, i give notice that borisjohnson is elected as the leader of the conservative and unionist party. and we know the mantra of the campaign that hasjust gone by, in case you have forgotten it, you probably have. it is deliver brexit, unite the country and defeat jeremy corbyn. and that is what we are going to do. i think the assumption amongst those in the uk who wanted to stay in the eu or wanted a much softer brexit is that the eu would hate the idea of borisjohnson as prime minister and that was not the case and suspicious, yes, but there was a sense about him that with his charisma that this would be a leader that could get a deal sold back home and right from the beginning, this is what the eu wanted. it never wanted brexit,
so forget that, but if brexit was going to happen, the eu, all my contacts said we need a leader strong enough in the uk to do a deal with us in brussels and sell it back home and in borisjohnson, brexit was fatigued at this point, they saw someone who had a lot more potential to do that than the predecessor, theresa may. that's really why he won the leadership contest so overwhelmingly in the end. lots of people have reservations about him, lots of people in the tory party have deep reservations about him. a lot of people, senior conservatives, believe basically that he is not trustworthy enough to be in office. there are very deep wells of concern about borisjohnson. but that moment came, moments find politicians and the brexit fiasco had been such a car crash under theresa may that the feeling in the tory party, even amongst people who had doubts was that if anyone was going to be able to salvage this in terms of getting a new deal and then selling it to the country, it kind of had to be him.
he was the person who made the most difference in the vote leave campaign in 2016 and there was also a sense of "this is your mess. you come in and clean this up." summer going into the autumn, boris johnson has been prime minister for a couple of weeks, been a bit tricky with all sorts of things happening domestically in the courts and stuff. his europe envoy, david frost, has been going back and forth between london and brussels and we are starting to detect the shape of where a new deal can be done — especially on changing the backstop, the arrangements for northern ireland for keeping the border open. and then there was this meeting in the wirrall. i disagree, actually. i think the autumn was looking like it was going nowhere, david frost was coming backwards and forwards from the eu. he was just there to deliver borisjohnson‘s messages, he was not negotiating. and unless borisjohnson takes a big leap, there is no deal to be done. and this autumn was kind of surreal for me, i found myself at midnight
talking to brexit contacts in brussels and scratching our heads like how, how does the circle get squared? borisjohnson clearly does not want no deal, whatever he says. the eu does not want no deal, we know that. they have made no secret of that so how are they going to square this circle? back to theresa may's nightmare with this border between northern ireland and ireland. how do you square the circle and keep everybody happy? and it looked like there was going to be no deal made because the eu said they were not going to budge over the single market, fundamentally, never mind the peace process and then, there was this magical mystery surprise meeting between borisjohnson and the person who held the keys to a deal here, which was the irish prime minister, leo varadkar. and this is why i think there was so much of this cannot happen and this cannot happen, and i always say this — it is about the politics, right? we get two politicians who can
actually look each other in the eye and get on and say, "we both need to fix this" and the problem is theresa may never had that relationship. she found it very difficult to build up relationships with her counterparts and there was never any small talk — she and leo varadkar didn't really get on. borisjohnson by that point, he was desperate for a deal. he never wanted to take people out without a deal. if you talk to the inner inner core in number 10, there was work going on between david frost and counterparts, they knew what was possible. it might not be possible to know what the boundaries were but there was a huge concession to get the eu to open a withdrawal agreement which were told they cannot do at that point. the decision was did they throw the dup under the bus or not — the northern irish allies that borisjohnson relied on in parliament — and they made the big decision that basically, breaking the promise they made to the dup about never accepting a different situation for northern ireland was worth it in order to get a deal. and in order to, they might
say, get brexit done, and that was the political calculation for varadkar, who was also desperate not to have a deal because he was in a minority government and he has a tricky situation at home and the autumn mists of parkland in cheshire, we see the lovely stills of them walking around and it looked a bit of a catalogue shoot. in the middle distance, they did a deal, they looked each other in the eye and this is what politics comes down to — it is very much about the technicalities. but it is, but it is political expediency. it is political! you're totally right when you say, it seems like all was lost and they were never going to be able to meet in the middle, but i think back to all of the leaks we got of those papers that david frost was presenting. all the ingredients was there, but like everything in the brexit process, the fog of war meant it was so difficult to separate tactics from actual substantive discussions, briefing that was designed to send a message versus briefing that was designed
to tell you what was actually going on, and taking all of the individual pieces and putting them together and then combining the politics. it was very, very hard. it comes down to two very simple concessions, i mean, and big ones. regulatory alignment in northern ireland with a single market. basically, allowing that trade border down the irish sea, separating northern ireland, in practical terms, from the rest of the united kingdom — huge concession for borisjohnson. and the irish accepting what earlier would've been impossible was an effective time limit on the backstop. the power was given to stormont, but this is something that ireland said could never be, it has to be open—ended otherwise it's not a security mechanism and here they were, allowing a de facto time limit. the eu will argue again and again that their concession was smaller than borisjohnson‘s concession and we are going to enter the same kind of realm now when it comes to the trade deal, but those were the fundamental shifts. and both sides budged. and from this end, what they're saying is that maybe some extra
checks but there's already checks, that does not have to be that different. they have democratic consent, as you seay if they ever get back up and running, they can vote down and northern ireland as the power to say actually, we do not like having a different arrangement. and there's even a back—up plan. stormont sitting for four years. exactly, both sides will fight over the history of who budged more but they both budged and there was a deal and that, in the end, is the thing that really matters and they both budged for political reasons because there desperate to have it happen, but i'll always remember the very beginning of all this, someone very senior in the government said to me, "i wouldn't bet you 5p that we can get a deal done." they wanted a deal and they always wanted to deal, they never wanted to leave no deal but they were very, very dubious about whether or not they could actually do it. anyway, welcome to brexitcast when we spend longer on the footnotes on the backstop than we do on the general election of 2019. the general election... the what? forgotten already? yeah!
it was a weird general election because it felt like the build up went on for ages and the it was least surprising snap election in history, wasn't it? it was. but it only happened because boris johnson got this deal and he wasn't sure he could get it through parliament. so he did not trust parliament, so he tried to clear the place out, which is what he managed to do in the end. it's also the case the tories would've only gone to the election because jeremy corbyn was in charge, so from a historic point of view, wise tories say look at this on paper, they have been in power for nearly ten years, they presided over a total fiasco of brexit three years. and they have really squeezed budgets and people have felt that around the country, by any historical measure, they should of been out on their — i was going to say something very rude here. bums! ..posteriors at the election. but one of the reasons why
they pushed for it is because they thought the labour party might be thinking of getting rid ofjeremy corbyn in the new year and felt that it was far better when he was in place. the result, which we are about to hear, more or less in the most nerve—racking moment of ourjobs ever, was the exit poll. 0ur exit polls are suggesting that there will be a conservative majority when all of the votes are counted after this election of december 2019, the conservatives on 368 seats and labour way down on 191. 0n those figures, we are looking at a conservative majority of 86. if the votes actually tally up with this prediction — and that will be the biggest conservative majority since margaret thatcher's third victory back in 1987. that result has absolutely transformed everything around here. it means, numberone, for brexitcasters, we are leaving the european union at the end of next month, unless
something odd happens. unless you are sitting on your couch in january eating a lot of quality street, it happened. and that is massive. for me, the other side of the channel, this change in the eu's understanding, perception and hopes for the future, because we saw the slow dying of the hope of a second referendum, leading either to a soft brexit or the uk staying in. i mean, i think the sort of hope for the uk staying in for many countries already went last year, i think, but that really went so that when we got to this election, the eu cheered borisjohnson‘s election victory — not because of borisjohnson, not because of his politics, but for clarity. it is a big majority, it means that he can bring forward the negotiated brexit deal and there's no doubt in the eu's mind it will get passed
and they can move on. i got a text within seconds, the big majority met borisjohnson has room to manoeuvre, he can go to a softer brexit and the first thing he can do is extend the transition period but the first thing he did — add legislation to the brexit bill banning him from extending the transition period. we were getting it wrong already. the weird thing about all of this is this wishful thinking. we have talked about this in the past two years — whenever from the eu side, maybe we'll move to a second referendum or that kind of, it is astonishing to me that brussels that it is not going to happen. because fundamentally, to their soul, they believed that brexit was a massive act of self harm, and they're thinking they are so clever in the uk, and theyjust cannot let it go, they cannot let it go and it is wishful thinking. and it is something we have talked about a lot how the two sides never really understood each other and it's one of the reasons why the vote happened in 2016.
but, from a historical point of view, when people look back at the extent of the labour defeat. whether it was for corbyn or brexit, i think in history, people will look back and think, people voted on something in 2016 and the political establishment spend a lot of time trying to undo that. what? david dimbleby famously on the night of the referendum, he himself said, i think people thought when he said that that we would be out the next day. it was going to happen really soon. but of course they did. during the campaign, politicians on both sides, including the then prime minister, stood on platforms and said, if you vote this way, this will happen, there will be no going back. this is not a vote where you get a second opinion. and lo and behold, now three years later, people are scratching their heads in the labour party said, maybe it was a bit of a problem trying to undo something that
people voted for. and there are perfectly legitimate reasons for people to campaign for another referendum. but covering it as a story, people voted for that. so we are already hearing, as we approach the end of this year, from the new head of the european commission, who is already threatening about the possibility of a cliff edge no—deal and we are talking about no trade deal, as opposed to a new brexit deal. which is a different no deal. which is a different no deal and how if there's no deal, come december 2020, by which time a trade deal has to be done, the uk will be worse off than the eu, so here we are again and i predict a lot of shadow—boxing for the next months of next year. before we really get an idea of what realistically will be done by the end of 2020. yeah, but hang on though. but the biggest thing above all of that is that the uk is going to leave the eu. oh, yeah.
of course. that is going to be absolutely enormous. we are making a big turn, i don't know whether to the right or the left, a huge turn down a path away from the status quo of the past 40 years and quite similar in the transition period, the uk next year is making an absolutely huge move that will change its place in the world, its relationship with the rest of the continent, its relationship with the globe, a new immigration system here, all sorts of things, un—plumbing the pipes that have made this country work or not work for four decades. and that is a huge and enormous and profound moment. yes, there will be lots of political wrangling about the trade deal and all the rest and i would probably predict that by the end of next year, there'll be some kind of fudge that is between a completed trade agreement or leaving without a deal. and there will be all
kinds of things you can patch up in the middle. divisional application. but unless something really odd happens, we are going to be sitting here next year and the biggest thing that will have happened politically in the uk is that we are out of the european union and itjust took us a while to get there because we said at 4am... i'll always remember, i've still got the text somewhere in the depths of my phone. leave to win. and we have to leave everyone. so thank you for sharing this amazing year and thank you for sharing it with us too. yeah! thank you for listening all of the way through. thank you for listening and make sure you share 2020 with us as well, please. bye! brexitcast. from the bbc.
hello once again. a day of contrasting fortunes across the british isles to start the new year. for some, a lot of cloud around, setting quite low in the atmosphere to say the least. elsewhere, they have been some really decent breaks in the cloud, particularly the north of wales, north of england, eastern side of scotland, too. 0verall, of wales, north of england, eastern side of scotland, too. overall, a fairly quiet start to the new year. for that we have to thank the big area of high—pressure still dominating the scene not to many miles away in the near continent. we have a weather front in scotland which will them large as we get on into thursday. with all the cloud overnight and a southerly flow it will not be an overly cold night. we are still at this stage swaging
relatively mild air. but notice this, creeping ever closer to words that northwestern quarter of scotland. much cooler, pressure conditions behind these were defence, which are be a real player in the weather across scotland, northern ireland, as you can see any first part of thursday. not one but two by the fronts gradually sweep their way... what is going to be a pretty gusty day across all parts of the british isles. they went at their strongest perhaps across the western isles of scotland. given that direction and cloud, it will be a cool day, slightly milder day than mostly case the first part of the week. there's tonight into the first pa rt week. there's tonight into the first part of friday we complete the transition of introducing those cooler areas. it is not a raging northerly by any means at all for friday. writer yes, that is the thing you will notice. the showers getting into the final with scotland, too. some of them wintry across the very highest ground. the
temperature is not really plummeting away. single figures for many. just holding on for a time to double figures in the south. to start the weekend, a ridge of high pressure that comes to kill off some of that shower activity in scotland. the many it is a reasonable beget in prospect. saturday, a lot of dry and fine weather in england and wales. more cloud in scotland and northern ireland and a little bit of rain. those temperatures are degree or to either side of 10 degrees or so. into sunday, a milder day throughout andi into sunday, a milder day throughout and i think it still stays pretty breezy.
this is bbc news. the headlines at 5pm. bushfires had killed at least eight people inside this in australia since monday. they have destroyed 200 homes. with a couple of isolated communities with reports of isolated communities with reports of injuries and rain injuries to member of the public. we have not been able to get access by roads or by aircraft. two men and a woman are killed after a lorry collides with a car in stanwell in surrey on new year's eve. the mother of the british teenager found guilty of lying about being raped in cyprus backs calls for tourists to boycott the country. in their new year messages, the prime minister says brexit will mark a ‘new chapter‘ for the uk, while the archbishop of canterbury urges people to heal the divisions of recent years. and coming up later this hour, private eye editor