14/03/2017 Newsnight


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14/03/2017

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis. Will we end up splitting with Europe AND splitting the United Kingdom?


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LineFromTo

Lights down for the big fight, round two.

:00:00.:00:00.

The issue is the end of the United Kingdom.

:00:00.:00:08.

First, who decides on a second Scottish referendum,

:00:09.:00:42.

And then the substantive argument, should Scotland leave one

:00:43.:00:47.

We'll look at the link between Scottish independence and Brexit.

:00:48.:00:52.

Will Theresa May be tempted to water down the latter

:00:53.:00:59.

Will Theresa May be tempted to water down the latter to avoid the former?

:01:00.:01:02.

Also tonight, the Netherlands prepares to vote tomorrow.

:01:03.:01:04.

We ask the Prime Minister will he be another domino in the fall of

:01:05.:01:08.

Not if I can help it. I am fighting to win. I have called this the

:01:09.:01:14.

quarter-finals. The half-finals will be the French elections and the

:01:15.:01:19.

finals will be the German elections. .

:01:20.:01:24.

And speaking of Europe, why has the Dutch boss

:01:25.:01:26.

of the Royal Opera House relocated Wagner to a London gentleman's club?

:01:27.:01:42.

Hello, we knew our nation was at a crossroads -

:01:43.:01:45.

but now it looks more like spaghetti junction.

:01:46.:01:47.

The issues of Brexit, Scotland and the union

:01:48.:01:49.

The re-shaping of the UK could be as dramatic as anything we've

:01:50.:01:55.

And at the helm of the UK and Scotland as this plays out,

:01:56.:02:01.

two women; each seeing this as the moment for history to be

:02:02.:02:04.

made, each diametrically opposed to each other and neither facing

:02:05.:02:07.

strong opposition from other parties.

:02:08.:02:13.

Today, Nicola Sturgeon said the timing of a second Scottish

:02:14.:02:16.

referendum should be decided by Scotland - Made in

:02:17.:02:18.

Well, it could be an interesting few years.

:02:19.:02:22.

Before we hear about the dilemma for Theresa May in working out how

:02:23.:02:27.

to respond to Nicola Sturgeon's request for a referendum,

:02:28.:02:32.

let's look at the diary and see the key dates.

:02:33.:02:34.

As far as Brexit is concerned - we trigger the process

:02:35.:02:37.

We'll get initial reactions and then negotiation proper will probably

:02:38.:02:41.

start after the French election in May.

:02:42.:02:45.

The EU has said it wants a draft deal by September next year,

:02:46.:02:51.

that can be signed off by everyone by March 2019 - that's the date

:02:52.:02:54.

that Britain would leave the EU, deal or no deal.

:02:55.:02:59.

So how does a Scottish referendum fit around that?

:03:00.:03:03.

Well, Nicola Sturgeon says the second referendum should be

:03:04.:03:05.

after any deal is known, but before we actually leave.

:03:06.:03:08.

Then even if Scotland is dragged out of the EU,

:03:09.:03:10.

it can already be preparing to get back in.

:03:11.:03:14.

Theresa May wants Brexit out of the way first.

:03:15.:03:18.

Before that would be the "worst possible timing" she says.

:03:19.:03:21.

After that, it gets tangled up in the UK

:03:22.:03:23.

General Election - May 2020.

:03:24.:03:29.

And after that, it gets tangled up with the next Scottish

:03:30.:03:32.

Well, Theresa May does not want a second Scottish

:03:33.:03:37.

referendum; the SNP did have it in their manifesto.

:03:38.:03:40.

And most ferociously we have to expect, over the timing of one.

:03:41.:03:49.

But there is another dimension - Theresa May could use

:03:50.:03:51.

Scotland as a reason to soften her demands for Brexit.

:03:52.:03:58.

Make the demands more Scotland friendly.

:03:59.:03:59.

That would upset her Brexiteer colleagues, but if she doesn't,

:04:00.:04:02.

Nick Watt has been looking at calculations that might be

:04:03.:04:05.

One United Kingdom. Two leaders and a third referendum? Just when you

:04:06.:04:21.

thought it was safe to venture outside, another vote emerges over

:04:22.:04:25.

the horizon. If we have learned one lesson over

:04:26.:04:30.

the last three years, it is that referendums are dangerous for the

:04:31.:04:37.

losers and the winners. So both Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May face

:04:38.:04:47.

a perilous path as Indr Ref 2 Hoves into view. Theresa May looks as if

:04:48.:04:51.

she's going to have a hard Brexit, which is going to be very, very bad

:04:52.:04:56.

for the United Kingdom and that is playing into the hands, as - has

:04:57.:05:00.

played into the hands of Nicola Sturgeon, because it gives her this

:05:01.:05:04.

extra reason, strengthens her argument for coming out of the

:05:05.:05:07.

United Kingdom because Scotland voted to stay and Nicola Sturgeon is

:05:08.:05:11.

also taking a risk with the referendum, I don't think there is

:05:12.:05:14.

any guarantee she's going to get it through and if she doesn't get it

:05:15.:05:18.

through, then her career is finished and the SNP are in great

:05:19.:05:22.

difficulties, so it's a very high risk strategy for both women.

:05:23.:05:27.

Westminster still retains ultimate sovereignty over Scotland and yes,

:05:28.:05:30.

there is a slimmed down Scotland office in Whitehall. This means that

:05:31.:05:37.

Nicola Sturgeon has to ask to hold a legally binding referendum on

:05:38.:05:40.

independence. Once that request has been tabled, after a vote in

:05:41.:05:44.

Holyrood, Theresa May faces a headache. If the Prime Minister

:05:45.:05:50.

rejects a referendum in the course of this UK parliament, she risks

:05:51.:05:55.

inflaming Scottish nationalists. Just imagine, if Theresa May adopts

:05:56.:06:01.

this line, just imagine the campaign that's going to take place to

:06:02.:06:04.

illustrate they're breaking manifesto commitments and trying to

:06:05.:06:08.

stop the First Minister fulfilling a manifesto commitment in defiance of

:06:09.:06:11.

the view of the Scottish parliament. For goodness sake. I mean, that's

:06:12.:06:16.

the sort of - Theresa May talks about a cliff-edge as far as Brexit

:06:17.:06:22.

is concerned, that's the sort of abyss that David Cameron once looked

:06:23.:06:30.

over. David Cameron granted that referendum to avoid a stand

:06:31.:06:37.

Catalonian-style standoff. The man who was Scotland's Secretary at the

:06:38.:06:41.

time of Indy Ref one says the nationalists would struggle to claim

:06:42.:06:45.

they're on a par with the Catalans because they were granted a proper

:06:46.:06:52.

vote. We did that, the Catalanian standoff was avoided. The problem

:06:53.:06:56.

for the SNP was they didn't get the answer they wanted so it was perhaps

:06:57.:07:00.

in their views not as decisive as they wanted it to be. I don't accept

:07:01.:07:05.

this attitude on the part of political parties who say, we have

:07:06.:07:08.

had a referendum, we don't agree with the result, we are going to ask

:07:09.:07:11.

people to do it all over again because we hope there will be a

:07:12.:07:14.

different result. I don't think that's fair and I don't think that's

:07:15.:07:20.

particularly democratic. But one veteran of Labour's battles with the

:07:21.:07:25.

SNP says Brexit is complicating Westminster's arguments against a

:07:26.:07:28.

second referendum. Nicola Sturgeon is saying she wants Scotland to be

:07:29.:07:32.

independent, able to make its own decisions, not to be part of the

:07:33.:07:36.

United Kingdom, held in and controlled by the other countries in

:07:37.:07:40.

the United Kingdom. Theresa May is wanting to take the United Kingdom

:07:41.:07:45.

out of the European Union again to keep sovereignty and to a country

:07:46.:07:48.

that's independent and not controlled by, or influenced by the

:07:49.:07:51.

other countries in the European Union. So it's a very much the same

:07:52.:07:56.

argument. Scotland's First Minister at the time of the referendum

:07:57.:08:01.

rejects one of Number 10's central arguments against a second vote.

:08:02.:08:05.

That both sides agreed to abide by the result. Nicola Sturgeon is a new

:08:06.:08:11.

First Minister. With a fresh mandate from the Scottish people saying that

:08:12.:08:14.

under the circumstances of Scotland being dragged out of Europe against

:08:15.:08:18.

the will of the Scottish people, the Scottish parliament should hold a

:08:19.:08:21.

referendum on independence, as clear as day.

:08:22.:08:26.

To stave off a second referendum, Theresa May will embark on a tour of

:08:27.:08:31.

all four corners of the UK to drum up support for her Brexit plan. No

:08:32.:08:35.

doubt she will gloss over a similar save the union tour by John Major in

:08:36.:08:42.

1997 as part of her unsuccessful campaign against the Scottish

:08:43.:08:44.

parliament. History can move in circles.

:08:45.:08:49.

So let's get a taste of views from Scotland.

:08:50.:08:51.

Two and a half years ago, the country was electrified

:08:52.:08:53.

by its referendum, but also fiercely divided.

:08:54.:08:56.

The polls indicate that opinion is still divided,

:08:57.:09:00.

Here are some views from Glasgow today.

:09:01.:09:05.

There's so much stuff the SNP are not doing

:09:06.:09:09.

on the groundwork that you say well, how can this be?

:09:10.:09:14.

How can you ask us to vote Yes for independence when ultimately

:09:15.:09:21.

you can't give us any kind of guarantees about the future?

:09:22.:09:24.

I wasn't at all surprised that she made the announcement.

:09:25.:09:28.

Although a bit earlier than I expected.

:09:29.:09:31.

And, of course, she feels she's in the driving seat now

:09:32.:09:40.

because she has the people on her side, but to be

:09:41.:09:43.

honest the situation has changed since 2014.

:09:44.:09:45.

So it may well be that a Yes vote would be on the cards for next year.

:09:46.:09:50.

I think it's definitely too early to call another

:09:51.:09:57.

referendum election in like 2018, 2019, there is so much uncertainty

:09:58.:10:00.

I think we voted 55% for being in the UK, 45% against.

:10:01.:10:04.

So for Miss Sturgeon asking for this, she's essentially wanting

:10:05.:10:10.

to go against the majority of the Scottish population.

:10:11.:10:16.

I think it's a good idea being independent but I think

:10:17.:10:25.

the First Minister is just taking it too soon, I think she should wait

:10:26.:10:29.

for the Brexit deal to be done, then she can take it from there.

:10:30.:10:35.

The big difference between this independence referendum

:10:36.:10:38.

in Scotland and the last one - of course - is that it will all take

:10:39.:10:41.

And that's something that will cause a lot of head

:10:42.:10:45.

scratching not just here - but in Brussels and the rest

:10:46.:10:48.

Our Diplomatic Editor, Mark Urban, is here.

:10:49.:10:56.

How have European leaders received this idea that this is complicating

:10:57.:11:01.

a factor that Scotland might itself try and separate from the UK? I

:11:02.:11:04.

think complicating factor is understating it. There is

:11:05.:11:09.

consternation and concern, diplomats don't like negotiations to fragment,

:11:10.:11:15.

to be getting wider when they should be getting narrower, the iruse

:11:16.:11:19.

multiply. I will fragment this programme and mention Northern

:11:20.:11:22.

Ireland which you haven't mentioned easterly, both Scotland and Northern

:11:23.:11:24.

Ireland are possibly on the road to something here and there is concern.

:11:25.:11:30.

Now people I have spoken to today emphasised that with the case of

:11:31.:11:33.

Scotland it must be an enabling decision by Theresa May and the

:11:34.:11:37.

British parliament that allows that to happen. They don't want a sort of

:11:38.:11:44.

unilateral Scottish referendum. Here is a former Polish Foreign Minister.

:11:45.:11:48.

We have here two competing principles, the right

:11:49.:11:54.

to self-determination and the inviability of borders.

:11:55.:11:56.

So I don't think anybody would object to a cessation

:11:57.:11:58.

that is done according to the constitution

:11:59.:12:00.

What would make people very nervous would be any unilateral

:12:01.:12:06.

That point well made. The Spanish are always a big player in this

:12:07.:12:24.

because of Catalan. Mentioned by Nick and you, 2014, they tried to go

:12:25.:12:28.

for it, the constitutional court and the upper House in Spain wouldn't

:12:29.:12:33.

let them. Of course it was a damp squib. Europe did not recognise the

:12:34.:12:36.

results of the vote and did not give them what they wanted in that sense.

:12:37.:12:41.

So that is a warning blow. Look, they've got those sort of issues in

:12:42.:12:45.

mind, the Spanish, the Belgians and other countries. Some other

:12:46.:12:48.

countries are more friendly to the idea of Scottish independence but in

:12:49.:12:55.

the end they've also got to consider the question of if these major

:12:56.:12:59.

questions about Scotland and Northern Ireland don't get resolved

:13:00.:13:02.

until after the Brexit negotiations is completed, won't that make for a

:13:03.:13:06.

simpler negotiation and won't it also make for a British Prime

:13:07.:13:10.

Minister who is under more pressure from those factors to agree to

:13:11.:13:13.

single market type terms? Mark, thank you very much.

:13:14.:13:16.

I'm now joined by passionate unionist and Conservative

:13:17.:13:18.

And Kirsty Blackman MP, who is on the SNP's

:13:19.:13:21.

Evening to you. Let's just find out about this, do you agree it has to

:13:22.:13:32.

be a Westminster sanctioned referendum and there is no go it

:13:33.:13:36.

alone referendum? That's a process that we are doing, Nicola set out we

:13:37.:13:41.

are putting forward the section 30 agreement and putting that to the UK

:13:42.:13:45.

Government in an attempt to try to get agreement there. It would be an

:13:46.:13:49.

illegitimate vote if it wasn't agreed to by Theresa May? It's not

:13:50.:13:52.

something we are planning to do. Right. Who gets to decide the timing

:13:53.:13:57.

of this? Who do you think gets to decide the timing of a second

:13:58.:14:03.

Scottish referendum? I think your answer answered the question, it's

:14:04.:14:07.

got to be a parliamentary vote in Westminster that gives authority and

:14:08.:14:11.

legitimacy to that. The people who control the parliamentary timetable

:14:12.:14:14.

is the Government. That's what governments do. So I think that the

:14:15.:14:18.

Government will have an important say probably an overriding say in

:14:19.:14:21.

deciding what time the referendum will take place. And should the

:14:22.:14:25.

Government listen to the Scottish Government's advice on that or

:14:26.:14:28.

should the British UK Government say, well, we don't like you having

:14:29.:14:32.

a referendum, you can go it after 2021? I am not speaking for the

:14:33.:14:36.

Prime Minister but from my point of view it seems odd that they should

:14:37.:14:40.

have a vote before Brexit has been completed. Because I think as Mark

:14:41.:14:45.

suggested, it completely complicates and confuses the issue. I would say

:14:46.:14:51.

that they should think - Brexit be over and done be, and then clear the

:14:52.:14:54.

table, and then we can have a referendum. That seems like a

:14:55.:14:56.

reasonable way to proceed. Scotland did not support Brexit, we

:14:57.:15:10.

overwhelmingly voted against. And the SNP were voted in with the

:15:11.:15:16.

majority of the constituency vote. Our manifesto said we would hold a

:15:17.:15:21.

referendum especially in these circumstances. The timing is a bit

:15:22.:15:25.

more complicated. The British Government and you are part of the

:15:26.:15:30.

UK and Europe population voted to be part of the UK, May say we do not

:15:31.:15:35.

want this complicated. In terms of the timeline we have chosen the EU

:15:36.:15:39.

timeline. Michel Barnier said they would spend 18 months negotiating

:15:40.:15:44.

and six months ratifying. So the shape of Brexit will be known. We

:15:45.:15:48.

will not know it is going to be ratified, Parliament could throw a

:15:49.:15:52.

spanner in the works. It surely would be useful to know what the

:15:53.:15:56.

final deal is. At that stage we will know the shape of the deal or it is

:15:57.:16:01.

no deal. Those are the options at that stage. Those of the options

:16:02.:16:06.

that Scotland will be faced with. It seems bizarre timing because in

:16:07.:16:10.

September 2018 we will know the shape of the deal but it will not

:16:11.:16:13.

have been ratified, that will take six months to ratify the deal and to

:16:14.:16:19.

have a Scottish referendum in the middle of the process of ratifying

:16:20.:16:23.

Brexit to me seems you are confusing the issue. That seems to be a

:16:24.:16:30.

bizarre time frame for a referendum. September 2019, that is quite close

:16:31.:16:35.

to the UK general election. There are a couple of issues, the main

:16:36.:16:38.

thing is to get Brexit over and done with. We know Scotland voted against

:16:39.:16:44.

but as a whole the UK voted for it. I think is reasonable to say let's

:16:45.:16:48.

get Brexit over and done with before embarking on another campaign. Would

:16:49.:16:55.

you accept a September 2019? We have put forward a compromise edition and

:16:56.:17:00.

continue to do so and we have moved a mile from our original proposals

:17:01.:17:04.

and the UK Government have not moved an inch. So the door is still open

:17:05.:17:09.

for compromise. You mean compromise on Scottish access to the single

:17:10.:17:14.

market? That is what we put forward. Let's talk about the negotiation for

:17:15.:17:19.

Brexit because one theory would be that Theresa May could soften her

:17:20.:17:23.

Brexit in order to perhaps make it more like -- more likely that

:17:24.:17:31.

Scotland would stay in the UK. The problem is you completely forget the

:17:32.:17:37.

fact there are 27 other countries we are negotiating with about Brexit.

:17:38.:17:42.

We do not have a choice. They might want us to be in the single market.

:17:43.:17:47.

We do not know what they were like, but the position will be. So to

:17:48.:17:51.

frame the idea or notion that somehow the Prime Minister could say

:17:52.:17:55.

I'm going to soft in this together another deal on the other side, I do

:17:56.:17:59.

not think it is realistic. You're dealing with the EU, negotiating not

:18:00.:18:06.

with just Nicola Sturgeon. If the British Government tried to get

:18:07.:18:09.

something closer to single market access for the whole UK, not the

:18:10.:18:13.

special Scotland arrangement you have come up with but something

:18:14.:18:19.

closer, a softer Brexit, would that then stymie that? Theresa May in the

:18:20.:18:25.

face of all evidence to the contrary is trying to proceed with this hard

:18:26.:18:30.

Brexit. But would it make a difference if it was soft. She has

:18:31.:18:34.

had loads of evidence suggesting hard Brexit is damaging. Tens of

:18:35.:18:38.

thousands of jobs being lost in Scotland. And nothing so far has

:18:39.:18:43.

made her soften stance and I do not imagine this would do so. It almost

:18:44.:18:47.

sounded earlier as if you were saying that there was still time for

:18:48.:18:49.

a deal. You said you'd been trying to get the deal and she has not

:18:50.:18:54.

moved an inch. I'm interested in what that inch would have to be for

:18:55.:18:58.

you to say the referendum would be put back in the box. We've spoken

:18:59.:19:03.

about single market access for Scotland, but it would be beneficial

:19:04.:19:07.

for the whole of the UK. And if the EU said you cannot have that, and

:19:08.:19:13.

Donald Tusk at one point said it is hard Brexit or no Brexit, if the EU

:19:14.:19:17.

did not allow single market access, with that then mean you would say we

:19:18.:19:23.

will stick with Brexit. If Theresa May was to begin to prioritise the

:19:24.:19:30.

needs of British citizens and the task of Scotland, that would be a

:19:31.:19:33.

compromise position. How do you interpret what hearing? Well the

:19:34.:19:39.

other problem is what the premises suggested we were doing, essentially

:19:40.:19:43.

playing games, as Nicola Sturgeon is doing. This is the negotiation and

:19:44.:19:51.

her saying we will have a referendum in September 2019 is an opening

:19:52.:19:55.

gambit. She's saying I'm going to threaten you with a referendum if

:19:56.:19:58.

you do not accede to my terms Brexit. I do not think the Prime

:19:59.:20:02.

Minister, I do not know her especially well, but I do not think

:20:03.:20:07.

she will be... Playing hardball on that might lead to the

:20:08.:20:11.

disintegration of the UK. I think the independence issue will be

:20:12.:20:15.

debated on its own merits. A third of the people who voted yes actually

:20:16.:20:20.

voted for Brexit. That never comes up. But it is an issue. Some people

:20:21.:20:27.

in Scotland, a large number, want independence from Britain but also

:20:28.:20:31.

want independence from Brussels. So that is a big issue. We need to

:20:32.:20:32.

leave it there. Thank you both. The Conservative MP Craig Mackinley,

:20:33.:20:34.

who beat Nigel Farage in the Thanet South seat at the last

:20:35.:20:36.

general election, has been interviewed by police over

:20:37.:20:39.

the election spending There are strict rules

:20:40.:20:41.

on what can be spent - the Conservatives have been accused

:20:42.:20:47.

of bussing in party workers to marginal seats, and not counting

:20:48.:20:50.

the spending as part The charges are the subject

:20:51.:20:52.

of police investigations in different seats,

:20:53.:20:57.

and an Electoral Commission The issue is also causing tensions

:20:58.:21:00.

within the Tory party. Let's talk to our political

:21:01.:21:04.

editor, Nick Watt. What has actually happened today?

:21:05.:21:16.

Well to developments in this long-running story about whether the

:21:17.:21:21.

Tories as you said have been using general election funding that should

:21:22.:21:25.

have been for national spending on a local spend. Craig Mackinley was

:21:26.:21:30.

interviewed under caution by police. He defeated Nigel Farage but Ukip

:21:31.:21:36.

leader in that campaign and Nigel Farage said if there was to be a

:21:37.:21:41.

by-election he could run again. And also in that campaign Theresa May's

:21:42.:21:48.

chief of staff helped out in the campaign and the allegation is that

:21:49.:21:52.

national funds were used to pay for hotel rooms for those staff. And the

:21:53.:21:57.

second development is that, Carney, Conservative MP for Lincoln, one of

:21:58.:22:01.

the MPs under investigation, has written a blistering e-mail to the

:22:02.:22:05.

party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin effectively saying the

:22:06.:22:08.

leadership is casting these MPs adrift. This e-mail is strongly

:22:09.:22:14.

worded and shows the strength, it was forced reported by Sky News and

:22:15.:22:18.

it says to Patrick McLoughlin, at what dazed you think you the bad

:22:19.:22:23.

gene -- the party might inform us that another media storm is coming.

:22:24.:22:30.

We did not create this mess, GCHQ did and their professional

:22:31.:22:33.

reputations are not being trashed. What is Newsnight learned about

:22:34.:22:38.

these investigations? Within the cabinet I'm hearing a confidence

:22:39.:22:41.

that there will not be successful criminal prosecutions. I'm told for

:22:42.:22:45.

that to happen you would have to prove intent, intent to deceive. And

:22:46.:22:51.

this source told me on the central thing, this point about National

:22:52.:22:56.

buses going locally and not being declared locally, it would be

:22:57.:23:00.

difficult to say an MP intended to deceive on that. They may have been

:23:01.:23:05.

naive but no intent to deceive. But Newsnight has significant

:23:06.:23:08.

development on the story, we've spoken to a senior Tory figure who

:23:09.:23:20.

has told Newsnight there is going to be trouble for the party but not

:23:21.:23:22.

fatal trouble. This figure says, the party will definitely be fined for

:23:23.:23:25.

breaking the rules, but this was then says they will be surprised if

:23:26.:23:28.

there are criminal prosecutions and interestingly finally, the source

:23:29.:23:30.

said they would be surprised if any of the MPs under investigation are

:23:31.:23:36.

officially a formally unseeded and obliged to defend their seat in a

:23:37.:23:38.

by-election. Thank you very much. A much anticipated general election

:23:39.:23:42.

that will either be the latest uprising led by the forces

:23:43.:23:46.

of populism, or the first recent The far-right candidate,

:23:47.:23:49.

Geert Wilders, with his anti-Islam, anti-EU rhetoric,

:23:50.:23:52.

is at or near the top His Freedom Party probably

:23:53.:23:54.

won't take control of government - that would require coalition

:23:55.:24:00.

partners he doesn't have. But his candidacy has put

:24:01.:24:04.

the Netherlands at the centre of international attention,

:24:05.:24:06.

as they cope with a diplomatic crisis with Turkey,

:24:07.:24:08.

fears of Russian hacking, and the attention of

:24:09.:24:11.

the American right. Gabriel Gatehouse has this

:24:12.:24:15.

report from the Hague. Usually a laid-back affair,

:24:16.:24:30.

comfortably ignored This time the European establishment

:24:31.:24:37.

is wondering whether Dutch votes Among the 28 parties

:24:38.:24:46.

vying for seats, one man The rise of Geert Wilders has left

:24:47.:24:54.

mainstream politicians reeling. Close the borders, ban

:24:55.:25:01.

the Koran, leave the EU The elites are struggling

:25:02.:25:07.

to formulate a response. This morning, through the window

:25:08.:25:13.

of a cafe on a Hague side street, the Prime Minister was taking

:25:14.:25:16.

questions from passers by. It was a slightly awkward affair,

:25:17.:25:20.

broadcast live on TV. In response to Geert Wilders,

:25:21.:25:26.

he too is taking a hard Sometimes the Prime Minister told

:25:27.:25:31.

on TV and the newspapers that people with a background that doesn't

:25:32.:25:36.

want to belong here, just go away. And if the Prime Minister

:25:37.:25:39.

is speaking like that, it hurts, you know, you feel like,

:25:40.:25:45.

am I part of the Can I ask you a question in English,

:25:46.:25:47.

from Newsnight on the BBC? Is Holland going to be the next

:25:48.:25:59.

domino to fall in the sudden death So I'm fighting,

:26:00.:26:06.

I'm fighting to win. And I have called this

:26:07.:26:13.

the quarterfinals. The half finals will be the French

:26:14.:26:16.

elections and the finals will be And this can be the first election

:26:17.:26:19.

in five elections in a row, having had Brexit, having had

:26:20.:26:24.

the Trump election in the US. This being the third

:26:25.:26:28.

in a row of five. This is going to be the first one

:26:29.:26:30.

way this domino stone So thank you very much

:26:31.:26:33.

for this excellent question. And my compliments for your

:26:34.:26:36.

excellent programme on BBC Two every Members of Parliament are elected

:26:37.:26:39.

by proportional representation. Dutch politics is all about

:26:40.:26:55.

consensus, not handbrake turns. The Dutch system basically

:26:56.:27:00.

enforces compromise. Whatever happens in the election,

:27:01.:27:03.

there will be a coalition, And in fact, Geert Wilders

:27:04.:27:06.

even if he wins the largest number of seats, might not end up

:27:07.:27:10.

being part of that coalition. But his power lies not in the fact

:27:11.:27:14.

that he might become Prime Minister, His power lies in his ability

:27:15.:27:17.

to shake things up. There were riots on the

:27:18.:27:28.

streets this weekend. Such is the tension now

:27:29.:27:31.

about the question of Islam, the government decided it was unsafe

:27:32.:27:35.

for a Turkish Minister to visit. Some Dutch citizens of Turkish

:27:36.:27:41.

origin were very unhappy. Others who witnessed

:27:42.:27:47.

the violence were thinking well, They had flags from Turkey

:27:48.:27:49.

and they yelled and they How does it make you feel

:27:50.:27:56.

about this election coming up? I think many people will decide

:27:57.:28:10.

to choose for Geert Wilders. By the law of unintended

:28:11.:28:15.

consequences, an attempt to appease the Geert Wilders vote has led

:28:16.:28:19.

to a diplomatic crisis. Turkey has suspended high-level

:28:20.:28:22.

diplomatic relations Such discord between Nato allies

:28:23.:28:25.

will come as an unexpected bonus to the Kremlin,

:28:26.:28:31.

which has already cast its shadow Amid fears of Russian

:28:32.:28:34.

hacking, the vote will be I asked the Dutch interior minister

:28:35.:28:39.

what evidence he had seen I saw a cloud hanging

:28:40.:28:45.

over our election results where people could conceivably

:28:46.:28:52.

in this very polarised atmosphere that we also currently have

:28:53.:28:55.

in the Dutch political landscape, conceivably argue that the result

:28:56.:28:57.

would not be fair. And I decided I did not

:28:58.:29:01.

want to take any risk with that. The mere fact of what was publicly

:29:02.:29:09.

debated in the United States, in combination with the public

:29:10.:29:12.

concern right now about conceivable interference, is sufficient

:29:13.:29:14.

for me to decide this. But you appreciate it is a very

:29:15.:29:16.

different in to say we want to eliminate all doubt,

:29:17.:29:19.

but we have no evidence, to saying there is evidence

:29:20.:29:21.

and therefore we have taken action. And what I say is we want to

:29:22.:29:26.

eliminate all doubt and I don't... The Interior Ministry hired

:29:27.:29:29.

a cyber security company to assess the vulnerability

:29:30.:29:38.

of their electoral system. Fox IT had previously investigated

:29:39.:29:43.

attempts to hack the Dutch government enquiry into the downing

:29:44.:29:47.

of the Malaysian airline MH17 by a group known

:29:48.:29:51.

as Fancy Bear or APT28, thought to be connected

:29:52.:29:55.

to Russian intelligence. If we look at this group as APT28

:29:56.:29:59.

and their previous targets, the White House, Nato Allied

:30:00.:30:03.

countries, the Democratic National Committee in the US,

:30:04.:30:07.

the Dutch security board, so yes, it makes sense

:30:08.:30:13.

that it is their daily job to breach Dutch organisations and ministries

:30:14.:30:17.

to get information and to get information and an advantage

:30:18.:30:26.

in the things that they're doing There is no suggestion

:30:27.:30:31.

the Russians are trying to help Geert Wilders,

:30:32.:30:34.

but then he has His vision of a West swamped

:30:35.:30:35.

by immigrants has been influential So it is five minutes to 12

:30:36.:30:39.

for you guys as well. Here he is in Florida in 2014,

:30:40.:30:43.

speaking at an event hosted by David Horowitz,

:30:44.:30:47.

who is close to some of the most senior figures

:30:48.:30:50.

in the Trump White House and who has given more than 100,000 euros

:30:51.:30:53.

to the Geert Wilders campaign. I did not support Geert Wilders

:30:54.:30:55.

because he anti-Islam. I support him because he's standing

:30:56.:31:04.

up for free speech in Europe. I think all of us are happy

:31:05.:31:07.

with Brexit and happy with the restoration

:31:08.:31:10.

of the nation state. Because, you know, the EU

:31:11.:31:13.

is an undemocratic bureaucracy. Geert Wilders took part

:31:14.:31:21.

in a televised debate last night but otherwise he rarely campaigns

:31:22.:31:24.

in public, preferring When the Prime Minister arrived

:31:25.:31:26.

for a rally in The Hague this A pack of journalists

:31:27.:31:40.

in search of a crisis. A politician in search

:31:41.:31:44.

of an election. Polls will shut at 8.00pm our time -

:31:45.:31:56.

there will be a decent The formal result based on a full

:31:57.:31:58.

manual count takes a while - And so to France -

:31:59.:32:03.

the other big election this spring. Marine Le Pen still leading

:32:04.:32:10.

the polls for the first round - but trailing Emmanuel Macron

:32:11.:32:13.

in the second. The challenge for her is to win

:32:14.:32:15.

in a second round, when the election comes down to the final two -

:32:16.:32:19.

the polls show her losing then. But much of the drama is not around

:32:20.:32:24.

the top two candidates - it concerns number three,

:32:25.:32:29.

Francois Fillon of the centre rght. He was ahead, poised to be

:32:30.:32:32.

president, but has been caught up in a scandal,

:32:33.:32:34.

allegedly hiring his own family for non-jobs

:32:35.:32:36.

at the expense of the taxpayer. He has now been placed under

:32:37.:32:41.

formal investigation Earlier I spoke to French

:32:42.:32:44.

journalist Christine Ockrent. I asked her what happened

:32:45.:32:48.

to Francois Fillon today, and how significant today's

:32:49.:32:50.

development is for his campaign? Well, Evan, it's yet another turn

:32:51.:32:55.

in this incredible presidential The Conservative candidate

:32:56.:32:59.

has been put under full investigation by the judges,

:33:00.:33:08.

which is really one step away from being formally charged

:33:09.:33:13.

for embezzlement with public funds. You know, paying his wife and

:33:14.:33:19.

children for supposedly fake jobs. Now, that investigation now

:33:20.:33:24.

is going to take months. So paradoxically, if Fillion

:33:25.:33:30.

was to be elected, which I very much doubt at this stage,

:33:31.:33:38.

he would be off the track for five years because the French President

:33:39.:33:46.

cannot be put to trial when actually What is interesting, though,

:33:47.:33:49.

is that the core constituency of Francois Fillon is convinced

:33:50.:33:59.

that he is a victim. Victim of, you know,

:34:00.:34:03.

leftist media conspiracy, And so his core constituency,

:34:04.:34:10.

however they have shrunk, The thing is that Francois Fillon

:34:11.:34:15.

won the primaries, the Conservative And that he has been extremely

:34:16.:34:21.

stubborn and indeed resilient in saying to his so-called political

:34:22.:34:32.

friends, look, I'm the only And no other one can

:34:33.:34:36.

actually step in. They've got until Friday to find

:34:37.:34:43.

another candidate, is that right? The last, last day that they could

:34:44.:34:47.

replace him is this week, and then the election rule

:34:48.:34:50.

is you are stuck And my opinion is that

:34:51.:34:52.

Francois Fillon will remain What effect can the Dutch election

:34:53.:35:06.

have on the French election, Well, I think that if Geert Wilders,

:35:07.:35:14.

who I think has been much overplayed by the French media for obvious

:35:15.:35:21.

reasons, you know, the comparison If Geert Wilders does not get more

:35:22.:35:24.

votes than the outgoing centre-right Prime Minister,

:35:25.:35:30.

I think that will be bad news for Marine Le Pen because it

:35:31.:35:35.

will show that that populist wave Although of course the Dutch

:35:36.:35:38.

system is very different from ours because it's

:35:39.:35:47.

a proportional vote whereas in France again it's

:35:48.:35:52.

the majority vote and that's why Marine Le Pen has only two seats

:35:53.:35:58.

in our Parliament today. Well we're watching that one closely

:35:59.:36:01.

as we continue to do. Now if you wanted to escape

:36:02.:36:05.

all the talk of Brexit by enjoying a night at the opera,

:36:06.:36:12.

be careful, because there are hints The Danish citizen Kasper Holten,

:36:13.:36:14.

has been director of opera at the Royal Opera House since 2011;

:36:15.:36:20.

he has returned to his Danish homeland, leaving opera-goers

:36:21.:36:27.

with an epic five-hour Wagner It's usually set in the 16th century

:36:28.:36:29.

but Holten has introduced a more modern setting and -

:36:30.:36:35.

not for the first time in his career It's being seen as a nod

:36:36.:36:38.

to the changing political climate I could never do it

:36:39.:36:41.

big enough for Kasper! I can't draw enough

:36:42.:36:52.

attention to myself. He's 100 miles an hour and it's

:36:53.:36:57.

very difficult to catch I used to be kind of the engine,

:36:58.:37:02.

you know, running around and I still do that but he puts me

:37:03.:37:09.

in the shade. Kasper Holten, for the past six

:37:10.:37:13.

years the energetic Dane in charge of opera at London's

:37:14.:37:29.

Royal Opera House. Holten's now departed leaving

:37:30.:37:31.

as his swansong a new take on Wagner's Die Meistersinger von

:37:32.:37:34.

Nurnberg. Instead of the usual setting

:37:35.:37:37.

in a small German town, Holten's moved the opera to a smart

:37:38.:37:43.

London gentleman's club. It talks a lot about guilt and clubs

:37:44.:37:51.

and groups and tradition. I must admit coming to London

:37:52.:38:01.

understanding that there are still clubs where women are not

:38:02.:38:05.

allowed members in 2017, that that's even legal,

:38:06.:38:08.

was to me a shock and that sense of tradition is something that

:38:09.:38:11.

I think must be subverted. Wagner's Meistersinger

:38:12.:38:17.

is all about subverting It tells the story of a guild

:38:18.:38:19.

of master singers who hold The prize, remember this is set more

:38:20.:38:26.

than 500 years ago, is marriage Into the fray comes an outsider

:38:27.:38:30.

with a very different Nurnberg is a village, it becomes

:38:31.:38:41.

alive in the Meistersinger and then this new virus comes into town that

:38:42.:38:50.

keeps these old men on the balls of their feet and will

:38:51.:38:54.

they accept something new? Die Meistersinger is about change

:38:55.:39:01.

and about the new but also So of course you could bring our

:39:02.:39:07.

Brexit into a piece like this. I think it's very timely,

:39:08.:39:15.

there is change everywhere and we just have to look

:39:16.:39:17.

here in England, in America, It's topical, you know,

:39:18.:39:20.

there is kind of a sinister This populist kind of message that's

:39:21.:39:25.

going out from a lot of politicians When you're directing

:39:26.:39:33.

Meistersinger a lot of people ask about nationalism

:39:34.:39:40.

what are you going to do about that because there is a famous speech

:39:41.:39:43.

towards the end where it's about national identity

:39:44.:39:46.

and national tradition. In the opera Bryn Terfel's

:39:47.:39:50.

character sings of fighting for a sovereign Germany in the face

:39:51.:40:12.

of foreign invaders. On the surface, he's

:40:13.:40:21.

referring to German music traditions but the undertone

:40:22.:40:25.

is about much more. You can say it's an opera

:40:26.:40:30.

about Brexit, you can say it's an opera about populism,

:40:31.:40:38.

you can say it's an opera about London in the sense that

:40:39.:40:41.

all these things are about change. All these things are about fear,

:40:42.:40:46.

about people struggling with how For sure, there are resonances

:40:47.:40:49.

of the language around Brexit when you hear people talk

:40:50.:41:03.

about the fear of foreign influences, the need to pull

:41:04.:41:06.

back from the world. So certainly it feels very topical

:41:07.:41:09.

in that sense but to say it's an opera about Brexit would make it

:41:10.:41:12.

much more simple than it is. Kasper Holten isn't just

:41:13.:41:16.

reflecting on Brexit, Trump and populism in this opera

:41:17.:41:19.

but also looking back on his time in London where he hasn't always

:41:20.:41:22.

been met with acclaim. A production he oversaw that

:41:23.:41:26.

depicted a violent rape on stage William Tell by Rossini

:41:27.:41:28.

a couple of years ago which famously here had a real,

:41:29.:41:34.

you know, on first night there was a chorus of boos

:41:35.:41:37.

and it felt very angry. There was a lot of people

:41:38.:41:40.

in the audience really didn't So, of course when I have to portray

:41:41.:41:42.

on stage a community reacting to an artist they don't like that

:41:43.:41:49.

would be the natural Like it's really, everyone is like,

:41:50.:41:52.

I am sorry is it just me, is this I had an almost physical reaction

:41:53.:42:05.

remembering what it was like that I can't imagine, I don't know

:42:06.:42:09.

what it would be like to stand on the stage having just offered up

:42:10.:42:17.

something that you really care about and have people yell boo

:42:18.:42:20.

at you and it's vicious. If the production was about me

:42:21.:42:23.

trying to say boo you back how primitive and stupid

:42:24.:42:28.

and uninteresting would that be? The opera is not about Kasper

:42:29.:42:30.

and not about Kasper's experiences but it's me trying to make it

:42:31.:42:37.

real and personal. Perhaps the most personal

:42:38.:42:39.

touch in this opera He's changed the ending, not

:42:40.:42:41.

for the first time in his career, rejecting Wagner's happily ever

:42:42.:42:46.

after finale where the tenor gets the girl and joins

:42:47.:42:51.

the Meistersinger singers. In Holten's production,

:42:52.:42:53.

she turns them all down Somewhat controversial, it's a nod,

:42:54.:42:55.

albeit a subtle one, to a rejection of populism

:42:56.:43:03.

of any kind. Hello. In the clearer rural parts of

:43:04.:43:28.

eastern and northern England and Scotland tonight there could be a

:43:29.:43:30.

touch of frost around but sunny spells to begin the day tomorrow. A

:43:31.:43:34.

lot of cloud in the west from the word go tomorrow. Damp and drizzly

:43:35.:43:36.

in the morning

:43:37.:43:37.

Will we end up splitting with Europe AND splitting the United Kingdom? Election expenses. Dutch elections. French elections. Wagner comes to the Royal Opera House.