17/03/2017 Politics Europe


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


17/03/2017

Andrew Neil with the latest news from Europe, including interviews with MEPs, reports from the European Parliament and a guide to the inner workings of the European Union.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 17/03/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello, and welcome to Politics Europe, your regular guide to the

:00:00.:00:44.

top stories in Brussels and Strasbourg. On today's programme,

:00:45.:00:51.

the bill allowing Theresa are made to trigger Article 50 is now a law.

:00:52.:00:57.

What will be the next move? How will the EU respond? The head of the EU

:00:58.:01:01.

Commission unveils his blueprint for the EU without Britain. The European

:01:02.:01:09.

Court of Justice rules companies can ban workers from wearing a

:01:10.:01:13.

headscarf. Have people given in the religious discrimination? And waking

:01:14.:01:18.

up is not always easy to do. What can Czechoslovakia's velvet divorce

:01:19.:01:27.

tell us about Brexit? All of that to come and more in the next half-hour.

:01:28.:01:32.

First, our guide to the latest from Europe in just 60 seconds. The Dutch

:01:33.:01:40.

Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, celebrated victory in his country's

:01:41.:01:46.

election, easily defeating Geert Wilders. And there was a diplomatic

:01:47.:01:55.

row with Turkey and Germany. We will never accept a comparison between

:01:56.:01:59.

the Nazis and the current government. The European Court of

:02:00.:02:06.

Human Rights ruled that Hungary unlawfully kept two migrants in a

:02:07.:02:15.

transit zone. The Spanish Foreign Minister says an independent

:02:16.:02:18.

Scotland will have to join the back of the queue for EU membership.

:02:19.:02:22.

Spain's government is worried about the separatist movement in

:02:23.:02:27.

Catalonia. The highest court in the EU rules that companies can ban

:02:28.:02:34.

scarves on employees. All employees have to dress neutrally. I am joined

:02:35.:02:49.

by the UKIP and Conservative MPs. Let us look at the EU ruling. On

:02:50.:02:56.

headscarves. What do you think about there? It brings it broadly in line

:02:57.:03:00.

with the UK government, as far as I can work out. You cannot ask a mate

:03:01.:03:05.

with one culture or at religion. You have to look at all equally. --

:03:06.:03:13.

discriminate. Theresa May said she disapproves at PMQs. She said women

:03:14.:03:17.

have a right to choose how they dress. That is not what the ruling

:03:18.:03:21.

is saying. She is saying she wants to legislate on how people are

:03:22.:03:28.

wearing their clothes. And that is right, but all should be treated

:03:29.:03:31.

equally and fairly. What do you think? We should not be under the

:03:32.:03:37.

jurisdiction of them. Yeah, I got that bit. It is fraught with

:03:38.:03:42.

difficulties. First of all, should a company have a dress code? That is

:03:43.:03:47.

not an unreasonable thing. This is difficult. It means you cannot wear

:03:48.:03:57.

skull caps, Sikh turbans, Christian crosses. What is more pertinent is

:03:58.:04:04.

that you have a covering law for face coverings. You have made an

:04:05.:04:13.

interesting point, can Sikhs not wear their turbans? Not at all. It

:04:14.:04:16.

is giving power to companies to treat all employees fairly. If it

:04:17.:04:24.

said no religious symbols at all of any kind, would that... Would the

:04:25.:04:31.

Sikhs then be in trouble? As I understand it, the turban is part of

:04:32.:04:36.

a religious manifestation for them. They have to justify very clearly

:04:37.:04:41.

why they have made this decision, and if they cannot, then they cannot

:04:42.:04:46.

impose it. An interesting development. We will see what the

:04:47.:04:53.

courts make of it. A lot of the judgement at the end said the

:04:54.:04:57.

details need to be sorted out at a national and local level. Yesterday,

:04:58.:05:02.

the bill enabling Theresa May to activate Article 50 which will allow

:05:03.:05:07.

England to leave the EU got a royal admission. That means they could

:05:08.:05:14.

trigger it at the end of the month. What will happen next? Donald Tusk

:05:15.:05:18.

said the EU will need just 48 hours to respond to the UK with draft

:05:19.:05:23.

guidelines and negotiation. He also said an extraordinary meeting of the

:05:24.:05:28.

EU 27, the EU without the United Kingdom, will take base in April,

:05:29.:05:33.

possibly May, when European leaders will decide a guideline for the

:05:34.:05:37.

negotiating mandate. Only once it is agreed will the official

:05:38.:05:43.

negotiations began, maybe sometime in June or July. Lots of elections

:05:44.:05:47.

getting in the way of this in Europe. The bill above will be top

:05:48.:05:52.

priorities. Both sides need an agreement by October, 2018. Angus

:05:53.:06:00.

Robertson said that. That will leave enough time for the UK and European

:06:01.:06:04.

parliaments to sign off on the terms of the deal. European talks often go

:06:05.:06:10.

well beyond their deadline, of course. If there is no agreement,

:06:11.:06:15.

there is a chance that Britain could, to use the vernacular, "crash

:06:16.:06:26.

out" of the EU. And this man said there was no assessment to his

:06:27.:06:30.

satisfaction. Donald Tusk addressed the issue when he addressed the

:06:31.:06:33.

European Parliament on Wednesday. I want to be clear that and no deal

:06:34.:06:43.

scenario would be bad for everyone. -- A. But above all for the UK. It

:06:44.:06:48.

would leave a number of issues unresolved. We will not be

:06:49.:06:55.

intimidated by the rats. And I can assure you they were not work. --

:06:56.:07:00.

threats. Our goal is to have a smooth divorce and a good framework

:07:01.:07:04.

for the future. And it is good to know that Prime Minister Theresa May

:07:05.:07:10.

shares this view. Are you surprised, does it matter, that the government,

:07:11.:07:16.

given that it said this could be an option, that no deal would be better

:07:17.:07:21.

than a bad deal, has no sort of game plan what no deal would mean? I...

:07:22.:07:31.

You talked about WTO terms. The big issue is about trade. There is no

:07:32.:07:34.

way you will unravel tens of thousands of EU laws before leaving.

:07:35.:07:39.

But on trade, if they just need to be made a single offer that means

:07:40.:07:45.

they could have continued tariff free trade with goods and service

:07:46.:07:48.

and capital, but no people, because of... The WTO does not govern this.

:07:49.:07:54.

No, it doesn't, but we could offer them that option. It would be in

:07:55.:07:59.

their interest to do it. This decision, they would counsel it, by

:08:00.:08:04.

the way, whether they do this, then Angela Merkel would have to talk to

:08:05.:08:10.

others to say why they were not accepting a deal. There is something

:08:11.:08:14.

that could happen in ten minutes and decided in an afternoon. Argues

:08:15.:08:18.

surprise? That is the principle, it does not tell us the consequences.

:08:19.:08:27.

-- are you surprised? Is economic modelling so discredited after what

:08:28.:08:31.

was said in the Brexit votes that it is not worth the candle? There has

:08:32.:08:35.

to be a positive and constructive case. Right now, front and for most,

:08:36.:08:43.

we must get the best deal. I think certain elements will happen faster

:08:44.:08:50.

than others. I think there will be a multitrack path for the

:08:51.:08:53.

negotiations. Will it be multitrack? Michel Barnier will head up the

:08:54.:08:57.

negotiations on the EU side. One of the things he is saying is that we

:08:58.:09:01.

need to agree on the divorce bill before we talk about the post Brexit

:09:02.:09:05.

relationship between the EU and the UK. The British government,

:09:06.:09:10.

especially David Davis, he is saying that we need to talk about both at

:09:11.:09:15.

the same time. That could be a dealbreaker if the Europeans don't

:09:16.:09:18.

agree to that. The whole thing is fraught with difficulties. The

:09:19.:09:23.

report by the economic and monetary affairs committee has put in all

:09:24.:09:26.

kinds of impediments already. They have a draft which says that the EU

:09:27.:09:36.

will have continued control. The men in charge is Mr Verhofstadt. He is

:09:37.:09:51.

not in charge. Is he not a senior observer? He will be. On behalf of

:09:52.:09:55.

the Parliament. He will have no negotiating role whatsoever. Right?

:09:56.:10:02.

Every single one of those committees is doing that. They want the hardest

:10:03.:10:10.

possible deal imaginable. There is one fair exposition of where we are

:10:11.:10:14.

and what could happen. I don't agree with all of it. But for example, one

:10:15.:10:18.

of the things it says as we are under no legal obligation to pay any

:10:19.:10:22.

money. The House of Lords said that. The Affairs Committee. Is it a

:10:23.:10:35.

dealbreaker to say we need to agree to the deal before we look at what

:10:36.:10:41.

happens afterwards? The first thing you say in a negotiation is put the

:10:42.:10:44.

hardest deal on the table. The bottom line, if it is a dealbreaker,

:10:45.:10:49.

is that the EU need the money from the UK.. Money has become a bigger

:10:50.:10:56.

issue right now. The point is that French farmers will not need money.

:10:57.:11:03.

The last thing they need is the UK walking were from the table. The

:11:04.:11:09.

French farmers will... Let me ask you, do you buy this rather

:11:10.:11:14.

sanguinary brooch that we will have, in effect, the shape of the deal by

:11:15.:11:21.

the autumn of 2018? In all of the summits I have covered, they always

:11:22.:11:26.

go down to the wire. We have already got it in a way. Theresa May will

:11:27.:11:30.

not repeal a single EU law and will not amend a single EU law before we

:11:31.:11:35.

leave. And she will incorporate the entire body of the EU law. What

:11:36.:11:42.

changes? What can be done by 2018? You will end up with a deal... I

:11:43.:11:48.

just mean a timetable, what can be done? They cannot negotiate every EU

:11:49.:11:52.

law by then. It is impossible. Do you think there should be time for

:11:53.:11:57.

the EU Parliament, the British Parliament, the Scottish Parliament,

:11:58.:12:01.

to have a say? Another element is the trade deal itself. That could

:12:02.:12:08.

take longer. The bottom line is the divorce structure and settlement and

:12:09.:12:11.

all of these elements can be mapped out. The easiest thing is what I

:12:12.:12:16.

have described. Very well. We shall see. What is the future direction of

:12:17.:12:21.

Europe if there is a future? Following the shock of Brexit and

:12:22.:12:24.

Donald Trump, will the EU come closer together, or it is the path

:12:25.:12:31.

forward more of this negotiation? We have been looking at the five

:12:32.:12:34.

options laid out in a commission white paper, as Dan Johnson has been

:12:35.:12:41.

finding out. Rome, 60 years ago, when Europe's future was first

:12:42.:12:45.

mapped out. Many of those original principles still guided today, but

:12:46.:12:49.

there have been bumps in the road. And this week, Europe's leaders

:12:50.:12:56.

started discussing a new direction. Europe's future will be one of the

:12:57.:12:59.

discussions ahead of the Rome anniversary. Some expect systemic

:13:00.:13:09.

changes. We will strengthen the role of nations in relation to the

:13:10.:13:14.

communion. But which way to turn? How best to get an agreement? And

:13:15.:13:19.

are they serious about change? I think certainly the Brexit decision

:13:20.:13:24.

has given a push in order to go in this direction. And finally it has

:13:25.:13:28.

also reached the commission and also, you know, some of the other

:13:29.:13:31.

political groups in this house, that we do need to reconsider some of the

:13:32.:13:36.

things and some of the ways that we have done politics in the past in

:13:37.:13:39.

the European Union. So, five options to be considered. Carrying on,

:13:40.:13:43.

essentially nothing changes. Cutting back to nothing but the single

:13:44.:13:48.

market, already effectively ruled out by the commission. Those who

:13:49.:13:54.

want to do more would allow closer integration for some while others

:13:55.:13:58.

moved at their own pace. They could all do less more efficiently. Or

:13:59.:14:04.

they could agree on doing much more together. The leader of Parliament's

:14:05.:14:08.

second weakest group knows what he wants. -- biggest. This is the fifth

:14:09.:14:21.

scenario. The possibility to go on together for more European

:14:22.:14:27.

integration and political integration. The majority of people

:14:28.:14:32.

understand that we need a stronger and more united Europe.

:14:33.:14:36.

It just so happens he was previously a forensic pathologist, which begs

:14:37.:14:44.

the obvious question. I don't think the Europeans made that point. There

:14:45.:14:48.

does seem to be acceptance that Europe has lost its way in recent

:14:49.:14:52.

years. At least there is now a pause to reassess and look for new ways

:14:53.:14:57.

forward. But to actually get anywhere, everyone has to agree on

:14:58.:15:00.

the best route. They are hoping to do that by the end of this year but

:15:01.:15:05.

that could be a tough ask. Jean-Claude Juncker has already

:15:06.:15:09.

discussed his plan to the German Chancellor and Spain's Prime

:15:10.:15:12.

Minister, but some euros diptych to make any of the options. --

:15:13.:15:20.

eurosceptics. These options are just one option with different degrees.

:15:21.:15:24.

The first one is to keep everything like it is and in fact we are seeing

:15:25.:15:29.

that it is not working. The second one is to focus on the market, but

:15:30.:15:33.

the commission says we don't want that option. The other is the three

:15:34.:15:38.

different degrees of integration, but the point is integration for

:15:39.:15:43.

what? And to do what? Is this the way to actually get people to love

:15:44.:15:48.

Europe again? I think that there needs to be a European movement. We

:15:49.:15:56.

as prose Europeans need to go to the streets again and say, we want this.

:15:57.:16:00.

Because in so many countries there has been his narrative of the

:16:01.:16:03.

European Union being something of the elites, being something top-down

:16:04.:16:08.

and I think we need to say, no, this is not true. The challenge is to get

:16:09.:16:12.

a new momentum and get back on track. All aboard! Even if we don't

:16:13.:16:16.

yet know exactly where we are heading. All except the UK, of

:16:17.:16:21.

course, whatever the new destination is Britain would be along for the

:16:22.:16:24.

ride. You would have thought the prospect

:16:25.:16:29.

of Britain leaving the EU, which is a huge historic event, whether you

:16:30.:16:35.

are for or against it. You would have thought it would concentrate

:16:36.:16:39.

minds in EU, to say, where do we go from here without Britain? But it

:16:40.:16:46.

seems to me that they are as divided as ever on the way forward, is that

:16:47.:16:50.

right? Everyone is pointing a different direction. The plan put

:16:51.:16:55.

forward by Jean-Claude Juncker was interesting. It was a magician's

:16:56.:17:00.

trick with one card sticking out. Everyone seems to like that, if they

:17:01.:17:11.

are in the fast lane. To some extent the Nordics as well. Yes, so you end

:17:12.:17:15.

up with a scenario in which those who are fast tracks see why it is

:17:16.:17:21.

important. The other thing of course is that the elections, we've just

:17:22.:17:25.

had the Dutch election, that has produced a result which I suspect

:17:26.:17:29.

will take a long while to form government now in Holland. We've got

:17:30.:17:32.

the French ones coming up and the Germans. In France that is run by Mr

:17:33.:17:45.

Macron and Germany run by Mr Schultz would have a different direction,

:17:46.:17:49.

then affronts run by Marine Le Pen or continues to be running Germany

:17:50.:17:53.

by Chancellor Merkel. Is that not right? Exactly. They can't sort this

:17:54.:17:57.

out quickly. The most sensible option will be to just concentrate

:17:58.:18:04.

on terror free trade and turning... We want free trade. I don't think we

:18:05.:18:08.

want the rest of it. They won't do that, will they? They won't.

:18:09.:18:11.

Although Jean-Claude Juncker said at the end of his speech that he

:18:12.:18:15.

wouldn't say what his preferred option was, I think most of us

:18:16.:18:18.

guessed it was option five, deep integration all-round. The elections

:18:19.:18:22.

this year are fascinating for a number of reasons, including this.

:18:23.:18:28.

Mr Macron is a strong pro European, that his approach. Mr Schultz is a

:18:29.:18:35.

strong European as well. But in Italy four out of five of the

:18:36.:18:38.

biggest parties are now against the euro. They haven't as yet had an

:18:39.:18:45.

election this year. These Europeans are a different ball game. It is

:18:46.:18:51.

quite difficult to see the way forward, with all these differences

:18:52.:18:54.

of opinion. One thing that seems to bring Europe together right now is

:18:55.:18:59.

discussing Brexit. Curiously enough a lot of these populist movements

:19:00.:19:03.

might not win elections but they are driving the debate on their side. As

:19:04.:19:09.

they did in Holland. So we will see more Eurosceptic elements being

:19:10.:19:12.

front and centre in a lot of these campaigns. The complexion of Europe

:19:13.:19:15.

will change, even if they don't win... Is it that whatever path they

:19:16.:19:21.

take, and it would be a decision because apparently we won't be

:19:22.:19:24.

there, at whatever path Europe takes is it in our interest that given

:19:25.:19:29.

that it is still our biggest market by a long way is it in our interest

:19:30.:19:34.

that it should succeed? I think it is in our interest that it doesn't

:19:35.:19:37.

go into economic meltdown, because that would be very bad for

:19:38.:19:42.

everybody. But of course there is a tremendous disaster on the horizon,

:19:43.:19:45.

which is what happens to the euro. In the report that Jean-Claude

:19:46.:19:49.

Juncker did, he said we have to do something about youth unemployment.

:19:50.:19:53.

In the second paragraph he said, we need to deepen economic monetary

:19:54.:19:58.

union is and I don't understand that one of the biggest causes of the

:19:59.:20:01.

economic problems in Europe is the European currency... He's talking

:20:02.:20:04.

about making the monetary union work more sensibly, with a proper banking

:20:05.:20:08.

union and with of payments from the rich countries. The difficulty with

:20:09.:20:14.

that, given the Dutch elections, is that performing the euro will be

:20:15.:20:17.

more difficult than ever. Absolutely. And it isn't a common

:20:18.:20:21.

problem so there isn't a common solution. There are lots of

:20:22.:20:24.

different problems in different directions, causing problems for the

:20:25.:20:27.

commissioner and all the rest. We could see more parties like Ukip.

:20:28.:20:35.

Divorces can be messy and if you fall out in a big way over the money

:20:36.:20:41.

for example it can make it very difficult to make new arrangements.

:20:42.:20:45.

How can a messy Brexit break be avoided? We have been to the former

:20:46.:20:51.

Czechoslovakia to look at what can be learned from what came to be

:20:52.:21:04.

called the Velvet Divorce. Picture this scene. New Year's Eve,

:21:05.:21:09.

1992, and this square is packed with people celebrating the end of

:21:10.:21:12.

Czechoslovakia and the birth of an independent Slovak Republic in a

:21:13.:21:20.

process known as the Mr Schulz -- 'velvet divorce', so-called because

:21:21.:21:24.

not a single shot was fired. At the castle evidence of where it all

:21:25.:21:29.

started. Signs from the protest that overthrew communism in 1989.

:21:30.:21:35.

Freedom. But the public word as involved in what happens next. The

:21:36.:21:41.

main contender here is the leader Vladimir... The Slovak nationalists

:21:42.:21:48.

was the victor in elections in 1992, and over an intense few weeks he

:21:49.:21:51.

negotiated a split with his counterpart in the richer Czech part

:21:52.:21:57.

of the country. There was no referendum and the divorce followed

:21:58.:22:01.

a simple formula. There are 10 million Czech, 5 million Slovaks,

:22:02.:22:06.

the property was divided two to one. The military was divided in the

:22:07.:22:11.

similar way. Diplomatic services in our embassies were divided very

:22:12.:22:15.

peacefully and we didn't have any border disputes. Because we always

:22:16.:22:21.

had a border between the Czech and Slovak republics, so there were no

:22:22.:22:26.

major fights. Since then, slow Bhatia has joined the EU and

:22:27.:22:33.

flourished, or has it? -- Slovakia. This woman is a member of the former

:22:34.:22:37.

Prime Minister's club with David Cameron and she says the split was

:22:38.:22:40.

not democratic, left the country briefly bankrupt and was harder than

:22:41.:22:44.

people remember. Some of the things were really sort of ten years later,

:22:45.:22:51.

not immediately, not at all. All new state institutions. The president,

:22:52.:22:58.

Parliament, government, justice, constitutional law. All institutions

:22:59.:23:06.

of controlling mechanisms. Everything! For the next generation

:23:07.:23:13.

of politicians, like the economy minister, it is all ancient history.

:23:14.:23:24.

Or geography. I think it is the best partnership. Still good friends?

:23:25.:23:31.

Still good friends. I'm not the only visitor from the UK. David Davis was

:23:32.:23:35.

in town recently as well, could he have spied any lessons for the UK's

:23:36.:23:39.

upcoming divorce? Openly, no lessons. I don't think it will be

:23:40.:23:45.

over in one or two years. The key is to maintain goodwill and maintain

:23:46.:23:52.

good relationships, where you are not playing games and tricks. It is

:23:53.:23:57.

a triumph of nationalism and not much else. The two republics go

:23:58.:24:01.

their separate ways. Watching another famous correspondent who

:24:02.:24:04.

stood on the spot, the lesson I've learned is that separating seems

:24:05.:24:08.

massive at the time but living apart last for much longer.

:24:09.:24:15.

During the Scottish referendum I did a documentary about raking up and be

:24:16.:24:20.

looked at the velvet divorce. Although they are two pretty small

:24:21.:24:23.

countries, and you would think it would be easy, it turned out there

:24:24.:24:27.

were many treaties that had to be done. Raking up is hard to do. Yes,

:24:28.:24:32.

but the lesson is, if you make the decision to go and saw the details

:24:33.:24:38.

out afterwards... That's not really the government's position. The

:24:39.:24:42.

British government's position... It might not make sense. Before we go,

:24:43.:24:52.

we want to see what it means. Other things actually involve us building

:24:53.:24:55.

something fresh. There are couple of elements to this. I believe we can

:24:56.:25:01.

do that if we both enter the discussions in a right frame of

:25:02.:25:07.

mind. Can you look to negotiations in which there is no victor? Can

:25:08.:25:15.

that be done? We can make them an offer they can't refuse and then we

:25:16.:25:19.

all benefit and that seems to be the biggest issue. It would be immensely

:25:20.:25:23.

difficult. Immigration is the next biggest problem. It can be done, we

:25:24.:25:28.

have to keep focused on the outcome and that's a good deal for both

:25:29.:25:31.

sides and that's what people want. Whatever the politicians want

:25:32.:25:34.

remains to seen. We shall see. It will be an interesting time. Thank

:25:35.:25:42.

you both. That's it from Politics Europe. I hope you can join me for

:25:43.:25:44.

the next

:25:45.:25:46.