Jo Coburn is joined by journalists Rachel Shabi and Iain Martin for the latest political news, including analysis of President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium.
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Hello and welcome to
the Daily Politics.
A few months ago they were trading
insults but Kim Jong-Un
and Donald Trump could be
sitting across a table
from each other within weeks.
Has a nuclear showdown on the Korean
Peninsula been averted?
Donald Trump slaps tariffs
on imported steel and aluminium.
Has he kicked off an
international trade war?
MPs are at the centre
of allegations of bullying
in the Palace of Westminster.
Does there need to be
an independent process in place
to protect Commons staff?
When the British people voted last
June, they did not vote to become
Nobody voted to be poorer.
Nobody voted to be poorer.
It's an often repeated
mantra from remainers,
but were some Leave voters prepared
to take a financial
hit to deliver Brexit?
All that coming up in the next 60
minutes and joining me
for the duration are Iain Martin
of the Times and the political
commentator, Rachel Shabi.
Welcome to both of you.
First today, it's been announced
in the last hour that 100 military
personnel are to be deployed
in Salisbury to assist
in the police investigation
into the poisoning of ex-Russian spy
Sergei Skripal and his
The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd,
has visited the scene this morning.
Here's what she had to say.
At the moment, our priority
is going to be the incident,
which is why I'm here
in Salisbury today.
Making sure that everybody's
protected around here,
around the incident.
Making sure the emergency services
have had the support that they need
and will continue to get it -
ongoing - and it's been great
to hear that is the case.
In terms of further options,
that will have to wait
until we're absolutely clear
what the consequences could be
and what the actual source of this
nerve agent has been.
Let's talk to our Home Affairs
correspondent, Daniel Sandford.
-- lets talk to Jonathan Beale. Why
have the military been called in?
180 military personnel from all
three services who have specialist
expertise in chemical warfare and
training, and who know how to
decontaminate. One of the things
they will be doing along with the 12
vehicles involved will be to remove
ambulances that were used to ferry
those injured into hospital.
Possibly to take them a where to be
decontaminated but they will remove
other object as well. These are
people who have regular training in
chemical and biological warfare,
including 40 commando, who recently
completed a three-week exercise
called toxic dagger, where they were
practising these kind of scenarios.
Also 27 Squadron from the RAF
Regiment. You would say that perhaps
this expertise still exists in the
military, it is not as dense and
full as it was during the height of
the Cold War but they still have
this expertise and clearly there can
help the police in this
investigation and secure sites. The
message from the Ministry of Defence
and ministers is the public should
not be alarmed, the threat level has
not changed but you will see people
in military uniform, potentially
wearing gas masks and chemical
warfare equipment at the seams
You say the
message is don't be alarmed, but
they will not be surprised that if
the public are somewhat put at an
ease by the visibility -- puts at
our knees by the military personnel,
how long do you think they will be
I don't think we know,
people should be expecting to seemed
people in military uniform arriving
at Salisbury today. The public
should not be alarmed because the
threat level, there is no more
danger to the public than there was
yesterday. But they will have to get
used to seeing this military
personnel who have this expertise,
it might be reassuring to people to
know that people still have this
expertise in the military and they
are trained to deal with it.
That's the response in terms of the
investigation, the political
response as it looks as if the
finger of suspicion remains firmly
towards Russia and the Russian state
despite their denials, in reality,
what can be done, what is this whole
spectrum response that we have heard
in the last 24-hour is?
all, it's absolutely right to have
the investigation ahead of the
political response because we are
still not 100% sure. It would be
good to have clarity. In terms of
what the response could be, it is
difficult to tell because of course
this is not the only thing that
Russia is doing. On the
international scale there would be
problems with his support for Assad
in Syria, the potential that he
meddled in elections in the UK and
the US. Without international
cooperation and caught naked
response, I'm not sure there's an
awful lot that the UK can do -- and
a quarter naked response, I'm
awful lot that the UK can do.
I think there is quite a bit that
can be done and government ministers
have been quite vocal in cracking
down on certain Russian interests in
London and the UK. The troubling
thing is that we might never really
properly know the answer, because
there is a grey area. There is the
Russian state, which totally denies
any involvement, but then there is
Russian organised crime, which has
links to the FSB and formerly KGB.
What an order given, and someone
acted -- was an order given and
someone acted on the basis that they
would rid them of this troublesome
person or was there school setting?
It suggests if there was no agent
used, there was agents involved.
cannot really make it easily in your
garden shed. In terms of this show
of strength, some ministers and
former ministers have said that
Russia only understands a show of
strength so Britain have to respond
by cutting off diplomatic ties,
freezing assets of Russians here or
in Moscow. But will that actually
harm or put enough pressure on
Vladimir Putin to change his policy
towards the West?
No, I'm not saying
those things shouldn't happen.
Recalling ambassadors and freezing
assets are things that you would
expect to see happen in this sort of
situation but I think there's a
wider question of how you do deal
with someone who is an authoritarian
like Putin, and the malign
international actor. I come back to
this point of, without having a firm
international response, a
coordinated response, I'm not sure
what a single country can do.
very difficult because the European
Union always runs a mile from this
stuff for all these reasons, because
of tensions with Germany and Germany
has a particular approach in terms
of handling Russia. The US is in a
strange situation because of the
current president. And also Britain
is kind of isolated here with its
strong Russian connections,
particularly in wealthy London. It
seems to be the case that Russian
actors are prepared to kill on
British soil, not prepared to kill
on American soil, prepared to
potentially interfere in American...
It does look as though Britain is a
Yes, because over
the last 20 years, UK has been a
magnet for Russian wealth and there
has been two-way traffic between the
Let's leave it there.
Now it's time for our daily quiz,
and remember our quiz
is just a bit of fun,
there are no prizes.
Theresa May was asked
in an interview yesterday,
to mark International Women's Day,
what her ideal night with her
girlfriends would look like.
Dinner at wine at home, karaoke and
cocktails, a boxed set binge or none
of the above?
At the end of the show
Rachel and Iain will,
we hope, give us the correct answer.
Now, female staff in the House
of Commons have been the subject
of bullying at the hands
of some MPs.
A BBC Newsnight investigation has
seen files and spoken
to witnesses who say staff
known as Commons clerks
have been mistreated.
Newsnight has spoken
to witnesses who believe
that a single member,
Paul Farrelly, the Labour MP
made her continued employment
at the House of Commons impossible -
a consequence, they say, of years
of continued, personal criticism.
Newsnight's Chris Cook
asked the witness to
describe the treatment.
Aggressive, dismissive, rude.
And, ultimately, bullying.
And how much of an effect
did it have on her?
It ground her down.
It basically reached crisis point
and she could no longer do her job.
He had undermined her
and bullied her so much,
so regularly, so badly,
that she was just left entirely
exhausted and incredibly distressed.
And Newsnight's Chris
Cook joins me now.
What has been a response from Paul
Farrelly? We haven't actually heard
from him today. But his case is
something of a totem for women
working at the house today because
of what happened after that Clark,
who had to lose her job, complaint.
The two were the odd things that
have stuck in the mind, she raises a
complaint, it triggers an internal
inquiry run by another member of the
House staff, and an HR process which
was only eight months old at that
point. When she raised her complaint
other women came forward, and we had
eight years of test dummy about Mr
Farrelly's behaviour. Because the HR
policy was only eight months old,
they could only look at the eight
months, they thought. They feel that
the game has not been played fairly.
The second thing that has happened,
they go into this inquiry, of the
House staff goes to the allegations
that she makes, not the other women,
only her. He upholds complaint on
some of her allegations and decided
it was bullying and the
it was bullying and the contact was
offensive and there was no doubt
about her competence. That document
is taken to the House of Commons
commission which is a committee of
MPs, and they decide really not to
do anything. In fact, they suspend
the policy, they don't take action
against Mr Farrelly, they say that
the legal basis of the policy was
not down so they could not take
action. They also say that what
happened, any system that relies on
clerks investigating MPs is not fair
You spoke to Paul
Farrelly before the piece went out,
what did he say?
He denies any
bullying, he says in 2012
allegations were made about me
having bullied a clerk during the
phone hacking inquiry, they were not
upheld but I apologised. The policy
was considered to be so unfair to
those about whom were complaint that
it was immediately withdrawn and
replaced by another policy. The case
is not really about Paul Farrelly,
this is all about the House of
Commons receiving a campaign and
clerks are taking the lesson -- a
complaint and clerks are taking a
lesson that the process cannot be
They think that the HR
process protect MPs. What about the
speaker, John Bercow?
In May 2010,
he got a new private secretary who
only lasted for nine months when she
was signed off sick. She had to be
found in new job somewhere else in
the House, they had to modify that
subsequent job so she would not come
into contact with the speaker. Her
managers were told that she had
posts a post right -- post-traumatic
stress disorder. She got that job
because she was regarded as a
phenomenal talent, the kind of
person you wanted in this enormously
important role. And there is an
enormous amount of sympathy for her
and everyone knows what happened to
her because they had to create these
new systems around her in a
He has contested the
allegations as well?
says that he refutes the allegation
that he behaved in such a manner
eight years ago or any other time.
Downing Street has also been
speaking about this, the
spokesperson described claims of
staff bullying as concerning, and
they say there is no place for
bullying and harassment of any kind.
They also say that John Bercow has
said the allegations are being
contested but the Prime Minister has
full confidence in the speaker
according to her spokesman. Are you
surprised about these allegations?
I'm not, really. The House of
Commons or Parliament in general is
a very strange place. It doesn't
operate in a way that a conventional
workplace operates, it's not a
conventional organisation with a
hierarchy. MPs, and I should add
that I think most people would
accept that most MPs do not behave
in this fashion, but a small
minority do, and MPs really kind of
run the place. And in a group of 650
people, you end up with this small
minority who really wants to be
treated almost as little gods. And I
think the way in which the system is
constructed in means that staff then
don't necessarily have adequate
protection, there is confusion about
who investigates what. It's a legacy
of a place which has thousands of
people working in it, but it's not
constructed with the chief
executive. It cannot be because its
democratic institution. There's
going to have to be after this
investigation, have to be some form
Chris Cook's report reveals it is
difficult to know where to go to
complain and people within the
building are investigating each
other to a certain extent. Do you
think there needs to be an
independent process now, a different
body coming in to investigate
I do, I do. What I think
was terrific about the Newsnight
report is it took the time to
explain the situation about how this
occurs. When we talk about a
systemic culture of bullying and
harassment, when we talk about a
male workplace culture that promotes
or facilitate bullying and
harassment, the Newsnight report
took the time to show this is what
it looks like, this is how it
manifests, this is what it means. I
think unless we take the time to
look at it, we're not going to be
able to find out ways of tackling
I think the danger is and we saw
this during the expenses crisis,
that the real risks in bringing in
and outside, independent body,
because of the strange
constitutional position of
Parliament, and Parliament is
sovereign, so if you place an
independent body above Parliament,
you do interesting, strange things
to the Constitution. What I would
like to see happen is the vast
majority of MPs who don't behave in
this fashion really take this as a
wake-up call, take charge of the
process and institute changes.
Wright, thank you Chris Cook for
Now, last week President Trump
unveiled plans to raise
tariffs on foreign imports
of steel and aluminium.
"If you don't have steel,
you don't have a country!,"
you might recall him tweeting.
by steel workers, he made
good on that promise,
and signed the measures into law,
claiming that the industry had been
"ravaged" by aggressive foreign
trade practices that were, he said,
"an assault" on the United States.
They are expected to take
effect in 15 days' time.
Let's hear what he had to say.
Today, I'm defending America's
national security by placing
tariffs on foreign imports
of steel and aluminium.
We will have a 25% tariff
on foreign steel, 10% tariff
on foreign aluminium,
when the product comes
across our borders.
It's a process called dumping.
And they dumped more than at any
time, on any nation,
anywhere in the world.
And it drove our plants out
of business, it drove our
factories out of business.
And we want a lot of steel
coming into our country,
but we want it to be fair
and we want our workers to be
protected and we want, frankly,
our companies to be protected.
By contrast, we will
not place any new tax
on a product made in the USA.
So there's no tax if a product
is made in the USA.
You don't want to pay tax?
Bring your plant to
the USA, there's no tax.
The UK's International Trade
Secretary Liam Fox appeared
on Question Time last night.
He said he would be travelling
to the United States next week
to meet his US counterpart.
The way that the United States
is going about this is wrong,
because they're doing it under
what's called a 232 investigation
based on national security.
And for the UK it's doubly absurd,
because we are only responsible
for 1% of America's steel imports.
It's 5% of our tonnage,
by steel, that we produce
here, it's 15% by value.
The reason there's a difference
is that we tend to produce
very high value steel,
some of which can't be sourced
in the United States and will simply
push up the price of steel there.
We also make steel for the American
So it's doubly absurd that we should
be then caught on an investigation
on national security.
That was Liam Fox.
Joining me now is author
and consultant, Ted Malloch,
who is also a supporter of Donald
Welcome to the programme. Do you
think the president is making the
Yes, and it's been
sometime in the. I call it a PPE
move. It has to do with politics on
one hand, we are in the mid-term
elections. If you noticed who was
behind the president when he makes
this announcement, working-class
steelworkers and aluminium workers
from those rust belt states who need
to vote in favour of the Republicans
for them to stay in power during the
next congressional election. The
second thing is philosophical,
promised to do that in his
campaigns, is following through on a
campaign pledge. And it is economic,
there is an economic reason for
What is that?
dumping steel on international
markets. About 2 billion tonnes of
steel made, 800 million coming from
China. They are dumping them and it
is affecting global markets. So we
are going to knock that down.
accept that, it's a good trade
policy for the United States to
I can understand the
politics of it, I don't think the
economic 's really make any sense.
What troubles me about it, as
someone who is pro-market, is
pro-market people tend to look to
the United States for a lead.
Beginning a trade war in this
fashion could have all sorts of
unintended consequences, if others
respond. Should just qualify one
thing, which is we are talking as
though we in Europe don't use
tariffs, but of course the European
Union has a 72%...?
Chinese steel. So the European Union
has been playing this game as well.
Having said that, I thought Trump
with the tax cuts, I thought he was
starting to get somewhere economic
year and I think this could set back
a lot of that progress.
It is the
beginning of a trade war,
potentially. European Union vice
president has had in the wake of
Trump's decision the commission will
continue with the rebalancing
measures. Will that help the United
States, a trade war?
I don't think
it will be a trade war, blown up to
It will they
There will be some
tit-for-tat like on things like Jack
Daniels, peanut butter and
Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The
real thing that is coming down the
pipe and this is significant in
Europe and the UK, and the president
intimated this yesterday and has
said it also in other speeches, is
the potential for significant
tariffs. In other words, narrowing
tariffs on automobiles.
would that have? That is a much
bigger deal in terms of the UK.
much bigger deal. The EU tariffs on
US automobiles is 2%. The US, I mean
is 10%, the US is 2%. If we were to
just change that to the mirror
image, it would dramatically affect
the German automobile industry and
also Jaguar Land Rover.
would have a real impact here and on
German car-makers. What can be done
by the British government who are
said to have a special relationship
with the US?
It is one more reason
not to be so reliant on the US in
our post-Brexit reality. One of the
things I find objectionable about
right wing authoritarian site Donald
Trump is this misdiagnosis of what
is ailing the economy. It is not
globalisation per se that is a
problem. We lived in a joined up
world, that is the reality. It's a
neoliberal economic policy that has
ravaged peoples lives, destroyed
communities, that has gutted out and
hollowed out economies. It has
nothing to do with tariffs, it's a
political choice to run an economy
in a particular way. We can
reprogram it to run on a different
way, it's just that this particular
neoliberal system of running
economic has chosen not to.
you say to that?
We have had
elections in the United States and
elected this president, is hardly an
authoritarian he's just started a
peace process and denuclearisation.
We will talk about that in a moment.
He's hardly an authoritarian. This
was part of his campaign, to bring
back manufacturing to American
industries. This is a national
security issue. Steel is rather
important, aluminium also rather
important. There this is nothing to
do with authoritarianism.
failing political promises question
what you could argue Jeremy Corbyn
also wants to have an economic
policy that is going to support
local industries, would also like to
actually support and subsidised
steel industry here, if he became
Prime Minister. In a way, these are
just different ways of dealing with
the same problem.
No, because one is
telling lies and making false
promises. Let's look at how
localisation, what it could look
like in the UK. One example of that
is the Preston model, the local
council in Preston, Lancashire,
which has seen a local government
spending when it has spent locally,
create more wealth in the local
economy than if it were outsourced.
That is one-way. It has nothing to
do with tariffs. That is one way of
reviving the local economy. It means
local businesses can thrive, they
employ people, everyone pays tax,
the business pays tax on the economy
locally is revived. It is nothing to
do with tariffs, it's a political
decision to reprogram an economy, to
work in a way that benefits people
are not corporations.
benefits for people. The process of
trade liberalisation after the
Second World War, which was
advocated by moderate left centre
politicians and free-market
politicians, turned into
globalisation, which of course I am
concerned about some of the extreme
effects of that but it has globally
had the most extraordinary impact.
It has lifted at least a billion
people out of property.
biggest wealth inequalities as well.
I don't think trickle-down economics
has been proven not to work. I think
the problem is wired into the
Let's compare the Chinese
economy in 1950 now...
Your point is
perfect on is the miracle is that
the Chinese economy. We moved 350
million people out of extreme
poverty in China.
That is a good
The cost of that has been the
cost of jobs in the rust belt in the
United States and hollowed out parts
of England and in Western Europe.
It's a trade-off.
Let's talk about
the relationship with the UK, is a
good friend of the United States?
Will there be an
exemption for the UK?
Will you be
part of the European Union?
When you leave we will see.
Is that the trade-off, the UK might
get an exemption once it leaves the
EU or would it be better to stay
part of the EU, a big trading bloc
and use and support those
I voted to
leave but I didn't vote to leave
thinking that this utopia of loads
of trade deals being out there and
somehow some massive trade deal with
the US is going to solve Britain's
economic problems. Most of its
problems are domestic. Exports are
20% of the economy and about half of
that is the EU and half of that is
the rest of the world, led by the
US. I don't think in the short-term,
certainly in this context the US
president doing what he's doing, I
don't think that that will be that
many trade deals in the next four or
You said once Britain
leads the EU, but if this friendship
and relationship exists now, why
can't there be an exemption, as
you're giving to other countries, to
Because he would have to do
it to the whole of the EU and when
not about to do that. We gave an
exception to Mexico and Canada but
the president said yesterday, that
is only an exception if we can come
to terms on their Nafta. If we don't
we have leverage on the same tariffs
will apply to those two country.
said countries that meet or fail
their defence commitments to Nato.
We do stop white
only five do.
you be confident the UK could get an
exemption or is there any point of
this special relationship if there
will be no special treatment for the
UK in the future?
We will see what
Mr Liam Fox accomplishes when he
goes to Washington this week or next
week. My guess is there won't be an
exemption for the UK.
What you say
about Liam Fox's view and trade, and
the high-grade steel that you get
from the UK, which would be able to
get it in the US?
industries come back in the US they
will be available. There are places
in the US where those things have
been decimated. With this new
measure, you have heard already
companies bringing back hundreds,
soon to be thousands of employees,
to make exactly those kinds of
Ted Malloch, thank you.
She said she would, and apparently
Theresa May has raised concerns
about human rights in Saudi Arabia
during talks with the
country's Crown Prince,
Mohammed bin Salman has been
on a three-day UK visit
to talk about trade,
and presumably some of the more
awkward issues like Yemen.
The visit comes the same week
as International Women's Day,
another area, Saudi Arabia isn't
exactly celebrated for.
At nearly every stop
on the Saudi Arabian visit this
week, the protesters
haven't been far.
Well, today I got the opportunity
to talk to one of 29 women who sit
on the Shoura Council.
It's not exactly a parliament,
but it's a council that advises
the Saudi Arabian King,
and there's plenty to put to her.
A good place to start -
A country that in June is finally
allowing women to drive cars,
and that is being seen as progress.
It's a woeful record, isn't it?
The country is young, not just
in its population but in its age.
Effectively it's an 80 year
old country, but I actually always
say it's a 50 year old country,
because when the first revenue
of oil came to the country,
to the government, that's
when it was used for
When you look at a country
that is basically 50 years old,
we're only going one way,
which is forwards.
But it cannot happen
from one day to the next.
But it is true that women don't
have the same rights as men,
don't have the same rights
that they would here in the UK?
When did you get your rights?
More than 100 years ago,
women have been voting, for example.
Yes, that's fine, but how long did
it take for you to have?
I'm talking about a country
that is 50 years old.
You were not 50 years
old when you got your rights.
I'm not justifying the fact that
in your eyes we are slow.
Yes, it is challenging.
There are obstacles,
we get frustrated and I'm not
denying any of that,
this is the reality, it's there.
What about you personally?
You're a woman living
in Saudi Arabia.
When I need to find myself at X, Y,
Z place at a certain time,
and I can't be there
because of transportation reasons,
yes, of course, I get frustrated.
Today things are easier,
with Uber, with Careem
and with private drivers,
obviously things do gets easier.
But when I look at it on a global
level, a 50 year old country,
to have reached what a lot
of countries took
hundreds of years to do.
And, like I said, I think the only
way we have had to go is forwards.
Much has been made this
visit of Vision 2030 -
a blueprint by King Salman
and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
of economic and social reforms
to modernise Saudi Arabia.
You yourself have a daughter.
Do you think Saudi Arabia
of the future will be an easier
place to thrive for a woman?
I believe it will be,
but if it's not done in 2030
and it's done in 2032,
that's fine too.
Like I said, it's part
of the evolutionary
development of the country.
It's not stagnating.
And because we are moving forwards,
it can only get better.
It'll get better from next year,
it will get better the year after,
because we are seeing these changes,
because there is a genuine desire
to change and reform.
And it's not just because Prince
Mohammed or King Salman
want that to happen,
it's because the young people
of the country want it to happen.
And these young people are coming
back from their education abroad
not just with a degree,
but with open horizons,
mental horizons that
will change the way they live,
will change their aspirations.
There have been protests
during your visit here
about human rights abuses,
about the situation in Yemen.
Do you find some of those
difficult to defend?
when a country's surrounded
by enemies more than by friends,
there are certain actions
that need to be taken.
Especially if politically
and diplomatically chances
were given, not just once,
not just twice, more than that.
We have had the example
of Hezbollah in the North.
We don't want a resurgence
or a reappearance of something
like that in the South.
I'm not justifying the deaths
or the human rights issues
that come with any war,
I'm just stating the facts.
I think that it is very easy
to criticise and to talk
about issues when they're not
relatively clear to
the general public.
So the idea that the situation
in Yemen is a proxy war
against Iran is, what?
Definitely there's part of that,
I'm not denying that at all.
Iran has a big role, has had a big
role in this issue, yes.
Ali Price reporting. Do you share
her optimism in terms of the pace of
reform that Saudi Arabia is very
keen to promote, we saw that
underlined in that interview? In
terms of women's rights especially?
No, there have been cosmetic reforms
and obviously we need to credit and
celebrate the Saudi women who have
campaigned for those reforms, two
decades in the case of getting the
right to drive. But they are
cosmetic reforms. As long as the
underpinning system of male
guardianship exists in Saudi Arabia,
whereby women has to get permission
from a male guardian for all kinds
of things which essentially mean
they do not have equal rights as
citizens. As long as there is system
like that underpinning everything,
these reforms will be cosmetic.
terms of the relationship that
Britain has the Saudi Arabia, how
under pressure is that with
accusations of military advisers in
Britain being involved in the war in
I don't think it's
necessarily under pressure. The UK
Government has invested a lot of
faith and time in recent months
building up to this week to really
make a fuss of Mohammed bin Salman,
and there is a calculation and play
made by the Foreign Office is that
what he is doing is potentially
transformative. And while I share
some of the scepticism, but there
are reasons to be cautious about it,
he is potentially transformative.
The French have been far ahead of
the UK in terms of trade and being
in there with the new leadership.
Britain had some catching up to do,
that's what this week was about.
Those trade deals are extremely
important, worse potentially
billions of pounds. The trouble with
this -- worth potentially billions
The trouble with this
very cosy relationship is not just
the human rights abuses in Saudi
Arabia itself, and the treatment of
women comes up in that category, it
is that it is a destabilising force
in the Middle East. It backed a
military coup against the
democratically elected president in
Egypt's, it has at least covertly
funded some pretty violent
extremists in Syria and Iraq, it
effectively kidnapped Lebanese Prime
Minister just a few months ago and
that's before we get onto the
horrific human rights violations
going on in.
abetted by the UK whose arms sales
to Yemen have increased by an
extraordinary amount despite these
very clear human rights violations.
What that does to Britain is that it
undermines our reputation and
credibility in the Middle East and
Is it defensible?
Yemen is a catastrophe, of course,
but you cannot look at Yemen without
looking at the role of Iran. You
can't have a situation from the
But we are
post... -- closely allied.
have been 50 years but it cannot
have a situation from a typical
point of view where Iranian
interests without in Yemen against
the Saudis. In terms of funding
against terrorism, we will see if he
is as good as his word, but he seems
to have said to the National
Security Council and MI6 and MI5
that he will curtail the funding of
certain groups. He has only been in
charge for a small amount of time
and it seems to be heading in the
Now, if you've paid any
attention to British politics
since the Brexit referendum,
you've probably seen and heard one
sentiment expressed more
than any other by some of the most
ardent pro-EU voices in Westminster.
And even by some in the government.
Let's take a look.
Nobody voted on the 23rd of June
to make this country poorer.
Nobody voted to be poorer.
Nobody in this process
voted to be poorer.
Nobody, nobody voted to be poorer.
The country didn't vote
to make itself poorer.
When the British people voted
last June, they did not
vote to become poorer.
Philip Hammond at the end there,
echoing a sentiment
expressed by many across
the political spectrum.
But even if the jury's yet to return
a verdict on how the EU
will affect people's finances -
were some people who voted Brexit
prepared to take an economic hit
if that was the price
of leaving the EU?
Well, to discuss this we're
joined by David Goodhart
from the Policy Exchange think-tank,
he's also the author
of The Road to Somewhere, which,
amongst other things, explores
why people voted for Brexit.
Welcome to the show. Do you think
people were prepared to take an
economic hit in order to take back
control, to use another phrase?
think they would rather not but I
think a lot of people did vote
knowing that their pockets might be
hit. But regarding it as a
reasonable trade-off. We might be a
few hundred pounds richer in ten
years' time, but our democratic
accountability would be weaker, our
national identity would be weaker,
if we remained in the European
Union, a lot of people thought. I
actually voted to remain but I
thought that they were right about
Do you agree and accept that
there were plenty of people who did
feel it was worth economic
uncertainty, let's put it like that,
and potentially being slightly worse
off in order to regain some sorts of
I think national
identity is a phrase that's doing a
lot of work in that sentence. It's
very hard to discern what it was
that people actually did vote for,
and that's precisely why were having
such difficulty is that the
negotiations because we're trying to
find out what is it that people
wanted from Brexit. Nobody actually
said that. That wasn't on the
ballot. But I don't think these kind
of cultural concerns, that seems to
me a proxy for what can only be
described as Zeno races and I don't
think we should be making any -- is
then a racism and I don't wish to
make any political decisions on
I find myself much more
favourable for Brexit because of the
arguments we had from the militant
Remainers, sheer panic on the
financial side or that we are all
racist, the 50% who voted leave.
Neither of those things are true.
There will be an adjustment cost but
I suspect we will be just as rich as
we will have been. This is that
first big push back of the shrinkage
of democratic space that has
happened in all big democracies, you
think of the way that the WTO,
European and aggression, even
domestic policies like the
independence of the Bank of England
have shrunk the attic space. What is
exciting about Brexit is it is a the
first push back against the
shrinking of that democratic space.
Although people might have been
prepared to take an economic hit, we
don't know how they thought it would
manifest itself. Do you think there
were a broad sense of the reasons
that people were voting and that has
made it difficult for negotiations,
because people said, we will be the
single market and the customs union
and if that makes us poorer, then so
We have to be sceptical about
polling after the event of the last
few years but there are quite
detailed series of polls done on
testing attitude afterwards, on what
people thought they were doing.
Immigration comes second, first
tends to come the question of
self-government and the country
making its own laws. What's
astonishing about the British
political class is that it was so
shocked by the result. It's been
apparent since about the time of
Maastricht at something close to the
majority of British voters were
sceptical about excessive political
integration and were never asked the
question. The first time the
question was put to them, they
delivered a pretty clear answer. In
terms of the good people voting to
be poorer, that is obviously a piece
of sophistry. I certainly voted but
that was a possibility -- knowing
that was a possible 80 and I know
many Leave voters who voted thinking
it was. People heard the warnings,
they calculated that there might be
some hit, there might not, depending
on things that had not happened yet.
But if there was a moderate hit, and
an adjustment cost, it is something
worth living for force of
People said it was worth
it because Britain could then -- it
was worth living for four
self-government, people said it was
worth it because Britain could then
make decisions over things like
borders, and money, and that is more
People were sold this
idea of taking back control. That
doesn't mean anything, it's an
It's not an empty
When we talk about the
accountability of the WTO, or of
banks and multinationals, that is a
very separate thing from the issue
of the EU. And that's exactly the
success of the Leave campaign, it
managed to divert a lot of very
reasonable concerns, economic
concerns into something that was
essentially... It was huge areas of
life. But because of European --
because of European rules, we could
not control, the way in which
different can -- countries balance
risk and other things, it's hugely
different from country to country
and we are squeezed into often
German related anxieties about their
detection, for example.
We have to
pay huge tariffs on shoes because of
the Italians. This is all sorts of
areas that we can reclaim
sovereignty. Liberal fantasists
think it is a
think it is a pooling of
empowerment, but I think a lot of
people think it is this empowering.
If people are feeling poorer at the
moment because of high inflation and
wage stagnation because in the
aftermath of that EU vote,
GDP will fall by less than it fell
in the financial crisis. I do think
people would change their mind, come
to regret what they thought was
worth taking an economic hit for?
It's possible, there is no sign of
it yet. I think where the Labour
Party has a real advantage and
Jeremy Corbyn are headed the game,
because the Tories are focused on
the shambolic negotiations already
Labour in that keynote speech Jeremy
Corbyn gave last week, already he is
talking about Britain after Brexit.
I think the Labour understanding is
correct. Once Brexit is a done deal
and happens in one form or another,
there will then be up battle for
votes in areas for those who voted
for Brexit who want to see some
Goodhart, thank you.
And for more reporting
and analysis of Brexit,
check out the BBC News website -
Donald Trump has accepted
an invitation from the North Korean
leader, Kim Jong-un,
to hold an unprecedented meeting
to discuss the future
of the regime's nuclear
and missile programme.
Following months of mutual
hostility, senior South Korean
officials appeared outside
the White House to announce the news
having verbally conveyed Kim's
invitation to Trump.
The White House confirmed Trump
was ready to meet Kim "by May."
President Trump himself
confirmed the meeting
in his own inimitable way
- yes, tweeting.
To get the latest on this we can
talk to our correspondent
Robin Brant in Seoul.
What has been the reaction in South
The South Koreans believe
that they are the ones who have
engineered this meeting, and meeting
the like of which has never, ever
happened before. A sitting president
sitting down with chairman Kim, in
this instance, the leader of the
Democratic People's Republic of
Korea. South Korea's leader was a
man who came to office a couple of
years ago on a promise to extend the
olive branch to the north. Clearly
he is delivering on that. At the
same time he has pursued a policy
trying to further cement that very
close relationship with the United
States. But Moon Jae-in has high
hopes for the meeting, even though
we don't know when it will take
place. South Korea's president
already saying he feels this meeting
will be remembered as a historical
milestone that realised piece on the
Korean Valencia. Even before it has
taken place. But the South Koreans
clearly believe that there can be
tangible gains, real achievements,
in terms of not just an
de-escalation of tensions between
North Korea and America but also on
this issue, very vexed issue of
Thank you. Joining
me now is Professor Robert Kelley,
an expert in Korean affairs. Welcome
to the Daily Politics. An enormous
It may be,
if the president can bring home a
genuinely big deal. That meeting
means the stakes are really high, we
assume there is some sort of big
bargain to come from this. But there
is only ten weeks to actually
prepare for this and really there
has not been much discussion in the
analyst community. They didn't seem
the Secretary of State knew was
coming White House staff. The
president has to bring home
something big, a lot of work to do
in a short time.
How have things
changed so rapidly? We thought
relations were at an extremely low
point. Trump was promising to bring
down fire and you're like the world
had never seen an Korea and now?
think a lot of this shows the
President's temperament. We know he
is very erratic and volatile and
changes his mind very rapidly. Just
three months ago we were talking
about air strikes on North Korea. My
sense is that is the president.
North Korea properly have fully
functional nuclear weapons they
figure, why not talk now? The
sanctions are biting also. I think
the big swing is due to the
You think it is
down to him. Could this be the mixer
China moment for President Trump,
that he has manoeuvred the US into a
It could be of the
president brings home something
real. The concern from the analyst
community, if you're watching TV or
looking at Twitter today, a lot of
people have been very unsure about
what this means. Because it came out
of the blue. Fixing this issue as
difficult as North Korea- US
relations, it's highly unlikely can
be fixed in just ten weeks. This is
the kind of thing that takes years
and years. If you look at the 90s,
years were spent on this kind of
stuff and suddenly Donald Trump
order in ten weeks. It is so
unlikely. Maybe, but unlikely.
before I go to my guests, what you
keep saying, it's a very short space
of time to get all this sorted out
before the meeting. What are the
risks to these talks, and saying
they will be done by May? If they
collapse or they don't go the way
either side wants, could actually
escalate the situation?
Yes, I think
there are two possibilities. The
first is they meet and don't like
each other. And they both start... I
mean Kim Jong-un have called him
names and Donald Trump likewise.
They could fall back to that and
load each other and then there is a
real impasse. The other possible it
is they meet and it doesn't go
anywhere, it fails. Particularly the
Trump sides is look, we went for the
big show, the summer and it went
nowhere and it doesn't leave us with
anywhere else to go. Normally these
things work their way through a
lower-level policy process before
the summit happens, Trump is taking
a chance to have the summit before
the years of groundwork that
normally precede it stop like that
is an important point, the stakes
are very high. On one side you could
say it will be the meeting of two
who have high levels
of vanity. On the other hand, an
It is. But it is
another example, Trump has to be
seen in terms of celebrity
wrestling. He is that kind of
president. He is seeing this other
guy, Kim, is the other celebrity
wrestler, and they've been facing
off, promising to kill each other.
Now, something interesting, the
great Trump show is going to produce
something, a great plot twist. It is
possible. I am a Trump sceptic but
there is certainly something in his
approach and we saw it last month on
gun control, where he flipped and
adopted a different position from
the position the NRA would have
wanted to take. There is something
in his unpredictability and his
showmanship which, in this case,
might just work. It is worth a go.
In celebrity wrestling, in this
instance, who comes out on top?
my goodness! That is the question,
isn't it? It might be that
showmanship works. I think it is
interesting what the analysts and
experts are saying, which is look,
normally negotiations on this sort
of situation, it's years, its years
of backroom staff. There is a lot
going on before it comes to leaders
meeting fostered in this case none
of this has happened, they've just
gone straight to this meeting.
Therefore, the likelihood of it
producing something, without that
huge background, backroom effort, it
doesn't seem high, does it?
of using President Trump has to come
home with something big. This
denuclearisation, is that the only
goal, the only possible prize,
anything less than that will be seen
as a failure?
The Americans keep
talking it up that way, yes. I think
the president needs to start
managing expectations. The North
Korean spent 40 years developing
nuclear weapons, it is unlikely they
will give up in ten weeks. It would
be astonishing. What's more likely
as you'll get some movement on human
rights, is important, cameras or
inspectors back in North Korea, may
be nuclear safety. There is concern
about that. All this stuff, these
are small steps. It would be helpful
to work our way through those before
we went in for the big enchilada. It
is highly unlikely in a state that
has been 40 years building nuclear
weapons that they will give them up.
It brings a possible this might not
turn out to be anything. It might be
a big, a show that goes nowhere, the
Trump show. That is what the
president has to work on. He has a
lot to do in ten weeks.
matter if it doesn't go anywhere?
Symbolically it will be important.
Imagine the two of them when they
meet, what will that be like?
have come a long way since Stalin,
Roosevelt and Churchill. It is going
to be a Technicolor, most
extraordinary reality TV style
event. Imagine the media experience,
as they shake hands, and the
But they are serious
A very serious issue. I
think if it fails, I don't think
domestically it really make that
much difference. He is derided in
the US by liberal analysts and he
seems to have, he has a meeting
which, of a kind which none of his
predecessors have managed and he is
giving it a go. I say that as a
Trump sceptic, it is probably worth
interesting is behind this, the
relationship, the thawing of North
Korea and South Korea. They had
meetings at the Olympics, had a lot
of drinks together, which says a lot
for alcohol fuelled diplomacy!
Whatever works. Robert, thank you
for joining us today.
There's just time before we go
to find out the answer to our quiz.
The question was, what does
Theresa May's ideal night
with her girlfriends look like?
Dinner and wine at home,
karaoke and cocktails,
a box set binge
or none of the above?
You are stumped.
I can't really see
her doing karaoke, I'm going to go
with dinner with the girls.
the above. I don't know what it is
about these questions to the Prime
Iain is right. I'm not
surprised you were foxed by it.
Let's have a look and see.
If you could have your perfect
get-together with your girlfriends
on International Women's Day,
away from all of the pressures
of your job, what would be your
perfect night with them and how
would you let your hair down?
Goodness me, what a question!
And I haven't thought
about it, because, actually,
my International Women's Day
is heavily focused on what we're
doing on domestic abuse.
So it's not going to have the time
to have the girls round
and have an evening together,
I know that, I know
that Prime Minister.
I'm just saying on your dream
moment, how would you let your hair
down with your girlfriends?
Well, I don't think that
when you let your hair down,
I don't think there's only one way
of doing it, I think it depends
on the group that you've got,
it depends on the time.
How many ways are there to let down
your hair? Rage, why do you think
the Prime Minister finds it so
difficult to answer questions at
this question that you remember the
naughtiest thing you have ever done?
Because she's not very natural and
sincere and it keeps coming over,
doesn't it? She doesn't seem very
Does it matter? That she
doesn't answer the questions?
does matter, it mattered during the
election a lot.
Why do you think it
is difficult for her?
I think it is
shyness, not a lack of sincerity.
You're just watching that, you want
her to just, you feel for her, you
want her to take dinner at home and
a glass of wine at.
Anything, not just I'm focusing on
In the end, what
does it say to people?
I think it's
misinterpreted as, and perceived as
a sort of stiffness and a remoteness
and I think it is actually just that
she finds it very difficult,
off-camera as well, to do that small
talk. If you asked how the weather
today she would say, it's too early
And you don't want to make a
mistake and say the wrong thing.
get the thing about small talk, I'm
not great at small talk either but
there is something about that that
says, it's not sincere and it is not
real. There is something quite fake
about not being able to relax and
give any answer to a very sort of
normal, everyday question.
you let your hair down on
International Women's Day?
I did go
for a drink with the girls.
couldn't answer, not as easy as you
I was going to dad cooked
dinner for my wife but that's a lie,
she cooked dinner for me.
how it always is?!
That's all for today.
Thanks to my guests.
No more difficult questions, that's
it, have a nice weekend, goodbye.
Jo Coburn is joined by journalists Rachel Shabi and Iain Martin for the latest political news, including analysis of how President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium will affect British industry.