13/05/2013 Newsnight


The new Tory deal for a Euro referendum bill. Peace or intervention in Syria? And a new virus spread by human contact. With Emily Maitlis.

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$:/STARTFEED. The Tory leadership has been blown around by euro-


sceptic rebels. Tonight the party offers a new deal. Will they simply


come back for more. In Washington the President offers sharp words to


Tory MPs. You probably want to see if you can fix what's broken in a


very important relationship before you break it off. We will be joined


for reaction tonight by Tory rebel, Nadine dor res. Also tonight:


The lauter in Syria continues, in Washington Cameron and Obama agree


to do nothing at least for now. All this debate may have done about


a peace conference is delay by a few weeks the decision the US and


the UK need to make about whether to arm the opposition. We will put


that to George W Bush's pent gone ally.


How bad can it get, the deadly global virus that can be passed


through personal contact. Good evening, who exactly is


throwing in the towel. Earlier today that charge was levelled at


rebel euro-sceptic MPs, those calling for an early referendum on


Europe. Yet tonight David Cameron's agreed to publish a draft bill that


will pave the way for an in-out vote in 2017. The timing is unlike


to be coincidence, and comes as the President of the United States came


to the Prime Minister's aid on this very subject. Where is the


leadership coming from, and will an awful like this be enough to stop


them, as one once said, "banging on". Take us through what this


draft suggests? It is a quite a loud bang of the drum this evening.


They hope it will be one of the final ones before the next election.


What the current strategy or strategy as of yesterday or this


morning was, was that 2015 if the Prime Minister manages to be in


some form of Government he will renegotiate with European partners


and then there is will be a referendum in 2017 and people in


Britain get a stay. Lots of backbenchers want his hands bound


in some ways to dictate to other Governments in the future or any


Government he will be part of as part of legislation. He says he


can't do that. Now he has said half an hour ago in America is we will


give awe bill, we will write it and publish it tomorrow, we cannot


charter it through, you as backbenchers have to adopt it


through this thing called the Private Members Bill all bot, where


they all go in the mix -- ballot, where they all go in the mix and if


it comes up top they have to chose it. In the last 40 minutes we have


seen one of the key euro-sceptic rebels has said he doesn't really


like this new proposition from David Cameron. He's actually called


it a ploy on Radio 4 this evening. That is because they think actually


if you really do believe this then you would just use Government time.


I think that is being a bit unkind on them, there is this Lib Dem


problem. The Lib Dems will not accept this. That is what some of


the euro-sceptics are saying, we will hear more later. If you


believe this you will push it through. There is a second problem,


this is more process, this is more about timing and it is not actually


about the heart of it which is what are you actually going to


renegotiate. What are you actually going to bring back. Until people


know what he's talking about bringing back, they are not sure


they want to be part of his strategy or want another one.


is Britain's route to Europe. Right now there is a pretty rigid


schedule to it. If the stories win a general election in 2015 and


Prime Minister David Cameron begins to renegotiate powers from Europe.


Time is up in 2017 and people are given a referendum. For a number in


the Conservative Party that's all just way too slow.


But the animal which provided the goat skin for last week's Queen's


Speech may have died in vain. Conservative backbenchers have


tabled an amendment, possibly to be voted Onil Wednesday. It expresses


regret that 2013's honourable address contains no EU referendum


bill. Tory backbenchers and privately some front benchers


believe David Cameron's 2017 referendum pledge is on the right


tracks, it just needs to be legislated for this parliament.


While the Prime Minister is in America extoling the virtues of


free demonstrate to President Obama, back here his euro-sceptic MPs are


also having a pretty good time. Tonight they throw a party to


welcome Nadine Dorres back to the fold after she lost the whip T will


be a pretty good bash. Euro- sceptics think the events of the


last few days suggests things are going their way. This is why, a


steady march of Tory grandees coming out. First Norman Lamont,


and Michael Portillo, so far so containable. Next up voices from


around the cabinet. On Sunday both Education Secretary, Michael Gove


and Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond. There are as many as seven


other cabinet ministers who share this view. If that was friend, this


morning it was the turn of a rival, David Cameron, at the White House


to discuss a new EU-US trade deal worth billions, he said, slapped


them down. There is a very good reason why there is not going to be


a referendum tomorrow, it is because it would give the British


public I think an entirely false choice between the status quo,


which I don't think is acceptable, I want to see the European Union


changed, I want to see Britain's relationship with the European


Union changed and improved. It would be a false choice between the


status quo and leaving. I don't think that is the choice that the


British public want or the British public deserve. The American


President had some advice as well. I think the UK's participation in


the EU is an expression of its influence. Of its role in the world


and obviously a very important economic partnership. Ultimately


the people of the UK have to make decisions for themselves. I will


say this, that David's basic point that you probably want to see if


you can fix what's broken in a very important relationship before you


break it off. It makes some sense to me. The Prime Minister's former


Welsh Secretary is among some 70 Tory MPs backing Wednesday's


Queen's Speech amendment, Sheryl Gillan thinks legislation is needed


now, partly to deal with the trust problem of the I think it is


important to restore some faith in our political parties and process.


Particularly in the Conservative Party. We have had so many promises


on referenda, but not a referendum the people have been able to vote


on since the 1970s. I, like many colleagues, think our relationship


does need renegotiation with the European Union. But it also then


needs putting to the people. It needs to be an in-out referendum.


The Prime Minister has promised that. But let's see him confirm


that, hopefully, with a piece of legislation. Tonight the Prime


Minister has done just that. Modifying his itinerary for


European renegotiation quite considerably. Half an hour ago he


announced he will tomorrow publish a draft parliamentary bill afterall.


It will legislation for an in-out referendum on Britain's membership


of the EU to be held by the end of 2017. Number Ten is urging


backbench MPs to adopt this legislation as their own. They


can't bring it as coalition legislation, the Lib Dems wouldn't


allow it. Whatever the speed of the journey, what's the cargo, what


does David Cameron want to bring back from Europe? Clearly there are


things that he could crack on with immediately and set out in more


detail. There are a lot of areas, for example fisheries policy, which


is already happening, access to benefits, which he is already


addressing. There are other areas as well, social employment law, the


budget, a whole range of areas around better regulation, the EU


doing less in Britain but better. In all these areas if you start to


address them now and give a bit more of a game plan his


backbenchers would probably be a bit happier, as would the public.


There are some in David Cameron's cabinet who think he should set out


what negotiations with Europe he plans, not so much detail he gives


the game away to European partners, but enough so that his voters and


his colleagues alike know what negotiation success and failure


looks like. Lib Dem sources have said this evening that the Tories


are banging on about Europe, the Prime Minister will hope his action


will actually be the last bang on the Europe drum for a while. But


with questions hanging over David Cameron's ambitions for


renegotiation, it's not clear it will be. Let's get some reaction to


what we have heard tonight, joining me now is the Tory MP Nadine Dorres,


who was expelled from her party over a reality show appearence and


has now been readmitted. And Stephen Dorrell who remembers the


John Major years and supports the Cameron strategy. And we will hear


from the spokesman of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy. What do


you make of this? It is interesting, it obviously shows the Prime


Minister is listeninging to both his backbenchers and actually --


listeninging to both his backbenchers and the people of the


country, that is what they are there to represent. It is an


interesting move. What is worrying is we are still stuck in the time


frame of 2016, people want to see things through much quicker than


this. If we can bring forward legislation on gay marriage and


referendum on an AV referendum for the Liberal Democrats, then surely


we can bring something much quicker forward than 2017. Let me just get


to the nitty gritty on this, would you throw your name into the ballot,


would you put this one forward? and I think in this process, which


is being allowed there will be a number of MPs who will want to do.


That as you say it would be very difficult with the coalition. What


everybody will be unhappy with is the time frame of 2017. The fact is,


nobody knows what will happen in the general election. It may not be


a Conservative Government, I hope it will be, it isn't whoever comes


in will reverse this legislation. Does that mean you will drop the


amendment to the Queen's Speech, will that not go ahead? I have no


idea because this news has only just broken, we haven't discussed


this. I think the amendment still will go ahead. One important aspect


of this piece, this move is quite tactical. It means both Labour and


Liberal Democrats will have to expose their hand in a vote and


their hand will be exposed as being anti- EU amendment. It is a clever


move tactically, but in terms of being a Private Members Bill, 2017


is too far in the future F we can give gay marriage promises in


legislation and an AV referendum, we need to bring through this much


quicker. It smacks of appeasment and of the kind that never works?


don't think it is, it is confirming the policy the Prime Minister set


out in January. That is to say there are two stages to his policy,


not one. It is not just about a referendum as he made clear in


Washington today, it is about renegotiating the arrangement that


is reveil in Europe. As Nigel Lawson said in his article at the


beginning of the week, the facts have changed in the euro. There are


euro members and those who will never be part of it. Doesn't it


seem an odd time to pet it out? is exactly the same policy, as I


made the point. Why not just put it in the Queen's Speech or said it


out in January? It is the same policy set out inen ja. It is


suddenly being published as a draft bill tomorrow? You asked me two


questions. It is the same policy set out by the Prime Minister in


January as Conservative Party policy. It has not changed one iota


since then. It wasn't in the Queen's Speech, because it isn't a


coalition policy and this is a coalition Government. The Prime


Minister as leader of the Conservative Party has set out a


policy, it was endorsed very widely within the Conservative Party in


January, this bill is a consequential from that policy and


changes the policy not one iota. understand John Baron leading the


amendment to the Queen's Speech says that is still going ahead. So


this won't work if you still have 70 rebels or whatever number it


will be by then signing that? don't have a very strong view about


this, what I would regard frankly as parliamentary placard raising on


Wednesday. Which one? The amendment. What matters to me is there is a


clear policy which the Prime Minister has set out, which the


Prime Minister intends to carry through. This bill is a


consequential that will be necessary to complete the two aims


of that policy. First to renegotiate and then to put the new


settlement to a referendum when the negotiations are complete. What


would be enough for you now? If this is an olive branch of sorts


and you are talking about 2017, is there any compromise between here


and there? Legislation that will trigger article 50, that does give


a two-year time frame is the kind of legislation that we, as you call


us "rebels" are looking for. We are not rebels, we are MPs representing


the views of our constituents. A large majority of the British


public. That's what would keep us happy. It has to be a tighter time


frame. The fact is that if we talk about 2017 the general public are


going to say, if you can, just to appease the Liberal Democrats, give


a national referendum on AV, why can't you give us one on EU, that


is self-serving the public. I am awondering if this gives you


confidence that the Prime Minister is committed to Europe? The Prime


Minister in his speech in January did make a very strong case for


Britain's membership of the European Union, and why it was in


Britain's advantage and why leaving it would be a major problem for


Britain. And then promised a referendum on possibly leaving. But


I think if you are asking about views in Brussels generally,


Brussels is just the meeting place of the different countries of


Europe. I think there is quite a range of use, some are rather


perplexed, saying this is very serious matters, and others saying


no it is just about internal divisions of the Conservative Party.


Some think it is a serious prospect that Britain might leave the eflt U,


some say no, -- the EU, some say surely that would be economic


suicide for Britain. Is there room for renegotiation, is there wriggle


room within where the EU is now? The European Union is a permanent


negotiation among its 27-member states on the issues which they


decide and choose to deal with jointly, because of interdependance


and other advantages of doing something jointly. At one level it


is a permanent negotiation. Sorry to interrupt, is there anything


that the Prime Minister could renegotiate or is there enough that


he could renegotiate that would make you change your mind on a


referendum? It is not about me or the British public. They were given


a very simple choice when asked to go into the Common Market, did they


want to go in or didn't they, yes or no. People deserve exactly the


same choice in terms of exiting. Whether or not we have a choice, an


option of renegotiation is actually a completely separate issue. People


deserve a choice. Do you want to be in or out of the European Union.


They deserve that at the very least. Does it matter if David Cameron


sets out his stall or as has been said, if MPs are responding to


constituents' wishes it doesn't matter? We go back to the Nigel


Lawson point in the article that kicked off this round of debate.


This is not just a rerun of the all of arguments we have had over the


last 20 years, Europe is different, it is changing, because some


European countries are members of the euro, some are not. That


requires, there is no escape from this. What does he want to get,


what does David Cameron hope to achieve which would push any


thought of a referendum out of the British public's mind? He wants to


achieve a changed relationship between this country as a long-term


out. What is that? In other words a freer more distant relationship


that doesn't aspire at any point to be part of the euro. That is not


what we want. What we want is trading relationship, outward


looking, more market orientated, more flexible in terms of our


labour markets, our trading with the rest of the world. That is the


kind of relationship that all the euro-outs need to make the euro-out


relationship work with the euro state member. Do you understand


what is being asked for there, and is it feasible? A lot of people


here would like to know exactly what is being asked for. Britains


had a choice whether to join the euro or not, nobody is asking it to


join the euro. Britain is part of the single market, most people in


the country want to remain in the single market. That is the bulk of


what the EU does, the Common Market and rules for the Common Market.


Everyone is curious to know exactly what changes Britain might put


forward. At the moment nothing has actually been tabled by Britain


this is what a future Government might do. Nothing has been tabled


at the moment. Some don't understand what David Cameron is


actually asking for, how can it be negotiated? I think Angela Merkel


understands it. Every time David Cameron goes to Europe, goes to the


institutions of the EU people say he won't come back with anything.


The last time for real he went into a negotiation in Brussels. It was


to deliver something in terms of the European budget, which everyone


in it this country said of unachievable. He achieved it


because he established a relationship with Angela Merkel and


other European leaders who share our view about the necessity to


change the direction of the European Union, in the interests of


British citizens, but in the interests of the whole of the rest


of Europe as well. It will look to some as if the Prime Minister is


trying to catch up with the events of last week. You have suggested


some kind of double-ticket between UKIP and the Conservatives, or ways


that candidates could work together. Spell out what you would like to


see, what you meant by that? Can I just address the question just


asked. I think that one very simple answer to this problem, in terms of


people understanding what it is that David Cameron is trying to


achieve. What they would like is to be removed from the promise of


ever-closer political union. If they can be removed from that it is


quite a simple exercise, I think that is what we are looking for and


what the British public are looking for. My comments and my article on


Sunday were quite clear, actually. Two years ago David Cameron and


Nick Clegg changed the law, altered the legislation, so candidates


going forward at the 2015 election could put two logos on the ballot


paper. Some MPs may feel that rather than have a Conservative-Lib


Dem double logo, which was originally tendered, may want to go


forward with a Conservative-UK logo. That would mean Conservative MPs


being adopted by their local associations and endorsed by UKIP.


That could be a way forward. Could you embrace that or does it horrify


you? I don't agree with it, and I don't agree with it for a very


simple reason. In party system a party must decide which members it


enforce dors -- endorses it and which it doesn't, and Nigel Farage


hasn't shown much interest in that idea. In a moment the killer virus


passed by human contact. Is it bold to go into Syria or bolder to stay


out? Tonight as David Cameron talks up the prospect of peace,


negotiated with Russia, to stop the bloodshed, we ask what America's


tactics would be. Is intervention now impossible? Or is it long


overdue? What message is sent to the Syrian Government when the red


line is crossed and nothing happens? We have been on the trail


of the Prime Minister and President in Washington and we have this


report. Neither of these leaders has a simple answer to the Syrian


crisis. Advisers talk about each of them facing only bad options. There


might be another way. Hot foot from talking to President Putin on


Friday, the Prime Minister came bearing the gift of promised


Russian co-operation in organising a Syrian peace conference. We all


have an interest in a stable, peaceful Syria, that looks after


minority rights and brings stability to the neighbourhood. I


think that was a breakthrough. I found in my talks with President


Putin that he's keen now to move from the generalities of having a


peace conference to talking through the specifics of how we can make


this work. Ameasure with domestic political difficulties, -- amesh


with domestic political difficulties, the leaders would


rather talk about domestic issues. Mr Cameron has been left


emphasisinging the chances that his recent talks with the Russians


might produce a peace conference. Good to see you. Can the Russian


offer to bring the Syrian Government to the negotiating table


amount to more than a glimmer of hope in a conflict that has already


claimed 08,000 lives. It is worth it for Prime Minister Cameron and


President Obama to try to see if the Russians can work together with


us on this endeavour. But I must say, the Russian track record is


not particularly brilliant. They have been sending arms to Syria,


they have been unstinting supporters of Syria, they have been


blocking all proposals in the UN Security Council for two years on


behalf of Syria. I think the pressure is on the Russians to show


they can be a productive and responsible counterpart to the


United Kingdom and the United States on this issue. The President


of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of


Great Britain and Northern Ireland. President Obama's response to the


proposed Geneva peace conference showed an awareness of how small


its chances of success might be. I'm not promising that it is going


to be successful. Frankly, sometimes once the fueries have


been unleashed in a situation like Syria, it is very hard to put


things back together. There are going to be enormous challenges in


getting a credible process going. Even if Russia is involved. At the


end of this one got the impression that the two leaders don't pin any


great hopes on a negotiated solution, despite Russia's apparent


change of position. All this debate may have done about a peace


conference is delay by a few weeks the decision that the US and UK


have to make about whether to arm the opposition. When it comes to


fuelling the conflict by sending in weapons, neither of these partners


are prepared to cross that rubicon now, despite the reports of


chemical weapons being used. have not made the decision to arm


opposition groups in Syria, what we have done is we have amended the EU


arms embargo, in order that we can give technical assistance and


technical advice, as I said in my statement, that's exactly what we


are doing. We are continuing to examine and look at the EU arms


embargo and see whether we need to make further changes to it in order


to facilitate our work with the opposition. Neither leader wants to


escalate their involvement in Syria. Thank you very much everybody.


the pressure of events on the ground, from regional spillover to


the risks of chemical weapons causing mass casualties could


easily force their hand. Let's pick up with our Washington


correspondent. You talked about the leaders not having great hopes from


this conference and yet it seems there is a time pressure of sorts.


What ultimately do you think they will do? It is such a difficult


issue. One should say one of the reasons they may not be that


hopeful is that their allies, the umbrella group of Syrian opposition


forces have really rejected this type of approach in the past and


have hinted today that they are not going to go for it now. It is not


as if the western side of this can deliver their side of it, let alone


the Russian side, which they always choose to foblg cuss on. This


question of how -- focus on. This question of how the countries


should act has been going on throughout the conflict. You can


see a slow and steady movement throughout the US. A year ago it


was a couple of Republican senators forcefully advocating the US should


get involved. Now you have a different situation, late last year


the head of the CIA, the Defence Secretary, both suggested arming


the opposition, the White House overruled them. Last week the


chairman of the for -- Foreign Relations Group said he was going


to put forward a bill to arm the rebels. It is the White House and


the President who has stood against it. Everything would change if


there was shocking news relating to chemical weapons and large-scale


casualties. Even if that doesn't happen that is what the President


is being pulled towards by political forces and professional


advice here. The UK it is a slightly different equation, they


will carry on aid to the opposition groups but they may stop short of


weapons. It does seem that President Obama is being drawn


towards that kind of step. Particularly if these attempted


peace moves don't produce a result in the next few weeks. Here to


discuss this from Washington is the US deputy secretary for defence


under President George W Bush. In a moment we will be joined by Florida


from a member of the Syrian Support Group, who regularly spends time


with the Free Syrian Army members in Aleppo. We also have our guest


in the studio. Do you think this peace negotiation stands a chance


in a conference? It would be wonderful to get a peaceful end to


the slaughter. We have had meetings before, and it don't stop anything.


I don't know what they are talking about when they talk about a


Russian change in position. The Russians are firm their position


does not include that Assad must leave. They haven't said anything


about a stable democratic Syria, which is what Prime Minister


Cameron's side talk about. They talk about protecting Syria's


integrity and sovereignty. That means protecting the present


Government. In the meantime they are escalating, using more violent


weapons, including chemical weapons and mobilising violent militias,


they are bringing in Iranians and Hezbollah. They are fighting while


pretending to negotiate. And we are pretending to negotiate while doing


nothing. I think it is a desperate situation. The longer we wait the


fewer options we have. How far would your intervention go then?


Look a year ago, two years ago we could have done a lot, simply by


supporting the opposition, there are moderate elements within the


opposition I believe, as time as gone on the extremists have come to


play a more and more significant role. The people who were moderate


are now deeply resentful of us. I'm not so sure what options we have,


but I do know there is no hope for a negotiation unless there is some


leverage on the side of the opposition and we have given them


no leverage at all. Let me throw a few thoughts at you, you tell me


yes or no. Would you arm rebels? That's obviously one of the ways in


which you can give them some leverage. We haven't been in there


enough to know which rebels we can work with and which can't. There


are some you would not want to arm at all. I would, look there is


nothing to be confident about except that we should have acted a


year or two years ago. Right now instead of dithering and talking


about a fruitless meeting with the Russians we should be getting in


there and figuring out our options. We can't do that in Washington.


understand you are saying it is too late, but we are where we are, what


would you do tomorrow if you were in charge? I would be sending


people in with a mandate, where we find opposition groups that are


prepared for a democratic and inclusive Syria, that are not


extremists, that we would in fact give them the kind of basic


defensive weaponry which we have an abundance. We would train them


openly, not covertly we would help them organise. We can do that I


presume on the territory of neighbouring countries. We can


create protected zones operating out of Turkey. But the important


thing is to have a strategy. Could that work, you heard about the idea


of being involved, intervention? haven't heard anything, actually.


There is obviously a lack of strategy, how can you succeed in


anything if you don't have a strategy. He fails to see peace, he


says it is going to fail and it is going to fail if they don't see it,


the others or the US. I don't believe that somebody with such


humanitarian deSAS ters on his CV to give me a strategy. The army


would need to progress but in the wrong direction. If you are heading


on the wrong direction the last thing you need is a progress. You


need a peaceful strategy for solution. We are past that aren't


we? No we are not. There is the lovely idea of the conference with


the Russians but it is not going to happen.


It is going in the right direction towards peace. You know the Free


Syrian Army high command, would you be confident that if rebels were


armed it would get into the right hand? Definitely, I would like


first to highlight that the relationship between the commanders


of the Free Syrian Army and the US add minutes and the European Union,


this relationship has been well established, communication has been


open and understanding of mutual a greeplt -- agreement being reached.


Over and over there has been relayed the point of view regarding


Syria about...That Is the top of the high command, what about the


defections lower down that you can't stop? I'm sorry I didn't hear


the question. There have been defections from within the Free


Syrian Army, people turning to Islamist groups instead, Al-Qaeda-


linked groups instead? This is not a defection in the general word of


defection. The fighters on the ground are lack weapons, they are


lacking food, they are lacking supplies. They are looking for


somebody to support them. We in the western Hemisphere we have an


option to be the side that can provide all of these means by


providing arms and support to the Free Syrian Army commanders. Then


gathering all of these fighters, or by creating a vacuum, which is what


we have been doing for the past two years. We have allowed extremists


and radical groups to attract these fighters. It is very clear, and


that has been relaid very clear, that we have no interest in radical


groups being in Syria. We have no interest in chemical weapons being


in the future of Syria. We are working hard to control our


fighters so they can abide by the international law. Would you feel


confident, from what you have heard, then, that there are groups that


have worked properly with US force that is you would feel confident


about arming in this situation? Confident might be a word you can't


use in this situation at this point. Would you do it? I feel reasonably


confident that if continue to sit on our hands and do nothing the


choice will be either between essentially an Assad controlling


Syria, which we understand said was unacceptable, or extremist groups


taking over. We need to find a third force, hopefully there is one,


or we are definitely the loser. 80,000 casualties and two years of


inaction? Exactly and 200 people dying a day. $100 million losses a


day. It has to stop, you end war with a political decommission, not


with an army who doesn't know who is a prter in. When the choices are


getting limited by the day. Now the arming is a choice to combat Al-


Qaeda, not the ray genome. It is getting extremely complex. You


don't know who is fighting against who. The more people holding a


weapon the more likely they will go to Al-Qaeda the next day. You can't


keep them under control. I would say it is extremely complex and we


have to head to peace. Thank you very much indeed. No-one knows


where the virus has come from, but the World Health Organisation has


warned it can be passed by close personal contact. The global


outbreak has called killed 18 people and infected 34. In France a


man is in intensive care after sharing a room with the country's


first victim. Most of the cases have been in Saudi Arabia or


affecting those travelling in the Middle East. The virus appears to


be incubated by bats. It was the virus that caused widespread alarm


in the world's most populated country. 8,000 infections and 800


deaths. The SARS virus back in 2003. Now a new virus from the same


family has scientists on alert again. The focus this time has not


been Hong Kong and China, but the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia at the


weekend, the World Health Organisation gave the latest update.


The different clusters seen in multiple countries increasingingly


support the hypothesis that when there is close contact this novel


corona virus can transmit from person-to-person, this pattern of


person-to-person transmission has remained limited to small clusters.


So far there is no evidence that this virus has the capacity to


sustain generalised community transmission. Since last year there


have been confirmed cases in Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates,


and most prevalently in Saudi Arabia. In February this year a


cancer sufferer from Birmingham died after contracting the virus.


Husband us husband is thought to have caught the virus from his


father who was travelling to Saudi Arabia, his father died in March.


worrying feature of the SARS virus, is a patient could infect a large


number of people, often healthcare workers in hospitals. We saw


examples where maybe 70 people were exposed during a single clinical


episode. A large number of those people became infected and a large


number died. That hasn't happened with this particular corona virus.


It seems much more limited in its ability to spread from person-to-


person. We have had to look quite hard to find the clusters which are


some what hospital-based. The virus is a new form of corona virus. A


family which have spikey surfaces, hence corona, or crown. Scientists


have a lot of unanswered questions about the latest form, not least


where it came from. Most outside, would point to the bat.


For years we overlooked these bats. There are still I don't knows of


them around. They are in great numbers, they freak close together.


We are realise -- frequent close together. We realise they are the


source of a lot of viruses. The finger is pointing at the bat. But


how do we come in contact with a bat. We might if bats are up in the


Belfry or the roof of the house. That is one way. But the bats


themselves could come in contact with a rat, who comes in contact


with a camel in the area and we go to the camel farms. At the moment


to get infects we have to have a connection with the Middle East and


a source. Last month a case crept up in France. A 65-year-old man,


who had recently visited Dubai. Then last week a 50-year-old man in


the same hospital room caught the virus from that first case. The new


French cases are the first to suggest the virus has been passed


between people with less close contact than a family setting. It


raises the possibility it can be spread in the air. People have


always moved around. But now that we can reach pretty much anywhere


on earth within 24 hours, so can a virus. The fact that so far this


virus seems to have one home base is reassuring. But what scientists


are watching for is any sign that it can spread beyond small clusters


in a way that is sustained. Most corona viruses prefer to just


multiply in one host. So we have our own corona viruses, cows have


their own corona viruses as do bats. Normally they don't particularly


like mult supplying in cells from a host that is not -- multiplying in


cells from a host that is not their own. This virus can multiply in


cells that are in different animals, or it might be able to have


different reservoirs and be transmitted today humans from


different sources. That is a worrying feature. What is the best


way of limiting the spread of this new virus? There is no anti-virl


drug, or magical cure for these viruses. You feel awful, there is


no vaccine, it is best not to get infect in the first place. How do


we avoid that. I will go to Dubai tomorrow, and I will avoid going to


farms or on any desert trips and looking in caves where there could


be bats. I will increase my hygiene level. That means proper low


watching your hand and a bit of social distancing. However awkward


that might be to an English person, moving away from someone a cough,


that is what you really have to do. We know this virus can kill, we


don't know if many others have been exposed to it and shown milder


systems. Scientists are waiting for test results to help answer that


question, that and many others they have about this virus. We are


joined from Maryland by Dr Fauci, a leading scientist and immunologist.


He as also an adviser to the White House on medical and public health


preparedness against disease and threat. His organisation is


investigating the nature of the corona virus. I want to ask you


whether that sound realistic, this idea of social distancing when you


travel. Is that something people should be reallying on board now?


think if you see someone who is coughing very aggressively, you


want to avoid them. Trying to modify just your every day social


interaction is probably not a practical thing. These people get


infected, they get rather sick. There have been 34 infections in 18


dates. When a person gets infected they generally start coughing and


would spread it that way. If you are talking about social distancing.


By avoiding that, washing your hand and doing the usual type of hygiene


you would do to avoid any respiratory infections, such as


influenza, that would be important. Pure social discipline is difficult


to implement. This idea of the origin coming from bats. Does that


make sense to you? The way it has travelled through the system?


makes perfect accepts. Different species have different viruses


associated with them. When you do molecular sequencing of the corona


virus affecting people in the Middle East, it is very similar to


a bat corona virus. The question is, are humans getting it from direct


exposure to bats. Or are bats infecting another mammal and the


human are getting infected by being exposed to the secondary or


tertiary host. Right now we really don't know what the source is, even


though we do know that the virus itself is related very much to a


bat corona virus. That is still a mystery. When you are looking for


the source how easy is it to work with the health departments of


other Governments, particularly within the Middle East? Well the


health departments right now there is an alert out, WHO particularly,


here in the United States we are following this very, very closely,


because of the events that have occurred for example in the UK and


in France. Where people have travelled from the Middle East to


countries like the UK and France. So when we have people coming from


the Middle East here who have respiratory symptoms, which is very


common and doesn't have to be the corona virus, we make sure we watch


them carefully and have them see a if I igs and get them checked out,


if -- physician, and get them checked out if it is an exposure.


We hear it is difficult to get information out of Saudi Arabia,


which seems to be he is enter of the virus, they are not offering up


what is going on? Well I'm not so sure that is the case. The WHO


officials as well as the CDC officials, our own CDC in the


United States have had pretty good communecations with the Saudi


officials. They have reported that in fact they have had clusters of


what looks like human-to-human transmission in Saudi Arabian


health facilities. They are being open about that. Just before we go


and I show you the papers, Manchester City have confirmed they


have sacked their manager, Roberto Macini, after the defeat in the FA


Cup Final against Watford. Sorry, Wigan, that will be two new


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds


The commander of the International Space Station Chris Hadfield comes


back to earth this evening, after regaling us with YouTube videos


while in space. He has decided to delight or traumatise David Bowie


fans. # This is Major Tom to ground


control # I've left forever more


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