18/07/2014 Newsnight


18/07/2014

The plane crash: what caused it? Should aviation authorities have seen it coming? What will be the response? We're on the ground in Ukraine and Malaysia.


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Transcript


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The British Government has said tonight that the growing weight of

:00:00.:00:11.

evidence suggests that the Malaysian flight was bound by a surface-to-air

:00:12.:00:15.

missile fired by seperatists in Ukraine. And President Obama pointed

:00:16.:00:20.

the finger at Vladimir Putin for training and arming them, he's not

:00:21.:00:24.

alone. Tonight we are in Washington, Malaysia and Ukraine.

:00:25.:00:29.

Here in Kiev senior military officials have poured scorn on the

:00:30.:00:32.

idea that the aeroplane could have been brought down by the rebels

:00:33.:00:37.

alone. Like a horseman trying to drive a Formula One racing car is

:00:38.:00:40.

how one officer described it. Why were the people who died ever

:00:41.:00:45.

put in the firing line when aviation authorities, the Russians and even

:00:46.:00:49.

amateur experts all knew planes had been previously shot down in the

:00:50.:00:52.

same area. When I looked on Tuesday morning, when I wrote my blog post,

:00:53.:00:58.

by then the Russian aircrafts were bypassing the eastern Ukrainian part

:00:59.:01:03.

and were flying around the Russian borders, so they were giving this

:01:04.:01:11.

area a wide berth. Here in Kuala Lumpur the Government is adamant is

:01:12.:01:16.

played by the book. The route and altitude was signed off at the

:01:17.:01:19.

highest international level, the airline insists it is not to blame.

:01:20.:01:22.

We hear from a former US Secretary of State of defence and former

:01:23.:01:34.

foreign and Defence Secretary. Good evening. 298 lives, more than half

:01:35.:01:39.

of them Dutch, 80 of them children, and amongst the dead ten Britons.

:01:40.:01:43.

There is a growing conviction on both sides of the Atlantic about

:01:44.:01:55.

where the blame lies. The Foreign Office is helping the repatriation

:01:56.:01:59.

of those killed, without a ceasefire where the plane was bounce downed,

:02:00.:02:06.

how hard is it for the air accident investigators to begin their work.

:02:07.:02:13.

The OSCE, was the first to get the investigators in today. Even though

:02:14.:02:18.

they did get access, under the auspices of the Ukrainian rebels.

:02:19.:02:22.

They said they were very circumscribed in what they could do.

:02:23.:02:30.

We were only there if the for an hour an-and-a-half, they said one of

:02:31.:02:33.

the fighters was aggressive and violent, one firing in the air. I

:02:34.:02:37.

have spoken to Dutch colleagues in touch with their side, they want to

:02:38.:02:40.

send investigators in as well because of the large number of Dutch

:02:41.:02:43.

people who lost their lives. They say they are very worried for their

:02:44.:02:47.

safety, that is their prime concern. Now the other difficulty with this

:02:48.:02:52.

investigation is of course jurisdiction, nobody agrees who has

:02:53.:02:55.

jurisdiction over this investigation. It should be an

:02:56.:02:58.

international one, but led by the country in which the crash occurred.

:02:59.:03:02.

But in fact there are worries that things like the black box and data

:03:03.:03:06.

recorders may have already been removed may already been in Russia,

:03:07.:03:10.

so some people are worried about data and evidence contamination. Now

:03:11.:03:14.

that said, there is already such a lot of evidence out there that many

:03:15.:03:18.

experts agree that it shouldn't take too long to get a pretty clear

:03:19.:03:22.

picture of what happened here and when that does become clear this

:03:23.:03:26.

could become a game changer for this conflict. We're about to show you

:03:27.:03:30.

the report we have compiled here this afternoon and I should say that

:03:31.:03:35.

some viewers may find some of the images, especially towards the end,

:03:36.:03:40.

distressing. Outside the Dutch embassy in Kiev

:03:41.:03:43.

they are grieving as if for their own.

:03:44.:03:48.

But these aren't relatives of the nearly 200 Dutch national who is

:03:49.:03:51.

lost their lives yesterday. These are Ukrainians. For weeks we have

:03:52.:03:57.

shed our tears over our own dead, the Ukraine President said today, we

:03:58.:04:00.

have tears left for the innocent victims of this crime. Today Ukraine

:04:01.:04:10.

mourns with you. Monitors from the OSCE reached the crash site this

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afternoon, they said rebel forces tried to hinder them in their

:04:14.:04:17.

investigations. MH17 was brought down by a missile, this much we

:04:18.:04:21.

know. But there are still many unanswered questions, who fired the

:04:22.:04:25.

rocket and where did the launcher come from? Kiev says this unverified

:04:26.:04:32.

footage shows a Soviet or Russian BUK surveys-to-air missile system on

:04:33.:04:36.

the move near the crash site missing two missiles. Here is a similar

:04:37.:04:40.

model on display on Red Square in Moscow. But the Ukrainian military

:04:41.:04:46.

uses the BUK system too, at the end of June rebels bragged they captured

:04:47.:04:51.

a BUK launcher when they overran a military base in eastern Ukraine. At

:04:52.:04:56.

around the same time as the Malaysian passenger jet crashed a

:04:57.:05:01.

rebel leader claimed on social media to have downed a military transport

:05:02.:05:06.

plane, after news of the passenger jet broke the post was deleted. So

:05:07.:05:13.

did the rebels shoot down the plane thinking it was a Ukrainian military

:05:14.:05:17.

aircraft, and if so, did they get help from Russia? At meetings of the

:05:18.:05:23.

military top brass, behind closed doors, I'm told they admit they

:05:24.:05:27.

can't be certain whether this rocket launcher was brought across the

:05:28.:05:31.

border from Russia or captured by rebels here in Ukraine. But they do

:05:32.:05:34.

believe that whoever fired the missile must have had help from the

:05:35.:05:38.

Russian side, especially in targeting. The idea that this plane

:05:39.:05:43.

was brought down by a bunch of Cossacks, one senior officer said,

:05:44.:05:48.

driving a Formula One car. This driving a Formula One car. This

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general was deputy chief of Ukraine's defence staff until 2010

:05:56.:05:59.

and an expert on rocket technology. He is convinced that the rebels

:06:00.:06:03.

couldn't have acted alone. TRANSLATION: They don't have the

:06:04.:06:08.

specialists, so they are using the Crimean template. Russian military

:06:09.:06:12.

service personnel without identification marks on their

:06:13.:06:15.

uniforms come in alongside the rebels, the whole thing is prepared

:06:16.:06:22.

by a Russian team. In Moscow President Putin denied any Russian

:06:23.:06:26.

involvement and laid the blame for the crash squarely at Kiev's door.

:06:27.:06:32.

TRANSLATION: I express my condolences on behalf of the Russian

:06:33.:06:35.

federation, I want to underline that this tragedy would not have happened

:06:36.:06:39.

if this land was at peace or at least combat operations had not been

:06:40.:06:44.

resumed. It is obvious that the state on whose territory this

:06:45.:06:47.

happened bears the responsibility for this. But in Washington,

:06:48.:06:52.

intelligence analysts say the downing of MH17 follows a disturbing

:06:53.:06:57.

pattern. We also know that this is not the first time a plane has been

:06:58.:07:04.

shot down in eastern Ukraine. Over the last several weeks

:07:05.:07:08.

Russian-backed seperatists have shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and

:07:09.:07:13.

helicopter, and they claimed responsibility for a Ukrainian

:07:14.:07:17.

fighter jet. Moreover we know these seperatists have received a steady

:07:18.:07:21.

flow of support from Russia. This includes arms and training. It

:07:22.:07:27.

includes heavy weapons, and it includes antiaircraft weapons. On

:07:28.:07:33.

Independence Square in Kiev, the barricades are still there, months

:07:34.:07:42.

after the old President was toppled but Ukrainians come here, not only

:07:43.:07:45.

to pay their respects to those who died fighting in their revolution.

:07:46.:07:51.

This woman's homemade poster needs no translation. Like many in this

:07:52.:07:55.

city, she sees Russia as the aggressive and believes Europe and

:07:56.:07:59.

America are letting him get away with it. TRANSLATION: You can fight

:08:00.:08:04.

Putin, she says, but you have to want to fight. This is where it all

:08:05.:08:10.

began, here on Independence Square, first here at the barricades with

:08:11.:08:12.

peaceful protests, first here at the barricades with

:08:13.:08:16.

dead bodies lying right here on the streets, and sniper fire whizzing up

:08:17.:08:22.

and down over these cobble stones. Now the fighting may have moved east

:08:23.:08:26.

now but as you can see Ukraine is still very much unfinished business.

:08:27.:08:35.

Today in the eastern side of Luhansk, shelling left more dead

:08:36.:08:38.

bodies in the streets. The fighting has been going on for months now,

:08:39.:08:42.

misery at home but largely ignored abroad. With the search for the

:08:43.:08:47.

bodies of the passengers of MH17, for the men, women and children who

:08:48.:08:51.

were shot down over the fields of eastern Ukraine, has propelled this

:08:52.:08:55.

conflict back to the forefront of the international agenda. Once the

:08:56.:08:59.

facts of this strategy become clearer, Russia and the west may be

:09:00.:09:08.

forced to deal with the problem. To discuss this I'm joined now by

:09:09.:09:12.

the former American deputy Defence Secretary, who is in Washington, and

:09:13.:09:17.

in the studio we have the former foreign secretary, Sir Malcolm

:09:18.:09:23.

Rifkind and the bureau chief of the Dutch radio station.

:09:24.:09:26.

First of all, do you think there is any real doubt now that Vladimir

:09:27.:09:30.

Putin's hands are all over this? Look, let me put it this way, if you

:09:31.:09:35.

give your car keys to a drunken teenager and he goes and kills a, it

:09:36.:09:41.

seems to me you are responsible and that is what you intended, it is

:09:42.:09:45.

more than just training and arming, it is incitement, and this whole

:09:46.:09:53.

tragedy and it is a tragedy, yet another chapter that began when

:09:54.:09:58.

Putin decided on Russian nationalism over Crimea, totally groundlessly, I

:09:59.:10:02.

think it is because he wants to divert attention from the corruption

:10:03.:10:05.

of his own regime in Moscow. Now that Downing Street has firmed up

:10:06.:10:09.

its position on this, is there any real doubt? There is, but obviously

:10:10.:10:13.

the independent inquiry has to do its job and come to its own

:10:14.:10:16.

conclusion. It is not just a question as to whether the actual

:10:17.:10:21.

attack on the aircraft came from the rebels in eastern Ukraine. There

:10:22.:10:26.

will thenk be a secondary question and a more important one, who was it

:10:27.:10:31.

controlling the missile launchers, was it the Ukrainian rebels or

:10:32.:10:37.

Russian Special Forces. You heard there it was like putting a guy who

:10:38.:10:41.

rides a horse in charge of a Formula One car? That was the question about

:10:42.:10:45.

whether getting advice and help from Russia. I'm not making the

:10:46.:10:48.

allegation, I don't know, we know there are large numbers of so called

:10:49.:10:52.

Russia volunteer who is are soldiers not wearing uniforms. They could

:10:53.:10:55.

have been actually controlling the missile launchers themselves rather

:10:56.:10:59.

than simply training the rebels. If that is bound to be the case, found

:11:00.:11:04.

to be the case, the consequences of that are what? Putin has to actually

:11:05.:11:09.

own up as to the fact that there are large numbers of Russian citizens

:11:10.:11:13.

I'm talking about, from the Russian federation who are actually fighting

:11:14.:11:18.

with the seperatists. There are Chechens but also from other parts

:11:19.:11:21.

of Russia. That actually makes the whole issue far more dangerous and

:11:22.:11:25.

disturbing even than it would otherwise have been. This is

:11:26.:11:31.

Vladimir Putin's strategy gone completely wrong isn't it? I'm not

:11:32.:11:37.

so sure. I would like to step back a bit and go back to the assumption

:11:38.:11:43.

that Russia's hands are all over this. This is what in fact President

:11:44.:11:48.

Obama said just a few hours before, he said all the evidence shows that

:11:49.:11:54.

way, that Russia is to blame. And then, let's conduct an

:11:55.:11:58.

investigation. Now it is like saying that Mr So-and-so is as guilty as

:11:59.:12:03.

sin and let's have an investigation after this. Does that be how the

:12:04.:12:14.

British system works. The seperatists were all too happy to

:12:15.:12:18.

owning up to downing a transport plane or a fighter jet or

:12:19.:12:22.

helicopter? There is so much conflicting evidence, allegations

:12:23.:12:27.

concoctions and conjectures are flying about, I wouldn't put my

:12:28.:12:32.

trust in that. I would trust an objective, impartial investigation.

:12:33.:12:39.

What do you say to point thaw can't -- that you can't have an

:12:40.:12:42.

investigation if you have prejudged it? As Mr Rifkind said there are

:12:43.:12:47.

Russian troops all over yarn Ukraine, so called volunteers, some

:12:48.:12:51.

of the called Chechens are the same Chechens that were helping Moscow

:12:52.:12:56.

carry out its genocide in Chechnya. Putin should remove the Russian

:12:57.:13:00.

troops from Ukraine and stop sending weapons in. You don't need an

:13:01.:13:04.

investigation to know that activity has to stop. He should stop inciting

:13:05.:13:15.

Russian separatism throughout the area. Why does Vladimir Putin feel

:13:16.:13:22.

he can act with impunity, is it because there is not enough been

:13:23.:13:30.

doing post-Crimea to show its opposition? Europe has been SLOES.

:13:31.:13:35.

Everyone is a-- slowest. Everyone is afraid. I just said Putin is pouring

:13:36.:13:39.

gasoline on the fire and everyone else is afraid to pour some as well.

:13:40.:13:46.

The key to ending this adventure of Putin's is to make sure it will be

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defeated and not by British or American troops, not by Poles but

:13:53.:14:00.

Ukrainians, they have shown enormous will to fight for their integrity

:14:01.:14:07.

and territory. That was negated by Cameron, Obama a few years ago. We

:14:08.:14:12.

have serious sanctions imposed by America on the bank, defence firms,

:14:13.:14:17.

energy companie Don't exaggerate, they are minor banks and they don't

:14:18.:14:21.

affect much. Is that the problem, there hasn't been any fortitude or

:14:22.:14:27.

backbone by Europe or America? There has been a very timid response. If

:14:28.:14:31.

you think about Crimea, a whole province of Ukraine, annexed by

:14:32.:14:35.

Putin some months ago, and the only reaction was some visa restrictions

:14:36.:14:40.

and asset freezes on a couple of dozen Russians. Putin does have an

:14:41.:14:44.

Achilles heel, it is its Russian economy. If you

:14:45.:14:47.

Achilles heel, it is its Russian example how the Iranians have been

:14:48.:14:48.

brought to example how the Iranians have been

:14:49.:14:52.

nuclear programme by-election financial and banking sanction,

:14:53.:14:57.

Russia is not Iran. We have seen how the Russian stop exchange

:14:58.:15:00.

dramatically falls every time there is a threat of serious financial

:15:01.:15:03.

sanctions. Are you embarrassed by the lack of activity by Europe? Yes,

:15:04.:15:16.

absolutely. We could have done more, Putin is an opportunist, and if the

:15:17.:15:21.

west reacts in a timid way to the annexation of Crimea, it is not

:15:22.:15:25.

surprising he has been testing to see how much further he can go. Did

:15:26.:15:29.

David Cameron take his eye off the ball, was there not enough firm

:15:30.:15:33.

leadership? There is evidence that Cameron was trying to get more

:15:34.:15:36.

agreement than proved possible in the European Union, I hope that is

:15:37.:15:46.

the case. Will it be sanctions and the Russian economy be the only

:15:47.:15:50.

thing to pull Vladimir Putin away from this? If you are looking for

:15:51.:15:54.

anything from me you are knocking at the wrong door. I want to go back to

:15:55.:15:58.

the issue of Crimea, London and Washington have decided the fate of

:15:59.:16:02.

Crimea, there are two million residents of Crimea, don't they have

:16:03.:16:08.

a say. But Crimea was part of a sovereign country? Excuse me it is a

:16:09.:16:13.

very complicated issue, and we have to go back into history to resolve

:16:14.:16:18.

that. Forgive me, when Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear

:16:19.:16:23.

weapons, as part of that agreement Russia recognised the existing

:16:24.:16:27.

borders of Ukraine, including Crimea, that has been a very

:16:28.:16:31.

dangerous thing for that now to have been abandoned. What do you think

:16:32.:16:36.

Vladimir Putin's next move will be? We are in a situation now where will

:16:37.:16:41.

the relations between the west and Vladimir Putin ever recover from

:16:42.:16:50.

this. What must he do next. I don't know I don't know what his next move

:16:51.:16:55.

will be, I hope he has gotten a taste of how things have gotten out

:16:56.:16:59.

of hand and it is reinforced by world action, not just the US and

:17:00.:17:02.

Europe, although they need to be leading this. But you know 100

:17:03.:17:07.

people heading to the international AIDS conference in Melbourne have

:17:08.:17:10.

been ruthlessly murdered in this incident. Again he's playing with

:17:11.:17:15.

fire, the fire can burn a lot of people and a lot of people need to

:17:16.:17:18.

send a message to him to back off. I don't know whether he will back off,

:17:19.:17:25.

but he must. If I may, yes it is a terrible tragedy that 300 innocent

:17:26.:17:29.

people completely having nothing to do with Ukraine at all perished in

:17:30.:17:34.

such a manner, I mean it is plausible that it was an accident,

:17:35.:17:40.

but should we forget about the 500 people that perished in Ukraine

:17:41.:17:45.

because of the military action by Ukrainian Government. We are moving

:17:46.:17:48.

off from this, we need to nail this one point that there are BUK

:17:49.:17:55.

antiaircraft launchers in Ukraine, in eastern Ukraine and they have

:17:56.:17:58.

been put there by the Russians? We don't know that. The Ukrainian army

:17:59.:18:06.

has those same BUK. Not in eastern Ukraine? According to the Russian

:18:07.:18:10.

defence ministrier there are and they were moved there in the past

:18:11.:18:14.

few days. Is there any way that Vladimir Putin can back down from

:18:15.:18:17.

this? I think he must be very worried now, up until now this has

:18:18.:18:22.

been a dispute purely involving America and Europeans, because of

:18:23.:18:29.

the destruction of the Malaysian airliner, this is a humanitarian

:18:30.:18:33.

disaster not just happening in a far away country, this is something

:18:34.:18:36.

which the whole world will be very angry about. Putin has to do

:18:37.:18:43.

something to assuage that. There may be increasing certainty about who

:18:44.:18:53.

certain traited the a-- certain perpetrated the atrocity. But should

:18:54.:18:59.

the plane will be flying over a warzone. There was a public warning

:19:00.:19:04.

that the Russian Government had been training pro--Russian separatists to

:19:05.:19:11.

have an antiaircraft capability, the use was on the west side. Add to

:19:12.:19:15.

that the fact that two Ukrainian planes, one a small transport plane,

:19:16.:19:20.

two a military plane were downed this week, should the Malaysian

:19:21.:19:25.

plane have taken another route. We are in Kuala Lumpur.

:19:26.:19:31.

I suppose if the last Malaysian Airlines strategy here four months

:19:32.:19:35.

ago was about disbelief, incomprehension, nagging doubt that

:19:36.:19:38.

the Government here might have done more. This time round in Kuala

:19:39.:19:45.

Lumpur it is different, the sense that the grief is shared around the

:19:46.:19:49.

world, and a sense that finger of blame is not pointing at them. A

:19:50.:19:52.

Government spokesman told me earlier that the route that flight MH17 and

:19:53.:19:58.

the altitude it was at were signed off at the very highest level by the

:19:59.:20:06.

international civil aviation de on Authority. They feel vindicated it

:20:07.:20:11.

was not to -- the Civil Aviation Authority, they feel vindicated it

:20:12.:20:15.

was not to blame. A curious picture is emerging, we know that Ukrainian

:20:16.:20:18.

authorities warned that airspace was dangerous, back on Monday night,

:20:19.:20:22.

when a Ukrainian transport plane was shot down. We know they put in place

:20:23.:20:28.

minimum attitude requirements of 32,000 feet. MH17 cleared those, but

:20:29.:20:33.

only just cleared them at 33,000. So questions tonight of why the

:20:34.:20:37.

airspace wasn't shut down completely when they knew the situation there

:20:38.:20:42.

to be so fraught. Questions as the unspeakable pain of what happened on

:20:43.:20:45.

Thursday is only just starting to hit home.

:20:46.:21:02.

Who would have thought these images would be so scrutinised and so

:21:03.:21:07.

filled with pain. The last moments of the passengers who three hours

:21:08.:21:12.

later would become British victims of an act of terror as bizarre as it

:21:13.:21:16.

is brutal. The names of some of those who died emerged today and

:21:17.:21:19.

their reasons for travel. The students heading off for a gap year,

:21:20.:21:25.

two Newcastle United fans on the way to watch them on a pre-seen tour.

:21:26.:21:29.

One father learning of his son's death from the club's own website.

:21:30.:21:34.

The AIDS activist joining colleagues for a key summit in Melbourne. Here

:21:35.:21:40.

at Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Airport a sense of disbelief that lightning

:21:41.:21:45.

can strike twice, but less anger in the grief as the country more

:21:46.:21:49.

confidently points the finger of blame elsewhere. I'm told by a

:21:50.:21:54.

Malaysian Government spokesman that some three hours before flight MH17

:21:55.:21:59.

took off they sent their flight plan for approval as is customary. The

:22:00.:22:04.

plan and altitude was signed off by the Civil Aviation Authority, the

:22:05.:22:08.

international body that is in control of these things. The

:22:09.:22:10.

significance of that, says the airline, is crucial. It means the

:22:11.:22:14.

tragedy itself was not of their making. ? So the questions now turn

:22:15.:22:22.

to those who deemed the space safe. MH17 took off just after midday, by

:22:23.:22:28.

2. 15 GMT air traffic control had lost contact. Authorities, it seems,

:22:29.:22:33.

knew there was danger. On Monday Ukraine imposed a ban of flights

:22:34.:22:39.

below 32,000, MH17 had cleared the required altitude, but only by 1,000

:22:40.:22:43.

feet, it was flying at 33,000. And you have to think if they knew a

:22:44.:22:48.

rocket launcher in the area could reach 70,000 feet why wasn't the

:22:49.:22:54.

airspace banned all together. The responsibility for deciding the

:22:55.:22:59.

availability for the space used by aircraft is entirely that of each

:23:00.:23:05.

country and state. That is well established principle under the

:23:06.:23:09.

international civil aviation organisation rules and procedures.

:23:10.:23:14.

Since last Monday the 14th of July that exclusion zone, if you wish,

:23:15.:23:19.

that flights were not allowed to operate, was extended vertically fr

:23:20.:23:24.

ground up to and including 32,000 feet. Then there is the blogger who

:23:25.:23:29.

predicted it all, simply by following what was to him an evident

:23:30.:23:33.

and emerging pattern. When I looked on Tuesday morning and I wrote my

:23:34.:23:38.

blog post, by then the Russian aircrafts were bypassing the eastern

:23:39.:23:43.

Ukrainian part and were flying around the Russian broaders, so they

:23:44.:23:48.

were giving -- borders, so they were giving the area a wide berth. If it

:23:49.:23:58.

was obvious to me it should be obvious to airlines that this is

:23:59.:24:02.

getting into harm's way. There is people here with unpredictable

:24:03.:24:09.

behaviours who are in charge of sophisticated and powerful weapons

:24:10.:24:13.

systems. The analysis will not stop here, there will be claims and

:24:14.:24:17.

counter claims, blame and counter blame, and surely a change to flight

:24:18.:24:25.

procedure here on. But as the world becomes experts in the aviation

:24:26.:24:30.

flight back a single plane took, on the ground a tragedy whose scope is

:24:31.:24:36.

only beginning to unfold, many nations mourn their own dead and

:24:37.:24:43.

look to the inexplicable. As we start to get more information about

:24:44.:24:44.

what happened to start to get more information about

:24:45.:24:50.

MH17, questions are asked about why flights were able to fly over

:24:51.:24:56.

conflict areas like the Ukraine. We speak to our guest now. The

:24:57.:24:59.

Malaysians say they were doing it by the book, if they were following

:25:00.:25:03.

what they were told to do, why were they blown out of the sky? Yeah,

:25:04.:25:08.

that is a jolly good question. You know the point about this is that

:25:09.:25:14.

this is a l-worn, a well-trodden path that the aircraft do use. The

:25:15.:25:21.

shortest possible route between European airports and those airports

:25:22.:25:28.

in south-east Asia. Because of that and because of the longevity, I

:25:29.:25:35.

suppose, of the Malaysian Airlines flight in question, it had been

:25:36.:25:41.

tracking backwards and forwards across that bit of the sky for an

:25:42.:25:44.

awful long time. I suppose they felt safe to do so. If I could just bring

:25:45.:25:50.

in another couple of points, one, the Ukrainians themselves had warned

:25:51.:25:54.

there were problems and fly above 32,000, that really wasn't

:25:55.:25:58.

sufficient, we knew from the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe

:25:59.:26:02.

as early as late June that there was activity, there was training for

:26:03.:26:08.

antiaircraft missile activity on the eastern side of the border, but used

:26:09.:26:11.

on the western side of the border, why did that information either not

:26:12.:26:14.

get to the authorities or get to the authorities and the authorities

:26:15.:26:18.

didn't pay any attention to it? Whose ultimate responsibility is it

:26:19.:26:24.

to decide who flies where? I guess the ultimate responsibility comes

:26:25.:26:29.

down to the international civil aviation organisation. They are the

:26:30.:26:35.

organisation that signed this entire airspace for the whole of Ukraine,

:26:36.:26:39.

including the eastern part as safe to fly in. But do they listen, but

:26:40.:26:45.

do they take into account things like NATO public warnings. Things

:26:46.:26:51.

like analysis of what's going on the ground, secret reports and so forth.

:26:52.:26:55.

How could they possibly miss this? How could they, indeed. You know,

:26:56.:27:01.

one would hope that the various safety authorities around the world

:27:02.:27:05.

do take notice of the information that's being fed to them. But

:27:06.:27:09.

evidently not in this case. I'm interested, because you are an

:27:10.:27:13.

expert, somebody will have to pay for this part of the problem, you

:27:14.:27:18.

know, in that 90 seconds, around about that, there was a Singapore

:27:19.:27:21.

flight, there was a Malaysian Airlines other flight, there was a

:27:22.:27:26.

Thai Airlines flight, it could be one of any number of flights,

:27:27.:27:34.

areofloat we understand -- Areoflot stopped flying we understand. Who

:27:35.:27:39.

has failed in their duty to stop civilian aircraft flying in this

:27:40.:27:43.

area? The answer is that it could be anyone of a number of alphabet soup

:27:44.:27:49.

of organisations that has failed in their duty of care, if you will to

:27:50.:27:57.

protect passengers who are flying in international flight. That is going

:27:58.:28:01.

to be the subject of some deep soul searching as we go forward to

:28:02.:28:08.

determine who is directly at fault in all of this tragic tragic

:28:09.:28:14.

accident. We have only got time for one short question, we know that the

:28:15.:28:19.

crash investigators have been limited to what they can do in the

:28:20.:28:23.

site. What is the key thing to look for on the site. The most important

:28:24.:28:27.

thing is the retrieval of the bodies, what will they look at to

:28:28.:28:31.

point them to what missile it was and who it belong today? Once the

:28:32.:28:35.

retrieval of the bodies has taken place, of course then evidently they

:28:36.:28:40.

are going to be looking for the two black boxes, and beyond that they

:28:41.:28:45.

will be examining the fuselage with a fine tooth comb and looking for

:28:46.:28:51.

the tell tale signs of explosives. With that they may well get an

:28:52.:28:57.

indication as to precisely what type of missile brought the aircraft out

:28:58.:29:05.

of the sky. When the Conservative manifesto for the general election

:29:06.:29:09.

is published it is likely to feature tough promises on immigration, but

:29:10.:29:11.

is fear of immigration different from the reality. Newsnight has been

:29:12.:29:15.

leaked a new Home Office report that will bear that out. But the report

:29:16.:29:19.

into the impact of immigration has been blocked and delayed because of

:29:20.:29:23.

a row between ministers over whether it paints too Rosie a picture of

:29:24.:29:29.

immigration. -- rosy a picture of immigration. There is a

:29:30.:29:33.

demonstration of a largely positive affect for business in Britain. This

:29:34.:29:41.

is our exclusive report. This was the week the Tories got

:29:42.:29:45.

tough on Europe. First a reshuffle, then a dig at the European Court of

:29:46.:29:51.

Human Rights. All red meat to the euro-sceptics, but there is a report

:29:52.:29:55.

lurking in Whitehall they will find harder to swallow. Newsnight has

:29:56.:29:59.

been leaked a confidential document which has been causing some people

:30:00.:30:03.

here at the Home Office to have kittens. It has been fought over,

:30:04.:30:07.

word by word, line by line, for the best part of a year. It should have

:30:08.:30:11.

been published months ago, why hasn't it? Because it is regarded as

:30:12.:30:18.

too pro-European. The report pulls together evidence from dozens of

:30:19.:30:22.

groups and businesses about immigration from the EU. The good

:30:23.:30:28.

and the bad. And some of it makes startling reading. The majority of

:30:29.:30:31.

EU nationals come here to work, there is no evidence that access to

:30:32.:30:35.

benefits was a significant factor in migration. European immigrants are

:30:36.:30:43.

less intense users of the social security system than UK nationals.

:30:44.:30:47.

Little hard evidence regarding problems in community cohesion as a

:30:48.:30:52.

result of EU migration. The affects are viewed as largely -- the effects

:30:53.:30:56.

are viewed as largely positive, providing a wide range of skilled

:30:57.:31:02.

labour and opportunities for workers. This report leaked has a

:31:03.:31:08.

broad support? It doesn't surprise me, there are lots of studies that

:31:09.:31:14.

show we benefit from free movement. UCL did a study to show we were

:31:15.:31:18.

billions better off, and new companies set up by migrants who

:31:19.:31:23.

employ a lot of people here. And Britons been fit from free movement

:31:24.:31:26.

to live in France, pain or wherever else. Some areas have been affected

:31:27.:31:31.

more than others by our open borders. Ealing in west London is

:31:32.:31:36.

one of them. On a boiling hot day, we asked shoppers if they were

:31:37.:31:38.

getting hot under the They come here and get the best job

:31:39.:31:54.

and go back and live a luxury life. I'm the son of an immigrant, I come

:31:55.:31:59.

from an Irish family, Britain is an immigrant-friendly country, I think.

:32:00.:32:03.

We have an inflation of eastern Europeans, especially in west London

:32:04.:32:08.

actually, and it overkilled on work flow with everybody else. For me

:32:09.:32:12.

Europe it means that people can go everywhere, for me it is a good

:32:13.:32:19.

thing. This morning I was in Paris and now I'm here, for me it is

:32:20.:32:24.

really good. The report is not one-way traffic by any means. It

:32:25.:32:28.

highlights concerns about the impact on lowly-paid British workers and on

:32:29.:32:34.

certain communities. But of the 60-odd contributors to the report,

:32:35.:32:36.

most of the negative comments come from three think-tanks,

:32:37.:32:41.

Migrationwatch, Open Europe, and Demos. The problem with complete

:32:42.:32:48.

freedom of movement is not so much the freedom of movement, it is the

:32:49.:32:52.

fact that we have this principle of nondiscrimination, which means that

:32:53.:32:57.

you have to treat all European Union citizens effectively as if they are

:32:58.:33:00.

British citizens, that is what people don't understand. Not just in

:33:01.:33:03.

Britain but throughout the European Union.

:33:04.:33:06.

Newsnight has been told the Home Office vetoed the first draft, and

:33:07.:33:11.

rewrote it. This version horrified Liberal Democrats and they insisted

:33:12.:33:15.

civil servants hammer out the final text. That was completed months ago.

:33:16.:33:20.

Unfortunately this is something that has happened time and time again,

:33:21.:33:24.

when there are studies which the Home Office has done which say the

:33:25.:33:27.

opposite of what the Home Secretary would like them to say, there is a

:33:28.:33:30.

tendency of them not coming out promptly I can understand why for

:33:31.:33:33.

political reasons the Conservatives didn't want the facts to come out

:33:34.:33:36.

before the European election, but we should make our policies based on

:33:37.:33:40.

the fact that reports like this should come out promptly. This

:33:41.:33:44.

review has stoked the debate, and it isn't even out yet. After months of

:33:45.:33:48.

sitting on the shelf, the Home Office now says the report will be

:33:49.:33:56.

published shortly. I spoke to the Business Secretary,

:33:57.:33:59.

Vince Cable earlier today, I asked him how he explained the fact that

:34:00.:34:02.

this report hadn't come out yet, even though there was a copy ready

:34:03.:34:07.

in December? There was a disagreement in Government as to how

:34:08.:34:11.

to do this, there was a draft that came through the Home Office that

:34:12.:34:15.

was frankly rather one-sided. We disagreed with the content and I

:34:16.:34:28.

thought it was propagandaist, we went back to the drawing board and

:34:29.:34:31.

it now acknowledges there are some problems with the free movement and

:34:32.:34:36.

impact on service, many of the studies quoted show it is economic

:34:37.:34:40.

benefit to the UK. Were you intimately involved in, as it were,

:34:41.:34:45.

the reversioning of it? I was involved. And indeed there was a lot

:34:46.:34:49.

of working across Government to make sure that what emerged reflected the

:34:50.:34:54.

different views of people within the Government across the coalition and

:34:55.:34:57.

different ministers. I think what has emerged is a balanced and

:34:58.:35:02.

sensible product. But, you are actually supporting a Government

:35:03.:35:08.

that is actively, as it were, trying to say that there are problems with

:35:09.:35:12.

immigration? This is about free movement within the, it is not about

:35:13.:35:17.

the wide -- within the European Union, it is not about the wider

:35:18.:35:21.

implication, there are different views about it. You don't see the

:35:22.:35:26.

irony in colluding and shoring up legislation that goes entirely

:35:27.:35:31.

against your own argument? It is not a collusion, we have to compromise

:35:32.:35:35.

so we can function. Immigration is a difficult area where there are very

:35:36.:35:39.

different views in Government. Ranging from people who would want a

:35:40.:35:42.

complete clampdown ranging to others with a much more open and liberal

:35:43.:35:47.

approach. My job within Government is to argue the business case and

:35:48.:35:53.

also nor -- for universities and higher education. All the evidence

:35:54.:36:00.

we have is the contribution immigrants make is positive, and we

:36:01.:36:03.

have won that argument. The Liberal Democrats are not without a locust

:36:04.:36:09.

in this debate in an area that presumably you wouldn't agree with,

:36:10.:36:12.

which was when Nick Clegg brought up the idea of migrant bonds. It was

:36:13.:36:17.

dropped, it is not happening. Do you regret the fact it was even brought

:36:18.:36:21.

up? There is no harm in raising ideas. It was tested out and felt

:36:22.:36:26.

not to be a good idea and we're not sur suing it, I'm pleased with that

:36:27.:36:31.

because it has raised a reaction in countries where we want more

:36:32.:36:35.

visitors. How comfortable can you be, being within a coalition whose

:36:36.:36:41.

mood music is one of problems with immigration, problems for

:36:42.:36:46.

communities, and so forth, in a sense you where standing

:36:47.:36:48.

shoulder-to-shoulder with other members of this Government who put

:36:49.:36:54.

an entirely different spin on this? The coalition is a buys-like

:36:55.:36:59.

relationship to provide stable Government and deal with the

:37:00.:37:02.

financial crisis. That is why we got into it and it works well on that

:37:03.:37:06.

level. When you take about mood music this is the public mood music,

:37:07.:37:10.

there is anxiety from the general public, that is where we start from.

:37:11.:37:15.

It is a perfectly legitimate objective of both sides to reassure

:37:16.:37:19.

the public that migration is properly under control. I sign up

:37:20.:37:23.

for that. Statement, given my job and also as a Liberal Democrat in

:37:24.:37:27.

Government, I want to argue the case for the single market within the

:37:28.:37:30.

European Union which is beneficial to the UK. It is true, of course,

:37:31.:37:35.

that you have taken a very particular stand on immigration for

:37:36.:37:38.

a long time. That has been your watchword. But on the whole question

:37:39.:37:42.

of something like the spare room subsidy, right from the beginning

:37:43.:37:46.

you know you supported the idea of the spare room subsidy, but right

:37:47.:37:50.

from the beginning Ed Miliband was saying this was vicious, and it has

:37:51.:37:54.

taken a report to come out before the Liberal Democrats will stand up

:37:55.:37:59.

and say now we don't believe in it. On that particular one the issue was

:38:00.:38:03.

not so much about the principle but how it was applied in an environment

:38:04.:38:06.

where there simply wasn't a great deal of scope for people to downsize

:38:07.:38:11.

rooms and it required the emergence of hard evidence. At the last party

:38:12.:38:14.

conference the Liberal Democrats made it very clear as a party we did

:38:15.:38:20.

not agree with the way the spare room subsidy was working. This isn't

:38:21.:38:26.

something that has happened forth week, we have been clear for -- this

:38:27.:38:31.

week, we have been clear we have been believing in that for a long

:38:32.:38:35.

time and how we want to do it. Time for the front pages.

:38:36.:39:03.

That's it from us, we leave you with a few of the amazing photographs,

:39:04.:39:09.

amateur and professional of the lightning storms that kept half the

:39:10.:39:12.

country awake last night. We hope you sleep better tonight. Good

:39:13.:39:13.

night. Hello, more thunderstorms

:39:14.:40:05.

congression the UK, more vie -- crossing the UK. It will be a stormy

:40:06.:40:09.

Saturday as well, heavy downpours

:40:10.:40:11.

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