Greece begins deporting migrants to Turkey. There is a look at a new national minimum wage. And are people in the UK getting enough sleep? Emily Maitlis presents.
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Tonight, Europe prepares to send hundreds of migrants back to Turkey
as Turkey is accused of sending migrants back to Syria.
Does this plan stand any chance of working?
"A move that will lead to job losses and cost businesses their chance
of survival," - they said it about the introduction
of the minimum wage in the late '90s.
Has history taught us not to fear the new living wage?
And will you stay with us long enough to hear you're not
Steve Smith clambers into his sleep pod and throws the whole idea
of what constitutes "a good night" out the window.
Shall we have a moment of privacy again?
The world doesn't need to know everything, do they?
Europe is preparing to return hundreds of people
Save the Children are preparing a legal challenge. They believe the
government is acting against EU law in deporting refugees.
aimed at ending uncontrolled migration into the continent.
The drive - which will be put into action on Monday -
will see Syrian and other migrants sent back to Turkey as part
of a controversial repatriation deal signed between the EU
Today however Amnesty International accused Turkey of sending thousands
of people trying to flee Syria back into the war-racked country
So does the plan stand any chance of working in a way
As the first deportations loom, tensions are rising in the Greek
Today on the island of Chios those awaiting their fate
broke out of their centre to mount a protest at the port.
Aid organisations are sounding the alarm, and trying to frustrate the
deportations. We will be setting out our legal considerations paper which
is about nine pages long, which explains very clearly our position
about which safeguards, guarantees need to be put in place both in
Greece and in Turkey, in order for the deal to be acceptable. Tonight
Save the Children Todd us they were preparing a legal challenge. -- told
us. We consider the application of this new deal as to be unlawful and
unjustified and we will explore all options to safeguard the rights of
these children. In a political way, in a legal way, in everywhere they
which we consider appropriate. But always in the best interests of the
children. On the Macedonian border, at Idomeni, meanwhile, some of the
50,000 now stuck in Greece while away their days, forlornly hoping
that the frontier ahead of them might be reopened. This is no way to
live, this is no way. Is this how we will end up? It's getting hotter,
there is more disease and lights, God help us. Greek nationalists have
been urging the government to clear the camp too. The Immigration
Minister gave this impassioned response in Parliament today.
TRANSLATION: We signed the best deal under these specific circumstances,
it is a good deal because for the first time, for the first time after
the European Commission failed, a legal path has been created for
refugees to come into Europe. It's getting tougher for migrants. Nato
has been operating since the 25th of February. Passing through Greece got
markedly harder on the 5th of March when Macedonia closed its border to
migrants. Since the 20th of March when the EU deal with Turkey went
into effect, those arriving in Greece are liable to be sent back.
Turkey has also been forcing some Syrians back across their common
frontier. Yet people are still going to Greece, despite the fact that
getting through to northern Europe would now appear to be much harder.
Some of these people have already begun their trip. Months ago. We
talked to them and they started out from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia,
Bangladesh, three or four months ago. Also they have been exploited,
they have given all of the money they have, and they think that if we
come to Greece we will find a solution. Is the EU - Turkey
agreement working? The picture is mixed. On Greek islands like these,
there has been a big drop in migrant arrivals during the past two weeks.
But on Lesbos a smaller fall, with hundreds still landing. Overall the
number arriving in Greece is down significantly, but there have been
ebbs before due to bad weather. That said, European governments can be
expected to defend the deal with Turkey as their best hope yet in the
crisis. The European Union will invest heavily to make sure there is
a fair legal process, it may be expedited and we may not recognise
it as being fair, but they will stand behind that quite firmly
because at the end of the day, this unregulated migration flow has
rocked the continent to its foundations. Next week will be a
real test of will, not just for the Greek government, and the EU
agencies assisting with deportation, but also a test for those trapped in
limbo, and a wider world watching, whether Europe can finally regain
control over its external borders. We were hoping to speak to the Greek
government as well. We can speak to Medecins Sans
Frontieres' Michele Telaro live from the Greek island of
Lesbos, where he is the project
coordinator. It's nice of you to join us. Do you
agree with Save the Children that there may be a legal case against
what the Greek government is doing there? Yes, definitely. As you said,
the aim of the agreement is clear, to stop illegal immigration. And as
a humanitarian organisation we have nothing to say about that, what we
see here is that conditions are getting worse and worse. At the end
of the day disagreement is just creating suffering for these people.
Am I right in thinking you are now not cooperating with the Greek
authorities? We are still cooperating with the Greek
authorities but we have been giving assistance to people in need here.
Offering assistance when they arrive other such activities. From your
position on the ground, is it possible to implement this EU plan
successfully? It depends what you mean by implement and successful. Of
course we speak about 500 people who could be deported from Monday. I
really can't see how it would be possible. If we want to... If the
European Union wants to do it in a decent and legal way it would be
really difficult to send back everyone to Turkey as they say,
because people still have the right to apply for asylum here. Each
application should be considered individually according to... Each
individual should have their rights granted. A lot of people want your
attention. Thank you for your time. John Dalhuisen from Amnesty
International joins me. That is the crux of it, doing it in
a decent and legal way is where it gets difficult. Do you think there
is a chance that it can work when it starts on Monday? Pragmatically and
practically it is very difficult to see on the Greek side how they could
have the infrastructure and procedures in place to allow people
to go through individual assessments. On the Greek side it
would be incredibly difficult and that's not even factoring in four
now what's happening on the Turkish side. Even if you went to a perfect
process rather than the sham one we are likely to see you could come to
the conclusion that Turkey is not in fact a safe country to which to send
asylum seekers, it is not safe for Iraqis and Afghans who have no
access to asylum procedures in Turkey in practice. And increasingly
it is not safe for Syrians either, as we documented today they are
being returned in ever growing numbers to Syria from provinces in
the east of the country. Turkey has consistently denied claims that it
is returning people. Do you have evidence of numbers of Syrians being
returned? I can say with the utmost confidence we have documented
several cases in the past few weeks alone. How many are we talking?
Three or four groups of individuals and family members we have spoken to
on the Turkish side and those who have returned to Syria that we spoke
to in Syria who have been torn asunder having been picked up in
Turkey. I can think of three small children with their brother in a
park who were picked up and taken on a bus back in groups of between 100
and 200. It is an open secret. OK, we have got this, as I say, the
government has refuted this in we have got this, as I say, the
Turkey. If you are saying that this is happening then presumably you
don't believe that Turkey can be a viable partner in resolving this
crisis? Certainly not right now. That's not to say it isn't possible
to engage with Turkey to construct a common asylum space that effectively
integrates Turkey into a common European asylum space. What do you
mean by a common asylum space? Not right now, but the EU is not trying
to incentivise Turkey to improve its asylum system and improve the
protection it is offering so that it could lawfully send people back.
It's incentivising the opposite, because it does not want to take
people in, Turkey can be increasingly restrictive itself.
When you hear about the drop of numbers that Mark
When you hear about the drop of real diminishing in the number of
people trying to cross, does that say that whatever is happening on
this side the message is getting through that it's not the right way
to come? As was reported it is difficult to judge over a short span
because the weather hasn't been particularly good. It has been the
case that there has been a drum -- a demonstrable drop. We are seeing a
rise in numbers coming through the central Mediterranean route. At the
moment it's a little the fickle to see how it will pan out. The
likelihood is if the EU proceeds as it intends to win a deal that is
almost certainly illegal we will see a drop in numbers. -- it is
difficult to see how it will pan out. The cost will be for the
integrity of Europe and the refugees who suffer, however, that will be
high indeed. Thank you very much indeed.
It was considered dangerous - virtually seditious -
Tony Blair's ?3.60 minimum wage was introduced in 1999
to cries from business leaders it would ramp costs and deter anyone
But the world, it seems, didn't end when he did.
perhaps by coinicidence, perhaps by curious design -
George Osborne has just signed off the new living wage
Critics this time are making the same argument -
that it will squeeze small business, lead to job losses or even that it
will encourage more foreign workers into the country.
Or should we heed warnings of what may be a step too far
The idea of a minimum wage, let alone a national living wage,
wasn't always so wasn't always so uncontroversial.
You know perfectly well that what you're talking about is
Is ?2 an hour acceptable to you as a very wealthy man?
It is nothing to do with me being a wealthy man.
It is entirely a matter of what people are prepared
to accept in the circumstances of getting a job.
Yet it was a Conservative Chancellor who last year announced this.
Britain deserves a pay rise and Britain is getting a pay rise.
I am today introducing a new national living wage.
The national living wage increased by 50p from ?6.70 to ?7.20
It's pledged to rise to ?9 per hour by 2020.
That's less than that which the Living Wage Foundation says
is needed, currently ?8.25 an hour outside of London
is this a price Britain can afford to pay?
Joining me now, Dia Chakravarty, from TaxPayers' Alliance,
Faiza Shaheen, director of Class - a think tank,
and Torsten Bell, Director of the Resolution Foundation.
It is nice of you all to come in. Do you think you can get behind this?
It is very risky, as is any policy which tries to intervene with the
market. There is a cost of living crisis in this country and their to
help those in the lower income brackets, and the government knows
exactly what to do. One thing it has consistently failed to do, something
we have been campaigning for for a long time, is to raise national
insurance in line with income tax, which would immediately take a lot
of people completely out of taxes on income. That is the policy the
government needs to focus on. Progressive taxes, like fuel duty
and so on. So it is the wrong lever? I think this wage increase is
well-deserved, if you think about the context of public spending cuts
and low wages for a long time for this group of people. If you think
about the way in which this group will see some increase in incomes,
this is definitely a positive move in a first step to a progressive
economy, the type of economy which delivers for all. But this idea of a
national living wage, we know there are different costs in the north and
south. How can there be a national some? There are calculations that
count across the country. We have to remember that average housing costs
have increased by 7%, energy price bills are going up, food prices, and
this has been severely affected by these, this group. To put it into
context, can we afford this as an economy? It is only 0.6% of the wage
bill by 2020, so of course we can afford it for the economy. We are
one of the lower paid leading economies in the world. Is that the
kind of economy we want to be? No. But for some sectors and employers,
this will be hard to deal with. If you are in the hospitality sector,
this is a 3.4% increase, and that is a lot. But are we happy with
carrying on with one in five workers being low paid? The answer should be
no. We have to decide if it is worth the pain. France has 11%
unemployment and a higher minimum wage. Let's be careful about certain
assumptions that a certain minimum wage rate means a certain
unemployment rate. New Zealand and Australia have similar rates to
France and have lower unemployment. I agree with all of those points.
Housing prices are ridiculous in this country. Why? Because we have a
highly regulated housing industry. The government is to blame. We need
to deregulate that industry. Do you think there is a correlation between
minimum wage and unemployment? There must be, or we would be saying, why
are we not increasing it to ?20? It must be basic economics to
understand there will be a correlation and some economists are
saying we will lose 60,000 jobs by 2020. The OP are, where that figure
comes from, don't say 60,000 people will lose their jobs by 2020. They
say that employment, which they projected to rise, will be 60,000
lower than it otherwise would be, which is very different. So it is
putting a value on people's entry to the job market. There was so much
scaremongering with the minimum wage. We have to be careful. These
aren't massive increases when you think about increases in living
costs. I don't think the job losses is true. I was saving British public
deserves more. On top of the minimum wage and an increase in that, we
should have a real living wage. I should be saying we would have do
something to address inequality. Is it a slight embarrassment for you,
from the left, to have a Conservative Chancellor bring this
in? Dime it is a pleasant surprise for many people, unions, those on
the left that have been fighting hard to see increases in wages. It
is a win for those on low incomes, but it isn't enough. It isn't a
panacea. It doesn't solve all of the problems for this group. They will
look at their bills coming in and going out and this is a small rise.
But presumably employers will do the same and if they are paying more on
the wage, aren't they going to take it off books or holiday? Businesses
have a lot of options. In surveys we have done, 30% of the most common
answer from businesses is that they will look to increase productivity.
We don't have the most productive country. We have the biggest gap
with the G7 average we have had in 20 years. There are things we can
do. Well some businesses have to make difficult decisions about the
hours people work etc? Yes, but their choices in politics. My worry
is, while this policy may give George Osborne some short-term
brownie points politically, in the long run it will harm exactly the
sort of people it is intending to help foster that's exactly what was
said in 1999. If we are looking at productivity, who is going to lose
out? The most vulnerable. That is old-fashioned economics. The
consensus of the economics profession is that, since the 1990s,
wages in the minimum wage would harm employment. What is excessive? Let
me give you an example. Britain has very cheap Labour compared to a lot
of the world and as a result lots of businesses have chosen business
models which are low investment and low productivity so we have a low
productivity economy overall. Slightly higher pay packets,
slightly higher wages at the bottom will, for some businesses at the
margin, encourage them to invest in training and management practices.
You don't believe there are people who are unemployed saying, if it
wasn't for the minimum wage, I could get a job. That isn't the experience
here, in the US, in academic literature. I think there is a
broader structural point, which is that we see a growing number of
low-paid jobs, more than other high income countries. It is about what
comes first. If you increase page, it makes company owners think about
what they need to do with their employees to increase productivity.
Last question, does it matter if this country becomes more attractive
to EU migrants for the living wage? Is that good or bad? I think that is
a side point. It won't be what a lot of people. This will help British
workers in work. And it may invite other people in and encourage others
to join, but that isn't the point. I am all for helping British workers,
but I think we should go for the safer option, which is to cut these
high costs, such as fuel duty, energy prices, the situation around
housing. That is how we should tackle this, not tampering with the
market. Thank you. It's a brave woman who stands before
a Newsnight audience late on a Friday night
and talks about sleep. Today - on the back of a health
warning from the Royal Society that we're all getting too little -
we thought we'd take a look at the whole question
of what - historically - has constituted
a good night's sleep. Easy to think, perhaps,
that the Amish get it right - and that pre-industrialised nations
knew what nine hours' But in terms of the science
of sleep, that could all be dopey. Talking of which,
here's Stephen Smith. At Newsnight, we worry
about you nodding off. Now don't be like that - we mean,
are you getting enough kip? We are so sleep-deprived
we are ready to go whenever there is a chance
of a sit down, so often at the least
opportune moment. And spare a thought for
politicians themselves. After a good chunk of sleep
when I'm out of here, Even after we are done
with the presidency. But I am going to take three,
four months We have come to Bucks to test
the latest thing in power napping, They are meant for single
occupancy, # When you're laying down
next to me... We are two young men,
just having a companionable nap. If that's wrong,
I don't want to be right. Well, we have sold in 11
countries so far and it's quite fashionable
and right to look at napping because it is restorative.
And that's what the companies use them for.
Obviously you can overnight in them as well.
So if you ever get a tube strike in central London
and you can't get home, pop in the pod.
In the 18th century, we, for example slept in two phases,
then perhaps we would wake for a couple of hours.
It was often a time used to pray, etc.
Then we would have another four hours and then we would go
about our day, but that was largely because when the lights went down,
when the sun went down, at sort of eight in the evening, say,
there was not much else you could do.
We also make what we called pods for podtels,
they are the modern version of the hostel.
And we have got one on the south coast.
A pod is a big improvement on the old iron bunk bed.
The average adult sleeps for 6.8 hours a night but most of us say
we would like a good hour on top of that.
Getting regular, good quality sleep seems to play a vital role
it increases our risk of, say, obesity.
It also increases the risk of things such as diabetes
With this research we now know that sleep is actually
really important and it's often quoted as being some of the most
powerful performance enhancers known to humankind.
So where did this idea of the "right amount" of sleep come from?
from the Institute of Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience.
That is a wonderful title. I know you have done an extensive study of
a huge number of people looking at their sleep patterns. Do you think
there is a right amount of sleep for an average human? It doesn't work
quite like that, but the answer is, yes, you are on average, seven to
eight hours is a good amount of sleep on a regular basis. Is there
such a thing as an early bird or a night owl? Does that exist in our
DNA? Yes, there is. One of the most interesting things is that, at every
hour of the day, there is someone who is naturally awake. The
difference between the earliest, shall we say, a morning person and
the latest evening person is about eight hours, a huge difference. So
the people who are watching this programme now are much more likely
to unite people. What does that tell you, in terms of the way we
construct our society? Does it say that a certain group? Yes, at the
moment, favouritism goes towards the early riser, so they are getting all
the worms, they are being praised for being hard-working and many
things which, to be fair, they don't deserve. The majority of people, who
would like to sleep later in the day, they are having to get up
early. So, at the moment, the people who really suffer are the people who
are night owls, the people who are night-time people. When you say
suffer, can you not just talk yourself into the right rhythm?
Presumably that comes with a bit Vista mark it is genetic. --
presumably that comes with habit. One of the problems we have is that
they're fixed times. I have the mistake of saying that starting
times for employment should really be 10am, not as early as they are at
the moment. What do you think would happen if that were right? You would
lose the productivity of your early birds, wouldn't you? It isn't
straightforward. At the bottom of the pile are the people who are
night people. Instead of losing one hour of work, they are losing two or
three, so between 24 and 30. There are people out there who, as night
people, are losing five hours every time they turn up at eight or 9am.
Interstate was backward society, with a lot for shift work, can't you
say that people find their own rhythms and work according to what
they need? -- into Dave's society. That doesn't happen. If you have a
genetic clock inside you which is telling you when to go to sleep, you
can't train it. The key player is natural sunlight, so the people who
have real problems of people on night shifts. Of course, this is
well-known, that they are much more at risk of accidents and they have
tremendous problems trying to sleep at the wrong time of day. That is
one extreme. At the other extreme, there are people as the producer up
here in Newcastle has been telling me awake quite naturally at 5:30am.
Lucky boy! Thank you very much for joining us.
We shall let you gracefully dribble into your
empty glass and forget to turn the telly off
But spare a thought before you go for our brave team of night owls
right around the clock, ready at a second's notice,
In between, a wet start for England and Wales. It will be out as it goes
back into southern Scotland and