19/05/2016 Newsnight


19/05/2016

The search for the missing EgyptAir jet, the spectre of antibiotic resistance, plus what will happen to the Northern Irish border with Ireland if Britain leaves the EU?


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But who or what brought down EgyptAir Flight MS804?

:00:00.:00:15.

Tonight we'll assess the expert's theories on an aviation disaster.

:00:16.:00:18.

And we're in France, where a country is coming to terms

:00:19.:00:22.

A Harris, this could be an act of terrorism is at the forefront of

:00:23.:00:35.

people in the minds as the investigators pour over every detail

:00:36.:00:39.

in search of clues. -- Kear in Paris. Also tonight... I think it is

:00:40.:00:45.

important we emphasise that it is real, it is current, and we are

:00:46.:00:47.

dealing with it on a daily basis. A new report hammers home that

:00:48.:00:53.

antibiotics resistance will take us back to

:00:54.:00:55.

the dark ages of medicine. So what exactly are big pharma

:00:56.:00:57.

going to do about it? One of the most unlikely political

:00:58.:01:00.

figures of the 21st century gives The money what's being wasted,

:01:01.:01:10.

over and over, every year. And did writer and legendary atheist

:01:11.:01:21.

Christopher Hitchens contemplate A new book about his life has some

:01:22.:01:24.

controversial revelations. It's hard to remember a world

:01:25.:01:43.

where aviation disasters didn't automatically prompt speculation

:01:44.:01:47.

about terrorist acts. Tonight, search and rescue teams

:01:48.:01:48.

continue to collect wreckage from the EgyptAir flight MS804

:01:49.:01:51.

in the sea off the Greek And officials say

:01:52.:01:54.

that the Airbus A320 - en route from Paris to Cairo when it

:01:55.:02:00.

vanished from radar shortly after midnight -

:02:01.:02:03.

is more likely to have been brought down by terrorism

:02:04.:02:05.

than technical fault. The 10 crew and 56 passengers

:02:06.:02:09.

aboard, including one Briton named today as 40-year-old

:02:10.:02:11.

geologist Richard Osman, remain missing, while the Egyptian

:02:12.:02:16.

vice-President has said that what began as a rescue operation

:02:17.:02:19.

was turning into one Newsnight's Gabriel Gatehouse

:02:20.:02:21.

is in Paris. This is a city that over the past

:02:22.:02:35.

year and a bit has experienced and perhaps even come to expect act of

:02:36.:02:41.

violence carried out or inspired by the group that calls itself Islamic

:02:42.:02:47.

State. And so when an aeroplane that originated here drops inexplicably

:02:48.:02:50.

out of the sky in the early hours of this morning, thoughts inevitably

:02:51.:02:55.

turn in that direction and is now an investigation ongoing here at

:02:56.:02:59.

Charles de Gaulle airport into whether there was a security breach.

:03:00.:03:05.

I should emphasise that we do not know what caused MS804 to drop out

:03:06.:03:08.

of the sky. All we know is that it appears to have done so in the early

:03:09.:03:12.

hours of the morning. Francois Hollande confirmed that earlier

:03:13.:03:17.

today. And there is now a search and recovery operation ongoing jointly

:03:18.:03:21.

between Greek and Egyptian navies in the Aegean Sea, aided by the Royal

:03:22.:03:29.

Air Force. They are looking for debris. There has been some dispute

:03:30.:03:32.

and disagreement over whether any of that debris has been found already

:03:33.:03:36.

but when it is, it will provide vital clues to the investigators

:03:37.:03:40.

looking to find out what caused this crash. There were six of six people

:03:41.:03:46.

on board, 56 crew. 56 passengers, rather. Ten crew, of whom three were

:03:47.:03:52.

Egyptian security officers. Of the passengers, more than half were

:03:53.:03:55.

Egyptian with 15 French citizens and the citizens of a number of other

:03:56.:03:59.

nations. We have mentioned one British man, including people from

:04:00.:04:05.

Canada, Portugal, Kuwait and Iraq. Some of their relatives came here

:04:06.:04:10.

earlier today looking for answers. We do not need to see the familiar

:04:11.:04:14.

pictures of anguish at Sheldon Doyle airport. MS804, MH17, MH270. The

:04:15.:04:28.

flight numbers change but the scene is always the same, people drawn in

:04:29.:04:34.

disbelief to the place where those they suddenly last embarked on their

:04:35.:04:39.

final journey. Authorities are not ruling any theory in or out yet. But

:04:40.:04:46.

in Paris, especially here in Paris, the idea that this could be an act

:04:47.:04:50.

of terrorism is at the forefront of people's minds as the investigators

:04:51.:04:55.

pour over every detail in search of clues. EgyptAir flight 804 departed

:04:56.:05:05.

Paris at 9:11pm local time on Wednesday evening, and three and a

:05:06.:05:08.

quarter hours later, the pilot spoke to Greek Air Traffic Control.

:05:09.:05:11.

Everything seemed normal. 11 minutes after that, at 2:37pm Cairo time,

:05:12.:05:18.

after the plane had entered Egyptian airspace, it disappeared off the

:05:19.:05:22.

radar. -- 2:37am. Weather conditions were said to be ideal last night.

:05:23.:05:28.

The aircraft was relatively modern, an Airbus A3 20. So how did it crash

:05:29.:05:31.

without warning into the Mediterranean? TRANSLATION: The

:05:32.:05:40.

plane, 10-15 miles inside Egyptian airspace made a 90 degrees turn to

:05:41.:05:44.

the left at 30,000 feet and then a 360 degrees turn to the right,

:05:45.:05:47.

descending to 15,000 feet. Then, 360 degrees turn to the right,

:05:48.:05:53.

picture was lost. A state of emergency is still in force in Paris

:05:54.:05:56.

after the attacks on the 13th of November last year. Five days after

:05:57.:06:00.

that, security forces foiled what they said was a plot to attack shall

:06:01.:06:07.

the goal airport, where today's flight MH804 originated. And then

:06:08.:06:10.

after Islamic State managed to smuggle a bomb aboard a plane in

:06:11.:06:15.

Sharm el-Sheikh, bound for Russia last supper, the fear is that

:06:16.:06:19.

Islamic State could infiltrate European airports, too. -- last

:06:20.:06:26.

October. A lot of European security experts will be worried about planes

:06:27.:06:30.

landing from all over the Middle East. Imagine a bomb was put on a

:06:31.:06:40.

plane in Egypt, which is easier, you then prohibit EgyptAir from flying

:06:41.:06:44.

in Europe or you need to check every single airliner arriving from an

:06:45.:06:50.

Arab country. There are 85,000 people who have security clearance

:06:51.:06:55.

to work at Paris's airports. At the attacks here in November, 70 of them

:06:56.:07:02.

had clearance revoked by police on the grounds of national security.

:07:03.:07:06.

Today, a senior industry source told us that a significant number of

:07:07.:07:10.

those worked in airside catering. Eric is a lawyer who represents ten

:07:11.:07:16.

of those who had clearance revoked. All of them are accessing Muslims.

:07:17.:07:22.

He said his clients are the innocent victims of paranoid times. But he

:07:23.:07:25.

agrees that the airport has a problem.

:07:26.:08:11.

The bomb on board the theory is still only one among many and even

:08:12.:08:16.

if it was a bomb, it may not have come aboard here in Paris. It is

:08:17.:08:21.

possible that the key to this mystery lies somewhere further back

:08:22.:08:25.

in the story. Yesterday morning, the same aircraft had flown from Eritrea

:08:26.:08:30.

to Egypt. Then onto Tunisia, and back to Cairo. And from there, to

:08:31.:08:35.

Paris yesterday afternoon, before taking off on its final, fatal

:08:36.:08:40.

journey. Earlier today, relatives of the passengers still missing from

:08:41.:08:46.

flight MS804 made that same journey from Paris to Cairo. They will be

:08:47.:08:49.

joined by French investigators and technical experts, all of them in

:08:50.:08:56.

search of answers. Gabriel Gatehouse reporting.

:08:57.:09:00.

And joining me now is Mark Urban our Diplomatic Editor.

:09:01.:09:03.

It is the best part of 24 hours since the plane effectively

:09:04.:09:09.

disappeared. As the list of possible causes narrowed at all? I think it

:09:10.:09:15.

has somewhat, as facts have emerged. This could be a possible accident,

:09:16.:09:20.

still. The plane was at 37,000 feet and there is an aerodynamic

:09:21.:09:25.

phenomenon, the coffin corner, call it what you will, lift is limited at

:09:26.:09:29.

that altitude. The have been previous cases of planes getting

:09:30.:09:32.

into uncontrollable stalling. But no distress call, urges a first

:09:33.:09:38.

important factor. If you start to look at foul play, the shoulder

:09:39.:09:42.

launched anti-aircraft missiles, we know from the height and the

:09:43.:09:47.

location that we can rule that out. Accidental engagement by a warship

:09:48.:09:51.

or a fighter plane, once again that is pretty unlikely but such things

:09:52.:09:55.

have happened. There is nothing in the right area so we can rule that

:09:56.:10:00.

out. We end up with the possibility, did someone tried to storm the

:10:01.:10:04.

cockpit? Germanwings model, or something that was alleged to have

:10:05.:10:09.

happened on a 1999 EgyptAir flight. We know that there were three

:10:10.:10:12.

security guards on the planes are once again, one is that they would

:10:13.:10:16.

have put up a fight or something would have been radioed from the

:10:17.:10:20.

cockpit. So we end up with this possibility of a bomb. Was it put on

:10:21.:10:26.

somewhere like Cairo? Either way, whether it was there or it was put

:10:27.:10:30.

on in Paris, it has very serious invocations. We have a

:10:31.:10:36.

responsibility when a plane comes in that it leaves the airport safely.

:10:37.:10:40.

So it does not put Paris in the clear, even of something was put on

:10:41.:10:44.

somewhere else. Big applications if that turns out to be the case. And

:10:45.:10:50.

where does the investigation go? The search for debris has many purposes

:10:51.:10:53.

but once you start to bring in large amounts of debris, you can test them

:10:54.:10:58.

for explosive residue. That is a key step. People will be looking for the

:10:59.:11:02.

data recorders and they could be in 2000 metres of water, which will

:11:03.:11:06.

make a difficult recovery operation. Intelligence services in Egypt and

:11:07.:11:10.

France will be profiling the passengers, looking for possible

:11:11.:11:14.

connections, people being open to blackmail or other pressure, through

:11:15.:11:18.

family or other connections. All of these things will be done. Other

:11:19.:11:21.

intelligence services will be looking for chapter, possibly on the

:11:22.:11:26.

basis of that the Israelis and Russians and one or two others seem

:11:27.:11:29.

to have been briefing this afternoon that they have concluded it was a

:11:30.:11:33.

terrorist attack. But it is really early to say that with definitive

:11:34.:11:35.

certainty. Many thanks. Two daughters off school,

:11:36.:11:38.

parents supposed to be working, childcare a nightmare and a GP

:11:39.:11:40.

refusing to prescribe the antibiotics which would see

:11:41.:11:43.

off their throat infections antibiotic medicines -

:11:44.:11:52.

and somehow fund the extremely 10 million humans a year could be

:11:53.:11:57.

dying needlessly by 2050. This is the stark warning

:11:58.:12:04.

at the heart of a Government-backed report into anti-microbial

:12:05.:12:08.

resistance, led by the economist Lord Jim O'Neill

:12:09.:12:14.

and published today. Anjana Ahuja has been examining

:12:15.:12:15.

the implications of When it comes to drug resistant

:12:16.:12:31.

infections, the future does not look just a grim, but apocalyptic.

:12:32.:12:37.

Superbugs killing 10 million people each year by 2050, more than cancer.

:12:38.:12:42.

Routine surgery like hip replacements grinding to a halt,

:12:43.:12:46.

just when an ageing population needs them. The life-saving drug which has

:12:47.:12:52.

revolutionised medical science. A crisis in antibiotics threatened to

:12:53.:12:57.

end a golden year of medicine which started with Alexander Fleming's

:12:58.:13:01.

discovery of penicillin in the 1920s and led to the belief that every

:13:02.:13:06.

infection was durable. But with antimicrobial resistance on the rise

:13:07.:13:07.

of over the antimicrobial resistance on the rise

:13:08.:13:09.

beginning to look a lot antimicrobial resistance on the rise

:13:10.:13:15.

past. We are talking about the issues in the future but we are

:13:16.:13:19.

dealing with this problem now, all the time. We are having to use an

:13:20.:13:23.

injection and a second antibiotic together because we do not want to

:13:24.:13:27.

take the risk of treatment failing. Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR

:13:28.:13:34.

refers to an treatable Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR

:13:35.:13:40.

forecast to cost the global economy $100 trillion, 100,000 billion

:13:41.:13:41.

dollars, in decades to come. $100 trillion, 100,000 billion

:13:42.:13:47.

years ago, David Cameron asked the former Goldman Sachs

:13:48.:13:52.

years ago, David Cameron asked the AMR could be tackled.

:13:53.:13:55.

years ago, David Cameron asked the backed by the welcome

:13:56.:13:58.

years ago, David Cameron asked the published today. It urges doctors

:13:59.:14:02.

not to over prescribe, suggests a $2 billion global fund to pay for

:14:03.:14:07.

vaccines and new antibiotics, plus a ban on some antibiotics used in

:14:08.:14:08.

farming. We hear the global figures, we think

:14:09.:14:17.

it is something happening in other countries. We need to understand

:14:18.:14:23.

this is happening in our NHS. We have huge problems with infections,

:14:24.:14:30.

ward closures, issues to halt the spread of organisms. I'm at one of

:14:31.:14:36.

the top diseases labs at Imperial College London, which has made

:14:37.:14:40.

tackling resistance one of its main research projects. One of the things

:14:41.:14:44.

its researchers are doing is developing new classes of

:14:45.:14:47.

antibiotics, something that the world desperately needs. That is

:14:48.:14:51.

picked up in the report. But a careful reading of the report shows

:14:52.:14:55.

a shift in emphasis, as well as the need to supply new antibiotics. The

:14:56.:14:59.

world also needs to radically rethink how it uses its old ones.

:15:00.:15:05.

Bugs such as MRSA and see difficile may dominate headlines, but drug

:15:06.:15:10.

resistance is also causing huge problems in the field of sexually

:15:11.:15:14.

transmitted infections. Because it can take days to get a definitive

:15:15.:15:20.

lab result, doctors will sometimes prescribed powerful antibiotics just

:15:21.:15:23.

in case. But there might be another way. Here, at St George 's Hospital

:15:24.:15:27.

in London, in a project funded by the medical research Council, a new

:15:28.:15:32.

test can detect infections in 30 minutes. That means patients can be

:15:33.:15:36.

treated swiftly and only with the medicine that they really need. This

:15:37.:15:45.

machine can reveal the presence of an STI in 30 minutes. We can press

:15:46.:15:49.

this button and review the result. We can see that this patient has not

:15:50.:15:56.

got chlamydia detected. The scenario of somebody coming in right now,

:15:57.:15:59.

being diagnosed with gonorrhoea, right now they would be given a

:16:00.:16:04.

really big injection, a second antibiotics to treat the gonorrhoea.

:16:05.:16:07.

Just say that we were able to identify that the patient has a

:16:08.:16:11.

strain of gonorrhoea which is very, very possible was susceptible to an

:16:12.:16:16.

old antibiotic, with this diagnostic test, we would be able to identify

:16:17.:16:19.

that straightaway and give that antibiotic. Firstly, we are not

:16:20.:16:25.

guessing which antibiotic to use, we know which one to use. Secondly, we

:16:26.:16:29.

don't have to use the injection, we don't have to use the front line

:16:30.:16:34.

antibiotics that we might need to use later on. It is sparing new

:16:35.:16:40.

antibiotics, reusing antibiotics and treating with confidence. That's

:16:41.:16:45.

important in terms of what we call antibiotic stewardship, using them

:16:46.:16:46.

responsibly. At some point, our luck will run out

:16:47.:16:54.

and we will need new antibiotics. The trouble is, drug companies don't

:16:55.:16:57.

think they are profitable to make, because they need to be prescribed

:16:58.:17:01.

in the smallest amount is possible to the fewest people possible. There

:17:02.:17:06.

are simply richer pickings to be had elsewhere. So there are 800 cancer

:17:07.:17:12.

drugs in the pipeline, compared to just 30 or 40 antibiotics under

:17:13.:17:20.

development today. Of those 30 to 40, only three are of a class that

:17:21.:17:22.

is most desperately needed. Joining me now is Dr Virginia Ahuja,

:17:23.:17:26.

an executive director at the Association of

:17:27.:17:28.

the British Pharmaceutical Industry, which represents the

:17:29.:17:30.

UK's pharma industry. Before you put your professional hat

:17:31.:17:41.

on, how concerned are you, personally? The best thing we have

:17:42.:17:44.

had today with the report is that we have brought this to the attention

:17:45.:17:48.

of everyone that is watching this programme, reading the newspaper

:17:49.:17:52.

today, has been listening to the news. That has been so important to

:17:53.:17:56.

do. The conversations you were hearing on your piece, they are not

:17:57.:17:59.

new. We have been talking about these issues. The time. The research

:18:00.:18:06.

kick... Two years ago, it proceeded a lot of the work that we were

:18:07.:18:10.

talking about today, it has gone on for years. We have had these

:18:11.:18:20.

conversations for years. There is no hyperbole? There is a real risk of

:18:21.:18:27.

the scenario that Jim paints in the report. I think the risk is there,

:18:28.:18:31.

the risk is clear why we all need to be working together on it. You say

:18:32.:18:35.

we need to be working together, it is only really your industry that

:18:36.:18:39.

can address the most urgent part? Much of the report gets to the real

:18:40.:18:48.

nub of it. There is no point in creating the latest and greatest

:18:49.:18:51.

antibiotic if we are not making the most of our current antibiotics.

:18:52.:18:54.

What can we do to prevent infection from going out of control in a

:18:55.:18:59.

setting? We have all heard about hospital cleaning, but it goes

:19:00.:19:03.

beyond that, understanding what you, as a father, as a parent, can think

:19:04.:19:07.

about when you are approaching the use of an antibiotic. I appreciate

:19:08.:19:12.

that, but it is fair to observe the discovery, the research and

:19:13.:19:16.

development leads to the discovery of new medicines, and we are

:19:17.:19:20.

becoming increasingly aware they are essential. I don't think it is

:19:21.:19:23.

ignorant to suggest the pharmaceutical industry is the only

:19:24.:19:32.

place where those can be an -- unearthed. This is something that

:19:33.:19:36.

the industry has been pressing for a while. You mentioned the number of

:19:37.:19:41.

drugs being developed. 30 or 40, against 800 for cancer? But it is

:19:42.:19:47.

something that is worth comment 2014, $5 billion of investment in

:19:48.:19:58.

R It is something we have done over the years, these antibiotics

:19:59.:20:01.

have come from previous research. Let me draw attention to the fact

:20:02.:20:04.

that we had a declaration by the industry in January of over 100

:20:05.:20:09.

companies, 13 associations, committed to advancing the R and

:20:10.:20:15.

addressing the resistance issue. Let's look at the proposals put

:20:16.:20:20.

forward by Jim O'Neill, this pay or play scheme, $1 million in place for

:20:21.:20:23.

a company that brings a new drug to market. It is quite attractive, and

:20:24.:20:28.

it seems, even by the standards of the pharmaceutical industry, which I

:20:29.:20:32.

think is the most profitable on the planet, a decent payday? R

:20:33.:20:36.

incentives are important, something we have been talking about was time.

:20:37.:20:39.

But let's think about how we get those delivered on the ground. If we

:20:40.:20:45.

have a new antibiotics, ultimately, it is about making sure in every

:20:46.:20:49.

country there is an opportunity to think about how to make sure the

:20:50.:20:53.

antibiotic is going to be made available in practice. I just want

:20:54.:20:56.

to focus on some conclusive answers that we might get to any course

:20:57.:20:58.

to focus on some conclusive answers our brief time together. Does the

:20:59.:21:03.

industry support the proposal? The industry supports

:21:04.:21:06.

industry support the proposal? The incentives for getting medicines

:21:07.:21:06.

through. Is this the incentives for getting medicines

:21:07.:21:10.

incentive? We could have other incentives for getting medicines

:21:11.:21:13.

options for investing in R In R,

:21:14.:21:15.

options for investing in R In approach would be better.

:21:16.:21:18.

options for investing in R In no? You not blindingly with

:21:19.:21:20.

options for investing in R In answering the question. The question

:21:21.:21:25.

is talking about two things. There is investment, how we put money into

:21:26.:21:31.

R, and we have better ways of... You don't like the pay or play

:21:32.:21:35.

proposal? There is a collaborative approach... Has Jim O'Neill made a

:21:36.:21:38.

mistake approach... Has Jim O'Neill made a

:21:39.:21:42.

It's good putting all of these ideas forward, I think the ideas need to

:21:43.:21:47.

be discussed. We haven't had those conversations, we haven't gone

:21:48.:21:49.

be discussed. We haven't had those through the costs of the different

:21:50.:21:52.

approaches. What we have had a lot of experience with, in developing

:21:53.:21:56.

world, in neglected diseases, of experience with, in developing

:21:57.:21:57.

have a public partnership of experience with, in developing

:21:58.:22:09.

R to fruition. Nasri Mac is research and development, and

:22:10.:22:13.

R to fruition. Nasri Mac is other acronym is about

:22:14.:22:15.

R to fruition. Nasri Mac is response ability, is there any any

:22:16.:22:16.

R to fruition. Nasri Mac is work we have been doing in R has

:22:17.:22:20.

been growing. work we have been doing in R has

:22:21.:22:24.

investment in a number of areas. I don't think the industry is falling

:22:25.:22:28.

down on understanding what the role is to supply the best possible

:22:29.:22:31.

medicines for patient's health and benefits. It is what we need to

:22:32.:22:37.

done with respect to this report that has come out. What

:22:38.:22:41.

done with respect to this report is is how we collectively address a

:22:42.:22:45.

challenge that faces every us. I understand the point

:22:46.:22:47.

challenge that faces every us. I about collective responsibility, I'm

:22:48.:22:49.

interested in corporate responsibility... Excuse me, one

:22:50.:22:54.

moment, profit margins routinely breached the 40% mark. Pfizer made

:22:55.:23:01.

$22 billion in 2014. It seems, despite a degree of obfuscation, it

:23:02.:23:05.

seems unless there is major money to be made, the pharmaceutical industry

:23:06.:23:09.

seems unless there is major money to will watch the planets ever? That

:23:10.:23:12.

were true, you would not have 34 in the pipeline, you would not have 5

:23:13.:23:18.

billion spent last year. In an industry worth 400

:23:19.:23:20.

billion spent last year. In an investments are not

:23:21.:23:24.

billion spent last year. In an is part of the R pipeline. Compare

:23:25.:23:25.

it to the private... Let's act is part of the R pipeline. Compare

:23:26.:23:32.

the government is doing... They are not here for me to ask, you are. I

:23:33.:23:38.

will put that into perspective. The central proposal, the pay or play

:23:39.:23:42.

scheme to reward... I would disagree that it is the central proposal...

:23:43.:23:48.

Let's not get into semantics, a proposal? I think we could talk

:23:49.:23:51.

about it, but I think other options would be much more effective,

:23:52.:23:56.

getting the right medicines, in a voluntary collaboration. It means

:23:57.:24:01.

you have a long-term to deliver on this enormous challenge that we

:24:02.:24:02.

face. Thank you. Amid all the Referendum-related talk

:24:03.:24:06.

of enhancing border control and restricting the free movement

:24:07.:24:08.

of people, you could be forgiven for forgetting that in the event

:24:09.:24:11.

of an exit vote on June the 23rd the United Kingdom would

:24:12.:24:14.

still have a land border Quite what that border

:24:15.:24:16.

between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic would look

:24:17.:24:22.

like is, at best, unclear. Newsnight's Secunder Kermani has

:24:23.:24:26.

been considering what post-Leave life might look like

:24:27.:24:28.

on either side of it. This small river splits the village

:24:29.:24:48.

of PepsiCo. Since partition, it has divided the Republic of Ireland from

:24:49.:24:51.

Northern Ireland. The border is basically invisible now. During the

:24:52.:24:55.

troubles, checkpoints transformed life for residents on both sides.

:24:56.:25:02.

There would be a few farmers that have grown on both sides of the

:25:03.:25:08.

border. Stephen's family lives at the border, the British army blew up

:25:09.:25:12.

the bridge at the edge. It only really a mile in this direction, you

:25:13.:25:16.

are having to do a journey of ten or 12 miles, which took you out around

:25:17.:25:21.

over the bow Island in front of us, and left you doing a journey of 35

:25:22.:25:27.

or 40 minutes to get to a local shop that was a mile away. Do you worry

:25:28.:25:30.

that something like that might come back if there is a Brexit, Britain

:25:31.:25:35.

leaves the EU? I don't think we will ever see something as severe as

:25:36.:25:38.

that, certainly there is a worry there will be customs and things

:25:39.:25:45.

like that in place. What is going to happen, nobody can tell us. The

:25:46.:25:48.

border is no longer look like this. But what will they look like in the

:25:49.:25:53.

future? This side of the bridge is in the Republic of Ireland and

:25:54.:25:57.

Britain is just a few steps away. Once you are here in Northern

:25:58.:26:00.

Ireland, if you want to travel further into the mainland UK, there

:26:01.:26:08.

are no passport controls. The Leave campaign wants to take control of

:26:09.:26:12.

Britain's borders with the EU, so are we going to see a hard border

:26:13.:26:17.

that splits community is once again? Some senior campaign managers have

:26:18.:26:19.

said there should be, but the official line is that nothing will

:26:20.:26:24.

change. The Common travel area between the Republic of Ireland and

:26:25.:26:29.

the UK, it is in law, it is protected, there will be no passport

:26:30.:26:33.

controls. But then you are not taking control of Britain's borders,

:26:34.:26:37.

you can't stop anybody from big EU slipping through a porous border and

:26:38.:26:42.

coming to Britain? You do, there is the power, there is the controls

:26:43.:26:45.

that they can access in the Republic of Ireland. Anybody from the EU can

:26:46.:26:51.

travel into the Republic of Ireland. But we do have spot checks on both

:26:52.:26:54.

sides of the border. Will there be more checks, checking on people

:26:55.:26:59.

coming from Northern Ireland to mainland UK? That would anger, I

:27:00.:27:04.

imagine, people. We believe it is perfectly operational and will be

:27:05.:27:08.

sustainable. Border towns thrive on the custom from both countries.

:27:09.:27:14.

Shops here accept both pounds and euros. But despite what the Leave

:27:15.:27:19.

campaign say, there is anxiety from many who pass through here on daily

:27:20.:27:26.

commutes between Dublin and Belfast. Many of us feel Irish and Northern

:27:27.:27:30.

Irish. I would hate that to be something that would be more

:27:31.:27:33.

difficult, with the border. Even making the trip to Belfast, they

:27:34.:27:40.

brought back Mars bars, Spangles, contraceptives. Do you think that if

:27:41.:27:44.

Britain leaves the EU, we might go back to seeing customs checks? I

:27:45.:27:50.

don't think they will be bringing contraception any more, that's gone!

:27:51.:27:55.

I think you could get custom checks, yes. The last border checks were

:27:56.:28:01.

brought down years ago. Anything vaguely resembling this would be

:28:02.:28:07.

hugely controversial. We were told that British officials are concerned

:28:08.:28:10.

that the border is already a back door to the UK. Security sources I

:28:11.:28:15.

have spoken to say it has been targeted by terrorism suspects and

:28:16.:28:19.

for illegal immigration. There had been talks predating the referendum

:28:20.:28:24.

between Britain and Dublin on Visa harmonisation, on improving checks

:28:25.:28:28.

on those arriving into the Republic of Ireland. I am told those talks

:28:29.:28:32.

have a new sense of urgency because of the possibility of a Brexit. For

:28:33.:28:38.

many living and working by the border, like here in Warrenpoint

:28:39.:28:42.

harbour, the primary concern is the economic impact of leaving the EU.

:28:43.:28:46.

Even some Leave campaigners say Northern Ireland is a net recipient

:28:47.:28:52.

of EU funding by ?58 million, much of it agricultural subsidies, though

:28:53.:28:57.

they still argue the UK would be better off out overall. 37% of

:28:58.:29:01.

Northern Irish exports go to the Republic of Ireland. 22% go to the

:29:02.:29:08.

rest of the EU. Ireland will also be affected. 17.5% of their exports go

:29:09.:29:13.

to the UK. 40% of the trade of the sport, both import and export, comes

:29:14.:29:18.

from all goes to the Republic of Ireland. But, to be quite honest, if

:29:19.:29:24.

there were difficulties with border controls and paperweight, customs, I

:29:25.:29:27.

am quite sure that trade would disappear from here and go to ports

:29:28.:29:31.

in the Republic, where there would not be those controls. In County

:29:32.:29:38.

Tyrone, another border region, many farmers receive payments from the EU

:29:39.:29:44.

Qatar Common agricultural policy. Roger and Elaine run a more unusual

:29:45.:29:54.

farm, breeding alpacas. You got very confused cows and alpacas, having

:29:55.:29:59.

not seen cows, they didn't know what the animals were. Last year, they

:30:00.:30:03.

make most sales south of the border. They are still yet to make up their

:30:04.:30:08.

mind which way to vote. If we were out of the EU, it might give us the

:30:09.:30:12.

opportunity, as part of the UK, to have a greater say in being able to

:30:13.:30:16.

say, we are unique here, things need to be put in place that need to

:30:17.:30:22.

facilitate as, being able to access things, just as much as those in

:30:23.:30:28.

inland UK. According to the polls, Northern Irish voters are the most

:30:29.:30:32.

strongly pro-remain in the country. But according to one poll, when you

:30:33.:30:37.

break the vote down, nationalist voters are almost all EU, but a

:30:38.:30:42.

majority of unionists are pro-leave. A lot of work has been done

:30:43.:30:45.

reconciling communities in Northern Ireland, much of it in the border

:30:46.:30:50.

regions has been funded by the EU, like this multi-million pounds

:30:51.:30:54.

complex which brings different groups together. But there are fears

:30:55.:31:01.

leaving the EU could destabilise the region's delicate balance. We are 30

:31:02.:31:05.

years out of conflict, the country has come on leaps and bounds. There

:31:06.:31:10.

is a generation that knows nothing about the troubles except what they

:31:11.:31:11.

read about the troubles except what they

:31:12.:31:15.

parents have told them. They don't understand it. Let's look

:31:16.:31:19.

parents have told them. They don't generations of people. Why burden

:31:20.:31:22.

them with a border again? We have been through all of this. We don't

:31:23.:31:25.

want it, we've had enough borders, we don't want any more. This is the

:31:26.:31:31.

UK's only land border with the rest of the EU. For many in Westminster,

:31:32.:31:36.

whether to leave or remain is an abstract question, few will be as

:31:37.:31:39.

deeply affected us those living here.

:31:40.:31:41.

He was the sceptic's sceptic, prominent even among

:31:42.:31:43.

the world's most passionate and persuasive atheists.

:31:44.:31:46.

But a new book published in America posits the possibility

:31:47.:31:51.

that the author and polemicist Christopher Hitchens not only

:31:52.:31:53.

contemplated Christianity as his 2011 death from cancer

:31:54.:31:57.

of the oesophagus approached but also flirted with faith itself.

:31:58.:32:00.

However, friends and confidantes of Hitchens, including his widow,

:32:01.:32:03.

are deeply unhappy at even the slightest aspersion being cast

:32:04.:32:06.

In a moment, we'll speak to one of those friends but I'm joined now

:32:07.:32:19.

The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of

:32:20.:32:23.

Even the most cursory reading of Christopher Hitchens' work

:32:24.:32:33.

establishes a man who did not believe he had a soul. How could it

:32:34.:32:37.

possibly have been restless? The title makes it very clear that what

:32:38.:32:41.

I am getting at with this is not that he had faith in God but rather

:32:42.:32:46.

that, as the title makes clear, I think the man was an atheist but I

:32:47.:32:50.

am asking the question, what was his faith in? The tumblers do not line

:32:51.:32:59.

up with the atheist key, or the God key, but he was defined by a lot

:33:00.:33:03.

more than his atheism. Of course it was, and I will ask the same

:33:04.:33:07.

question again, how could a man who did not believe he had a soul have

:33:08.:33:12.

had a restless soul? In a debate with Christopher, he spoke of a soul

:33:13.:33:16.

and I made sure to point this out. What did he say? He said that

:33:17.:33:21.

Christianity continued to inflict crimes against the body and the

:33:22.:33:26.

soul. And I pointed out that from an atheist point of view, there is no

:33:27.:33:30.

soul. But Christians would believe that there was. I do not think

:33:31.:33:34.

trying to unpick the workings of Christopher Hitchens' brains is

:33:35.:33:39.

within the remit of either of us. It is a deliberately provocative title,

:33:40.:33:42.

you are attempting to take a man famous throughout the world for his

:33:43.:33:46.

robust approach to atheism and his championing of it, and you are

:33:47.:33:49.

possibly attempting to flog a few books off the back of it. That is

:33:50.:33:55.

simply not true, James. And it is clear from your question that you

:33:56.:33:58.

have not read the book. The book is a story about friendship, a story

:33:59.:34:02.

about friendship between two man of very different world views. Here I

:34:03.:34:07.

am, an evangelical Christian and Christopher Hitchens, a Molotov

:34:08.:34:11.

cocktail tossing atheist. Onstage, the two of us could enjoy a warm

:34:12.:34:16.

friendship that culminated in two Lengthy road trips, one from his

:34:17.:34:22.

home in DC to mine, and the other through Yellowstone National Park,

:34:23.:34:24.

where we studied the gospel together. You read a book together.

:34:25.:34:30.

His friends say that you hardly knew him. Well, his friends clearly do

:34:31.:34:34.

not know the truth of it. I don't know how many friends Christopher

:34:35.:34:41.

took 13 hour car trips with, but he did two Lengthy road trips with me

:34:42.:34:46.

and spoke very warmly publicly of our friendship. This is an film,

:34:47.:34:49.

James. I am not inventing anything here. You bring his atheism into

:34:50.:34:56.

question, you posit the notion of contemplating Christianity, and your

:34:57.:34:59.

evidence is the number of hours you spend together in a car? No, that is

:35:00.:35:04.

not the evidence. The evidence is a great deal more than that. In fact,

:35:05.:35:09.

I think you are deliberately mischaracterising the book. What I

:35:10.:35:13.

say in the book is that Christopher was contemplating making a number

:35:14.:35:16.

of, if I could put it this way, edits to his life late in his life.

:35:17.:35:21.

Exactly what he would convert to was not clear. He spoke of a Protestant

:35:22.:35:25.

atheism, which was something he found attractive. Would he have

:35:26.:35:31.

converted to DSM? He was deeply affected by Judaism, and the

:35:32.:35:35.

discovery late in life that he was Jewish on his mother side. It is not

:35:36.:35:41.

clear exactly what kind of change you would have made but after 2001,

:35:42.:35:45.

he made a very serious defection from the left politically. And I am

:35:46.:35:53.

simply suggesting that this was a man of a great deal more complexity

:35:54.:35:57.

than you would suggest. Of course. How long before his death did you

:35:58.:36:01.

last see? I saw him 40 months before his death and that is very

:36:02.:36:09.

important. -- 14 months. Because the suggestion I am claiming a deathbed

:36:10.:36:12.

conversion is absurd. First of all, the book is not about that and

:36:13.:36:16.

secondly, I was not there. And nobody suggested it was. It was

:36:17.:36:20.

merely the tone of your intimacy I was seeking to establish. We are

:36:21.:36:25.

joined by Lawrence Krauss, an atheist and close friend of

:36:26.:36:29.

Christopher Hitchens. He refused to discuss directly with Larry Thompson

:36:30.:36:38.

the contents of this book. -- Larry Taunton. To begin with I want to ask

:36:39.:36:43.

you why your feelings run so deeply on this and have you been mollified

:36:44.:36:49.

by what you have heard? This is a man who is clearly trying to use

:36:50.:36:52.

Christopher Hitchens to take a relatively unknown individual and

:36:53.:36:57.

make money of Christopher's name. I will not participate with that, by

:36:58.:37:02.

having a conversation with something I am not willing to other

:37:03.:37:08.

conversation with. Is it possible that he was auditing some of his

:37:09.:37:12.

belief in the last years of his life? Firstly, let's talk about

:37:13.:37:15.

friendship because I had a conversation with Christopher

:37:16.:37:18.

Hitchens' would all about this. She confirmed that Christopher was paid

:37:19.:37:22.

to spend time with this man. I have to say that none of his friends paid

:37:23.:37:27.

Christopher to spend time with him. That is the difference between a

:37:28.:37:31.

real friend and a paid associate. Christopher was paid to debate with

:37:32.:37:35.

this gentleman. The other thing is that Christopher was incredibly, in

:37:36.:37:38.

spite of the fact that he was seen as a bulldog on stage, in private he

:37:39.:37:43.

was incredibly civil with individuals and could have

:37:44.:37:47.

wonderful, polite conversations with people he desperately disagreed

:37:48.:37:50.

with. I know Justice Scully are used to be a visitor in his house. --

:37:51.:38:00.

Justice Scolia. The fact that he is confusing friendship with civility

:38:01.:38:03.

means he did not know this man at all. What did his widow make of the

:38:04.:38:08.

book? She is disgusted by it and believes it was somebody taking the

:38:09.:38:12.

opportunity to write his coat-tails. So many things are ridiculous about

:38:13.:38:16.

the notion. First of all, atheism is not a belief system. It is a

:38:17.:38:20.

recognition that you do not accept the existence of God without

:38:21.:38:24.

evidence. As he would've said, extraordinary claims require

:38:25.:38:27.

extraordinary evidence and the claim that after 13.8 billion years, God

:38:28.:38:35.

would suddenly weighed in on this planet -- weight on this planet for

:38:36.:38:39.

hominis to develop and then decided to reveal himself to illiterate iron

:38:40.:38:47.

age peasants after millions of years, is so ridiculous that it

:38:48.:38:50.

would require extraordinary evidence. Moreover, if you were

:38:51.:38:53.

converting, what would you convert to? There were 1000 religions, and

:38:54.:38:58.

certainly Christianity was not one of Christopher's favourites. He said

:38:59.:39:02.

the new Testament was more evil than the old and in particular, as

:39:03.:39:06.

Richard Dawkins and I have pointed out, no one talks more about how the

:39:07.:39:15.

G7. -- hell then Jesus. He referred to God as a Saddam Hussein in the

:39:16.:39:20.

sky. The notion that they would be sympathetic to that kind of

:39:21.:39:22.

silliness is just ridiculous. Now, you may have been

:39:23.:39:30.

following our My Decision mini-series in the run up to the EU

:39:31.:39:32.

referendum - offering a little space to some well-known faces

:39:33.:39:35.

who are not going to see out Tonight, the thoughts of someone

:39:36.:39:38.

Gordon Brown described as a 'bigoted woman',

:39:39.:39:42.

Gillian Duffy. Well, I think the European Union has

:39:43.:39:58.

just got far too large for itself. The money what's being wasted,

:39:59.:40:09.

over and over, every year, Well, it's not billions,

:40:10.:40:11.

it's probably trillions now. We're giving all the time,

:40:12.:40:17.

we always put our money in, but we never seem to get

:40:18.:40:20.

anything back to help us. "I tried to read it and I thought

:40:21.:40:26.

I can't be reading this." She said, I put a stamp on it

:40:27.:40:38.

and just put, "David Cameron,

:40:39.:40:44.

10 Downing Street." And I read in the paper that other

:40:45.:40:45.

people had sent it back. Why was he allowed to spend

:40:46.:40:55.

?9 million on a leaflet? I don't think it will

:40:56.:40:57.

change our life at all. He said the rich will still be rich,

:40:58.:41:04.

whether we come out or we stay in. So that means we're going to still

:41:05.:41:10.

be the same anyhow, aren't we? But I'm frightened of losing

:41:11.:41:13.

our identity as well. That's what I'm frightened

:41:14.:41:21.

of, an' all. But we'll never get England

:41:22.:41:27.

back to how it was. But I love being English,

:41:28.:41:30.

and I don't want to be a European. And that is all we have time for.

:41:31.:41:42.

Emily is in the chair tomorrow. Good night.

:41:43.:41:53.

Good evening. Thursday brought some sunshine but many places had cloud

:41:54.:41:57.

and outbreaks of rain.

:41:58.:41:59.

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, with James O'Brien.

The search for the missing EgyptAir jet, the spectre of antibiotic resistance, plus what will happen to the Northern Irish border with Ireland if Britain leaves the EU?


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