In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis.
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How much ground do they share with the nationalists of the 1930s?
Because a lot of Europeans, you know, are conditioned, in a way,
like border, like identity, of being proud of oneself -
immediately a reflex kicks
We ask if they represent fringe interests, or a real threat
to the old order of Europe's liberal democracies.
Newsnight learns the committee with oversight into
Where does that leave questions of ethics and foreign policy?
And the British farmers that are filling the post-Brexit gap left
Clearly we haven't got enough UK workers, so we need to look to
Not because we're taking jobs away, but
Tonight, we look at the rise of the so-called
They call themselves Identitarians - groups that are unafraid to talk
about the need for national borders and cultural difference,
who fear Islamisation in their countries and call
They are patriots - wary of being seen as fascist,
and reject the idea that this is a return to the
So this evening, we ask how we should view the rise
Or the beginning of the end of Europe's liberal democracies?
This is the first in our series of films this week asking
if populism is fomenting a revolution.
Gabriel Gatehouse starts us off in Vienna.
Governments falling to populist revolt, old certainties
A union based on half a century of stability
This has been a year of centrifugal forces.
Of mainstream politics moving towards the fringes and of fringe
groups battling to lay claim to a new centre.
Today, Austria is on the periphery of world events.
But we're here to meet some people who want to make
They call themselves the Identitarian movement
and they hold views that many would consider beyond
You don't want us to film the way in?
I'll tell him when he can start to film.
But the parameters of public discourse are shifting.
This is a group that is in the process of coming
Fortunately we have now some younger members who are very
affiliated with the media, cutting videos, internet and so on.
At the moment, we are even on the way to developing an app.
It's an app for patriots where you can find the other guys
That's really something that happens.
The Identitarians are in some ways different
They disavow violence, they are articulate and tech savvy.
They've got their own TV studio here.
They broadcast live with fellow travellers in other European
countries and put together videos of their publicity stunts.
Earlier this month they scaled the statue of the Habsburg Empire's
Maria Theresa and dressed her up in a giant burqa.
No prizes then for guessing their views on Islam and immigration.
Those people who came here illegally
especially in the refugee crisis, they need to be sent back home.
You would be sending them into a war zone.
A lot of them didn't come from Syria to begin
with and the others, for the others, I think
we should create zones, and areas around Europe.
You know that's got like really scary overtones, especially
Zones and areas where you put people.
The United Nations plan to create safe zones.
You're automatically making the association is also shoving
part of the problem, because a lot of Europeans
are conditioned, when they hear some words, like people,
like culture, like border, like identity, of being proud
of oneself - immediately, kind of a reflex kicks in.
And creates this Nazi reflex, you know?
And people are really fed up with that.
We left their TV studio and moved on to a local cafe.
If they are not Nazis, I wondered, then what are they?
I ran them through a check list of typical far right issues.
How do you feel about people from different ethnic backgrounds
Do you think that's odd that you don't have any gay friends?
But do you think it's odd that you don't have any?
You don't think Jews are running the world in a secret conspiracy?
Ironically, it is the Jews who are most worried about
We have a huge exodus from France, for instance.
Jews are fleeing Europe because of Islamisation.
And so the conversation turns back to Muslim immigration.
Islamophobia is the new anti-Semitism, and the Identitarians
see themselves as part of a broader cultural insurgency.
We are a European movement, we exist in forms...
We exist in Slovenia, we exist in the Czech Republic.
We are overcoming old-style nationalism, chauvinistic
nationalism, which are attacking other European countries.
We think we have a European culture and today, in the 21st century,
We want a Europe that maintains the national differences that
secures our borders, that is strong in the outside but
Would you like Austria to leave the European Union?
I don't think at the moment we need to talk about it because Austria
I think we can take over this whole system and turn
Austria's Identitarian movement has only a few hundred activists.
In last week's presidential election, voters rejected
the candidate from the far right Freedom Party, albeit
Across Europe, right-wing populist parties are challenging
the old duopoly of the centre-right and the centre-left.
Nowhere is that challenge more stark than in France,
where the ideas of the Identitarian movement are supported by a growing
number of influential public intellectuals.
I am on my way to meet one of these people who provides the intellectual
underpinnings for the Identitarians here in France.
He is a man who was once a senior adviser to former
Patrick Buisson sees the older European order of facing a revolt
by a younger generation who are beginning to reject the
And in this world view, Brexit was a tipping point.
Scarred by recent terrorist attacks, France is increasingly preoccupied
by the existential question of what it means to be French.
In Lyon, as in other cities, people are leading
And as the dream of multiculturalism loses its shine, the politics
Generation Identitaire have their headquarters
in a bar down one of the city's medieval sidestreets.
They call themselves not activists but militants and claim to have 2000
fee-paying members in more than a dozen cities across France.
Twice a week they fan out across the city distributing hot
soup and winter clothes to the homeless, or the European
In the summers, they organise youth camps, where they train and exchange
ideas with other like-minded people from across Europe,
including Martin Sellner, the Austrian we met earlier.
Generation Identitaire are not directly affiliated
But they are emboldened by the prospect of a Le Pen presidency.
And their rejection of multiculturalism goes
further than a proposal to simply limit immigration.
What they are proposing is, in effect, ethnic cleansing.
They are French, they are as French as you are, they were born here.
The more extreme views of the Identitarians are not echoed -
officially, at least - even by the kaleidoscope of far
right parties now vying for the centre ground.
In France, the Netherlands, in Belgium, in Italy, and Austria.
Martin Sellner and his friends are a small minority.
We see ourselves as a patriotic avant-garde, who is pushing...
Of what you can say and what you can think.
Little by little, these ideas are being fed
Not new ideas, but old ones, ideas that many thought had been
Joining me now from Hungary is the sociologist and commentator
journalist and researcher for the Quilliam Foundation.
It is nice to hear from you both. These are not new ideas, but old
ones. Do you think this is a new movement or something you have seen
before? It's a renaissance of some former, but there is a new
dimension. Increasingly we have educated people across all classes
and all social backgrounds joining far right movements, populist
movements and the more militant ones. What we are seeing is
effectively a full-blown far right renaissance across Europe, or across
the world. Is that something that scares you? Definitely. I do see a
clear connection between the populist far right spreading hateful
ideologies and the more militant far right, increasing the attacks are
happening across Europe, far right terrorism is becoming a bigger
threat at the moment than jihadist terrorism and we have seen attacks
across the entire continent. Is that overblown? That is a hysterical
reaction. We are continuing to talk about it is just like Hitler, the
1930s, and we are confusing a small number of young right-wing activists
with the broader populist impulse that is enveloping Europe which has
got positive aspects and negative aspects. But there is a danger that
we seem to... INAUDIBLE In many respects these people are
the mirror image... INAUDIBLE We have terrible sound problems. We
will try to get back to you. Identitarians, or what you want to
call them, they claim they have been forced to accept an erosion of their
culture and laws, and boundaries. No matter what you call this, you prove
their point, you take things, this liberal society has decreed taboo
and you do not let anyone express their fears. The problem about this
becoming to do with anti-Muslim resentments, for example,
effectively it has spread into both the militant far right movements and
exactly the narratives that Islamist extremists are spreading, that the
West is at war with Islam. We are seeing this cultural war. Terrorists
who killed 70 people on the island in 2011, and the narratives of... We
are seeing this turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy into a
global civil war between Muslims and non-Muslims. I'm going to try and go
to Frank. The concern is, Frank, that you are missing what is
essentially the return of fascism, that this is near Nazism by any
other name. -- Neo. When you think of what the 1930s and the Fascists
represented and you compare that to INAUDIBLE
... The uncertainty. There's a real danger. A real danger drywall. -- a
real danger of crying wolf. I'm sorry, we are not getting a good
enough line. Frank has broken about the promiscuous populism which
allows the elite who have been guilty of crop politicians or
undemocratic institutions, or badly bodies who have had too much power
-- corrupt politicians. There is something in that? Definitely, but
finger-pointing and Scepovic -- scapegoating is the wrong approach.
I agree that much of this is rooted in a deep disappointment of the
establishment, not addressing the problems that the marginalised
majorities are facing. Is it too late? How do you see these
movements? Gabriel looked at the movements in Vienna and Paris. The
respondents at the moment, is this a niche interest or the beginning of a
revolution? -- small movements at the moment. We are seeing online
hate crimes and support for the Alt Right in the United States and in
France and Austria. We are seeing a sharp rise. This is becoming more
and more mainstream, something we need to address and I would say it
is like having two sides of the same coin. Islamist extremists and the
far right Kameni we don't address both of them they will both get rich
and rich -- and the far right, and if we don't address both of them
they will both get rich and rich. It is just a matter of time until we
tossed a coin. What will happen by the end of the decade? I hope that
this cultural war that both extremists and both identity
movements are speaking about is not turning into reality, but right now
I'm concerned by the developments on this side of the Atlantic and also
what is happening with Donald Trump. Thanks for joining us. Apologies for
not being able to get a clearer line from Budapest.
Britain's arms deals with Saudi Arabia have long been
a source of contention - many accuse the country
of using those weapons to commit war crimes in Yemen,
a country described by the DEC today as at breaking point.
Earlier in the year, we revealed that a report
by a parliamentary committee into Saudi arms sales was watered
down to be less critical of the Saudi regime.
Now, this programme has learned the committee with oversight
Who scrutinises the arms deals, then?
Our political editor Nicholas Watt has the story.
The vexed question of British arms exports has been brought into sharp
relief by the conflict in Yemen. Britain is continuing to supply arms
to Saudi Arabia which has been accused of violating international
human rights laws as it supports the Yemeni government infighting Shia
rebels. Over the autumn, details of a dispute about the arms sales
amongst senior MPs was late. -- was leaked. It was split down the
middle. You were party to material being improperly leaked out of the
committee proceedings which with a complex committee structure, made
the conduct of the committee and the trust of the committee to actually
be able to be a place where you can scratch out the issues at stake,
without them being relayed, out to the media, producing a very one eyed
view, on a single issue. Without the ability to consider the whole
situation and that make the -- made the work of the committee or most
impossible. One person called for the suspension of the arms deals.
The second set said it would be wrong to cancel supplies until
evidence had been at that. The row has now effectively killed off the
committee after the impasse meant they could not produce an agreed
report. The committee is of the view that with the machinery of
government off the hook, it makes sense of the new select committee on
international trade which oversees the Department for international
trade within which arms export licensing will set, that they should
oversee the exercise now. One member of Crispin Blunt's select committee
disagrees. I have the greatest respect for Crispin Blunt, but on
this issue I don't share his view. The arms control is a very
particular issue and it goes beyond just trade and we need to take into
is a consideration human rights and foreign policy and a range of issues
that need to be looked into for what is a very particular set of issues.
Members of other select committees also have concerns. We know there
are individuals who are not happy with the proposal to suspend arms to
Yemen and we have seen the government, despite the Foreign
Secretary's comments in recent days, rolling back on those and taking a
very pro-Saudi Arabian line. We still haven't got answers on those
allegations of atrocities against civilians. It seems to me that we
need a strong committee to hold the government's feet to the fire and
that requires the participation of all four constituency committees.
The current chairman of the committee on arms export controls,
whose draft report called for the suspension of arms to Saudi Arabia,
appears to be resigned to his fate. There needs to be scrutiny of arms
sales and exports and this was a good format for that to happen, and
in what ever Department that will fall under in the new parliament,
the new Department of structure, I think that we need to make sure that
some form of cake exists. Newsnight has learned that a new structure has
almost been agreed amongst MPs, the new international trade select
committee overseeing the work of Liam Fox's Department will take the
lead in overseeing arms export licences with members from other
select committees contributing, although in a less formal way. We
might have people succumbed to another committee and in a cake type
structure, from other committees, that will overview this or maybe
they will get seconded at moments when we are looking at international
arms sales in particular. The model is open at the moment, and we will
see what colleagues prefer and what the ideas are and inevitably we will
arrive at a conclusion at some point. Angus MacNeil says human
rights will Steve be one of the main concerns as he scrutinised is --
will still be one of the main concerns as he scrutinises it. I'm
an SNP MP and if there is any role of undermining and downplaying human
rights aspect, within the SNP and the SNP membership, my, will be felt
very strongly and so that will not be happening. Not least the voice of
Nicola Sturgeon who might be quite strong, as well. Boris Johnson, is
comments that Saudi Arabia have been fighting proxy wars in Yemen, but
Parliamentary oversight on arms export licences will soon be largely
in new hands -- his comments. America has an estimated
11 million immigrants living illegally in the US -
a number that has broadly stabilised For many, that number represents
a problem to be solved. But within America, the phenomenon
of "sanctuary cities" has grown up. They represent around three dozen
cities that have turned a blind eye to those there illegally -
and refuse to deploy their own immigration enforcement
officers to deport them. They offer, in other words,
a safe space to illegal immigrants. Donald Trump - who campaigned
robustly against illegal immigration on the campaign trail -
has made clear he intends to cancel all federal funding to these cities
in a bid to crack their policy We will end the sanctuary cities
that have resulted in Cities that refuse to cooperate
with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars
and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those
jurisdictions that do And can Donald Trump actually follow
through on his promise Michael Hancock is
the mayor of Denver, I know that Denver like New York,
San Francisco, DC and Chicago is a Sanctuary city. Explain how it
works. Thanks for having me. I want to make it clear Denver never
formally adopted a policy to be a sanctuary city. It is commonly known
in the US there is not a precise definition of what a sanctuary city
is. Some cities have adopted policies, Denver has never adopted a
policy to be a century city. We are an inclusive city, a city of
opportunity that is welcoming and will continue to enforce the laws we
have on our books, but we will not violate the constitutional rights of
individuals and hold them without a warrant to hold them. Let me clarify
this. Would Donald Trump stop you from getting what is it $175 million
of federal money for how he interprets your actions in the city?
We don't know what President-elect Trump macro will do. It is too early
to estimate what his immigration policy with the. Somebody who has
been elected, I know what it means to campaign on something and get
into office and have to govern and the realities may shift. Denver has
never formally adopted a sanctuary city position and we cooperate with
the central government as regards immigration laws. You do not think
his rhetoric on immigration will come true? It is important to
recognise those cities follow the law and Denver follows the law
regarding immigration. We will not do the job of the immigration
control enforcement division. And we will not... We do not have the
policing power or policing manpower to execute those laws so we have to
allow the federal authorities to do that, but we will cooperate with
federal government and enforce the laws as we can. For give me for
coming in but President-elect Trump had a strong mandate on this issue
of stopping illegal immigration. Do you have a duty to start enforcing
it when America has voted for that? It is not the city government's role
to enforce immigration laws. If we arrest someone for violation of our
city doors we will work with federal agencies. The moment we no longer
have a constitutional authority to hold that individual, that they have
satisfied their duty or violation with the city of Denver, we have to
release them and that is where the confusion occurs. Let's get to the
spirit of what you are doing, which is broadly you are a welcoming haven
for illegal immigrants under a President who has made it clear he
does not agree with illegal immigration. You are at odds with
the policy America has chosen. We are a city that is welcoming and
inclusive, we don't believe in separating families needlessly. We
believe in upholding family values and holding people accountable who
violate the law. Somebody working hard, pursuing the opportunity of
freedom and an opportunity of happiness in Denver, we encourage
them to seated legal status but we do not believe in needlessly
separating families and allowing people to remain in the inclusive
city. Would it matter if the money were stopped, if you do not receive
$170 million with the new administration? Along with other
mayors in the country we hope and believe it will not get to that. We
hope and we will work closely with the trumpet administration and
develop a comprehensive path to citizenship for all immigrants and
to allow these folks to be productive residents in our cities.
We know there are illegal immigrants. It is not practical to
think we will deport 11 million people, and to recognise that many
cities including Denver have thrived economically because of the hard
work and dedication of people including immigrants, in our city,
who have participated in the production of our great city. We
believe it is better to work closely with the Trump administration.
Thanks. The Brexit vote has already
begun to affect the way Some are facing a 10% shortfall
in seasonal workers, according to the Farmers Union,
as foreign employees are showing a reluctance to come over
to the UK to find jobs. The industry is using the labour
crisis to rethink the way it works and has introduced automation
into the workplace in ways Here's our technology
editor David Grossman. The carrot business
is all about incentives. What this farm sees as the stick
of Brexit threatens to dry out the supply of EU migrant labour
that it relies on. And so they are turning
to technology to fill the gap. Clearly we haven't got enough UK
workers so we need to look But we haven't got
enough UK workers. If there were enough UK workers,
we wouldn't be having migrants. This is how this farm used
to sort their carrots. 18 migrant workers deciding what can
be Christmas dinner and what is only Now, cameras, lasers,
and computers sort the veg The good news for some firms
who have high levels of migration is that they are actually quite ripe
for new technology so, yes, it will cost some money
and needs upfront investment, but whether it is agriculture,
bits of manufacturing, already you can see that those
sectors are ready for new forms of technology and new forms
of robots, if you like, Much more difficult is those parts
of the economy that have high levels of migration but actually don't look
very ripe for technology. Cleaning, domestic services,
hotel work, for instance. And that is great news
for places like this. It exports farm machinery all over
the world and has never been busier The images from the camera are being
analysed on the on-board computer. Again, this is technology
that is only just ripe, using cameras and computers to do
what only humans were capable of only a couple of years ago,
in this case identifying and removing weeds in
rows of young crops. A typical small model of the in-row
weeder would do the same amount of work as a typical gang of say
30 manual labourers. And although not cheap,
a machine doesn't need It just sits in the shed
until you need it. Well, we seem to be sitting
in a nice place where There has been a trend in any case
over the last few years to go more and more into more technology
on farms, using this And I think it is simply
focusing the mind and Because there may well be
no other alternative. It's not just agriculture
that is looking at automation to get around
a post-Brexit shortage. The international president of UBS,
the parcel delivery firm, says they will now invest more
in robots in the UK than they had But some politicians and employers
are pressing for a return to something like the seasonal
agricultural workers scheme to allow I think there is a lot of interest
in sector-based schemes. They worked pretty well
in agriculture because there you had a large requirement for labour
at a particular point in time. Elsewhere, you need flexibility
in labour, but it is spread throughout the year,
so the idea of having someone, having a group of workers over
for a couple of months is not going to work for sectors like food
processing and hospitality. The British economy
is clearly heading for big However, some economists believe
that automating away our addiction to cheap EU labour could not only
help us survive this change, Anything that can encourage firms
to think more about investing both in new technology and also
in the skills of the existing If we can therefore start
to generate more output. All right, there has to be
an upfront investment cost, but generate more output
without having to rely on these business models,
which mean we have to bring That probably is a healthy place
for the economy to move. There's lots of other debates
about whether or not we should be thinking about changing the numbers
of migrants coming in each year. But purely from the economic
perspective, if we can boost productivity, then the Brexit vote
will actually have had some positive impact in terms
of kick-starting the process. In low-skilled, low-wage industries,
the robots are certainly coming. The questions are, how quickly
and how much will they cost? For big employers of migrant labour,
the technology, the economics And that still adds up to a whole
load of uncertainty. We can take you through the front
pages before we go. Distressing pictures on the front of the
Guardian newspaper, a final call to the world, to save Aleppo. President
Assad loyalist now controlling much of the city. The same sort of
picture in the Independent. We need more than two years to negotiate the
Brexit deal says the Chancellor, a story suggesting he is in favour of
a soft Brexit that could take up to four years. The Daily Telegraph,
Christmas post strike adding to rail misery. This looks at Southern rail
strikes that could find itself joined by a Christmas postal strike
and the Express. An Alzheimer's story.
Before we go tonight, we heard today the news that
weatherman Ian McCaskill, one of the BBC's most recognisable
faces in the '80s and '90s, had died.
He had the special talent of making even a dreary day seem bearable.
We'll leave you with a flavour of his work, the opening
of his Christmas Day forecast in 1987.
You've got to be really unlucky to pull your own cracker and
But at least we'll be lucky with the weather.
And Southport, an almost, but not quite,
incredible six and a half hours of sunshine.
Good evening, less than two weeks away from the big day and no sign of
snow. Plenty of rain on Tuesday the first thing. Spreading northwards
and eastwards and slices of sunshine in between. A