20/07/2017 Newsnight


Analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. Should the UK embark on a transition phase after leaving the EU, and how far should security services go to combat terrorism?

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Do you want the journey to Brexit to be a slow Wade, or would you rather


it was a fast, clean leap into our new arrangement? It's becoming a


refight of the battle between remain and leave. The transitional


arrangements, how fast we exit, is a slow transition simply a ploy to


stop Brexit all together? The old and tired phrase, it looks like a


duck, walks like a ducks, quacks like a duck - it is a duck and the


soft Brexiteers are in fact people who've always rejected the result.


We'll debate the pros and cons of different transitional plans. Is


this the future of Counter-Terrorism? Automatic


monitoring of suspects on a database watch list. We have got to be


vigilant all the time and mustn't let our guard down. We must use the


latest technology to take the fight to the terrorists. Grenfell - a new


Deputy Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council and he's taking over


the authority's response to the fire. We meet him. I think the


mistake was that we thought that we could do this on our own. And the


scale was much, much lanker. If I was going to point to the biggest


thing, we delayed before we started engaging on a national level and


getting support. Hello. The Brexit talks between


Britain and the EU carried on again today. The sides are still stuck on


the divorce bill and citizens' rights. More on that shortly. Away


from the negotiation with them in the EU, there is something of a


negotiation going on here within the UK, or more precisely within the UK


Government. It's about a potential transitional arrangement, the day we


leave the EU - how long does the transition need to be and xa exactly


happens in it? It's becoming the central divisive question in the


Conservative Party on how Brexit should proceed. Our Political


Editor, Nick watt is with me. Nick, let's just start on the negotiations


with the EU first, the ones today. How are they progressing? Today was


round two of the Brexit divorce talks in Brussels between David


Davis, as you see there, and Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator.


Supporters of the Brexit secretary said the talks went much better than


expected on two of the key areas, progress on the rights of EU


citizens and on Northern Ireland. The big difficulty is the money. The


UK's made clear there is absolutely no way it's going to pay the ?100


billion euros that has been mentioned in Brussels. I spoke to a


senior source who said that if the UK was able to say it reduced that


figure by say around two thirds, then it may be up for paying what


would still be a substantial sum of money. Now, the reason why that's


important is that Michel Barnier gave a much less upbeat assessment


and he said the UK has got to clarify its position on that


payment. Right. I mean that's all the


immediate stuff isn't it. Let's think about the issues coming down


the line. This particular one of transition? That's right. The focus


in Brussels is on the immediate sort of divorce arrangement but the


debate in the UK has been on the immediate period after the UK leaves


the EU in the spring of 2019. Now, in her Lancaster House speech in


January, the Prime Minister talked about how there would have to be an


implementation phase between leaving the EU and then fully agreeing that


future trading relationship. Now, since the election, a rather bullish


Philip Hammond who of course voted Remain in the general election, he's


been talking about a transition period of a couple of years. That


would involve a very close relationship with the core bodies


and institutions of the EU. I've been looking at the debate in


Cabinet on the highly charged issue of that transitional phase.


MUSIC You can have a transition agreement


that keeps as little disruption as possible. We are not going to be


talking a couple of months, it will be a couple of years. It has to have


an end date. To transition or not to transition? That is the question


that's been dividing ministers. Whether Britain should sever its


formal links with the EU at the point of departure or whether the UK


should move at a slower pace as lain at the heart of recent Cabinet


squabbling. In the so-called soft Brexit corner stands Philip Hammond


who's called for a transitional period of a couple of years after


the UK leaves the EU. Over in the hard Brexit corner stands Liam Fox


who echoed the Prime Minister's language when he talked recently of


an implementation phase lasting a few months. Allies of the Chancellor


say Philip Hammond is increasingly confident that Cabinet Ministers are


coming round to his view as they heed his warnings about a cliff edge


Brexit. There is talk about how pragmatic leaves will accept what is


described as Norway plus, associate status within the single market, a


looser relationship with the customs union, to allow the UK to negotiate


free trade deals around the world and a special court to end the deaf


intive jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice over the UK --


definitive. The Chancellor's camp say the blueprint represents a


challenge to Brussels which is saying the UK should be subject to


all of the rules of the EU during a transition period. A Remain


supporter even talks of maintaining the status quo for a limited period.


Even though we have left the EU at that period, for the time scale that


it would take to negotiate a new trade agreement, so maybe a couple


of years, we would still keep the same status quo to give businesses


certainty and to give them time to adjust to the new economic


arrangements. Liam Fox slightly changed tack this week when he said


he wouldn't be troubled been aimplementation phase lasting two


years. One leading Brexit supporter is wary of talk about a transition


period. Well then we are only out of the European Union in some


theological sense that if we are subject to rules of the single


market, the regulations of the single market, we are subject to the


European Court of Justice, we are paying for the privilege and can't


do free trade deals with the rest of the world, we are in the European


Union and the old and tired phrase, it walks and talks and quacks like a


duck, it is a duck. These soft Brexiteers are in fact people who've


always rejected the result of the referendum there, the Tony Blairs of


this world who wish it hadn't happened and think that they can


magic it away. I don't think the British voters will accept that.


Jacob Rees-Mogg believes under most scenarios, a transitional phase may


not even be necessary. If the talks are going well, and we know in


advance, some margin in advance of 2019 that there will be an


agreement, then any implementation period will be very short. If on the


other hand the talks are going very badly, then it will be too late to


announce an implementation programme right at the end because people will


need to have made plans for no agreement. On either basis, there's


not much for an implementation to take care of. Either it's terrible


and it's too late, or it's gone well and then you've already got time to


implement between the talks being concluded and the final date of our


leaving. As Parliament finally breaks up for the summer recess,


there are tentative signs of the Cabinet coaling around a transition


period last ago few years -- co Al elsing. Brexit supporters remain


deeply suspicious. Nick, what there would the debate


within the Conservative Party about the need for a transitional period


or not. Let's work through the substance of that now. Do we need


one? I'm joined by Stephen Bullock, whose job did once involve


negotiating with the other member states. Ukip's Suzanne Evans also


joins me. Stephen can you perhaps explain why you think we do need


some kind of transition? I think the two clear reasons why a transition


is absolutely necessary are, I think the first reason is that there is


simply no chance in the time available of fully comprehensive


Free Trade Agreement being agreed. I think we'll be or should be very


grateful if the divorce agreement and some agreement on the future


relationship including possibly a set of principles and possibly a


transitional arrangement, if that's what the UK wants, be agreed by the


end of that time. I think there is no chance of getting the FTA. The


level of complexity involved also, that simply requires a much longer


amount of... Longer, you just said longer. That was the word. How long?


What do you think it needs to be as does it have to have a final date


before we go in, or do you basically think it can be indefinite? Well,


personally I wouldn't mind if it was indefinite. I think the European


Parliament's said very clearly that it would want it to be having a


clear end date and they wouldn't want it to be some sort of half way


house permanently. I don't think it's in the EU's interests to want


that to be permanent with the ever present threat that the UK then


decides it wants to end the arrangement or start a new


arrangement, then we have to go through a similar process than the


one we are going through now again. Suzanne Evans, do you think we can


get away without any transition, is that really possible? This is what


we were told. Going back to the EU referendum campaign, I don't recall


the word transition being used once. This is a ruse that has been brought


in by the people that want us to stay in. Fascinating to hear Stephen


talking about, it's not in the EU interest to keep the transition


phase going forever. Of course it is, we are a major net contributor


and will be subject to their laws and migration controls. We won't


have any freedom at all. The fact is, the people of Britain know


exactly what they voted for, they voted to take back control of our


minute, our laws and borders -- our money, our laws and borders. We are


not going to be take back any of those for goodness knows how long.


We either leave in March 2019 or are held hostage for an indefinite


period of time. Why is it so bindery, what is the hurry because


it's quite possible we won't be ready to leave then but we will be


ready to leave a year or 18 months, two years later? This is always


Ukip's concern about doing the Article 50 route, that lays out a


two-year period. If it's not possible to do it in two years, why


did Article 50 say it should be possible. The whole thing is utter


nonsense, clearly a ruse. As for the Free Trade Agreement that's


apparently going to take a huge length of time, Free Trade


Agreements are struck around the world without 28 countries having to


agree in a matter of months. The only reason we won't potentially be


able to do a Free Trade Agreement is because the European Union is


expressly forbidding us from starting those negotiations with


other countries now. So it's a bit of a false argument. One can't help


but feel there is there something to be said, Stephen, that you do just


want to delay Brexit or stop it all together and hope that maybe after


two years something else come ace long and we never go through with


it. Isn't that deep down what you are really saying? Well, my personal


view as a Remain voter are that we should scrap Brexit as we have


discovered that it's unbelievably harmful to the UK or going to be.


There was a landmark study done by the UK in the changing EU at Kings


College today, it was released today, it showed very clearly that


leaving without a deal would be absolutely catastrophic,


particularly economically. All economic predictions are that it


will be a catastrophe. The leave campaign promised it would be


excellent and that there would be lots of money flowing, that we could


use for lots of lovely things. That's not what's going to happen. .


The point is that there are a series of realities here, such as food


standards, aviation, we have seen it with Euroton over medical treatment,


all this needs agreement. That is very helpful but let's take the


specifics and put them to Suzanne. Michael O'Leary of Ryanair said


timetables are coming out in a year, they need to know whether they are


allowed to fly and it's not fixed up. If you ask Michael O'Leary and


Stephen, they would say they want the transition period to go on for a


long time because they don't want it. If they play hard ball and say


we are not talking to you, what will happen? I don't think we will be


playing hard ball on aviation rights. We'll be begging them to let


them fly into their air space? The same with trade. Stephen said the


economic case will be disastrous if we leave. That's not true. If we


have tariffs and trade under World Trade Organisation terms, that will


bring economic benefit of ?12.7 billion. What happens on aviation


rights. Supposing they say we are waiting for a proper negotiation and


we say no, we are leaving, what happens? There is no treaty


governing... But that's not going to happen, is it? Stephen is it going


to happen, is it going to be said that you can't have nuclear


materials and fly out of Heathrow Airport? I think it's actually


slightly worse than the aviation market. Everyone talks about the


aviation market. I only found out recently that aviation safety is


currently done by an EU agency which is covered by the ECJ, as they all


are, and that the UK doesn't have its own capacity for the


certification of the people who repair aeroplanes. At the moment


they have 19 months to establish a regulatory framework on the and to


recruit and train people to be able to do that. My point is that there


are literally hundreds, it's a 40-year complicated relationship,


there are hundreds of areas that keep cropping up. Every time I run


into a sector expert in Brussels he tells me about the difficulties that


there are going to be in his area. I'd never thought of the energy


market, for example, I know that energy experts thought about Euroton


and Isotopes. We are going to see more of these moments that we didn't


realise... Suzanne, she is shrugging in a weary way as though she's heard


it all before. I'm sure she is because she believes in Brexit at


any cost to the economy. This idea of the cliff edge, the


fact is, this shows how deeply embedded we have got into the


European Union. This is what we have to get out of. Is it whether we have


time to create border posts and understand the structure? To you


except we need even now we need some sort of transitional period? We


should be doing that right now, that is the issue, what we can do right


now, this is about Article 50, this slow move progress, designed not to


allow countries to leave but to keep them in. If we were to repeal the


1970s European Communities Act, ultimately it would have been to our


benefit. Thank you both very much. We have to leave it there. Time now


for a Viewsnight - the part of the programme where we give space for


original and provocative opinion. Tonight we hear from Naomi Klein -


activist and author of "No is Not Enough - defeating the New Shock


Politics". At the centre of the hapless


response to the Grenfell Tower fire is a London borough,


the Royal Borough of By universal acknowledgement,


it failed to rise to the challenge. And as the owner of the building


and inspector of building works, it is in line


for other criticism, too. Those who survived the fire


are understandably angry at the council -


and that erupted last night at a council meeting which confirmed


in post a new council leader. Well, the Communities Secretary,


Sajid Javid, updated the Commons today on Grenfell and made the point


that the council won't be trusted The initial response


from the local authority There is not a lot of trust there,


not a lot of confidence. And that is why, once Kensington


and Chelsea Council takes over the recovery operation,


it will do so under the supervision of the independent


Grenfell Recovery Task Force. It is there to provide advice


and support and see to it that the council does the job


that is required of it. The council has now at least


appointed a deputy leader, who is to take responsibility


for the Grenfell response. His name is Kim Taylor-Smith,


and I met him at the council I asked him where he thought the


council had gone wrong in the response to the disaster.


I think the mistake was that we thought we could do this


on our own and the scale was much, much larger and I think


if I was going to point to the biggest thing,


we delayed before we started engaging on a national


I was talking to somebody today and they were criticising this and


We have two people in our comms department and we had 5000 people


They just weren't able to deal with this scale.


It seems remarkable that you didn't throw money at it?


You have huge reserves as a council, ?274 million.


Well, we obviously do have large reserves and thank goodness we do


because obviously the application of those is going to be


As far as specifically, on the first day, we booked 350 hotels,


Money wasn't a limiting factor in terms of that,


We were giving emergency payments as well.


When Nick Paget-Brown, the former leader, when he stepped


down, he talked about perceived failings of the council and he


Can I ask whether you think there are perceived failings


I think I have to be a little bit careful.


There is going to be an enquiry on this.


Certainly, from my perspective, there were a lot of things


that we could have done better and a lot of things that we should


So I think we have failed as far as our local


Can I ask why you would be hesitant to say that there were failings?


Because to most of us it is so obvious there were failings,


there should be no hesitation in just saying, we failed.


It is not that it could have been better, it was terrible.


And the council let people down very badly.


Where I feel quite strongly is that we have officers in this


situation, not councillors, we have officers in this time


of situation who have worked incredibly hard and from day one,


and they have a shadow cast over them in terms of the overall review


So, I am going to be a little bit guarded in terms of laying criticism


So, last year, the council took ?55 million in social rent.


And invested less than that back in social housing.


Is it appropriate for a council effectively to make money,


to see social housing as a moneymaking operation


as opposed to a money spending operation?


First of all, the numbers you have quoted, you have given


a gross figure of rents, in terms of net it is actually


about ?11 million a year, which is still a sizeable


Again, I don't want to sound evasive.


On why that wasn't spent or how that was spent.


Certainly as far as the commitment we have given, we have committed


to do 400 houses within the next five years and we have


I really want to look forward in terms of what is going to happen


rather than what has happened in the past.


It has been easy to write this disaster up as a council that was


too good at looking after wealthier residents, the majority in the area,


and was not concerned really about the poor residents. Do you think


that is a reasonable way of looking at what happened at Grenfell? No, in


terms of investing to a certain sector, if we go to Grenfell, that


was part of the ?60 million investment, there was the new


school, with 1000 local children, there was a new sports Academy and


refurbishment of the Grenfell Tower, all from local people. Not


gentrification. A lot of people said, the purpose of the cladding


was to make it look nice for the richer residents who lived around it


so they did not have to look at the old Grenfell Tower? Is there


something in that? I totally disagree. If you are going to


refurbish the building, why would you not want the building to improve


how would looks? The meeting last night, the Grenfell Action Group,


the leader said he was appalled by the behaviour of councillors, there


was whispering and giggling, would you answer that? If that behaviour


was going on I was not aware of that from where I was sitting and I would


not condone that. He said the council are managing this as a PR


disaster. Public relations, rather than as an actual disaster. Any


fairness in that? I am not sure we have done a lot of PR in order to


manage the disaster and of the work, we have seemingly failed in terms of


that. Some people would say that after such a calamity, the


appropriate thing is for people who warned about this or who wanted


change beforehand are the ones to take over, not the people who were


in charge beforehand? We have an election in May, we also have to


keep the wheels on the bus, this is a large borough and there is a lot


of things we do well so there is benefit to continuity and the skill


sets of the people we have got within the new Cabinet, whilst I


accept what you say in terms of trust and mistrust, they are the


right people to do this. Kim Taylor-Smith, thank you very much.


It is fairly routine these days for cameras to be programmed


But Newsnight has learned that highly advanced computer technology


is being tested here at the far more complicated task of


The idea is that it can help keep tabs on terrorist suspects.


The technology works by comparing images of suspects on a terrorist


watch list with the images of people who pass special cameras


Alerts can be triggered if they approach high-profile


targets, for example, or if they associate with other


Could these face recognition cameras become as common as CCTV?


The scale of the thread is huge, three terrorist attacks this year,


35 people dead. Five attacks have been stopped in the past four


months, some have told Newsnight it is time for a new approach. Is this


the future of counterterrorism in the UK? Affects surveillance camera


monitors people coming out of the building. Most are not on any


terrorist watch list. But this person is. And his face is


recognised automatically. Triggering an alert. With 23,000 now on the


watch list, is this the way forward? It is impossible to use conventional


means against that number of people, it cannot be done. The arithmetic,


it cannot be done. The technology is able to do that job right now and


therefore it is the responsibility of society and politicians to decide


what is the appropriate way that might be deployed. We do need to


debate to start to use these images in a more intimate and aggressive


and more defined way. After the suicide bombing at the Manchester


Arena in May, MI5 let it be known that 23,000 people in the UK have


had links to violent Islamist extremism. 3000 are current threat


and 20,000 have recent links. We know some of them are high up on


those lists and getting constant attention and we also know that


people might be down the list and might have featured years ago and


have gone quiet and all of a sudden they become activated and carry out


terrorist outrages, it is a huge challenge society as to how we deal


with these potential suspects. The conditions are extremely difficult


but they are proceeding as quickly as they can... Andy Trotter was


deputy chief constable for British Transport Police at the time of the


London bombings in 2005 and Chief Constable after that. Rejecting


crowded spaces has been central to his 45 year police career. The


dreadful events of the last few weeks should stick in our minds


forever, they should not fade away. We have to be vigilant all the time


and must not let our guard down and we must use the latest technology to


take the fight to the terrorists. Both the leader of the Manchester


attack and the leader of the London Bridge Rampage later when known


extremists but they were assessed to be a low priority. They were on the


radar but not under the microscope whenever they attacked. With 23,000


on the list, how do we as a society monitoring that number? There is a


technique called automatic face recognition that can help, it uses


the images of faces taken from cameras deployed either overtly or


covertly. They kind of automatic face recognition we are talking


about relies on a machine learning and artificial intelligence, where


computers teach themselves to identify people more effectively.


Newsnight can reveal this technique was used in live surveillance


operations before and after the recent terrorist attacks in


Manchester and London. A small British company called Digital


barriers has developed an advanced face recognition system. We set up a


simple scenario using actors to show how this works. This is a typical


surveillance camera but this is loaded with face recognition


capability so you can see it as capturing everyone coming from the


store away in a crowded space. Unknown on the left, this person is


high risk. Somebody on the list has been spotted coming from the


entrance of a typical camera and on the top left-hand side of the


screen, because that is registering the match, we can see the identity


of that person and that alert will go to the right place. This could be


one of many thousands of such cameras in use every single day of


the week looking for people against that database. The system uses an


artificial intelligence technique called machine learning. We feed the


computer millions of reference images where we know what the


results are on the computer knows those results as well and when we


feed it images it has not seen before, it can unfair what they


might be and we allow the system to become ever better at the job of


recognising people. The designers of the system say it can even work in


bad light and we did our experiment, recognising faces through glass. We


look at multiple reference points on the face of a person and in essence


we create a map, biometric map, which is just code about as compared


to the same maps created as people pass the camera.


The use of video is key, enabling the system to analyse thousands of


frames. It has been used in a whole range of applications. Should these


tactics be yewed to monitor known extremists? He spent much of his


career at the top of UK policing, a source, he says he believes most of


the public will accept it. He says the UK's Counter-Terrorism tactics


are out-of-date. Current Counter-Terrorism tactics were


developed in response to Irish terrorism. From the 1970s on,


terrorist networks were infiltrated. Bugs and probes were placed,


suspects physically tracked. This approach takes a lot of surveillance


officers on the ground. We recreated a classic operations or follow. We


spoke to a former surveillance officer who spent five years working


for the Metropolitan Police. Essentially we had the first


operative following him the same side of the pavement to the corner,


then they disengage and carry on because he's turned left. From this


side of the street, cross over, re-engage on the left hand turn and


the end of the street will be the primary position. Sounds like a


labour-intensive process? Yes, it is. And that's without considering


that you may need to have extra vehicles with extra crews on board,


extra bodies on the ground, changeover shifts and potentially


somebody on overwatch to operate the remote viewing equipment or even on


the roof top. Another former surveillance officer told me he'd


seen MI5 operations that used 40 people to trail one target over 24


hours. It is a hugely labour-intensive operation. These


people might do nothing for months, years, and all the time there might


be others who need even more attention. That diverts resources


from other things. If we can use this technology sensible, can good


judicial oversight because obviously clearly there are issues here, I


think the overriding civil liberty is keeping our society safe. If we


can use this technology, we should. If an alert is triggered, what


action should be taken? If an alarm is run through your camera system


picking up one of these people, what do you do? At this stage all you've


got is a positive identification of somebody on a watch list. Do they


represent a threat? Are they planning some form of attack? Are


they just going about their normal business popping down to see their


mum or going out shopping? At London Bridge, protective rails have been


installed but face recognition could offer a broader approach. In rising


order of controversy, you could use it with targeted investigations,


monitoring people entering and leaving an address, for example, or


use multiple cameras to protect crowded spaces like stations or the


citizens could become as ubiquitous as CCTV to build patterns of


behaviour. We can take a database of muttple tens of thousands of people.


So what are the patterns behind people's behaviour, so how many


different times have people on a list that you may be interested in,


visited certain locations or been in the same location at similar times


to others you are interested in. This is being used in secret. We


haven't had a conversation as a society about how or where and when


it should be used. What we need is to have that conversation and we


need to interrogate whether we are willing for something that can be


very invasive and have a real impact on innocent people's freedoms every


day, whether we are willing to have that installed in our society and


what we need to make sure that we are protected from it going wrong.


If you protected every single crowded place, people would feel


they were living under some form of surveillance society so where does


the balance end? The biggest attack on our civil liberties is the murder


of our children and our people in Manchester and in London. Yes,


there'll be an intrusion, of course there will but that is a price to


pay if we can protect our society against the terrorist threat. The


London bombings in 2005 remain Britain's worst terrorist attack.


Back then, Newsnight revealed that the leader, Mohammad Sidique Khan


featured in surveillance before the attack. He slipped through the net.


With an ever lengthening watch list, some say the trade-off between


intrusion and security must change. I'm concerned about civil liberties,


as is anybody. I'm even more concerned about making sure we use


the best kit we can to take the fight to the terrorist. We do not


want to be having memorial services and we don't want to be thanking the


blue light services for outstanding responses, we don't want to do this


any more. Anything we can do to fight the terrorists and serious


criminals, we should use it. Advanced face recognition will never


replace conventional intelligence gathering. But it could help manage


the watch list given the scale of the threat will society accept it?


Richard Watson there. Almost time to go. Let's take a look at the papers,


or some of them. The Times leads on transitional arrangements, borders


will remain open for two years after Brexit. The Chancellor is juend


Studioed stood to believe he has support of every Cabinet Minister


for a deal, a new immigration regime will be put in place after the two


year period. The Daily Telegraph on a similar theme, not quite the same


story, it's one that says foreign criminals will be able to stay or


some of them after we leave the EU. OJ Simpson on the cover of one of


the papers, he's been given parole over in the US. And finally the


Forwardian, free movement may go on until 2023, ministers accept, so


that's a transitional arrangement that is a little bit longer. Well,


that is it for tonight. Before we go, what have Bing Crosby, Paul


Newman and Meetloaf got in common, they are one in part of the 12 women


and 200 women who suffer from one form of colour blindness. A Belgian


photographer's released a photo book using infrared exposure and hand


painted images. A high proportion of residents suffer from total colour


blindness in one area. Historians believe the gene that causes the


condition can be traced to a King who repopulated the island after a


tsunami, wiped out almost the entire population in the 1700s. So we leave


you tonight with images from the island of the colour blind. Good