27/11/2017 Newsnight


27/11/2017

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis.


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LineFromTo

Tonight, could this be

the border that sinks Brexit?

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Newsnight is live in Dublin,

and we speak to the DUP's Brexit

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spokesman here in the studio.

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Also tonight, Syria's Aleppo

was a year ago, but a new crisis

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is emerging to the east of Damascus.

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Tonight, we bring you exclusive

footage from the rebel stronghold of

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Eastern Ghoutta.

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We'll ask the UN live what they can

do to stop the suffering.

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And...

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Also tonight - Meghan Markle wows

the nation, as she prepares

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to marry Prince Harry.

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The corgies took

to you straightaway.

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Over the last 33 years,

being barked at.

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This one walks in,

absolutely nothing.

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Just laying on my feet

during tea, it was very sweet.

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Wagging tails, it was just like ugh!

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She's also called herself a strong,

confident mixed-race Woman.

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How much of a moment is this

for others of mixed heritage?

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Good evening.

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Tonight, Ireland stands

on the verge of snap elections,

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as their Prime Minister promises

to do everything he can to bring

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the country back from the brink.

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The dispute is a domestic one,

but the implications would be

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profound for the EU and for Brexit.

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Leo Varadkar has threatened to block

Brexit talks next month,

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if he believes insufficient progress

has been made on the future

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of the border within

the island of Ireland.

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This border is one of the most

intractable issues Brexit has thrown

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up - how to preserve the openness

between north and south,

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and how to comply with the new terms

that Britain's vote to leave

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the EU demands.

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Theresa May is desperate to start

pushing talks with Brussels

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onto trade, when she meets

negotiators next week.

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But they will not be willing to do

so until the Ireland

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question is resolved.

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Let's head straight to Dublin

and Mark Urban who's there.

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Emily, the things were queueing up,

political pressure, messages,

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everything queueing up just the way

Ireland wanted it on the border

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issues. A couple of weeks back, the

commission in Brussels had got

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squarely behind them with more

explicit language than we'd heard

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before saying, well, their preferred

solution was that a border be on the

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Irish Sea, ie that Northern Ireland

be taken into the same customs and

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single market regime if, indeed,

Britain was going to push on and

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leave the single market and customs

union. Now suddenly, this political

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crisis has blown up. It's about a

police whistle-blower and what the

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Prime Minister's Justice Minister

did or didn't know at certain points

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in this, the opposition, have called

for her resignation. He's refused,

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Prime Minister, Varadkar, the

Taoiseach. It's supposed to come to

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a head tomorrow in the Parliament

here right at the time that he

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wanted to be honing the final

positions before the Brexit summit,

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the European summit in Brussels in

mid-December. It's all remarkable in

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just how intense and difficult the

political crisis has become.

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Time's arrow is flying in Dublin.

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A minority government could collapse

tomorrow while what some are calling

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an existential question about Brexit

and the border with the North needs

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answering quickly.

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And an election poll suggests

would change little.

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There is no appetite

for a pre-Christmas election.

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TDs, members of Parliament,

went back to their

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constituencies this weekend

and people were very vocal about the

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fact we don't want an election,

especially on December 19, 20th.

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Can you think of a worse

time for an election?

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People are deeply

concerned about Brexit.

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Irish people on the ground

are very alarmed about

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what's happening on the border

and for the economy in Ireland.

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In these politically

tense times, the

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European Union at least stands

foursquare behind the government

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position on the border.

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Ready to block progress

in December's EU summit.

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And on that issue of the border,

the ruling party and

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opposition FINA foil are great too.

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-- are agreed too.

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If the UK insists on proceeding

with this, and there isn't any

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compromise from the British

government on this,

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then border controls

in Northern Ireland are inevitable.

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That simply can't be

countenanced, there's just

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too much at stake.

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We must have a written

guarantee and if it isn't

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met, obviously, it's

a condition of the trade talks

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that this would be met,

then I think that would be helpful.

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I think it would be very helpful

if the British government

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was willing to look at a special

economic zone for Northern Ireland.

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The potential damage to the north

and indeed parts of Ireland, the

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potential damage is catastrophic.

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The border between North and South

runs a shade under 500 kilometres.

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People, goods, money

and electricity move across it

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without let or hindrance.

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So how can this unique arrangement

be preserved if the UK

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leaves the EU's economic space?

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Their hand will be

significantly weakened.

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Lucinda Crichton was once

Ireland's Europe minister and

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now she advises companies on Brexit.

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I think it's really interesting how

robustly and strongly the rest of

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the EU has stood behind Ireland. I

expect that to continue up to the

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summit. There's no question of an

Irish veto. There never really has

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been a question of the Irish veto.

The EU position will be determined

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by whether Dublin is happy and can

accede to whatever wording is on the

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table in December and my view is

that if the Irish government

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believes it's not sufficient

progress, then the EU will adopt the

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same position. So, the issue of a

veto won't arise. The issue will

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simply be delayed for another few

months.

You're in the driving seat

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then?

Absolutely. On this issue. And

the reason, and you know, always in

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politics tactics are important. The

reason that the Irish government has

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engaged in such strong messaging and

taken such a strong position on this

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in the last number of weeks in

particular, is because this is the

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period of so-called maximum

leverage. This is the time that the

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Irish government can really play its

hand.

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Ireland's economy is deeply links to

that of the United Kingdom, we're

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deeply concerned that bearing no

responsibility for the United

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Kingdom removing itself from the

European Union that we're going to

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suffer. And may indeed suffer a

great deal more than the United

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Kingdom in terms of economic growth.

In Dublin bay, that volume of trade

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moving across the Irish Sea to

Britain, rather than over the border

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to the north, is obvious enough. The

border issue is one that is

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elemental in Irish politics. This is

a moment for Irish politicians with

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the backing of the EU to gain

reassurances about a much bigger

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picture, the wider trading

relationship that they want

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understandings on at this critical

time in the Brexit process. If the

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border issue can be settled, it's

the very depth of those ties that

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could then lead Ireland to act as an

advocate of liberal EU market access

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for the UK. But that discussion

seems a long way off right now.

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Mark's still with us in Dublin,

and our political editor

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Nick Watt is with me.

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First back to you Mark,

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William Hague is warning tonight

that any veto by the Irish

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government on this would be

a grave miscalculation.

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we heard voices in your film there

saying it's simply -- it simply

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won't happen. What will Leo Varadkar

make of that?

Well, in a sense, they

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know-it-all too well. They

understand just how vulnerable

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Ireland is in this situation,

particularly were it to come to that

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disaster scenario of a disorderly

Brexit, ie, one without a deal in

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March 2019. They also know, by the

way and it's whispered here, that in

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that disorderly Brexit scenario, EU

rules lay on Ireland the

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responsibility for putting that hard

border into place. So before they

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get near that kind of situation,

they want to use what leverage they

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V they believe that now is the

moment, because Theresa May wants to

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move the discussion on to the

so-called phase two issues, get

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beyond those initial separation

issues, citizens' rights, the Budget

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and the Irish border and get to the

wider relationship discussions. They

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know that because of her desire to

do that and the potential cost to

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the UK economy, if that doesn't

happen in December, that now is the

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time to try and get the assurances

they want on the border. They know

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they're not going to get a done deal

on the border and that the wider

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relationship also has to be defined,

but they want in the key EU words

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"sufficient progress". They want

reassurances this ethere won't be a

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hard border. They also want a nod

and a wink about future trade terms

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between the UK and Ireland as well.

Mark, thanks very much. So Nick

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then. Briefly, the UK position on

this?

Well the UK is acknowledging

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this question of the Irish border is

now a greater threat than the actual

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Brexit financial settlement and

unless progress is made then it will

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derail UK hopes of moving to the

next stage, which is talking about

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transition and talking about the

future trading relationship. The UK

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is looking at some new wording, but

this has got to be agreed with the

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Irish Republic and with Michel

Barnier and looking in two areas:

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Reassuring Leo Varadkar by talking

about where there is north/south

0:10:140:10:18

cooperation. This is really serious

stuff. Animal health is an

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all-Ireland issue, as is the energy

market. It's talking about those air

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quaz. -- areas. There's quite a

feeling, reflected in the William

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Hague article that Leo Varadkar has

taken himself to the edge a cliff

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and the UK needs to walk him back to

that in a way that is comfortable

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for him, but in a way that respects

the key UK red line - respect the

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territorial integrity of the United

Kingdom.

Nick, thanks very much

0:10:470:10:50

indeed. Back to Nick later.

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Sammy Wilson is Brexit spokesman

for the Democratic Unionist Party -

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who, of course, have strong feelings

about the future of Ireland

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and a strong voice in the debate

thanks to their agreement

0:11:000:11:03

with Theresa May's Government.

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Very nice of you to come in: This is

a massive problem for you, just to

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work out where this border lies and

what it looks like?

No, it's not a

0:11:100:11:14

massive problem. Don't forget this

was a commitment that the UK

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Government made before we entered

into any arrangement with them. They

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said that the UK would leave the EU

as a whole, would have the same

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arrangements and as unionists we

were happy with that.

Had the same

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arrangements as you, as Ulster?

That

Northern Ireland would have the same

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arrangements as the rest of the UK

when we left the EU.

But this is,

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just help us understand it. For

anyone thinking about it, it is a

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real brain pain this. Either you

have, don't you, a hard border

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between Ulster and the Republic or

else you have a soft border between

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those two and the UK mainland stays

outside, which I know you don't

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want. Or else there has to be

something that includes all three

0:11:560:12:01

parts of this, which is it?

To a

certain extent, I know that some of

0:12:010:12:05

your reports there said tonight that

the EU were backing the Irish

0:12:050:12:07

position. I think the Irish are

being used by the EU who are trying

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to force the UK to look again at its

commitment to leave the single

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market and the customs union.

What

do you think will happen then?

First

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of all, the UK Government has put

forward, in August, a very, very

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detailed position paper in which

they made clear the kind of

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anningments which could be put in

place to ensure that there was no

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hard border. Don't forget -

You

definitely don't want a hard border?

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No, we don't want a hard border. The

Irish have said they don't want a

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hard border. The UK Government

doesn't want a hard border. The only

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people who are pushing this now are

Mr Barnier, who is really wanting to

0:12:450:12:50

try and force the UK's hand on

single market membership as the

0:12:500:12:55

customs union.

Away from the

negotiations, help us envisage what

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this looks like - if it's not a hard

border, then you have an ease of

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movement of goods between Ulster and

the Republic. Right. If I'm a

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British firm, I could set up my

headquarters now in Dublin and then

0:13:090:13:13

have access through to the EU like

that?

And don't forget -

Is that a

0:13:130:13:18

yes?

There's already a physical

border on the island of Ireland.

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Let's take this as a template.

Currently, there are goods which

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move freely across the border

between Northern Ireland and the

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Irish Republic with different tax

rates on them. They don't require to

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be stopped at the border -

We know

that. Yes, but we haven't gone

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through Brexit yet.

No. Look, let me

explain something. The difficulty

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which some people see is that once

we leave the EU, there'll be

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different tax rates in the UK and in

the Irish Republic. There'll be

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duties to be paid. That is already a

situation which exists at present.

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You envisage that we would -

Trade

does not have to be checked on a

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day-to-day basis because what

happens under trusted trader status

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because the traders invoice the

goods they're going to sell in

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Northern Ireland. Then pay the tax

on a awerly basis.

Would the UK

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still be inside the customs union?

No, it would not be.

But if I wanted

0:14:140:14:19

to have a head quarter of a British

firm in Dublin or a Dublin firm

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wanted access to other trade deals

they could just move to Belfast and

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that would be OK?

Well, what would

happen, the Government has led down

0:14:270:14:32

-

Just answer that, would that be

OK? What Do You Mean you're talking

0:14:320:14:37

about is an imagination where none

of the rules applied and people

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could do what they wanted?

No, the

rules would apply. You would simply

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have a different way of tracing the

trade which takes place, of

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measuring that trade. If there were

taxes to be paid, paying those

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taxes, as happens at the fiscal

border -- physical border at

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present.

You think they would chase

tariffs, chase goods?

They wouldn't

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have to chase them, because you

would have invoicing when the goods

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leave the Irish Republic, coming

into Northern Ireland.

It's a

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complete fantasy, that. They've said

it absolutely makes it right for --

0:15:090:15:13

ripe for smuggling and piracy. You

know what people are saying about

0:15:130:15:16

this?

I don't think you're listening

to me.

I am. I'm trying to work out

0:15:160:15:20

how it works in practice?

It works

at present. For example, if Guinness

0:15:200:15:27

send a load from Dublin to Belfast -

Because we're all in the customs

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union. Of course it works.

No there

are different tax rates when it

0:15:310:15:36

comes to the UK than in the Irish

epublic. -- republic. That tax has

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to be collected. You simply have an

invoice that under trusted trader

0:15:430:15:47

status, the business will submit and

then will pay the tax on a quarterly

0:15:470:15:52

basis. One of the proposals that the

Government has put forward is that

0:15:520:15:55

80% of the trade across the border

is done by small businesses.

I like

0:15:550:15:59

your optimism. Let me ask you

briefly

No, you've asked me a

0:15:590:16:02

question, let me answer it. 80% of

the trade is done by small

0:16:020:16:06

businesses.

I want to move -

That

would be exempt and regarded as

0:16:060:16:10

local trade not international trade

so there'll be no restrictions on

0:16:100:16:13

it.

I'd be interested to hear what

our political editor thinks of that.

0:16:130:16:17

If you're suggesting something that

you think is going to go through,

0:16:170:16:19

we'll see it in practice

Those are

the proposals that the Government

0:16:190:16:23

has put. They've simply been

dismissed without any thought of the

0:16:230:16:28

Irish Government on the EU because

they seem intent on making this an

0:16:280:16:31

issue which is doesn't need to be

made.

Thank you very much.

0:16:310:16:40

Picking up on that, is that a

realistic budget?

Possibly in the

0:16:400:16:45

future but I think the view of the

EU is that this is a huge challenge

0:16:450:16:49

that needs a huge answer is about

what the relationship is going to be

0:16:490:16:56

in the context of the Good Friday

Agreement. Things like the trusted

0:16:560:17:00

trader status, electronic mapping.

Maybe you can have that at some time

0:17:000:17:04

in the future when you have a future

trade relationship between the UK

0:17:040:17:08

and the EU embedded.

A quick word on

the Brexit papers, as we are calling

0:17:080:17:15

them, rumblings with Keir Starmer.

The Shadow Brokers executor is

0:17:150:17:20

saying that David Davies is arguably

in contempt of the house because

0:17:200:17:24

these papers have been released to

the Brexit select committee but in

0:17:240:17:27

heavily redacted terms. David Davies

says that is because it is

0:17:270:17:32

commercially sensitive and they

don't want to do things that harm

0:17:320:17:37

the negotiations. Keir Starmer said

that they were meant to be posted in

0:17:370:17:42

their entirety.

Thank you very much.

0:17:420:17:48

Meghan Markle gave her first

television interview

0:17:480:17:50

since her engagement to Prince Harry

to the BBC this evening, and in one

0:17:500:17:53

fell swoop she wowed a nation.

0:17:530:17:55

Confident, articulate,

and unafraid to express her emotion.

0:17:550:17:57

She reassured many she was her own

person and already had an easy

0:17:570:18:00

relationship with her husband to be.

0:18:000:18:01

This is how the couple described

the moment Prince Harry proposed.

0:18:010:18:05

It was, what were we doing,

just roasting chicken?

0:18:050:18:07

Roasting a chicken,

trying to roast a chicken.

0:18:070:18:09

And it just, just

an amazing surprise.

0:18:090:18:13

It was so sweet and natural

and very romantic.

0:18:130:18:16

He got on one knee.

0:18:160:18:19

She's already a celebrity

in her own right, of course.

0:18:190:18:21

An actress and an American.

0:18:210:18:24

And she's described her pride

at being in her words a "strong,

0:18:240:18:27

confident, mixed-race woman".

0:18:270:18:29

Last year Kensington Palace issued

a statement which revealed how

0:18:290:18:32

worried Prince Harry had been

about the wave of abuse

0:18:320:18:37

and harassment Meghan had

faced from some quarters

0:18:370:18:39

when their relationship began.

0:18:390:18:40

It pointed to the racial

undertones of comment pieces,

0:18:400:18:45

the sexism and racism of social

media trolls, the smear on the front

0:18:450:18:48

page of a national newspaper.

0:18:480:18:51

In a 2015 piece for Elle Magazine,

Meghan Markle herself wrote

0:18:510:18:55

of her own difficulties in the past

with describing her ethnicity.

0:18:550:18:58

Her words here are

spoken by an actor.

0:18:580:19:01

There was a mandatory census I had

to complete in my English class.

0:19:010:19:04

You had to check one of the boxes

to indicate your ethnicity.

0:19:040:19:08

White, black, Hispanic or Asian.

0:19:080:19:13

There I was, my curly hair,

my freckled face, my pale

0:19:130:19:15

skin, my mixed race.

0:19:150:19:17

Looking down at these boxes,

not wanting to mess up

0:19:170:19:20

but not knowing what to do.

0:19:200:19:24

You could only choose one but that

would be to choose one parent over

0:19:240:19:27

the other and one half of myself

over the other.

0:19:270:19:29

My teacher told me to check

the box for Caucasian,

0:19:290:19:32

"Because that's how you look,

Meghan" she said.

0:19:320:19:38

I put down my pen, not as an act

of defiance but rather

0:19:380:19:41

a symptom of my confusion.

0:19:410:19:43

So what does this wedding tell

us about Britain now?

0:19:430:19:46

Does it feel like a watershed moment

for those of mixed heritage?

0:19:460:19:49

Or is it anachronistic to even think

it matters any more?

0:19:490:19:51

Joining me now are the Guardian

columnist Georgina Lawton,

0:19:510:19:56

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff of gal-dem,

an online magazine

0:19:560:20:00

for women of colour -

and with us from Madrid

0:20:000:20:02

is the presenter Amal Fashanu.

0:20:020:20:03

Thank you for joining us. Is it a

moment for you?

Personally I think

0:20:030:20:11

it is a moment. For me, I grew up in

Spain and went to school and a log

0:20:110:20:16

of what Meghan was saying, I really

identified with. The fact that she's

0:20:160:20:22

standing out, saying she is mixed

race, for me it helps me a lot. I've

0:20:220:20:27

been in many occasions at school,

exactly what she describes, I don't

0:20:270:20:31

know who I was, why do I have to

choose, do I have to be white or

0:20:310:20:34

black? If I want to straighten my

hair and I'm all white? It is a big

0:20:340:20:44

deal. -- and I am more white. People

have said it shouldn't be a big eel

0:20:440:20:50

but it is, for people who are mixed

race I think this is a big step

0:20:500:20:54

forward. -- shouldn't be a big deal.

I'm over the moon, I couldn't be

0:20:540:20:59

happier.

Does it feel like a big

deal for you, is it important to

0:20:590:21:05

talk about being mixed race without

being one thing or the other?

To a

0:21:050:21:10

degree but when it comes to the

representation of mixed race and

0:21:100:21:13

black people we have to remember

that extra race people are the

0:21:130:21:18

acceptable face of blackness

already. And that's why we are

0:21:180:21:23

fetishised by the elite. So I'm not

that excited at the prospect of

0:21:230:21:28

Meghan Markle marrying Prince Harry,

because I'm aware of the nuances

0:21:280:21:33

around it and I suppose there is a

long way to go when it comes to the

0:21:330:21:40

representation of black people,

mixed race people, in general.

Does

0:21:400:21:44

this confuse you, as a Republican?

It does, I found it quite funny

0:21:440:21:50

because a lot of my black peers are

very excited by everything that's

0:21:500:21:54

going on today whereas I think we

should abolish the monarchy! Let's

0:21:540:22:00

bring an end to it all.

Georgina,

could it have that effect, could it

0:22:000:22:05

bring more people of colour towards

the monarchy?

Definitely, I think

0:22:050:22:10

it's going to make the royal family

Morgan 11 and I think it's important

0:22:100:22:15

to have greater representation of

mixed race people in the UK. -- more

0:22:150:22:21

representative. We are held up as a

beacon of a post-racial society and

0:22:210:22:28

Meghan's closeness to the Palace

destroys the notion that to be regal

0:22:280:22:34

or accept it you must be white. It's

interesting that we have someone

0:22:340:22:38

close to the Palace like Meghan and

it's exciting times.

It is a huge

0:22:380:22:45

burden on a young woman's shoulders

to think she's suddenly carrying all

0:22:450:22:49

these expectations with her in this

new role.

To be honest with you I

0:22:490:22:56

think she's going to be great. Can

you hear me, sorry?

Yes.

I think

0:22:560:23:02

she's going to be a great role model

and I think we don't have anyone who

0:23:020:23:06

is mixed race in the Royal family

until now and look, it's something

0:23:060:23:11

positive. I understand there's a lot

of work to be done but any step is a

0:23:110:23:15

good step. The fact that she stood

up and said she doesn't have to

0:23:150:23:20

choose who she is, she can be mixed

race, it gives a lot of mixed race

0:23:200:23:25

girls the chance to just be mixed

race, you don't have to be white or

0:23:250:23:28

black, you are simply mixed race.

Can I come in on that? It's

0:23:280:23:34

interesting because I know that

growing up I really resisted being

0:23:340:23:40

called

black, I strongly identified

with being mixed race and not being

0:23:400:23:43

one or the other but as I got older

I realised a lot of the reasons I

0:23:430:23:49

felt I did not want to be called

Black is because I had internalised

0:23:490:23:52

anti-blackness. That's why we have

to be careful when we discussed

0:23:520:23:58

that, as mixed race people, the

reason why we don't want to be

0:23:580:24:02

identified as black even know that

ceremony people see us, and not tied

0:24:020:24:06

up with our own prejudices?

Do you

agree with that?

Sorry to interrupt.

0:24:060:24:14

Personally I don't agree, I think

you know, I've never wanted to be

0:24:140:24:19

not called black or white. My mum is

white and my father is black and

0:24:190:24:24

white embrace both races -- and I

embrace both races, so why do I need

0:24:240:24:30

to choose?

I don't think you have

do, I think that's the beautiful

0:24:300:24:36

thing about being mixed race.

It was

an interesting phrase, you talked

0:24:360:24:41

about the acceptable face of a woman

of colour. If she had identified as

0:24:410:24:46

black or if she was black?

If she

was darker skinned it is unlikely

0:24:460:24:51

she'd be marrying Prince Harry.

This

is uncomfortable territory. If

0:24:510:24:56

Harry, let's say, was next in line

to the throne, do you think there

0:24:560:25:01

would have been more racism that

would have surfaced? Would it have

0:25:010:25:04

been harder?

I definitely think

there would have been. People who

0:25:040:25:10

are commenting on the issue and

saying we don't need to discuss it,

0:25:100:25:14

it's just two people falling in

love, you only need to look at his

0:25:140:25:17

statement last year, them in the

racial undertones of the press

0:25:170:25:21

coverage, going through the horrific

Twitter comments on the article is

0:25:210:25:25

about the relationship and about the

marriage being announced to see that

0:25:250:25:31

we don't live in a post-racial

society and we need greater

0:25:310:25:35

representation of extra race people

and greater proximity to Buckingham

0:25:350:25:39

Palace will promote cultural change.

Let me give you the last word.

I

0:25:390:25:44

totally agree with that. You know,

it is opening up the conversation.

0:25:440:25:50

Yeah, fair enough, if Harry was next

in line, you know, maybe it would be

0:25:500:25:58

more important or maybe she would

have suffered more abuse but I don't

0:25:580:26:02

think it wouldn't have happened. I

think that love conquers all, we are

0:26:020:26:07

in 2018 and they prove it. We have a

very modern royal family which is

0:26:070:26:12

great.

Thank you for joining us.

0:26:120:26:23

The eighth round of Syrian peace

talks begins tomorrow.

0:26:230:26:25

Syria's government will not attend.

0:26:250:26:30

This long, bloody and seemingly

intractable civil war has now been

0:26:300:26:33

going on six years.

0:26:330:26:34

You could be forgiven

for having lost

0:26:340:26:36

your way in the twists

and turns of this conflict.

0:26:360:26:38

A brief reminder then

of how we got here.

0:26:380:26:40

The pro-democracy protests

of the Arab Spring erupted in 2011.

0:26:400:26:43

Security forces opened

fire on demonstrators

0:26:430:26:44

and by the end of that year,

the violence had escalated

0:26:440:26:47

into war.

0:26:470:26:48

Casualties are estimated to be

over 400000 and the UN

0:26:480:26:50

believes there are some

5 million Syrian refugees.

0:26:500:26:52

The unrest allowed the so-called

Islamic State to rise

0:26:520:26:55

in the region.

0:26:550:27:00

By 2015, the country was split

between the government,

0:27:000:27:02

anti-government forces and Isis.

0:27:020:27:05

One of the bloodiest battles

centred around Aleppo.

0:27:050:27:09

Government forces surrounded

the rebel-held city.

0:27:090:27:11

Ordinary civilians,

unable to escape.

0:27:110:27:15

Many starved until an evacuation

corridor was agreed.

0:27:150:27:17

Since then, Isis has

been in retreat.

0:27:170:27:21

The Assad regime in the ascendant

but there are areas still

0:27:210:27:23

held by the rebels.

0:27:230:27:24

One is eastern Ghouta,

just east of Damascus,

0:27:240:27:34

where there are fears that another

Aleppo-style crisis could emerge.

0:27:340:27:36

Mike Thomson reports.

0:27:360:27:37

We should warn you that

his film features

0:27:370:27:39

distressing scenes which some

may find upsetting.

0:27:390:27:42

Many believe the war in Syria

is now virtually over.

0:27:420:27:50

Try telling that to the people of

bombed and besieged eastern Ghouta.

0:27:500:27:57

This has been the area's

last two weeks.

0:27:570:28:07

A senior UN spokesman has called

what's been happening an

0:28:070:28:10

outrage.

0:28:100:28:11

Casualty figures are impossible

to verify given the siege

0:28:110:28:13

situation.

0:28:130:28:16

But they've evidently

been mounting steadily.

0:28:160:28:19

We have more than 121 civilians.

0:28:190:28:27

Killed and 905 injuries by 336

air strikes and 2450

0:28:270:28:30

mortars.

0:28:300:28:36

That's all in only ten days.

0:28:360:28:40

The Syrian government claims

they are responding to an attack by

0:28:400:28:44

rebel forces on a military base in

Ghouta but residents there say they

0:28:440:28:49

are the ones in the crosshairs.

0:28:490:28:54

TRANSLATION:

These missiles

were targeted at civilians.

0:28:540:28:55

We don't understand why

they keep aiming at

0:28:550:28:57

civilians.

0:28:570:28:59

Behind me you can see

an example of this.

0:28:590:29:01

A whole family, a mother

and her four children died

0:29:010:29:03

there.

0:29:030:29:06

We found them in pieces

under the rubble.

0:29:060:29:11

Eastern Ghouta has

known horrors before.

0:29:110:29:18

In August, 2013, it was the site

of a sarin gas attack

0:29:180:29:21

by Syrian government forces.

0:29:210:29:22

Hundreds died.

0:29:220:29:25

Now, locals claim, similar

tactics are being used

0:29:250:29:27

against them again.

0:29:270:29:31

Three days ago the regime has

targeted our brothers

0:29:310:29:33

with chlorine gas in Harasta.

0:29:330:29:35

There are no deadly weapons

that we haven't been targeted with.

0:29:350:29:42

You who are listening

to me, what more are

0:29:420:29:44

you waiting for?

0:29:440:29:45

Our extermination?

0:29:450:29:46

There is nothing we can do.

0:29:460:29:49

A doctor at Dummar

hospital in eastern Ghouta

0:29:490:29:54

tells me he's seen signs that

back up such claims.

0:29:540:29:59

Yes actually we had several

casualties in Harasta where

0:29:590:30:03

there was a chemical

attack took place.

0:30:030:30:10

We have signs of phosphorus

material were used.

0:30:100:30:14

We can't tell the material

because we don't have

0:30:140:30:17

the analysis but from

the signs we can say

0:30:170:30:25

that it is phosphoral gas.

0:30:250:30:27

The evidence, he says, was plain

to see with many patients suffering

0:30:270:30:30

from severe breathing

difficulties after air strikes.

0:30:300:30:34

Malnutrition is another killer

in this long besieged

0:30:340:30:36

area.

0:30:360:30:38

Few will forget this

photo, taken last month.

0:30:380:30:43

The baby died soon after.

0:30:430:30:48

It's very widespread now.

0:30:480:30:51

We have very large

number of children.

0:30:510:30:54

From one statistic we have around

30% of children have malnutrition

0:30:540:30:57

from severe or moderate.

0:30:570:31:06

Two relief convoys were

allowed into eastern

0:31:060:31:09

Ghouta recently but the missile hit

the roof of a food warehouse and

0:31:090:31:15

destroyed much of the

aid they brought in.

0:31:150:31:18

And this man told me he and many

others see little point in

0:31:180:31:21

sending in any more.

0:31:210:31:27

If the United Nations get

or enters every day, aid

0:31:270:31:32

convoys, that will not be

enough for the people

0:31:320:31:37

here and people demand

to

0:31:370:31:42

break the siege and open the

crossing of eastern Ghouta, not to

0:31:420:31:45

have aid.

0:31:450:31:50

Some see a parallel here

with another formerly besieged

0:31:500:31:52

rebel enclave.

0:31:520:31:53

The regime seems to be

following a strategy in

0:31:530:31:56

Ghouta similar to what it followed

in eastern Aleppo, a strategy of

0:31:560:31:59

besiegement and starvation

followed by heavy bombardment.

0:31:590:32:05

Yesterday, 23 more people are

reported to have died in the latest

0:32:050:32:08

air attack by Syrian

government planes.

0:32:080:32:13

And with winter closing in,

bitter cold will be added to the

0:32:130:32:16

growing casualties.

0:32:160:32:17

Malnutrition and lack

of fuel and medicines.

0:32:170:32:21

There are children

here, there are women

0:32:210:32:26

here, there are 400,000 people

in this small place in the world.

0:32:260:32:31

Nobody is talking about them.

0:32:310:32:34

All of the world

will regret not doing

0:32:340:32:38

anything when the worst will happen.

0:32:380:32:39

There is hope.

0:32:390:32:43

Peace talks are due to begin

in Geneva tomorrow and

0:32:430:32:47

today, Russia called for a ceasefire

to be imposed in eastern Ghouta.

0:32:470:32:52

But with government forces seemingly

determined to retake this shrinking

0:32:520:32:55

rebel enclave, its people may

need to see it before

0:32:550:32:58

they believe it.

0:32:580:33:04

Joining me now Panos Mountzsis, UN's

Regional Humanitarian Coordinator

0:33:040:33:06

for the Syria crisis.

0:33:060:33:09

He's in Amman in Jordan tonight

and joins us on Skype.

0:33:090:33:12

How does this compare to Aleppo?

0:33:120:33:16

We have seen the horrific scenes in

the film. How on the ground does

0:33:200:33:23

this compare to what happened in

Aleppo?

The situation is really

0:33:230:33:30

extreme in terms of military needs.

In terms of civilians, people being

0:33:300:33:36

caught up in extreme situations,

(inaudible) Civilians are being

0:33:360:33:44

caught up in the situation.

(Inaudible) in the last two weeks or

0:33:440:33:54

several months, I would say, going

recently from Raqqa itself,

0:33:540:33:59

including the last few days, looking

at actually multiple locations where

0:33:590:34:05

civilians have been caught up and

lost their lives. So that's really a

0:34:050:34:08

huge concern from us. But also, in

terms of the humanitarian need, and

0:34:080:34:15

assistance, looking at malnutrition,

we were there with a convoy about 11

0:34:150:34:19

days ago. A number of children are

severely malnourished. We have close

0:34:190:34:25

to 500 cases of people who need to

be Medically evacuated out of

0:34:250:34:31

Ghouta. Sadly every day we get

reports of several of them who lose

0:34:310:34:35

their lights because the evacuations

do not take place. Very importantly,

0:34:350:34:41

the need to urgently be able to

provide humanitarian assistance to

0:34:410:34:45

people who are besieged. There is

over 420,000 Syrians who are

0:34:450:34:51

besieged at the moment in Ghouta in

an extreme situation.

Clearly your

0:34:510:34:56

concentration is what's happening on

the ground. When you look to the

0:34:560:34:59

Peace Talks tomorrow, which Damascus

will not attend, do you see any

0:34:590:35:03

relief coming from there?

Well, the

need for peace, the need for

0:35:030:35:11

stability is really of huge urgency,

a conflict on its sixth year with

0:35:110:35:17

huge impact. On the ground there is

more than six million internally

0:35:170:35:21

displaced people. Just this year, we

have had an average of close to

0:35:210:35:26

7,000 people leaving their homes

every day since January 1, because

0:35:260:35:30

of the insecurity. More than five

million refugees in the neighbouring

0:35:300:35:34

countries. More than 13 million

people who are in need of life

0:35:340:35:39

saving humanitarian assistance. So

the Peace Talks really are

0:35:390:35:42

desperately needed to bring some

stability on the ground.

Thank you

0:35:420:35:46

very much indeed. Thank you for

joining us.

0:35:460:35:50

It was 11 long months ago

that the Prime Minister first

0:35:500:35:53

launched her vision

of an industrial strategy -

0:35:530:35:55

a more hands-on approach

by Government to a part

0:35:550:36:00

of the economy her conservative

predecessors would have been much

0:36:000:36:02

happier to let the market dictate.

0:36:020:36:04

Today, we saw it -

intervention in to boost growth

0:36:040:36:07

in four key sectors -

construction, life

0:36:070:36:08

sciences, automotive,

and artificial intelligence.

0:36:080:36:10

The announcement came with news

of a major new investment

0:36:100:36:13

from the healthcare firm MSD.

0:36:130:36:14

Labour has condemned the strategy

as reannounced policies

0:36:140:36:16

and old spending commitments.

0:36:160:36:20

So does it stack up?

0:36:200:36:22

And can a policy on industry

ever actually work?

0:36:220:36:24

Here's Helen Thomas.

0:36:240:36:29

There is a long history

of governments trying

0:36:290:36:31

to put their stamp on the economy.

0:36:310:36:34

The rationalisation of industry

in the 1930s, nationalisation

0:36:340:36:36

a few decades later.

0:36:360:36:43

Archive:

0:36:430:36:45

The Britain that is going to be born

in the white heat of this revolution

0:36:450:36:48

will be no place for restrictive

practices or for outdated methods

0:36:480:36:51

on either side of industry.

0:36:510:36:52

Then, privatisation.

0:36:520:36:54

Three and a half years ago,

defenders of the status quo tried to

0:36:540:36:57

ban denationalisation as irrelevant.

0:36:570:37:05

How absurd it would seem in a few

years' time for the state to run

0:37:050:37:09

Pickfords removals and Gleneagles

Hotel.

0:37:090:37:15

And here's the latest iteration.

0:37:150:37:18

The future is unfolding

before our very eyes.

0:37:180:37:20

New technology is creating

new industries are changing

0:37:200:37:26

interesting ones and transforming

the way that we live our lives.

0:37:260:37:28

We need to ensure that we are well

prepared to prosper in this future.

0:37:280:37:32

It's been a long time since any

government tried to put industrial

0:37:320:37:35

strategy at the centre of strategy.

0:37:350:37:41

The problems frankly

are rather familiar.

0:37:410:37:42

Ailing productivity, stagnant wages,

a London-centric economy.

0:37:420:37:47

And so are some of the solutions,

skills, infrastructure, digital.

0:37:470:37:52

So what determines if this

is another helping of government

0:37:520:37:55

jargon or is the basis

of a long-term overhaul?

0:37:550:38:01

One criteria for success will be

whether the benefits

0:38:010:38:03

are genuinely spread around.

0:38:030:38:08

The main problem we have pain

related to colonoscopy.

0:38:080:38:13

Work at Leeds University ticks a lot

of government boxes.

0:38:130:38:17

This colonoscopy robot could mean

a pain-free experience for patients.

0:38:170:38:22

High-tech robotics solving real life

health problems and outside London.

0:38:220:38:28

It would be as easy

as playing a video game.

0:38:280:38:32

This robot finds and fixes potholes.

0:38:320:38:35

It's come out of the national

robotics facility in Leeds but only

0:38:350:38:38

about 10% of research spending goes

to the north of the country.

0:38:380:38:42

And the bulk of planned

infrastructure is

0:38:420:38:43

earmarked for the South.

0:38:430:38:46

Some see benefits from money

being spent more widely.

0:38:460:38:51

I think it's great that

the government is recognising that

0:38:510:38:53

excellence is across the entire UK.

0:38:530:38:55

Every part of the UK has

been to offer, be it

0:38:550:38:57

through research, training, skills.

0:38:570:38:59

I think that's important.

0:38:590:39:00

Here at Leeds and I think

we are a good example of a success

0:39:000:39:04

story where investment has come in,

it's made a massive difference,

0:39:040:39:07

not just to the university but more

widely, also the region.

0:39:070:39:09

When it comes to sectors,

every government has its favourites.

0:39:090:39:12

But focusing on the biggest

or most advanced may not

0:39:120:39:15

yield the best result.

0:39:150:39:18

60% of jobs are at firms with

productivity below the UK average.

0:39:180:39:23

Many in services.

0:39:230:39:26

About 40 times as many people work

in retail as in pharmaceuticals.

0:39:260:39:31

The UK has a huge

productivity problem.

0:39:310:39:33

Sectors such as retail,

tourism and hospitality,

0:39:330:39:36

like manufacturing, that's

where our productivity is much less

0:39:360:39:38

than that of our major competitors

in Europe and the United States.

0:39:380:39:43

What we need to see in an industrial

strategy is a focus on those sectors

0:39:430:39:47

and not always on the frontier

sectors that are the sexy ones

0:39:470:39:50

for government announcements.

0:39:500:39:55

So, good industrial strategy needs

to be about Leeds as well as London,

0:39:550:39:59

shopping as well as a science but it

also needs to do something simpler.

0:39:590:40:04

It needs to last.

0:40:040:40:06

This stalwart of British retail

started here in 1884

0:40:060:40:10

and to be successful,

industrial strategy also

0:40:100:40:12

needs to go the distance.

0:40:120:40:16

No chopping, no changing.

0:40:160:40:17

This needs to survive

a new Business Minister,

0:40:170:40:21

a new Prime Minister and yes,

successive governments,

0:40:210:40:23

meaning cross-party support.

0:40:230:40:28

My biggest concern about

the strategy is that it

0:40:280:40:30

won't necessarily be embedded

over the long-term.

0:40:300:40:32

They are recommending

an advisory council.

0:40:320:40:37

It's a different arrangement from

the Office for Budget Responsibility

0:40:370:40:40

for example which is an obvious

analogue where it has

0:40:400:40:43

independent experts,

its own staff and budget.

0:40:430:40:47

There's nothing like that so there's

nothing to stop the seesaw in policy

0:40:470:40:52

that we've seen so often in the past

that's been incredibly damaging.

0:40:520:40:55

Will today's government blueprint

still be thought useful or relevant

0:40:550:40:59

in 20 or 30 years' time?

0:40:590:41:04

Let's briefly whiz you through the

front pages. There's happy smiles on

0:41:080:41:11

the front

0:41:110:41:12

front pages. There's happy smiles on

the front of the Daily Mail.

The

0:41:120:41:14

stars were all aligned, this

beautiful woman just fell into my

0:41:140:41:17

life. A radiant Markle and Harry

there. The Daily Mirror has

0:41:170:41:23

something similar. "She tripped and

fell into my life" a line from the

0:41:230:41:28

BBC interview this afternoon. He

surprised her on one knee as he

0:41:280:41:32

tooked her roast chicken. The

Guardian has the MPs fury over

0:41:320:41:37

edited Brexit impact report. Davis

in context risk as politically

0:41:370:41:41

embarrassing facts are level out of

studies that. Was the story that

0:41:410:41:44

Nick brought us earlier. A story at

the bottom that John Profumo, the

0:41:440:41:49

Conservative minister who resigned

over the sex scandal in the 60s, had

0:41:490:41:52

previously had a long running

relationship with a glamorous Nazi

0:41:520:41:56

spy.

0:41:560:41:57

That's all we've got

time for this evening.

0:41:570:41:59

No doubt you've spent the whole day

watching the wall to wall coverage

0:41:590:42:02

of Meghan Markle's engagement

to Prince Harry.

0:42:020:42:04

An all around feel good

story you might think?

0:42:040:42:06

Well, not if you've watched

the drama Ms Markle used to act in.

0:42:060:42:09

Fans of Suits will know that,

somewhere out there,

0:42:090:42:11

there's a lawyer called Mike who may

well be crying his eyes out.

0:42:110:42:14

Good night.

0:42:140:42:17

MUSIC: "Best Thing I

Never Had" - Beyonce

0:42:170:42:19

# What goes around comes back around

0:42:190:42:21

# Hey my baby

0:42:210:42:22

# I say what goes around

comes back around

0:42:220:42:25

# Hey my baby

0:42:250:42:32

# I say what goes around

comes back around

0:42:320:42:34

# Hey my baby

0:42:340:42:36

# there was...

Don't talk to me.

A time.

0:42:360:42:40

# I thought that you

did everything right

0:42:400:42:45

# No lies, no wrong

0:42:450:42:50

# Boy I, must've been outta my mind

0:42:500:42:56

# So when I think of the time

that I almost loved you

0:42:560:43:01

# You showed your ass and I,

I saw the real you

0:43:010:43:08

# Thank God you blew it

Was it romantic?

0:43:080:43:14

# Thank God I dodged the bullet

0:43:140:43:17

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