In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis.
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Tonight, could this be
the border that sinks Brexit?
Newsnight is live in Dublin,
and we speak to the DUP's Brexit
spokesman here in the studio.
Also tonight, Syria's Aleppo
was a year ago, but a new crisis
is emerging to the east of Damascus.
Tonight, we bring you exclusive
footage from the rebel stronghold of
We'll ask the UN live what they can
do to stop the suffering.
Also tonight - Meghan Markle wows
the nation, as she prepares
to marry Prince Harry.
The corgies took
to you straightaway.
Over the last 33 years,
being barked at.
This one walks in,
Just laying on my feet
during tea, it was very sweet.
Wagging tails, it was just like ugh!
She's also called herself a strong,
confident mixed-race Woman.
How much of a moment is this
for others of mixed heritage?
Tonight, Ireland stands
on the verge of snap elections,
as their Prime Minister promises
to do everything he can to bring
the country back from the brink.
The dispute is a domestic one,
but the implications would be
profound for the EU and for Brexit.
Leo Varadkar has threatened to block
Brexit talks next month,
if he believes insufficient progress
has been made on the future
of the border within
the island of Ireland.
This border is one of the most
intractable issues Brexit has thrown
up - how to preserve the openness
between north and south,
and how to comply with the new terms
that Britain's vote to leave
the EU demands.
Theresa May is desperate to start
pushing talks with Brussels
onto trade, when she meets
negotiators next week.
But they will not be willing to do
so until the Ireland
question is resolved.
Let's head straight to Dublin
and Mark Urban who's there.
Emily, the things were queueing up,
political pressure, messages,
everything queueing up just the way
Ireland wanted it on the border
issues. A couple of weeks back, the
commission in Brussels had got
squarely behind them with more
explicit language than we'd heard
before saying, well, their preferred
solution was that a border be on the
Irish Sea, ie that Northern Ireland
be taken into the same customs and
single market regime if, indeed,
Britain was going to push on and
leave the single market and customs
union. Now suddenly, this political
crisis has blown up. It's about a
police whistle-blower and what the
Prime Minister's Justice Minister
did or didn't know at certain points
in this, the opposition, have called
for her resignation. He's refused,
Prime Minister, Varadkar, the
Taoiseach. It's supposed to come to
a head tomorrow in the Parliament
here right at the time that he
wanted to be honing the final
positions before the Brexit summit,
the European summit in Brussels in
mid-December. It's all remarkable in
just how intense and difficult the
political crisis has become.
Time's arrow is flying in Dublin.
A minority government could collapse
tomorrow while what some are calling
an existential question about Brexit
and the border with the North needs
And an election poll suggests
would change little.
There is no appetite
for a pre-Christmas election.
TDs, members of Parliament,
went back to their
constituencies this weekend
and people were very vocal about the
fact we don't want an election,
especially on December 19, 20th.
Can you think of a worse
time for an election?
People are deeply
concerned about Brexit.
Irish people on the ground
are very alarmed about
what's happening on the border
and for the economy in Ireland.
In these politically
tense times, the
European Union at least stands
foursquare behind the government
position on the border.
Ready to block progress
in December's EU summit.
And on that issue of the border,
the ruling party and
opposition FINA foil are great too.
-- are agreed too.
If the UK insists on proceeding
with this, and there isn't any
compromise from the British
government on this,
then border controls
in Northern Ireland are inevitable.
That simply can't be
countenanced, there's just
too much at stake.
We must have a written
guarantee and if it isn't
met, obviously, it's
a condition of the trade talks
that this would be met,
then I think that would be helpful.
I think it would be very helpful
if the British government
was willing to look at a special
economic zone for Northern Ireland.
The potential damage to the north
and indeed parts of Ireland, the
potential damage is catastrophic.
The border between North and South
runs a shade under 500 kilometres.
People, goods, money
and electricity move across it
without let or hindrance.
So how can this unique arrangement
be preserved if the UK
leaves the EU's economic space?
Their hand will be
Lucinda Crichton was once
Ireland's Europe minister and
now she advises companies on Brexit.
I think it's really interesting how
robustly and strongly the rest of
the EU has stood behind Ireland. I
expect that to continue up to the
summit. There's no question of an
Irish veto. There never really has
been a question of the Irish veto.
The EU position will be determined
by whether Dublin is happy and can
accede to whatever wording is on the
table in December and my view is
that if the Irish government
believes it's not sufficient
progress, then the EU will adopt the
same position. So, the issue of a
veto won't arise. The issue will
simply be delayed for another few
You're in the driving seat
Absolutely. On this issue. And
the reason, and you know, always in
politics tactics are important. The
reason that the Irish government has
engaged in such strong messaging and
taken such a strong position on this
in the last number of weeks in
particular, is because this is the
period of so-called maximum
leverage. This is the time that the
Irish government can really play its
Ireland's economy is deeply links to
that of the United Kingdom, we're
deeply concerned that bearing no
responsibility for the United
Kingdom removing itself from the
European Union that we're going to
suffer. And may indeed suffer a
great deal more than the United
Kingdom in terms of economic growth.
In Dublin bay, that volume of trade
moving across the Irish Sea to
Britain, rather than over the border
to the north, is obvious enough. The
border issue is one that is
elemental in Irish politics. This is
a moment for Irish politicians with
the backing of the EU to gain
reassurances about a much bigger
picture, the wider trading
relationship that they want
understandings on at this critical
time in the Brexit process. If the
border issue can be settled, it's
the very depth of those ties that
could then lead Ireland to act as an
advocate of liberal EU market access
for the UK. But that discussion
seems a long way off right now.
Mark's still with us in Dublin,
and our political editor
Nick Watt is with me.
First back to you Mark,
William Hague is warning tonight
that any veto by the Irish
government on this would be
a grave miscalculation.
we heard voices in your film there
saying it's simply -- it simply
won't happen. What will Leo Varadkar
make of that?
Well, in a sense, they
know-it-all too well. They
understand just how vulnerable
Ireland is in this situation,
particularly were it to come to that
disaster scenario of a disorderly
Brexit, ie, one without a deal in
March 2019. They also know, by the
way and it's whispered here, that in
that disorderly Brexit scenario, EU
rules lay on Ireland the
responsibility for putting that hard
border into place. So before they
get near that kind of situation,
they want to use what leverage they
V they believe that now is the
moment, because Theresa May wants to
move the discussion on to the
so-called phase two issues, get
beyond those initial separation
issues, citizens' rights, the Budget
and the Irish border and get to the
wider relationship discussions. They
know that because of her desire to
do that and the potential cost to
the UK economy, if that doesn't
happen in December, that now is the
time to try and get the assurances
they want on the border. They know
they're not going to get a done deal
on the border and that the wider
relationship also has to be defined,
but they want in the key EU words
"sufficient progress". They want
reassurances this ethere won't be a
hard border. They also want a nod
and a wink about future trade terms
between the UK and Ireland as well.
Mark, thanks very much. So Nick
then. Briefly, the UK position on
Well the UK is acknowledging
this question of the Irish border is
now a greater threat than the actual
Brexit financial settlement and
unless progress is made then it will
derail UK hopes of moving to the
next stage, which is talking about
transition and talking about the
future trading relationship. The UK
is looking at some new wording, but
this has got to be agreed with the
Irish Republic and with Michel
Barnier and looking in two areas:
Reassuring Leo Varadkar by talking
about where there is north/south
cooperation. This is really serious
stuff. Animal health is an
all-Ireland issue, as is the energy
market. It's talking about those air
quaz. -- areas. There's quite a
feeling, reflected in the William
Hague article that Leo Varadkar has
taken himself to the edge a cliff
and the UK needs to walk him back to
that in a way that is comfortable
for him, but in a way that respects
the key UK red line - respect the
territorial integrity of the United
Nick, thanks very much
indeed. Back to Nick later.
Sammy Wilson is Brexit spokesman
for the Democratic Unionist Party -
who, of course, have strong feelings
about the future of Ireland
and a strong voice in the debate
thanks to their agreement
with Theresa May's Government.
Very nice of you to come in: This is
a massive problem for you, just to
work out where this border lies and
what it looks like?
No, it's not a
massive problem. Don't forget this
was a commitment that the UK
Government made before we entered
into any arrangement with them. They
said that the UK would leave the EU
as a whole, would have the same
arrangements and as unionists we
were happy with that.
Had the same
arrangements as you, as Ulster?
Northern Ireland would have the same
arrangements as the rest of the UK
when we left the EU.
But this is,
just help us understand it. For
anyone thinking about it, it is a
real brain pain this. Either you
have, don't you, a hard border
between Ulster and the Republic or
else you have a soft border between
those two and the UK mainland stays
outside, which I know you don't
want. Or else there has to be
something that includes all three
parts of this, which is it?
certain extent, I know that some of
your reports there said tonight that
the EU were backing the Irish
position. I think the Irish are
being used by the EU who are trying
to force the UK to look again at its
commitment to leave the single
market and the customs union.
do you think will happen then?
of all, the UK Government has put
forward, in August, a very, very
detailed position paper in which
they made clear the kind of
anningments which could be put in
place to ensure that there was no
hard border. Don't forget -
definitely don't want a hard border?
No, we don't want a hard border. The
Irish have said they don't want a
hard border. The UK Government
doesn't want a hard border. The only
people who are pushing this now are
Mr Barnier, who is really wanting to
try and force the UK's hand on
single market membership as the
Away from the
negotiations, help us envisage what
this looks like - if it's not a hard
border, then you have an ease of
movement of goods between Ulster and
the Republic. Right. If I'm a
British firm, I could set up my
headquarters now in Dublin and then
have access through to the EU like
And don't forget -
Is that a
There's already a physical
border on the island of Ireland.
Let's take this as a template.
Currently, there are goods which
move freely across the border
between Northern Ireland and the
Irish Republic with different tax
rates on them. They don't require to
be stopped at the border -
that. Yes, but we haven't gone
through Brexit yet.
No. Look, let me
explain something. The difficulty
which some people see is that once
we leave the EU, there'll be
different tax rates in the UK and in
the Irish Republic. There'll be
duties to be paid. That is already a
situation which exists at present.
You envisage that we would -
does not have to be checked on a
day-to-day basis because what
happens under trusted trader status
because the traders invoice the
goods they're going to sell in
Northern Ireland. Then pay the tax
on a awerly basis.
Would the UK
still be inside the customs union?
No, it would not be.
But if I wanted
to have a head quarter of a British
firm in Dublin or a Dublin firm
wanted access to other trade deals
they could just move to Belfast and
that would be OK?
Well, what would
happen, the Government has led down
Just answer that, would that be
OK? What Do You Mean you're talking
about is an imagination where none
of the rules applied and people
could do what they wanted?
rules would apply. You would simply
have a different way of tracing the
trade which takes place, of
measuring that trade. If there were
taxes to be paid, paying those
taxes, as happens at the fiscal
border -- physical border at
You think they would chase
tariffs, chase goods?
have to chase them, because you
would have invoicing when the goods
leave the Irish Republic, coming
into Northern Ireland.
complete fantasy, that. They've said
it absolutely makes it right for --
ripe for smuggling and piracy. You
know what people are saying about
I don't think you're listening
I am. I'm trying to work out
how it works in practice?
at present. For example, if Guinness
send a load from Dublin to Belfast -
Because we're all in the customs
union. Of course it works.
are different tax rates when it
comes to the UK than in the Irish
epublic. -- republic. That tax has
to be collected. You simply have an
invoice that under trusted trader
status, the business will submit and
then will pay the tax on a quarterly
basis. One of the proposals that the
Government has put forward is that
80% of the trade across the border
is done by small businesses.
your optimism. Let me ask you
No, you've asked me a
question, let me answer it. 80% of
the trade is done by small
I want to move -
would be exempt and regarded as
local trade not international trade
so there'll be no restrictions on
I'd be interested to hear what
our political editor thinks of that.
If you're suggesting something that
you think is going to go through,
we'll see it in practice
the proposals that the Government
has put. They've simply been
dismissed without any thought of the
Irish Government on the EU because
they seem intent on making this an
issue which is doesn't need to be
Thank you very much.
Picking up on that, is that a
Possibly in the
future but I think the view of the
EU is that this is a huge challenge
that needs a huge answer is about
what the relationship is going to be
in the context of the Good Friday
Agreement. Things like the trusted
trader status, electronic mapping.
Maybe you can have that at some time
in the future when you have a future
trade relationship between the UK
and the EU embedded.
A quick word on
the Brexit papers, as we are calling
them, rumblings with Keir Starmer.
The Shadow Brokers executor is
saying that David Davies is arguably
in contempt of the house because
these papers have been released to
the Brexit select committee but in
heavily redacted terms. David Davies
says that is because it is
commercially sensitive and they
don't want to do things that harm
the negotiations. Keir Starmer said
that they were meant to be posted in
Thank you very much.
Meghan Markle gave her first
since her engagement to Prince Harry
to the BBC this evening, and in one
fell swoop she wowed a nation.
and unafraid to express her emotion.
She reassured many she was her own
person and already had an easy
relationship with her husband to be.
This is how the couple described
the moment Prince Harry proposed.
It was, what were we doing,
just roasting chicken?
Roasting a chicken,
trying to roast a chicken.
And it just, just
an amazing surprise.
It was so sweet and natural
and very romantic.
He got on one knee.
She's already a celebrity
in her own right, of course.
An actress and an American.
And she's described her pride
at being in her words a "strong,
confident, mixed-race woman".
Last year Kensington Palace issued
a statement which revealed how
worried Prince Harry had been
about the wave of abuse
and harassment Meghan had
faced from some quarters
when their relationship began.
It pointed to the racial
undertones of comment pieces,
the sexism and racism of social
media trolls, the smear on the front
page of a national newspaper.
In a 2015 piece for Elle Magazine,
Meghan Markle herself wrote
of her own difficulties in the past
with describing her ethnicity.
Her words here are
spoken by an actor.
There was a mandatory census I had
to complete in my English class.
You had to check one of the boxes
to indicate your ethnicity.
White, black, Hispanic or Asian.
There I was, my curly hair,
my freckled face, my pale
skin, my mixed race.
Looking down at these boxes,
not wanting to mess up
but not knowing what to do.
You could only choose one but that
would be to choose one parent over
the other and one half of myself
over the other.
My teacher told me to check
the box for Caucasian,
"Because that's how you look,
Meghan" she said.
I put down my pen, not as an act
of defiance but rather
a symptom of my confusion.
So what does this wedding tell
us about Britain now?
Does it feel like a watershed moment
for those of mixed heritage?
Or is it anachronistic to even think
it matters any more?
Joining me now are the Guardian
columnist Georgina Lawton,
Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff of gal-dem,
an online magazine
for women of colour -
and with us from Madrid
is the presenter Amal Fashanu.
Thank you for joining us. Is it a
moment for you?
Personally I think
it is a moment. For me, I grew up in
Spain and went to school and a log
of what Meghan was saying, I really
identified with. The fact that she's
standing out, saying she is mixed
race, for me it helps me a lot. I've
been in many occasions at school,
exactly what she describes, I don't
know who I was, why do I have to
choose, do I have to be white or
black? If I want to straighten my
hair and I'm all white? It is a big
deal. -- and I am more white. People
have said it shouldn't be a big eel
but it is, for people who are mixed
race I think this is a big step
forward. -- shouldn't be a big deal.
I'm over the moon, I couldn't be
Does it feel like a big
deal for you, is it important to
talk about being mixed race without
being one thing or the other?
degree but when it comes to the
representation of mixed race and
black people we have to remember
that extra race people are the
acceptable face of blackness
already. And that's why we are
fetishised by the elite. So I'm not
that excited at the prospect of
Meghan Markle marrying Prince Harry,
because I'm aware of the nuances
around it and I suppose there is a
long way to go when it comes to the
representation of black people,
mixed race people, in general.
this confuse you, as a Republican?
It does, I found it quite funny
because a lot of my black peers are
very excited by everything that's
going on today whereas I think we
should abolish the monarchy! Let's
bring an end to it all.
could it have that effect, could it
bring more people of colour towards
Definitely, I think
it's going to make the royal family
Morgan 11 and I think it's important
to have greater representation of
mixed race people in the UK. -- more
representative. We are held up as a
beacon of a post-racial society and
Meghan's closeness to the Palace
destroys the notion that to be regal
or accept it you must be white. It's
interesting that we have someone
close to the Palace like Meghan and
it's exciting times.
It is a huge
burden on a young woman's shoulders
to think she's suddenly carrying all
these expectations with her in this
To be honest with you I
think she's going to be great. Can
you hear me, sorry?
she's going to be a great role model
and I think we don't have anyone who
is mixed race in the Royal family
until now and look, it's something
positive. I understand there's a lot
of work to be done but any step is a
good step. The fact that she stood
up and said she doesn't have to
choose who she is, she can be mixed
race, it gives a lot of mixed race
girls the chance to just be mixed
race, you don't have to be white or
black, you are simply mixed race.
Can I come in on that? It's
interesting because I know that
growing up I really resisted being
black, I strongly identified
with being mixed race and not being
one or the other but as I got older
I realised a lot of the reasons I
felt I did not want to be called
Black is because I had internalised
anti-blackness. That's why we have
to be careful when we discussed
that, as mixed race people, the
reason why we don't want to be
identified as black even know that
ceremony people see us, and not tied
up with our own prejudices?
agree with that?
Sorry to interrupt.
Personally I don't agree, I think
you know, I've never wanted to be
not called black or white. My mum is
white and my father is black and
white embrace both races -- and I
embrace both races, so why do I need
I don't think you have
do, I think that's the beautiful
thing about being mixed race.
an interesting phrase, you talked
about the acceptable face of a woman
of colour. If she had identified as
black or if she was black?
was darker skinned it is unlikely
she'd be marrying Prince Harry.
is uncomfortable territory. If
Harry, let's say, was next in line
to the throne, do you think there
would have been more racism that
would have surfaced? Would it have
I definitely think
there would have been. People who
are commenting on the issue and
saying we don't need to discuss it,
it's just two people falling in
love, you only need to look at his
statement last year, them in the
racial undertones of the press
coverage, going through the horrific
Twitter comments on the article is
about the relationship and about the
marriage being announced to see that
we don't live in a post-racial
society and we need greater
representation of extra race people
and greater proximity to Buckingham
Palace will promote cultural change.
Let me give you the last word.
totally agree with that. You know,
it is opening up the conversation.
Yeah, fair enough, if Harry was next
in line, you know, maybe it would be
more important or maybe she would
have suffered more abuse but I don't
think it wouldn't have happened. I
think that love conquers all, we are
in 2018 and they prove it. We have a
very modern royal family which is
Thank you for joining us.
The eighth round of Syrian peace
talks begins tomorrow.
Syria's government will not attend.
This long, bloody and seemingly
intractable civil war has now been
going on six years.
You could be forgiven
for having lost
your way in the twists
and turns of this conflict.
A brief reminder then
of how we got here.
The pro-democracy protests
of the Arab Spring erupted in 2011.
Security forces opened
fire on demonstrators
and by the end of that year,
the violence had escalated
Casualties are estimated to be
over 400000 and the UN
believes there are some
5 million Syrian refugees.
The unrest allowed the so-called
Islamic State to rise
in the region.
By 2015, the country was split
between the government,
anti-government forces and Isis.
One of the bloodiest battles
centred around Aleppo.
Government forces surrounded
the rebel-held city.
unable to escape.
Many starved until an evacuation
corridor was agreed.
Since then, Isis has
been in retreat.
The Assad regime in the ascendant
but there are areas still
held by the rebels.
One is eastern Ghouta,
just east of Damascus,
where there are fears that another
Aleppo-style crisis could emerge.
Mike Thomson reports.
We should warn you that
his film features
distressing scenes which some
may find upsetting.
Many believe the war in Syria
is now virtually over.
Try telling that to the people of
bombed and besieged eastern Ghouta.
This has been the area's
last two weeks.
A senior UN spokesman has called
what's been happening an
Casualty figures are impossible
to verify given the siege
But they've evidently
been mounting steadily.
We have more than 121 civilians.
Killed and 905 injuries by 336
air strikes and 2450
That's all in only ten days.
The Syrian government claims
they are responding to an attack by
rebel forces on a military base in
Ghouta but residents there say they
are the ones in the crosshairs.
were targeted at civilians.
We don't understand why
they keep aiming at
Behind me you can see
an example of this.
A whole family, a mother
and her four children died
We found them in pieces
under the rubble.
Eastern Ghouta has
known horrors before.
In August, 2013, it was the site
of a sarin gas attack
by Syrian government forces.
Now, locals claim, similar
tactics are being used
against them again.
Three days ago the regime has
targeted our brothers
with chlorine gas in Harasta.
There are no deadly weapons
that we haven't been targeted with.
You who are listening
to me, what more are
you waiting for?
There is nothing we can do.
A doctor at Dummar
hospital in eastern Ghouta
tells me he's seen signs that
back up such claims.
Yes actually we had several
casualties in Harasta where
there was a chemical
attack took place.
We have signs of phosphorus
material were used.
We can't tell the material
because we don't have
the analysis but from
the signs we can say
that it is phosphoral gas.
The evidence, he says, was plain
to see with many patients suffering
from severe breathing
difficulties after air strikes.
Malnutrition is another killer
in this long besieged
Few will forget this
photo, taken last month.
The baby died soon after.
It's very widespread now.
We have very large
number of children.
From one statistic we have around
30% of children have malnutrition
from severe or moderate.
Two relief convoys were
allowed into eastern
Ghouta recently but the missile hit
the roof of a food warehouse and
destroyed much of the
aid they brought in.
And this man told me he and many
others see little point in
sending in any more.
If the United Nations get
or enters every day, aid
convoys, that will not be
enough for the people
here and people demand
break the siege and open the
crossing of eastern Ghouta, not to
Some see a parallel here
with another formerly besieged
The regime seems to be
following a strategy in
Ghouta similar to what it followed
in eastern Aleppo, a strategy of
besiegement and starvation
followed by heavy bombardment.
Yesterday, 23 more people are
reported to have died in the latest
air attack by Syrian
And with winter closing in,
bitter cold will be added to the
Malnutrition and lack
of fuel and medicines.
There are children
here, there are women
here, there are 400,000 people
in this small place in the world.
Nobody is talking about them.
All of the world
will regret not doing
anything when the worst will happen.
There is hope.
Peace talks are due to begin
in Geneva tomorrow and
today, Russia called for a ceasefire
to be imposed in eastern Ghouta.
But with government forces seemingly
determined to retake this shrinking
rebel enclave, its people may
need to see it before
they believe it.
Joining me now Panos Mountzsis, UN's
Regional Humanitarian Coordinator
for the Syria crisis.
He's in Amman in Jordan tonight
and joins us on Skype.
How does this compare to Aleppo?
We have seen the horrific scenes in
the film. How on the ground does
this compare to what happened in
The situation is really
extreme in terms of military needs.
In terms of civilians, people being
caught up in extreme situations,
(inaudible) Civilians are being
caught up in the situation.
(Inaudible) in the last two weeks or
several months, I would say, going
recently from Raqqa itself,
including the last few days, looking
at actually multiple locations where
civilians have been caught up and
lost their lives. So that's really a
huge concern from us. But also, in
terms of the humanitarian need, and
assistance, looking at malnutrition,
we were there with a convoy about 11
days ago. A number of children are
severely malnourished. We have close
to 500 cases of people who need to
be Medically evacuated out of
Ghouta. Sadly every day we get
reports of several of them who lose
their lights because the evacuations
do not take place. Very importantly,
the need to urgently be able to
provide humanitarian assistance to
people who are besieged. There is
over 420,000 Syrians who are
besieged at the moment in Ghouta in
an extreme situation.
concentration is what's happening on
the ground. When you look to the
Peace Talks tomorrow, which Damascus
will not attend, do you see any
relief coming from there?
need for peace, the need for
stability is really of huge urgency,
a conflict on its sixth year with
huge impact. On the ground there is
more than six million internally
displaced people. Just this year, we
have had an average of close to
7,000 people leaving their homes
every day since January 1, because
of the insecurity. More than five
million refugees in the neighbouring
countries. More than 13 million
people who are in need of life
saving humanitarian assistance. So
the Peace Talks really are
desperately needed to bring some
stability on the ground.
very much indeed. Thank you for
It was 11 long months ago
that the Prime Minister first
launched her vision
of an industrial strategy -
a more hands-on approach
by Government to a part
of the economy her conservative
predecessors would have been much
happier to let the market dictate.
Today, we saw it -
intervention in to boost growth
in four key sectors -
and artificial intelligence.
The announcement came with news
of a major new investment
from the healthcare firm MSD.
Labour has condemned the strategy
as reannounced policies
and old spending commitments.
So does it stack up?
And can a policy on industry
ever actually work?
Here's Helen Thomas.
There is a long history
of governments trying
to put their stamp on the economy.
The rationalisation of industry
in the 1930s, nationalisation
a few decades later.
The Britain that is going to be born
in the white heat of this revolution
will be no place for restrictive
practices or for outdated methods
on either side of industry.
Three and a half years ago,
defenders of the status quo tried to
ban denationalisation as irrelevant.
How absurd it would seem in a few
years' time for the state to run
Pickfords removals and Gleneagles
And here's the latest iteration.
The future is unfolding
before our very eyes.
New technology is creating
new industries are changing
interesting ones and transforming
the way that we live our lives.
We need to ensure that we are well
prepared to prosper in this future.
It's been a long time since any
government tried to put industrial
strategy at the centre of strategy.
The problems frankly
are rather familiar.
Ailing productivity, stagnant wages,
a London-centric economy.
And so are some of the solutions,
skills, infrastructure, digital.
So what determines if this
is another helping of government
jargon or is the basis
of a long-term overhaul?
One criteria for success will be
whether the benefits
are genuinely spread around.
The main problem we have pain
related to colonoscopy.
Work at Leeds University ticks a lot
of government boxes.
This colonoscopy robot could mean
a pain-free experience for patients.
High-tech robotics solving real life
health problems and outside London.
It would be as easy
as playing a video game.
This robot finds and fixes potholes.
It's come out of the national
robotics facility in Leeds but only
about 10% of research spending goes
to the north of the country.
And the bulk of planned
earmarked for the South.
Some see benefits from money
being spent more widely.
I think it's great that
the government is recognising that
excellence is across the entire UK.
Every part of the UK has
been to offer, be it
through research, training, skills.
I think that's important.
Here at Leeds and I think
we are a good example of a success
story where investment has come in,
it's made a massive difference,
not just to the university but more
widely, also the region.
When it comes to sectors,
every government has its favourites.
But focusing on the biggest
or most advanced may not
yield the best result.
60% of jobs are at firms with
productivity below the UK average.
Many in services.
About 40 times as many people work
in retail as in pharmaceuticals.
The UK has a huge
Sectors such as retail,
tourism and hospitality,
like manufacturing, that's
where our productivity is much less
than that of our major competitors
in Europe and the United States.
What we need to see in an industrial
strategy is a focus on those sectors
and not always on the frontier
sectors that are the sexy ones
for government announcements.
So, good industrial strategy needs
to be about Leeds as well as London,
shopping as well as a science but it
also needs to do something simpler.
It needs to last.
This stalwart of British retail
started here in 1884
and to be successful,
industrial strategy also
needs to go the distance.
No chopping, no changing.
This needs to survive
a new Business Minister,
a new Prime Minister and yes,
meaning cross-party support.
My biggest concern about
the strategy is that it
won't necessarily be embedded
over the long-term.
They are recommending
an advisory council.
It's a different arrangement from
the Office for Budget Responsibility
for example which is an obvious
analogue where it has
its own staff and budget.
There's nothing like that so there's
nothing to stop the seesaw in policy
that we've seen so often in the past
that's been incredibly damaging.
Will today's government blueprint
still be thought useful or relevant
in 20 or 30 years' time?
Let's briefly whiz you through the
front pages. There's happy smiles on
front pages. There's happy smiles on
the front of the Daily Mail.
stars were all aligned, this
beautiful woman just fell into my
life. A radiant Markle and Harry
there. The Daily Mirror has
something similar. "She tripped and
fell into my life" a line from the
BBC interview this afternoon. He
surprised her on one knee as he
tooked her roast chicken. The
Guardian has the MPs fury over
edited Brexit impact report. Davis
in context risk as politically
embarrassing facts are level out of
studies that. Was the story that
Nick brought us earlier. A story at
the bottom that John Profumo, the
Conservative minister who resigned
over the sex scandal in the 60s, had
previously had a long running
relationship with a glamorous Nazi
That's all we've got
time for this evening.
No doubt you've spent the whole day
watching the wall to wall coverage
of Meghan Markle's engagement
to Prince Harry.
An all around feel good
story you might think?
Well, not if you've watched
the drama Ms Markle used to act in.
Fans of Suits will know that,
somewhere out there,
there's a lawyer called Mike who may
well be crying his eyes out.
MUSIC: "Best Thing I
Never Had" - Beyonce
# What goes around comes back around
# Hey my baby
# I say what goes around
comes back around
# Hey my baby
# I say what goes around
comes back around
# Hey my baby
# there was...
Don't talk to me.
# I thought that you
did everything right
# No lies, no wrong
# Boy I, must've been outta my mind
# So when I think of the time
that I almost loved you
# You showed your ass and I,
I saw the real you
# Thank God you blew it
Was it romantic?
# Thank God I dodged the bullet