With Emily Maitlis. Theresa May's speech sets out the government's Brexit vision. Plus why can't we build a proper snowman out of the snow covering the UK at the moment?
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I want to be straight with people.
Life is going to be different. We
all need to face up to some hard
facts. We are leaving the single
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my
Some of these ideas depend
on technology. Robust systems to
ensure trust and confidence as well
as goodwill. As frictionless a
border as possible. If this is
cherry picking, then every trade
arrangement is cherry picking.
we there yet? Is a seeking a new
path through the Brexit blizzard. We
dedicate to Mike's programme to
asking if she is on the right track.
A few hard facts.
A bit of soft fudge.
And a warning to everyone
they would have to compromise.
Theresa May was speaking
today to her own sceptics
as much as she was speaking
to the naysayers of Europe.
If everyone or no-one ends up happy,
then perhaps her job is done.
The tone today was markedly
different from a year ago.
Then, she promised us
the same benefits in terms
of free access to trade.
Today, she warned starkly that
life after the single
market would be different.
Less sunlit upland, more hard graft.
The cake has not so much been eaten,
as ground up into crumbs.
And now we're just trying to squeeze
them back together into something
that resembles an offering.
As for the Ireland question,
Theresa May suggested
the border would be
as frictionless as possible.
We'll explore what that means later.
The PM offered herself today
as a pragmatist putting
options on the table.
Will Europe's negotiators bite?
Here's our political
editor, Nick Watt.
August, thoughtful, though at times
perhaps a little intimidating.
Peering down at Theresa May were
grand figures from the ancient
world, a reminder if one were needed
that the stakes are high. Today,
Theresa May set out her vision for
the UK's future relationship with
the EU at the Mansion house in the
City of London. Criticised for
indulging Brexit supporters, the
Prime Minister issued a warning that
they may not be entirely happy.
want to be straight with people
because the reality is that we all
need to face up to some hard facts.
We are leaving the single market.
Life is going to be different.
Life is going to be different. In
certain ways our access to each
other's markets will be less than it
is now. How could the EU structure
of rights and obligations be
sustained if the UK or any country
were allowed to enjoy all the
benefits without all of the
So a warm reception for Theresa May
from the city
from the city elite who just sat
through a speech which did mark a
marked change in tone from the Prime
Minister. Four months she's tiptoed
around Brexit supporters are gently
suggesting there will be challenges
they'll need to accept over Brexit.
But today she set out what she
described as a series of hard facts
they will have to accept as she
negotiates Britain's exit from the
EU. Those hard facts about Brexit
are... European law will still have
an effect in the UK. Leaving the
single market will have an impact on
the economy. No take it or leave it
approach on the Irish border. And
making binding commitments to remain
in step with the EU in some areas.
David Davis Kumar you going to have
to use all your renowned skills as a
diplomat to sell these hard facts to
your fellow Brexiteers?
think so. The simple fact is, go ask
Boris, ask the other Brexiteers the
Cabinet if you like. What the centre
of this is is parliament will always
have a say. Today the rules come
down through the European
Parliament, doesn't really have a
proper site. This time I'll have a
say, and they will exercise that say
in the knowledge and the consequent
is one way or another. Will it give
us access or not.
us access or not. That is what every
country will do, that's what will
deliver the best outcome for Britain
in the long run.
Lest any Brexit
support of year-to-date marks
betrayal, the Prime Minister warned
the EU that it, too, needs to hard
facts. Her fundamental vision for
Brexit remains unchanged. After the
single market and Customs union. No
direct save for the European Court
of Justice over the UK. These are
balanced by a call for the UK to
forge the deepest possible
partnership with the EU, possibly
including associate membership of
some of its regulatory bodies.
Brexit supporters gave the speech a
guarded welcome. Anne-Marie
Trevelyan, if you were Prime
Minister is this the speech he would
It was a very aromatic
speech. I'm not try would have given
it, I'm not in that position, I had
to plough through these incredibly
complex sort of departmental
de-radicalise to see where we sit
and what it looks like. It was a
very pragmatic speech talking to our
What strikes me as
we are almost two for years on from
the European referendum on the Prime
Minister is still trying to hammer
out the details about what leaving
the European Union means. What
struck me today was the focus wasn't
on negotiations with the commission,
wasn't with getting the best deal or
protecting public services, it was
trying to hold that fragile
coalition together in the
Conservative Party, which is being
led around by the hard right.
Sparse, that has been the EU
complaint until now, about Britain's
vision for its future relationship
with Brussels. Today, Theresa May
fill that space.
Well, we did ask the government
for a minister to evangelise
for Theresa May's speech,
but nobody was available.
Brussels was rather more forthcoming
- Vice President of the European
Parliament Mairead Macguinnes
joins me now.
Thanks very much for your time this
evening, Mairead Macguinnes. This
was quite conciliatory, did you find
it a reasonable pitch that you could
Well I think I'm glad the
speech was made.
speech was made. It's a lengthy
speech that needs to be studied but
it had many audiences and I think
that is perhaps the most interesting
point of this. Much of it I think
towards the Conservative Party. I'm
glad there is some reality dawning
the Brexiteers and indeed within the
Cabinet. As to what leaving the
single market and Customs union
actually means. I think it needs
further analysis but on balance I'm
happy the speech is made. There are
many areas I remain very concerned
about. I do worry that the United
Kingdom wants to jump ahead of
further negotiations of where they
are at. Of course we need to know
what framework of relationship we
will have, but I'm also concerned we
haven't agreed a withdrawal text at
this stage. Nor a transition period.
We now have this speech. I've always
been minded to say that while
speeches are important particularly
in terms of the political climate in
the United Kingdom, they are not
negotiating documents. They don't
match what we have at EU level. We
will need a document.
I want to get
out of the specifics of the speech,
she talked in detail about the
Northern Ireland border, wanting to
make it as frictionless as possible
with technology and goodwill. Does
it ring the right chord for you?
Well I don't see much strange
really. I do welcome the
acknowledgement there will be no
hard border, I think that was very
important. I regret it's necessary
that this has to be said but I would
add concerned this is not just a
transactional issue on the border.
We're not dealing with a normal
border if you like, this is a border
that has history and geography and
politics behind it. There is a peace
agreement that is international. I
would be concerned about the idea we
can have small firms, trade as they
are today... That misses the point
why we in the Republic of Ireland,
this is shared by our EU partners,
are so concerned there will not be a
difference to the relationship we
What is wrong with it?
would like Theresa May to think
little more deeply, to think more
deeply about the consequences. Our
shared membership of the European
Union has facilitated a situation
where even the nationalist community
can accept they are part of the
United Kingdom because they're free,
we are all within the same space,
single market Customs union. Even
with what is in the speech today,
for somebody like me who travels
through Northern Ireland all the
time, there could be an impact
because objects that may happen
along the way. I'm trying to move
beyond the idea this is just an
infrastructure or lack of issue.
It's about the psychological issue.
Let me take you on. We don't have
long. Some of the other things she
was talking about, the associate
membership. Some of the EU agencies.
Is it something the European
Parliament, that the EU, would
I think that is being
pushed by industry in the United
Kingdom and I'm very glad to see for
the first time very concrete
realities again dawning in the
United Kingdom, that leading
regulatory agencies will impact on
business in the United Kingdom and
patients. While there are people
like Norway part of many of our
agencies and our value -- are
valued. If the United Kingdom wants
that there is a price to be paid and
the Prime Minister has acknowledged
that. And value to be gained from
that as well. I would hope on those
issues we could make progress but it
would be part of an overall package.
And remember that the red lines are
still very heavily red, leaving the
single market and Customs union.
There is then a sense, adding laid
out those red lines, of saying, on
the other hand we like what the EU
has created in a whole range of
issues. As I read this its a bit
like saying, look, we want to be
part of the European Union but don't
want to be called part of the
On that note we'll
Let's hope it move things
forward and if it does I welcome
Thank you, appreciate your
time, sorry to squeeze you.
Joining me now, cmmitted
It feels like we're saying we want
to be part of the EU but don't want
to call it the EU, it's everything
but in name.
I don't think she is
understood the speech and I think
the speech was primarily aimed at
the European Union Prime Minister
rightly ended by saying, let's get
on with it, a message to the
European Union. One of the problems
is this ridiculous idea that you
have to negotiate something called a
withdrawal agreement first. Before
you can go on to discuss your future
Let me bring you onto
the vision in this speech. This was
a very different vision, to become
associate member of agencies, to
carry on paying into those parts
that wants to belong. Having to have
a relationship with the ECJ. Does
that work for you?
I don't think
it's new at all, it was there in the
Lancaster house speech when the
original ideas Brexiteers had.
the idea we be associated with all
the different bodies of agencies,
medicine, chemistry, aviation.
During the referendum campaign we
often said something like Erasmus,
which is a programme for students
that goes beyond the EU anyway, is
the kind of thing which, if they
were sensible terms for doing it,
why wouldn't we carry on?
agency, a sort of exchange
programme. I'm asking whether you
find that contradictory to what you
felt you were getting.
Not at all.
It would have to be very clear that
it doesn't put us under the control
of the EU and if there is any
payment, it's a proportionate
payment to the cost, it would save
us money setting up our own body
because the other option is to set
up our own body to do exactly the
same thing. We would need to
evaluate one against the other. Very
third order issue. You're trying to
make problems where there aren't
problems. The problem the EU now has
its every time the UK Government
puts forward something decent, often
very generous, they throw it back in
our face. They have no serious
interest, it seems, in negotiating
free trade agreement or a
wide-ranging economic partnership.
The British people are getting
mighty fed up with this. Why would
we want to be at all generous over
their so-called withdrawal agreement
if there is absolutely nothing
forthcoming. I hope for the sake of
the country on the Prime Minister
they read the speech again, realise
it was asking them to engage
seriously now to have a
she's got her head in the sand.
There is no way the British
Parliament people will sign up to
their withdrawal agreement, that
dreadful draft they sent us, without
there being something really good on
the end of it.
You say there is no
way, you think there is still a no
Deal option on the table. A lot of
people thought she was moving
towards compromise, she was saying,
it's going to be tough. It wasn't
the speech she made a year ago in
March when she said, we'll have that
The EU is moving very
strongly to no Deal. As you just
heard it's very representative of EU
responses, everything the Prime
Minister has generously put forward
his two little or they don't agree.
You think no Deal is most likely.
they change their attitude of course
we end up with no Deal.
I've always thought no
Deal gives me four of the five
things as a Brexiteer I want, we
don't pay them any money, we can
spend it all on our priorities, we
can have our own trade policy and do
our own trade deals.
Is she wasting
Do you not want to hear
all the advantages?
We can make our own laws and control
our own borders.
I've heard the
argument before. Would we like free
trade agreement? Yes, it might be in
their interest as well. A deal that
is better than no Deal is of course
possible. But if the EU is not
prepared at any point to say, yes,
we want a free trade deal, then
these talks are going to be very
difficult. Do you think Theresa
May's red lights have gone now?
Which talks about the need for
compromise and hard facts and
choices, do you think those red
lines have been eroded now and it's
up to the EU to start moving towards
I think the Prime Minister has
been extremely friendly and generous
and positive towards the EU and she
wants now some response from the
country, the country needs a
response from them. Otherwise there
won't be a deal. I don't think she
has eroded the key red lines, she's
made very clear, as the EU used to
be very clear, you can't stay in the
customs union and single market if
you are leaving the EU. She's made
it very clear we want our own
independent trade policy which you
can't have in the or a customs
union. I don't think the customs
union exists. All the things Mr
Corbyn wants are clearly
non-negotiable and the EU will say
John Redwood thank you very much
indeed for coming in.
Of course the speech Theresa May
made this afternoon had an eye
on her European audience,
reminding those we're leaving
that its also in Europe's best
interest to keep relations as smooth
and as close as possible.
Is that how Europe sees it?
The first tweeted responses from EU
negotiators suggested not -
and as Mark Urban explains,
the response is unlikely
to be unified.
I am afraid that the UK position
today is based on pure illusion.
It looks like the cake
fillers of a still life.
The warning was clear enough -
don't try to cherry pick.
Yet that is exactly
what Theresa May did today.
Because many in Whitehall don't
quite believe the EU's rhetoric,
thinking it's a negotiating stance,
and that some countries want to put
business ahead of dogma.
Those closest have the most
integrated economies with the UK,
but for the moment, France
and Ireland in particular,
are taking a tough
line on Brexit issues.
Further afield, the V4
or Visegrad Group -
Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic
and Slovakia - are critical
of the Commission and favour
a softer line on Brexit.
Some of the Scandinavians also
favour a conciliatory approach,
but who to lead this block
of moderates when Germany
in particular argues that the EU's
rules must be defended vigorously?
Quite a lot of member states
to a greater or lesser extent
would like a broader relationship,
a deeper relationship involving
more economic activity,
more trade investment between the EU
and the UK.
However the British should not
in my view get too excited
about these nuances around the 27,
because although a lot
of Governments as I said
would like a broader relationship
than that which Barnier
seems to be pushing for,
the French and Germans
and the Commission are very
powerful, very dominant.
So what are the chances
of a champion emerging,
to challenge the Germans,
in the interests of keeping
trade with the UK sweet?
Probably quite slim.
Why indeed should any country
want to organise others
in the UK's interests?
But if there is one possible
pragmatist in chief, it's
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte,
who has today questioned
the federalist ambitions
of some in Europe.
The European Union is not
many my view an unstoppable train,
speeding towards federalism.
Brexit shows that EU is not
an irreversible certainty.
In many member states,
political parties at the centre,
the centre-left, the centre-right,
parties with a long-standing
are under pressure.
The European Commission tonight
praised Theresa May for at least
making clear she wanted a free trade
agreement, rather than a version
of single market membership.
Now, the work will begin on seeing
just how ambitious they can be
about that trade deal.
With me in the studio the finest
Brexit panel you can imagine -
Iain Dale, Nina Schick,
Paul Mason and Suzanne Evans -
to chew over the stuff
we haven't yet tackled.
Brexit, Remainers Right and Left.
Very nice of you to come to over and
chew up the stuff we haven't
I will give the first panelist the
response, who tells me tonight, they
do not feel compromised by what has
been offered today?
I don't feel
compromised by it.
Took a pause, but
I only paused because when I
watched the speech, I am going to be
honest I found it difficult to
follow. It was very come expression,
every detailed, lots more than any
of her other speeches and it's a
speech you have to read a couple of
times before you get it. And I think
when you have, the Irish Government,
Barnier, Rees-Mogg and Chuka Umunna
finding something positive, she has
probably done something right.
fit yourself in the frame of mind
that says yes she has ticked the
I am not a dogma test.
I have believed in any negotiation
there has to be cop promises, today
she has said yes, up to now it has
been we will be able to get
everything we want. It will be the
Are you there Nina
This is the
most interesting thing, is that
reality is hitting the Government in
the face really hard, if you look at
Theresa May's first speech at
Conservative Party Conference in
2016, the famous citizens of nowhere
speech then Lancaster House and
Florence, when she asked for a
transition at Lancaster House she
said the UK would be leaving the
customs union and the single market.
Today she admitted for the first
time, this is something I have been
saying since 2016, there have to be
trade off, there have to be
compromise, the magical dream...
were glad she said that?
Yes, the EU
will welcome that, nonetheless,
there are still problems, the most
fundamental issue in my view is that
the issue of the Irish border has
not been resome evidence. We have
seen the massive kick back in this
country to the draft withdrawal
agreement. That the EU laid out,
because they suggested that the fall
back option for Northern Ireland,
which has to be under pinned in law,
because the EU is an international
treaty organisation, under pinned by
a rule book, would be that Northern
Ireland remains in the customs union
or the single market. Of course the
UK said that is not possible, I
completely understand why, Theresa
May said that, but what is the
solution? So this customs
partnership that she put today, what
does that mean? We don't have enough
detail on that.
I want to spend time
on the Irish board e before we do
that, Suzanne, do you hear a woman
or a leader who has had to
compromise, get rid of her red line,
is it the Brexit you want?
it is. We had a clear commitment to
leaving the single market, we had a
clear commitment to leaving the
customs union and a customs union in
a snub to Jeremy Corbyn rightly, we
also heard strong commentments on an
end to free. Only do of movement,
other thing she didn't lay down
strongly enough, the idea we could
walk away with no deal, that seems
to be off the table, she talked
strongly about the European Court of
Justice, in a way that was almost
treating it like a grandfather,
saying we needed to listen to it, we
would take advice from it. That is
not the position we wanted
eitherment I am particularly worried
about what she said about fishing,
because for us in Ukip, fishing was
one of the red lines, fishing
industry is the one that has been
absolutely destroyed perhaps more
than any other by our membership of
the European Union, and to hear her
talk today about our shared stocks,
was a massive indication, I think
she is going to use perhaps fishing
as a bargaining chip with the
European Union so our fishermen will
not get the rights they would have
under international law which would
be a disgrace, really.
May just effectively applied for
off-peak membership of the European
jib, so she was to pay for the
treadmill and the sort of skipping
rope but not the weights and the
spinning class, and remains, they
are glam she has made an application
-- glad, and we will find out what
they think about it. John Redwood is
De Leeuwed, to be honest, I wish he
was still sitting here because the
point I I would make to hick him, is
that the fantasy of hard Brexit
evaporated, number one, forget, an
independent fishing industry, we
will give Europe full access.
That is what she has
offered. And to be honest, he talks
about the will of the people and
what the British people will put up,
with there is no majority in the UK
Parliament for a customs union, and
the moment they put that vote to a
vote, I think we will find out she
has actually negotiating from a weak
and non-representative position.
are cheering that are you?
we should do a job for the viewer to
explain what has happened before we
unleash our own prejudice on it.
Yes, I am against a hard Brexit, I
want the softest possibly Brexit. I
want customs union, I am glad core
Bishop has gone in the direction of
trying to negotiate closeness to the
single market. The other thing that
evaporated the David Davis's promise
that we would get the exact same
trade deals. That has been shown to
be a fantasy. That is very powerful
people like me.
What would you say
that? This idea that everything that
was promised, the trade benefits
would be the same, the up land were
going to be there,
They will be
there. To say the idea of a hard
Brexit, which I think is actually
Brexit has evaporated is ridiculous,
we are going to leave the single
market and the customs union, those
were war the soft Brexiteers used to
describe as a hard Brexit but no
longer do. I think it is a great
thing that we now have another
divide in British politic, between
the Conservative Party and the
Labour Party and we heard from
Jeremy Corbyn on Monday, and he
outlined very clearly what he wans
to do but he knows he can't deliver
it because the EU will never accept
Britain at the negotiating table for
new trade deals if we are still in a
Are you closer to the
No, absolutely not. It
is a fudge, it is completely
Why is it any
different? Why is this union
different to an arrangement or...
Theresa May spelled out clearly in
her speech why Jeremy Corbyn's
version of a customs union won't
work. I think the problem that we
have got, is that Theresa May is
still in a sense negotiating from a
point of weakness, she is still
listening to too closely to her
advisers, who are really don't want
to come out of the European Union at
all. Expert remain aers, and she is
not actually telling the EU strongly
enough what we want. The end of her
speech today she started to sound
like she was a woman who believed in
Britain, who believed in the Brexit
It kind of backtracked on
that they agreed at Chequers were
the politicians said we would have
divergence and all she talked about
was more alignment. The other point
is I think there is a mood in the
country for people to just get on
with this and get it over with, and
I think I had a lot of people on my
phone in today saying look, give the
woman a chance, we like the speech.
I might have voted remain but give
her a chance.ment so we are talking
as if it is up to us now, it is down
to European Europe and what the
divided voices say.
We are still a
long away away from the future
trading relationship. We first of
all have to get that draft
withdrawal text agreed and the UK by
the way despite all the anger at the
EU's draft agreement, hasn't put
forward their own. Then we have the
issue of the transition, know that
Theresa May has sold this as an
implementation phase, but that is of
course not the case, because the
idea by March 2019 that you can have
an TFA ready to go is De Leeuwed.
The next question is, can hard
Brexiteers accept, and what I found
interesting, is that given that what
was promised and what Theresa May
said today, everyone seems to think
there were good parts in that, it is
not what was promised. Jurisdiction
of the ECJ or whether or not direct,
and the same will be the case for
My point now, is that if
there is at least some overlap
between what people broadly want,
does the EU hear it in that way? You
have heard from Barnier, we have
heard from people saying she has her
head in the stand, people saying it
They are going to say
that. They are the two most
Europhile politicians in Europe.
They are because they are fully
bought into the project. What I
would say federalism or not, the
centre in Europe knows it is in
trouble. What this, I read this as a
gamble by the British Foreign
Office, I see the Foreign Office
hands on this as well as Olly rob
Bishops because they have been doing
a lot of bilateral talking to
European capital, they see, the
gamble is, the European project is
in so much trouble they will allow
what Britain has asked for, which is
a specific despoke free trade deal
and go round the Commission
position, which is to offer us
Canada or Norway. I think the
problem is, we perhaps in the vote
Leave campaign underestimated the
ability of Brexit and the Civil
Service, the Government and Civil
Service to deliver the Brexit that
the people voted for. And I think
what will ultimately come out of
this today, I think the EU will see
Theresa May as another bit of a push
over and they will push back harder.
Thank you all very much.
Thank you all very much.
Eskimos, they say,
have 50 words for snow.
The Inuits of Canada's Nunuvik
region actually do have 53.
The Sami people of Russia have 180.
The Inupiaks of Alaska do justice
to ice with another 70 of their own.
It seems only right,
since we have embraced -
albeit temporarily -
the beast from the east -
to come up with one of our own.
The stuff that's covering
Britain right now -
making many lives a misery -
is, experts tell us,
known as Champagne Powder.
It's too refined to build a snowman.
It doesn't mould
easily into snowballs.
At the end of a week of the white
stuff we sent John Sweeney out
to get the scientific low
down on why.
Government and Civil Service
Something has gone horribly wrong
with the great British snow man. The
snowmageddon has produced no the fat
dough boys of yesteryear by a series
of weird shrunken mutants.
What do these snowball engineers
make of it on Primrose Hill? What is
the problem with the snow?
It is a
work of art this.
Time to call in an expert.
Time to call in an expert. This
woman is a Professor of
snowflakology. There is a problem
with our snow man, what is the
Well, first thing we don't
want to discriminate because our
snow man is tiny, but there is a bit
of a damage challenge in making a
bigger snow man using this kind of
snow, the reason being that the snow
we have add the moment is very dry.
And it is the liquid part that makes
snow stick together. So if we are
missing that, the snow just can't
pack together very well, so it has
been incredibly cold because it is
coming from the east. It hit
cyberian temperatures, I don't know
if you have noticed six sided
snowflakes we are getting, they are
tiny, because of the fact it has
been so cold, the water vapour has
frozen to make this small crystal,
very powdery snow.
It is the wrong
kind of snow.
It Tees wrong kind of
The big fat flake at the top is the
perfect building block for a good
snow man. The stuff at the bottom is
too dry makes rubbish snowmen.
Bad for snowmen, but this kind of
powdery snow is seriously good for
St Legers, and skiers too.
The science behind the wrong kind of
snow is so compelling. Other life
forms were drawn ircystibly to the
Newsnight snow man.
That just John Sweeney.
That's all we have
time for this evening.