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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  October 1, 2021 4:30am-5:01am BST

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hello, this is bbc news. i'm ben boulos with the headlines. australia will lift its covid—19 ban on international travel next month. the first phase of the plan will focus on citizens and permanent residents being allowed to leave australia with further changes expected to allow foreign travellers to enter the country. the us senate has voted to avoid a government shutdown that would have affected hundreds of thousands of federal workers. the vote on spending came after a deal was struck between the republicans and the democrats with just hours left to avoid the crisis. the authorities in ecuador say they have regained control of a high security prison in this —— after a major operation involving 900 police officers and soldiers. at least 118 inmates have been killed in a right between rival gangs which began on tuesday.
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now i bbc news, hardtalk with vena badawi. —— now on bbc news, hardtalk with zeinab badawi. welcome to hardtalk. i'm zeinab badawi. the crisis over a lack of supplies in the uk triggered by a shortage of truck drivers has reignited the debate about the consequences of brexit. this comes on top of concerns about the impact on trade between great britain and northern ireland and what it means for that historic peace agreement there. my guest is michel barnier, who was the eu's chief brexit negotiator and has declared himself a centre—right candidate for the presidential elections in france next year. how does he see the fallout from brexit, and why does he think he is fit to be the next president of france?
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michel barnier, welcome to hardtalk. happy to be here. thank you for your invitation. so, as you know, the uk is experiencing issues that have led to a shortage of goods, such as fuel, because of panic buying and the lack of truck drivers. to what extent do you think this is a consequence of brexit? partly, it's a consequence of brexit but, to be frank, i don't want to give any lessons to the british government. if you look at this crisis shortage, there is obviously many reasons.
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first of all, the consequence of the risk of covid, to be frank, everywhere. the price of energy everywhere. the shortage about the raw materials everywhere. and, in addition, obviously the mechanic and automatic consequences of the brexit, because the brexit means leaving the eu, leaving the single market, leaving the custom union. it's very serious. yeah... that means the end of the freedom of movement for the truck drivers. all right. that means so many, many new buyers which are direct consequences of brexit. for example, the control for each good entering the uk. ok, but you know that there are european leaders who cannot resist saying to the united kingdom "this is because of brexit". the german spd leader and the likely new chancellor in germany, olaf scholz, says, "the free movement of labour is part of the european union. "we worked hard to convince
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the british not to leave the european union. "they decided differently, and i hope they will manage the problems coming from that." i am pleasured to answer to your questions, but i managed the negotiation for four years enough with never any kind of spirit of revenge, any kind of spirit of punishment. i have a lot of respect for the uk but i don't want to make any politics. objectively, mechanically, i always said for — during these four years at each and every press point in london or in brussels that that brexit has so many consequences, generally underestimated. generally, they were badly explained to the british people, and one of these consequences is the end of the freedom of movement decided by the british government and the rebuilding of control for all the extensions. all right, you say you don't want to speak in punishing terms about the british,
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but in your new book, my secret brexit diary — there you were, the eu's negotator on brexit and you were writing every day... every day. ..there you are, and in this book, you explain how the uk's early problem was to underestimate the legal complexity of this divorce and you say that the current team is not up to the challenges of brexit, nor to the responsibility that is theirs. that's not very complimentary, is it, mr barnier? no, it's the truth. i just said the truth and ijust made this point a few seconds before in my previous answer. there are so many consequences — and serious consequences, of brexit — and underestimated and very badly explained. just let me recall that leaving the eu means leaving 600 international agreements, all the european policies. that it is very complex. and i think that the preparation wasn't at the right level.
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but you went on — "the current team — i.e., the british government — is not up to the challenges. and you went on to say in your book "i simply don't trust them." no, on a specific point, i lose my trust because of what the uk government tried to do against the protocol on ireland. because in ireland, what is at stake is not a question of goods or trade or technical matters — it's about peace, about the people. i remember clearly my meeting with a group of women in dungannon, south of londonderry, a few years ago. it was very moving. these women asked me — it was a private meeting — these women gave me a kind of mandate — "please, mr barnier, do everything you can to avoid "the repetition that we come back again to the war,
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to the troubles." the peace is fragile in ireland. so i think that everybody must be responsible. we are working a lot with mrjohnson — not against him, not without him — to negotiate this protocol and now, we have to keep calm, to find the right solution to de—dramatise the checks and controls — to de—dramatise and to implement this protocol. because there's the northern ireland protocol, of course, wanting to avoid a hard border between northern ireland and the republic of ireland, which is part of the european union, but also... for peace, no border. ..but also between great britain and northern ireland, the british government doesn't want a hard border either. but you talk about how this could compromise peace. and george eustice, who is a cabinet minister here, said, "the truth is unless we have a sustainable solution that enables trade to continue between great britain and northern ireland, then we are going to have issues — and that itself would become a challenge to the good friday peace agreement." but i'm surprised by this kind of sentence, because there is no surprise.
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this protocol, very precisely, has been negotiated by mrjohnson himself, by his government, by the civil servants. we are professional in the uk. there is no surprise. we know this situation is complex. now, we have to keep calm. we are already, on the european side — i'm no longer in charge and the vice president is a very wise man — and we are ready to find operational solutions to discuss this solution in the framework of the protocol. but there will be no renegotiation. i was going to say — operational discussions but, as you know, the uk brexit minister david frost has said, "i urge the european union to think again and consider instead working to reach agreement with us so that we can put in place something that will last." i think david frost as someone taking a huge responsibility vis—a—vis the peace in ireland because they negotiate themselves this protocol. there is no surprise. wejust — in good faith,
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we asked them to respect the signature of the uk, to be careful about the reputation of the uk, to be careful about the peace in ireland, and we are ready to find operational and technical solutions — for example, for the medicines. but no rewriting? no renegotiation. but a treaty negotiated less than two years ago. two years ago. in your diaries, you also say the uk would try to re—enter with the european union through the window, the single market, whose door has slammed shut. so you think that somehow, obviously not rejoining the eu, but they'll try to get through the window? it's kind of compliment to the professionals of the uk negotiator to try to get the best of two worlds. but it was impossible. my mandate was very clear — to protect the integrity of the single market. the single market, madame, is our best asset. the main reason why the americans on one side, the chinese on the other side, respect the europeans is the single market
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because the single market is much more than a free trade area. it is a kind of ecosystem with the same norms, the same regulations, same supervisions, same jurisdictions for 100 million people and 22 million businesses so this is the key point of my negotiation, my mandate, to protect the single market. all right, you've made your point. let me recall that the uk left the eu — not the contrary. 0k. so there you are, now here. you're leaving that behind you, to some extent, and you're a candidate seeking the nomination of the centre—right republican party in france to stand in the elections in april next year against emmanuel macron. and, you know, in all the kind of debates that are going on in france and so on, you are warning that other states, as you say, would follow the uk and leave the european union, unless it reformed its immigration rules. you say, "if nothing changes, there will be other brexits."
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the french mp natalie loiseau says "have you spent too much time with borisjohnson?" i've spent lots of time with borisjohnson. she is asking whether you have been influenced by him. and i've understood why 52% of people voted against brexit. my defence with some of these people is i don't want another brexit as well. —— voted against brussels. so which other brexits might there be that you're warning about? let me be precise — the brexiteers spoke and wanted to exit the eu. it's not my case, obviously. they wanted to end the freedom of movement inside europe. i wanted to protect it. but you're saying if nothing changes, there will be other brexits. which other brexits? but i am speaking... on that point, i am speaking clearly about the migration coming from abroad. yes. a third country. not from the eu itself. i understand that but which country document? —— i understand that
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but which country... ? there is no point of benchmarking or comparison between the brexit and me — i have nothing to do with these people. and i wantjust to tackle the problem and the anger and the feeling and the asking of my people and my country. and one point is that migration policy does not work in france or does not work in europe, so we have to change this policy. no, i understand you're talking about economic migrants coming into the european union from outside the eu. correct. and you want that number of economic migrants permitted to enter france to be something that the french parliament sets the quotas on. but the point i'm making is you're saying unless the eu does something on this, there'll be other brexits, so what made you say that? which other countries — �*frexit�*, maybe? france? because my responsibility is to draw the lessons of the brexit — which is not a small event, it is a very historical and serious event — and we have to take into account the social anger, also, the popularfeeling. don't confuse the popular feeling and the populism. we have to insert reason into... you won't answer my question about which other countries,
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which other states might follow suit? no, there is no point to that. 0k. there is something which was unlikely — and brexit was unlikely, even for the brexiteers — but it happened. so we need to be careful and change what needs to be changed to avoid new brexits. all right. as part of your campaign to get the nomination for the republican party — which will be decided in december — you'll say you want a referendum. and one of the questions asked would be to see if the european court ofjustice could be suspended over this issue of migration. and the anti—eu politician in the uk nigel farage has called you "the biggest hypocrite ever born" because you state that "france's sovereignty has been impinged on by the european court ofjustice" and that was a central argument of the brexiteers, mr barnier. frankly speaking, i have nothing to do with mr farage and i was never impressed during four years by his permanent attacks and politics. and i've certainly not been impressed now,
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after the negotiations. so i have nothing to do with this guy. he is an extremist from the far right. i am a gaulist, european, definitely a patriot and and european and i want to change what needs to be changed, including in the french constitution where we can find new word on migration. so we have to consider the people of france, and we will do that. 0k. i'm sure nigel farage would not necessarily describe himself as "far—right". he's a brexiteer, anti—eu. but the point that i want to make to you, which is... can you just... a different messenger, then. let me just say to you — how do you reconcile the fact that you are calling for a suspension of the right of the european court ofjustice to challenge the french government on setting the number of migrants it wants to come into the country? that was a central plank of the brexiteers. let me recall one point. the migration policy coming from abroad is a shared policy in france between the eu and between member states.
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we need in our constitution to put in the words we are missing today about migration. let mejust recall one point about this guy, mr farage — once again, an extremist from the far right, in my view. when i met him, he requested a meeting with me in my office in brussels. i asked him a question: "mr farage, how do you see the iteration "of the eu and the uk after brexit?" —— the relation. his answer was very clear: "mr barnier, after brexit, the eu will no longer exist." that is the reason why i have nothing to do with mr farage — nothing. all right. just looking at your candidacy — there are others who are ahead of you in the polls. the favourite is xavier bertrand. you've been absent from french politics for a long time. you were last minister of agriculture in 2009. it's going to be a huge difficulty for you, isn't it, to resonate with the french public? it's very stimulating to have such margin of progress. i am progressing every day in the polls.
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i think i'm able to build the unity of my party, between several good candidates, and to run for the centre—right and for the republicans to win this election. this is the point. this is exactly the goal and the aim of the debate, of an election. as a presidential candidate, you're dealing with lots of major issues. one of them, of course, is that aukus deal — the defence alliance between the united states, uk and australia. it resulted in the cancellation of a 50 billion euro contract for the french to supply diesel submarines to the australians. howjustified was the huge anger in france over the cancellation of the contract, and over the aukus deal? it was an anger, justified anger, against the lack of trust, because this contract had been cancelled without any kind of prior consultation and prior discussion between allies.
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and my thinking, as a former french foreign minister, as a french politician, is that, between allies, we need more consideration and respect, and it was not the case between the united states of america, between the uk government, and the australian government. and it is serious, because we have so many challenges to face in the next decades, in the next few years, that we need a strong alliance. i think this trust has been fragilised by the us and by the uk government. it is serious, and they have to rebuild this trust between us. how long do you think that will take? peter ricketts, a former british ambassador to france, says you cannot finish this in the short—term — this is one of those occasions when the french remember. how long do you think it will take to rebuild that trust? i think for a long time that an alliance does not mean allegiance. an alliance needs trust and confidence.
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so, we will keep calm. france has expressed its position on this lack of trust and the very, very bad behaviour of our allies. and i think we have to discuss and to keep calm, and perhaps also to build a stronger way of european autonomy on defence. what is clear is that what we do not do for ourselves, nobody will come to do that in our place. that's what president macron is saying — he's saying now that the europeans must stop being naive and that we need to react and show we have the power and capacity to defend ourselves. so you're agreeing with president macron on this particular point? both sides. all right. there's a difference of view there, because within the european union, people like the us—european alliance. but i like the us—european alliance. but an alliance is not an allegiance.
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it sounds like what you're saying is — like president macron — that the europeans should increase their own military capacity, and that... not against nato. i think that a strong nato needs two legs. the american one and the european one. that's not the case for the moment. you've got some people on one side of the argument like andreas michaelis, german ambassador to the uk, saying the aukus partnership threatened the coherence and unity of the west. then you've got people like shal michele, saying the trans—atlantic alliance between the eu and the us is paramount for security in the world. "we have never put it into question in europe." there's a slight differing of tone, isn't there, within the eu now? no, no. the quote of shal michele is correct. this alliance is necessary, including to face the new challenges in the world, including to face the terrorism in the world. precisely because we need this
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alliance, we need trust between us, and we need a balance and shared discussion between us, which is not the case today. so the two codes are correct, in my view. in terms of the impact of the aukus deal on british—french bilateral relations, what do you think that will be? because we've had borisjohnson say to president macron, "plene en grep" — "get a grip on things" — and that the french has nothing to worry about, but the french have been very dismissive of the british, saying they're irrelevant in this deal, the fifth wheel in the carriage. i don't want to answer to the provocation of the politics of mrjohnson, frankly speaking. i think the situation is much more serious because of the respect of the treaty and alliance and peace,
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which is our concern. because what could happen, which is serious also — once again, the british does not respect their signature on their agreement on brexit forfishery. because of this aukus crisis, i think the situation is serious. looking at what could happen in the next five years, if i am the french president, i would try to always think about the future and the necessity of good co—operation between us, and not to sacrifice this future to the present. in the present situation, i think the uk government has to be very careful. do you think that the tensions between the uk and france — you mentioned the fisheries, fishing, because we're seeing tensions over fishing rights for french boats — and the uk is rejecting more than 80% of application by french boats to fish in british coastal waters. we've also got pressures
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on the policing of migrants trying to enter the uk across the english channel from france. do you think that we're going to see these kinds of tensions getting worse? there is a risk. and it is why i call for the spirit of civility on both sides, particularly the uk side, because in that case of fishery, it can cause huge tensions. i know quite well this agreement. we have negotiated until the last day, the last year, the day of christmas, with the uk, very precisely. and we just ask the uk to respect what is written in this treaty — no more. the uk home secretary has approved this policy of france — boats carrying migrants back to the uk. the french say this breaks maritime law and accuses the uk of blackmail, and the uk has said to france it will pay you 60 million euro
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if you increase your patrols to intercept more boats. and so the uk's really not left with much choice but to be tough. the french are not being fair here, are they? they're just allowing the migrants to come in. you speak about a very serious problem, which is migration across the channel. we have this question of fishery. there are so many points where we need to keep calm and to respect what has been written in the treaty and to be careful about the future. because if you look at — let me just say what i think personally. we have to face climate change together. we have to face the fight against terrorism together. we have to fight against poverty in africa and migrations. we have to fight against the risk of financial instability — a new financial crisis. i have been the commissioner
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in charge of the financial crisis and the new regulations in the crisis in 2010. we have to look at this future and this necessary co—operation between us, between uk and the eu, and the uk and france, and to try where it's possible to solve the current point of negotiations and the point of the crisis. so, some insights there into — if you were to ever become president of france, the kind of bilateral relations you would pursue there between the united kingdom and france? i always add in my mind during these four years of negotiations described in this book three points: defend the integrity of the single market. no cherry picking — the uk had to suffer the consequences of brexit everywhere — it was its decision. two — the peace in ireland. 3 — the spirit of co—operation for the future. michel barnier, thank you very much for coming on hardtalk.
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thank you. thank you very much. thank you. good morning. new month, but unfortunately not a new weather story. it looks likely that the beginning of october will be quite an autumnal, unsettled picture, with some rain at times. there will be some brighter interludes as well, but the winds certainly a feature, with plenty of leaves coming down off the trees over the next few days. now, as you can see, friday's weather will continue to see this frontal system moving in over the next few hours. it means first thing on friday
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morning, it still has yet to clear away from the south east. it will do so, and into the afternoon, we should see some sunshine coming through. so, a better second half to the day. there'll be plenty of frequent showers accompanied by a blustery wind on exposed west—facing coasts of scotland, northern ireland and north west england. temperatures ranging from 11—18 celsius. now, as we move out of friday into saturday, low pressure is anchoring itself up into the far north of scotland, and we've got another developing low pushing into the far south west. this is going to bring a spell of, yet again, wet and windy weather. it'll move in from the south west, gradually pushing its way steadily northwards. so, if you start the day dry, it's highly unlikely that you will finish the day dry because that rain is going to continue to push its way steadily north and east. maybe the far north east of scotland will see some brightness for much of the day. the winds picking up as well, gusts in excess of 45—50 mph on exposed coasts. that's going to make it feel disappointingly cool in the cloud, the wind and the rain. moving out of saturday into sunday, that frontal system still to clear away, and low pressure looks likely to park itself into the far
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north of scotland. the southern flank of the low, we could see the strongest winds, 50—60 mph gusts not out of the question. and that's where potentially the heaviest of the rain is likely to lie for the second half of the weekend. bright and breezy elsewhere, with a scattering of sharp showers on and off throughout the day. those temperatures, well, still on the disappointing side, and gales certainly are going to be more of a significant feature close to the area of low pressure. top temperatures on sunday once again between 12—16 celsius. monday into tuesday looks likely to stay with that showery theme, with some blustery winds as well from time to time. it's autumn good and proper. whatever you do, take care.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the australian prime minister announces international borders will reopen in november after an 18 month closure. we will reopen in november after an 18 month closure.- will reopen in november after an 18 month closure. we will be able to open — an 18 month closure. we will be able to open those _ able to open those international borders again and that will enable australians who are fully vaccinated and australians and residents of australians and residents of australia who are overseas who are fully vaccinated to be able to travel again.— to travel again. the bill is passed- _ the us congress votes to avoid a government shutdown but more tough negotiations lie ahead for president biden. facebook�*s global head of
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safety has defended the social media giant against accusations that it's a photo sharing app instagram negatively affects the mental health of young people.


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