tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN October 21, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
forward. it is just going to be bits and pieces here and there. we want to create replicable cities, scales, and models. we wanted to create teams and create measurable impacts. currently, we have about 100 teams in total in over 120 cities all around the world participating. over 300 companies and universities and nonprofits are participating. so what do we do? this is what it does. this is actually a smart city capacity building program, but health care is an extremely important part of it. if you go to any city and you go to the health care department or the environmental department, they work with the companies
obviously and they work with the hospitals, but those are extremely fragmented and they come with their plans one by one. the plan new york city is not designed to work the plan in boston or san francisco. the problem is if every city has a different plan and homegrown solutions, you'll never get the economy of scale. cities are not happy because they have to reinvent the wheel over and over again. companies are not happy because they cannot sell their products more than once. it has to be customized. whether it's a database, data analytic system, that's a big problem. so how do you address this issue? we address this issue through a concept of action clusters. so instead of each city working with each company or university, we want to bring in multiple cities, get them around -- coalesce them around the same topic of shared interest,
transportation, tunnels, vehicles, health care, asthma issues. also we want to bring in companies and universities to coalesce around the topics. so outcome of this effort will naturally -- because it was developed by multiple cities and multiple companies -- will be replicated, sustainable. we have done this for the last year, and we have about 100 action posters we have put together. next, we go to action clusters. what does that mean? every sector, transportation, water, and health care, has solutions they develop, but each solution by itself cannot create the synergy.
multiple action centers get together and create a blueprint, implementation plan, that can apply to any city in the world. i'll give you a few examples on what happened during the last three years out of this. over 150 teams close loop health care, mass general hospital collaboration collaborating with a bunch of companies and universities as well. essentially, this is an example that was also addressed in a previous presentation. there's a data set that you collect in your home. i mean, you have a home health care system. when you have a heart attack, you are brought to the hospital in ambulances, and the hospital goes through all these tests again. they put you through an ekg and all kinds of tests again. if you had an access to the data set that you already collected
the last three years at home, wouldn't it be great that you can figure things out a lot easier than you have to go through all these tests through the beginning this time? how do you try to coordinate the different home health care systems to the different hospital health care systems? bottom left, this is about the crash-to-care scenario i talked about. scale project on the top right. that's installing fall detection sensors into a senior living facility so that -- by the way, you probably know this. hundreds of people die every year in the united states because they fall on the ground. it's not that they're sick. they fall on the ground and can't get up. they fall down there, stay there for three days, they die.
simple fall detection sensors can solve the problem. if you can detect and send it to the emergency department, they can check that out. i don't have a lot of time left. i came too far here. we cannot do this -- i cannot do this by myself. we do it with partnerships with all these departments, national science foundation, ita, gsa, state and transportation. all these departments work together. also companies work on i.o.t. in general. also, this is internationally ranked global activity. we cannot -- when i say we, the u.s. cannot do this by ourself. and it is not right that we do it by ourself because whatever we come up with may not work in europe, may not work in asia, so
there's no economies of scale. so we have to do it globally. we have to go through this process. the way we do match making and things is by bringing them to an event. next week tuesday and wednesday we are going to have a global citizens challenge to kick off a super cluster conference in the grant hyatt hotel in washington, d.c. over here. if any of you are interested in health care, we'll have a separate health care session on it. please come and join. i have 15 seconds to probably have one question. can i get in one question? yeah. any questions? all right. either i was perfect or this was not exciting at all. thank you very much. [ applause ]
♪ >> okay. we can cut the tunes. the music kills me. it country look like me at all, but i'm randy johnson at the u.s. department of commerce. i'm just a lawyer. i'm not going to pretend to be able to add to all the information that people provided today. i will say i'm particularly proud of this summit. my goal five or six years ago was if we can bring together a lot of smart people and talk about technological advances and bring the ball forward on disease treatment and wellness programs, we can call it a day and go home. i think we have earned our members' dues. on a personal basis, i've experienced a lot of -- i've lost two sisters and a brother to cancer recently, both under
70. i also had prostate cancer a couple years ago, and i picked up a tidbit in one of these meetings which gave me the information to reject a recommendation that several doctors made to me that i think were terrible recommendations and steered me in the right direction for the proper treatment i got. so the kind of things i think you can pick up here are useful. but if we can do a little bit -- i was listening to joe biden the other day on npr and what happened to the cancer moon shot. he says it's moving ahead, but we have information in silos. i'm thinking ten years ago we were talking about information being clustered in silos. haven't we moved beyond that right now when we talk about health information technology and et cetera? all we can do is keep hammering away on it and hoping again that we can move forward. i would be remiss not to mention
that this afternoon we have another event that i hope you'll stay around. we're not buying lunch in between. i had one inquiry here, but there are good delis around the corner. it's a way of saying what the heck is really going on with the aca anyways because you can read different headlines every day on different interpretations on how well the act is going. if we can establish that, maybe we can talk about solutions as we go into this next year regardless of what wins the white house. i think that's important. i want to mention jennifer limb for her help on this and hillary crow with the foundation. i think they're great events. again, thank you for all your work. [ applause ] >> i think we're going to form a
company and use your app in china to get around the one child law over there, but we'll get a little kickback on that. thank you for coming. i hope you can stay around for the afternoon. i think it is going to be a great event. a little more twist, see a little more politics, but i think you'll find it very, very interesting. thank you for coming. [ applause ] ♪
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finding the content you want quickly and easily. use our video clipping tool to create clips of your favorite debate moments to share on social media. c-span.org on your desktop, phone, or tablet for the presidential debate. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs boris johnson testified before the foreign affairs committee of the british house of commons recently. this was his first appearance as the u.k.'s top foreign diplomat. members of the committee questioning mr. johnson on the u.k.'s foreign policy strategy as the nation begins to extract
itself from the european union and continues its fight against the islam state militant group in iraq and syria. this is about an hour and 50 minutes. >> order, order. welcome to this morning session of the foreign affairs committee and our first session with the new secretary of state. welcome to the committee and congratulations on your appointment. >> thank you. >> obviously this first formal session with the committee. and it's a desire in that sense to be more open session than it might usually be, inquiring into
particular subjects obviously associated with everything that is going on. and, of course, we are rather limited in the time you have available for the committee, so that is going to limit the subject coverage to a degree. and we will also then want to come back. this is going to be a long game relationship. hopefully for both our sakes for sometime. but i thought it would be appropriate to invite you to give us an opening statement for the committee, but not for too long so we can get into the interrogative session. lay out things for about ten minutes, and then i'll ask my colleagues to begin questions.
>> thank you very much, mr. blunt. a few years ago, i was traveling in the gulf region on a trade trip, and i was having lunch. and a sheikh who was my host turned to me and he said, what happened to you guys? you used to run this place, he said. actually, he was quite right because the british flag had only come down in that particular country in living memory. and yet we had faded from the scene. whether it was because of the loss of confidence or dennis healy's despairing decision to chop u.k. influence east of suez, we had somehow become less present in that country politically, culturally, commercially, and others had moved in. and as my host put it to me, with slight mystification, you left us to the french. and mr. blunt, members of the foreign affairs committee, i am here to tell you this morning,
insofar as that was every true of the u.k., that neglect is being reversed with astonishing speed, as i'm sure members of your committee know. our trade with the gulf is booming. it's one of the fastest growing areas of trade for the u.k. now. our relations in that area are better than ever. and after a period in which the labor government all but ignored that region, i didn't think gordon brown ever made an official visit to the country i'm speaking of. i hope our prime minister will be the first this year to become the first female guest of honor at the gulf cooperation counsel summit, or so i'm told. the reason for this growing engagement by the u.k. is at least partly that it's under
william haigh, my predecessor, philip hammond, and under this administration with the strong support of the prime minister. we have a foreign commonwealth office that is more energetic and outward looking and more engaged with the world than at any time in decades. and that outward looking spirit is present not just in the gulf but across the world. and i think it's going to intensify as we extricate ourselves from the eu treaty and we forge a new identity as the prime minister has said as a global britain. and i mean global because it is vital to understand what brexit is and what it is not. yes, it means restoring our democracy and control of our laws and our borders and a fair bit of cash. but brexit is emphatically not any kind of mandate for this country to turn in on itself to haul up the drawbridge or to detach itself from the international community. and i know as a former mayor of this city how vastly our capital
and indeed our whole economy has profited from london's role and the u.k.'s role as a lone star and a magnet for talent. and i believe there is no inconsistency whatever between the desire to take back control of our borders and the need to be open to skills from around the world. there is absolutely no inconsistency between ending the supremacy of eu law in this country as we will and being a major contributor to the security, stability, and economic prosperity of the whole european region. we are leaving the eu. we are not leaving europe. and over the last three months, i've been struck by how little i am asked about brexit and how swiftly the conversation moves on to some other aspect of the u.k.'s global role. and in an age of uncertainty
with democracy in retreat in some parts of the world, large parts of the middle east in chaos, the demand is for more britain, not less. and we can see that demand now most tragically and effectively in syria where the people of aleppo are hoping desperately that we and our allies may be able to do something to alleviate their suffering in the face of the barbaric assault of the assad regime with the assaults of russia and iran. and i must tell you at this stage it is vital that we do not raise false hopes. we know the difficulties and the implications of a no-fly zone or no bombing zone, and no matter how easy those concepts may sometimes be made to sound, but if there is more that we can reasonably and practically do together with our allies, then,
of course, we should consider those measures. and believe me. that work is now going on. but we should also take pride in what we are already doing. the second biggest donor of humanitarian aid to the region after the u.s. we fund the white helmets who drag people from the rubble after the air strikes and who themselves have suffered terrible casualties. i've seen the work of british police training local syrian police so that they are able to build public trust in the areas occupied by the moderate opposition. we're helping to clear mines and shells, and we should never forget that it is thanks at least partly to the bravery of raf crews flying repeated missions over iraq and syria that we have helped reduce by 50% the territory of daesh in iraq and 20% their footprint in
syria. so whether it's through hard power in that way or through soft power, i think we sometimes forget in this country how much britain is contributing around the world. helping to bring peace in colombia. helping to get rid of the pirates off the coast of somalia. leading the campaign to save the african elephant now perilously endangered. from the same bands of gangsters, by the way, involved in the people trafficking that's helping to fuel the migration crisis. you look around the world and you see that this country is a ma massive force for good, in an increasing uncertain world, a world that's been deprived of
leadership. and the values that we try to project, whether through our embassies or through british consul or through the british companies or 5 million or 6 million brits who live abroad which is bigger than any other diaspora than any other rich country in the world, i think those values are not just good in themselves. when i speak of british values, i mean democracy, free speech, independent judiciary, qualities, rule of law, anticorruption support for the civil society. they're good in themselves. they're ideals. but they're also economically advantageous for the areas in which -- the countries in which we try to project them. you look around this city and this economy. i think it's pretty obvious that it provides the proof that political and social liberty are essential for sustainable economic prosperity. and that is one of the missions of global britain.
but i think an outward looking britain is, above all, good for us. it's good for britain because we are about, in the next few years, to be liberated, to go across the world and do a few set of free trade deals, an extremely exciting prospect, and to get back to the beginning of my remarks, we will be going out again to places where perhaps people haven't seen so much of us in the past in places where they thought we had forgotten about them. and we have a superb fco network to help make it happen. we have more reach than our friends in france. more bigger network of embassies at least 17% of the cost. and, finally, one of the biggest privileges of my job in the last few months to meet our people who represent the u.k. to the
world. they seem to me in my advanced years, they seem amazingly young, idealistic, very often intellectually brilliant like the two people on either side of me, and i believe they are excited about the challenge of projecting global britain and they have a -- they have a confidence, a real confidence, and an optimism that i think comes with the knowledge that they are speaking for a soft power superpower. thank you very much. >> secretary of state, thank you very much. just before i invite colleagues to put questions to you, how we're going to manage this is colleagues will have the opportunity to interrogate you on whatever subject they wish for ten minutes or so, and then i will come in and ask my own questions at the end. i just want to pick up one point out of your opening remarks where i think i would recognize the renewed focus on the gulf started under lord haigh.
but all of that optimistic view about the reach of the foreign office and how energetic and active it is is completely contradicted by the utterly dire resources situation your department finds itself in. perhaps you can explain how on earth you're going to pay for these splendid aspirations given the fact that half your budget now appears to be constrained to areas that must be spent -- 0.7% of development expenditure that the brit council budget has been cut from your department. it is the view of this committee that you were going to need to double or triple the resources available if we're to meet these aspirations post-brexit, which i think the committee would no doubt share. but what comfort can you give us
that you're actually going to be able to spend money in places like in europe, reinforcing our bilateral relations there in the wake of brexit, because there doesn't appear to be any money kicking around at the minute? >> i think i would make a few points. obviously, in certain circumstances we have to make our money go further than ever before. obviously, we do. we're doing extremely well. we can be very proud of what we're achieving. the budget of the overall budget is rising from $1.1 billion to $1.24 billion by '19, '20. where you're spot on, if i may say, mr. blunt, is in pointing to the very considerable sums that are available to -- for oda
for dividend spending. we obviously have quite a lot of oda spend that we do ourselves, but i think the game now is to make sure -- and i know that my colleague patel is in total agreement with this. the game is now to make sure that u.k. oda funds are used in such a way not to just serve development goals as they undoubtedly must, but also to make sure they mesh and chime with our diplomatic and political objectives. i find no contradiction in that approach. and that's something the government at all levels -- >> secretary of state, just to pick that point up, that's fine, but that only applies to those countries that are subject to development assistance. you can't spend that money elsewhere. >> true. >> so it's all very well having
money there, but where our game needs to be raised is with the rest of the world, where our principle existing markets are going to be. we're obviously reinforcing the work of the international trade department, but you can't do this on fresh air. and what you have is fresh air to do this on to meet these aspirations. >> i know that you gave my predecessor quite a grilling about this when he last appeared. he made a good point that he couldn't imagine bidding for more fund himself since he's now the chancellor. i'm trying to camp out, as they say, in the office on what he had to say. >> all right. >> secretary, in welcoming you
to your post, it may not surprise you with brexit many of of us, givwere given a very cle message and that is we're leaving. the government's position is very clear on this. we're going to take back control on immigration. we're going to introduce a fairer immigration policy that no longer discriminates against the rest of the world outside the eu and we're going to obtain the best deal in accessing eu markets. it's a nonsense that there is so much noise about this, one could argue, given that 170 other odd countries.
no reason this economy can't as well. what do you say to the alarmists? some would perhaps, unfairly perhaps, call them ramoners who believe that we're heading to hell in a hand basket. and what would you say to those who are genuinely concerned about developments and the uncertainty this is creating? >> i think that those who prophesy doom before the referendum have been proved wrong, and they'll continue to be proved wrong. i think, obviously, it will take time before the full benefits of brexit appear because after all we haven't even begun the process of leaving. so the whole thing is really very artificial and speculative. i do think that businesses investing in the u.k. can have the maximum possible certainty assurance that our partners, our
friends across the channel, have a huge interest in doing the best possible deal in goods and services for the sake of their companies and our friends in the political world across the channel have a symmetrical interest in doing a deal that will be for the benefit of their constituents and the people who elect them. and that's a deal that's going to be -- that's going to promote the growth and prosperity of the u.k. and the eu. and i'm sure that's what's we'll produce. that's how we'll -- that's how it will end up. >> perhaps we should take comfort from the fact that the very deem predicting doom and gloom if he didn't join the euro, or left the ern, many are predicting doom and gloom now. perhaps that's comfort we can take. can i drill down on negotiations? one fully understands that a roving commentary makes for poor outcomes. and despite the siren calls of certain members of this place, it's difficult to think that can take place. the government has made clear that won't take place. there will be scrutiny perhaps but no roving commentary. but the eu's position itself is quite interesting.
>> me oui. >> absolutely. there's a disconnect. how are we going to get around this, do you think? >> thank you very much for that question. i genuinely think there's a false connection, an unnecessary linkage in all these concepts. i vividly remember being ordered by the belgian interior minister in 1989 to leave the country. they tried to deport me when i went to work abroad because i couldn't produce what was then called a -- i had to show i was economic viable in belgium, and i have to go to the commune with a letter proving that i had a job. now this was, as you'll all appreciate, many years after the treaty of rome and after the european act. so the idea that the brownian movement of individuals, of citizens across the surface of europe, is somehow there on tablets of stone in brussels is complete nonsense. it is a fiction. we are taking back control of our borders, as we said we would, and that's what we'll do.
it doesn't mean, as i said in my opening remarks, that we are get hostile to people of talent who want to come live and work. it's very important that we continue to send out a signal of openness and welcome to the many brilliant people who helped to drive the london economy and the u.k. economy. >> is there one, though, naughty problem that we've got to face and we haven't quite faced up to it or perhaps we have behind closed doors? and that is opposition ostensibly is access to the single market. and one can understand that. at the same time, we're going to be repealing the european community's act. it's that act that gave force to the eu court of justice which has jurisprudence with regard to single market. there's a little bit of a disconnect there. how are you going to square that circle? >> the prime minister made it clear a couple of weeks ago when she said the u.k. will be leaving the eu and thereby we'll
be leaving the number of the european court of justice. we'll no longer be subject to european community, european union law. and that's the key point. we will get the best possible deal for goods and services for the u.k. and the rest of the eu. >> okay. following on from that then, then it sounds to many of us and this holds no fear from many of our points of view, that we would be prepared if all else fails in negotiations to fall back on wto rules and tariffs. now your fellow secretary of state for leaving the eu said that holds no fears. you know, if 170 countries can trade on such a basis and tariffs are as low as 3% to 5%, because the most favored nation status, et cetera, et cetera, i'm picking up here that it certainly holds no fears for you. >> you're trying to get me into running commentary about negotiations. i'm not going to -- i think we can do a great deal that will deliver a result of both goods and services for our businesses
and for our friends -- >> you wouldn't disagree with your fellow secretary of state in saying that the wto holds no fears? >> as i said, i think it will be getting into the minutia of the negotiations. >> okay. >> let's move on very quickly. >> i think there will be a great deal done. >> eu divisions, something we're not picking up on. i've raised it on the floor of the house before. but what's your take? quite understandably, the spotlight is on our negotiating position, but if you look across the eu it is quite an interesting situation. you have an emerging split, a growing split, in fact, between the ideologists within the eu commission and elected politicians who realize that courtesy of the balance of trade in their favor, playing hardball may not be in their best interest. what can you tell us in regards to that situation as you see it?
>> i understand that point, and i've heard it quite a lot. i think it's important not to -- i haven't actually tested that proposition yet with some of the key commission people. but my impression is they are faithful servants of europe and of the eu, and they will ultimately do what they consider to be in the best interests of the entire union. and i think that will be a deal that is beneficial to the electr electorates of the people of europe and that's where we'll end up. of course, a certain amount of plaster has come off the ceiling in brussels since the vote. of course people feel they have a project. a fascinating article in the ft this morning by the french prime minister in which he spelled out this. why did you vote to leave? and he very emphatically spelled out his vision for the united states of europe, a federal system with very defined
boundaries. i'm afraid not an ideal to which i think the british people really aspire. and i think we did the right thing, and i think we can make it work. >> do you think relations a few years out could actually improve the eu, because no longer will they have to contend with those awkward brits, the thorn in their side as they march toward a closer political union? it could make for a closer relationship. >> of course. i'm so glad to hear you speak in those terms. i think europe is at its best when it's positive about the work it's engaged on. sets itself a deadline. i think we should view the whole brexit process as a positive thing. we are sorting out the u.k. problem. and after all, there has been a problem for decades. we decided to stay out of state street and monetary union in 1991. that was the moment. that was the basic moment of
divergence. and i think all else really flowed from that. what we saw on june the 23rd was the logical conclusion of that divergence, that basic drift by the british people away from that ideal which is articulated by the french prim minute -- prime minister in the paper this mornin we don't want to be part of such a construct. and we've always made it clear. it's always been very tense. we said we don't agree with this. we don't agree with the jurisdiction of the european court of justice over this or that. and to a certain extent, some other countries have shielded their own apprehensions behind us. but it's up to them now to get on and take the thing forward. >> finally on brexit, can i just reinforce what crispin said
earlier, our chairman, about resources? it's going to be -- many of us believe that actually the fc is unresourced as it is, that we've been poorly cited in our interventions. some of us have a particular view of those interventions. put that to one side. the resources are going to be even more needed now as we become truly globalist as we look outward facing. not just to the eu but outside the eu. an increase in the budget of, what, 140 million pounds. you know very well, foreign secretary, is a drop in the ocean compared to what is required. how forceful are you going to be in lobbying for more funds within -- from where you sit? >> first of all, i'm grateful to the committee for the tenor of your arguments because they are most welcome to us, and clearly we want to be arguing that a global britain needs to be
represented overseas. i think we can make that go a long way. very thrifty types in the foreign office. we'll make good use of that. but, clearly, we have a big network or a robust network that needs to be properly funded. >> thank you for joining us and thank you to your colleagues for coming along as well that are excellent. >> sorry to interrupt you, but the ones that i -- far be it to criticize bureaucrats. the unelected ones i was talking about will be the ones who will shortly cease to have control of our lives with european capital. >> all right. okay. >> these are the ones who will survive. >> all right. okay. so these bureaucrats are okay as are the ones [ inaudible ], of course. in terms of your earlier analogy on you guys going off and
running the play, i'm going to take you at face value that was about trade than any other foreign policy. and one of the great attractions, obviously, to our partners overseas is access and membership of the single market. do you still believe we should retain membership? just a yes or no, foreign secretary. >> let's be clear that we are going to get a -- i think the prime minister said, the term single market is increasingly useless. we are going to get a deal that will be of huge value and possibly a greater value if you look at -- what is still unachieved in services, for instance, in goods and services for our friends on the continent and for business investing in -- i make these wearisome points, but we're the single biggest
consumers of french champagne and italian prosecco. we're indiscriminate. we drink both more than anybody else. we import more german cars than any other country. there is -- this is a wonderful fact. and we are going to continue to do that. and any attempt to, as it were, to punish u.k. for final financial services or -- or -- i don't think as the former governor of the bank of england said this morning -- it doesn't make economic sense for europe. in the end, as i -- >> that's not quite the question i asked. and also, as you'll be aware, forgive me for mentioning the french drink more whiskey in a month than you do conyak in the year. and i suspect that's not going to stop either. and the question i asked was, is it -- do you think we should retain membership of the single market, or is it your negotiating objective to retain membership for single market? that's a simple question without
getting into how much we're buying and selling. >> i think we are going to get the best possible deal for -- >> you can't tell me -- >> -- for goods and services. and i think that, as i said, i think the most useful thing i can say to you is that the phrase single market is one that not many people really understand. and i think that -- >> i presume you understand? >> there are many countries, as mr. baron pointed out, that sell very effectively into the single market and that's what we'll do. >> so we'll be outside the single market? >> we'll get the best possible deal for trade of goods and services. >> so you don't know if we'll be in the single market is what i take away from this. nobody appears to have a scooby if you like about what's going to happen. i'll tell you what. i'll do it one last time.
is it even your objective to retain membership of the single market? >> we are leaving the european union. >> that's not quite what i asked. >> you seem to think the single market is sort of like, you know, the groucho club or something. we're leaving the european union. we will continue to have access for trade and goods and services to leave the eu. and i think we'll do a deal that will be to the benefit of both sides. >> you don't know, don't care, don't have a scooby. this is something i am pushing for as well. which commissioners have you met with since you took office? >> i've principally have had dealings with johannes harn and commissioner mogarini, because
they deal with the foreign affairs side. >> and i appreciate your candor on that. yesterday there was a question to the secretary of state for -- >> i am allowed to meet these people. >> -- about which commissioners he met with. i suspect it's an important relationship to have over the coming months and two years and once you've triggered article 50. he says, well, they can't tell because that's part of the negotiating strategy. will they be open to tell us which commissioners they'll be talking to over this? >> i'm sure they'll have no inhibitions about meeting. they are very open and, in my view, charming people. they want to engage with us. and my relations with them is really good. we've had some very good conversations. >> okay. look, as part of this, do you still adhere to what the prime minister said when she met with first minister of scotland that there should be an agreed position with devolved administrations before any agreement is signed? an agreed position. >> it is certainly the case that the devolved administrations,
the overseas territories, they will all be, of course, properly consulted in the course of the negotiations. >> right. but will there be an agreed position? again, foreign secretary, i'm asking you questions. i'm not sure i'm get anything -- any answers, but we've had a week of that in the chamber. will there be an agreed position with the devolved administrations? >> well, i can tell you that the devolved administrations will certainly play a role. they'll be consulted. but this is a united kingdom. competence is something decided by the people of the u.k. you'd expect them, you'd expect the government of the united kingdom to be the lead in the negotiations. just one interesting reflection on all of this sort of consultation of parliament and consultation with the devolved administrations and so on. i have seen plenty of european negotiations and treaty negotiations.
and at no stage in the run-up to the climax of those negotiations has there been any attempt to pre-agree a position with parliament, let alone with the regions or their administrations. so there's a certain amount of hoakum here. >> sure. but there is -- on the point of process you are saying there will not be an agreed position. they'll merely be consulted which goes against what the prime minister told the first minister at the very start of this. >> i think i have answered the question. >> right, okay. let me ask you one further question on this if you can't answer that question. you talked about entering this eu law. is there any law that david cameron signed up to with his european partners that you wouldn't have signed up to? as a full member of the council of ministers. >> i think the treaty of lisbon
was a step too far. and i think it was a great mistake. and i think that we should have rejected it. i think it unnecessarily expanded eu competence, and i think in particular what it got wrong was the extension of eu competence to the field of human rights and the notion that this great european charter of fundamental rights should not be set by the european court of justice, because that sets up a great deal of confusion with the strasburg court of human rights. and it, in my view, leads to all sorts of extensions of eu judicial activism in areas that i think are totally wrong. so that would be an example of the kind of area where i might have disagreed with the previous administration. >> i think it's an area we disagree on as well. having a common set of human rights across this continent is a good thing. because i'm nearly out of time,
i want to ask you very briefly about syria. i'm mindful of that, chairman. in terms of syria, can you outline for me -- i mean, obviously, i think there's a news but a part of that is trying to get broader and political agreement. can you tell me of any mapping that you've done of political factions in syria and any options you're exploring at the moment for political agreement? >> well, you'll be familiar with the various maps that currently exist of the divisions of syria and the -- >> sorry, when i say mapping. i mean of the wide variety of different groups that exist. >> yeah. yeah. one of the bits of work that we led on, the uk has led on is building up a broad-based opposition group called the high negotiations committee, which is led by a gentleman called dr. ria hijab who came on the 7th of september with his team. they were pretty widely drawn
from syrian opposition groupings. military, civil society and so on. and they laid out a case for the transition away from assad and the kind of syria they wanted to see. and it was very compelling. democratic, pluralistic, i think higher quota for female representation than there currently exists in the torry party today. and it was very -- certainly -- it was very progressive. and our ambition is to try to get the russians and the assad regime to desist from their violence in aleppo, to get back to a cease-fire, and to renew the negotiations in geneva. and in that context, those opposition groups, i believe, do carry a lot of credibility.
and when they speak, you can see a future for syria that does not include assad. because that is the question that the -- that is constantly put to us. who can replace assad? well, there are answers. >> i did ask about mapping. i know i'm out of time. maybe the foreign secretary, it's a bigger question. you can write to the committees with some of the details about the work that's being conducted on mapping. >> good morning, foreign secretary. >> good morning. >> delighted to see you in your new role. there's one word that's been missing from this morning's discussion that i've not heard from your lips, and that is the word commonwealth. lord haig said there was going the seo back to the fco. not much happened after that. what is the new foreign secretary intending to do to ensure the common wealth is paramount in our long-term
planning and thinking for trade, cooperation and friendship? >> the commonwealth -- thank you, mr. rosindell. i know you've long been a champion of the commonwealth and indeed of britain's relations with the commonwealth. thanks for what you do. the commonwealth is a wonderful asset for the world. it's -- and it's yet another forum in which britain is able, our country, is able to express our values to get things done and to get things moving. and yes, we see it as a vital for our future overseas. we're having in 2018 and probably coming to this city, there's still discussion about that. we are using the common wealth and our networks to principally,
if you think about it, this is the growth of the countries over the world, this has been one of the staggering developments over the last 24 years. while the eu has been mired in low growth, it is these commonwealth countries bounding ahead and yet we haven't been able, because of our constriction under the eu treaties for 43 years, we haven't been able to do free trade agreements with them. many of them now stepping up, volunteering to do these deals and it's a very, very exciting prospect. and one of of the other. australia, malaysia, new zealand, standing up and saying they want to increase trade with the uk. >> so brexit is an opportunity, in your view, for the united kingdom to do a whole lot more with the common wealth and perhaps rekindle those relationships that we neglected since we joined the common market? >> absolutely. and i yield to no one in my
admiration in the commonwealth office. and i walk around, this great daily state of wonder. it has many, many mansions and it's a fantastic thing. but i -- when i used to go around the world doing trade missions for london, one thing that some of the fco wallows used to tell me is actually they thought a huge operation dedicated to the eu. but perhaps not quite enough when he went into some of the other areas. and i'm not saying i want to subtract a commitment and other european capitals and work, but vital that 44% of our trade is with the eu and it's colossally important. but there are opportunities. and i meant what i said earlier
about the enthusiasm of the people of the fco. i think they really see this. they want to do it. and they see an opportunity here. >> so you agree with me that the common wealth flag should fly from british embassies and high commissions from around the world as you remove the european flag. >> sorry. sorry. okay. mr. rosindell, you're testing my sigillography here. the flag of the commonwealth -- i don't think i'm going to make any particular commitments by the flag of the commonwealth -- >> you're happy for it to fly from embassies and high commissions. >> as soon as someone can identify it to me. i'm going to have to own up. i'm unaware of the exact configuration of the commonwealth flag. there you go. >> okay, moving on. >> what does it look like?
>> there's my drawing. >> that's a very good drawing. okay, that's effective. a lovely flag. it looks like -- wait, wait, wait, it looks like a lovely flag, mr. rosindell, but i'm not going to commit to flying it everywhere now -- >> can you check back up and come back to this? >> would you -- >> right. thank you. >> but if you could come back on that particular point, if that's okay, foreign secretary. could i move on now to the next item? apart from the common wealth, united kingdom actually has sovereign power over 21 territories and of of which your department is responsible for. one of which is gibraltar. they are, of course, particularly affected by us leaving the european union. can we expect more bulldog spirit now in dealing with madrid? can we have the more robust
stance in tackling the way spain has treated gibraltar or are we going to continue with the foreign office effectively the line of pussyfooting which allows spain to continue to think that one day they may achieve their wish of claiming the rock under the spanish flag. >> you're going to see a completely plaquable memorial rock like resistance on the part of this government to any such claim. we see no justification of that claim. on the other hand, obviously, we see no reason to be in any way difficult with our friends in madrid. if they can raise it with us and we simply make our point politely but firmly. and i think that i remember when i think the spanish foreign
minister raised it with me and i felt that, you remember, marlon brando and "the godfather" and i must tell you, i'm sorry, my answer is no. >> and if they do get difficult and they have become difficult, they've done some things that have made the lives pretty bad over the years. can we expect a thorough and robust response from now on rather than effectively diplomatically pushing the issue into the lawn grass? >> i think we've been clear that we see no grounds whatever for any change to the sovereignty of gibraltar and people of gibraltar i think by 98.5% support the status quo and the status quo is going to remain. >> would you welcome a possibility of a visit to gibraltar by her majesty, the queen. she hasn't been for over 50 years. people of gibraltar have asked
repeatedly over the last five to six decades that their queen visit gibraltar. but for some reason, foreign offices never seem to recommend that to her majesty. would you make a change of policy on that issue? >> well, i'm more than happy to consult the foreign office and indeed the palace. i did the thinking behind her majesty's itinerary. but obviously, you know, a lot of people want her majesty to go to a lot of places at the moment. and as she is a much in demand across the world as you can imagine and i think you have to be careful about issuing promises. >> commend you secretary on your well known robust stance in terms of supporting self determination for all the peoples of former british colonies.