字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Here we are, Robert. The road to Brexit. Are we nearly there? Bong. Bong. Robert. I can sense your frustration in the writing. OK. So here we are. It's the end of January, 2020. This whole thing started in June, 2016, but it's a moot point whether we are, in fact, there. So I think if we were actually drawing the road, it would have sort of gone like that, and through there, and around here, and dead end, and then it would have gone over here. But actually, I think we are. I think we are at Brexit. It is happening at the end of this week. 31st of Jan. Even the people who most aggressively campaign to stop it accept it's happening. It is happening. Nothing can happen to stop it now. So I've got a little surprise for you. Here we are. Here's one I made earlier. Excellent. Here we are. So... Bong. On Brexit night, on Friday night, you may have to do the bongs, because there will not be any official Independence Day bongs from the Big Ben. There is a party in Parliament Square, which Nigel Farage and his Brexit party crowd have organised, where I believe they have tape recordings of Big Ben bonging. My favourite aspect of this is that nobody really contemplated the fact until quite late, that the UK is leaving the European Union at midnight, but that's midnight Brussels time. So in fact, we're leaving at 11.00pm. And among other things, is the Graham Norton Show on BBC is being postponed, so that we can all watch the great moment of departure. The interesting thing is that actually as the day has approached, Boris Johnson has sort of taken pains to almost play down any idea of triumphalism, because he's now got this strange task of having to lead a nation which was split down the middle on Brexit. So he can't really afford to have bongs, parties, call it Independence Day, as presumably the Daily Express and Nigel Farage would like. Well, it's going to be straight. He's treading quite a fine line. So there's going to be a countdown clock, I believe on the door of Downing Street. He's doing an address to the nation. Government buildings are going to have lights on them in red, white, and blue. Red, white, and blue. It's a red, white, and blue Brexit. Exactly. And then in Parliament Square, Nigel Farage and his crowd, him, other people from the Brexit party, and the sundry talk radio figures, are all speaking about what a great day it is. And as you said, Britain's Independence Day. It is interesting that a number of the Conservative MPs who have, not all of them, but a number who were very strong advocates for Brexit, they're all trying to take the same tone that you were just saying. It's like, actually, look, we know, we recognise this is a sad day for a lot of people. We need to just go about this with a degree of humility, which I think is a good thing, actually. If they can stick to it, it's a good thing. OK. So one of the things that has happened as well, is it not just that Brexit is definitely happening? This place, parliament becomes much less exciting, and, indeed, relevant than it has been for the last few months, because of Boris Johnson's majority. As it regains his sovereignty. Yeah. Exactly. So as he regains his sovereignty, it's actually kind of sidelined. So I'm sorry, Big Ben, we're going to put you over there. Because, the story, as it develops, in fact, the next significant moment is the end of this year, right? Yeah. And middle point of this year, end of June, because here we are now, Brexit day, but there is another journey to here when a whole load of decisions will have to be made, and then to here. Yeah. Just after Brexit day. So it's very early February. We get the first sight of negotiating mandates for the European Commission, which are being agreed now. And we should see them first week of February. We're also promised a speech by Boris Johnson - again, first week of February - where he sets out what his approach to these negotiations is going to be. I'm told that the EU mandate is going to be very, very detailed, and the Boris Johnson one is going to be more thematic. But he's sending his big EU negotiator David Frost out to do battle. And so we're going to get a first sense of where the battle lines are going to be. What are we calling this? We're calling this the UK priorities, or... Yeah, something like that. Yeah. These are the battle lines, which will determine the rest of the year. As you said, June is when the British government has to ask for an extension of the transition period beyond December, 2020 on the assumption that it's not to get the deal done in time. And nobody thinks that's going to happen. Which is interesting, isn't it? Because when this started to come up in the autumn there was some chat about how, if you sort of got to here, what happens if you get three-quarters of the way through the year? You're really making a lot of progress on the negotiations. A deal is very definitely possible. It's on the cards. But it is going to take longer. You're kind of stuffed, because back here you should have asked for an extension. What happens here? Is there a realpolitik way in which both sides, EU and the UK, start to say, well, you know what? We need another couple of months. But you're sort of screwed by this legal deadline. Before the election, I don't know if you remember, Boris Johnson was given to talking about Gatt - was it Gatt 24? I can't remember what number Gatt it was. But we said that if you were close to securing a trade agreement, the two sides could roll over their existing arrangements. So in theory, I suppose there's that. But the truth is that the Conservative side believes in the deadline. It doesn't believe in paying more money to the European Union. In the period of transition, the UK has to take and accept all of the rules from the European Union, which no longer has any say. So just to be absolutely clear what we're talking about, so from Brexit day itself. To the end of December, '20. The end of this month, January to December, we are in a period of transition. So we're effectively out of the EU. We are no longer a member of the European Union, but we abide by the existing arrangements while we negotiate our end state. And that's what we still don't know. And in return for those, I think life goes on as normal. So the truth is, the morning after Brexit, for most people, nothing will have changed. Absolutely. Absolutely. But the Conservatives do not want to go beyond that deadline. It was possibly the price of the day of Nigel Farage pulling out of the general election. And so they've rather put themselves up against it because time is on the European Union's side in this negotiation. And if the UK is frightened of falling over the edge of another no-deal cliff, then the European Union has a lot of advantages in this. The interesting question, and it's very hard to know, because at this stage everyone's just being tremendously gung ho, and it's the early opening rounds, is that - I've heard it from enough people to think it's at least possibly true - that the UK actually is prepared to go over the cliff this time. And one reason for that is that the moment you say you're diverging on regulations, and regulatory alignment, a lot of the issues like lorries at Dover, and all of the friction in trade, becomes a reality anyway. And the government is committed to regulatory divergence. So that seems to me the whole battleground. There is a really horrible way in which there is a kind of deja vu about this. But we've got the whole of this year before we get back to this threat, this threat of a cliff edge, which we experienced twice. It felt like so many more times last year in 2019. Well, I still got the tins of tinned tomato in my house's spare bedroom. Exactly. No, but exactly. So the whole nation, and, indeed, the rest of the EU was sort of poised - this feeling of danger twice last year. And we might end up back there, so it's not quite the end of a road. There is a sense of going back in a circle. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's absolutely... I mean, if the UK was prepared to do the kind of Brexit that Remainers wanted, which is very close in alignment. Hopefully incredibly close to the European Union. There is the easy part of this, the easier part, which is an agreement to have zero tariffs and zero quotas, which both sides fundamentally want. That's the easier part of this game. But the European Union looks like it's going to hang very tough on the issue of what it calls level playing field. Which is not having the UK able to compete against the EU by having much lower corporation tax, by having all sorts of sweeties that it can offer to business to attract business to the UK and away from the EU. They want the UK to commit to that level playing field, which would defeat any economic purpose of Brexit for those who believe there is one. And the UK is very resistant to this. Of course, the chances of it diverging wildly on the 1st of January, 2021 are very slim, but it doesn't want to commit to what's called dynamic alignment, where every time the EU changes rules, the UK has to change. So that is the bulk of the battleground... that and fish are the bulk of the battleground. I'm going to come on to fish. Please do draw some fish, because this is what I've been looking forward to all week. This is the fish bomb. That is a bomb, not a fish. OK. Look, he's got an eye. Now it's a fish. All right. I'm going to draw a better fish. That is a better fish. There we are. Oh, it's a shark. I hear the scales falling from his eyes. Should we say that? Yes, OK. It's got to have some fins, otherwise it's not a fish. There we are.