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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This show and throughout the Atlantic's coverage we've spent a lot of time talking about President Trump's election and what it means for American politics well the US of course isn't the only country still grappling thing with the two thousand sixteen vote that didn't go as expected a few months before trump's election the UK voted to leave the European Union ever since Brexit has dominated British politics. Much trump has dominated American politics but while the US is almost another year two way before that name is back on the ballot let. The Brits will vote in a general election next week so on today's show we're going across the Atlantic figuratively and literally to our London office office. My guest is staff writer. Helen Lewis I follow British politics the way I expect. A lot of Americans have generally aware of Brexit and Boris Johnson Johnson and some of the other characters but without anywhere near the attention. I give her own politics. So Helen's here to preview next week's election and it stakes both inside the UK and out but she'll also help me understand British politics going into that vote besides brexit. We have the terror attack on the London. Bridge the day after Thanksgiving accusations of bigotry against both major party leaders and a scandal. That's raised new questions for the Royal Family. We spoke Wednesday afternoon. I learned a lot and really enjoyed our conversation. Take a listen Helen. Thanks for being here through the magic of the Internet and across the ocean on Radio Atlantic. It's very nice to be. Thank you for having me. So you are in London. And I'm in Washington but this week president trump has been in your neck of the woods at for the NATO meeting and I'm curious uh-huh given all of it in the focus that we have sometimes in the states about how president trump is perceived overseas. What it looks like from your vantage point right? The most ambitious crossover event in history I think the thing that's fascinating. Is that obviously trump is I would say slightly too harsh to say that. He's a joke to other world leaders but actually literally. We've had evidence this week that he is you know. There was camera footage of Emmanuel macron France Justin Trudeau Shadow candidate. Boris Johnson Britain sort of sharing a job together but the length of the press conferences that Donald Trump has been doing off the back of his bilateral meetings with the kind of sense of from all of them just like world-weary like yeah at the schedule behind time. Because you know the Donald's off on one again so I think there is a general acceptance that they do have to kind of share the room with this kind kind of huge elephant basically and also that to some extent donald trump is uncontrollable. He says behind closed doors. Anyone part of it not an easy doing these press conferences which is already breaking protocol but also you just never quite know what he's going to say on twitter and it's interesting that the you know in the middle of a general election campaign at the moment in which Labour's lead Jeremy Corbyn has essentially essentially been baiting donald trump about this idea that the NHS Britain's national health services in are going to be up for sale because of Brexit is going to have American privatized companies kind of wanting eighteen to. It's going to have American drug companies into. He's been basically trying to get a rise out of all week because there is a feeling that if donald trump intervenes in the election campaign and then whoever's he's against more people even Britain will like he is a very unpopular over here and he's not somebody who is seen as the endorsement that you want. If you're Boris Johnson. You're going for reelection as prime minister. So let let's talk about the British election. It is possible that by the time that the two thousand twenty election is done. Britain will be on its third prime minister over the course of the time that it took to have the election. What does that do to the way that the elections play out to have things on such a short order? This election in itself was called just a few weeks ago and it's a short period. I think from the American perspective it seems In some ways bizarre but also some ways refreshing to think about elections taking just that little amount of time right and is it possible that we might have another German the election and maybe a referendum or two before cruel towards polling in the US. I mean I think there's loads of differences between the US and the UK electricity. The things that probably stand that most Americans it yet six weeks duration of the campaign and the spending limits are in the low millions. I mean we're talking about people. You candidates having funding to put out some leaflets and by a couple of facebook adverts. Y- The certainly isn't these kind of millions. Hundreds of millions of dollars printed things that TV TV Abbas all the parties get allocated party political broadcasts on the on the state broadcaster But apart from that it's a lot more kind of scrappy in terms of them having to kind kind of force their way onto TV and into the kind of evening news bulletins that everybody watches So those are kind of some of the obvious differences this but you know the problem with it. Is the BRA this. We've basically been in sort of semi election mode since the t twenty sixteen referendum because it delivered such an unexpected result to the Tory party in the Tory leader. David Cameron that he didn't know what to do with it. He felt he couldn't drive through policy. He didn't believe in an uncannily left. And then nothing else's really kind of go down in British politics. The the you know parliament was pretty much logjam to us with brexit legislation to extend the things that was quite a lot of cross party consensus on. Didn't really get anywhere so we haven't had quite the kind of manage dramatic month after month of the you know the the American presidential essential action but what we have had is the sense of British. Politics is Kinda got stock and there have been various attempts to kind of rebooted. Switch off switch on again in an attempt to get past the logjam okay Jama Brexit and this is the this latest one but the the the polls have narrowed considerably in the last couple of weeks and the irony is in a nobody really knows it could be anything from decent sized tory-majority three to a hung parliament again And at that point you begin to think there might be another e referendum. Random is it this election basically is about brexit. There are no other issues that can be at stake because that just as consumed everything things were blob like in British politics right. Well the weird thing is that actually hasn't ended up disperse. It hasn't been discussed as much as you think. I'm the polling gurry. John Curtis who is something close to our version of Yoda because he's the only one who can kind of seems to be you know you've got nate silver and we've got a kind of really elderly guy kind of crazy the album stein hair nonetheless genius So this is a binary election really because either the Conservatives win win a majority in which case their brexit deal goes through or basically basically any other eventuality that the only way that any other party can get into powered Labor can lead a government is by promising another referendum there a second referendum passing themselves. The Lib Dem's very strongly pro European. The Scottish nationalist wants another e referendum. So that is the binary choice. This election is this brexit Dale really or or reset reset and and and another e referendum but a widely said. The Tories haven't really put massive amounts of stuff in their manifesto. It's incredibly boring. You know non hostage to Fortune base manifesto very steady as she goes whereas Labor has gone in Toronto. Crazy is offering everything but the kitchen sink much more expensive offer. That is about the fact that you know have a very radical left wing Labour in American terms. They are so left in it. I mean if you think Elizabeth Warren or Bernie. Any sound is a left-wing then kind of how good news for you you know they want to partially nationalize broadband provision for example They WANNA take railways back into public ownership. Ralph Ralph pass by a third. They want to put taxes up on anyone. Earning over eight hundred thousand. It is a properly old-fashioned socialist manifesto. So they really want to talk about that. They don't want to talk about Brexit at all. I want to talk about that. Big offer their big retail politics offer and also they're they're sort of scarce story. which is the idea idea that Donald Trump and the US gonNA come and take part the.