Produced, filmed and edited by James Sandy; additional footage from Reuters
Angela Merkel has struck this deal with her one-time ally, Horst Seehofer, the head of the Bavarian sister party, the CSU. If he had quit, it looked like she would have lost her majority in the Bundestag and her government could have fallen. So she had to give in somewhere, and she's giving in on these things called transit centres.
So anyone who's refugee who's approaching the German border will essentially get held in these centres and get processed. Now she had resisted this, arguing that actually it's against EU rules of open borders in the Schengen zone. And she has said, setting up any barriers to that movement on German borders is anathema and against EU law. Well, she has given in.
So she actually has conceded on one of the fundamental principles that she had going into this argument. And the knock-on effect of this could be significant. Because although there is not really a migration crisis of the scale that there was three years ago, the politics are getting incredibly complicated. We've already seen Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, say, well, if the Germans are going to set border control on the German border, we're going to do it in Austria.
What happens then? Do the Czechs, do the Hungarians, or the Poles start setting up border checks there as well? The whole idea of free movement inside Europe begins to collapse. And that's what she has warned - that's what Chancellor Merkel has warned would happen if they start doing this. And, unfortunately I think, she's become true to her word. Now that Germany is ready to do this, other countries are going to start doing this and the era of free borders in Europe is now under threat because of this decision.