this is bbc news. the headlines at 11pm. the big freeze continues. forecasters predict sub—zero temperatures across much of the country overnight, and more disruption on the way. brexit and the irish border. downing street categorically rules out any return to a "hard border" after a leaked memo from borisjohnson. and a ceasefire in syria's eastern ghouta collapses. the un can't deliver aid to hundreds of thousands trapped there. and on newsnight, you will hear about the tragic death of zack cox, about the tragic death of zack cox, a british man who fell to his death 40 a british man who fell to his death a0 metres working on a stadium in qatar. what all went wrong. good evening and
welcome to bbc news. snow and freezing temperatures have caused major disruption across many parts of the uk today, with forecasters warning that there is much worse to come this week. parts of south—east and north—east england, scotland and north wales are badly affected. there has been disruption on many major roads, including a fatal crash which left three people dead. rail journeys have also been badly affected, with southeastern cancelling more than 100 services between kent and london. more than 560 schools were shut across england, wales and scotland, and forecasters say some rural communities may be cut off. the met office has issued amber warnings for tomorrow, with the heaviest impact expected in north east england and eastern scotland. in a moment, we'll hearfrom danny savage in north yorkshire,
but first, here's robert hall in ashford in kent. the east coast had time to prepare, but the snowfall sweeping in from europe gave travellers a taste of what this week has in store. lincolnshire police dealt with 20 accidents in a three hour period. three people died in a collision on the a15, and a schoolbus veered off the road elsewhere. in essex, a car passenger filmed 17 damaged or abandoned vehicles alongside the a120 close to colchester. in kent, where the county council had declared a snow emergency, gritters worked flat out to cover as many roads as possible. but traffic overnight meant salt couldn't do its work. by the time the morning commute began, accidents and ice had closed a series of routes.
drivers posted video images of the m20, where all traffic was brought to north of maidstone. up to ten centimetres of snow fell across kent, surrey and east sussex, where farmers helped to keep minor roads open. more than 300 schools were closed. across the eastern counties, traffic called and travellers waited for news on cancelled rail services. 0perators had run empty trains through the night to keep the tracks open, but for a while the snow defeated them. temperatures are falling again. travelling will remain unpredictable and hazardous in the coming days. in the part of england were the most difficult weather was forecast... several schools were closed. a van
stopped here, i got to go around him... 20 miles further south on one of the steep roads, negotiating was like an uphill slalom. and as the snow came down again, things got worse. this illustrates how little snow is needed to cause a problem. there's hardly any on the service here but it's frozen up, it's got really slippery and its caused chaos on this road this morning. in the towns and cities on lower ground, snow wasn't such a problem but the freezing temperatures were to stop these homeless men in leeds from have a cat shelter even this weather. i got nowhere to go. nowhere to live. were to go. so it's all about survival. i'm out in the cold and nobody helps you because people stay. the last 24 hours of snowfall has been patchy.
well—versed plans have been implemented to keep rooms open as this late blast of winter continues. that was danny savage and robert hall reporting. you'll find lots of information on the disruption on rail and roads as well as the latest forecasts on the bbc website. bbc.co.uk/news is the address. downing street has ruled out any return to a "hard border" between northern ireland and the republic after brexit. it comes after the leak of a letter from the foreign secretary borisjohnson to the prime minister in which he appears to contemplate the possibility of future customs border checks after the uk leaves earlier today, the international trade secretary liam fox warned against remaining in a customs union with the eu. here'sjohn pienaar. they are the cabinet's true believers. brexit‘s wishful thinking say the critics today, but no, senior ministers agree that britain, all of britain
and northern ireland, too, will stick together and win, despite all the obstacles and all the doubts. so, today, the international trade secretary said critics were wrong to say that britain should stay in a european customs union and give up the freedom to strike independent trade deals. notjust wrong. we would be in a worse position than we are today. it would be a complete sell—out of britain's national interests and a betrayal of the voters in the referendum. but even before that warning, the critics were joined by the former head of dr fox's former department, and free to speak out, he is not holding back. if we go to brussels and say we want access to the single market, but we want it on our terms, all of the benefits and we will decide which obligations, no negotiator in the world can bring you that, you would need a fairy godmother. how would the trade secretary deal with that? is the greatest danger is that brexit could lead to national self
harm or are there simply not enough true believers like you? we cannot afford to be bound by the practices and the patterns of the past. we have to take the opportunities available unfettered by those who would make the rules on our behalf. what we need is a hard—headed leader, not a fairy godmother. what else could block the brexit plan? dublin wants a written guarantee of no north—south border checks, even if that means a customs union. tonight, downing street has had to restate, there will be no hard border, after borisjohnson seemed to suggest, in a leaked paper, one might return. even though very few checks need to take place. he is now saying no—one wants border checks, but was it even helpful earlier to compare the border to managing traffic through the congestion charge zone in london? there is no border between camden and westminster, but when i was mayor of london, we visibly took hundreds of millions but when i was mayor of london, we invisibly took hundreds of millions
of pounds from the accounts of people travelling between those two boroughs without any need for border checks, whatsoever... come on, you cannot compare two boroughs of london with the kinds of difference in the arrangements that would be in place between the uk and eu. i think it is a very relevant comparison. either way, the path to brexit is still being mapped out by ministers from theresa may down, and it is anything but clear. 0ur deputy political editor john pienaar reporting. in the last hour or so, labour has responded to borisjohnson‘s leaked letter. here's their shadow foreign secretary. borisjohnson has been telling lies. he said that there will not be, that there must not be a hard border in ireland. this leaked document has shown that he knows that that is where they are going, and if they don't stay in the customs union, that is what is going to happen. and the important thing is, 3,000 people died during the troubles. that negotiated peace took a very long time.
it is very delicate. we must have a soft border. the scottish government has published its own version of the european union withdrawal bill, as part of a deepening row with westminster. the tensions are over who should take charge over powers, in areas like agriculture and the environment, which return to the uk after brexit. the scottish and welsh governments have both introduced bills to prepare for the possibilty that they cannot reach agreement with the uk government. fighting has resumed in eastern ghouta, the rebel—held suburb of syria's capital damascus, despite what was supposed to be a "humanitarian pause". it was hoped that the daily five—hour ceasefire, ordered by syria's ally russia, would allow civilians to leave, but the united nations says it collapsed before it was due to expire. nearly a00,000 people are trapped in the area, which has been besieged by government forces since 2013. 0ur middle east editor
jeremy bowen reports. but the temporary ceasefire, at best, was ragged. no civilians left down the newly designated safe corridors. once again in syria, the russians are setting the pace. this russian officer, stationed in the humanitarian corridor, claimed armed opposition groups were stopping civilians leaving. the day turned into a demonstration of russian power in syria. theirjets were in the sky, and their soldiers, alongside the syrians, were on patrol and they showed off clinics for displaced people. the humanitarian pause was president putin's decision, not the un's. he seems to have put aside the un resolution calling
for a 30 day ceasefire. the people of eastern ghouta are being failed by international diplomacy. eastern ghouta is big, about the size of manchester, a mix of farms and concrete suburbs. the a00,000 people there have spent most of the last week in cellars. the russian humanitarian pause won't be enough to silence critics of their military operations in syria. the plan to suspend shelling from 9:00am in the morning to 2:00pm seems to have broken down on the first day. persuading civilians it's safe to leave will be difficult. the un ceasefire is not close to coming into effect. it's supposed to last for 30 days, right across syria. jihadists like al-qaeda are excluded, but the russians have said that all armed opposition groups are terrorists. the ceasefire resolution has no start time, at russian insistence, and that is a fatal flaw.
this was eastern ghouta today, filmed by a local resident. humanity, love asserts itself in the most desperate places. and this was 2a hours earlier. another assertion of humanity, white helmets civil defence risking their lives to rescue children after an air strike. war is the reality in syria. since it started, every ceasefire has failed, and nothing suggests the latest attempt will be any different. jeremy bowen, bbc news. a mother and her two teenage sons are believed to be among the five people who died in an explosion in leicester. mary ragoobar and her sons shane and sean lived in the flat above the shop on hinckley road which was destroyed in the blast on sunday.
the other two victims were believed to be working in the polish supermarket on the ground floor. a 27—year—old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after three people died in a house fire in northern ireland. police, who were called to the rural bungalow in county fermanagh early this morning, believe the fire was started deliberately. the three victims are thought to be members of the same family. that's a summary of the news. now on bbc news, it's time for newsnight. theresa may has a plan for brexit. on friday she's going to spell it out for us in a big speech... her problem is the eu have killed it off already. translation: it is an illusion to imagine that we are going to accept cherry picking. we are responsible for maintaining
the integrity of the single market. there's also trouble ahead over the irish border. and whether we meant it when we said there wouldn't be one. we'll get the irish perspective. and hear how the brexiteers want to deal with the problems. also tonight: the tragic death of zac cox. a british man working on the construction of a new stadium in qatar. i find this probably the most traumatic piece of information that we've got. you can see this is where zac apparently landed. so you can see his safety harness which has been cut. you can see the ropes. you can see his shoe, and you can see the dent in the structure which is probably where he fell. a new study says street cannabis is getting dangerously strong. when you do use skunk, you are five times more likely to develop psychosis compared with somebody who does not use it. does that make it more or less sensible to legalise