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tv   BBC Newsroom Live  BBC News  March 19, 2018 11:00am-1:00pm GMT

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this is bbc news — and these are the top stories developing at 11am: chemical weapons experts arrive in salisbury to test the nerve agent used to poison sergei skripal and his daughter in salisbury. president putin — newly re—elected — says the idea of russian involvement in the attack was "unimaginable". borisjohnson says the denials are growing "increasingly absurd." i think what people can see is that this is a classic russian strategy of trying to conceal the needle of truth in a haystack of lies and obfuscation. hopes rise for an agreement between the eu and the uk over the brexit transition period. the brexit secretary david davis and the eu's chief negotiator michel barnier are due to give a press conference later this hour — we'll bring you that live. drivers have been stuck in cars overnight and hundreds of schools are closed in south—west england
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and wales, as heavy snow continues to cause disruption. the television presenter ant mcpartlin has been arrested on suspicion of drink—driving in west london. he has been released. and lowering the stakes — the gambling commission recommends bringing the maximum stake for fixed—odds betting terminals down to £30. good morning. it's monday 19th march. welcome to bbc newsroom live. international chemical weapons experts have arrived in salisbury to begin verifying the type of nerve agent used to poison sergei skripal, and his daughter yulia. earlier, the foreign secretary, borisjohnson briefed eu ministers in brussels about the attack. he said claims by russia that it was not involved
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in the nerve agent attack are becoming "increasingly absurd". tom burridge reports from salisbury. the mod‘s top—secret scientific research centre at porton down. today, a group of international chemical weapons experts will travel there to work out how samples of the nerve agent used in the attack in salisbury could be transported abroad to be tested in an independent lab. the government says the only credible theory is that the nerve agent used to attack former russian military intelligence officer sergei skripal and his daughter came from russia, something moscow denies. but, as the police in salisbury continued their work over the weekend, the foreign secretary said the government has evidence that russia has, within the past decade, been stockpiling the type of nerve agent used in the attack. we still don't know where the skripals came in contact
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with the nerve agent. but his car, which was taken away by the military late on friday, is of particular interest to the police. they want to hear from anyone who saw it in the hours before the couple fell violently ill. speaking in brussels this morning the foreign secretary said he appreciated the support the uk was receiving. i have been very heartened already by the strength of the support the uk is getting in respect of the incident in salisbury. and i must say i think that is partly because they can see britain is acting in punctilious accordance with our treaty on chemical weapons. i would contrast that with how the russians are behaving. today the technical experts from the organisation for
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the prohibition of chemical weapons are arriving in the uk to take the samples from salisbury. and meantime the russian denials grow increasingly absurd. at one time they say they never made novichok, at another they say they did make novichok but all the stocks have been destroyed, and then again they say that they made novichok and that all those stocks have been destroyed but some of them have mysteriously escaped to sweden or the czech republic, slovakia... or the united states or even america. i think or the united kingdom. i think people can see that this is a classic russian strategy of trying to conceal the needle of truth in a haystack of lies and obfuscation. and what really strikes me talking to european friends and partners today is that 12 years after the assassination of alexander litvinenko in london, they are not fooling anybody any more. there is
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scarcely a country round the table, here in brussels, that has not been affected in recent years by some kind of malign or disruptive russian behaviour. and that is why i think the strength and the resolve of our european friends is so striking today. thank you very much. tom burridge is in salisbury for us with the latest on the investigation. those weapons inspectors in the uk to look at what has been uncovered asa to look at what has been uncovered as a result of this attack. exactly. a delegation from the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons, an international body, russia and britain are both signatories to it, we believe that delegation is now in wiltshire. it will spend roughly a week here, about ten officials from independent countries, i think is important as,
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and they will spend most of their time probably at porton down. that is the ministry of defence's scientific research centre a few miles from here. we are told several samples of the nerve agent used on the tack on sergei skripal and his daughter yulia a couple of weeks ago will be sent abroad. we believe to as many as 20 independent laboratories in possibly around 16 countries. and the testing process could take two weeks. we might be waiting three weeks until we actually get the opcw‘s assessment of what the nerve agent was that was used in the attack in salisbury. i was speaking earlier to the commanding officer of the british regiment that dealt with chemical and biological weapons. he is a chemical weapons expert. and he said the procedure by the opcw will be thorough. the process will be very rigorous. they are the professional body investigators of the united nations, a lot of very experienced
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operators in there. they do this all over the place, they have been to syria many times to investigate chemical weapons. so they will be coming here, tying up with porton down. porton down works very closely with the opcw, it is one of their designated laboratories for testing chemicals, so they will be very familiar i expect with a lot of key people there. the opcw will want to come here and other sites which are involved in this attack to do their own investigation. no doubt they will also be talking to the police, the counterterror police, to get as much information as they can. and of course the samples from porton down which they will want to test themselves in their own laboratories to confirm the results that porton have come up with. so one of the key questions i think will be how far the officials from the opcw, this international body, can go in its assessment of the nerve agent used in the attack in
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salisbury. we expect them to be able to say what the current chemical components of the nerve agent were, what was the chemical process used to make that type of merge agent corp. can they go beyond that, can they say anything that would back up they say anything that would back up the claim by the british government that it was a type of nerve agent believed to have been developed and produced in russia? and what is the latest on the police investigation? over the weekend, not a huge amount of visible police activity here. we know though that the police, a central focus for the counterterror police running the operation here is sergei skripal‘s car. it was parked adjacent to hear when yulia and sergei skripal came into the city centre hours before they fell violently ill on the bench under that white and yellow tarpaulin which is still closed off like many areas in salisbury by the police. while they make sure they are safe
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and continue the investigation. the car was also believed to have been driven by sergei skripal and yulia between his house in salisbury and the secretary where his wife and son are buried. earlier on sunday the 4th of march, at around 915. police 11th of march, at around 915. police are appealing for anyone to come forward to give them information about that car, whether it was spotted in the morning and the afternoon on the 11th of march. we still don't know exactly where and when surrogate and yulia came into contact with the nerve agent but the car is of particular interest to the police. official results from russia show president putin has been re—elected with more than 76% of the vote. he told a victory rally that russia must maintain unity following his landslide win — but cctv footage from a number of polling stations appears to show election officials stuffing boxes with ballot papers. richard is in moscow for us and sent
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us richard is in moscow for us and sent us this upstate. the central election commission has said that they have not received any serious complaints of violations and indeed they are saying that the violations this time are far less than in previous elections. so they are playing it down enormously. but we do know that an organisation which monitors elections has said there we re monitors elections has said there were hundreds of violations in different parts of the country. and also weise have spoken to people who have said that a lot of people they believe were under really intense pressure to go out and vote, these are people particularly working for state run institutions, also those working in private business as well, that pressure was applied to make sure people got out and voted. it was a particular concern of the kremlin in this particular election was turnout, they wanted to see a
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decent turnout otherwise it would potentially make it seem as if mr putin's power had weakened. the brexit secretary, david davis, and the eu's chief negotiator, michel barnier, will today try to finalise a deal on a transition period after britain leaves. they're meeting in brussels ahead of an eu summit later this week, when theresa may hopes to have an agreement confirmed. adam fleming is at that brussels summit for us. adam, some news is coming out about what they have agreed. what could you tell us? what this is all about is that both sides are looking at the draft brexit treaty, about 120 pages long, they're going through it to see the areas where they agree, where they have made progress, and areas where there are still disagreements. in public, both sides are playing all of this town, being very coy, saying wait and see. privately, people are sounding increasingly confident that there has been a significant progress in lots of areas in that withdrawal agreement. in other words,
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lots of areas in that withdrawal agreement. in otherwords, lots lots of areas in that withdrawal agreement. in other words, lots of it will be covered in green and less of it will be read than you might have thought. the key section that the uk wants to be entirely green is the uk wants to be entirely green is the section on the transition period, what they call the implementation phase. that would be the period where even the oh the uk is out of the eu and they don't have a seat at the table, things will stay broadly similar from brexit day until the end of december 20 20. the proof of it will come when we hear from david davis and michel barnier ata from david davis and michel barnier at a press conference in around half an hour's time and then if they publish any documents where we can actually see what they have agreed. and of course the proof of that will be what has the uk had to give up on and water down in terms of what it wa nted and water down in terms of what it wanted to get this far, and where is the eu won't comprise. but those are the eu won't comprise. but those are the details we have to wait for. but the details we have to wait for. but the signals privately are looking very positive. as you say we are waiting to detail. some have said the transition period if we are
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still subject all the rules is like an extension of membership rather than an actual change. what is the uk government want to be in that for it to be a transition period? first, the uk says the important thing to remember about the transition period is that legally the uk will be out of the eu. brexit will have happened. it is just that the terms of trade and cooperation with europe will be on roughly the same lines as they are now. the uk had a wish list ofa they are now. the uk had a wish list of a few things it wanted out of that transition period, and so that is what we will be comparing the agreement with to see how far the uk has got. for example, they were not happy about the end date being december 2020, david davis was pretty clear last week they had given up on that argument and they would accept the end date. we also wa nted would accept the end date. we also wanted the right to be consulted over new eu rules and regulations which were introduced by brussels in that transition period, have they
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got that? we wanted opt outs from foreign policy decisions that the eu made during that period, have they got that? the eu wanted guarantees about fishing quotas because the fishing quotas the 2020 will be decided at a meeting in brussels on december 20 19th that the uk will not be at. how concrete in detail oui’ not be at. how concrete in detail our commitment is on fishing. in the uk wants the right to be able to negotiate and sign new trade deals during the transition. the eu in theory is ok with that, theyjust haven't said it. the uk wants it written in black and white. that is another thing we will be looking for when we actually get our hands on the documents in a short time. and what about any progress on the issue of the irish border? that is an interesting one. in december the two sides agreed three solutions for avoiding a hard border. option a was an amazing future trade oration ship which means you don't need a hard border. option b is unique
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technological solutions which means you don't need any infrastructure which looked like a hard border. option seat which is everyone's least favourite and most controversial is that northern ireland would stay aligned with eu rules in some sectors so that north south cooperation with ireland could continue as it does now. the uk was concerned about what was proposed there in case it creates new barriers between northern ireland and the rest of great britain. and theresa may famously rejected that saying no british pro minister could sign up to that. what has happened in the last few days is the irish and has been asking for a commitment from the uk that they will at least negotiate and talk on the basis of that proposal rather than just rejecting it outright. interestingly, the irish deputy prime minister in brussels today as well to have his own meetings with michel barnier. this morning before the meeting he tweeted saying i will be looking for proof that there is no backsliding from the uk on their commitments and if there is that
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endangers froze gress on the whole brexit deal. he has now come out of the meeting and tweeted something far more positive, which certainly gives me the impression that ireland is not going to be a stumbling block this week. today is not the only big day in brexit. at the end of the week on friday the eu leaders will be meeting for a summit where they are going to agree their guidelines for the negotiations about the future relationship effectively giving the green light to finally start talking about the future relationship on trade security and all that stuff. thank you. we are expecting a news conference shortly aren't we? it is scheduled for 1245 brussels time. inevitably that will slip but it is worth tuning in for. we will have coverage here. the television presenter ant mcpartlin has been arrested on suspicion of drink—driving. police say they were called to reports of a collision involving three cars in south—west london yesterday afternoon. a child passenger in one of them was taken to hospital as a precaution. in a statement, scotland yard said
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a 42—year—old man was arrested at the scene after failing a breathalyser test. our entertainment correspondent, colin paterson is in our salford studios. tell us more about what happened. this all happened on sunday afternoon, just before four o'clock. and mcpartlin had been going to richmond park with his mother, they had been walking his dog there. on his way back to his house he was involved in a three—car accident, his many drove into another and then bounced off and hit a bmw. the police were called to the scene and gave us the statement saying a 42—year—old man had been arrested under suspicion of drink—driving. we believe he was released in the early hours of monday morning under investigation and returned home to his house at that time. so ant mcpartlin, one of tv‘s biggest stars, ina
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mcpartlin, one of tv‘s biggest stars, in a lot of trouble. and he has had a tough time lately. a very tough time over the last year or so. it was well documented that he himself went into rehab the two months having said he was addicted to both painkillers and had to drink issues. he also injanuary announced he would be divorcing from his wife who he had been with for married her almost 12 years. they got married in 1994 when they were both pop stars, she was in a group called juice. what has been incredible this way he kept his professional career going. he returned to i'm a celebrity in december and the current series of saturday night takeaway is live every week. heat the night before this happened he was doing a saint patrick's day themed episode live on itv. there are three episodes to go
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series. it was supposed to culminate ina series. it was supposed to culminate in a special in florida in three weeks' time live from universal theme park near orlando, and no word yet from itv as to what plans are. we'll and be back on saturday night for the next episode of takeaway? the headlines on bbc newsroom live international experts arrive in the uk to assess that either nerve agent used to poison sergei skripal and his daughter. david davies is in brussels talks with michel barnier. we are expecting a news conference in the next half—hour. the gambling commission calls that cuts to fixed odd betting terminals to reduce the risks to gamblers. with the masters a few weeks back rory is favourite. mcilroy wins his first tournament for 18 months at the arnold palmer invitational. the northern irishman sunk five birdies in the final six holes he described his final round is
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perfect. former england wingerjosh charnley is returning to rugby league with immediate effect. he ends the 17th month stint. world number one roger federer‘s winning run has come to an end, after losing the final of indian wells to juan martin del potro. the argentine is the first player to beat federer in 18 matches. i'll be back with more on those stores after half—past. one of the largest inquiries into the alleged abuse of teenage army recruits in britain has collapsed, after the royal military police bungled the investigation. a judge branded the three—year police probe "seriously as he halted the first of three court martials amid problems of missing evidence and claims that witnesses were forced to make statements.
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the trial has been made public for the first time, after a judge lifted reporting restrictions our defence correspondent is with me now. tell us what it is about. this was about an investigation about recruits who it is alleged were bullied at harrogate, that is the couege bullied at harrogate, that is the college where the army recruit 16 and 17—year—olds. the importance of this case is these were in the eyes of the law children who had allegedly been abused. so some of the incidences of examples of the allegations of abuse were that on a training campjarring allegations of abuse were that on a training camp jarring bayonet training camp jarring bayonet training they were forced to eat animal manure, they were spat at, kicked, the trouble is when this came to court a lot of these recruits who were alleged to have said this could not recall these incidents and there were other problems with the trial. this investigation took three years, cost £1 million, it collapsed because essentially the judge said there we re essentially the judge said there were serious flaws in the away the
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royal military police investigated. thejudge said this royal military police investigated. the judge said this was not a case of oversight or omission, it is a case where the police have invested an investigative policy in direct breach of their duty to investigate directly and fairly. they for example did not interview all the instructors who were accused of carrying out these allegations, they did not interview other instructors who would have observed what was going on, and sometimes they did not interview the complainants until two yea rs interview the complainants until two years after the events. so this is really a n years after the events. so this is really an appalling investigation by the rmp and that is why this has collapsed. as you say they were serious allegations, but now the investigation has been criticised. so what happens going forward, where disease is allegations? the allegations do not stack up as far as the court is concerned. and so those allegations, they have had an
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investigation, the allegations in that first trial collapsed so the second to trials will not go forward. where this leaves everything is the rmp are in a very difficult position along with the prosecuting authority, and let's remember this is not the only time the rmp has been criticised, it was criticised over deep cut, it was criticised over deep cut, it was criticised over deep cut, it was criticised over the arc abuse allegations as well of being too close to the military, in this case it looks like they were not objective enough. i think there will be very difficult questions for the rmp and difficult questions for the service prosecution authority for allowing this to go ahead. cliff—top homes in norfolk are in danger of collapsing into the sea — according to the local council. the cliffs at hemsby are made of sand which has suffered erosion over many years. the local lifeboat service says a six—metre high dune was washed away over the course ofjust one day. homes have now been evacuated.
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our correspondent robby west is in norfolk. tell us the extent of what has happened there because the pictures are extraordinary. they really are. overnight even more of the coastline completely disappeared. this follows two weeks of torrential rain, strong winds and really stormy tides. on friday night the tides reached three metres high and they were repeatedly battering along the coast. this has caused it to erode away and now homes are really vulnerable. on friday ijoin the evacuation effort, people were coming out, helping other residents, 13 homes in danger, they removed their belongings, i spoke to one man who told me that this could be the last home he —— last time he sees his home. he was in tears. this has happened in hemsby before, three
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homes were washed into the sea five yea rs homes were washed into the sea five years ago but they were a lot closer to the sea. today i spoke to the council, they are warning people who would usually walk along the beach to stay away. they don't want people on there because they are worried that these homes are in a very treacherous position and could fall at any time. we have spoken to people who are going to see their homes for the first time this morning and they are absolutely heartbroken. one man told me that he has looked at the house and where he had a garden before that is all now gone and the cliff is right up to the edge of his house. he believes he and his wife and his two dogs will never be able to return there. that is absolutely devastating. in terms of any insurance, whether they can get anything, our homes like that ensured, because obviously by the way chuck of where they are they are vulnerable? i have spoken to a lot of residents about insurance may have said they have insurance but they don't know whether they will be able to claim on it, they are currently going through that
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process , currently going through that process, going to the company. at the moment they are reallyjust lucky they survived and that they have most of their belongings out, but that is the next step for them now. thank you very much. the gambling commission has recommended that the maximum stake for fixed—odds betting terminals should be reduced from 100 pounds to 30 pounds or less, or two pounds in the case of slot machines. it says cutting the stake alone won't cure problem gambling and has the industry had said a blanket reduction to two pounds would cost thousands ofjobs. tim miller, the head of the gambling commission, explained why he was recommending the reductions. we are clear that a state cut alone would not go far enough —— steak cut. so in addition to recommending a cut to £2 on slots, we are suggesting that for roulette style games the limit should be reduced to £30 or less. it is really important if the government decided their less than that, even to £2, that would be consistent with our advice. we are also proposing that there should be a form of tract plays so that actually players themselves can have access
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to good quality data on their player behaviour, how much they've lost, and importantly that gambling companies then have no excuse not to spot problem gambling and act on it. almost 1000 tiny sausage dogs and their owners went dashing through greenwich park in london over the weekend. a record number of dachshunds and their owners took to the great outdoors despite the freezing temperatures to take part in the third ever sausage fest, which was created to celebrate the breed. that is a lot of feet and tiny dogs. we will have full coverage here on bbc news at around a quarter to 12 of the news conference following on from news that there has been some progress on the transition period for brexit. if you are leaving us, you can stay up—to—date on the
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website. right now let's catch up with the weather. hello. a lot of snow on the ground at the moment so we are looking at some icy conditions over the next couple of days with cold nights ice could become a problem. today it looks like it will be largely dry and bright. we have a bit more cloud in the south, some snow clearing the southern counties here. but it will have largely cleared as we move to the next hour or two. then we are looking at a lot of dry, bright weather, some good spells of sunshine, perhaps a little more cloud in eastern scotland and some showery arabic suffering to the northern isles. it is breezy and the south with an easterly north—easterly wind. this evening and overnight it will stay breezy in the south, the cloud increases from the south, the cloud increases from the north and perhaps a few wintry showers moving into the east at staying parts of northern ireland and scotland and that means it will be very cold here. tomorrow we will start with a frosty start the day, a few patches of ice, a lot of dry and bright weather, one or two showers
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in the eastern highs of nine celsius. this is bbc news. our latest headlines: international chemical weapons experts arrive in the uk to test the nerve agent used to poison sergei skripal and his daughter in salisbury. president putin, newly re—elected, says the idea of russian involvement in the attack was "unimaginable" borisjohnson says the denials are growing ‘increasingly absurd.‘ david davis is in brussels for talks with the eu's chief negotiator michel barnier, ahead of a crunch meeting of eu leaders later this week. the gambling commission calls for cuts to fixed—odds betting machines to reduce the risks to vulnerable gamblers. let'sjoinjessica for let's join jessica for the let's joinjessica for the sports. rory mcilroy is the new favourite for the masters after picking up his first tournament win
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since september 2016. he's up to seven in the world as well after winning the arnold palmer invitational in florida by 3 shots. a final round of 64 included five birdies in the final 6 holes. i played a perfect round of golf. i gave myself great chances on every hole. i executed shot the way i wa nted hole. i executed shot the way i wanted to, when i needed to. 64, in those conditions, would have been firm and fast. to get in the winning circle again feels good. to get in the winning circle again feels good. rolling back the years in phoenix was laura davies. she narrowly missed out on becoming the oldest winner on the lpga tour. at 54, she finished tied for second at the founders cup — her best finish in a decade — and hopes people will stop asking when she'll retire. josh charnley said he needed little persuading to move back to rugby league afterjoining warrington wolves. the former england and wigan wing had spent the last two seasons with union side sale sharks, but has signed with last season's super league shield winners
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with immediate effect. chelsea manager antonio contay has praised the character of his players after they made it through to the semi—finals of the fa cup. the blues bounced back from the champions league exit earlier in the week, and with them being way off the pace in the premier league, the fa cup is their only chance for a trophy this season. they had to work for the win against leciester though... pedro got the winner after extra time... 2—1 the final score. this is chelsea's 10th fa cup semi final in 18 years. the draw for the women's fa cup was made on radio 5 live this morning. holders manchester city will play chelsea — if they can overcome sunderland. the other semi sees durham or everton face arsenal or charlton. both semis will be shown live on the bbc. roger federer heaped praise onjuan martin del potro after he was beaten for the first time in 18 matches del potro saved three match points as he prevailed in the final of the indian wells masters.
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world numbe one federer said del potro deserved the win and congratulated him on a fantastic tournament. england bowler stuart broad has told the bbc that he has no plans to retire from international cricket any time soon. england are preparing for the first test against new zealand, which gets underway in the early hours of thursday morning. 31 year old broad already has set his sights on next year's ashes series against australia. i've got a great hunger to play. i've got a great hunger to play. i've had a tough ashes. i've got a lot of hunger to get in this england team, stay in the team, and have success. that includes the next ashes series. at 31, touch wood, i've got it left in me. wales have named justin tipuric in the sevens
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squad for the commonwealth games. he played in all five of their six nations matches, scoring against italy, he's joined by nations matches, scoring against italy, he'sjoined by fellow fifteens member halim amos. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more for you in the next hour. a british woman has been killed in northern syria fighting alongside kurdish forces. anna campbell from east sussex died in a town which has been the target of a turkish offensive. she travelled to syria last may. her father said she was idealistic and knew she was putting her life at risk. our correspondent reports. anna campbell travelled to syria last may. she dyed her hair is she didn't stand out amongst other fighters. herfather
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didn't stand out amongst other fighters. her father says she could not have prevented his daughter from travelling. she was adamant about it. i said, you know, you could be killed. she said, i know, dad. there's nothing i can do to reassure you about that but i've got to do this because it's the most important thing for me. anna campbell was involved in fighting with the kurds against so—called islamic state. injanuary, turkey began attacking the kurds along the northern syrian border around the town of aspirin. kurdish commanders say it was here that anna was killed. in a statement they said they tried to keep her away from the front line, but she had insisted on joining the operation to defend afrin. despite warnings from authorities dozens of volunteers have volunteered to fight with the kurds in syria and iran. since 2015 seven british man have lost their
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lives. friends of anna campbell told the bbc that she was killed by turkish air strikes. the first british woman fighting with the kurds to have died. we are expecting to hear from david davis and michel barnier shortly. it is understood that significant progress has been made. we expect them to speak in the next ten minutes. we will have full coverage as soon as they start to speak. let'sjoinjamie as soon as they start to speak. let's join jamie for the business update. shares in betting companies like ladbrokes and wiliam hill are up sharply this morning after the gambling commission recommended that the amount you can bet on electronic casino games, such as roulette and blackjack be limited to £30 campaigners had been hoping they would demand the maximum be cut to just $2.——£2
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the uk economy will grow 1.4% this year according to the british chambers of commerce. that's a lot better than it's last prediction — just 1.1%, but it says , it will still be among the worst performing g7 economies until 2020. melrose industries is still trying to buy the engineering firm gkn and every week it seems to put more on the table. last week it offered another billion pounds. today it's said it will invest £1bn in gkn's pension fund, which could — repeat could — answer some of the criticisms of the bid made by the pensions watchdog and mps. let's talk about house prizes. if you bought a house in one of the
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regions seeing rises, the east, west midlands, and wales and north—west, but london prices have been falling slightly. let's try and work out what's going on. miles shipside is a director at a housing agency, why are prices generally going up? the weather isn't springlike, but the housing industry seems to be. we've seen strong demand in the first couple of months of the year and that now fed through to higher prices with records not only in four regions, but in the first time buyer and second stab sectors. you say four regions, there are nine regions you have divided the country into, so the others aren't doing so well? the northern regions are doing better. obviously, when you get record prices the number of people who can afford to buy means it slows
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down. so the national average rate of increase over the year is just 2.196. of increase over the year is just 2.1%. so affordability will remain stretched until wages go up or prices go down. london is, of course, a problem, prices they continue to fall? london prices have gone up a lot in the last four years. the stretch is more extreme there. and stamp duty rates. some properties have gone off the market, markets are cyclical and london is in a downward cycle as opposed to an upward cycle, but there is still a shortage of property but affordability assured stretch there. the gambling commission has said the maximum sta ke for commission has said the maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals should be cut to £30 or less. shares in gambling companies have bounced up that the commission
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didn't recommend the maximum ofjust £2. they say slot game should be cut to £2. joining me now is a campaigner for the maximum stakes to be caught. i disappointed they haven't been more aggressive? i think they've been overly influenced by the enormous amount of money spent lobbying by many betting companies who have produced a report which, even paddy power, who don't use these terminals that is completely unusable. it's not correct. they have also been a report by the centre for business research, which shows that the original forecast but showed loss of business are very wide of the mark indeed. i think, business are very wide of the mark indeed. ithink, however, the thing they have put in the report says that it up to government, and that they are saying a maximum, this isn't where the target is, this is a
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maximum. i still argue with the government, and i believe they are fully persuaded that we should be on a£2 fully persuaded that we should be on a £2 limit. there is pretty much a quarter million gamblers who lose thousands of pounds a session on these machines. and it's the speed with which it goes on. it's not like horse racing or football where you put something on, this is instantaneous. this is the problem, people get addicted to pumping these things full of money. many of them are used by people who very low incomes, often on benefits, and the families don't see their money. incomes, often on benefits, and the families don't see their moneym you are this tough on them, and bring the limit down to £2, they are going to... obviously, hit profits, but it will hitjobs. it would be quite a number, wanted? but look in these areas, you see these same companies which two or three betting shops on one street. what they are doing, of course, is they can get more terminals onto the
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high street. what happens as people go into one place, they better away like mad, may leave and go into another and another. they know what they are doing. these people don't bring anything else to the high street. they are not going to spend their money on fruit and vegetables. they are addicted to these machines. what's the betting industry doesn't tell you is the amount of violence that takes place around these machines. people who have been drinking come in, smashing machines. most of this is not reported to the police. staff feel threatened by this, and this encourages both addiction, dramatic addiction, and violence. therefore the government has today with it. i find it odd to hear the conservative taking such a
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strong line, can't they self regulate, can't they do this themselves? can't be looked after themselves? can't be looked after the problem themselves? they've had opportunity to do this. you only have two be proliferation of advertising that goes on. you get a sense that people are being inundated with this. i'm not about bad, but it gives you an indication of just how bad, but it gives you an indication ofjust how much they really want. an organisation like paddy power does not use these machines and it says it's happy to carry on and believes those who do are ruining their own businesses, because the kind of people going in there are actually often not the people who go on to bet on horses, or a flutter on the grand national. it's not being conservative, its voting do we really wa nt conservative, its voting do we really want to have a society in which part of our city, our high streets, are taken over by betting shops where there is violence and
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massive addiction. huge losses are people who can ill afford it. this is not good for society or families. iain duncan smith, thank you very much indeed. let's have a quick look at the markets. ladbrokes are up 3.5%. michael foot was running into problems with their american operation and think they will see a sharp fall. —— might grow focus. they are falling, and it's actually putting the whole ftse down as well. more on that story later. that's all the businesses for the moment. the whole of england and parts of wales and scotland have been warned of more snow and ice after the
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weekend. around 80 people were forced to seek refuge in a rest centre set up in a college near the ae 30. two newlyweds were stranded at the centre. they spoke about their unusual start to their honeymoon at early this morning. we we re honeymoon at early this morning. we were on our way down to the hotel in newquay for what would have been a luxurious honeymoon in a beautiful bridal suite with bouquets of flowers, but we got caught in the a30. the lovely people of devon county have looked after us very well. described to us, obviously, not what you were imagining at all? one of your first night of marriage in this environment? i didn't imagine they would be snow in march, to be perfectly honest with you. i didn't expect to spend my first night ina didn't expect to spend my first night in a school or college. sarah,
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did you know it was snowing at the wedding? did you come out and think where did this come from? on saturday there were some flurries of snow. we had lovely photos, it was lovely. and on sunday there was a blanket of snow, but we were kind of, like, oh, we'll be ok. there wasn't much in bristol and then we got to the a30 and it was quite bad. we we re got to the a30 and it was quite bad. we were quite lucky that we could come off. we got to a junction and could come off. smiling and happy through it all! lads take a quick look at the weather, we can talk to someone in devon. the picture down here is improving our by allah. —— hour by hour. we are now running
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well in both directions. we were just hearing from two newlyweds who we re just hearing from two newlyweds who were affected and had to stay overnight in the college along with others. how many people do you estimate have been affected by this weather? following the vehicles that got stranded on the a30 overnight we believe we had 72 people who were taken to, or use the facility and we re taken to, or use the facility and were well looked after. the road was cleared and their vehicle was then moved into position so we could reopen. what is the situation on the roads now? conditions are improving, but is it... you still advising people to try not to go on the road u nless people to try not to go on the road unless they have two? certainly in the areas that are hardest hit. snow hit hardest around our times, and up
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into north devon. primary routes are looking very good, you've got an awful lot of treacherous conditions, roads covered in snow, drifting, we don't want to assume that just because a primary route is clear it is viable. the minute you come off the primary routes you could have a problem. sergeant lee taylor, thank you very much. in a moment we will be bringing you that news conference with michel barnier and david davis live from brussels. they are due to start a ny live from brussels. they are due to start any minute. right now let's bring you up—to—date with the headlines. international experts are assessing nerve agent that poison sergei skripal and his daughter. david davis is negotiating with
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michel barnier. we expect a news conference shortly. and the gambling commission has called for cuts to fix. betting machines, to reduce the risk to vulnerable gamblers. let's, while we wait for that news conference, let's talk about what we may hear from david conference, let's talk about what we may hearfrom david davis conference, let's talk about what we may hear from david davis and conference, let's talk about what we may hearfrom david davis and michel barnier shortly, progress on the transition period once the uk leaves the eu. what are you expecting? has there been much progress? it sounds like they've had a productive weekend. this is about not just the transition productive weekend. this is about notjust the transition but productive weekend. this is about not just the transition but the withdrawal agreement. what appears to be emerging, and we will need to wait to see the detail, because that is where the devil is, as they have reached a basic financial
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settlement, sibson the nike brand elements of the transition. —— citizens rights. the big puzzle remains the irish border and how thatis remains the irish border and how that is referred to going forward, in particular the idea that if no other solution presents itself, then northern ireland should retain full alignment with the republic of ireland on any issues involving things crossing that border. the way the language came out a week or so ago, theresa may says it was language that no british prime minister could agree to come away has that move? i suspect they are trying to find a delicate way to kick it further down the road. there isn't much space left on the road! it's hard to see how that can be fudged in any way, because it's too extreme prospects. it is difficult. the northern ireland select committee chaired by a pro—brexit tory put out a reported a few days ago saying we've not found any
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example of any border, anywhere on the globe, which would be a good fit for northern ireland and the irish republic and enable both sides to live up to the stated idea that there will be no border whatsoever, com pletely there will be no border whatsoever, completely frictionless invisible border. that will remain a problem until the last moment. again, what does the transition documents say in detail? we've seen a lot of warning shots from brexit he is here. jacob rees mogg for example in the daily telegraph, britain has to decide if it isa telegraph, britain has to decide if it is a serious cant you order a joke nation, there are things that brexit supporters do not like, in particular surrounding the right to negotiate. i think we are seeing that if there are things they don't
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like we will hear about it loud and proud. we are just getting some brief details coming through. i will just read out what's coming. the uk has given the eu assurance that the brexit treaty will contain an irish border backstop solution dealing with issues in draft. what do you make of that? that's a diplomatic way of saying they will be language that suggests the final backstop, if all else fails, will be this idea of full alignment. it will spell it out in detail cost no one knows how that might happen. translation: i'm happy, 35 translation: i'm happy, as i always am, to be back in this room with
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david davis following intensive negotiations that have been held in brussels over a number of days, indeed, a number of nights. as i start with this press event i would like to thank the members of our two delegations personally, because they have worked very, very hard, coordinated as they were by ollie robins. i would also like to applaud the whole of the united kingdom negotiating team for their commitment and competence. ladies and gentlemen, as i've said on a number of occasions, this is an international agreement that we are working on. it is an international agreement between the united kingdom and the european union. an agreement with all the precision, the rigour, and the uncertainty which retains to
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any such agreement. and what we are presenting today, here with david, isa presenting today, here with david, is a joint legal text, which constitutes, in my mind, a decisive step because we were able, this morning, to agree, and after all those days and nights of hard work, ona those days and nights of hard work, on a large part of what will make up an international agreement for the ordered withdrawal of the united kingdom. decisive step remains a step, we are not at the end of the road. there is a lot of work still to be done on the important subtext, including ireland and northern ireland. but this decisive step will be presented on friday at the invitation of the president, donald
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tusk, and president you'll get to the european council. i will need to be 27 member states on behalf of whom make negotiating a general affairs council, and we will be meeting be brexit steering group of the european parliament. on wednesday, i will takes stock of negotiations before the european commission. it is the european council on friday which will assess and judge the state of negotiation. as far as and judge the state of negotiation. as faras i'm and judge the state of negotiation. as far as i'm concerned i shall continue, in the name of the union, to greet you regularly and report to you on these negotiations in full transparency. it's weird that full transparency. it's weird that full transparency —— it's with that full transparency —— it's with that full transparency that we published a com plete transparency that we published a complete draft withdrawal agreement, which we discussed beforehand, with the 27 member states and the
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european parliament. on the 15th of march, that's just two weeks later, a fortnight later, we were advised and consolidated the draft agreement, having included comments from member states and from the european parliament. so it's that d raft european parliament. so it's that draft agreement that we've been continuing to work very tentatively. with my team, and with the team from the united kingdom, having done that we've just published, a few moments ago, jointly with the uk, a new version which is colour—coded. i'd like to show you what we've done. this is the whole thing. i recognise you might not be able to read it at the back of the room, but you will be given a taste in a few short minutes and you will be able to
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ponder it and pour over it page by page. this is an overview of the articles and protocols of the draft international withdrawal agreement. what you see in green are the things which are now formally agreed. that's what you see in green. what you see in yellow are some of the points where we have political agreement, but still have two be clarified over the next few weeks. in white, the text proposed by the union, are text, on which we shall continue discussions, because on those subjects we still have disagreements, or divergences, or simply because we need more time to go down to the level of the details. but ucb text in front of you, symbolically on the wall behind us.
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i would like to make for comments. one, our discussions over the last few days made it possible to find com plete few days made it possible to find complete agreement on a legal translation of the points which were agreed in december in thejoint report. citizens rights, and the financial settlement. that makes it possible today to reassure the four and a half million citizens affected and a half million citizens affected and concerned by brexit, those people who have been our priority from day one, the priority of the european parliament and of the member states. it's also possible to reassure all those who benefit from projects financed by the european budget during the period 2014 to 2020. the citizens in the text we have today, there is an additional option which is to obtain a new
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resident status in the united kingdom from the transition period. this option will make it possible for those citizens who wish, immediately, to have the legal certainty that they want and they right to reside after transition period. second, second comment on the text, we reached an agreement on the text, we reached an agreement on the transition period. on which the european council, in december, gave agreement in principle after the request made by theresa may in her florence speech. the transition will be of limited duration, as was requested by the government of the united kingdom and the european union. during that period the united kingdom will no longer participate in the european union decision—making processes, simply because after the 30th of march 2019
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it will no longer be a member state. it will preserve all the benefits, advantages, the market, the customs union and european policies, and will therefore be required to respect the rules just like will therefore be required to respect the rulesjust like member states to. ina in a period in good faith to continue to respect the principle of sincere and loyal cooperation. finally we agreed that british and european citizens of the 27 who arrive during the transition period will receive the same rights and guarantees as those who arrived before the day of brexit. we would like to remind you that the period of transition requested by the uk will be a time which is useful, very
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useful for the united kingdom administration and businesses in order to prepare themselves for the future. for example, by negotiating during that period, agreement with countries. that period of time will also facilitate our own preparation on the european side. and finally the period of the transition will be a period during which we will need to finalise our future relationship. and that is a short period of time to do so. so it will be a negotiation which will be intense and demanding on ourfuture partnership. our intention is to move forward as quickly as possible, to start as soon as i have a mandate to start as soon as i have a mandate to do so via guidelines from the european council on all the subjects of the future relation in parallel. and i think it is even possible, personally speaking, that we might be able to agree in particular
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during that period on a future ambitious partnership in foreign and external security policy. on the other subjects of the separation, i would like to welcome the progress that has been made over the last few days on certain points, such as for example finalising on customs procedures, movement of goods and the monitoring of them, commitments of the uk in nuclear matters, or protecting european trademarks. on those subject and on others, my team will be more than happy after this press event if you have specific or more technical questions to ask. on the other hand, other negotiations must continue on other subjects of the separation, non—negligible subjects such as geographical
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indications, data protection and the automatic recognition of rulings. the fourth thing i wanted to say, we do have to make progress, i did say we are not at the end of the road, we are not at the end of the road, we do have to make progress on a couple of points of divergences which are of primary importance. first, the governance of the withdrawal agreement and questions relating to ireland and northern ireland. on the governments of the withdrawal agreement, we have confirmed the solution which was agreed in september for matters related to citizens rights, that is settled. but we still have to settle the governance on all the other subjects of the withdrawal agreement. we must have a workable impractical soot pollution to avoid a hard border and protect north south cooperation. the eu and uk
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agreed to include in the text published today a note on how the irish issues will be dealt with. we have agreed the following. one, both sides remain committed to december's joint report in all its aspects. two, we have agreed that issues identified in the text must be addressed for finding viable and legally sound solutions. three, in particular we agreed today that the solution must form part of the legal text of the withdrawal agreement. four, we have also agreed on some elements of the protocol related to
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the common travel area and north south cooperation. as i said several times, the backstop will apply unless until another solution is found. this is what has also discussed this morning with the commissioner. we are ready to look at all options which allow us to meet our objectives in a constructive way. this is what i have underlined on the same terms in my recent meetings with the leaders of sinn fein, the democratic unionist party and the ulster unionist party and the ulster unionist party. ireland and northern ireland form a distinct strand within the framework of the negotiations of the uk's withdrawal from the eu. i repeat, within the
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framework. in this context, we have agreed with the uk on the detailed agenda for discussion over the coming weeks. translation: it to conclude i would like to say over the last few days we have trodden an essential part of the road towards a northern league we st the road towards a northern league west drawl which i have been working on ever since the first day of this mission. we will continue and we will continue to bear in mind that all the points that i have just mentioned are part of the same agreement and have to be agreed together, and i would like to add that legal certainty on all these points including the transition which is part of this agreement will come only with ratification on both sides of the withdrawal agreement.
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nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. it is up to the member states now to assess this progress in order to adopt guidelines which will enable us to start in parallel to discuss with the uk on a framework for our future relationship and the future partnership and of course in the light of the various different resolutions, the european parliament will also proceed to assess this progress. thank you very much for it your attention and i give the floor to david davis. for your words and your kind words from our team. in december we reached an important milestone by reaching a cheap and on the first phase of negotiations. today we take another significant step by reaching agreement on the next phase. which i am confident will be welcomed by the european council when it meets later this
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week. our teams have worked hard and that pace to secure the terms of a time—limited implementation period that gives a certainty demanded by businesses and citizens across the european union and united kingdom. at this point i would to join european union and united kingdom. at this point i would tojoin me shall in commending both negotiating teams for their skill, commitment and ability to go without sleep! in my speech in january, and ability to go without sleep! in my speech injanuary, i set out a framework for delivering a bridge to the future. one that sees the uk for formally leave the eu but which gives everyone time they need to prepare for the future by ensuring our access to each other‘s markets, continues on current terms. the deal we reached today does just that. as he outlined, we have taken a decisive step by translating much of december‘sjoint report decisive step by translating much of december‘s joint report into the legal text of the withdrawal agreement. it only a few weeks we
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have managed to finalise chapters on financial settlement and citizens rights. delivering on our commitment to provide certainty to citizens. let me take each point in turn. starting with the cementation period. throughout this process, one message has been clearfrom business in the united kingdom and across the european union, that they need to be able to plan for the future with confidence. businesses need not delay investment decisions or rush through contingency plans based on guesses about the future deal. instead, they now have certainty about the terms that will apply immediately after withdrawal. meaning they can continue to operate and invest with confidence as the design of our future partnership with the eu becomes clear. this is true across the whole uk family because the territorial scope of the agreement makes clear it includes.
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we continue with our positive dialogue with is spain on how we improve cooperation the future. the cementation period is not only about providing certainty in the short term, it is also about the beginning of life outside the eu, serving as a platform on which we build our future relationship. that is why the united kingdom will be able to step out, sign and ratify new trade deals with old friends and new allies around the globe. for the first time in more than 40 years. these will come into force when the cementation period is over. providing new opportunities for businesses across the uk and seizing one of brexit‘s opportunities. during this period we have agreed those international agreements which arise from eu membership continue to apply as now. this provides further certainty of
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businesses who can be confident that will be no disruption to existing trade relationships as we leave the eu. to ensure our agreement is faithfully and fully fermented, we are establishing a joint committee made up of representatives from the uk and the eu. this committee will provide a way to resolve concerns as they arise and will be underpinned bya they arise and will be underpinned by a clear commitment from both sides to act in good faith. one of the key objectives i set out in my speech was that the uk would be able to make its voice heard during this period and ensure our interests are protected. this delivers on that objective. we have also agreed specific safeguards when it comes to annualfishing negotiations. specific safeguards when it comes to annual fishing negotiations. these arrangements will only apply for a negotiations in 2019 since we will still be a member state for those that take pate plays the end of this
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year. that take pate plays the end of this yea r. two that take pate plays the end of this year. two through 2020, we will negotiate fishing opportunities as an independent coastal state, deciding who can access our waters and on what terms. for the year where it is relevant, we have agreed the european union will have to consult us ahead of negotiations. and the uk's share of the total catch cannot be changed, protecting the interests of the uk. the final way in which the cementation period serves as a platform for the future is in foreign and defence policy. as recent events demonstrate," operation with our allies is central to sat standing up for a rules—based international order. when it comes to foreign policy and defence collaboration, we have set out a plan for collaboration, we have set out a planforan collaboration, we have set out a plan for an ambitious partnership, one that goes beyond the relationship the european union has with any other third country. i know this desire is shared by our eu partners. the deal we have reached
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today in visit is asked moving to that partnership at the soonest is the moment and in the intervening period our valued cooperation will continue. however, as is the case today, there may be occasions when our vital national palsy means we cannot agree with the eu decision. in those cases, the uk can choose not to apply it. securing the cementation period with his key flex abilities is a major achievement and if it was all we achieved this december i would be proud of my team. but in addition we have made rapid progress across the wider agreement reaching agreement on much of the legal text and locking down entire chapters on citizens rights and the financial settlement. most blu ntly, and the financial settlement. most bluntly, this means just and the financial settlement. most bluntly, this meansjust as and the financial settlement. most bluntly, this means just as we are giving certainty to businesses we are also providing the same for citizens and in doing so we have reached agreement on the package that should apply to those who arrive during implementation period
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itself. a few weeks ago, we proposed a pathway to settlement to eu citizens which was welcomed by member states. today we have delivered on the spirit of this offer and also made it reciprocal. using the december deal as the basis. in doing so, we have made sure the voluntary reference mechanism we agreed in december will start when we leave in march 2019 for any challenges relating to applications for settled status. the reference mechanism relating to other rights such as social security which are only relevant after the limitation period will begin in december 20 20. of course, there are areas where there is more to do before we can finalise the agreement asa before we can finalise the agreement as a whole. one of which is northern ireland. make no mistake, both the uk and the eu are committed to the joint report in its entirety. and in keeping with that commitment, we
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agree on the need to include legal texts detailing the backstop solution for the border between northern ireland and ireland in the withdrawal agreement that is a cce pta ble withdrawal agreement that is acceptable to both sides. but it reminds our intention to achieve a partnership that is so close as to not require specific measures in relation to northern ireland and therefore we will engage in detail on all scenarios set out in the joint report. we have also reached consensus on the full set of issues which need to be addressed in any solution in order to avoid a hard border. which is why last week we set out a work programme to tackle them. there are also some elements such as common travel area on which we agree. so while there is as yet no agreement on the right operational approach, we know what we need to do, and we are going to get on with it. in december, we set out a shared ambition to reach agreement on the cementation period
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as soon as possible. today we have achieved that ambition thanks to the ha rd achieved that ambition thanks to the hard work and late nights of both our dedicated teams. now alongside progressing the outstanding issues and it was broad agreement our attention must turn to the future. in munich, and at mansion house, the premise to set out a powerful vision, one which will ensure our economic and security cooperation reflects our unique starting point and our shared history. myjob and out of my team is to deliver on that vision. and in doing so we must seize the moment and carry forward the momentum of the past few weeks. the deal we struck today on top of that agreed in december should give us that agreed in december should give us confidence that a good deal for the uk and eu is closer than ever before. thank you. patti smith, irish times. a couple
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of questions. you talk about a limited implementation or transition period but you don't say when it is going to end. have you accepted the position of the eu that it will end in 2020 at the beginning. sorry, 2021. and secondly, has it been possible to incorporate the language of the paragraph 50 in the joint agreement on northern ireland and specifically the commitment made by the british government that there would be no question of impediment to trade from northern ireland across to the uk? is any of that language going to be incorporated as in fact the dup has been demanding? finally, is there any significance
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to the use of the colour green in the text? are you starting me? firstly, it is december 20 and yes it is 21 months which is near enough to two years we asked for. the aim in the whole exercise with respect to ireland and northern ireland is to ireland and northern ireland is to uphold the belfast or good friday agreement in its entirety, it is to ensure there is hard border and to deliver a broader that is no impediment to trade. translation: if we had chosen blue
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rather than green, or read maybe four points which are not agreed and white, blue white and red, you would have started thinking things. i like green as a colour. as for the rest, when i started talking what i said is that what is important for us and what is clearly indicated in the text on the cover page which is included in the draft you will see later on, that whatever there has to bea later on, that whatever there has to be a backstop in the withdrawal treaty when we sign it in autumn. i think if between now and then new proposals are made which provide at the same time in the respect of all the same time in the respect of all
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the dimensions of the good friday agreement for the absence of a hard border in ireland and that respect
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