Skip to main content

tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 20, 2019 11:00pm-11:31pm BST

11:00 pm
this is bbc news. the headlines at 11:00pm. uk oil refineries warn their future could be in doubt if there's a no—deal brexit and government policy to allow cheaper imported petrol will hit them harder. it puts uk industry at a disadvantage. it's not something we think is a good idea. the battle of the backstop — the eu rejects borisjohnson‘s calls to ditch the arrangement, he's adamant it has to go. the existing agreementjust doesn't work for the uk. parliament's thrown it out three times. you can't have this backstop. in court, the man charged with the murder of pc andrew harper, killed on duty on thursday. a shrug from the man who's helped topple italy's leader —
11:01 pm
the prime minister resigns amid tempestuous scenes in parliament. the night a million people in england and wales lost power. the watchdog investigates — and there could be fines. and at 11:30pm we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers, sonia sodha, chief leader writer at the observer and martin betham, home affairs editor at the evening standard. british fuel refineries, where oil is turned into petrol and diesel, could face severe difficulties in the aftermath of a no—deal brexit, that's according to industry leaders and documents seen by the bbc. under current plans for no—deal,
11:02 pm
the government says it won't impose duties on imports, which could mean cheaper petrol from places like russia on sale here. good news for us, the consumers, in the short term, but potentially not for the industry, with british refined fuel exports facing a 5% eu tax. documents obtained by the bbc also reveal the extent to which councils are already stockpiling fuel in preparation for a no—deal brexit. here's our economics editor faisal islam. by the humber, tankers fill up with petrol that has just been refined from north sea oil at one of the six remaining refineries in the uk, pumping out the petrol and diesel used by millions of vehicles. according to contingency planning, there is a danger to their viability under the government's current no—deal brexit plans. the specific problem is that under no—deal brexit, these refineries now face a near 5% tax on exports — a tariff into the eu.
11:03 pm
it's currently zero with the uk as a member of the eu. obviously anything that puts uk industry at a disadvantage isn't something we think is a good idea. especially in the post brexit world. if we export petrol to europe, we face a 5% tariff, whereas a european refiner would face no tariffs. it's not a level playing field, but in the context of refining, it's a significant figure. on top of that, in order to keep pump prices for british consumers down after a no—deal brexit, the government has allowed all petrol imports in at a 0% tariff. that makes the fuel produced here at the refinery in pembrokeshire, wales uneconomical for exports to ireland, and yet at the same time leaves production here outcompeted by european refineries for use within the uk. that is why a local authority brexit planning document from anglesey says...
11:04 pm
but there is more than that. under wto rules that will apply after a no—deal brexit, the uk government's offer of zero tariff free access to eu refineries must apply to the world refineries too. and the industry has told government that that means an increased dependence on the likes of russian fuel. isn't it a good thing for consumers, though, if they can get cheap petrol from russia and everywhere else in the world? i think the inflationary pressures long—term of having a dependency on an import market would be a disadvantage. do we want to be dependent on any country outside of the uk for our fuel? is that really a possibility?
11:05 pm
will we become fully dependent on imports? we could end up in a situation where it becomes extremely uncompetitive for a domestic industry to stay in the uk. although these same companies have gone public to the bbc on the threat to their refineries, they are understandably more shy on the impact of a possibly imminent no—deal brexit on fuel availability. but other internal council documents seen by bbc news shed a light on existing preparations. aberdeen council has two weeks of bunkered fuel and says of the uk—wide worst—case no—deal scenario...
11:06 pm
so that its services don't have to operate hand to mouth in a fuel shortage after a no—deal brexit. the system to deal with fuel shortages, the national emergency plan for fuel, is already well developed after the gridlock caused by fuel protests in 2000. now, councils are going to notable lengths, but there are wider concerns about the viability of large parts of this vital industry. our economics editor faisal islam with that report, and a little earlier he gave some details of the government's response. they say they will work flat out to prepare for the potential impact on uk refineries if there is a not a deal, and the prime minister and the government have stressed that these tariffs are temporary, and they say they have to choose what these sovereign tariffs will be and it means a set of priorities. do you prioritise the producers or protect the producers in some ways?
11:07 pm
sorry, do you prioritise consumers. by and in other industries they have protected the industry, but that is not the choice here, they want to keep pump prices as low as possible to prevent an inflationary shock, but this is the dilemma of the industry is facing and they say this will affect them and they have said this in a rather forthright way. the government is tonight restating its insistence that there is no prospect of a brexit deal until brussels agrees to scrap the irish backstop from the current withdrawal agreement. the backstop is intended to prevent a hard border on the island of ireland. speaking earlier this evening, the prime minister, who's due to meet european and world leaders this week, said he would try to persuade brussels to renegotiate the exit terms to get an agreement that would be passed by parliament. don't forget that what were doing is — the existing state doesn'tjust
11:08 pm
work for the uk. we can't have this backstop. so i'm going to go to germany, than france and see the g7 in barrett's and i'm going to make the point that the backstop‘s got to come out and what i've also said is that under no circumstances will the uk be putting in any kind of checks at the border in northern ireland. we simply don't think that is necessary. and it's a bit of a paradox, the other side of the argument, the eu seem to think it might be necessary for them to have checks to preserve the single market. we don't think that's true. we think is a big opportunity for eve ryo ne we think is a big opportunity for everyone to come together and as you rightly say, as the cause of the negotiations on the free trade deal, which will be after it's over the sist, which will be after it's over the 31st, we will be bringing forward, we will be looking at all the ways we will be looking at all the ways we can maintain frictionless trade
11:09 pm
at the northern irish border whether it is trusted traders schemes or electronic pre— clearing or whatever it happens to be, all that kind of thing checks away from the border, points of sale on the border, if we have to crackdown on smuggling, all that kind of thing. but we'll come up that kind of thing. but we'll come up with those solutions, we'll agree on those solutions, i should say, in the context of the fda. —— g7 summit in biarritz. well, adam fleming is in brussels and he sent this update on the eu's reaction to the prime minister's letter. the eu have been very critical about this today, and we had donald tusk, the president of the european council on twitter, and he said that borisjohnson‘s proposal would lead to the reintroduction of a border on the island of ireland and that he wasn't exactly being honest about that. there was a document circulated amongst the 27 other eu governments by the eu's brexit negotiators
11:10 pm
rebutting a lot of the prime minister's claims about the good friday agreement. the eu is sticking to its position that the backstop has to stay in the divorce treaty that will be signed before brexit day if there is to be a deal, and the joint search for alternatives to the backstop will only happen after that. chancellor angela merkel of germany said something similar today, and i imagine she will say something similar tomorrow to boris johnson face—to—face when he goes to berlin. i also imagine he would hear something similar from the french president in paris on thursday and from donald tusk when they meet at the g7 summit at the weekend. although there is somewhere where they will be less face—to—face contact between the uk and the eu, that is he in brussels, today it was announced that british officials who work on eu matters will stop going to meetings which do not have a direct impact on the uk from the ist of september and instead they will be preparing for brexit, deal or no deal. our northern ireland economics and business editor, john campbell, has this assessment of the content of borisjohnson‘s letter to donald tusk.
11:11 pm
this means the prime minister is effectively accepting long—standing unionist criticism of the backstop. it draws on analysis from lord trimble and others who say the backstop reaches the principle of consent and gives dublin too much safe over the pace and direction of cross—border cooperation —— say. safe over the pace and direction of cross-border cooperation -- say. he is right to point out that there isn't unionist support for the backstop and the heart of the good friday agreement, at the core of it, is of course a cross community consensus. is of course a cross community consensus. that isn't present for the backstop. unsurprisingly, sinn fein says mrjohnson has it all wrong. it's the tories and the dup who are attacking the good friday agreement and his interest, in reality, is of putting a hard
11:12 pm
border. two other news now. the man charged with the murder of pc andrew harper, killed on duty last thursday, has appeared at reading magistrates' court. jed foster, who's 20, is also charged with the theft of a quad bike. he denies the charges and his solicitor called on the police to follow all lines of inquiry to establish who was responsible. pc harper of thames valley police had only been married for a month. our home affairs correspondent daniel sandford has the story. and a warning: this report does contain flashing images. being brought upstairs in handcuffs at reading magistrates court today, jed foster, who was charged last night with the murder of pc andrew harper. the 20—year—old is also accused of the theft of a quad bike, just before the police officer died. pc harper's family came to court to see the man accused of killing him in person, to bear witness to his first appearance in the dock. during the two—minute hearing, jed foster simply confirmed his
11:13 pm
name, date of birth and his address near reading. his family were also in court, including his mother, holding a teddy bear, and afterwards, his solicitor made this statement. on behalf of him and his family, he emphatically denies any responsibility or involvement in the horrific murder of pc andrew harper. we urge the police to follow every single line of inquiry to prove who is responsible and to ensure that there is justice in this case. pc andrew harper was the first police officer to die in the line of duty for more than two years. he married his wife lissiejust 28 days before he was killed. pc harper had been called out on thursday night to reports of a burglary and a stolen quad bike, but somehow he ended up under a vehicle, being dragged across the busy all, and ended up being treated for his fatal injuries
11:14 pm
in that road on the other side of thejunction. this afternoon, scene of crime officers continued to work at a local travellers' site and on nearby roads, while the nine other people who had been held on suspicion of murder were released on police bail until next month. pc harper's death has been felt very deeply in the wider police family, with officers from forces across england laying flowers at the crossroads where he fell. daniel sandford, bbc news, berkshire. italy's prime minister, giuseppe conte, has offered his resignation to the country's president. it follows his blistering speech in parliament in which he accused the interior minister, matteo salvini, of destroying the ruling coalition for his personal gain. mr conte, who belongs to neither party in the coalition, was brought in a year ago to try to hold the government together. this report by our correspondent james reynolds contains some flashing images.
11:15 pm
if you come to bury, not to praise, then the senate in rome is a perfect stage. italy's prime minister, giuseppe conte, his coalition partner matteo salvini. translation: mr salvini has been irresponsible in provoking this government crisis. he has followed only his own party interest. the attack generated nothing more than a shrug or two. this coalition has not managed to fix italy's long struggling economy. matteo salvini is moving out because he no longer wants to share power with populist rivals. he believes he can win an outright victory in a snap election. translation: let's go to an election, no—one knows better than the italian people. they know who's done a good job.
11:16 pm
matteo salvini is already italy's most influential politician. he works on his man of the people image the way others work on their tans. on the beach near rome, we found italians ready to go and vote. "if we need yet another election," this holiday—maker tells me, "so be it." "it's all a mess," this man says, "but i hope there is a vote soon "and i'll be happy to go with matteo salvini again." and it is here at sea that the far right leader has won his support. matteo salvini has made it much harder for migrant rescue boats including this spanish vessel to dock in italy. this afternoon, some migrants, tired of waiting off the coast of lampedusa, jumped overboard and tried to swim to shore. finally, italy agreed to take everyone on the rescue ship
11:17 pm
onto dry land. and this evening, here in rome, the outgoing prime minister went to see italy's president. the decision to call an early election now rests exclusively james reynolds, bbc news, rome. 11:17. the headlines on bbc news: warnings from the uk's oil refineries saying their future could be in doubt if there's a no—deal brexit. meanwhile, the eu rejects boris johnson's demands that they ditch the backstop — they say he's not offered a realistic alternative. a 20—year—old man appears in court, charged with the murder of pc andrew harper, who was killed on duty on thursday. the energy regulator ofgem is investigating national grid and other energy companies after a mass power outage earlier this month, which left more than a million people without power and caused huge disruption in england and wales. national grid say the blackout
11:18 pm
was caused by a lightning strike, followed by the failure of two power stations. our business correspondent emma simpson reports. lights out, chaos and confusion. it was the biggest blackout in a decade. hundreds of trains cancelled, passengers stranded. traffic lights not working. a large nhs hospital affected, and newcastle airport too. today, more detail on what caused the power cut. at a:52pm, there was a lightning strike north of london, hitting a transmission line. immediately, hornsea offshore wind farm lost power. it shouldn't happen with lightning. at the same time, little barford gas power station in bedfordshire also tripped, with two large generators failing.
11:19 pm
there wasn't enough reserve power to instantly bridge the gap so the emergency system kicked in to prevent a wider shutdown. 5% of the country's electricity demand was taken out. it meant 1.1 million customers lost power. shortly after 5pm, the system stabilised. it could have been a lot worse. the system did work to prevent a cascade failure and we still have an electricity system that's operating now. so i would say the system worked as it intended. but did it? why was there so much disruption, especially on the railways? there were some minor signalling problems, but the key issue was 60 new govia thameslink trains. they weren't disconnected in the shutdown, but an internal safety mechanism was triggered and they ground to a halt. around half of them needed engineers to get them restarted, causing widespread chaos and delays. bye, train. so, should the national grid be more resilient?
11:20 pm
this company and its batteries helped to restore the power supply. it's on stand—by to deliver instant electricity when needed. simply, the incident could have been avoided. what we need is more back—up fast—response power such as batteries, which operate in less than a second. if we had those, we wouldn't have seen an outage. as we go further forward through climate change and more renewables, these incidents will happen more and more. that's something the energy regulator will also be looking at as part of its investigation. it could fine the national grid or any of the other electricity companies involved, if they are found to be at fault. emma simpson, bbc news. long—awaited plans to upgrade the transpennine railway between manchester and york have been announced. the route will be part—electrified, stations rebuilt and tracks upgraded to create a 100 mile per hour railway, as spencer stokes reports.
11:21 pm
it's one of the busiest railways in the country and it shows. many services on this line are late and overcrowded so network rail is effectively starting from scratch, relaying the transpennine route from dewsbury to huddersfield with double the number of tracks. it's a big project that will cost £1 billion and involve rebuilding for stations including the rather dilapidated ravensthorpe. providing additional capacity allows fast trains to arbitrate explode trains in this section of rail which will be electrified with modern digital signalling and are fastly improved customer experience at some of the stations. this is part of a large enhancement for the railway in the north of england and hopefully will be the first phase of many more enhancement schemes to come. although trains will go at 100 miles per hour instead of 70, network rail say it's not about speed, is about getting more trains running and crucially running on time. don't
11:22 pm
underestimate the size of the task facing network rail. they are going to completely reinjury eight miles of victorian railway, winging disruption for passengers but also people and businesses along the route. —— engineer. adding new tracks means more land will be needed so about ten homes will have to be demolished and some firms next to be demolished and some firms next to the railway could see compulsory purchase orders. this storage company has received a letter asking for a meeting. if they want the whole site which is two acres, its life changing, really, for us. you are in limbo, then? a little bit, a little bit because we planned to develop the site, we have a 5— year plan to raise the site up. ijust bought it for my parents are states that they will have to go on hold until we hear something. that they will have to go on hold untilwe hear something. it that they will have to go on hold until we hear something. it will ta ke until we hear something. it will take four years to rebuild the way railway with the line closed for months at a time. trains will be diverted and replacement buses brought in. is it worth it? if you
11:23 pm
ta ke brought in. is it worth it? if you take the bus, thejourneys brought in. is it worth it? if you take the bus, the journeys around an hour. it's longer, i don't to do that. if it takes paul years, is saving the railways. they are upgrading it for quite some time and we will see the benefit of that so if it's going to be a benefit and it takes four years, it's good. they should upgraded because it is quite bad at the moment so grading is good. the are scaled back version of what was first proposed in 2011 seeing electric wires running from liverpool to whole but network rail believe real welding the truck and the stations will deliver greater benefits the passengers. —— rebuilding. throughout this week across bbc news, we're looking at the issues facing farmers in the uk — and brexit is of course a key one. the uk's farming unions have warned that leaving the eu without a deal
11:24 pm
brexit has brought uncertainty to agriculture, but nowhere more so than here on the irish border. come on, come on! owen martin's family have farmed dairy cattle in south armagh, on the very edge of northern ireland, for nearly 100 years. you wouldn't think there was a border. many‘s the time you cross the border and you don't realise it. no deal is chaos, it's going to be. nobody seems to know what we can do. staff, you can hold on, but the milk has to... our tanks are full every other day. second day, with a hard border, we'd have to throw it out. that's our livelihood. so what do you need to see? what's the best possible outcome? a deal and a transition period. hundreds of thousands of animals and millions of litres of milk cross the irish border every year. it's somewhere around here — but there's nothing to show exactly where it is. for the businesses and for the people on both sides,
11:25 pm
it's practically invisible. unlike here, between sweden and norway, where you simply can't miss the border. this crossing from an eu country into a non—eu country is not only a physical barrier, but also impacts the decisions made by the norwegian government and their farmers. norway isn't in the eu, but it is a key trading partner, a situation the uk will be keen to replicate. the country's agricultural policy is focused on guaranteeing food prices and supporting norwegian farmers. one of the biggest challenges forfarmers like bjorn is competing against the size of the european union. we feel that it's always in favour of the eu because we are not able to compete on the eu market. there is a strong support for agriculture in norway by the consumer and by the government and parliament. and the best—paying market is right here outside my barn door.
11:26 pm
back in the uk, farming unions have called on the government to strike a deal with the eu and do more to support british farmers. we've spent three years planning for a no—deal brexit. we're going to do everything we can to make sure that the border flow continues and we are also going to put in place support for sectors like sheep that may be affected through that short—term turbulence. confidence in westminster, but even amongst farmers who support brexit, there are calls for clarity. i probably would vote the same way. the problem is, we've let politicians take over and do it and that's where the problems arise. it doesn't matter what happens come the 31st of october, we just need to know what's going to happen. that'‘s just knowing. this uncertainty has been the biggest challenge. forfarmers, dealing with brexit is like dealing with the weather. the question being asked across the sector — what's coming next? gareth barlow, bbc news. the new boss at virgin galactic says the company will begin taking people into space on commercial flights by the end of 2020. the project hasn't been without its problems, in 2014 a pilot died after crashing during a test flight, and there have been question marks
11:27 pm
over the project's environmental impact. the bbc‘s marc cieslak travelled to spaceport in the united states, and sent this report. 20 miles past the town of truth or consequences in the new mexico desert, we find find spaceport america. we're here to get a rare glimpse inside that. it bills itself as the world's very first purpose—built commercial spaceport and it's home to virgin galactic, which is hoping to send fee—paying customers to space. mission control fire, fire! the spaceport‘s exterior is the product of british architects foster and partners. it's cost £179 million to build, a bill which has been footed by state government and local taxpayers. eventually, five spacecraft will reside in the hangar
11:28 pm
and it's here passengers will receive three days' training before blasting off into the upper atmosphere. virgin's tickets cost £200,000 for a 90—minute flight. so far, 600 people have signed up. but at a time of increased concerns about the environment, is it responsible to send wealthy people to space for fun? we actually don't have a very big rocket motor in the back, and so the per—person co2 emissions is, for the average flight, around that of a business class flight from new york to the uk. there is an awareness of our planet documented scientifically with astronauts — they come back changed, with a greater realisation of the fragility of our ecosystem and ecosphere. the irony of this idea isn't lost on space experts, though. the fact they have to go that far into space above the planet to have that emotion of feeling protective over the world they live in is sort of ridiculous.
11:29 pm
but you have to put it into perspective of the fact that space travel is very limited in how much it actually contributes to c02 emissions in comparison to aircraft. it's a tiny fraction of what aircraft put out there. there have been setbacks for virgin galactic. in 2014, one of its spacecraft crashed during flight testing, resulting in the death of its co—pilot and serious injuries for the pilot. on the spaceport‘s 2—mile long runway, chief pilot dave mckay acknowledges the time that flight testing is taking. it has taken longer than, i guess, we thought it would do initially. but with hindsight, i don't think that's at all surprising. virgin galactic is part of a new space race. amazon's founder and ceo jeff bezos' blue origin and tesla boss elon musk‘s space x also have plans to take fee—paying customers into space. the race is on. space could be about to get a lot more crowded — for those that can afford the price
11:30 pm
of a ticket, that is. marc cieslak, bbc news. the name of the nextjames bond film has been revealed, pleased and it'll be called no time to die. the 25th installment of the spy series will star daniel craig in his last outing as bond. the film, co—written by fleabag creator phoebe waller—bridge, will also star rami malek as the villain. behind—the—scenes footage of filming in the caribbean was released injune. now it's time for the weather with susan powell. it finally looks like we're going to see a return to summary weather and for some of us, it's going to last into next week. today, we still have some weather fronts to contend with. most of us starting fine with some sunshine thanks to this high pressure. we look to the atlantic for this next area of low pressure which will come hurtling in. we start off with a few showers across
11:31 pm
scotland, northern


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on