tv BBC News at Ten BBC News December 9, 2020 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT
tonight at ten, dinner in brussels as borisjohnson presents his case to the european commission in the search for a trade deal. before meeting the president of the european commission, he said there was a good deal to be done, but not if the eu stuck to its current position. earlier in the day he'd gone to the house of commons, spelling out some of the obstacles that remain. they are saying the uk should be the only country in the world not to have sovereign control over its fishing waters, and i don't believe that those are terms that any prime minister of this country should accept. after three hours, boris johnson is still in talks tonight, not clear yet what the chances of a
solution really are or whether we are rapidly heading for the door. we'll have the latest from brussels and from westminster as the search for a trade deal reaches a new intensity. also tonight... as thousands more people get the pfizer vaccine, a warning that those with a history of serious allergic reactions should not take it. in wales, a sharp rise in the number of infections, but the welsh government insists it hasn't lost control of the situation. a new government report says the route to net—zero carbon emissions could be much cheaper than previously thought. and a warm family greeting for margaret keenan, whose face has been seen around the world after becoming the first person to have the pfizer vaccine. and coming up in sport on bbc news, mo salah becomes liverpool's all—time leading scorer in europe, hitting the target in a 1—1 draw with the danish side fc midtjylland.
good evening. borisjohnson has spent the evening in brussels setting out his conditions for a trade deal with the eu during a dinner with the president of the european commission president. that dinner was still going just a few moments ago. the long—running talks between the uk and eu are said to be close to failure and the two leaders are trying to break the deadlock. before leaving for brussels, mrjohnson said the eu had made demands that no prime minister of the uk could accept. the eu, for its part, said it would soon publish contingency plans in case there's no deal, including measures to keep planes flying between the uk and the eu. our political editor laura kuenssberg has the latest. after you, ursula. no, after you. neither wants to be the first to compromise, nor the first to call it off. shall we take our masks off, ursula? well, if we keep a distance.
keep a distance. so how can the uk and eu move to a deal when they're stuck together in stalemate? for borisjohnson, brexit means not being told what to do, notjust when to put his mask on. put it back on. put it back on immediately? but the eu chief's reluctant to let him keep the perks of the club... you run a tight ship, and quite right too. ..without following the rules, and for all the complexity, all the months of talks, this is about who is in charge. brexit‘s about so much more than symbols, though, but tough legal talk. a deal was in reach this time last week. are you going to compromise, prime minister? are you going to get a deal? but to the prime minister's frustration, some eu countries firmed up their approach and talks hit a wall. so his vital mission tonight — to crank open some space for compromise. what the two sides have really tangled on is how much they can share the same kinds of rules
to trade reliably with each other from january. and there's particular tension over what happens if things go wrong, or one or other side wants to change how they do things in future. it's notjust about polishing a few finer details, but a genuine clash over principles, who wields the power in this relationship in the years to come. and that's why the prime minister has so little public appetite to be the one who backs down. our friends in the eu are currently insisting that if they pass a new law in the future with which we in this country do not comply or don't follow suit, then they want the automatic right, mr speaker, to punish us and to retaliate, and i don't believe that those are terms that any prime minister of this country should accept. the labour leader, stuck in covid isolation, simply wants
the prime minister to push on. whatever may happen in the next few days, there's no doubting that his incompetence has held britain back. so will he end the charade, end the uncertainty, get the deal that he promised and allow the country to move on? easier to say than to do. the eu might not want to believe it, but ministers are adamant that a deal can't be struck here if they don't budge. for the eu chief, though, that means juggling 27 countries' demands — chief among them, from the top leader among them, preserving their huge shared economy. "there are scenarios where we can't accept british conditions", angela merkel said. "the integrity of the eu market must be preserved". to get a deal, neither the uk nor the eu can keep everything they want.
what we'll lose and who will win has not yet been decided, yet when it comes, and it will soon, the choice to agree or to walk away will be one that defines not just the prime minister, but what happens to the country, to us all. and our viewers tonight by now don't need much reminding of the fact that both sides do want a deal. that has been their stated aim all throughout this. probably everyone doesn't need reminding either white matter so much. we have left the european union, but we have been in the departure lounge for the whole year. that status quo, the transition period, but that runs out in three weeks. and without a deal, there could be a real period of disruption, real questions about a hit to the economy, questions about what happens with our security and the list goes on. that is why tonight, the stakes are so high, and thatis tonight, the stakes are so high, and that is why even three hours in,
it's really the case that everybody is waiting with baited breath to see what comes out of that room where the two leaders have been having dinner. the expectation going into that meeting tonight was that the best case scenario is that they would find a net and a wink to let the negotiators meet again tomorrow to try again to see if they can grind out a compromise of the real clash of principles here. no one was expecting at the beginning of the night that there was going to be anything like a big bust—up. but with total radio silence, we just don't know yet what really has been going on behind closed doors in brussels. if anything happens in the next 20 minutes, we will bring you it straightaway. laura, many thanks. 0ur europe editor katya adler is in brussels. what are you picking up, katya? just a few moments ago, i was hearing
from the building behind me, the european commission building where the prime minister is having dinner with ursula von der leyen, i heard that dinner was expected to wrap up soon and whether we would have a statement after it, a joint statement after it, a joint statement or otherwise, will depend on the mood in the room. of course, we don't know right now what that mood will be. normally in negotiations at this stage, you would expect the two leaders to say, look, time is running out. we have looked into each other‘s eyes for long enough, it's time to make theirs difficult political compromises to reach a deal. but in this case, it's not as simple as saying, i will give you a bit of this if you give me a bit of that. and that is because of this fundamental clash of ideologies that we have had in these talks from the beginning. for the government, we have had in these talks from the beginning. forthe government, it's about national sovereignty after brexit. they say, we don't want to sign up to another rule book with brussels after brexit, we don't want to sign up to new competition regulations. but the eu priority is to protect its single market and the businesses in it. that is why they
are insisting on those rules. so what do we think could have been going on in there? we know that both the prime minister and ursula von der leyen said they wanted a deal. we know neither will want to be blamed if a deal doesn't take place. so the prediction is neither breakthrough nor break—up. tonight, tomorrow on the day after, the time tomorrow on the day after, the time to talk hasn't quite run out yet.“ there is development, we will come back to you, katya. katya adler with the latest in brussels. supermarkets are being given three months to prepare for additional checks on goods being transported to northern ireland from britain after the brexit transition period ends. the agreement reached by the uk and eu is designed to stop food supplies being disrupted next year. when the transition period ends on new year's eve, england, scotland and wales will leave the eu's single market for goods. but northern ireland, in effect, will not. at the moment there are hardly any checks on goods travelling between britain and northern ireland. but from january ist,
deal or no deal, there will be new rules governing trade across the irish sea which all companies involved will need to get used to. 0ur ireland correspondent emma vardy reports. becoming cut off from great britain through new brexit red tape was one of the biggest fears for businesses in northern ireland, because food exported over the irish sea will be subject to new checks once northern ireland becomes a gateway to the eu. now, supermarkets will have an extra few months to get their paperwork in order, but smaller companies are still awaiting answers. retailers like myself, we do probably a third of our business in december for christmas, and we just have not had a chance to look at what's happening in brexit. you know, we've just been trying to get over the year with covid. the new rules on bringing products into northern ireland will apply whether there's a trade deal or not. today's announcements make the picture a little clearer for companies on what they're having to gear up for. but make no mistake —
this all still amounts to a huge shift in the trading status of northern ireland for years to come. today, michael gove tried to reassure traders that there would be no disruption to food supplies. british sausages will continue to make their way to belfast and ballymena in the new year. and we've also got time for reciprocal agreements between the uk and the eu on agri—food, which can be discussed in the months ahead. it was welcomed by supermarkets, after previous warnings that the changes could have limited the range of goods they send to northern ireland's shelves. we'd been preparing for the worst, so, frankly, if there had been no deal, we were confident we would have been able to continue to supply our stores in northern ireland, for manufacturers that bring raw materials over the irish sea, some relief today that new tariffs will be minimised. but, like this firm which makes plastic goods from hairbrushes to aeroplane parts,
the real challenge is dealing with new documentation over where their products are sold on. what difference does the added paperwork make to your business? the bureaucracy, we think, is going to be one of the major burdens of brexit, unfortunately, we understood that from the start, and that is indeed a cost burden for business. and the tracking and trace required to understand where materials are actually consumed, and which products, and ultimately which markets they're sold into, that's a very complex process. there are just 22 days left before the brexit transition period ends, but even then, it's not the final destination. all these new trading arrangements for northern ireland will continue to evolve well into the future. emma vardy, bbc news. 0ur economics editor faisal islam is here. let's think about the main thing that will be discussed at this dinner in brussels — what people call the level playing field. what do we understand by that?|j
call the level playing field. what do we understand by that? i think the prime minister and chancellor merkel let the cat out of the bag that the main issue here is the detail on the strength of this level playing field. the principle of it has been accepted in the negotiations, i understand. and that means the standards that we share in the uk and the eu form a floor of the uk and the eu form a floor of the environment and workers' rights. and if either side goes below that by allowing companies to pollute more perhaps paying workers less to getan more perhaps paying workers less to get an advantage, the other side can penalise them with taxes on british ca i’s penalise them with taxes on british cars or french wines. so that has been negotiated. the bone of contention is what happens in the future. so if the eu increases its regulations on the environment, for example, the proposal on the table right now would say if the uk doesn't follow it, those same penalties can apply. and boris
johnson, the prime minister, railed against that today. there is a compromise, which is the so—called ratchet. if both sides agree, then that forms the new base. and that was suggested by the eu a few months back. so if you stand back from this, you have an argument about potential hypothetical future trade tariffs. if they don't get a deal on that, we will get them on everything injust three that, we will get them on everything in just three weeks' time. faisal islam, our economics editor. amid warnings of disruption to goods coming into the uk when the brexit transition period ends on december 31st, there's congestion at some of the uk's biggest ports already due to the pandemic. honda has had to temporarily suspended production at its swindon plant because of a shortage of parts. and toy companies preparing for christmas are finding it difficult to get stock onto the shelves. our business correspondent emma simpson reports from portsmouth. the production line at honda. but they weren't doing
any of this today. they called a temporary halt — a major car manufacturer running short of key parts because of delays and congestion at the ports. from cars to christmas toys, and a retailer worried some best—sellers won't make it onto the shelves in time. the situation has got considerably worse in the last two weeks. it's notjust the toy industry that's suffering from these delays. but clearly, for the toy industry, december 24th is a really critical day. this firm supplies building materials. ten of its shipping containers have ended up in rotterdam. felixstowe is our hub for importing. and, as a consequence, there's a massive jam there. ships are coming into the english channel and realising there's massive delays and not wanting to stop in felixstowe. it prides itself as the port of britain but, like the containers, the problems at felixstowe have been stacking up. the pandemic has disrupted
global supply chains, and it's come at the worst possible time for our biggest ports. what is going on? we have people trying to beat the brexit deadline of the ist of january, so moving their goods earlier than they normally would have done. clearly, it's christmas, which is a very busy time anyway. there are some specific covid factors around how we can operate our ports, but also the large volumes of ppe that people have been bringing into the uk as well. and here's another thing. there are millions of these empty containers, all in the wrong place, across the world, and there's now a shortage of them back in asia. this problem isn't going to be fixed overnight. and, with brexit looming and additional border controls, the fear is there could be even more disruption ahead. in portsmouth, they're helping to free up space,
shipping out hundreds of empty containers. tonight, there are fresh calls for the government to step in and do what it can to help clear the logjam. emma simpson, bbc news, portsmouth. the latest government figures show there were 16,578 new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period. the average number of new cases reported per day in the last week, is now 15,367. 1,359 people had been admitted to hospital on average each day over the week to last friday. 533 deaths were reported, that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—i9 test. that means on average in the past week, 412 deaths were announced every day. it takes the total number of deaths so far across the uk to 62,566.
medical regulators have recommended that people with a history of significant allergic reactions should not be given the pfizer—biontech vaccine. it comes after two nhs workers had an adverse reaction to the jab yesterday. they've both recovered. thousands of other people have received the vaccine without any issues. 0ur health correspondent dominic hughes reports. they've been together ever since they met while working at basildon hospital more than five decades ago. now, vic and penny griffiths have returned to the place where they each served for a0 years, from where the covid vaccine offers some hope of better days ahead. 0ur zest for life doesn't diminish when you get older, but the anxieties are there about catching something or doing something that may stop the span of your life. as far as i'm concerned, both of us want to have it done and get on with life. sharp scratch now, angela. but, as vaccinations continue, a warning
from the medicines regulator — two nhs staff, both with a history of serious allergic reactions, suffered side—effects after receiving the vaccine. we need to strengthen our advice now that we've had this experience in the vulnerable populations, the groups that have been selected as a priority — we get that advice to the field immediately. the two staff members are now well again, having received treatment, but those who experience significant allergic reactions have been told to avoid getting the jab for now. experts say, of the thousands who've received the vaccine both yesterday and in clinical trials, serious reactions were very rare indeed. at bradley manor care home in belfast, staff and residents were receiving their jabs. by the end of the year, more than 4 million doses of the pfizer—biontech vaccine should have arrived in the uk, and gps will start delivering vaccines next week. but, from the government's most senior scientific adviser, a warning —
this is no time for complacency. we have a very important light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines, we've got a lot to do to roll out the vaccines, we've got a lot to do to make sure the vulnerable are protected. it's not the time to suddenly say we relax everything, and if that happens we will have a big surge. the vaccine is now reaching the most vulnerable, even in some of our more remote communities. today, some doses arrived in 0rkney in the far north of scotland. but, as we embark on the biggest mass vaccination programme we've ever seen, expect some bumps along the road. dominic hughes, bbc news. the welsh government has denied losing control of the pandemic since the end of its lockdown a month ago. the first minister of wales, mark drakeford, said the situation had become very difficult, with infection rates rising significantly, partly because some people were no longer willing to follow the rules. 0ur wales correspondent hywel
griffith reports from port talbot. there is a catastrophe on the horizon for places like port talbot, according to the local head of public health. this week, he appealed to residents here to stop mixing, after the area recorded the highest covid case rate in the uk. so why is the virus spreading so quickly? it is very confusing, and i think it's not only me, there's a lot of people confused. geraldine says people here no longer understand the rules or have simply given up. i just don't think people are taking it serious enough. i think a lot of people still think it's just the flu or a hoax. even now, after all this time? even now, absolutely even now. and me personally? i would like a lockdown until after christmas into the new year. wales's firebreak lockdown in the autumn initially seemed to have worked. case numbers were driven down. but, when everything reopened, people were told not to depend so much on a set of rules but to show personal restraint. research by swansea university shows that left people unclear and feeling that the worst was over.
there could be an argument made that it should have been a longer firebreak. some people may have been lulled into this false sense of security of it being now safe to mix after that. so has the welsh government now lost control? i don't think it's a matter of losing control, but it is a matter... but the numbers show you have. it's a matter of being very clear with people in wales that the fate of coronavirus lies in all of our hands. government can advise, government can persuade, government can set the rules, but the way we behave is what makes the difference. christmas won't be cancelled — the five days of relaxed rules remain in the diary. but, until then, everyone in wales has been asked to keep social contact to a minimum. hywel griffith, bbc news, port talbot. just an update for you, we
understand the dinner in brussels between boris johnson understand the dinner in brussels between borisjohnson and the president of the commission and other advisers had ended. let's speak to laura kuenssberg in westminster. what has been told? the eu chief under prime minister were trying to break bread with each other to cfa could breathe life into the possibility of a trade deal that matter so much to the economy and such a long list of things —— to see if they could breathe light. it has been made very clear by downing street that the meeting has not gone well. forgive me, iwill street that the meeting has not gone well. forgive me, i will read some of the message we got from senior number ten souls. the prime minister and ursula von der leyen had a frank discussion about the significant obstacles which remain, very large gaps remain between the two sides and it is unclear whether they can be bridged. they have agreed to further discussions over the next few days but have agreed that by sunday a firm decision should be taken sunday a firm decision should be ta ken about the sunday a firm decision should be taken about the future of the talks.
reading between those lines it appears that tonight has been very farfrom any appears that tonight has been very far from any kind appears that tonight has been very farfrom any kind of appears that tonight has been very far from any kind of breakthrough or accommodation between the two where they were able to look in the whites of each other‘s eyes and say, let's compromise and get this done, but in politics and the whole brexit process , politics and the whole brexit process, the distance between wednesday and sunday is a very long time. this appears tonight to be a big and significant step towards leaving the transition period, the status quo without an arrangement in place, it is still not possible it could happen but it appears we are on the road to that, which many people, both parties, had said they wa nted people, both parties, had said they wanted this deal to be done and many in westminster would consider that is leaving at the transition stage without a firm trade deal in place would be a political and historical accident that was not meant to happen. thank you, laura kuenssberg.
concerns have been raised about the emotional welfare of university students in the uk and the level of support they've been given during the pandemic. the body which represents universities says demand for mental health support this year has doubled — and in some cases quadrupled — and it's calling on the uk government for extra funding for student mental health services. bbc three's hannah price has been speaking to the familes of two students who, according to the families, took their own lives in the last few months. it's like a light‘s been turned off, it's not gone back on and it never will. finn was my baby brother. it's almost indescribable. you feel like the floor has been swept out from under your feet. two families mourning the loss of loved ones. students will bargate and finn kitson were found dead in october. police say there were no suspicious circumstances involved in the two separate incidents. inquests have opened into their deaths. up there is st mary's church,
which is where willis buried. six days after going missing, will's body was found near his home in essex. his family discovered will, a second—year student at warwick university, had missed coursework deadlines and exams. they had no concerns about his mental health. we didn't suspect anything at all. neither did his friends. no one had the first idea that he was, obviously, suffering, or there was some problem. the only people who knew were warwick, because he wasn't submitting any work. in fact, after his death, they'd actually written a letter to him, essentially kicking him out of the university. quite extraordinary behaviour, i think, in my view, to do that without having even spoken to him, spoken to us, spoken to anybody. do you think if the university had contacted you, more could have been done to support will? of course. i am personally convinced that, had they contacted us, will would still be alive today.
warwick university say they sent seven e—mails to will but they went unanswered. they are now reviewing their procedures. they added... some universities, including warwick, have an opt—in scheme where students give consent for a parent, guardian or friend to be contacted if there are concerns. universities uk say it's good practice to do this but it's not compulsory. finn kitson was a first year at manchester university. shortly after he moved into student halls, he was told to self—isolate. he was becoming increasingly anxious and nervous, because he was in a place where he didn't know anyone, he didn't know his surroundings. three weeks after he started, the 19—year—old was found dead in his room.
i think if we are going to learn anything from this period, it that we must put student welfare at the forefront. the university of manchester told the bbc... a picture of will, just before lockdown, looking happy and content. the families are speaking out in the hope of helping other students who are struggling. this is not a blame game, i just want things to improve so that this terrible tragedy doesn't happen to anyone else. if we can't help finn, we can help others. i really hope we can help others in some way. beth kitson ending that report from hannah price. if you are feeling affected
by the issues in that report and would like details of organisations which offer advice and support, go online to bbc.co.uk/actionline or you can call for free at any time to hear recorded information, 0800 066 066. a new report from the committee that advises the government on climate change says it could be cheaper to make significant cuts in carbon emissions than previously thought. but to achieve the goal of net—zero emissions by 2050, people are being urged to fly less, phase out gas boilers and eat less meat. 0ur science editor david shukman has more details. this is where it all began. the uk pioneered the industrial revolution, powered by fossilfuels, that made the country rich but also started the process of changing the climate. one way to look at this is how much each of us in the uk is responsible
for the carbon dioxide and other gases that are heating up the atmosphere. back in 1990, the average per person was just under 16 tonnes. by last year, that had fallen by about half, mainly because of cleaner sources of power and more efficient household appliances. but, in the next 30 years, well, each of us is meant to get down to effectively zero, and that's going to be a lot harder. a lot will depend on building many more wind turbines out at sea. since we last filmed these giant structures, making the long climb up inside them, their costs have fallen dramatically. the government's advisers say that going zero—carbon will cost much less than expected. it's happening at pace because it's also happening at scale, so it's those scale changes, those big wind farms that we'll have in british waters in the future, that deliver those kind of cost reductions. and we all benefit from that in the future.