25/02/2018 BBC Weekend News


25/02/2018

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Good afternoon.

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Labour would keep the UK

in a customs union

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with the European Union

after Brexit, according

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to a senior minister.

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Sir Kier Starmer told the BBC's

Andrew Marr Show that a new treaty,

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replicating the existing customs

arrangement, would be best

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for the economy and would respect

the referendum result.

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The Prime Minister is committed

to leaving both the single market

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and the customs union

and she is expected to outline

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the Government's position

in more detail this week.

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Emma Vardy reports.

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After months of uncertainty over

Labour's position, no other party is

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moving decisively away from a

so-called hard Brexit. It has been

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unanimously agreed according to the

Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir

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Starmer said Jeremy Corbyn will

announce tomorrow that Labour

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government policy would be per the

UK to enter the new customs union

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with the EU after Brexit.

We long

championed being in a customs union

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with the EU and the benefits of

that, it is the only way

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realistically to get tariff free

access, really important for

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manufacturing and nobody can answer

the question of how you keep your

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commitment to no hard border in

Northern Ireland without a customs

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union.

Staying in a customs union

would mean Britain continuing to

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trade freely with other EU

countries, this, says Sir Keir

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Starmer, would be best for Britain's

manufacturers, but it would limit

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our ability to strike new trade

deals outside Europe. Brexit

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supporting Labour MPs say staying so

closely tied to the EU

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closely tied to the EU does not keep

to the spirit of the referendum

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result.

What is wrong with it is the

country voted to leave and while it

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is really important we negotiate

free-trade agreement with Europe,

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the EU is a bankrupt organisation,

it has never had its accounts signed

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off, it needs our money.

The

Conservatives have warned it is

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crunch time with Theresa May, the

pro-EU MPs could defeat the

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government in the Commons when

Parliament votes on the terms of the

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final Brexit deal. But the trade

secretary Liam Fox encouraged to

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remain supporting Tories to unite

behind Theresa May when she sets out

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the Government's plans for the

future relationship with the EU next

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week.

I think when the rest of the

Parliamentary party hears on Friday

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as the Prime Minister set set out at

she will win over Anna I hope they

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will have an open mind and listen to

what the Prime Minister says.

Now

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there is a clear difference between

the Tories and Labour on Brexit.

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Emma is here now.

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How politically significant do you

think this shift from Labour is on

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the customs union?

Lots of questions

over whether this has the potential

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to bring down the Government,

whether they could be defeated in a

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vote. The Prime Minister has ruled

out staying within a customs union

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because it would constrain Britain's

ability to strike other trade deals.

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But the pro-EU Tory former minister

Anna Soubry has tabled an amendment

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backing membership of a customs

union and on paper it is thought

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that our round ten Conservative MPs

supporting this. But if it really

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came together crunch, would they go

that far to defeat Theresa May while

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that could be seen as paving the way

for another general election which

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could deliver a Labour government?

Strong warning from the

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Conservatives in Duncan Smith to

colleagues, saying, do not play into

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Labour's tactical game.

Thank you

very much indeed.

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The closing ceremony

of the Winter Olympics

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in South Korea has been taking

place, bringing to an end 16 days

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of sporting and political drama.

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Russian athletes were not allowed

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to march under their national flag

at the closing ceremony after two

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of the team's members

failed drugs tests.

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But the International Olympic

Committee says it will lift

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the ban after the Games,

if no more Russians test positive.

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Andy Swiss reports from Pyeongchang.

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The sound of defiance...

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Over a neutral anthem,

the Russian anthem being sung

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by the gold-medal-winning ice hockey

team of the Olympic athletes

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from Russia.

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On the very day their nation

was getting a reprieve, 160 of their

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athletes have had to compete

here under a neutral flag while

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Russia wasn't granted their flag

for the closing ceremony

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their Olympic ban is

now set to be lifted.

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Despite two Russian

athletes including

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curler Alexander Krushelnitsky

failing drugs tests here.

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There are cases of

negligence, but there is no

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indication whatsoever for a systemic

or systematic doping.

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As for Team GB, well,

it was

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a disappointing final day.

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Their bobsleighers

finishing 17th and 18th.

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But with five medals,

including Lizzy Yarnold's

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it's been their most successful

Winter Games ever.

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We're very happy.

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This is an historic games

for us, it's our best

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of the Winter Olympics.

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We have three medals

in one day on that

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Saturday, we had back-to-back gold

medals with Lizzy Yarnold.

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But these Games have

been about politics as

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well as sport.

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President Trump's daughter

Ivanka among those

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attending the closing ceremony.

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While after parading

under a unified flag

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at the start of the Games, the

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North and South Korean athletes once

again entered the stadium together,

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embracing the spirit of celebration.

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The large contingent from Team GB

also enjoyed their moment,

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finally a chance to relax.

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For the hosts who have been

widely praised for their

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organisation, it's been

a memorable fortnight.

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But at last, it was time to lower

the Olympic flag and hand

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it over to Beijing who will hold

the next Games in four years' time.

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It has a tough act to follow

as Pyeongchang put on

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a dazzling spectacle.

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A Games which has made so many

headlines

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is saying goodbye in style.

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Andy Swiss, BBC News, Pyeongchang.

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Reports from Syria suggest

government forces have

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continued their attack

on the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta,

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despite a UN demand

for a 30-day ceasefire.

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In the last week, some 500 people

are said to have been killed

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in air and ground attacks

by government forces.

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China's state news agency says

the ruling Communist Party

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has proposed a change

to the constitution

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that would allow the president

and vice president to stay in power

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for more than two terms.

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The current president,

Xi Jinping, is due to step down

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from his role in 2022.

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Our China correspondent is in

Beijing, how significant is this

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move?

This proposal could see the

biggest change to the leadership of

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this country, the second-biggest

economy in world, of course, for...

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Hello? Hello?

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We do apologise for the breakdown in

this programme. We hope to get a

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pact to you as soon as possible. --

we hope to get it back to you as

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soon as possible.

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We are so sorry for the technical

problems. We hope to get the

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programme back to you as soon as

possible and Ken. -- possibly can.

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