19/02/2017 The Papers


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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers will be


With me are broadcaster Natalie Haynes and the Independent's


We have promoted due. Deputy political editor!


Tomorrow's front pages, starting with...


The FT leads with the news that Kraft Heinz is abandoning its one


hundred and fifteen billion pound takeover offer for Unilever,


just two days after it made the approach.


The i's front cover focuses on this week's Brexit debate


in the House of Lords, where some of the New Labour


grandees COULD resist the government's plans


The Express also picks up the story, urging the Lords not to weaken


or delay the government's Brexit approach.


The Independent leads with the advance into


forces and also covers the Lords' Brexit debate.


A warning from the Defence Secretary makes the Telegraph's front page.


Sir Michael Fallon says Britain must maintain a military presence


in Afghanistan to avoid millions of Afghans migrating to the UK.


Meanwhile the Metro is running with a story that Battersea Dogs


and Cats Home is calling for tougher penalties for animal abusers.


Let's start with the story about Afghanistan on the Telegraph. UK


troops to prevent Afghan meltdown, Europe faces a new refugee exodus if


Britain pulls out of the war-torn country warns Michael Fallon. How is


this meltdown occurring? Only a short time ago everyone was saying


we could save people out our troops. Most people have probably forgotten


entirely that there are still 500 British troops in Afghanistan on a


training facility. It has been quiet since the end of combat operations.


The Defence Secretary is issuing this warning. He is only saying it


will be wrong for Britain to pull out. He does not seem to be talking


about increasing the number of troops over there, but the story


refers to a senior US commander in Afghanistan saying thousands more


soldiers would be needed to break the stalemate against the Taliban.


You wonder whether this speech by the Defence Secretary is some sort


of softening exercise to prepare Britain for the possibility that


more troops would have to go back into Afghanistan 16 years after it


all started. It would surprise and horrify a lot of people. It seems


strange to be saying it because the numbers do not fit together. We are


looking about three or 4 million leaving Afghanistan if things go


wrong and that could be prevented by the 500 troops we have there now? At


one point we had 10,000. We have a 20th of the number. 500 does not


seem like very many to be keeping things together. I think it feels


very much like a suggestion there will be more troops being sent


there. Particularly 500 who are only there in a training capacity, not on


the front line. You wonder whether there would be an appetite publicly


to recommit people to that sort of role. Our army is much shrunken than


the days when we first went into Afghanistan. They are using a


different argument here to the one that I remember 15 years ago which


was used to persuade people we needed to fight over there. If we


did not go to the Taliban, they would come over here and attack us.


But you do not see that in the words of the Defence Secretary tonight.


Instead you see this warning that there would be more migration to


hear. That is a reflection of how much migration has become the


biggest issue in British politics. That is the warning that he is using


to try to persuade that Afghanistan is still worth fighting for. Let's


look at a couple of Brexit stories. It would not be a review without one


or two of these. Donald Trump is coming up in a minute, do not fret.


The Independent newspaper, people must have their say on the Brexit


deal. Peter Mandelson caused a lot of consternation amongst some


people. They seem to think he has no right to speak up, but he sits in


the House of Lords. 191 peers to speak on this issue in the next few


days. Very briefly, they each have six minutes. It is a bit like you


are about to step out a small Tardis and say, what year is this? Tony


Blair, Peter Mandelson? They are suddenly reclaiming the headlines


like they always did supremely well. Of course the House of Lords was


coming and he has managed to make sure his agenda has got on the front


pages over the weekend. Peter Mandelson is coming around in a


pincer movement. It will be a busy few days for you, Rob. You will be


sitting there with your shorthand. It will be the focus of attention


for a few days. But people will be saying, didn't the bill goes


through? It will be good news for people who oppose Brexit, the Lords


have the power to delay Brexit. Will they do there? They will be able to


delay it for one week only. It is likely they will amend the bill in


some small areas. Some important areas to do with the EU nationals


and the final vote on the final deal in 2019. They may amend it slightly


and send it back to the Commons, but in the end of the Commons will


prevail and we will still be triggering Article 50 by the end of


March. They have been warned off about making too many amendments.


They have been warned off by David Davis. Could they do anything other


than quake in their boots? They are not an elected house. The Tories are


saying, you love things like a House of Lords. It seems very strange to


hear somebody politically to the right suddenly standing up and


saying that the House of Lords cannot have their day. We will wait


and see what they daren't do. The politicians are out there arguing


for this Brexit to continue and they are the least popular in the


country, Tony Blair. They have some fans on social media, but some


people are surprised they are sticking their heads above the


parapet. Brussels wants to tie down a 60 billion euros exit bill before


beginning trade talks. This is in the Financial Times. How was Britain


going to be forced to pay this divorce Bill. This could be an


indication of this. Instead of focusing on the debate in the Lords,


it still believes that this states more clearly that the EU is


determined to get its money back and it will do that by saying we will


not talk about anything else with Britain. We will not talk about


future trading arrangements, which is what Theresa May is desperate to


talk about. That will not be on the agenda unless Britain has agreed to


pay the divorce Bill, which is a huge amount of money. Many MPs will


leap up and down if the government agrees to pay it and will demand we


walk away without paying a penny. The other issue they want to cover


in Brussels is the rights of expatriates citizens, which is


somewhere where the Lords may feel they could get some kind of


agreement. That feels quite plausible. Almost across-the-board


people have seen it too have felt, people like Nigel Farage, they were


saying we are not saying people who are here now will be asked to leave.


I think it is pretty much across the board, with few exceptions, a sense


that people who have made their lives here should have a degree of


security which they do not at the moment. That would be a two-way


thing because British people have made their homes for a long time in


other parts of the EU who would be covered by those guarantees. That is


the reason the Prime Minister gives for not giving a unilateral


guarantee for the 3 million EU citizens in this country because she


is determined to secure the rights of British expats as well. It is a


bit more complex than it is normally portrayed. It is not can we have our


rights and can they have their rights? How much health care and


pension rights would EU citizens be entitled to estimate it will be a


complicated negotiation. Inevitably. There are more EU citizens here than


there are British citizens on the continent and maybe that is how they


will reduce their 60 billion euro bill. The Times newspaper. Is that


where we are going? Lies fuelling revolt over rates insist ministers.


Number ten on collision course with small businesses. Business rates


have been re-evaluated, but the issue because they are based on


property prices. They will kick in in April. The government is saying


most businesses will pay the same or less. The Exchequer will not be


better off. That is supposed to be a financial gain for the Treasury, I


am not sure how they achieved that. It is amazing to see that this story


will not go off to the front pages. I think we know where it is heading.


There is a budget next month and the Chancellor will have to give way to


this sort of pressure from his own MPs and from the media. But this


story says a letter has been cast around from the Communities


Secretary and MPs in which they are complaining about misinformation in


the media. But the letter apparently points out that in some


constituencies bills will go up and they will go up by a large amount,


including 10% in Runnymede, which is the Chancellor's constituency. It is


those figures that say to me in the end there will be a climb-down in


the budget. Many high streets are struggling already to keep small


businesses there. You have to look at high streets virtually anywhere


in the country since the financial crisis, which is already nine years


ago, and lots of them, betting shops and charity shops, they are there


because small businesses went under a long time ago and have never


returned. It is OK to say that most businesses will have reduced bills,


but those who will not I still half a million businesses and that is a


lot. Those will be small businesses in the South. It is such a strange


policy for the Conservatives. Let's have a look at the New York Times.


There is an opinion piece called trapped in Donald Trump's addled


mind. She says he is stuck in his own skull. It is hard to disagree


when you see him inventing incident in Sweden and all of Sweden, bless


them, going, what? It is like a weird vendetta against


Scandinavians. The Norwegian former Prime Minister was stopped during


the weekend of the travel ban at customs. I am from Scandinavia, I


was the Prime Minister. The New York Times is one of Donald Trump's most


hated newspapers and it is making it clear why that should be. Maureen


Dowd on the front page saying essentially he is living in an


entirely internal bauble and we cannot get in and he cannot get out.


Is he not more clever than that? Everybody gets distracted by his


Twitter in the morning and then we forget to ask about the other


questions going on in the administration. The story is well


timed with the phrase addled mind because he talked about a terrorist


attack in Sweden at a rally last night and there was no attack at


all. One theory is there has been a recent attack in Pakistan and he may


have confused the town there with Sweden. Let's say the US suddenly


decide are some ice as terrorists in Pakistan, so I would be worried if I


was Swedish. Very quickly, the Daily Telegraph. Saving universities EU


funding. What does Oxford University want to do? They have been charmed


by the French to open a campus extension in Paris and other


universities have been approached, like Warwick University. Extremely


high class areas of learning. They will lose their EU funding during


the Brexit negotiations and whether they do or not, they are worried


that they might. Students from the EU are studying here. I am related


to one, and they are worrying about their status and what will happen.


Oxford has been around for 700 years and it has never had a campus in


another country and this is an extraordinary shift and I suspect


other universities might consider it as well. I read that there was an


orchestra planning to move from Britain to somewhere in another part


of Europe for the same reason, so it is not just businesses that will


consider moving away from here. There will be no music and learning


and we will sit here remembering what it was like in the past. The


times, David Attenborough dives in again at 90. Another series to look


forward to from David Attenborough, this time focusing on the oceans. 90


years old and still working. An extraordinary tribute to him. Not


many people achieved that. He says he is thrilled to be going back


underwater. The series promises never before seen species including


task fishes and something with a hairy chest that looks like the


Baywatch actor David Hasselhoff! It will look beautiful and sound even


better with his commentary. He did the cuttlefish mating ritual which


appears to be something like, look at my excellent tentacles. I have


heard worse chat up lines. We will talk about it off air. That


is it for now. We will be back at half past 11 for another stab at the


Christopher de Bellaigue wants to challenge our understanding


Who is to say that that is not one of the most important


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