27/02/2018 The Papers


27/02/2018

No need to wait until tomorrow morning to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines.


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Hello and welcome to our look ahead

to what the the papers will be

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bringing us tomorrow.

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With me are the former Pensions

Minister Baroness Ros Altmann,

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and Laura Hughes,

political correspondent of

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the Financial Times.

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Many of tomorrow's front pages are

already in. The Metro pictures the

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beast, the wintry weather bringing

subzero temperatures to the UK.

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The Mirror has the same shot

reminding us that four people have

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died due to the extreme conditions.

And the Express says it's about to

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get worse with the onset of counter

storm Emma.

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Storm clouds over Downing Street,

the paper coming Tory rebels are

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threatening a showdown with Theresa

May over the customs union.

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The financial time -- the Financial

Times feature the ongoing battle at

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Sky.

The Telegraph leads on a leaked

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letter written by Boris Johnson in

which it is claimed there could be a

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hard Irish border following Brexit.

It also features news that the BBC's

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media action charity has sacked six

people for sexual misconduct.

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The Times Luksa Northern Ireland,

saying the Prime Minister is to one

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Brussels not to use Brexit to break

up the UK over the customs union

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rules.

So, the bitter winter weather

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proving irresistible for many

editors, fighting Brexit for space

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on the front pages. So, let's start

here with the story on the front

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page of the Telegraph, which we've

been mentioning here on BBC News a

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little bit earlier in the evening.

Extraordinary, Boris raises the

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prospect of hard border in Ireland.

This is absolutely incredible. Even

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in November, Boris was saying that

the hard border in Ireland is

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unthinkable and it would be economic

and political madness. And here we

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are, he is perhaps figured out that

you can't make the border with

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Ireland and the Good Friday

Agreement work with coming out of

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the customs union single markets, so

instead of saying that red line will

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be to keep the UK together, he says,

no, the red line is we got to come

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out of the customs union and single

market. I think the priorities are

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all wrong. We have an international

agreement, the Good Friday

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Agreement, that we signed up to in

good faith, it's been accepted in

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good faith. In December, we promised

there would be regulated realignment

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if nothing else could work for the

border. And here we are a few weeks

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later, suddenly saying, well, we

didn't really mean it.

And Laura,

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this has come out as part of a

leaked letter?

Yes, which was

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submitted ahead of this big crunch

meeting at Chequers. It is

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extraordinary given the government's

position, which they have reaffirmed

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tonight, is that there will not be a

return to a hard border. The Prime

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Minister has been very clear on that

for that we've talked about with the

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Good Friday Agreement, but also the

DUP would not countenance it, and

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they provide the Prime Minister with

her majority in Parliament. So

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that's not going to happen. Boris

Johnson suggesting that trade would

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not be affected by a hard border if

there was one. That word if that he

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uses is what the Telegraph have

clearly grabbed onto. It's him

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saying that it might actually

happen, and his words are quite

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interesting. So, what will happen,

who knows, but it's not good timing.

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Tomorrow the EU will put out their

draft recommendation for the

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withdrawal next stage and what is

good to happen with Ireland. From

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the stories coming tonight, it looks

as though they are playing a tough

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game too. They are not going to go

with a Prime Minister's preferred

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options and they are saying the

Northern Ireland needs to stay in

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some sort of customs agreement. It's

a mess.

And as we've already seen,

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opposition MPs suggesting this calls

into question Boris Johnson's

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position.

Well, I just don't quite

see where he's coming from on this.

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Is it a game of bluff? We've got to

talk tough and we got to be tough

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with the EU and ultimately we'll see

how far we can push them. I don't

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know. All I can think is that either

he doesn't understand how the border

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really works and how the Good Friday

Agreement has been operating so that

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you have this frictionless, seamless

interaction between North and South,

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or there is something else that he

might have in his mind but nobody

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else has quite figured it out. There

is no technological solution, and

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certainly...

That's what the

Brexiteers say, you can have a

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electronic methods of making sure

that goods are entitled to go

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across, we have trusted trade

status.

Even if you could have

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something like that, and there is

nothing like it anywhere in the

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world that would work across that

whole long border, it would take a

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long time to set anything like that

up. And you still may be regulatory

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alignment to know that whatever is

shipped has come in in the right way

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and can then pass on safely.

We have

lots of Brexit stories, as ever.

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This issue of whether or not Britain

could stay in the customs union also

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featuring on this story on the front

page of of the i.

This has been

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supported by a number of Labour MPs.

The Labour Party shifted the

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position, finally everyone was

writing it was going to happen and

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did. They are saying that they never

officially support a customs union

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after Brexit. There are a number of

Tory who feel very strongly and I've

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spoken to a number of them this week

to save the country comes first,

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it's not about working with Labour,

they are doing their own thing.

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There has been talk of, will the

issue turn into a no-confidence

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vote? And the rebels in the Tory

side are clear, it's up to the

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Government whether or not they want

to make it an issue of no

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confidence. We have the big speech

from the Prime Minister on Friday,

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she will probably fudge it somehow

with the wedding, there will be some

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kind of customs arrangement, or

maybe not even the word customs, as

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it seems to be so controversial. She

will have to find some language that

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both appeases the rebels, who

ultimately look like they would

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defeat the Government, but also

appeasing the Brexiteers.

At all is

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that like it is important to bear in

mind that also having a customs

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union isn't enough to prevent a hard

border in Northern Ireland.

You also

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need at least some elements of the

single market, if not the E a tub of

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arrangements. So this only gets you

a certain way. And Labour's position

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has shifted but not to the place

where it needs to be if we are going

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to honour the Good Friday Agreement.

So there race still further to go.

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There is a huge chasm between the

real world and the world that the

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Brexiteers and those who are looking

at how on Earth we can manage this

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process are living in.

And if we

look at the Times, which is picking

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up on this similar theme, again,

looking at that document due to come

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out from the EU side tomorrow, don't

break up Britain. Battles with her

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Cabinet, her backbenchers, and it

looks like she is going to have to

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have a battle with the EU too.

And

across the EU is on the side of

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Ireland, which they made in

December. The DUP on this Irish

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border issue, it's stalled talks, it

was a crazy 24 hours for political

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journalists. I think on the Boris

point, perhaps no one really seems

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to have a solution on this question.

If there isn't a solution, maybe

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this idea of having a hard border

that is being put at there by the

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Foreign Secretary, if this is not

going to work, that man's -- the

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demands the EU will make tomorrow,

the Prime Minister will say no. If

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she's going to say no, it's not good

to happen, the EU are not going to

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be happy. -- it's not going to

happen. Theresa May is a Unionist,

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there is no way in which she will

see Northern Ireland leaving the EU

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on different terms as the rest of

the UK.

Which is why I feel it's

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hypocritical for her to talk about

the EU breaking up the UK. It is our

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so-called red lines that are

imposing the requirement for this

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hard border. If we didn't rule out

staying in the single market customs

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union or EEA, we wouldn't even need

to be talking about breaking up the

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UK. I know a lot of my colleagues on

the Tory benches will be very angry

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with me, but I don't sign up to this

idea that somehow it's fine if you

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leave our major free trading

partners and our closest neighbours,

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but actually, I have to say what I

think and I think a lot of the Tory

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rebels have just genuinely been

saying what they believe is

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essential for the interests of this

country. We are a United Kingdom and

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Northern Ireland is an essential

part of the United Kingdom. We

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should not be jeopardising it.

Let's

just take a quick look at the

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Financial Times. Narrated by Michel

Barnier. -- berated. What do you

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make of this?

Yes, I mean, it's a

really big point, David Davies is

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the head of the UK negotiating team

and the head of the EU negotiating

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team has not seen him in a really

crucial time. He is busy touring the

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Nordic countries. He would argue he

is going out and reaching out to

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leaders in Europe.

Which he is.

Which he is, I'm sure that would be

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his response. Also in the story are

some comments this mine from Martin

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Donnelly, who used to work as the

permanent secretary in Liam Fox's

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Department, which livened up the

debate. It brought it back to less

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complicated language. He said going

into Brexit was like giving up a

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three course meal for a packet of

crisps.

It's a wonderful quote, very

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strong line.

It sums it up.

Lots of

other stories to get through. Back

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on the Telegraph, the story here

about GPs paid to cut hospital

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referrals.

I think a lot of people

are quite worried that if GPs are

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incentivised not to send you to

hospital and even if you might

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actually need to go, they might

decide not to send you. I suspect

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that actually, GPs are a lot more

ethical if they genuinely believe

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than you do need to put a hospital,

they will send you there. But there

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is a social attitudes survey allied

to this story which suggests that

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confidence and satisfaction with

doctors is at a pretty much all time

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low, the lowest in 35 years. So

something is happening and people

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are less and less satisfied with the

Health Service. And we need to be

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concerned, I think, but overall, we

see too many negative headlines, and

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you don't want that because

actually, the NHS is a wonderful

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service.

Although very briefly, it

is obviously a sign of how much, how

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great the pressures are on the NHS.

Again which is not good news for

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Theresa May because this is a

massive issue that the public are

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concerned about and again, this

story as to this public perception

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that the NHS is in crisis and it

can't cope with demand. I think you

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are right to say that GPs probably

would send you to hospital if it was

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that serious. There is an issue

about people going to the doctor

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when maybe they don't need to, going

to the NHS when they don't need to.

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So there is a balance to be struck

there.

We should move on, because of

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course, many of the papers,

including the Metro, have got

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photographs of the weather. The

beast! It has been known as the

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beast from the east. An

extraordinary photo. Just brilliant.

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I think one of the police

helicopters has captured this storm

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sweeping in and dumping snow all

over London. Basically it's all over

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the country and I think there is

more to come. This is most unusual,

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it's almost March and we got this

major cold snap, it's perishing the

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cold, not the normal kind of

temperatures that you would expect.

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And some saying that, some say us

Brits are we talking about the

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weather but this has caused a huge

amount of disruption and some people

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have lost their lives.

And road

accidents, that's inevitable I

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suppose, and there are statistics on

elderly people who have

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unfortunately passed away because of

the call, it will again bring up the

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issue to the Prime Minister of

homelessness, that might come up

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again in PMQs by Jeremy Corbyn if he

was covered because the two things

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do link of course, the rise in

homelessness and this weather,

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pretty bad news for them. Whenever

this happens, we all go, why aren't

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we prepared? In other countries they

have is whether all the time, but in

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England and London, we go, we can't

go to work today!

We've completely

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run out of time, lots more coming up

on the weather, but that's it

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tonight.

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Don't forget, you can see the front

pages of the papers online

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on the BBC News website.

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It's all there for you, seven days

a week at bbc.co.uk/papers,

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and if you missed the programme any

evening, you can watch it

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later on BBC iPlayer.

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Well, I thank you to Baroness Ros

Altmann and Laura Hughes. For now,

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the by. -- goodbye.

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