17/02/2017 BBC News at Six

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The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.

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Tony Blair says he's determined to persuade Britons to rise up


and change their minds about Brexit.


The former prime minister calls for voters to rethink


the decision to leave the EU, saying they did not know


As these terms become clear it is their right


Our mission is to persuade them to do so.


We heard all these arguments last year.


It really is insulting the intelligence


of the electorate to say that they got it wrong.


We'll be asking whether Mr Blair is likely to have


The US food giant Kraft Heinz offers more than ?100 billion for Unilever,


The driver of the bin lorry that crashed in Glasgow,


killing six people, admits a driving offence


We have a special report from Guernsey where people


And after more than 20 years at Arsenal, what next


for Arsene Wenger as he hints he could be managing


And coming up on BBC News: Can non-league Lincoln


continue their run in the FA Cup as they prepare for a fifth round


Good evening and welcome to the BBC News at Six.


Tony Blair says he's on a mission to persuade British voters


to change their minds on leaving the European Union.


He's called on people to rise up against Brexit.


The former Prime Minister said the government was now set


on leaving the EU "at any cost", which would damage the economy


But the speech has been ridiculed by Leave supporters,


with the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, accusing


Mr Blair of insulting the public's intelligence.


Here's our political correspondent, Carole Walker.


A rallying cry from the former Prime Minister.


Time, he said, to rise up and force a rethink on the decision


The people voted without knowledge of


As these terms become clear, it is their right to


Our mission is to persuade them to do so.


He said he would expose the risks of the


current plans for Brexit, damage to the economy and jobs, put the


break-up of the UK back on the table.


He said controlling immigration had become the


government's main consideration as it took the country towards not just


I would actually question whether the referendum really provides a


We will withdraw from the single market, which is around half of our


We will also now leave the customs union,


covering trade with countries like Turkey.


This impacts everything from airline travel to financial


The Prime Minister has been meeting her French


counterpart this afternoon as she prepares to begin the formal Brexit


She said she will seek the greatest possible


access to the European single market through a new free trade agreement.


Will you take the advice of Tony Blair?


Ministers are scathing about Mr Blair's intervention.


We heard all these arguments last year.


It is insulting the intelligence of the electorate


Tony Blair believes the government's approach


to Brexit is being driven by ideologues passionate about the move


to take Britain out of the European Union


and that the Labour Party is failing to provide


But some will doubt whether he is the man to lead a


popular movement to overturn the Brexit vote.


Tony Blair did not say he wants a second referendum.


Do you really think you are the one with


the popular appeal to get a different answer if you did get a


This is a free country, so I have a right to speak and you


If you do not want to listen to me, do not listen to me. I am clear and


simple on this. I know there will be a volley of abuse coming my way for


speaking like this, but I care about the country. He has supporters in


the party he used to lead. Whether you love him or not he is somebody


we should listen to. He has huge experience of politics at the top


level. Theresa May is unlikely to be swayed by the warnings of one of her


predecessors as she embarks on complex negotiations to take us out


of the EU. And Carole joins me


now from Westminster. Tony Blair calling for the creation


of a new political movement. Is he likely to succeed? He wants to


change the terms of the debate to convince us that Brexit is not


inevitable. He is setting up an Institute to try to further the


cause. He has provoked an onslaught of abuse from many of the leading


Brexit campaigners who say that it shows that he is arrogant, out of


touch, it is undemocratic, teaching the British people as fools. It is


worth remembering he is also contradicting the present Labour


leader Jeremy Corbyn who says that his party will respect the vote in


the referendum last year and has instructed his MPs to support the


move is to begin the formal Brexit negotiations. Tony Blair is somebody


who in his day was a remarkable campaign. He won three general


elections. The legacy of the Iraq war means he is a hugely divisive


figure and even some of those who share his concerns about Brexit may


be wary of his involvement. Tony Blair's intervention is not going to


problem for the government as it embarks on this mission but it does


face some really huge difficulties on the road to Brexit.


One is famous for its brands like Marmite.


The other, the US food giant Kraft Heinz, has ketchup


But now Kraft Heinz has made a ?100 billion takeover bid for Unilever,


But the signs are that Kraft may well continue to push for a deal.


If it happens it would be one of the largest mergers


Our Business Editor Simon Jack reports.


Unilever, a name that may not be known in every household, but every


household will recognise what techniques. Marmite, PG tips, Surf


and dozens more. Hines which makes beans, and Cadbury, wants to put


these brands in one basket. Unilever say that Kraft trying to get the


company on the cheap and have rejected the offer but in mega deals


like this the first offer is rarely the last and Kraft will have a plan


to justify a higher one. They do that by radically cutting costs with


Unilever and pushing up Unilever's profits beyond what Unilever have


been prepared to offer to the market. Kraft will do that because


they have a different perception of what they are rated profit is done


here in Europe. When it comes to takeovers that does not get much


bigger than this. Kraft is offering ?115 billion which would put it in


the top three mergers and acquisitions of all time. The


combined company would be worth over ?200 billion. It would wield


enormous power. One of the reasons both company's shares rose on the


prospect that a deal may yet be done. Kraft has a track record of


buying well-known UK brands and not a good one. In 2009 Ed Bott Cadbury.


After promising to keep the factory near Bristol open it backtracked.


That led to changes to the takeover rules requiring companies to spell


out their plans for jobs and premises in more detail but many


feel they do not go far enough. At the moment the legal powers do not


allow the government to block takeovers of this kind but there is


a wider competition this year which the competition authorities should


investigate. Sky was snapped up. Great businesses on special, say


others. Unilever says it is not just about price. These two companies


just do not go well together. Shareholders will have the last


word. The driver of a bin lorry that


crashed in Glasgow in 2014, killing six people, has admitted


to a motoring offence that occurred Harry Clarke, seen here


on the right, pleaded guilty to culpable and reckless driving


in September 2015. His licence had already been


revoked after the crash Our correspondent Steven Godden


is at Glasgow Sheriff Court. It was the mag days before Christmas


in 2014 Harry Clark was driving a bin lorry through the centre of


Glasgow when he lost consciousness and the chaos that followed his


out-of-control vehicle, knocking over pedestrians, and six people


were killed. In the vehicle accident on Friday it was determined that


tragedy could been prevented if Harry Clarke had not lied about his


history of blackouts. He has never been prosecuted for what happened


that day but he had his licence revoked. That is crucial to today.


Nine months after the bin lorry crash, neighbours saw Harry Clarke


in the car park outside his house. He drove the car out onto the street


and return two hours later. Prosecutors said he was a danger to


the public, he should have known he was unfit to drive. They accepted


his guilty plea to a charge of reckless and dangerous driving. He


left without making any comment but he will be back here at the end of


next month for sentencing when he could be jailed.


Retail sales fell unexpectedly in the UK last month,


They'd been expected to rise by 0.9%.


Instead, sales in January dropped by 0.3% compared


The pound fell against the dollar and the euro


Analysts have blamed food and fuel price hikes for the squeeze


Business rates, they're the commercial version of council tax.


And in April they're set to change for the first time in seven years


to reflect the shift in property values in many areas.


But some of the revaluations are so dramatic that many


businesses, big and small, are worried about the impact.


Some even fear they could be put out of business.


But the government maintains that more will end up benefiting


It is a tale of two high streets. On the left there is Bolton where many


business rates are going down. On the right, London's Brick Lane, now


the home of hipsters where rates are going up. The owner of this


chocolate shop currently pays ?29,000 in rates. She does not know


her new bell but that's expert has worked it out. It is not good.


Unfortunately your bill over the next five years will increase up to


?47,000 per year. Effectively a 62% increase over five years. I am


speechless. If we can afford it it will be by the skin of our teeth.


It is all change on business rates, from shops and pubs


It affects 1.85 million properties in


It is set to rake in ?23.5 billion for the Treasury this year.


The government says 920,000 businesses will see their bills go


420,000 will stay the same, but to make the sums add up, it


More than half a million of them whose bills are going up.


The level of increases is just enormous.


And it is very difficult to see any business, particularly


when business rates are often the third largest


outgoing, to sustain that level of increase.


It is very difficult to see those businesses


This is the biggest shake-up to business


Streets like this one will have to share a far


bigger burden than they used to because property values have gone


But in other parts of the country, the changes will bring


Back to Bolton and a family run bakery who reckon


Our rateable value on this premises has gone down. We are a net gain in


this shop by about ?4000 a year. We quite like it. Under devolution


there are changes in Scotland and Wales as well. Edinburgh Castle will


see its rates rocket. Northern Ireland will not get an overhaul for


another few years. In England the government says the changes will be


phased in and more will benefit than lose out but for those who do life


may be far from sweet. Tony Blair calls on people


to "rise up against Brexit", Saying they have a right to


reconsider. But his critics accuse him


of insulting the intelligence And still to come: They've been


dubbed The Lady and The Tramp - she gave him a cup of tea


when he was homeless, now more than 40 years later -


they're getting married. he will be managing next season -


whether that's at Arsenal or somewhere else, as his future


hangs in the balance. Should patients be forced to pay


to see a GP or for a visit to A to ease the financial


pressure on the NHS? It's a controversial subject but one


that some feel should be considered. Well just 100 miles off


the south coast of England, the channel island of Guernsey has


been doing just that for decades - with islanders paying for many


aspects of their care. But critics say it can deter


people from seeking help. Our Health Editor Hugh Pym has been


to Guernsey to find out more. A card payment machine


in a hospital. Yes, it does happen in one part


of the British Isles. You see the list of


charges when you arrive. ?49.50 during the day,


more at night. 25% of the service's running costs


come from patient fees. This marine Ambulance Service


mainly covers the small Local people can either take out


an annual subscription, or might have to pay hundreds


of pounds to be picked up That subscription,


less than ?1 per week, If you don't have it,


the service says, it won't Payment is never mentioned as part


of the clinical care we provide. They are sent an invoice


within a couple of weeks following their use


of the Ambulance Service and they normally then


settle by whatever means This doctor thinks that


is fair for patients. I think there are enough


safeguards to ensure people go I think inevitably payment


for a service does make you think as to whether you really


should be going. Some residents pay


for medical insurance. Anyone on benefits has their health


costs covered by the state, though pensioners and children


are not automatically exempt. I had an accident at Christmas


and I had to go to A There could be a reduction


for pensioners. Because it is a lot of money


out of your pension. You can get to see a doctor


with one or two days of notice and the hospital


is first class, yes. You do have to pay for a GP and A,


but not ongoing hospital that people on low income might


delay seeking timely care. I think that for those people just


above the benefits threshold, they might not go to the GP early


enough, and that might mean when they do present,


things have got worse and then they have to be treated


in a hospital environment It is an island community relatively


well off with a population That's equivalent to


a medium-sized town in the UK. So it is hard to draw obvious


conclusions about what the NHS might The real risk of charging


is we do not raise very much money. We increase the administrative


complexity and, in fact, people with really important health


care conditions are deterred even further from going to see


their medical practitioner If anyone wants to see


a charging model, it's here. But, politically, it's not even


on the horizon for the NHS. Any party advocating it


might find its electoral Pakistan has told Afghanistan


to hand over more than 70 high profile militants


after a suicide attacker killed at least 80 people at


a Sufi Muslim shrine. In Pakistan the security


forces have carried out raids across the country,


killing and arresting dozens of suspected militants,


following yesterday's attack. The so-called Islamic State have


claimed responsibility He's been in charge of Arsenal


for more than 20 years - but will he be there


for much longer? Arsene Wenger said today that he'll


definitely be managing a team next season -


whether that's at Arsenal This week his team were thrashed


5-1 by Bayern Munich After the match some former players


suggested it was time Our Sports Correspondent David


Ornstein is at the Emirates Stadium. For 21 years Arsenal and Arsene


Wenger have gone hand in hand. But the club have struggled to get their


hands on a major trophy recently. He has been under pressure before but


is out of contract in the summer and today for the first time


acknowledged that his time here could be coming to a close. For


Arsenal the feeling was all too familiar. Badly beaten, all eyes on


the boss. For club and coach, is the end finally in sight? No matter what


happens I will manage next season. Visit here or somewhere else, you


know? That's absolutely for sure. You do not stay somewhere for 20


years and what out after a defeat like that. I have the strength and


experience to respond to that. In 1996 he arrived to headlines of


Arsene who? But he silenced critics by collecting trophies. He turned


the likes of Thierry Henry into superstars and his team became


invincible is, going an entire league season unbeaten. Three


Premier League titles and six FA cups among his achievements. Arsene


Wenger has not only managed this club but transformed it. The club,


the new stadium, and this state-of-the-art training ground are


all based on his vision. But not everything has gone to plan, he has


failed to conquer Europe and has not won league title since 2004 causing


a split amongst the fans. I have never seen Arsenal win the league


which is sad and I want that to happen. He has done us proud but I


think he has overstayed now. Enough is enough, we need to move on. I


would like to announce he's going to step down now so he can go out on a


good vibe and the fans can reunite. People have to be careful what they


wish for. I think it is important the club makes the right decision


for the future, I did not work here for 20 years not to care for this


club, I had many opportunities to go elsewhere during that period and it


is important the club is always in safe hands. Arsenal are still in


three competitions, the season is far from over. But the future of


their greatest manager looks more uncertain than ever before.


A deputy headteacher has been banned from schools for a minimum of ten


years for having sex with teenage girls. The council has launched an


enquiry into why he received an ?8,000 payoff and a reference


despite his actions being known about. One of the ringleaders behind


the Hatton Garden rate of 2015 has admitted trying to steel ?1 million


worth of gems from our London jewellers five years earlier. Daniel


Jones is serving a prison sentence for his role in the infamous


jewellery heist. He tried to break into a Mayfair jewellers in 2010.


Dick Bruna, the Dutch illustrator and author who created


the much-loved cartoon rabbit Miffy, has died at age of 89.


He wrote more than 30 books about Miffy's adventures


which sold over 80 million copies worldwide.


They've been nicknamed The Lady and The Tramp.


That's because when Joan Neininger met Ken Selway -


more than 40 years ago - he was sleeping rough


The pair - who are both now 89 years old -


This weekend they're getting married.


Joan ran the little shop in the centre of Gloucester


with her husband, and one day in 1975 she saw Ken


What sort of food would you take? Anything that was beatable.


So Joan gave Ken a cup of tea that day and sketched


She invited him to live with her husband and children and as the


decades passed he became part of the family. In 1983 her husband died and


she was left alone. How lonely life can be, the shadows follow me. Which


brings us to today, they are living in the same sheltered housing block


and tomorrow they get married. He sings like Perry Como. How much of a


difference has she made to your life? Big difference. I have got


security now. A roof over my head. Food every day. And who would have


thought it, all these years on, a wedding? Yeah, well I never drink


it. He is lovely. When he's not being grumpy and stinky and


horrible. He's lovely. It hasn't always been easy. Joan helped Ken


get treatment for schizophrenia. Did she save your life? Yes. We just


belong together, that's all. We made it, didn't we darling? You know what


I think of you, I don't have to put it into words. He's just that part


of me. They will marry tomorrow with the full support of their families


on what will be Joan's birthday. What does the future hold in store?


Well it would be babies and it would be a white wedding dress! -- it will


not be babies and it will not be a white wedding dress!


Spring blooms encouraged again this weekend, some mild weather for the


past few days, staying that way, the breeze will pick up once again but


it would be bone dry, outbreaks of rain affecting western and northern


parts of the UK overnight am not amounting to match, pepping up a bit


in west of Scotland later in the night. With the blanket of cloud it


will be frost free for the vast majority, one or two fog patches,


hill fog, quiet start to Saturday morning. Early reign in Northern


Ireland clearing, behind it brightening up, there will be blast


the showers. A band of rain moving its way through Northern England and


North Wales, to the size of that we start with plenty of cloud,


brightens up a bit more especially into south-east England. What about


these temperatures for mid-February? Going out on Saturday evening light


rain moving south through parts of England and Wales, still blustery


showers across north-west Scotland and looking ahead to the second part


of the weekend, breezy across the board, variable cloud, the odd spot


of rain around. Later moving into part of Northern Ireland and western


Scotland. So we have established the mild weekend and in fact going into


the start of next week it will be even milder. It's just possible on


Monday that somewhere might get as high as 17 Celsius. But before you


get too carried away we are not expecting clear blue skies, lots of


cloud coming and might see a bit of sunshine and maybe realise the 1617.


Many of us will fall short of that but it will still be very mild for


the time of year although later next week it will turn colder again but


still nowhere near as cold as it was last weekend. The forecast wherever


you are or where you are going is on a website and you can see in more


detail what is happening next week with the weather for the week ahead


video. A reminder of our main story:


Tony Blair calls on people to "rise But his critics have


accused him of insulting And the US food giant Heinz makes a


takeover offer for Unilever. That's all from the BBC News at Six


- so it's goodbye from me -