19/03/2018 BBC News at Six


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19/03/2018

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


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The UK and the EU agree the main

principles of a transition deal,

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paving the way towards Brexit.

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A handshake and relieved

smiles after intensive

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talks over the weekend.

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The deal we struck today,

on top of that agreed in December,

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should give us confidence that

a good deal for

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the United Kingdom

and the European Union

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is closer than ever before.

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TRANSLATION:

A decisive step

remains a decisive step,

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but we are not at the end

of the road.

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There's still no solution

to the problem of the

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Northern Ireland border.

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We'll bring you all the details

about what's agreed and what's not.

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Also tonight...

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Investigators search a new site

in the spy poisoning case

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as international chemical weapons

experts arrive in the UK.

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The 26-year-old British woman

killed fighting alongside

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Kurdish militia in Syria.

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Ant McPartlin is arrested

for suspected drink-driving and goes

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back into treatment,

his Saturday night

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programme is taken offair.

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And the couple whose white

wedding lasted a little

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longer than they expected

after they were marooned by the mini

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beast from the east.

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And coming up on Sportsday in BBC

News, we look back on rugby union's

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Six Nations, which culminated in

an Irish grand slam when they won at

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Twickenham at the weekend.

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Good evening and welcome

to the BBC News at Six.

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The UK and the EU have conditionally

agreed a part of the transition

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deal that should smooth

the way towards Brexit.

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Both the EU negotiator

Michel Barnier and the Brexit

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Secretary David Davis have called

the agreement - for the period

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from March next year

to December 2020 -

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a decisive step.

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These are the pages

of the transition deal -

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highlighted in green

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is what's been agreed.

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In yellow, close to agreement,

in white, the parts

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still being negotiated.

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Agreed so far...

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EU citizens arriving in the UK

before December 2020

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will have the same rights as those

here now, as will UK

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citizens living in the EU.

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The UK will be able

to negotiate trade deals

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during the transition period.

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But not yet agreed is the issue

of the border with Northern Ireland.

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Our Europe editor

Katya Adler has more.

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In the quest to resolve relations

after Brexit today was a big moment

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between the EU and UK. An historic

handshake to seal a deal, not the

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final Brexit deal but the

long-awaited agreement on transition

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to ease the UK from leaving the EU

to life on the outside. The EU and

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UK's chief Brexit negotiators were

visibly relieved, they had been

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under pressure from business.

Businesses need not delay investment

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decisions or rush through plans

based on guesses about the future,

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instead they now have certainty

about the terms that will apply

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after withdrawal.

Certainty, not

quite. An oft repeated phrase at ago

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she nations is...

Nothing is agreed

until everything is agreed.

The

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transition deal is part of the UK's

complex moved to all withdrawal

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agreements from the EU. Areas

highlighted in green indicate where

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agreement has been reached but

emissions are daring. Like Ireland,

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there is still no solution on how to

avoid a hard border between Northern

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Ireland and the republic. The UK

hopes an ambitious trade deal can

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solve the problem but just in case,

Ireland and the rest of the EU

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insist on a backstop agreement where

Northern Ireland stays in the

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customs union and parts of the

single market.

What Ireland has

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asked for is we would have an

insurance mechanisms so I and others

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can say to people in Northern

Ireland and Ireland, we will not

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have border infrastructure again.

What was agreed today? It will be

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time limited. The UK will continue

to pay into the budget, maintaining

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full access to the single market and

customs union. It will have to

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follow all EU rules but will no

longer be a decision maker though it

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may voice concerns. The UK can sign

new trade deals but cannot implement

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them until after transition. But

Brexit decision-makers were upbeat.

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Good news today? As you see,

Springer has sprung with a force

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spreading to these often frosty

negotiations. Progress today was

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hailed as a big step forward but it

is not all good news for the

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government. It is clear there will

not be a final trade deal between

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the EU and UK at the end of these

talks, the transition will be used

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to hammer out more details and to

get this far, the UK has had to make

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concessions. Like fishing. Far from

taking back control as promised by

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the government, EU quotas will

continue during

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continue during transition, allowing

EU countries to fish in UK waters.

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The transition period is expected to

be waved through by EU leaders at a

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summit at the end of the week.

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In a moment we'll be

getting reaction from our

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business editor Simon Jack.

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But first, let's go

to our political editor

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In a moment we'll be

getting reaction from our

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But first, let's go

to our political editor

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Laura Kuenssberg in Westminster.

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How is this agreement going down

there is it being seen

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as a success for the government?

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I think you would have heard the

sighs of relief in Westminster in

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Brussels. There had to be

compromised to get this far. Some

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budging on the EU side but a lot

more from the British Government for

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Tory MPs, particularly on fishing.

There has been compromises too far

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and certainly some of the things

agreed in the draft deal are

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different from what leave voters

were promised in summer 2016. It

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will be almost two years before the

government can make significant

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changes to immigration policy and we

will play billions of pounds for

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almost two years after leaving. But

broadly speaking for the government,

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their priority in terms of Brexit

has been to get this transition deal

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done. Today, they believe they have

done that. The reason is

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straightforward. They were concerned

about the idea of Brexit being a

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shock to the system where we leave

next year and were responding to

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demands in their party and the

business community that the big

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decision the country took was

something that would have to happen

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over time and today is a big

building block to making sure that

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agreement is in place but a lot of

work still to do and so sighs of

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relief in number 10, but maybe not

for long.

Simon this gives business

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more certainty, is it enough?

The

sighs of relief Laura is talking

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about are echoed in the boardrooms

of businesses in the UK. It is a

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welcome development in the Brexit

process, time to have breathing

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space to prepare for life outside

the EU but having said that,

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businesses like banks and

pharmaceutical companies, car

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companies, it does not mean the

issues will be spirited away, what

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will happen in Northern Ireland,

about regulation, investment but

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businesses talking to their

employees, who employ EU staff, this

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will be welcome. Bigger businesses

have spent hundreds of millions on

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contingency plans and I do not

expect them to stop. They will want

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more detail about the final picture

and what our relationship will be.

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For the business community, very

welcome, a time to draw breath, but

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not a time to relax.

Simon Jack and

Laura, thank you.

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International chemical weapons

experts have arrived in Salisbury

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to examine the nerve agent used

to poison the former Russian spy,

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Sergei Skripal, and his daughter.

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It comes as EU foreign ministers

expressed unqualified solidarity

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with Britain.

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The focus of the investigation

shifted ten miles north of

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Salisbury, to the village

of Durrington.

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Here, officers examined and then

removed a car that was used

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to pick up Yulia Skripal

from the airport

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the day before she and her father,

Sergei, were attacked with

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nerve agent.

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Nearby, at the military research

complex of Porton Down,

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inspectors from the global chemical

weapons watchdog the OPCW were due

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to start analysing the nerve agent

that British experts believe came

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from Russia,

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a process that officials say

could take some weeks.

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In Brussels, the Foreign Secretary

was talking to Nato and European

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allies, trying to maintain

the diplomatic pressure on Russia -

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looking not just for statements

of support, but tangible, joined-up

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action.

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There are things we can and must

do together, tackling

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disinformation from Russia,

and the UK has been

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helping to fund that

at

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an EU level.

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Tackling cyber together.

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Sharing intelligence

about what Russia is up to.

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And for now, at least,

allies standing shoulder

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to shoulder.

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All 29 Nato allies stand united.

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We stand in solidarity

with the United Kingdom.

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And the UK is not alone.

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Earlier, EU foreign

ministers gathered to

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discuss the attack and issued

a joint statement expressing

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unqualified solidarity with the UK,

saying they took its assessment that

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Russia was to blame

extremely seriously.

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What is absolutely clear

is that solidarity with the

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United Kingdom and our extreme

concern about what has happened,

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that is really unacceptable.

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But in Moscow,

the defiance continued.

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As President Putin began his fourth

term of office, his spokesman said

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the UK must prove Russia's role

in the poisoning of Mr Skripal or

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apologise.

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As for Russia's diplomats in London,

well, some of these

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officials and their families will be

heading home tomorrow -

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23 in all, with a similar number

of British

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diplomats leaving Moscow shortly.

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Tomorrow, the National Security

Council will meet to decide

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Britain's next steps and there

is a live debate within government -

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should they retaliate and escalate,

or simply do nothing?

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Should they kick more

Russian diplomats out of

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the Embassy here or should they find

new ways of penalising Russia?

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The question is,

what further diplomatic

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price is the Government

prepared to pay?

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James Langdale, BBC News.

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A British woman who was a volunteer

fighter with an all-female Kurdish

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armed unit has been killed in Syria.

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It's understood 27-year-old

Anna Campbell, who was from Lewes

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in Sussex, died last week

in the town of Afrin along

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the northern Syrian border,

where Turkey has been fighting

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Kurdish forces since January.

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Emma Vardy has been

speaking to her father.

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Anna Campbell was a principled

and determined young woman,

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according to her family.

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She had qualified as a plumber

in the UK but she left

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Britain to travel

to Syria last year.

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I was alarmed but not surprised,

really, because I know her.

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She's always had a desire, a wish,

a tendency to protect

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the vulnerable.

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If I wanted to participate in the

revolution of women...

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Anna Campbell had joined

the all-female Kurdish armed group,

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the YPJ.

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She saw them as a movement

representing women's

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liberation in the Middle East

but Turkey considers them as an

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extension of the Kurdistan Workers

Party, which, it says, is a

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terrorist organisation.

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At first she became involved

in fighting against

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so-called Islamic State where IS has

been holding the last of

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its territory.

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But, in January, the new front

in the conflict opened up.

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Turkey began attacking the Kurds

along the northern Syrian border,

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around the town of Afrin.

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In a statement, the YPJ said they

tried to keep Anna Campbell away

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from the front lines

but that she had insisted

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on joining the operation.

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British police have repeatedly

warned against travelling

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to Syria and have advised that

becoming involved with any armed

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group could lead to prosecution.

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Since 2015, seven British men

have lost their lives

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while assisting the Kurds.

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Others, who have returned to the UK,

have been arrested.

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It is in Afrin that Kurdish

commanders say Anna

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Campbell was killed by Turkish

air strikes and friends

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informed her family.

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I know she would never have

forgiven me if I had

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stopped her from going but I feel

like I could have done

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more to raise awareness

of what was going on.

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Anna Campbell is the first British

woman fighting with the

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Kurds to have died.

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Her family say she was driven

by a belief in creating

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a better world and was

prepared to put her life on

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the line.

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Emma Vardy, BBC News, in Lewes.

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One of the largest inquiries

into the alleged abuse of teenage

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British army recruits has collapsed

after a judge halted the first

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of three court-martials.

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It had been alleged 16 instructors

ill

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ill treated 28. The judge said a

three-year investigation by the

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Royal Military Police have been

seriously flawed.

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The TV presenter, Ant McPartlin,

says he will seek further treatment

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after he was arrested

on suspicion of drink-driving.

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He was detained yesterday afternoon

following a collision involving

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three cars in south west London.

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ITV says his Saturday night

programme broadcast with his partner

0:14:340:14:37

Declan Donnelly will not be

broadcast this weekend.

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Our Entertainment Correspondent

Lizo Mzimba has more.

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Moments after the mini he was

driving was involved in a collision

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with two cars, Ant McPartlin at the

scene of the crash. When police

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arrived he was taken away under

arrest after failing a breath test.

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A number were treated for minor

injuries and a child passenger taken

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to hospital for a precautionary

checkup. The evening before, Ant

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McPartlin have presented ITV's

Saturday Night Takeaway. He returned

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to TV last year after going into

rehab visitation to treat addiction

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to alcohol and painkillers. This

afternoon, the broadcaster said...

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From Britain's Got Talent through to

I'm a celebrity so much of ITV's

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deterrent is built on Ant McPartlin

as well as his co-host, Declan

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Donnelly foot appear they will be

trying to wreck what one of this

0:15:490:15:52

will mean for the long-term future

of one of it's biggest stars. --

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trying to work out. Police say

inquiries into the collision are

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continuing.

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The time is 18:15pm.

0:16:090:16:10

Our top story.

0:16:100:16:11

Britain and the EU shake

on a Brexit transition deal -

0:16:110:16:13

but there's still no agreement

over Northern Ireland.

0:16:130:16:15

Still to come..,

0:16:150:16:16

A heroes' welcome for

Britain's Paralympians

0:16:160:16:18

as they return from their most

successful Winter Games.

0:16:180:16:26

Coming up in the sport, as a new

favourite for golf Masters in a

0:16:280:16:33

couple of weeks it is Rory McIlroy

after he won the Arnold Palmer

0:16:330:16:38

Invitational yesterday, his first

tournament victory since September,

0:16:380:16:42

2016.

0:16:420:16:44

Doctors have restored the sight

of two patients with the most common

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form of blindness in the UK.

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More than 600,000 people in the UK

suffer from age related macular

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degeneration and doctors hope

the treatment could be widely

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available within a few years.

0:16:550:16:57

The team at Moorfields Eye Hospital

in London used surgery to insert

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stem cells at the back of the eye.

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Here's our medical

correspondent Fergus Walsh.

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Before his pioneering

stem-cell treatment,

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Douglas Waters was completely blind

in his right eye.

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Now he can see.

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Everyone wanted to go

outside when the...

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rain finally stopped.

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That's perfect.

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So, this is an amazing

improvement, Mr Waters.

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I just couldn't believe it.

0:17:270:17:31

And each morning, I picked things

out in the bedroom to look

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at, out of the garden.

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I'd do this.

0:17:350:17:36

And it's unbelievable.

0:17:360:17:37

I'm really chuffed,

I suppose you could say!

0:17:370:17:39

And so is his surgeon.

0:17:390:17:43

Two patients with age-related

macular degeneration had

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the sight-restoring treatment

at Moorfields Eye

0:17:450:17:46

Hospital, in London.

0:17:460:17:52

We are able to show

that we could take someone that

0:17:520:17:55

could not read at all,

that could not see the book

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that they were supposed to be

reading from, and taken them

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to reading around 60-80 words

per minute with their

0:18:030:18:07

normal reading glasses.

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For us, this is a

fantastic breakthrough.

0:18:080:18:10

And it could help other

patients with age-related

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macular degeneration,

who can lose all

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their central vision.

0:18:140:18:15

So what causes AMD?

0:18:150:18:18

Well, if we open the eye,

the macular is at the back.

0:18:180:18:21

It's the part of the retina

responsible for central vision.

0:18:210:18:23

Now, if we pull out a section,

here are the light-sensitive cells,

0:18:230:18:26

the rods and cones.

0:18:260:18:29

AMD is triggered when a crucial

layer of support cells -

0:18:290:18:33

seen here in green -

die.

0:18:330:18:36

As a result, patients gradually

lose the ability to read

0:18:360:18:38

or to recognise faces.

0:18:380:18:42

Scientists use stem cells from human

embryos and turn them

0:18:420:18:45

into the support cells needed.

0:18:450:18:48

They were put onto a tiny patch

like this, which was placed

0:18:480:18:52

at the back of Douglas's eye.

0:18:520:18:55

You can see it here.

0:18:550:18:57

The stem cells repaired his vision.

0:18:570:19:01

Regenerative medicine's goal

is to restore a person's health.

0:19:010:19:05

I think this is one of the first

indications from regenerative

0:19:050:19:09

medicine that that can be achieved.

0:19:090:19:12

We can stop people from going blind.

0:19:120:19:16

Douglas, who's 86, says

the stem-cell therapy has given him

0:19:160:19:18

renewed independence.

0:19:180:19:23

Moorfields says it should be no more

expensive than other AMD treatments,

0:19:230:19:26

and potentially could help

save the sight of

0:19:260:19:28

thousands of patients.

0:19:280:19:32

Fergus Walsh, BBC News.

0:19:320:19:35

The Government has been told it

needs limit the amount of money

0:19:350:19:38

people can spend on fixed

odds betting machines.

0:19:380:19:41

They've been described as the 'crack

cocaine of gambling' -

0:19:410:19:45

with people being able to bet up

to a hundred pounds a time.

0:19:450:19:48

The Gambling Commission

is advising the maximum stake

0:19:480:19:50

should be 30 pounds.

0:19:500:19:51

Campaigners and opposition MP's had

called for the limit to be no

0:19:510:19:58

more than £2.

0:19:580:19:59

Danny Savage has more.

0:19:590:20:00

They are found in nearly every

high street bookmakers.

0:20:000:20:02

Traditional-looking fruit machines

with a very modern twist.

0:20:020:20:06

You can gamble up to £100

a spin but now it's been

0:20:060:20:09

suggested the maximum bet should be

£30 or as low as £2.

0:20:090:20:15

Terry White lost a quarter

of a million on them.

0:20:150:20:18

He was addicted to playing the games

on a digital screen.

0:20:180:20:22

£5 became 10, became 20.

0:20:220:20:24

Next thing I didn't realise how

much I was putting in.

0:20:240:20:28

And, strangely, because you're

putting the money in quickly,

0:20:280:20:31

it's not like you're dealing in caah

face-to-face over the table

0:20:310:20:34

or in a private card game

or somewhere, it's just a number

0:20:340:20:37

on a screen and that also makes it

easier for you to lose control.

0:20:370:20:42

These three bookmakers

in Sheffield all have the

0:20:420:20:44

machines and around them are signs

warning people not to gamble more

0:20:440:20:48

than they can afford.

0:20:480:20:50

Now nobody coming out of these shops

today wanted to talk to us on camera

0:20:500:20:54

but they all believed that limiting

the amount of money you could bet

0:20:540:20:57

would not necessarily solve

the issues of so-called

0:20:570:20:59

problem gambling.

0:20:590:21:05

Have you got an app on your

smartphone, a gambling app?

0:21:050:21:08

Justin Larkham lectures

on gambling awareness.

0:21:080:21:11

Today he was talking to academics

at the University of Hertfordshire.

0:21:110:21:15

He's a former gambling addict

and is concerned that betting shop

0:21:150:21:17

punters will just go elsewhere.

0:21:170:21:21

Actually it might drive people

to go online betting,

0:21:210:21:23

which potentially is more

dangerous and hidden.

0:21:230:21:25

So I also think that

a reduction from £100

0:21:250:21:27

down to £30 will make a difference.

0:21:270:21:33

A maximum bet of £30

is being suggested for non-slot

0:21:330:21:36

machines like these ones,

where you can play roulette but,

0:21:360:21:40

where's that figure come from?

0:21:400:21:43

The evidence we looked at showed

that you need to come down to at

0:21:430:21:46

least £30 in order to have

a significant impact upon the harms

0:21:460:21:49

and risk of harms that people face.

0:21:490:21:51

What was clear though was there

was no individual figure that acted

0:21:510:21:54

as a magic bullet, which is why

we're suggesting £30 or less.

0:21:540:21:57

Bookmakers say the machines account

for half the revenue taken in their

0:21:570:22:00

shops and they say,

if maximum bets are limited,

0:22:000:22:04

the odds of finding one of these

on your high street will be slashed.

0:22:040:22:08

Danny Savage, BBC News, Sheffield.

0:22:080:22:16

Uber has announced it is ending

testing cars with no drivers.

0:22:210:22:35

The mini beast from the east brought

snow and biting winds for much

0:22:390:22:42

of the UK over the weekend.

0:22:420:22:49

Among the worst affected areas

was the south west of England

0:22:490:22:52

where hundreds of drivers

were stranded on the A30 last night

0:22:520:22:54

with police closing a 60 mile

stretch between Exeter and Bodmin.

0:22:540:22:57

Jon Kay has the story of one

couple who got stuck

0:22:570:23:00

at the most unfortunate time.

0:23:000:23:01

A white wedding.

0:23:010:23:02

But Sarah and John Lund had no

idea their honeymoon

0:23:020:23:04

would be even whiter.

0:23:040:23:05

Fun driving conditions.

0:23:050:23:06

After the confetti,

a blizzard of snow, as

0:23:060:23:08

they headed through Devon

on the A30 last night.

0:23:080:23:15

So, they abandoned their car

on the edge of Dartmoor and began

0:23:150:23:18

married life in an

emergency rescue centre.

0:23:180:23:20

We did see accidents on both sides

of the road and other cars

0:23:200:23:23

driving in a haphazard way.

0:23:230:23:25

We went very slowly and we just knew

we needed to keep each other safe.

0:23:250:23:29

So, this ended up

being the marital bed -

0:23:290:23:32

on the floor of the school classroom

with 80 other rescued motorists.

0:23:320:23:40

No, wasn't expecting that at all.

0:23:430:23:45

Yeah, lots of potential scenarios go

through your mind before your

0:23:450:23:48

wedding night but never

imagine snow in Okehampton.

0:23:480:23:52

So, after a night they

will never forget, the

0:23:520:23:54

newlyweds checked out

of their unlikely honeymoon suite...

0:23:540:23:59

Retrieved the wedding car,

and got their marriage back

0:23:590:24:02

on track, heading to their hotel

in Cornwall before

0:24:020:24:04

another storm arrived.

0:24:040:24:08

With temperatures

falling yet again, and

0:24:080:24:11

more severe ice predicted,

motorists here in the south-west of

0:24:110:24:14

England are being urged to stay off

the moors overnight and not to drive

0:24:140:24:17

at all after dark.

0:24:170:24:23

Not that Mr and Mrs Lund planned

to drive anywhere this evening.

0:24:230:24:26

They have made it to their hotel

in Cornwall where the

0:24:260:24:29

sun has been shining and where

tonight they finally have a room

0:24:290:24:33

to themselves.

0:24:330:24:34

Jon Kay, BBC News.

0:24:340:24:42

Britain's Paralympic team arrived

home today after their most

0:24:420:24:45

successful Winter Games.

0:24:450:24:48

Menna Fitzpatrick and her guide

Jen Kehoe became Britain's most

0:24:480:24:55

decorated winter Paralympians -

with one gold, two silver

0:24:550:24:57

and a bronze at this year's

Paralympic Games in South Korea.

0:24:570:25:00

Andy Swiss reports.

0:25:000:25:03

They left as hopefuls and have

returned as history makers.

0:25:030:25:11

returned as history makers. Four

medals including the best base save

0:25:110:25:14

till last. Fitzpatrick has less than

5% vision. She followed her guide to

0:25:140:25:21

gold for slalom. They told me it is

barely sinking in.

It means

0:25:210:25:26

everything to me. I have always had

a dream since I was little to come

0:25:260:25:30

away with a medal at the Paralympic

games. 2018 was always that goal

0:25:300:25:35

from ever since I first started. I

am immensely proud to have done it.

0:25:350:25:41

Hopefully it will inspire others to

go out there and do the same and get

0:25:410:25:45

out and try something you never know

where it will lead.

This is a

0:25:450:25:52

simulation of what Fitzpatrick sees

when she is skiing. Following her

0:25:520:25:57

guide potluck bright orange beard at

up to 70 miles an hour. Her parents

0:25:570:26:03

first took her skiing when she was

five.

How things have changed! She

0:26:030:26:10

used to follow me down the slope in

a bright orange coat. She used to

0:26:100:26:15

shout me to wait for her and I am

having to shout at her to wait for

0:26:150:26:19

me.

The pair are already targeting

the next Games. For now they say

0:26:190:26:29

they will celebrate with a cup of

tea.

0:26:290:26:34

Time for a look at the weather.

0:26:340:26:36

When will it be over? It has stopped

snowing and the lying snow will melt

0:26:390:26:46

this week will stop we have lost the

bitterly cold wind. Things will

0:26:460:26:54

become lighter and then there will

be a change in wind direction which

0:26:540:26:58

will bring rain from mid week

onwards. A lot of dry weather at the

0:26:580:27:03

moment and a lot of snow lying,

particularly over the hills. The

0:27:030:27:08

drifting snow has been the problem

today. Looks much more like spring

0:27:080:27:15

in Belfast. Not everywhere covered

with snow. It will turn icy tonight.

0:27:150:27:21

We have Cloud loitering in the North

Sea. There may be one or two drizzly

0:27:210:27:27

showers, heightening the risk of icy

patches. It will be colder in the

0:27:270:27:34

West and north, particularly in

Scotland and Northern Ireland where

0:27:340:27:37

we have clear skies and light winds.

The high pressure has pushed away

0:27:370:27:43

the snow showers and it has dropped

the wind as well. A lot of the

0:27:430:27:53

showers will break up and we will

get some decent sunshine. Further

0:27:530:27:58

north some thicker cloud to give

some drizzly showers allowing

0:27:580:28:02

sunshine to develop in northern

England. All the while plenty of

0:28:020:28:05

sunshine in Scotland and Northern

Ireland. Temperatures higher than

0:28:050:28:10

today. Still a chilly wind in the

East of England. It will lose that

0:28:100:28:15

on Wednesday when will start to pick

up a milder, Atlantic wind. Much

0:28:150:28:20

more cloud on Wednesday. Outbreaks

of rain most of it in western

0:28:200:28:24

Scotland over the hills. We could

see Tebbutt is up to 10 Celsius.

0:28:240:28:31

Lucky us. -- temperatures up to 10

Celsius.

0:28:310:28:36

Lucky us. -- temperatures up to 10

Celsius.

0:28:360:28:37

Britain and the EU have agreed a

traditional Brexit transition deal

0:28:370:28:41

but there is still no agreement over

Northern Ireland.

0:28:410:28:45