29/03/2017 Points West


29/03/2017

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Welcome to a BBC Points West Brexit special with

:00:00.:00:00.

Our main story tonight - what next for us

:00:00.:00:09.

In Bridgwater, where they voted overwhelmingly

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for Out, it's what they've been waiting for.

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I am in the Leave capital of the Sakhr Al-Makhadhi, where people

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voted in their droves for Brexit and are today feeling pretty pleased. --

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capital of the West. from a Bristol lawyer who knows

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Brussels inside out. Her hopes for the future -

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Claire Blackman talks to us, the day after her campaign

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to free her husband paid off. There were numerous times where we

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thought this day might never come. It's been a real roller-coaster of a

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journey. And fears that Bristol

:01:00.:01:01.

could lose its new arena The UK and the West are officially

:01:02.:01:03.

on the road to leaving This was the moment when the Prime

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Minister made history - and started the clock on two years

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of negotiations. A few minutes ago in Brussels the

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United Kingdom's permanent representative to the EU handed a

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letter to the president of the European Council on my behalf

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confirming the government's decision to invoke Article 50 of the treaty

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on European Union. Over the next half hour,

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we'll be looking at what that announcement means for us

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here in the West. But first, a reminder

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of how we got here - nine months ago, on the 23rd of June

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last year, 13 of our 19 council areas, shown

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here in blue, voted Out. Overall the referendum in our region

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was actually much closer than that suggests,

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with 49.3% of people wanting to stay in the EU,

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and 50.7% wanting to leave. Nowhere was that clearer

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than between some parts Across the city of Bristol, fewer

:02:09.:02:12.

than 40% of people wanted Brexit. In the Sedgemoor area of Somerset,

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that figure was more than 60%. Our political editor,

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Paul Barltrop, is in Bridgwater And, Paul, this is the day

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the majority there Yes, people here have been waiting

:02:28.:02:39.

for this paper a very long time. After the big vote in Bridgwater

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last June a lot of people thought it would happen straightaway but of

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course it didn't. The complexities of extricating ourselves from a 28

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nation trading bloc and rewriting all of those rules I think are far

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beyond most of us but there has been some frustration over the last nine

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months, the government has had to go through the courts and through

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Parliament to get the process started. Today that finally

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happened, prompting markedly different reactions in different

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parts of the West. In Bridgwater only one flag

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mattered. Wind of change was blowing through the Somerset town. Its

:03:22.:03:25.

population is a bit older than average and delivered a decisive

:03:26.:03:31.

vote last June. Upon the ship that works the best interests... The

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official start to Brexit filled screens in a local pub. I didn't

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meet anybody who wanted to remain in the EU.

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Theresa May is announcing Article 50. What do you think about that? I

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am glad. I am looking forward to seeing what actually happens and how

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things move and within the country. I am quite happy we are leaving. I

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don't think it will make a great deal of difference, especially to

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older people like us perhaps. It is the right way to go now. Time will

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tell of course who was right or wrong but it is a big day in our

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history, yes. Official predictions that it will cost Britain billions

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are doubted. This pub chain actually backed Brexit. The announcement in

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Parliament put where he smiles and to the faces of locals who

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campaigned for Leave. -- wary smiles. Maybe halfway there. I do

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think we finally there until it is finally sorted. It will be a long

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time because I don't think anybody realised how much we were in tangled

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in the EU. By contrast, many in Bristol believe we heading into

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troubled waters. The city is home to two universities and people have

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come here from dozens of countries. On a harbour ferry we met one the

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city's find remainders. The argument coming from the Leavers is

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topsy-turvy. They accuse us of peddling fear when they are peddling

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fear about immigration and the idea that other people are controlling

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us. It is nonsense, and that is putting it politely. Further

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skipper, who voted to stay in, it is time to move on. It is a fate, Lee

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now, we have to get on with it whether we like it or not. --

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datacom plea. Now the city of Bristol and the country must chart a

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new course. Now the government will get on with

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negotiating and what sort of deal they come up with will be put to MPs

:05:40.:05:47.

before the end of next year or the start of 2019. We won't get a final

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say on it ourselves that it will be pushed onto the political agenda,

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especially by opponents of Brexit, just as four years ago Ukip made

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their big breakthrough in the West talking a lot about Europe. Now

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parties like the Lib Dems are determined to talk a lot about

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Brexit when people go to the polls on May the 4th.

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Well, for many EU citizens living here in the West, today was one

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Nothing will change immediately, but they say they're still worried

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about what rights they'll have - and whether they'll be able to stay.

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Laura Jones has been finding out more.

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Hometime - and a chance to relax and unwind together

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For six-year-old twins Russell and Rex and little

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another Wednesday afternoon - but for mum Phaeny, this historic

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Phaeny is Greek, her husband is British

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and they met whilst working in Germany.

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Her three children were born in the UK - but as of today,

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A lot of people think that if you are married to a British national

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you are safe, and you are not. It doesn't make a difference. When you

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sit down to apply for permanent residence it is you and the Home

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Office. This family exists like many others because of free movement and

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it is not just a paragraph in a treaty, it is actually a real thing

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that changes people's lives, and it is a good thing and a progressive

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think and it is where progressive societies move to wards.

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Phaeny isn't the only one who's scared.

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Across the UK there are more than three million other EU nationals

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who've made their lives in this country - and who never really

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There are more than a million British people living in Europe.

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Amongst them, John Shaw from north Somerset,

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who has been campaigning hard for a fair deal for expats.

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Earlier he spelt out his concerns. My concerns have always been about

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our loss of rights. We have to and spurred pension rights from the UK.

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Also health care, we live in France, Spain and Germany as we have health

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care provided by the country in which we live. -- we have

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transferred pension rights. Back here, other groups

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are working hard too. This woman from Germany is one of

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the founders of the Bristol-based organisation The 3 Million. People

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will be left hanging, they haven't got the right documentation to prove

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that they are able to remain in the country. They will not be able to

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rent flats or start jobs. It is a puzzling time for this family. All

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they can do is watch and wait and hope for the best.

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Let's get the view from Westminster on what's happened today.

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The North East Somerset MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, joins us.

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Well, you've seen your Brexit deal come true -

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It is a day I have been looking forward to. It begins the two-year

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process of extricating the UK from the EU and implement the result of

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the referendum on the 23rd of June last year so it is a welcome day.

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Looking back, and I don't want to re-fight the campaign, but only ten

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minutes ago -- months ago we had a government minister warning

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agricultural workers that voting for the EU would be a leap into the dark

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and warning that 60,000 agriculture livelihoods in this part of the

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world would be at risk. What has changed? The project fear was

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nonsense. The former Chancellor of the Exchequer said there would be a

:10:03.:10:06.

punishment budget within days of the vote to leave. They were just trying

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to frighten us to get us to do what the establishment wanted and the

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British people show that they wouldn't be bullied. The government

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campaign was really pretty disappointing. Why should we believe

:10:18.:10:22.

the government now but not what they were saying ten months ago when so

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much is at stake? People should always make there own judgments,

:10:28.:10:31.

consider the arguments and come to their own conclusions, which they

:10:32.:10:39.

did ten months ago. For me there are huge economic and democratic

:10:40.:10:42.

opportunities of leaving and we should grasp them and run with them.

:10:43.:10:46.

The electorate at large will have to think which arguments are right and

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make decisions in future elections. from the West Country go to the EU,

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and farmers could face 45% But if they do, we import ?800

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million worth of beef from the Republic of Ireland and those

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imports would face an identical tariff, so that would he replaced by

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home produced beef. If the EU wants to play that game we win because we

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are only 55% self-sufficient in terms of agricultural produce. The

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Prime Minister said that businesses here would be

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subject to EU rules that we have no part in shaping. That is not

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correct. She said that all EU laws will come into UK domestic law on

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the day we leave and it will then be up to us to determine whether we'd

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keep them or not. She said that when we sell into the European Union we

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will have to follow EU laws, just as when we sell into China we have to

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Folau Chinese laws, but we don't make EU or Chinese laws and we sell

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to them very successfully. Our biggest trading partner is the

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United States. What will change is that the EU will no longer make laws

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affecting British business. Thanks for coming on, I hope it is not too

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damp for you. A great pleasure. No, it is still dry, thank you.

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We'll have more on the reaction to the start of Brexit later

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and there's plenty more still to come too, including...

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Bristol councillors could face tough choices over plans for an arena.

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It is set to be the warmest day of 2017 so far somewhere in the UK. How

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will our region fair? I will have the answers at the end of your

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programme. The wife of a former

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Somerset Royal Marine convicted of shooting dead a wounded Taliban

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fighter has told us he has always Alexander Blackman will be freed

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from prison within weeks, after his murder conviction

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was reduced to manslaughter. Today his wife Claire has

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spoken to Clinton Rogers - she says they wondered if this day

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would ever come. The whole four and a half year

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journey has been a bit We have had some wins along

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the way but more let-downs and disappointments and those

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were the days when we really When you spoke to your husband

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after the judgment, how was he? He is a man of few words and I think

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it took most of the day Obviously in prison he has had time

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to reflect on that day. He has always wished he could turn

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the clock back and act differently Absolutely, he has always

:14:17.:14:27.

regretted his actions and he has How hard do you think it

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will be to adjust for both of you to what will be a normal

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life, or as normal I listen to people who advise me

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that there will be a readjustment period and I am sure that is true,

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but I suppose over many other couples we have the advantage

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of readjusting from every tour he has been on, albeit this

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is a considerably longer tour, but neither of us

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are worrying about it. We are very much

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looking forward to it. He is coming out largely

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because of what you have done, and I have heard the title

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lioness applied to you - does that sit comfortably

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on your shoulders? I haven't really had

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the chance to think about it. People ask me often why and how

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I have done what I have done and I don't really have a good

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answer, other than he is my husband, he is a good man and somebody needed

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to fight to get the justice that he received yesterday, and if

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that has to be me then so be it. A 50-year-old man from Wiltshire has

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been arrested after a baby boy The three-month-old

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is currently being cared for at Bristol Children's Hospital,

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after first being admitted to the Great Western Hospital

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in Swindon on Saturday. The man's been released

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on bail, and police A police search has continued today

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on the North Somerset coast, after a skull was found by a member

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of the public. Officers say it was discovered

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at Redcliffe Bay near Portishead. The skull will now be tested

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to determine its age - but the police say it isn't unusual

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for such discoveries to be Two Somerset councils have moved

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a step closer to merging, by submitting their plans

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to the government. Taunton Deane and West

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Somerset already share services but say they now want

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become a single It's now up to the Secretary

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of State for Local Government, Sajid Javid, to decide whether

:17:06.:17:09.

the merger should go ahead. Plans for an arena in Bristol

:17:10.:17:11.

could be scaled down, or even scrapped altogether,

:17:12.:17:14.

if it ends up costing The opening date for

:17:15.:17:16.

the venue has already been pushed back to 2020 -

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and the original Now councillors could be

:17:20.:17:21.

asked to consider if more changes are needed, or if it

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should go ahead at all. When the diggers moved in it seemed

:17:25.:17:27.

a sure sign that Bristol's long-talked-about arena

:17:28.:17:31.

was finally under way. But after ten years of talks

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the smooth start wasn't The company given the contract

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to build the project has gone. Now Bristol Council need

:17:35.:17:38.

to hire someone else. But before they do that they could

:17:39.:17:40.

ask for a review into costs and then I have seen examples where a report

:17:41.:17:44.

like this has been used as the way that a council gathers the evidence

:17:45.:17:49.

when it wants At the same time, it can quite often

:17:50.:17:51.

be a genuine exercise to make sure that they are getting

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value for money. I think the most likely outcome

:17:58.:18:01.

is probably that they will come back, recommit to the project,

:18:02.:18:03.

but show that they have saved a few million here

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or there by adopting some 12,000 seats, ?92.5 million to build

:18:07.:18:08.

it, and open in 2020. But if they review the budget -

:18:09.:18:23.

or if the new contractor says it's not enough money for the job -

:18:24.:18:26.

then they could reduce seat numbers or overall scale,

:18:27.:18:29.

up the budget or delay it further. It's now three years

:18:30.:18:32.

since the council approved the arena budget, and at least 14

:18:33.:18:34.

years since the project It's once again looking

:18:35.:18:36.

a little uncertain. Now let's go back to our main news

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this evening, on the day when the Prime Minister,

:18:42.:18:44.

Theresa May, ended the wait and It means that in two years'

:18:45.:18:46.

time the UK will be out of the European Union -

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and that in the meantime, there'll be feverish

:18:54.:18:55.

negotiations between the two. Joining us now from Brussels

:18:56.:18:58.

is Alastair Sutton, Thank you for joining us. You have

:18:59.:19:12.

been immersed in the world of EU law in Brussels, do you get a sense of

:19:13.:19:16.

the mood ahead of the negotiations? The first thing I would say is that

:19:17.:19:20.

there is a sense of relief that after nine months of the letter has

:19:21.:19:25.

been delivered. It means the EU can consider the letter but also get on

:19:26.:19:30.

with other business and start to prepare itself, because amongst the

:19:31.:19:34.

27 member states there is a lot of preparation to do in readiness for

:19:35.:19:38.

the opening of negotiations. The letter from the Prime Minister,

:19:39.:19:42.

perhaps we shouldn't have expected this, but it merely sets out some

:19:43.:19:49.

core principles, so there is a great deal of work could be done in coming

:19:50.:19:51.

weeks to get a basis for negotiation, but the sense of relief

:19:52.:19:56.

is palpable, a great sense of regret that the UK is leaving at a time

:19:57.:20:01.

when there has never been a greater threat to European security, both on

:20:02.:20:06.

the military side from the East, the immigration coming from the Middle

:20:07.:20:10.

East and so on, there has never been a greater time when British help

:20:11.:20:14.

would be needed, and we have walked away a bit from our friends and

:20:15.:20:18.

allies, which is disappointing for a long time. You are Bristol lad, your

:20:19.:20:27.

dad drove a tractor and you are now a hotshot lawyer, you have

:20:28.:20:30.

negotiated trade deals, so do you think this will be straightforward

:20:31.:20:35.

or very difficult? This is unprecedented in many ways. The UK

:20:36.:20:42.

is the first state to leave the EU and also we will be negotiating a

:20:43.:20:48.

free trade area agreement, as the Prime Minister said. Most free trade

:20:49.:20:53.

area agreements are to reduce barriers and this is an

:20:54.:20:55.

extraordinary situation where we will be putting barriers back,

:20:56.:21:02.

negotiating divergence rather than convergence. One thing that I don't

:21:03.:21:07.

think has sunk in in the UK is that 30 years ago we were in the business

:21:08.:21:13.

of reducing the costs of trade with Europe and the Prime Minister is

:21:14.:21:16.

putting those costs back. It will be a very complex process and we have

:21:17.:21:22.

the French and German elections coming, complicating things on the

:21:23.:21:26.

European side, but it will be a challenge on both sides. There is

:21:27.:21:30.

goodwill here to reach an accommodation. Whether it can be

:21:31.:21:34.

done in two years is extremely doubtful. On the European side the

:21:35.:21:38.

thing first of all is to clear the decks, do the divorce and then move

:21:39.:21:43.

on to the new agreement. The question of a transitional agreement

:21:44.:21:48.

becomes very important and controversial. You lawyers could get

:21:49.:21:53.

a move on if you wanted to. It is not just lawyers, it is political

:21:54.:21:57.

will. Now the letter has been delivered the EU have a number of

:21:58.:22:01.

other priorities to get on with. First and foremost is they recognise

:22:02.:22:05.

that the EU needs reforming. It is a pity that the UK can't be inside to

:22:06.:22:11.

do that. That will be number one, the reform process. Number Ten is to

:22:12.:22:17.

make sure the European economy gets more solid than it has been,

:22:18.:22:19.

particularly the eurozone. Then we have negotiations with the Middle

:22:20.:22:31.

East, Russia and the United States. There will be some busy lawyers in

:22:32.:22:36.

coming days. Just like with Brexit, when it is

:22:37.:22:43.

up, it is up. Our time! I thought that was a new slogan you

:22:44.:22:46.

had invented. They often say politics

:22:47.:22:53.

is like theatre. Well, that couldn't be more true

:22:54.:22:54.

of a new play all about the EU referendum which is heading

:22:55.:22:58.

for the West. Called My Country: A Work

:22:59.:22:59.

In Progress, it's been put together by the National Theatre,

:23:00.:23:02.

and includes the views of 12 people from Gloucester,

:23:03.:23:04.

who helped shape the characters. Here's our Gloucestershire

:23:05.:23:06.

reporter, Steve Knibbs. Joe, Joe, we're leaving,

:23:07.:23:08.

we're leaving! The views on both sides

:23:09.:23:09.

of the EU debate. Brendon, a former care worker,

:23:10.:23:17.

voted to leave, for many reasons including border control and too

:23:18.:23:21.

much money being spent in Brussels. And now those quotes

:23:22.:23:24.

are part of the script - not a natural theatre goer, he says

:23:25.:23:36.

the play surprised him. I thought we would sit

:23:37.:23:39.

there through an entire satire... rubbish, and it turned

:23:40.:23:43.

out to be really funny. Bloody thrashed you at

:23:44.:23:48.

the rugby, last week, boy. So whether you voted for or against,

:23:49.:23:50.

they are all spoken for, and it made everybody talk about it,

:23:51.:23:53.

like, "I didn't think about leaving for that reason," or,

:23:54.:23:56.

"That's a good reason why he would have chosen to leave,

:23:57.:24:00.

but what would we have done," We have lived this life where we've

:24:01.:24:03.

seen many, many changes. Brendon's views and those elsewhere

:24:04.:24:07.

in Gloucester helped create the character The South West -

:24:08.:24:09.

and gave the Gloucester interviewer an insight

:24:10.:24:13.

into what was behind the vote. Different perspectives

:24:14.:24:17.

about where they were coming from, the conditions they were living in,

:24:18.:24:19.

what their personal histories were, and I felt that maybe the country

:24:20.:24:22.

hadn't listened enough to what people were thinking and it

:24:23.:24:29.

did seem to me that this vote had become a protest vote because people

:24:30.:24:33.

felt they weren't being heard. And you just see the country

:24:34.:24:36.

going down, you see the cities going down,

:24:37.:24:38.

the housing going down... So what's the strength of putting

:24:39.:24:40.

these views on stage? Well, the director says it's a rare

:24:41.:24:42.

chance to represent everyone - and then allow the debate

:24:43.:24:45.

to carry on. There's a lot of engagement in it,

:24:46.:24:47.

it's pretty entertainment, and audiences, yeah,

:24:48.:24:55.

sometimes they come out in quite argumentative form,

:24:56.:24:57.

but I think it gives My Country: A Work In Progress

:24:58.:25:00.

comes to the Guildhall in Gloucester on the

:25:01.:25:09.

8th and 9th of May. I didn't vote for Nigel Farage,

:25:10.:25:11.

I voted to leave the EU. Let's go up to the roof and find

:25:12.:25:20.

Sara Thornton, who is looking springlike. Will the weather follow

:25:21.:25:26.

suit? Your new catchphrase works for me,

:25:27.:25:29.

because when brollies are up they are up. I can show you the cloud we

:25:30.:25:36.

have had through much of the region today. The rain has really been out

:25:37.:25:40.

towards the West. Yesterday I showed you at least West split that we are

:25:41.:25:46.

in the middle of. The rain which has been out to the west will push

:25:47.:25:50.

towards us this evening and overnight. The weather but is moving

:25:51.:25:56.

eastwards. That is just for a time before the southerly wind pushes it

:25:57.:26:00.

back. It means we have rain across the evening through the evening and

:26:01.:26:04.

certainly for the rest of the forecast as well. It is patchy and

:26:05.:26:08.

fragmented and by tomorrow morning a lot of it will have cleared. Just a

:26:09.:26:14.

few showers for your breakfast commute. Temperatures staying up in

:26:15.:26:18.

double figures. Let's go day by day. Tomorrow is the nicest day of the

:26:19.:26:23.

week. Towards Friday, still quite pleasant but a bit cooler. Sharp

:26:24.:26:28.

April showers on Saturday. Tomorrow, as I said earlier, it could be the

:26:29.:26:35.

warmest day of 2017 so far, 20 degrees somewhere in the UK. For us,

:26:36.:26:40.

with the wind coming through and the sunshine in the afternoon, it won't

:26:41.:26:44.

be sunny all day that we will do well with beta bridges, 16 or 17 or

:26:45.:26:51.

18 degrees. Friday is a bit cooler, we have a week cold front that moves

:26:52.:26:59.

away and it turns into a lovely afternoon. Temperatures have come

:27:00.:27:05.

down by 45 degrees in some spots. It would be quite a smile. Tomorrow

:27:06.:27:10.

will feel quite pleasant for you I think. Into the weekend, low

:27:11.:27:15.

pressure for the first half and then high pressure building in for the

:27:16.:27:19.

second half. It is certainly a weekend of two halves. I mentioned

:27:20.:27:23.

April showers, it is the first day of April on Saturday but with hail

:27:24.:27:28.

and thunder mixed in and some sunshine. For my money,

:27:29.:27:30.

and thunder mixed in and some sunshine. For my money, tomorrow is

:27:31.:27:34.

the day to beat. I am convinced, thank you. Now a

:27:35.:27:44.

quick Brexit break for you. Actually, no it isn't!

:27:45.:27:53.

I expect you'll want to become a schoolmaster?

:27:54.:27:54.

That's what most of the gentlemen does that get sent down for

:27:55.:27:57.

indecent behaviour. Evelyn Waugh's classic novel.

:27:58.:28:00.

Have you ever been in love, Mr Pennyfeather? No, not yet.

:28:01.:28:02.

The fire escape is very dangerous and never to be used,

:28:03.:28:05.

MasterChef is back, to find the country's best home chef.

:28:06.:28:17.

The MasterChef kitchen is alive once more. Come on, let's go!

:28:18.:28:23.

That's one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life.

:28:24.:28:34.

This could be the start of something truly amazing.

:28:35.:28:39.

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