News Daily: Brexit statement and big freeze hits UK

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Downing Street insists UK will leave customs union

The UK is "categorically" going to leave the customs union after Brexit, a Downing Street source has told the BBC. The comment comes amid reports of disagreements among Conservatives over what future relationship they want with the EU - and calls for Theresa May to set out clearly what she wants from talks in Brussels.

She and Brexit Secretary David Davis will meet the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier later, ahead of the latest round of discussions getting under way. Citizens' rights are among the potential sticking points this time round. Mr Davis and Mr Barnier will give an update on how things are going on Friday.

Confused about what the customs union is, and how it differs from the EU's single market? Look no further than our handy guide.

Freezing temperatures across the UK

Brrrrrrr. It's pretty fresh already and, according to the Met Office, much of the UK is in for one of the coldest weeks of the winter so far. Temperatures in Scotland, Wales and the Midlands could fall as low as -7C. There are widespread warnings of snow and ice and some 1.5 million tonnes of salt has been stockpiled in preparation. But there is some good news - things are likely to thaw out a little next week. In the meantime, have a look at how cold it is where you are compared with other places around the UK and the rest of the world.

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Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases on credit cards

From today customers of Lloyds Banking Group will not be able to purchase Bitcoin using their credit cards. The ban - affecting Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA - follows a sharp fall in the value of the digital currency. But this will not apply to those wishing to buy Bitcoin using debit cards. Here's a video explaining the whole issue..

The holiday homes owners can't give away

By Anna Collinson, Victoria Derbyshire programme

"I thought it would be a suitable place for my disabled grandson to visit, because it was a bungalow that could sleep up to six," says Wendy Barker, describing the countryside holiday home in which she holds a timeshare. A timeshare usually involves paying a one-off lump sum in return for being able to use the property for an agreed number of weeks each year, every year for life. Wendy bought her timeshare with her partner Anne Jackson Blanchard in 2005. For many years the couple enjoyed holidays at the lodge with their family, but Wendy says it has since turned into a burden - financially and emotionally. "I tried to sell it, tried to give it away, but nobody wanted it. It's like a disease hanging over me."

Read the full article

What the papers say

The i reports that Theresa May is trying to "soothe" the "hardliners" among Brexit supporters by ruling out the UK remaining a part of the customs union. Meanwhile, Metro leads on Home Secretary Amber Rudd telling the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that Conservative MPs are "more united than critics think". Away from politics, the Daily Express and Daily Mirror warn that temperatures in the next few days could get as low as -14C.

Daily digest

NHS funding Panel suggests new tax to pay for services in England

Degree value Many graduates gaining "paltry" return for qualification, says ex-skills minister

South Africa Pressure for President Zuma to stand down increases

Superbowl classic Philadelphia Eagles take first title with stunning win over New England Patriots

Taking flight Why have we got a pilot shortage?

If you see one thing today

Travelling 2,000 miles to cook for strangers

If you listen to one thing today

Inside Lego's giant house of play

If you read one thing today

The station serving up food for thought


16:45 The Commons Transport Select Committee hears from Heathrow Airport bosses on plans for expansion.

20:00 Watford take on Chelsea in the Premier League.

On this day

1982 Pioneering budget airline Laker Airways collapses, owing £270m to banks and other creditors.

From elsewhere

This is what it's like when your country runs out of water (Buzzfeed)

A mindful approach to the year (Oxford University)

London's fatberg on show (Guardian)

Secrets of the IKEA catalogue (Daily Mail)

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