News Daily: Row over Brexit 'backstop' and Peter Stringfellow dies

By Victoria King
BBC News

  • Published

Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

Brakes applied to Brexit plan

Image source, Getty Images

Downing Street had been all set to publish a plan on Thursday - a so-called "backstop" plan - for what to do if the UK and EU cannot agree new customs arrangements in time for Brexit. It would see the existing situation carry on rather than end up with a hard Irish border. However, it turns out the minister in charge of Brexit, David Davis, won't agree to it.

Cue a hasty application of the brakes and an emergency meeting with senior ministers later - a "showdown" in the words of some commentators - to try to sort things out. Mr Davis is upset because he wants the backstop proposal to include a specific end-date - without one, Brexiteers fear the UK will end up tied to the EU indefinitely.

The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg says this row may not be resolved on Thursday, and it's possible, if perhaps not yet likely, that it will end with Mr Davis's resignation. The irony of it all, she adds, is that the UK is tying itself in knots over a position that the EU is likely to reject anyway.

Here's a reminder of the UK's customs options from our Reality Check team, and an explanation of why the whole issue is so important.

'King of Clubs' dies

Nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow has died at the age of 77. His publicist said he had been suffering from cancer, but had wanted to keep his illness private.

Students 'want more teaching'

Fewer than two in five students think they're getting value for money from their course and their key complaint is the number of teaching hours they get. The views emerged in a survey of 14,000 UK students, which showed that despite fees in England having increased sharply to £9,000, courses have barely changed in terms of average contact time. Measures of well-being, such as anxiety among students, have also worsened.

Tuition fees are currently being reviewed and our education correspondent, Sean Coughlan, has looked at what might change.

Kim K's clemency wish granted

A 63-year-old grandmother jailed in 1996 on a non-violent drug charge has been freed from prison after she was granted clemency by Donald Trump. Alice Marie Johnson had been fighting for release for many years, but was given new hope in the unlikely form of Kim Kardashian West, who met the president last week to lobby on her behalf.

The White House said Johnson had been a model prisoner and worked hard to rehabilitate herself. But the BBC's Jessica Lussenhop, in Washington, said despite Johnson's "war angel" - as she called the reality star - her release is more a testament to the arbitrariness of the clemency process than anything else.

Will England ever get its own Parliament?

By Brian Wheeler, political reporter, BBC News

It's an idea that has been around for at least 100 years, although calls for the creation an English Parliament reached a crescendo in the immediate aftermath of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, when more powers were promised for the Scottish Parliament. The clamour has died down for now, as the Westminster political class is consumed by Brexit - but the BBC's survey suggests the forces behind it have not. Mike Kenny, professor of public policy at Cambridge University, has argued that the Brexit vote was driven, in part, by a form of English nationalism among voters who felt marginalised and ignored by the political establishment - and yearned for something to identify with.

What the papers say

Brexit tensions feature on many of Thursday's front pages. The Daily Telegraph says David Davis is in "open rebellion" and refusing to be the frontman for the prime minister's plans for a customs "backstop". Allies of Mr Davis are quoted as saying he's been treated "appallingly". According to the Times, Mrs May shared the proposals with leading Remain-supporting ministers well before the Brexiteers. The Daily Mail reports that a meeting between Mr Davis and the PM on Wednesday evening was "very difficult". Two papers lead with the death of an elderly widow after being attacked by a mugger. The Sun says she's the latest victim of "Lawless Britain", while the Daily Express asks: "What sort of animal can brutally rob a woman of 100?"

Daily digest

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NHS cash Health secretary says "significant" boost is coming

Abortion Supreme Court to rule on Northern Ireland's ban

Snake bite Texas man attacked by reptile's severed head

If you see one thing today

Image source, AFP

If you listen to one thing today

If you read one thing today

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