tv BBC News at Six BBC News August 21, 2019 6:00pm-6:31pm BST
the high—speed rail link is due to connect london, the midlands and northern england, with billions already spent. but the project is reportedly vastly over—budget, and today the transport secretary refused to rule out scrapping it entirely. just because you've spent a lot of money on something should not mean that you just carry on ploughing more and more money into it. we'll be considering how likely it is that the original plans for hs2 will now fully be realised. also this evening... borisjohnson in berlin tells the german chancellor the uk wants a brexit deal but can't accept the existing withdrawal agreement. the stockpiling of medicines by some companies, as physicians warn of possible disruption to supply in case of no—deal.
where home is a shipping container — the scandal of homelessness for some of england's children. and why the first team in 15 years to dive down to the wreck of the titanic say it is deteriorating fast. and coming up on bbc news... england are forced to come up with a contingency plan forjason roy ahead of the third ashes test at headingly. all the latest reports, results, interviews and features from the bbc sports centre. good evening. the future of the h52 rail line has been thrown into doubt, after the government announced an independent review into the project. if completed, hs2 will provide a high—speed rail link between london, the midlands and northern england.
it's the biggest infrastructure project in the uk, and more than £7 billion has already been spent on it. but the transport secretary, grant shapps, has refused to rule out scrapping it altogether. here's our transport correspondent, tom burridge. this report contains some flashing images. despite already costing you, the taxpayer, several billion pounds, the future of h52, a new high—speed railway, is tonight uncertain. watch this and you get a sense of how much work has been done. but, as buildings come down in birmingham, the transport secretary has kick—started a review. crucially, he's not ruling out scrapping the scheme altogether. just because you've spent a lot of money on something should not mean that you just carry on ploughing more and more money into it. but what we've said and what the prime minister made very clear during his leadership election is we want to see great infrastructure in our country, we want to see it stack up. we want to see it work for rail commuters and people
right across the country. the first phase of the railway, being built now, will in a few years link london to birmingham. years after that, two further stretches will run superfast services between birmingham and manchester and birmingham and leeds. leading figures in business and politics in the midlands and north of england say better rail links across their regions are vital, but a north—south high—speed route is, too. it's vital that the north of england has a modern railway that takes people north—south and east—west. it's not either/or, it's both. last month, it emerged via a leaked letter that hs2‘s own review had found that the programme could be as much as £30 million over budget — a huge amount if you consider that the official budget is, for now at least, 56 billion. —— as much as £30 billion over budget. at london euston, they are slowly demolishing buildings,
and archaeologists have moved thousands of skeletons from an ancient burial site, where a new station will be. michael gross owned the office blocks now wrapped in white and land here that were compulsory purchased. he says it was all undervalued by hs2 by hundreds of millions of pounds. hs2 disputes mr gross's claims, but he says the project has been poorly conceived. what they've constructed is not a fast train but a gravy train, and there needs to be very major enquiries as to who benefited. but hs2 limited, the day it was formed, was not fit for purpose. they have never been in conformity to the development agreement they signed up to. as hs2‘s budget goes up, the scheme‘s value for money drops, but with billions already spent, huge areas cleared and a lot of land bought up, hs2 is a work in progress. cancelling it would be costly and controversial. altering the scheme might be a more plausible option.
well, that there used to be a 400 room hotel, gone in a matter of months. work continues on this site daily. come this way and you get a view into what will be the new station here. the burial site has nearly been removed and they are still demolishing buildings. the reality is a scrapping hs2 would be anything but straightforward, contracts would have to be unpicked, the government could recoup some money, but billions would probably be lost. the overarching question for the government review is, is hs2 value for money? with the budget set to rise significantly soon, that case will harder to make. thank you, tom burridge. 0n on his first overseas trip as prime minister, borisjohnson on his first overseas trip as prime minister, boris johnson has on his first overseas trip as prime minister, borisjohnson has said the uk wantsa minister, borisjohnson has said the uk wants a brexit deal but the uk cannot accept the current one. the
backstop guarantees an open border on the island of ireland if there is no trade agreement after brexit. mr johnson today said he would come up with an alternative in 30 days. ben wright is in berlin. this is borisjohnson's first foreign trip as prime minister and right now he and angela merkel are in the chancellery behind me trying to thrash out what seem to be large differences on brexit. borisjohnson insists the withdrawal agreement needs to be reopened, angela merkel says it isn't possible, but these are significant talks because they are significant talks because they are happening face—to—face between mrjohnson and the german chancellor, one of europe's's big power brokers, and when they a few moments ago, angela merkel said, with wry understatement, they had a look on their plates to discuss, but she sounded positive about trying to find some solution to the irish backstop. when boris johnson arrived, he was given the 4000 whistles welcome.
another prime minister arrived in berlin to demand more concessions on brexit. it isa it is a familiar tune, but this time the deadlock is a stark, and it's borisjohnson the deadlock is a stark, and it's boris johnson receiving the deadlock is a stark, and it's borisjohnson receiving the red carpet, here to tell the german chancellor that the deal hammered out between theresa may and eu must change. 0therwise, mrjohnson insists, the uk is leaving with no deal at the end of october. he claims there is nothing mps can do to stop it. berlin will not be surprised to hear it borisjohnson's condition for a deal, that the irish backstop, intended to prevent eye ha rd backstop, intended to prevent eye hard border on the island of ireland after brexit, be scrubbed the agreement, but eu leaders say the deal is closed. but what would one of europe's's most powerful leaders have to say to the man who led the uk campaign to leave? before dinner, they spoke at the chancellery. we
cannot accept the current withdrawal agreement arrangements that either divide the uk or lock us into the regulatory and trading arrangements of the eu, the legal order of the eu, without the uk having any say on those matters. so we do need that backstop removed. question to the prime minister. mrjohnson, the eu says it will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement under any circumstances, so are withdrawal agreement under any circumstances, so are you withdrawal agreement under any circumstances, so are you prepared to compromise or is this trip simply posturing before you blame the eu for a no—deal brexit? posturing before you blame the eu for a no-deal brexit? of course i think there is ample scope to do a deal, and i've explained, ithink, pretty clearly what needs to happen. we need to remove those elements of the withdrawal agreement that simply don't work for the uk. i've spoken of the things that i think are sensible, the protections of the
rights of eu nationals. chancellor merkel, the withdrawal agreement was defeated in parliament three times in britain. it has been buried by borisjohnson. why in britain. it has been buried by boris johnson. why won't you reopen it in the few weeks that are left, and do you see the brexit crisis now is the uk's problem to solve? translation: of the backstop was a witty full— back position. translation: of the backstop was a witty full—back position. —— the backstop was always a full— back position for them if we find a solution, we can maybe find it in the next 30 days. boris johnson and angela merkel are now discussing their differences face—to—face over dinner, the first in a series of meetings with eu leaders over the coming days. angela merkel‘s comments about the backstop, i'll start with the most interesting, she suggested that in 30 days they could try and achieve what they thought could take 12 months or longer, trying to clarify the sort of relationship britain
once with the eu after brexit, and that could have a bearing on how the backstop is presented in the deal for stop that's a fair way off boris johnson demand that the backstop is strapped, but that's where the discussion will be this evening, and they will be in paris, where boris johnson goes tomorrow to meet president macron. if the uk does leave the eu without a deal, there's a warning today of severe disruption to access to pharmaceutical drugs and other medical supplies. in a letterfrom medical leaders, seen by the bbc, it was said a negative impact on the health and care of patients was a possibility. that comment came from the royal couege that comment came from the royal college of physicians. the government says it's confident the nhs and pharmacies will get everything they need, with drug companies being urged to build up supplies, as our health editor, hugh pym, reports. a factory in germany making insulin, vitalfor diabetics in the uk as well as those around europe. almost all of the uk's requirements are imported. the government has called for medicine stockpiles to be built up and new ferry routes to be secured because of fears of traffic
chaos at calais and dover in the event of a no—deal brexit. health leaders are supportive but say more needs to be done. obviously it is really welcome that the government is looking at different ways of getting supplies into the country at this really challenging time. however, it is not a tried and tested there is a huge risk around how these items are actually going to make it to the front line where they are needed. we don't know that that system is going to work because we haven't tried that system yet. a letter seen by bbc news from medical leaders coordinated by the royal college of physicians is being sent to the prime minister. it says... it goes on to state that... the government's position was set
out earlier today by the minister in charge of no—deal planning. we are confident that the nhs and pharmacies will have access to everything they need. what we are going to do is make sure that businesses have access, as we see here at the moment, to the facilities they need to be able to export, and also that consumers have and will continue to have a flow of goods into this country. pharmacists say for a little while now they have had difficulties obtaining some medicines. they are doing the best they can, they say, to help patients. there is no clear evidence that is linked to brexit. but they argue that if britain does leave the eu without a deal, that will add to the existing pressure on the supply chain. this danish company makes nearly half of the uk's insulin. they told us three times the government's required six—week stockpile had been built up. we have done this obviously so that we can reassure patients who rely on our medicines every day, the half a million people in the uk, we can reassure them that they don't need to be concerned. they will be able to
get their medicines, no matter what the outcome of brexit in the coming months. 0ther pharmaceutical companies say they have months worth of supplies stored in the uk, but health leaders are still not convinced enough is being done to ensure patients will still get high standards of care. hugh pym, bbc news. the possibility of a no—deal brexit is also focusing minds at one major uk supermarket, which has told the bbc it's considering rationing the amount that smaller businesses can buy, if there's a disruption to supply. our business editor, simon jack, is here. different sectors are preparing for no—deal. what's the thinking here? supermarkets in the uk have some of the most sophisticated supply chains. they spent a lot of time and money preparing for a series of brexit outcomes, but what they fear is that smaller businesses don't have those resources and may run into trouble, and what they don't wa nt to into trouble, and what they don't want to see if the supermarkets, the
one i spoke to, becoming, if you like, the wholesalers of last resort for local restaurants, corner shops, market traders, thinking that they can turn to supermarkets to fill up where their supplies have fallen short. they said they are considering introducing rationing, limits to how much individual customers can buy, so that, somebody doesn't come up and take all the tomatoes away, leaving less for other customers. this technology already exists, on some promotions it will sometime say you can only buy three. there will be labels on shelves and they will be enforced at checkouts, but this will be more widespread. the government says that if stock goes to 70% of normal levels, in a worst—case scenario, those supermarkets will have to put this in. police in kent have confirmed that a body found in the river stour is that of six—year—old lucas dobson. hundreds of volunteers joined
the operation to find the boy, who slipped into the river while fishing in sandwich on saturday. for some children, home is a converted office block or even a former shipping container. that's the finding of a report detailing how there are more than 200,000 homeless children in england. the children's commissioner, anne longfield, says whole families are being housed in flats little bigger than parking spaces. 0ur social affairs correspondent, michael buchanan, reports. dozens of homeless people live in these shipping containers, stacked, stressed and stuck. this two—year—old lives here with his mum and three siblings including 13—year—old faris. he has severe autism, cannot speak and his behaviour is increasingly challenging. living here does not help. how can this be suitable for
my son? how? this is not a home, you don't call this a home, this is a shipping cargo container where you keep storage, you don't keep human beings in here. it'sjust wrong, wrong, wrong. the containers have fitted with a tiny kitchen, shower room and two bedrooms but after nine months here, the family have had enough. it says everything about england's housing crisis that if you have been living in a cold, wet, damp bedsit somewhere, then the idea ofa damp bedsit somewhere, then the idea of a warm dry room even in a shipping container probably appeals, at least in the short term. but when this weeks become months or even yea rs, this weeks become months or even years, it becomes a far less attractive option. it is notjust a shipping containers also perform office blocks are being used to accommodate the homeless as well. government efforts to boost housing supply me they can be converted without planning permission. home is a little bigger than a parking space
which critics have called the slums of the future. when children feel insecure in the home, like there is a stigma attached to their home, it can be really isolating and damaging to their own well—being. can be really isolating and damaging to their own well-being. ending the freeze on housing benefit would make homes more affordable, say campaigners. but councils say other steps a re campaigners. but councils say other steps are needed. central government keeps much of the money that comes from the sale of council houses, councils are restricted when it comes to borrowing in order to be able to invest in development locally and a number of planning policies and meant that developers have been able to throw up shoddy, poor quality homes without providing social housing. caring for faris with a full time often training experience and doing so while living ina shipping experience and doing so while living in a shipping container makes it doubly difficult. it's very hard. because we don't know what's going on. his behaviour is very challenging now. i'm trying to make
him healthy, make him a better man, but moving around is not helping anybody. it's just effecting but moving around is not helping anybody. it'sjust effecting me, even to lose hope, and i've lost hope. michael buchanan, bbc news, west london. the time is 18 minutes past six. our top story this evening... the future of the hs2 rail line is in doubt, with a government review into whether it should go ahead. and still to come, ryanair loses a court bid to block its pilots from striking this week but says it doesn't expect major disruption. coming up on sportsday on bbc news... job done for england. victory over belarus is enough to qualify for the semifinals at the eurohockey championships in antwerp, while ireland miss out once again. how should the british countryside be managed? it's an ongoing debate between environmentalists and farmers.
some say nature should be allowed to take its course, leaving the land so that wildlife can flourish — a practice known as ‘rewilding'. others say the land should be used mainly forfood production. in the latest of our series, focus on farming, our environment correspondent claire marshall has been to one of the most ambitious rewilding projects in britain, the knepp estate. this is a typical slice of british farmland. well designed to produce food for humans and livestock but where wildlife is pushed to the very edges. look at what happens when you abandon intensive farming and put the natural world first. we have come to look at the largest rewilding project in england, a 3500—acre estate in west sussex. this would have been a conventional arable field. it would have been as flat monoculture as far as the eye can see. isabella tree and her husband gave up traditional farming 20 years ago. they have tried to recreate an ancient landscape where different animals graze freely
alongside each other. tamworth pigs act as ploughs. old english longhorn cattle and deer help to fertilise the land and spread seeds. it's a miracle, when the habitat returns and you have this dynamism, just the species find you. i mean, how, i don't know, but we now have turtle doves. we are about the only place in britain where turtle dove numbers are actually rising. that is our most likely bird to go extinct from britain in the next ten to 15 years. we are a hotspot for nightingales, we have woodlark, we have peregrine falcons, we have purple emperor butterflies. i mean, we have all these species that have found us because there is now the opportunity for them here. however, many farmers such as robin milton, who farms on the edge of exmoor, believe you can produce food and care for wildlife at the same time. we've got quite a selection of habitats that the value, that are of huge value for biodiversity.
alongside that, we are producing beef and lamb of probably the finest quality with one of the lowest environmental footprints you can find. we are losing our wildlife in the uk at a dramatic rate. take skylarks. their numbers dropped by half in the 1990s and they are still dropping. and bees and hoverflies, our key pollinators, a third of their species are in decline. and hedgehogs, we've lost a half in the last 20 years. there are many reasons for this but intensive farming methods including the use of pesticides are seen as a key driver. however, the industry says chemicals are essential to food security. there are thousands of pests that are literally after your lunch. if we can make sure the fields are as productive as possible, then we have to use some sort of crop protection. but the facts won't disappear. the richness of life in the countryside is fading. claire marshall, bbc news, west sussex.
it's emerged that the level of eu migration to the uk has been underestimated for a decade. the office for national statistics said the error was partly caused by undercounting migrants arriving from the eight countries whichjoined the eu in 2004, including poland. here are some of their figures. for the year ending march 2016 — the last year for which data is available — the initial estimate for net migration from the eu — that's the difference between people arriving and leaving — was 178,000. that's now been revised up to 207,000, an increase of i6%. the 0ns also says it also may have overstated immigration from countries outside the eu. ryanair has failed in a bid to stop a strike by some of its uk pilots from midnight tonight. but the airline is asking passengers to turn up as normal for their flights. colletta smith is at manchester airport for us.
why is ryanair so confident? it has been a nerve—racking week for all passengers to date were flying with ryanair in the next few days, waiting for this down to the wire decision by the high court who voted in favour of the pilots union, allowing the strike to go ahead of ryanair pilots allowing the strike to go ahead of rya nair pilots based allowing the strike to go ahead of ryanair pilots based here in the uk. it is due to begin at midnight tonight and last for 48 hours but as you said, the company have put out a lot of information saying that actually most peoples flights will be completely unaffected. they expect to run a full schedule for the next two days and people should turn up at the airport as normal, checkin turn up at the airport as normal, check in as normal and they will be able to operate those flights will stop the company have a significant number of pilots in other countries and they say they will be able to field the flights or man them on that basis. the union had been fighting over pay and conditions,
ryanair say that pilots are already very well paid but the concern for passengers is to avoid delays and disruption over the busy bank holiday weekend. thank you. president trump has cancelled a state visit to denmark, after its prime minister dismissed his proposal to buy greenland as "absurd." president trump tweeted that denmark was "a very special country with incredible people," but that he would be postponing their meeting scheduled for two weeks' time, after prime minister mette frederiksen said she'd have no interest in discussing greenland's sale. the first team in 15 years to dive down to the wreck of the titanic say it is deteriorating, partly because it's being eaten by bacteria. using a submersible vehicle built to withstand the immense pressure of the deep, an international group of explorers have surveyed it and say that some parts of it are disappearing. 0ur science correspondent rebecca morelle reports. at the bottom of the atlantic, nearly 4000 metres down, the most famous wreck of all time.
this is the bow of the titanic, still recognisable more than 100 years after she sank. it's the first time people have been down to see it for themselves for nearly 15 years but whilst some of the wreck is intact, other parts have disappeared altogether. probably the most shocking area of the deterioration was the starboard side of the officers' quarters, where the captain's quarters are. the captain's bath tub is a favourite image among titanic enthusiasts, and that is now gone. that whole deck house on that side is collapsing. microbes are eating away at the metal, creating stalactites of rust that dangle from the ship. amazingly, though, the glass in the portholes is still in place, giving a tantalising glimpse into the titanic‘s past. it was the biggest ship of its time, setting sail from southampton in 1912 on its maiden voyage, heading to new york.
but it never made it. it sank after hitting an iceberg. 1500 people lost their lives. these incredibly ornate slippers belong to one of the titanic‘s first class passengers, edith rosenbaum, a fashion buyer who was on her way to new york. she was one of the lucky ones. she survived, and she brought with her this musical toy pig that she played to soothe the children on the overcrowded lifeboat. every one of the precious artefacts at the national maritime museum tell a story. but exploring the titanic is also crucial. i think it's still important to go down and visit the wreck because of course the wreck itself is now the only witness we've got of the titanic disaster. all of the survivors have now passed away so i think it's important to use the wreck whilst the wreck still has something to say. the team are now analysing the footage they have captured to assess how long before
the titanic is lost to the sea. rebecca morelle, bbc news. time for a look at the weather. here's darren bett. good news, summer is set to return by the weekend. we have had some sunshine today, increasing cloud and we have where that still come in from the atlantic. we have this front around at low pressure that is pushing the cloud eastwards with the winds are strengthening in the north—west together with rain moving in. that rain should move away from northern ireland and then scotland by midnight. then it trickles and stumbled into northern england and north wales where it stops. south about, clips customer to the north, about, clips customer to the north, a few chows in the north—west of scotla nd a few chows in the north—west of scotland and temperature is 11—14d —— afew scotland and temperature is 11—14d —— a few showers. the rain then moves northwards again quickly and we will see wet weather in northern ireland tomorrow which cross the irish sea into scotland with the winds picking up again in the
north—west. much of england and wales away from the far north will be dry and warm in the sunshine with temperatures in the mid 20s, recovering later as the rain cleared from belfast but only 70 or so in the central belt of scotland. still some rain in iran on friday —— 17. the rain moves northwards and we have high pressure that is crucial coming into the weekend. 0n have high pressure that is crucial coming into the weekend. on friday, it is improving even in the north with the rain, initially heavy in the highlands, moving northwards and clear of the mainland and the cloud will break up and we get some sunshine coming through. that warmth will boost the temperatures up to 22 degrees in aberdeen, but the highest numbers are in london and the south—east at 27. we get continental aircoming up in south—east at 27. we get continental air coming up in time for the weekend which is why we have higher temperatures coming and dry weather. low 20s in scotland and northern ireland, mid 20s for the rest of england and wales with the peak of the temperatures, hot 30 degrees the south—east.
hello, this is bbc news. the headlines: will high speed rail go ahead in the uk? the government announces an independent review of the hsz announces an independent review of the hs2 link, with a final decision expected in months. borisjohnson is in berlin where he tells the uk chancellor the uk wants a brexit deal but can't accept the current one. we do need that backstop removed, but if we can do that, then iam removed, but if we can do that, then i am absolutely certain that we can move forward together. the stockpile of medicines are some companies as