hello, this is bbc news. the headlines at 7pm. labour shift their policy on europe. the shadow brexit secretary says the party would now keep written in a customs union. obviously it's the only way realistically to get tariff—free access, it's really important for our manufacturing base, and nobody can answer the question how you keep your commitment to no hard border in northern ireland without a customs union. syrian jets continue to pound eastern ghouta despite a un—agreed ceasefire. the west asks russia to put pressure on damascus. china's president xijinping could serve indefinitely, under changes to the constitution put forward by the ruling communist party. also this hour: a k—pop extravaganza brings the winter olympics in pyeongchang to an end. there was show of unity between north and south korea at the closing ceremony, and the north says it will meet the us for talks. manchester city errand pep guardiola
his first trophy in england. my guest this week is sirjohn schuster, broadcaster and man of the arts, whose own story is also a portrait of modern britain. good evening. the shadow brexit secretary has confirmed that labour wants the uk to remain in a customs union with the eu after brexit. sir keir starmer told the bbc‘s andrew marr show that a new treaty, replicating the existing customs arrangement, would be best for the economy and would respect the referendum result. the prime minister is committed to leaving both the single market and the customs union, she's expected to outline the government's position in more detail this week.
our political correspondent ben wright reports. for the first time there is clear blue policy water between labour and the tories over brexit. in a speech tomorrowjeremy corbyn will confirm his party would keep uk in a customs union with the eu after brexit. crunch time is coming for the prime minister because the majority of parliament does not back our approach to a customs union. neighbour brexit bushman said the would—be bedrock teaming up with the eu to reach trade deals with other countries. it is the only way to get realistically tariff free access, it is really important for our manufacturing base, and nobody can answer the question of how you keep your commitment are no hard border with northern ireland without a customs union. as an eu member we are currently in the customs union and the idea behind it is pretty simple. this simple set of towers is set on goods imported —— a single set on goods imported —— a single set of tariffs is closed and goods.
goods can move freely around the block. but numbers cannot do their own trade deals. some labour mps wa nt own trade deals. some labour mps want their party to go further and commit tojoining want their party to go further and commit to joining the single murky as well. it is a massive head to our economy if we leave the customs union, it is a massive hits to peace in northern ireland. these are called labour values. but brexit supporting labour mps argue the party risks betraying its own voters. you come out with all these things, we will stay in a customs union, stay in the single market. the decision was quite clear to leave, and in the north labour voters voted very, very clearly. are you going to rat on them and not? the brexit negotiation is not only a haggle between the uk government and the eu, the role of parliament is critical as well. theresa may does not have an overall majority in the commons, and the number of tory mps also argue that the uk should have a customs union with the eu. a vote
when it comes could force the government to change its position. the government insists the uk must be free to have an independent trade policy after brexit outside a customs union. labour-saving want to joina customs union. labour-saving want to join a customs union. what does that mean? is it like turkey which has a customs union but only in but not agriculture? not in services, not in finance. is that what we want? will we ta ke finance. is that what we want? will we take rules in certain sectors but not others? liam fox also said the government would try and persuade all tory mps about the government was right as ishant before putting a trade bill before mps, which at the moment looks like it could be defeated if labour joined moment looks like it could be defeated if labourjoined tory rebels in calling for a new customs union. and ben is here now. what is the point of labour suggesting this when they are not in power, so how could the influence a customs union decision? if the tories were in power with a thumping commons majority think you are right, it wouldn't make a lot of
difference. this would be political theatrics from the labour party, coming up with their alternative brexit position. but look at the commons arithmetic. since last summer the tories do not have a governing majority on the road in parliament. they rely on the dup. they are exceptionally vulnerable to any small rebellion on their own backbenchers, and they are looking down the barrel of a massive one on this huge issue of whether about britain stays in a new customs union or not with the european union. because anna soubry, the tory mps, has been down this amendment to the trade bill but we expect to see some point in the next few weeks, the government are holding back until they are short enough support to get it through, she wants to amend it, calling for a new customs union, and if, as seems likely after today, the labour party swings in behind her and perhaps a dozen ahmad more tory mps, there was a good chance that the government could be defeated on this, and a customs union with them really be imposed on the government. that is why liber‘s position
matters. so to make sure that the referendum result matters it would be out with the old customs union but in some indifferent? and ownership of the single market depends on being a member of them ship of the ee, what is being proposed by labour is that we will have an arrangement of it like turkey, andorra, these smaller countries on the periphery of the eu that are not eu members, that have done their own customs union agreements with the european union. in the case of turkey they don't cover a ll in the case of turkey they don't cover all goods, agriculture is not included. labour's view is that the uk set negotiate a new customs union arrangement with the eu on our terms to reflect our priorities. i think since one of the main motivations for labour in embracing this is to deal with northern ireland border question, and some of the most heavy traffic across the border is agricultural products, i imagine a
customs union between the eu and the uk would have to include agricultural products will stop this would have to be negotiated. labour's view is that this is the only way that you can ensure that you can have less friction at the border. there would still be some, because of the fact that we would not still be in the signal market, but just removing those not still be in the signal market, butjust removing those tariffs might makea butjust removing those tariffs might make a difference. so let's look ahead, as we always need to, to this week, following on from that day of talks at chequers when they are getting their messages together. what do we expect to hear? we expect to hear the outcome of that eight—hour meeting at chequers, where theresa may got together her key cabinet ministers, locked the doors, and make them sign up to a collective position on what the uk is asking for in terms of a future trade relationship. these talks have not even started yet with the eu. they will begin end of march, beyond march, wants the uk hopes the
transition period has been agreed. that is what we expect from theresa may, a big, important speech on friday in which she is expected to flesh out exactly how the government hopes to not only have as close to friction straight as possible, but how it is going to get the sort of regulatory alignment in some areas that it wants, the option to deviate from the european union in other areas in the future. look at the broad outline of what the uk is asking for, theresa may now has to put some flesh on those bones and explain both to the eu and to quite a lot of sceptical tory mps harrow, practically, the uk hopes to match its rhetoric and aspiration with a firm negotiating policy platform that it will put on the table. thanks, ben. and we'll find out how this story, and many others, are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:30 and 11:30 in the papers. 0ur guestsjoining us tonight are charlie wells, who is the deputy snapchat editor
at the economist, and rosamund urwin, financial services correspondent at the sunday times. there has been fighting around the rebel—held area of eastern ghouta in syria, despite a ceasefire resolution passed at the un security council. clashes on the ground and air strikes have continued, but at a much reduced rate. french and german leaders have appealed to president putin to make the syrian government honour the ceasefire. caroline hawley reports. a measure of calm today after a week—long storm of strikes. ends monomers people ventured out from underground shelters to assess the damage. but there were reports of air strikes continuing in some parts of the rebel held enclave. still there is shelling, but the
level is less than before. the vote last last night for a month—long ceasefire did not specify how it would start being fermented. and there is another problem, it is a disparate group of rebels fighting the resume, including some extremist elements that have been linked to al-qaeda, and the ceasefire does not cover them. covenant forces are now master of the enclave, with reports of clashes as they try to advance. to night we spoke to the most powerful grip on the ground, which claims to have kidnapped and killed dozens claims to have kidnapped and killed d oze ns of claims to have kidnapped and killed dozens of government troops today. translation: when the resume is not abiding by the un resolution i cannot stand still and not defend myself and our families cannot stand still and not defend myself and ourfamilies in ghouta. if there is one thing all sides agree on, it is that the conflict,
the agony of syria's civilians, is very farfrom the agony of syria's civilians, is very far from over. china's state news agency says the ruling communist party has proposed a change to the constitution that would allow the president and vice president to stay in power for more than two terms. the current president, xijinping, was due to step down from his role in 2023. our china correspondent robin brant reports. this was xijinping a few months ago. with china communist party pomp at its finest as he was confirmed for a second term as party chief and president. behind him were his two immediate predecessors, both of whom served ten years, then stepped aside. now there is fresh sign that he wants to eclipse them. the ruling communist party wants to ditch the rule that the president should serve no more than two consecutive terms. in just those eight words lies the biggest change to china's leadership in 30 years.
why now? the overall consensus in china by most people is that president xi jinping has really done a very good job and has become a truly outstanding leader by the chinese standard. his fight against corruption, his bold and audacious initiative to promote the one belt, one road initiative, for example. but to some here it looks like the current leader wants to become more like this one, communist china's founding father. xi is now referred to by the same term as chairman mao. both have had their thought written into the constitution, and critics see a growing cult around xi as well.
china and xijinping has looked to increase its influence in this part of the world, particularly in the south china sea, way beyond its coastline. it has expanded its trade relationship to the west towards europe as well. there is no doubt that more xijinping means a china that wants more of a presence on the world stage and more of an influence. i want to thank you for the very warm welcome. my feeling toward you is an incredibly warm one. president trump has described his chinese counterpart as a friend, but xijinping has plans to challenge the us, with an expanding navy in the pacific and beyond, and with ambitions as well to conquer new tech. the longer xi stays in power, the stronger the challenge could be. south korea claims that north korea is willing to hold talks with america to lessen tensions in the peninsula. the claim came after general kim yong—chol met the south
korean president moonjae—in before the closing ceremony of the winter olympics. the president of the international olympic committee, has praised the bridges built between north and south korea at the games. our correspondent laura bicker is in pyeongchang, and assesses how successful they have been. this is the confident side of south korea. modern, dynamic, and edgy. in the stands, just one row behind the daughter of the us president, is a north korean general, more used to overseeing military parades and high—energy k—pop. it seems his country is ready to hold discussions with the us at some point. the victory for the south korean leader, president moon. unlike the opening ceremony, athletes from the two countries flew their own colours,
highlighting the division despite the despondency. critics fear the north has been given too much of a platform at these games, but the minister responsible for talks between the two careers says pyongyang is being pushed on its weapons. translation: we did convey the message to the north koreans multiple times. it is necessary that north korea and yet it states talk to each other to solve this in a peaceful manner. before the ceremony, dozens of protesters try to stop the north korean general crossing the border to reach pyeongchang. he's not be responsible for deadly attacks on south koreans. it isa for deadly attacks on south koreans. it is a reminder that after this olympic reverie that could be a dose of reality. this show of harmony has given south korea some breathing space, but tensions still lurks in the background. unfortunately it will not last. north koreans are entirely separated, they have said
from the first meeting of the nuclear issue has nothing to do with cooperation between the two careers or the olympic games. absent again was the russian flag. beyond the committee decided not to lift the ban imposed after years of drug scandals. culturally, these games have allowed koreans to see what happens when they're divided people come together. politically, there are so many issues to overcome. but this is the first progress made on this is the first progress made on this potential in years. —— made on this potential in years. —— made on this peninsula. as we heard in laura's report, south korea is claiming that north korea is willing to hold talks with the united states, but us officials have ruled out a meeting until the country is prepared to discuss dismantling its nuclear weapons programme. we can speak now tojohn everard, who was the uk's ambassador to north korea from 2006—8 and was on the un security's councils panel of experts on north korea from 2011—12. council's panel of experts on north korea from 2011—12. john joins us live via webcam from central london.
if this is the case and north korea is prepared to talk to the us, how much of a significant shift would it be? it may be very significant or not significant at all. it all depends on what they are prepared to talk about. north korea has said repeatedly that it is not prepared to put its nuclear programmes, its missile programmes, on the negotiating table. but whether that it is hard to see why the united states would want to enter into negotiations. i think what will happen next is we will seek talks about talks, in the timbers phrase of rex tillerson, to see what will be on the agenda, and that... why would the united states not be enthusiastic without those assurances? surely it is better to get started on something, isn't it?
talks about talks are harmless, there is nothing much to lose. but there is nothing much to lose. but the united states has already put out a statement saying that the endgame of any dialogue has to be the denuclearisation of the korean peninsula. a saying in effect we are happy to talk to you but we have to address the nuclear programme, and u nless address the nuclear programme, and unless the programmers addressed in these talks we're going to be a bit hollow. how critical south korea likely to be in this process? south korea will be at the heart of this. notjust korea will be at the heart of this. not just because it korea will be at the heart of this. notjust because it is through the new opening that we're seeing between south and north korea that the north korean sav conveyed this message, but of course because south korea would have an effective veto over any us military action against north korea. it couldn't use us military assets in the south without the agreement of the southern government, which is one of the big elephant in the room between the us
and north korea. and also because the president himself is so deeply engaged in the process. how enthusiastic would china likely be for these talks to take place? what would be the position of beijing? some caution. china has been urging talks for a long time, but by talks it means a resumption of six party talks, which china chairs. and there will be some nervousness in beijing about talks between the two careers and now between north korea and united states if it goes ahead. with no che ‘s presence. china is not pa rt no che ‘s presence. china is not part of this negotiation. in the eyes of beijing it is a risk that the parties may come to an agreement that china does not agree with. we must leave there. thank ‘s for your time. the headlines on bbc news:
a shift of policy on europe by labour, the shadow brexit secretary says the party would keep britain in a customs union. eastern ghouta under siege — syrian jets continue pounding the damascus suburb despite a un—agreed ceasfire. the west appeals to russia to put pressure on the regime. china's president xijinping could serve indefinitely, under changes that the communist party is proposing to the country's constitution. bollywood superstar sridevi kapoor has died of a heart attack at the age of 5a. the actress — who starred in more than 150 films — was considered one of the few in her generation capable of huge box office success without the support of a male hero. rajini vaidya nathan looks back at her life. for decades she was bollywood's leading lady. sridevi's combination of charisma and comic timing won herfans around the world and in a male—dominated
film industry she was one of the first women to become a megastar in her own right. the audience just want a good film, thatis the audience just want a good film, that is what matters. but then i think it is only the subject matters. sridevi was attending a family wedding with her husband and daughter in dubai when she suffered a heart attack late on saturday night. as the news broke, fans gathered outside her home as the world paid tribute. one film producer described the impact of sridevi's death, saying that she was a pioneer who put the early cracks in the glass ceiling of bollywood that paved the way for today's female film stars. her death is a loss to our country, to the film industry, she was such a role model to all women across the country.
so, yes, i'm sure it's going to have an impact on all of us. of course, like, now, you've got a lot of famous leading ladies in bollywood but back then in the 80s and early 90s there weren't too many of them and she was one of the first, sridevi will be remembered for the way she lit up the screen. she left the world of bollywood way too soon but her legacy is enduring. sridevi, who has died at the age of 5a. nigeria's government has deployed its air force to help in the search for a group of schoolgirls missing since an attack by islamist militants on their school last monday. thousands marched in moscow in
memory of an activist killed years ago. in subzero moscow they poured into the streets to remember, to honour the memory of it russian politician and fierce kremlin critic who were shot dead three years ago. the banner reads, those bullets are inside each and everyone of us. his murder shocked russians. it is the most high—profile political assassination since vladimir putin came to power. this march is not just in memory, it is a political protest. people here are shouting, one, two, three, flooding a pigeon, it's time to leave. and "putin is a
thief. " president putin call the assassination a while and cynical crime. last year five assassination a while and cynical crime. last yearfive men assassination a while and cynical crime. last year five men from chechnya were evicted of the merger. but those who ordered the killing had not been brought tojustice. on the bridge where he died, russians have been laying flowers. this place of killing has become an unofficial shrine to be murdered politician. over a thousand people have taken part in a march in the centre of belfast calling for more to be done to deal with the legacy of northern ireland's troubles. the "time for truth" march was organised by a number of groups representing people who died in the fighting, and who claim the government has failed to deliver on promises around legacy issues, including a five—year plan to complete outstanding inquests. the sinn fein leader michelle o'neil was among those marching. we have called for the british government to move forward this week and bring for the consultation
but most importantly bring forward funding for the legacy for this to happen now, there is no reason for a delay, the money should be released immediately and these people should not be treated in a disgusting way. a british skier has fallen to his death in the french alps. mountain rescuers in grenoble said three skiers had got into trouble after venturing off piste in the alpe d'huez region yesterday, and that two of them had fallen from a cliff. the foreign office said it was providing support to the family of the skier who had died. a new 13—million pound fund to fight child sexual exploitation and drugs crime is being launched by the home office. ministers want social workers, police and nurses to help protect
children, and young people at risk from sex gangs and drug dealers. society's most vulnerable, those at risk of grooming, exploitation and being drawn into a life of crime are among those supported by children's homes like this one, visited by home office minister victoria atkins. £13 million of government funding has been made available for projects aimed towards at—risk young people in england. we want to encourage local authorities to work with charities and other organisations to try and reach these children before harm is done. we are calling out to local authorities and charities for society's most vulnerable, those at risk of grooming, exploitation and if they have a scheme that is already working, come and talk to us to see if it fits in with the fund. if somebody has a bright idea out there about what may work in their particular market town or locality, do come and talk to us. it doesn'tjust have to be about residential homes, even though these are incredibly important. it could be all sorts of other ideas as well. to access funding, councils must be able to show how projects would improve well—being and self—esteem, facilitate more trusted relationships and reduce
exploitation, abuse and criminality. what we're realising is a lot of young people have misssed childhood experiences such as going to the park or having somebody sit with them at night and actually those little things make so much of a difference. having positive experiences is really powerful. some have questioned how far the government funding will stretch. but staff in this home say any support offered can't come soon enough. a 13—year—old girl has been arrested in connection with an arson attack in kent. a0 firefighters were called to a fire at a car salvage yard on ellens road in deal in kent on friday night. no one was injured, but police estimate that over 120 vehicles were damaged as a result. the teenager, from deal, was arrested yesterday and has been released pending further inquiries. in egypt, archaeologists have revealed a recently—discovered tomb, which is thought to be more than 2000 years old. it's about 120 miles south of cairo, beside the nile at tuna al—gabal, and contains dozens of ancient burials.
it's hoped it'll boost tourism. bill hayton reports. eight metres below ground, buried treasure, centuries old. stone coffins, card sarcophagi, and ancient stones and jewellery. this was a burial place for priests from a nearby city. it's only the beginning. i think we need at least five more missions to work. but we are going to add very soon a very new archaeological attraction in egypt. amongst the many fines were the remains of sacred animals, preserved as offerings to the afterlife. at about 1,000 small statues known as ushabti, intended to act as servants to the dead. and one very special piece of jewellery: an amulet with a message. translation: on the 3ist of december, a colleague
alerted me to a scarab which had the message happy new year on it in hieroglyphs. it felt like a message from the afterlife. it was a wonderful coincidence. the government hopes discoveries like this will improve tourism in egypt. visitor numbers are rising, but they are only half what they were before the arab spring, seven years ago. on its own, this term is unlikely to unlikely to attract many foreigners. it is in middle egypt, a long way from the pyramids and the ancient city of luxor, and tourism facilities are poorly developed. but it is a reminder the pharaohs left plenty behind, and in places that are easier to see. now let's get the weather. this cold snap has been well forecast for some time. it won't come as too much of a surprise to hear we have very wintry weather ahead.
disruptive heavy snow with bitter easterly winds, lots of frost, ice, and some wintry sunshine as well. easterly winds developing through this week, drawing in all that cold air from siberia and northern russia. during monday western parts of the country should be largely clear with some sunshine. in east we have more cloud, with snow showers in eastern england and eastern scotland. first thing monday morning we have those snow showers. we are likely to see widespread frost and icy conditions to start monday morning. most of the snow showers will be well scattered across parts of eastern england and eastern scotland. many places staying dry, particularly out towards the west. during the day on monday the cloud filter is further west. it will be a cold day. temperatures a few degrees above freezing for many of us, but when