this is bbc news. the headlines: the brexit secretary has held crunch talks with the european union's chief negotiator in a bid to resolve outstanding issues over leaving the eu. the pace of the negotiations have picked up ahead of wednesday's summit of eu leaders. the ambassadors from the other 27 member countries have just begun a previously unscheduled. france, germany and the uk issue a joint statement demanding a ‘credible investigation‘ in to the disappearance of the journalist, jamal khashoggi — who vanished after visiting saudi arabia's consulate in turkey. after the storm, the clean up — roads and railway continue to struggle. also in the news this evening — angela merkel‘s regional allies in bavaria look to have experienced their worst election result since 1950. exit polls suggest the csu, mrs merkel‘s bavarian sister party, has lost its absolute majority. the greens and the far right alternative for deutschland made the biggest gains.
virgin trains and stagecoach shared more than £51 million worth of dividends from the west coast main line shortly before its other rail franchise, on the east coast mainline, collapsed. the brexit secretary dominic raab has arrived in brussels for face to face talks with his eu counterpart michel barnier, as the government says it's working to resolve several outstanding issues for britain's withdrawal from the eu ahead of a summit this week. at home the prime minister is coming under intense pressure from leading brexiteers, with the former brexit secretary david davis enouraging a cabinet rebellion against the idea of a temporary arrangement which would see the whole of the uk
remaining in the customs union until the irish border issue is resolved. our political correspondent vicki young reports. the last get ended with angry recriminations. some cabinet members have threatened to quit over her plans. loyal colleagues say it is time for unity. everybody needs to get behind the prime minister and pulled behind her because she is trying to deliver the best deal for britain and that is the best way to ta ke britain and that is the best way to take this forward. but the former secretary david davis as the cabinet must get therese me to change direction. this agreement is over the so—called irish backstop, how to
avoid order checks between northern ireland and ireland if a suitable trade arrangement is not in place, with theresa may suggesting that. is a stay within the union. the —— that there is a stay within the union. these concerns have to be made very clear to the prime minister. this has to be a cabinet decision. the labour leadership is scathing about theresa may's plans. if she comes back with something that is just a fudge that she has cooked up with brussels we are not going to vote for it. the british people are not stupid and we are not stupid and we are not voting for a bridge to nowhere we need to know what our situation is going to be and a fudge will not fix it. but ministers are still working towards a deal. this afternoon, the brexit secretary made afternoon, the brexit secretary made a flying visit to brussels for another face to face meeting with
the eu's chief negotiator. let's talk to our reporter in brussels adam fleming. what should be read, if anything, into this previously unscheduled couple of meetings? it was unscheduled, unannounced, but not really that unexpected, because the way these talks have worked is that civil servants go so far and the officials go so far and then their political masters have to come in at the last minute and either solve issues that are unsolvable for the technocrats or to get the deal across the line and get a political sign off. i understand that the visits by raab today was not a victory lap or a signing ceremony in private, it was proper negotiating with barnier, especially over the thorny issue of the northern irish backstop, the back—up plan to prevent the reintroduction of the border between northern ireland and
ireland if the trade relationship does not solve that problem. eu ambassadors from the 27 remaining member countries have been briefed by tim at barnier right now. i haven't been able to speak to any of them but what i have heard is that them but what i have heard is that the message from the three macro is that there has been progress in lots of area but the —— barnier is that there have been lots of progressive but the northern ireland issue is still tricky. three days, four days, at least, until wednesday evening. they will have this sit down dinner with heads of government. that is the day where there has to be a deal agreed of some kind, yes? the original plan was that they will have the withdrawal agreement, the divorce treaty bit of the process, would be finalised by tonight, tomorrow, then the sherpas, the prime ministerial advisers, would
meet here in brussels tomorrow to prepare for the summit. they need to have a british cabinet meeting on tuesday morning to give their thumbs up, and on wednesday night, the leaders would come here and say there has been decisive progress, let's spend the next month drafting oui’ let's spend the next month drafting our political declaration about the shape of the future relationship with the uk, and let's get the whole thing signed off at another summit in mid—november. the whole question is, well raab stay overnight and meets barnier and give it another go tomorrow, so the timetable stays on track, or are we looking at a situation where there cannot be an agreement on the northern ireland pa rt agreement on the northern ireland part of the treaty, therefore not an agreement on the whole of the treaty, and nothing for the leaders to approve of on wednesday night, no signing ceremony for the final deal in november and instead, leaders will be meeting in november to seriously contemplate what happens if there is no deal. the next few days will be crucial. there are
crunch points in the process, but i mean it this time! i am sure you meant it when you said it before! i ta ke meant it when you said it before! i take your point. you might be hearing more from adam later. our chief political correspondent, we can speak to her now, the phone lines must be hot around westminster and whitehall right now. what do we think is going on? think they are close but they are not there yet. as adam says, it is definitely a crunch point, and not just adam says, it is definitely a crunch point, and notjust for the negotiations, but for the leadership of the reset may as well. face to face talks today, because raab wa nted face talks today, because raab wanted to reiterate the strength of feeling here, that was then ireland cannot be treated differently from the uk and the uk cannot be in a customs union forever where we cannot do trade deals and there is no way out. it was always a temporary arrangement. that is the fear, if it is feared that after we
paid our £39 billion, what incentive is there for the european union to bother to give us a good future relationship? that is where we are at and that is why dominic raab decided to go face to face to say this. there is a question of the time limit of being and the customs union. it doesn't have to be a date, and it is clear that ministers are looking at the alternative, saying that this needs to happen, that needs to happen, and the uk can leave, and that is what they have been walking about this afternoon. is there a sense that this could possibly satisfy enough of the more keener supporters of brexit to help theresa may get a deal through parliament? if she manages to get the deal, it would change the dynamic a bit. that is certainly what the government hopes. we followed every twist and turn, up and down, is it going to happen, and with the knots, and she can come
back and say, i worked really hard and this is the best that we can get, it is not going to be detrimental to the uk economy, this is the cover my eyes we have got. they hope that focuses the mind of mps. this wrapper this is the compromise we have got. —— this is the compromise we have got. they will ask if they will be willing to vote it down despite the uncertainty, the general election, another referendum, delaying brexit altogether, that is going to be the message that is going to come down on them and it will be a very tough message. with labour mps as well, those like caroline flint, a brexit constituency, can she be seen to be voting against a deal that is there in black and white for the potential ofa in black and white for the potential of a new deal which she thinks would be bad for her constituents? it is going to focus minds, if teresa may can get the deal signed. you have indicated the difficulties. it is
ha rd to indicated the difficulties. it is hard to tell how much of this is propaganda or brinkmanship, but there are stories this weekend about cabinet ministers considering their position and whether they might resign when the cabinet meets on tuesday and she gives more detail to them, and suggestions that there may only be four letters short of the magic number needed to automatically trigger a leadership challenge. on the cabinet ministers, there is obvious unhappiness there. some are happy with the checkers arrangement until now, after mcveigh, but there has been talk they are unhappy, and they are not there yet. we're speculating on something we don't know what is going to be yet. i think that michael gove arguments, whereby he says that we need to get out and then we need to make sure that we secure that, because i think people are concerned that there has been a lot more talk about a
referendum, something that six months ago we would have said was simply not on the cards. it has changed, people are talking about it a lot more, so i think that michael gove would say and would try to persuade others that we need to make sure that we do leave. the question of leadership today, someone openly saying that david davis should be the leader, the idea that would happen now, many conservatives would feel that it is the wrong time to do that. the letters, there has been talk for some time that they are close to having the numbers, that triggers a process, teresa may can say, fine, i will stand again, and they all have to vote again to see if she can stand or not, and that would take a lot more, 150 mps, to say she has to be out on her ear, and it is unlikely, but i cannot say anything at this point. i spent the mps of four hours and everyone had a different view on what would happen next! the only thing we know is that something is going to happen! thank
you very much. trains are being disrupted along the devon coast, afterflood damage from storm callum caused a large hole to open up beneath the line between exeter and newton abbot. the west of britain has been worst affected by torrential rain, with homes flooded and people left without power in parts of south—wales. tomos morgan reports from carmarthen. the basement. this was the play room of the children and now it is waist high deep in water. injust under five hours last night, jason discovered his home was decimated by the heavy rain. i have lived all my life and i have never seen a flood like this. i'm no it doesn't flood in the surrounding area but this has not happened in 30 years. business is coming. halloween is around the corner, fireworks. there will be no here this year, do you know what i
mean? south wales has borne the brunt of the storm. the minutes north in this village, corey scherping, who is 2! years old, died ina line scherping, who is 2! years old, died in a line —— landslide. the weather is also affected in other areas across the uk. in devon, flooding has destroyed this railway track. repairs are expected to take at least the rest of the day. if a hole opens up, we cannot run the trains. i'm going back to cornwall because thatis i'm going back to cornwall because that is or my university is. i am going to be back very late. this is the first of two macro buses. you have to be philosophical, haven't you? such was the chaos caused by the torrential downpour that emergency services have had to help deal with the aftermath. last night, a river broke its banks and there was pressure from all of the extra water. the clean—up operation has
begun but the effects of such devastation will be felt for some time to come. storm callum has also caused problems for many farmers across wales. becky eardley filmed this footage of a horse rescue in gilwern in montmouthshire. two men swam out in to water six—feet deep to lead the animal to safety. no—one was injured in the rescue and the horse is said germany, france and britain have issued a joint statement urging a credible investigation into the disappearance of the saudi journalist jamal khashoggi, saying that saudi arabia needs to provide a full and detailed response to allegations that he was murdered inside its consulate in istanbul. but amid reports that the uk and the united states could boycott a forthcoming business conference in riyadh, the saudis have said they'll retaliate to any sanctions. 0ur diplomatic affairs correspondent paul adams gave us this update. for all of the lurid details associated with this story, we simply do not know what happened to jamal khashoggi two days ago. we
don't want to get ahead of the facts but the facts do not look good, and thatis but the facts do not look good, and that is why we are seeing this pretty strong statement about upmost seriousness and a hint, in the wording that officials do believe something pretty awful it happened. if relevant, the ministers say that the saudis should identify, and those responsible should be held to account. that is a fairly serious warning. the foreign secretary was asked about this just a short time ago and he said it really is more than ever up to saudi arabia, up to them to come clean. what happens from now on is absolutely up to saudi arabia. they must have seen the huge national concern from the united states, now from britain, france and germany, and what they need to do is co—operate fully with the investigation, the turks are asking us to do that and get to the bottom of this. jeremy hunt, the foreign secretary.
i'm joined now by shadi hamid, a senior fellow at the bookings institute — and author of islamic exceptionalism: how the struggle 0ver islam is reshaping the world. thank you for being with us on bbc news. let me ask you first of all a the options that are open to countries like the united states and the uk in terms of applying pressure to the saudi government, given that the response so far has been the threat that if you try and impose sanctions against us we will hit back harder. saudi arabia is talking a big game, but the context here is that the us is the much stronger partner in the relationship with saudi arabia, and sometimes we are asking —— acting as if they saudi arabia and have the ability to punish the us, and that is what has been said in various statements, that everyone is going to pay a big price that there are repercussions against them, but the idea that the
saudi arabian can damage the us economy is absurd. it is the us along with the european partners who have the leverage and the saudi military, for example, and its air force in particular, would be granted without us military support. the us has provided security for saudi arabia for decades now, so the us is and has been saudi arabia's most important ally in security terms, so that gives the us and the international community more generally considerable leverage, and the saudis can issue these very strong and somewhat unhinged statements, but it does not change the basic fact that they are playing with fire here, they are going into very risky territory. president trump was suggesting today that he did not want to go down the route of
cancelling arms sales, but at the moment, according to the economic adviser at the white house, the us treasury secretary is going to go to this big economic meeting in saudi arabia. how important is that meeting, both in terms of saudis image in the region and in the world, and the political pride, and also in terms of what the crown prince wants to achieve in terms of the future of reshaping saudi arabia, which was his big promise, giving away the economy from its dependence onjust oil giving away the economy from its dependence on just oil revenues. the crown prince wants to wait out the us and europe and he is hoping that a lot of this will pass, and this is where it becomes a test for the us and for others, and also, the us does not, under trump, and for others, and also, the us does not, undertrump, have and for others, and also, the us does not, under trump, have a strong focus on human rights. that is very
clearly trump's orientation. it is possible that the us will not do much at all and will not halt arms sales but the possibility is there and we will have to wait and see. when it comes to the crown prince, in his vision for saudi arabia, this conference in particular is important, the treasury secretary will send a strong signal by going that business will continue as usual, and i think that is what the saudi leadership is counting on. on the broader question about the crown prince being a reformer, i think that a lot of people in the west to bought into this narrative have to bea bought into this narrative have to be a little sheepish right now and, there is always this the notation for us in the us, and i am sure it is similar in europe to some extent, to look for the good modernizer, here is a person who is enlightened and they are going to push society to this more liberal place, where women have more rights, and we fall
into that, and i think, yes, have there been some positive reforms when it comes to women's rights in saudi arabia under the crown prince? yes, that there has also been an unprecedented crackdown on dissent, well before, so this did not come out of nowhere, this is in the more broad context of what has become a very almost totalizing, authoritarian situation, where there is not really any pockets of dissent. this pockets have been rooted out under the crown prince, so it is a reminder to us to not buy into the narrative of the modernising reform, and it also applies to other iterations, like in egypt, people used to say that about —— assad in syria, —— —— assad, and being a modernizer can lead to... and just on one critic, to a certain
extent, someone who favoured reform and works closely with the royal family in the past, if turkey delivers on its claims, as evidenced that he was killed inside the consulate, which is saudi arabia has denied and there is no evidence to suggest he was responsible if that is the case, how damaging do you think that would be for saudi arabia? it is already damaging because the consensus already is that the saudi regime was involved. we are not just that the saudi regime was involved. we are notjust talking about critics of the saudi regime, but if you look at senator lindsey graham, on the us side, even president trump himself has said it is looking a little bit like there could be saudi involvement, so the consensus is building, and! involvement, so the consensus is building, and i think the evidence is overwhelming at this point. it does not mean, there could be other details that are yet to come that changed the story somewhat, but in terms of the broad outlines of what
happened, i think that many, many, including in the intelligence communities, people have seen classified intelligence material, you know, this is what it is looking like, so now it is up to saudi arabia, they do still have a chance to offer contrary evidence. if that is what they want to do, they can do it and the world is willing to listen if there are aspects to this worry that everyone has been missing up worry that everyone has been missing up until now, but what is striking is that the saudis offer so far has no contrary evidence that they have done nothing of the sword, and that is where a lot of us come to this situation. we are opening —— we are open to hearing different details but none of that is coming, which is quite frankly suspicious, and i think it suggests that the saudis don't really have any contrary evidence, because it has been 12 days now. thank you very much. it's emerged that sir richard branson's virgin —
and stagecoach — shared a payout of more than £50 million from their profit—making west coast mainline, just months before handing the financially troubled east coast line back to the government. here's our business correspondentjoe miller. it carries passengers along the main corridor between london and glasgow and makes a tidy profit along the way. virgin's west coast franchise did so well in the last financial year that owners sir richard branson and stagecoach's sir brian souter received a dividend of over £51 million. butjust a few months ago, the very same owners dropped out of a contract to run the troubled east coast line, the government was forced to step in and was left with a £2 billion shortfall. there is of course nothing to stop a private company rewarding its owners, but these large payouts will add to concerns that billionaires are cherry picking the most profitable parts of the railways. that's certainly labour's view. it says any money made in the west could be
spread around the country if the railways were re—nationalised. buying a ticket is so extortionate these days that many people can't afford simply to travel by rail. so we want to see that investment being pulled back into a good, publicly owned railway system which really does put the passenger at the heart. virgin says passengers are satisfied with its west coast service and in a statement, the department for transport stood behind the company, saying that privatisation had transformed railways and improved customer service. commuters caught up in this year's summer of chaos may well beg to differ, but one passenger group says it's the management rather than the owners that make all the difference. whoever is operating the railway, regardless of who owns it, is to manage it in a way that delivers excellent customer service, and i think there is evidence to suggest that passengers would appreciate greater value for money. the west coast franchise is up
for tender again soon, but with rail fares set to rise further in january, the next operator will need to prove that travellers‘ hard earned cash is being put to good use. exit polls emerging from the election in bavaria, in southern germany, suggest that chancellor merkel‘s regional allies, the christian social union, have suffered big losses. the polls — if correct — suggest the greens could have doubled their share of the vote since the last election — with the populist, anti—immigrant party alternative for germany, likely to come in fourth place. the csu could be forced into a regional coalition in bavaria — a setback that could further complicate the chancellor‘s federal government. let‘s get more on this from our correspondentjenny hill, who‘s in berlin for us. when we spent an hour ago you were waiting for those exit poll results. what do they say? they are usually
pretty accurate of an indication of what has taken place in the polling stations? they tend to be relatively accurate but we will have to wait some more hours before we really get confirmation, but broadly speaking, this is a terrible night for angela merkel‘s bavarian sister party. the csu is the bavarian branch of her conservative party and it has had historic losses if the polls art to be believed. the csu is almost the very much used to reigning supreme the sub it looks to have lost its absolute majority. interestingly, the csu pick several fights with in july merkel ever migration policy and shifted itself to the right. —— angela merkel. it seems to have backfired. rhodes have been leaving in d roves backfired. rhodes have been leaving in droves —— voters have been droves and going to the far right afd. in
more significant numbers, into the arms of the green party, the real success party of this election in bavaria. the reason all of this really matters, and angela merkel will be watching closely and no doubt with dismay, is that what is happening in bavaria really mirrors what is happening at a federal level here. voters are starting to walk away from their old traditional centre right and centreleft parties. angela merkel‘s party is losing voters, but so, more significantly, are the coalition partners, like stp, who have done with the badly, down to about 10% of the boat that chapter like svp, done very badly, down to about 10% of the vote. listen to what their leader had to say. this is just listen to what their leader had to say. this isjust a listen to what their leader had to say. this is just a few minutes ago, in reaction to the terrible result in bavaria, saying that the reason for that that performance is that bad performance of the grand coalition in berlin and that there was a lot of infighting between the
bavarian sister branch of angela burkle‘s party. —— angela merkel‘s party. tonight is a big blow. there are state elections in a number —— ina are state elections in a number —— in a couple of weeks, and what happened in bavaria tonight was a warning for us, according to one of one of the politicians involved in the party. amen... a british cyclist has been shot dead by a hunter in the french alps, police have confirmed. the 34—year—old restaurant owner was riding a mountain bike in woods near the town of les gets
on saturday evening when he was shot dead. the victim, who‘s been named locally as mark sutton, had lived in the area for several years. now we‘re being told to eat less meat to help tackle global warming. but it seems our sunday roasts and steak dinners are safe in the hands of the government‘s climate change minister. claire perry has told the bbc that politicians telling people to eat less meat smacks of the worst kind of ‘nanny state advice.‘ here‘s our environment analyst roger harrabin. burping farm animals are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, so cutting down on meat is one of the simplest things we can do to protect the climate. one report advises no more than one meat portion a week — either as steak are cut into strips to flavour meals like stir—fries. will the government pass on that advice? no, it won‘t. i think you‘re describing the worst nanny state environment ever. who would i be... advising — is it nanny state to advise? ..sitting there are advising people in the country, coming home after a hard day of work, to not have, you know, steak and chips — please! those who enjoy a nice joint of beef will breathe a sigh of relief, but people concerned about the climate say the government should be advising us — to switch from beef to chicken, and to cut down on all meat.
to stay within safe climate limits, we need to tackle the amount of meat we're eating. but actually lower meat diets that are higher in vegetables and plant proteins are also better for our health, so it's a win—win situation. there's been a huge rise in interest in flexitarianism — people eating less meat — and businesses are starting to respond to that. so the supermarkets have been introducing lots of great ranges now for people wanting to choose alternatives to meat. tomorrow the government launches green gb week, to shift britain towards a future with zero carbon emissions. scientists say that cutting down on meat must be on the policy menu. roger harrabin, bbc news.