tv BBC News at Nine BBC News March 28, 2019 9:00am-9:31am GMT
you're watching bbc news at nine with me, annita mcveigh. the headlines: theresa may is continuing to try to gain support for her brexit deal. she's promised to quit as prime minister if the withdrawl agreement is approved. meanwhile, none of eight alternative brexit proposals brought by mps secured the backing of parliament after a series of commons votes last night. fall—out from the grenfell tower fire could have contaminated the soil surrounding it. a report highlights fears of an increased risk of cancer and respiratory problems. the clear—up continues two weeks
since a devestating cyclone hit parts of southern africa. the death toll is still rising. a 65—year—old british woman who doesn't feel pain is one ofjust two known cases in the world. she only found out recently when she didn't need painkillers after major surgery. good morning and welcome to the bbc news at nine. it was another night of high drama in the house of commons last night after a series of votes on brexit. none of the eight options put forward succeeded in getting a majority. this came just hours after the prime minister, theresa may, revealed she will quit as leader if
mps back a deal to leave the european union, a deal which has already been defeated twice. i promise has won over some mps, but others, including the dup, say they still can't back it. alex forsyth reports. once again, the prime minister was in parliament yesterday trying to sell her brexit plan and with so many of her mps set against it, she made one last big pitch to win them round. at a meeting inside parliament, she said she would quit if they backed her brexit deal, making way for someone else to take over the second stage of talks, which did convince some tories. with the prime minister saying what she said, the majority in that room see this now as the best way to get us out and to deal with it in the future. i am encouraged that she has accepted we should have a new leader for that second stage when it comes so i think i will now vote for the agreement. but with views on brexit so entrenched, will it be enough? other tories say they still won't back her deal and crucially it
didn't get northern ireland's dup onboard. we wanted to get a deal. a deal that worked for the whole of the united kingdom, a deal that worked for northern ireland, but now we're in a situation where we can't sign up to the withdrawal agreement and it's all because the prime minister decided to go for that backstop. meanwhile, mps were debating alternatives to theresa may's plan but on eight options, they could not agree on any one. the results of the process this house has gone through today strengthens our view that the deal the government has negotiated is the best option. many don't agree with that and say other options did prove popular. they'll debate them again on monday. leaving with a customs union or referring this back to the people with the option to remain, those are really the two most popular options. you would think perhaps those are the ones that should go forward forjudgement on monday. for now, though, parliament is still deadlocked, struggling to agree any way forward. alex forsyth, bbc news, westminster. let's take a closer look at the results of all
of last night's votes which remember aren't binding on the government. and let's just focus on the couple of votes that were the closest. the fourth on the list is former conservative chanellor kenneth clarke's proposal for a customs union, which was nine votes short of securing a majority. and the penultimate vote was proposed by former cabinet minister margaret beckett for a confirmatory referendum on the government's withdawal bill. it was the most supported, attracting the support of 268 mps, but would have needed 28 more to back it to secure a majority in the house of commons. so what next? well, there is now a possibility that the prime minister will try to hold a third vote on her deal, potentially tomorrow. if she fails, parliament
will come back on monday to debate further options, but it's worth remembering that no single option has yet drawn any majority support so far. if mrs may can't get her deal through, the uk has until april 12th to find a way forward for eu leaders to consider. i don't know why that says april the ist. there we go! that is the right state. the 12th 1st. there we go! that is the right state. the 12th of april. if it does get support, britain will then leave the eu on may 22nd. if the prime minister keeps to her word this would lead to a leadership contest, with a new pm installed in number 10 by the summer. let's ta ke let's take stock of all of this with oui’ let's take stock of all of this with our assistant political editor, norman smith, at westminster this morning. a lot of unravelling to do. it is one of those mornings where you have just got to step back and think what on earth is next? and i am not really sure that anyone has
gotan am not really sure that anyone has got an answer, actually. one government source said to me this morning, rather wearily, there are no obvious options, and i think that is true. mrs may tried to break the deadlock by in effect offering up her premiership, and all the signs are that has not worked. yes, she has won over some of her critics, but there is still a solid tranche of ha rd core but there is still a solid tranche of hardcore brexiteers who are not for budging, likewise the dup. i would suggest they are almost unbeatable, unreachable, because for than this has become an issue about fundamental political principles. it is about identity, liberty, freedom, sovereignty. it is not about little nips and tucks and a bit of a concession here and a compromise there. it is very hard to see how there. it is very hard to see how the government can win them back on board, coupled with the fact that they have been under so much pressure. they have been through the
milland pressure. they have been through the mill and they have come out the other side and they are still opposing mrs may's deal, so you can't even ruff them up to get them on board. that means, i think, that the prospect of mrs may holding her vote tomorrow now looks pretty shaky. have a listen to the disagreements that there clearly are now among mrs may's critics. this is a pairof now among mrs may's critics. this is a pair of members of the european research group are brexiteers, john whittingdale and mark francois. listen to their different take on mrs may's decision last night. the fact the prime minister said she would stand aside for the second stage, i think that is helpful, because i would like to see somebody at that time who believes in brexit, but the important thing is that we first get brexit, and i reluctantly concluded that the only way that can happen is by supporting the deal. for absolute clarity, john whittingdale, you are now saying you are supporting the deal?
i have said that i will vote for the prime minister's deal if there is a third meaningful vote. let's move on. mark francois, establish your possession. you have said consistently that you will vote the deal down. where are you this morning? i am consistent. i will vote against it. unfortunately it means that we don't leave the european union. it leaves us hanging half in and half out, which has always been the case. meanwhile, the other avenue to some sort of solution, parliament taking control, setting out an alternative course, that seems to have foundered as well after mps last night failed to back any of the eight different options. although supporters have moved, saying, look, another referendum got more votes were mrs may's deal and there was a lot of
support for the idea of a customs union, you don't sense there is any huge appetite for any particular option. and although when those votes co m e option. and although when those votes come back on monday, it is possible you could try and force some kind of resolution by having a preferential voting system, even if you went down that road, you would have to get legislation through parliament, and you kind of feel that parliament would be dragged kicking and screaming and howling and moaning, and it would be an awfully difficult and convoluted process , awfully difficult and convoluted process, which is why, i suspect, in government they will view what happened in the house of commons last night with some satisfaction. indeed michael gove this morning again urging mps to rally behind mrs may's deal. the single most important thing that every mp needs to concentrate on is making sure that we deliver on the mandate to leave the european union. 17.4 million people asked us to leave the european union. we now have a chance to make sure that we do.
the other possibility for team theresa may is that they managed to win over more labour mps. they have been trying to do that, by offering reassurance on employment and environmental rights. however, the offer by mrs may to quit has probably had the exact opposite effect, because the concern among many labour mps will be that if mrs may goes, there is a real danger you could end up with a hardline brexiteer as prime minister, said the prospect of labour mps coming on board to help mrs may, i think, has receded even further. rebecca long—bailey, the shadow business secretary, this morning saying that really the only way forward was to somehow find some kind of compromise among mps. between our option and ken clarke's option last night, there
were areas of commonality. what we're doing now and jeremy corbyn is already doing this is working across the house with various backbench mps to try and find what form of words, what form of deal, we could actually coalesce around. and there are areas of differentiation right across the house, whether it's the minutiae of a customs union arrangement, the minutiae of a single market deal. but i think that consensus is there and can be found and that's what we need to do within the next 24 to 48 hours, if i'm honest. the other two remaining options, i suppose, we could ask the eu for a very long delay, in hopes that somehow we would be able to agree on something, but let's be honest, we have been arguing about something for more than two years and we have failed to reach any agreement, so who knows if it would make any further progress in another two yea rs ? further progress in another two years? that leaves the nuclear option, which is pressing the general election button, but you wonder if that would make any difference. what you end up with the same sort of parliament that we have got at the moment? genuinely i think
this morning everybody is sitting around a bit shell—shocked with nobody really having a clue on how we move forward. 0k, norman, thank you very much. let's bounce that thought from westminster over to our correspondent adam fleming in strasbourg. if nobody really has a clue on the way ahead over here, what are eu officials making of it? officially there is no reaction from the eu, because they negotiate with the eu, because they negotiate with the british government and with the british prime minister, and the british prime minister, and the british prime not asked for anything different yet and theresa may has not yet. having said that, there is a meeting of 27 eu ambassadors happening in brussels this morning and the details of that tend to leak out very quickly, so i am sure we will find out what they are thinking behind closed doors. in terms of the diplomats and officials who have
been texting me over the last 12 hours, they are just as split as the uk is. some people say that no—deal is inevitable now, and it isjust whether it happens on the 12th of april or a bit later or a long way after that. you get people saying does that mean there is a general election but what does that solve? there is a handful of optimists who wonder if that indicative votes process last night which knocked out all the eight alternatives, with none of them getting a majority, means that all you are left with is the original deal, and the chances are that getting past have gone up a little bit. those are the optimists, and as! little bit. those are the optimists, and as i said, there isjust a handful of them at the moment. in terms of theresa may's future, faith in her took a real nosedive at the start of the year on the eu side, especially when she appeared to trash the deal she had done with the eu and sided with the opponents of it. her reputation crept back up a bit after that in the last few
months. the fact is that the eu respected her for respecting the process and the ground rules of the brexit process. they are slightly worried that her successor might not be quite so respectful about how this whole thing works. adam fleming in strasbourg, thank you very much. i made the break that deadlock, businesses from around the uk are in london today for the annual meeting of the british chambers of commerce. the head of the bcc has accused politicians of letting business down and risking mass disruption over brexit and he's not alone. on monday the confederation of british industry, the cbi, called brexit a national emergency. nicole sykes is the head of eu negotiations for that organisation. i think the majority of business leaders disagree with the position that they have nothing to fear and they have asked for certainty throughout the process and they still haven't got it, have they?
that is right. businesses are shaking their heads this morning saying when we going to make some progress? you have got to remember that what is happening in westminster is having an effect on businesses right now. we have heard from financial services this week saying that confidence is at its lowest level since the financial crisis. figures from the automotive industry show that production is down for the ninth month in a row, down for the ninth month in a row, down 15%. it is having an effect right now on businesses and they are asking when politicians will listen and compromise and make some progress. businesses have got to be adaptable by virtue of what they do, but you are making a point to me just before this interview that they have got to know what they are adapting to. absolutely and they are still no clear on that. there is a suite of options on the table, some which they can't work with. lots of red tape and costs. no—deal is very damaging for the economy. the prime minister's deal is not perfect but it is something they could work with. anything further than that in
terms of the customs union comes with costs that could be managed, and a customs union is something they would be a fan of passing through. for our viewers, remind us what a customs union entails. customs union is an agreement between two places to stay, actually, we are going to have the same trade tariffs on the rest of the world, in order that the market within us, goods can flow freely. what that means is that you wouldn't need to have as many checks at borders. it means you wouldn't have as many costs, and goods would be able to come across pretty easily. it helps to solve the irish question. if you don't have it, businesses have been told there will be £20 billion of costs each year just filling out forms. that is a totally unproductive use of money that they could be spending on jobs. is it your sense that a lot of people in business would like to see this option as put forward by ken clarke last night for one of the indicative votes? they would like to
see this option is the way ahead?m would certainly improve the deal from a business perspective, that they are saying we are not going to hang on for a perfect option like mps are. there are a number of options, none of them is perfect, and that is one we could absolutely work with. nicole, from the cbi, thank you for that. let's explore this theme a little more. ben thompson has been gauging reaction from industry leaders. the next stop of our road trip around the country looking at how different businesses are affected looking at how different businesses a re affected by looking at how different businesses are affected by brexit, today we are in the city of london looking at financial services, which employs more than 2 million people and two thirds of those are around the country, not just in thirds of those are around the country, notjust in the city of london. what do they make up what they heard in westminster last night and will that uncertainty really affect business? with me are two
people to explain a bit more. a portfolio manager and the manager of an insurance then. we look at the city of london to tell us what is happening in the economy, that two thirds of thejobs happening in the economy, that two thirds of the jobs are outside london. what do they make up what we have heard in westminster? i don't think we have got any new information out of westminster. it was a non—binding vote. our view is that the uk will get through this and uk assets are worth investing in and uk assets are worth investing in and there are a lot of great companies here and we are very tied to the global economy. we have a lot of services and we think we will get through this. a lot of money has moved from the city elsewhere. these outflows of cash, should we worry about that and what difference does it make for financial services? i don't think it makes a huge difference. a lot of the cash that is moved is probably cash that was owned by european companies and they are simply transferring the customer back to somewhere in europe. what matters is who is making decisions about the asset. it is providing legal advice and accountancy? i think a lot of that will stay in the
city of london. we have got a great ecosystem with all of those services, which is unmatched in europe. you are optimistic about the fortu nes europe. you are optimistic about the fortunes for the city and you are invested in the city. you are an insurance then and it is hard to see how you would be affected but what difference does it make? we ensure all types of businesses in the uk, from professional services to manufacturers. we are impacted because they are. i am confident and optimistic in the financial services sector. it is well established with really strong roots we are in a position now where i think that the people made a great decision in 2016, whether you agree with it or not, and business and certainly politicians need to be equally bold and brave and make a success of it now. we saw the headlines about how
manyjobs would move to europe and how much money would leave the country and whether you would still have access to the skills and stuff you need. can you still do that? have you got access to the expertise you need to run your business? definitely. initial projections were 500,000 jobs would leave the city and we have seen from 2000 to 7000, is anything like that. —— soap nothing like that. there is not a shortage of skills that we are seeing. thank you. it is nice to see you both. there we have two views from the city of london in terms of what it will mean for them and whether they can get on with business as usual. clearly lots of questions still need answers and as yet there are no answers from westminster that will change anything in the city. ben thompson there. a tanker that was hijacked by migrants it had rescued off the coast of libya has arrived in malta. the 108 migrants took over the vessel when it became clear they were being returned to libya. our correspondentjames reynolds is in rome and can speak to us now. what more can you tell us about how
this unfolded and what will happen to the migrants now? first of all, it looks like the merchant ship rescued the migrants off the coast of libya, from tuesday into wednesday. the report suggests that when the migrants built the ship was going to return them to libya, where they felt they would be in jeopardy, they felt they would be in jeopardy, they took control of the boat and they took control of the boat and they started sailing north. the nearest european country north is malta. the multis specialforces overnight, just a few hours ago, in the middle of the night, in international waters, boarded the ship, took back control of it, and
sailed it towards their own capital. that is where the ship is now. there are around 100 migrants on board. we are around 100 migrants on board. we are not sure how many of them were involved in the actual hijacking. bearin involved in the actual hijacking. bear in mind there are lots of women and children on board, who have been taken off. and children on board, who have been ta ken off. tv and children on board, who have been taken off. tv pictures showed that three men, apparently migrants, were taken off in handcuffs apparently, suggesting they could be the focus ofa suggesting they could be the focus of a police inquiry. there is not involved in the hijacking may feel it was worth it because they have made it to europe. it reminds us about the desperate straits and the lengths to which some people will go to to flee the country of origin and the challenges that remain for those countries that are the destinations for the migrants. yes, for migrants, if they get rescued by a boat, that is not the end of it. that is just pa rt is not the end of it. that is just part of what they would say is their struggle. the second point is to try to make sure that boat takes them to europe and not back to north africa, where they would suffer abuse. and it may be that what we have just seenin it may be that what we have just seen in the mediterranean is something that may be repeated, or something that may be repeated, or something in migrants' mines, as they face up to the possibilities. bearin they face up to the possibilities. bear in mind there were lots more ships trying to rescue migrants in the mediterranean, ngo ships, coastguards and merchant ships. italy and other countries have banned ngo ships and coastguards are withdrawing. there are more
potential clashes in the future between migrants wanting to get on board and merchant ships facing a decision, to go south to libya or north to europe. james, thank you very much. james reynolds in rome. dust and debris from the grenfell tower fire has polluted the surrounding area, resulting in levels of toxic chemicals many times higher than normal, according to a study. soil samples collected from the site contained substances which could cause cancer and asthma. here's our home affairs correspondent, tom symonds. alerted by a colleague, working independently, professor anna stec gathered three bin bags of this stuff from the streets and flats around grenfell tower. i would say this stuff is definitely not good for touching and having close to your mouth or nose. it's soil, scrapings from window blinds inside flats, and a lot of this. the burnt remnants of the foam insulation fixed to the outside of the tower during
its refurbishment. within the soil, we found a high level of contaminants released from the fire within a close vicinity of the tower. we found a number of chemicals that are categorised as, for example, respiratory sensitisers, which might lead to asthma, but also more focused on the carcinogens or chemicals classified as carcinogens. she says there's a higher risk of cancer and asthma but it will take further studies to determine how high a risk. the government believes it's, quotes, generally a low risk. yet people living near the tower have told us they've suffered from what they call the grenfell cough, sometimes bloody. they are deeply concerned. the air around the tower has been sampled in the weeks after the fire. no concerns, but this is the first study of pollution in soil and dust in flats.
in a statement, the government said: a new study has now been ordered and more health screening. tom symonds, bbc news. people will be safer if the supervision of offenders in england and wales is brought back into the public sector, according to the chief inspector of probation. in her final annual report, dame glenys stacey says the probation model introduced by the government four years ago, under which low and medium risk offenders are monitored by private companies, is irredeemably flawed and hit by staff shortages and poor performance. the icelandic airline wow air has ceased operating this morning and cancelled all flights. the carrier, which operated some flights out of stansted and gatwick, previously said it was in the final stages of raising new funds with investors. but in the past half hour the company said it was ending all operations. passengers have been advised
to check for alternative flights, which may be offered at a reduced rate because of the circumstances. manchester united have appointed ole gunnar solskjaer as the club's full—time manager on a three—year contract. the norwegian has been acting as manchester united's caretaker boss sincejose mourinho was sacked in december. let's get more on this olly foster who's in our sports centre in salford. a popular move? it really was a populist appointment, back before christmas after the broken regime of joseph mourinho was considered something of a gamble. ole gunnar solskjaer is well respected at manchester united and he was the super sub who won the european cup in 1999 super sub who won the european cup in1999 and a super sub who won the european cup in 1999 and a well youth coach at manchester united, that he had not much managerial e. he had had a poor record at cardiff city in the premier league, who were relegated, but then he did well in the norwegian first division, winning
two titles with a team, who wear his club, and they said we are just landing you ole gunnar solskjaer, but the turnaround has been remarkable because he has had 19 games in charge and he lostjust three and as soon as he took over they went on this remarkable winning run, getting manchester united right back to the top end of the table. they had a bit of a blip, losing back—to—back games just before the international break, which we are currently just coming international break, which we are currentlyjust coming out of at the moment. they were knocked out of the fa cup. but in his short tenure so far as the caretaker manager, he engineered a remarkable turnaround in the champions league, coming back from two goals down against paris st germain. they have a mouthwatering quarterfinal against barcelona next month. and they are just outside the top four, the all champions league places. it seems to be an absolutely perfect fit and some deal has been done with the norwegian club to say
that we are going to have ole gunnar solskjaer full—time. that we are going to have ole gunnar solskjaerfull—time. they that we are going to have ole gunnar solskjaer full—time. they have released a short statement about the three—year deal that he has just signed and he says this is the job he has always dreamt of doing. i am beyond excited to be able to lead the club long—term and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve. ed woodward, the manchester united chairman, who has been criticised for many of his appointments over the last five years, since sir alex ferguson left the club, this is an appointment they have got to get right and he says he brings a wealth of experience both as a player and asa of experience both as a player and as a coach. this means he is the right person to take manchester united forward. thank you. olly foster. and it is time to look at the weather. how are things shaping up the weather. how are things shaping upfor the weather. how are things shaping up for today? good morning. we still have got some patchy mist and fog across the south—western corner of the uk. that will lift through the morning and for many of us it will
be dry with some sunshine. we could hang onto stubborn cloud in the south—east of england and the north west of scotland, where it will also be breezy. temperatures ranging from ten in the north to 16 or 17 in aberdeenshire. and also in london. this evening and overnight under the clear skies, temperatures will drop again low enough in some places for again low enough in some places for a touch of frost and also patchy mist and fog once again. the weather front coming into the north west will introduce more in the way of cloud and also rain, so not as cold here. tomorrow that will sink south towards the great glen with fresh air following towards the great glen with fresh airfollowing behind. patchy mist and fog for the rest of scotland. england and wales will have a lengthy sunny spells. northern ireland will see mcleod —— more cloud and high temperatures up to 18 in the south—east of england. thank you very much. that is it from the
bbc news at nine for today. i will be back with you at westminster from 11 o'clock and that is where victoria derbyshire is now for her programme. good morning. we're live from westminster. frantic efforts are being made by the government to save the prime minister's brexit deal — after she promised to resign if her own mps helped her to pass it. but even this ‘back me then sack me' offer seems to have failed as the northern irish dup said they still won't give the deal their crucial support. are we in the deadlock zone? mrs may's deal seems doomed to defeat, parliament doomed to disagree. has anyone got an idea of how we get out of the brexit fix? by by the way, if you have an answer please let me know! so what now?