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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 5, 2020 2:00pm-2:31pm GMT

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines. borisjohnson and the president of the european commission will speak in the next few hours to try and break the brexit trade talks deadlock. we keep calm as always and if there is still a way, we will see. the uk vaccine regulator says the covid—19 vaccine will ‘definitely‘ be ready to go into care homes in the next two weeks. a large—scale vaccine roll—out begins in russia. the makers of the ‘sputnik‘ jab claim it's up to 95% effective, but it's still undergoing trials. on small business saturday — what's next for the high street as we know it after the recent collapse of household names? and coming up in half an hour — the travel show team revisit some
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of their favourite trips to north america. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. leaders are hoping to break the deadlock today over a post—brexit trade deal — with time running out to get an agreement through before the uk leaves eu trading rules on december 31st. that is the end of the transition deal. borisjohnson and european commission president — ursula von der leyen — are due to speak in the next couple of hours to try and end the stalemate. but negotiators said "significant divergences" remained following a week of intensive talks.
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most of the deal has been completed, but key sticking points remain. these include fishing rights, the rules governing state subsidies for business and how the agreement is policed. our political correspondent jonathan blake has the story. checking out for now, the eu's chief negotiator, michel barnier, left his london hotel this morning after talks on a future trade deal were put on hold last night. what does that mean for the chances of a deal? any hope for a deal? good morning. we keep calm, as always, and if there is a way, still a way, we will see. "we will see," he said. his parting words as he returned to brussels gave nothing away. but a statement from both sides last night made clear there are still big
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differences to overcome, significant divergences remain between the two sides, lord frost, the uk's chief negotiator, and michel barnier said. so, it is over to these two, the political masters on both sides of these talks. the prime minister and the president of the european commission, ursula von der leyen, are due to speak on the phone this afternoon to determine whether a deal can be done. it will be decided politically, not in the negotiating chambers. there will be compromises, i suspect, on both sides. what the prime minister will have to protect, the key issues of control, not giving control away to the european union in pursuit of economic outcomes. but there will be, in my view, it is in everybody‘s interest to come a deal. fishing — how much, if any, is allowed by eu countries in uk waters is one of the big remaining sticking points. along with competition rules, often called the level playing field, and thirdly how any
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deal is enforced. meanwhile, businesses say they are left in limbo. if we have a deal, at least there is some certainty. even if we have a deal, we have to adjust. the government have sent out a letter to every business in the country saying "check, change, go. " well, check what? change what? go where? there will be big changes to the uk's relationship with the eu when the current transition period ends. exactly what depends on the progress of talks from here on. that was jonathan blake with that report, and he joins that was jonathan blake with that report, and hejoins me now. many people are saying, are we still being too ambitious? to say a trade deal will be agreed, jonathan, and then ratified? deal will be agreed, jonathan, and then ratified ? because deal will be agreed, jonathan, and then ratified? because there are a lot of bits to fall into place to get to that point. the timescale is crucial. that is why there is a real
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sense of urgency around these issues now. the deadline is december the sist now. the deadline is december the 31st when the transition period comes to an end. the rules by which we have been trading and doing dealings with the eu for the entirety of this year will cease to apply. so there will be change either way, regardless of whether a free trade agreement is agreed between the uk and the eu between now and then. as you point out, it is not just a now and then. as you point out, it is notjust a case of reaching that agreement, it is the need for it to be signed off, approved, ratified by all the member states of the eu, the eu parliament, parliament here in the uk, as well. there has been some slightly shifting ground in the last week or so about how much of that process would actually need to happen before a deal was signed off by both sides. david davis, the former brexit secretary, you saw in the report, suggesting this morning that come december the 31st there
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could be a freeze on those arrangements before a deal, if agreed by that point, could be approved. boris johnson, i agreed by that point, could be approved. borisjohnson, ido agreed by that point, could be approved. borisjohnson, i do not think, would want that to happen, would not want anything like an extension to the transition period to happen because he has insisted that come that deadline, we will either have a free trade agreement or we will trade on world trade organization rules. what he calls australia's style terms. boris johnson has something of a balancing act in order to please those within his own party as well? there is pressure because borisjohnson‘s premiership, his authority and integrity as prime minister rests on delivering that central promise that was his during the election campaign. to get brexit done. he has to decide now exactly how he plans to decide now exactly how he plans to deliver on that promise. any others ahead this afternoon before he speaks to ursula von der leyen, the president of the european
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commission, he will be weighing up how much political well he has behind him from his party to do a deal. if a deal is to be done at this point, it is clear both sides have gone as far as they can with the negotiating mandates that they have, and compromise is needed from either, or more likely, both sites. many people will say, what is it that mrjohnson and ursula von der leyen realistically can achieve in a phone call that their chief negotiators could not? what do they have that they could not push it forward over the line? what are we expecting? what will come of that conversation is a sense between the two of them of whether the goalposts can shift slightly. how much if at all either is willing to compromise and where that compromise might come. if they can speak to each other and agree that there is more work to do, or that each other could give ground in certain areas, then thatis give ground in certain areas, then that is where we will see the talks
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continuing. the negotiations running up continuing. the negotiations running up to this point are being put on hold as an indication that there are significant differences, divergences as both sides put it in theirjoint statement last night, that cannot be ove i’co m e statement last night, that cannot be overcome u nless statement last night, that cannot be overcome unless the political boundaries on both sides are to shift. jonathan, thank you very much indeed. we await the outcome of that phone call later this afternoon or into the early part of the evening. do stay with us here on bbc news. i'm joined now byjill rutter from the independent research group uk in a changing europe. thank you very much forjoining us today. you have been watching events, i think it is fair to say, over yea rs . events, i think it is fair to say, over years. within four weeks now of the end of the transition deal, what is your assessment of how those talks came to an end this week?|j think talks came to an end this week?” think it was never going to be the case that we would get a deal of
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this sort of moment if you like done between michel barnier and david frost in some sort of grim co nfe re nce frost in some sort of grim co nfe re nce ce flt re frost in some sort of grim conference centre belonging to the business department. i think everybody accepted that at some point they would have to go back to the political leadership. that is what we are seeing this afternoon. what we do not know is quite what they do, whether they have been presented with an option that the negotiators do not quite think they have got the authority to sign off, that they can bless, in which case, we might actually say things extraordinarily fast. whether they just declare that it is all hopeless, that is also possible. the gaps are unbridgeable. or whether they need to do some more consultation, particularly on the eu site. while borisjohnson can, with one look behind him at his back benches, decide if the uk. ursula vofi benches, decide if the uk. ursula von der leyen is president of the european commission, she ultimately needs to get all her member states on board. that is what we have hurt
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in recent days, some of those are getting concerned that the eu is compromising too much. one of the things the uk has always assumed is that member states will be more pro—deal than the commission, but michel barnier is actually more flexible than some, at least, of those member states. white back in the words of michel barnier, is there still away? how much give can either cite allowed? we do not actually sit in here and know whether the are quite close. whether it isa whether the are quite close. whether it is a question of 5% because we do not know what either side's bottom line is. we do not know if they have come up with some new formula on this level playing field or whether it is really stuck and has not moved that much from their earlier positions and they are digging in. we also do not know, really,
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politically whether boris johnson really wants a deal. he says he wants a deal, a lot of people regarded as a big political failure not to deliver a deal. he has assured us all along he could do. but a lot of backbenchers are chomping at the bit for no deal. he is going to have to have regard to them. france is interesting. we are hearing a lot about them. a bit of a brexit bad cop. emmanuel macron seems to like that title. they are already threatening using their veto, keeping a particularly close eye on fishing rights. how much does that access to british waters mean to them? there are industries in the uk that are worth far more, aren't there? fish is a slightly, i am not going to say absurd, but it is a really interesting topic. it has beena really interesting topic. it has been a big issue of contention all along through these talks. it is economically very insignificant in
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the uk. it is also economically very insignificant even in france. but clearly it matters a lot. if you are a historic fishing community, the uk's a historic fishing community, the uk's historic fishing communities felt that they have suffered from 40 plus years of membership of the common fisheries policy, denying them access to uk waters. that is what they had to regain through brexit, at least some of them. the french, northern french fishermen, there are some communities that take a lot of fish out of uk waters, and basically say their livelihoods going to ruin if something like this, the existing access does not continue. that is why it is politically so difficult for both sides to give way on this. there are very high expectations. the french have started to roll the pitch a bit, that things have to change. the eu's bit, that things have to change. the eu's starting point was that absolutely nothing should change on fish, basically the uk might have gone through brexit but fish would be status quo. they have moved a bit
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on that, but every time michel barnier has come back to the eu fishing ministers, just eight member states have really cared about access to uk fishing waters. when michel barnier's had those calls with fishing ministers to seek a bit more flexibility, they have always said we told you what we want, go back and get that. there is talk that 95% of this deal is done. does it mean that brexiteers will be happy with that? that could be the scuppering point. the same could be set on the other side of the channel. we heard mr davies earlier today talking about the well in parliament. tell us more about that. how they can change how a trade deal goes? it depends on what the nature of the deal is, how comprehensive it is and whether there are elements that mean it requires notjust ratification by the european parliament, national parliaments as well. that is where the canadian trade deal came into difficulties. the eu has a process which allows it
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to do what it calls provisional application. they have already been talking that this is a deal that has been provisionally applied. both sides are trying to make this a deal which should be relatively easy to ratify on the eu side by limiting some of its ambition in areas which might have engaged national parliaments and sub—national parliaments. we do not yet know whether we will be in national parliaments down the line or not. member states could decide to get this over the line, that they exceptionally say we will treated as though it is all eu competence for this time only. and cut our national parliaments out. you can imagine there will be quite a lot of squawking in national parliaments if they did that. i would like you to help us with everyday english speak. you have described the fishing issue. people listening to this will be saying, ok, arranging for policing any deal. what does that
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mean in everyday speech? you can sign up to commitments. we have seen that recently with the uk on the withdrawal agreement. the question is then how do you ensure that those are actually enforced. while we have been an eu member, if we want to subsidise a business, we want to ask the eu for clearance in advance. rishi sunak had to do that in the summer over some of rishi sunak had to do that in the summer over some of his coronavirus rescue deals. the eu sign that off straightaway as they did for other member states, but you have to ask first. if the eu thinks, and we have seen this in the uk as well, that the uk is not living up or applying eu rules properly, then it can take what they call infringement proceedings. it can in fact the uk, and at the end of the day, can overrule uk law and find the uk. what is going on here as both sides, though it is mainly an eu concern rather than a though it is mainly an eu concern ratherthana uk though it is mainly an eu concern rather than a uk concern, say we might sign up to these provisions,
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but what happens if the uk then goes off and does something different? and we regard that is really not meeting the terms of what you have just signed up to? we have seen these big rows over this thing called the internal market bill, where the government admitted it was proposing to overwrite some of the things it had signed up to only in january. so the eu wants to know, can it stop the uk doing that? does it have a way of doing that? they would like something as near as possible to the current enforcement regime, but they want to know that actually they have not only got the uk to sign up to things but they have got a way of making sure the uk sticks to those commitments. have got a way of making sure the uk sticks to those commitmentsm have got a way of making sure the uk sticks to those commitments. it is an idea of consequences, isn't it? so, level playing field, break that one down for us. the level playing field is the eu saying, ok, uk, you wa nt field is the eu saying, ok, uk, you want tariff free quota access to our market, if you want that, we want to
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know that you are not going to undercut a bunch of eu businesses. we go to all these efforts to harmonise roles across the eu, set minimum standards on things like the environment, levels of social protection, and we have these rules on how much our governments can subsidise their businesses. so we do not want you to let your businesses come on, no tariffs, no quotas, without knowing you are going to stick to something like those roles, as well. if you are going to come in and compete with us, our businesses wa nt and compete with us, our businesses want to know that competition is fair. we have decided to go, you have decided to want out of our rules, we are not going to give you a license to put us out of business. that is why this level playing field has been a big issue for the eu. the uk, and the other hand, can argue that it uk, and the other hand, can argue thatitis uk, and the other hand, can argue that it is nothing like single market access. you had that clip saying check, change co, all those
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government ads warning businesses about how many new, not tariffs but what we call nontariff barriers, regulatory cheques, formalities, big costs coming at uk businesses. they say we are going to be trading like a third country, we are not in the single market, and actually you did not ask canada for all these agreements, you do not askjapan for all these agreements, south korea for all these agreements. you have got barely any tariffs on trade with them. so why on earth are you saying it is one rule for them and another rule for the uk? that is not fair. thank you very much indeed. everything explained. you are welcome. goodbye. the headlines on bbc news... as we've been hearing — the prime minister borisjohnson and the president of the european commission will speak later today to try and break the brexit trade talks deadlock. the uk vaccine regulator says the covid—i9 vaccine will ‘definitely‘ be ready to go into care homes in the next two weeks.
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a large—scale vaccine roll—out begins in russia. the makers of the ‘sputnik‘ jab claim it's up to 95 % effective, but it's still undergoing trials. gps in england will start offering the coronavirus vaccine from the 14th of december. patients aged 80 or over will be the first to get it. andy moore reports. any allergies that you may have? no. and are you pregnant? nurses in a coventry hospital practising how they will administer the new pfizer vaccine, beginning next week. because the jab comes in large batches at ultra—low temperatures, the initial roll—out will be at 50 hospitals across the uk. but we now know that will be swiftly followed with the vaccinations by groups of gps in england, beginning on monday 14 december. the priority for getting the jab will be the over—80s
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who can make their own way to the vaccination centre. special freezers will be provided to store the vaccine at —70. gp practices will come together to manage the programme. they've been told it's their top priority, with only urgent care for all other patients. after that, within two weeks, doses of the vaccine will start going out to care homes. plans are in place to reduce the boxes containing the vaccine doses to more manageable consignments. all of this will place a huge burden on the nhs, and so the chief medical officers of the four home nations have written to staff, praising them for their hard work, whilst warning that this winter will be especially hard because of the pressures from covid. they warn of a possible surge in cases because of extra socialising over christmas, and they say for the next three months, vaccines will only have a marginal effect on the burden for the nhs. every action counts when it comes to protecting ourselves
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and our loved ones from coronavirus. that's why the nhs has launched a new public information film comparing the wrong and the right ways we can go about our lives every day to stop the spread of covid. it reminds us that up to a third of people show no symptoms, so they can spread the virus unknowingly. andy moore, bbc news. so, before vaccines are fully rolled out, scientists say it's even more important to try and keep covid—i9 under control, as lockdown restrictions are relaxed in the future. to do that, they believe it's crucial to break the chain of transmission. for instance, backwards contact tracing — where the source of an infection is found — can result in two to three times as many cases being traced and isolated. it's because 20% of people create clusters of infections accounting for 80% of the cases. our science correspondent rebecca morelle explains. we need to break the chains
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of transmission, but coronavirus does not spread evenly from person to person. this event at the white house is a prime example. while most people won't pass the virus onto anyone, scientists estimate thatjust 20% of infected people are causing 80% of covid cases. it is known as super spreading and in the rose garden, one person is thought to have infected at least 11 others, including donald trump. with respect to super spreading events and that seems to relate both to the activities that people are doing, how many people are in the room, how close they are, but also there seem to be some people that do just excrete more virus. stopping super spreading could be the key to fighting covid—i9, but you need to discover the source of an outbreak. and that means tracking and tracing in a different way. contact tracing is all
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about detective work. the forward contact tracing, if i test positive, it means finding all the people that i could have given the virus to and asking them to self—isolate. but for backward contact tracing, it means finding the person who gave the virus to be. because if they passed it to me, they are more likely to have infected other people also, so then their contacts are identified and asked to self—isolate as well. if we just go forward then because a lot of cases weren't spreading infection to others, potentially, you could miss that large part of transmission where super spreading is happening, so going backwards has the advantage that you can identify those clusters, identify who else was there and potentially prevent any onward transmission. we estimated that looking backwards as well as forwards could prevent two or three times more infections and hence transmission than byjust looking forwards alone. in the uk, the spread of coronavirus seems to be slowing
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and if numbers fall more, backwards tracing could be a way to get ahead of the pandemic. rebecca morelle, bbc news. just to bring you some breaking news very quickly. we are hearing via a spokesperson for kier starmer that he has been advised to self—isolate after a member of his private office staff tested positive for covid—i9. mr starmer as well and not showing any symptoms, his spokesperson says, and he will be working from home. second time he has had to self—isolate. the first time was in relation to one of his children. he is not showing any symptoms of the virus, hasn't tested positive, but is self isolating. heavy rainfall has caused flooding in parts of scotland, with train and tram lines being engulfed by water. scotrail services between aberdeen and inverness have been suspended after
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a landslip near huntly. train services were also affected by flooding on the line at livingston and at hartwood in north lanarkshire. and this was the scene earlier in edinburgh as tram lines were swamped with water. three people have been taken to hospital following an explosion at a house in west yorkshire. the extent of their injuries isn't known. the blast happened at a property in illingworth, near halifax, at around 7.30am this morning. an investigation is under way. the mayor of liverpool — joe anderson — has been released on bailfollowing his arrest as part of a fraud inquiry. he and four other people were detained as part of a year—long investigation into bribery allegations, linked to the awarding of building contracts in the city. in a statement this afternoon joe anderson says he "will be talking with cabinet colleagues to ensure the challenges our city faces with the covid pandemic continue to receive the focus they deserve."
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he went on to say he supported the labour party's decision to suspend him while the investigaion continues. russia's coronavirus vaccination programme is under way — despite the sputnik vaccine still going through safety and efficacy trials. the firstjabs have been administered in clinics in moscow. it comes as russia is reporting record high numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases. our moscow correspondent sarah rainsford reports. this is one of the moscow clinics that is now rolling out russia's sputnik v vaccine to the population. first of all, doctors, medics generally, health workers, teachers and social workers have been invited to receive the vaccine. sputnik v is still in an experimentalform. mass trials for its safety and efficacy are still under way. but the chief doctor at this clinic has said that she is confident and it's fine to roll it out now.
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translation: this vaccine has been officially registered. we have enough research to know that it is 92% effective, and if there is the choice to get sick or have the vaccine, then this is a dangerous disease. the answer is obvious. this is a leaflet that patients are given before they get the job and it talks about some of the possible side effects. although it sets out that they should be pretty minimal and last maybe one to three days. weakness, perhaps some sickness, or a fever. it suggests just taking paracetamol. some 5000 people have supposedly signed up already to get this vaccination in the mass roll—out, although we have only seen a handful here getting the jab. translation: we see how sick people get, so we have no doubt at all about getting vaccinated. we use protective clothing of course and now we are getting the vaccine as early as possible.
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from the very start, russia has treated this quest for a covid vaccine is something of a race. it certainly declared itself the first country to register a vaccine, sputnik v back in august, even before the mass trials began. now it is moving very quickly to roll the vaccine out for use by the population at large. there are still questions about how much they can actually produce of sputnik v and whether manufacturers are able to quickly scale up their production. president putin has said that 2 million doses should be available for people this year. and then next year, russia plans to roll this out much faster, much wider, as the number of covid cases in the country continues to grow. just an update of the latest covid—i9 figures from scotland. there have been 777 new cases of covid—i9 reported in scotland in the last 24 are worse. 22 deaths have
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been registered or people who tested positive within the last 28 days. 945 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed covid—i9. 64 were in intensive care. new cases are now at 777 in scotland, with 22 new deaths. with christmas just three weeks away, it's usually the busiest time of the year for our retailers. nonessential shops have now re—opened in england — but in a week that's seen the collapse of giants, including topshop and debenhams, is this the end of the high street as we know it? our business correspondent katie prescott reports. lifting the shutters in bishop auckland. shelves here are stacked and shoppers are out and about once again. it's not as busy as i thought it was going to be, to be honest. we came down and didn't think we'd be able to get into any shops, but it's quite nice. it's a pleasure to see people in the street, and hopefully, hopefully, we'll hang on to some
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of the businesses in this street. it's not the same, online shopping, because you can't see what you're buying, can you? sometimes it's ok but sometimes it's, you know, what you get is not what you wanted. so it's nice to be able to come out and look again. it's more like the small businesses, i'm pleased to see them up and running, because i think, like, obviously the big high street chains, they've kind of held themselves. it's just all these people that have, like, been going for generations and they've had to shut down. it's just, yeah, it's quite scary. it's also scary when you look at the drop in the number of people shopping around the uk. yesterday, uk high streets saw a drop of 39% compared to last year. uk shopping centres, a drop of 29%. retail parks, though, are faring better, down just 4%. overall, there's been a drop of almost a third. this pandemic—induced plunge in footfall has been a catastrophe for small shops. trends that have been brewing for years accelerated in the course ofjust a few short months.


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