Novichok ‘could have passed through skin’

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie RowleyImage copyright Facebook
Image caption Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fell ill on Saturday in Amesbury, Wiltshire

The nerve agent that poisoned a couple near Salisbury was unlikely to have been left in the open before they touched it, a government scientist has told BBC News.

The Novichok was so toxic it was able to pass through the skin and did not need to be ingested, he added.

Police have said the couple from Amesbury were exposed to the substance after handling a contaminated item.

Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, remain critically ill.

Speaking to BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, the source said Novichok could be degraded by rainwater and sunlight over time – meaning it was probably discovered by the couple in a contained space.

The source added that Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess’s symptoms were the same as those shown by Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

They were both poisoned with Novichok in nearby Salisbury in March.

Who are the victims?

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Media captionFootage shows Ms Sturgess in Salisbury days before her collapse

Ms Sturgess is understood to be a mother of three with links to John Baker House, which offers supported accommodation. It has been cordoned off by police.

A close friend of Ms Sturgess’s, who lived in the same building, described her as a “loving and caring person” and said – contrary to previous claims – she “never did drugs”.

Charlie Rowley’s brother Mark told the BBC: “He’s a lovely guy and would do anything for you. He’s a sweetheart basically.”

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Media captionCharlie Rowley’s brother Mark describes how he found out what had happened

What happened to them?

On Saturday, paramedics were called twice to a flat in Muggleton Road in Amesbury – first at 11:00 BST after Ms Sturgess collapsed.

Medics attended again several hours later, after Mr Rowley also fell ill.

A friend of the couple, Sam Hobson, said after Ms Sturgess was taken to hospital, he and Mr Rowley went to a chemist in Amesbury to collect a prescription before going to an event at a nearby Baptist church.

The two men returned to the flat and planned to visit the hospital but Mr Rowley “started feeling really hot and sweaty” and began “acting all funny”, Mr Hobson, 29, said.

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Media captionA friend of one of the Amesbury poisoning victims describes the symptoms he witnessed

“He was rocking against the wall and his eyes were red, pinpricked, and he started sweating loads and dribbling, so I had to phone an ambulance for him,” said Mr Hobson.

Wiltshire Police initially thought the pair had fallen ill after using a contaminated batch of heroin or crack cocaine.

But after tests at the government’s military research facility at Porton Down, a major incident was declared and it was confirmed the couple had been exposed to Novichok.

What is Novichok?

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The nerve agent is highly toxic and can pass through the skin

Novichok, which means “newcomer” in Russian, is a group of advanced nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s.

The nerve agent can come in liquid form, but is also thought to exist as a solid which could be dispersed as an ultra-fine powder.

Some of the agents are reported to be “binary weapons”, which means the agent is stored as two less toxic chemicals that are easier to transport, handle and store.

The nerve agent blocks messages from the nerves to the muscles, resulting in convulsions, interrupted breathing, vomiting and, in most cases, death.

In March Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found collapsed in Salisbury town centre.

They had been poisoned by Novichok, after coming into contact with the toxic substance at the front door of their home.

Yulia spent more than a month in hospital before being discharged, while Sergei spent more than two months.

The British government said Mr Skripal, a former double agent imprisoned in Russia, was targeted and accused the Russian state of involvement. Russia denies the accusation.

The pair are now in a secure location.

What are the police investigating?

Image copyright Reuters

Police do not believe Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess were the victims of a targeted attack, but instead came into contact with the substance somewhere in Amesbury or Salisbury.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the “strong working assumption” was that the couple came into contact with Novichok in a location which had not been cleaned up following the Skripal poisoning.

Assistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations Neil Basu said that “around 100 detectives” from the Counter Terrorism Policing Network (CTPN) were working on the investigation.

Five areas have been cordoned off: Muggleton Road, Boots pharmacy and the Baptist church in Ambesbury; John Baker House and Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury.

What has the government said?

Mr Javid called on Russia to explain “exactly what has gone on”, adding: “We will stand up to the actions that threaten our security.”

The home secretary said he was “comfortable” the “exact same nerve agent” had been used in both the Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings – but added it was not yet known if they were from the same batch.

In response to Mr Javid’s comments, Russia said the British government was subjecting them “to hell”.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova urged police not to be led by the “dirty political game” and said she was confident London would have to apologise to Russia.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44733873

London Victoria delays continue into Friday morning

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Media captionCommuters face massive disruption due to signal failure

Commuters travelling to London have been warned to expect rail delays and train cancellations for a second day.

Tens of thousands of passengers faced “nightmare” overcrowding and long delays on Thursday due to a signalling fault in Streatham, south London.

While some lines have reopened, those planning to use Gatwick Express and Southern services have been advised not to travel via London Victoria.

National Rail said disruption would last until at least 10:00 BST.

Thameslink services through Streatham are also set to be affected, it said.

The company recommended against “non-essential” travel and urged passengers to use alternative train and bus providers where possible.

It also advised them to set off “as early as possible”, warning that delays of up to 60 minutes, service alterations and cancellations could be expected.

Both National Rail and Southern have set up dedicated information pages for passengers.

While the signalling system, which went down after a power supply failed on Wednesday night, was “back in correct working order”, National Rail said, there would be a knock-on effect on Friday morning.

Train carriages were expected “to not be in the correct places”, it said, and matters had been “complicated” by the displacement of crew members.


Alternative travel

Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express tickets are valid for travel on the following services via any reasonable route:

  • Across other Southern and Thameslink trains
  • South Western Railway between Portsmouth, Southampton, Dorking and London Waterloo
  • Southeastern between Hastings, Ashford International and London Charing Cross / London Cannon Street
  • Tramlink between Wimbledon, Croydon and Beckenham Junction
  • London Underground on all reasonable routes
  • London Overground between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction, and also to and from West Croydon
  • London Northwestern Railway
  • London Buses via any reasonable route
  • Great Western Railway via any reasonable route.
  • Metrobus between Gatwick Airport, Leatherhead, Dorking, Epsom, Redhill and Reigate on routes 21, 93, 100, 270, 281, 291, 400 & 460
  • Brighton and Hove Buses on all routes, including between Brighton and Shoreham by Sea, between Brighton and Lewes, between Brighton and Seaford / Eastbourne and also between Lewes, Uckfield and Tunbridge Wells – routes 28 & 29
  • Southdown Buses between Oxted and East Grinstead via Edenbridge Town on routes 236 & 410
  • Compass Buses between Lewes, Uckfield, Crowborough and Tunbridge Wells on routes 228 & 229
  • Stagecoach Bus on route 700 between Brighton and Portsmouth

Source: National Rail


On Thursday, commuters complained of being “sardined” into overcrowded trains, while others missed flights from Gatwick.

The airport has told customers due to fly on Friday to leave extra time for their journey to the terminal.

John Halsall, managing director of Network Rail’s South East route, “sincerely apologised” for Thursday’s chaos and said the company had failed in its job to provide “a reliable railway for train operators and the travelling public”.

Victoria is the second busiest station in Great Britain.

About 210,000 passengers use the station each day, according to average figures collected for the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in 2016-17.

The disruptions come as Govia Thameslink Railway, (GTR), which operates Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink, is set to launch a special compensation scheme for people severely affected by a chaotic timetable change in May.

Image copyright Jessica Edwards/PA Wire
Image caption Rail firms warned trains that were running would be overcrowded

Have you been affected by the disruption to train services today? Please get in touch by emailing .

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-44733968

British backpacker Calvin Hill ‘stuck’ in Cambodia

Calvin looking thin in a hospital bedImage copyright Huw Evans picture agency
Image caption Mr Hill’s weight has plummeted since he has fallen ill

A British backpacker who got sepsis after a mosquito bite has been stuck in a hospital in Cambodia for more than two months, his family has said.

Calvin Hill, 27, from Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, came out of a coma and has been declared fit to fly by hospital staff, according to relatives.

They want him home soon amid concern his condition could deteriorate.

But his insurer Flexicover said it did not want to put Mr Hill at any “unnecessary risk”.

Mr Hill’s mother Tracey said he was found “not breathing properly” by roommates at a hostel.

Shortly before the collapse, he had complained of “feeling groggy” after being bitten by mosquitoes, she said.

He spent two weeks in a coma, with doctors telling his family to expect the worst.

“He was on life support,” his mother said. “On three different occasions we were told he wouldn’t make it, and that his liver, kidneys and lungs were failing.”

Despite doctors’ predictions he has since come out of the coma and is now able to talk and move his limbs.

“It was a miracle,” Ms Hill said. “I’m not a religious person, but these things do really happen.”

Flexicover has agreed to pay for Mr Hill’s treatment and fly him to a facility in Thailand before he makes the 14-hour flight back to the UK.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Mr Hill pictured in Cambodia before he was taken ill

“They are saying he’s too unwell to bring home, but he’s never going to get better until he comes home,” his mother said.

“It’s such a simple thing to be bitten by a mosquito, but life has changed for us – Calvin will never be the same person.”

A spokesman for Flexicover said the case was “complex” and it would not make any decisions that its own medical specialists felt could hamper Mr Hill’s recovery.

“We appreciate that Mr Hill’s friends and family are keen for his return to the UK which we will fully support at a time that is medically appropriate,” the spokesman said.

“We never put our customers in situations which could lead to unnecessary risk.”

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Calvin Hill was in a coma for two weeks, according to his family

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-44726136

Giant ‘Trump Baby’ could fly over London for president’s visit

inflatable baby at Martin Luther King adventure playground in IslingtonImage copyright Andrew Aitchison
Image caption Campaigners tried out the inflatable baby at Martin Luther King adventure playground in Islington

Plans to fly a giant inflatable figure depicting Donald Trump as a baby over London during the US president’s visit have been approved.

Mr Trump is due to meet Theresa May at 10 Downing Street on 13 July.

Campaigners raised almost £18,000 for the helium-filled six-metre high figure, which they said reflects Mr Trump’s character as an “angry baby with a fragile ego and tiny hands”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan gave permission for the balloon to fly.

The White House has been approached for comment.

On Twitter former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the plan was “the biggest insult to a sitting US President ever”.

Image copyright Andy Aitchison
Image caption The inflatable Trump Baby is six metres tall
Image copyright Jason Hawkes
Image caption Campaigners claim the figure reflects Mr Trump’s character as an “angry baby”

Under the plans the inflatable will be allowed to fly for two hours on the morning of Friday 13 July.

Leo Murray, who is behind the crowdfunded idea, said: “[Mr Trump] really seems to hate it when people make fun of him.

“So when he visits the UK on Friday, we want to make sure he knows that all of Britain is looking down on him and laughing at him.

“That’s why a group of us have chipped in and raised enough money to have a six-metre high blimp made by a professional inflatables company, to be flown in the skies over Parliament Square during Trump’s visit.”

Mr Murray said organisers initially “didn’t get off to the best start with the mayor’s office over this, who originally told us that they didn’t recognise Trump Baby as legitimate protest”.

However, he said City Hall had “rediscovered its sense of humour – Trump Baby will fly”.

A statement on behalf of the London mayor said he “supports the right to peaceful protest and understands that this can take many different forms”.

Mr Khan’s city operations team met organisers and gave them permission to “use Parliament Square Garden as a grounding point for the blimp”.

Image copyright Jason Hawkes
Image caption The plan is for the Trump Baby to take off from Parliament Square

More than 10,000 people signed a petition calling for the inflatable to be given permission to fly, activists said.

Mr Khan and Mr Trump have repeatedly clashed on Twitter, including in the aftermath of the London Bridge attack.

Before the figure can take off, campaigners will also need permission from the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) as the project constitutes a “non-standard flight in controlled airspace”, a spokesperson said.

Because Parliament Square sits within restricted airspace, additional approvals are also needed from the Metropolitan Police.

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Media captionWhere will the US president go and what might greet him?

Max Wakefield, who is one of the people working on the project, said the group is “confident it will obtain all necessary permits”.

He said the initial crowdfunding target was just £1,000, but this was reached within 24 hours.

The extra cash will now be used to send the balloon on a “world tour” and “haunt” Mr Trump wherever he goes, he added.

The Met has been approached for a comment.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-44732754

‘Need for reform’ in Jersey elections, say international observers

States Chamber
Image caption Fourteen members of the States Assembly were elected unopposed

Elections in Jersey need to be “fairer” in future and there is a need to reform a number of procedures, a report said.

In the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK’s (CPA) final report, it says May’s election was transparent but certain areas need attention.

The international observers were brought in to oversee the process and issued 18 recommendations.

They include the under-regulation of campaign financing and registration of political parties.

Jamaican politician Phillip Paulwell, who led the mission, says there are many positives but reforms need to be made.

“[It was] an election based on trust and respect for rules and procedures,” he said. “However, there is a need for reform.

“There must be greater equality and fairness, robust procedures and comprehensive legislation to tackle potential abuses and errors.”

Jersey election 2018 – as it happened

The report said constituency boundaries for the election of Connétables are not drawn up in line with international standards.

The way States members are elected also came under scrutiny.

The report said allowing members of the outgoing legislature to stay in office “may give candidates seeking re-election… an unfair advantage”.

Image caption Election officials were praised for carrying out their functions “meticulously and impartially”

The way electoral boundaries were divided was also an area of concern for inspectors and they said candidates frequently stood unopposed.

The report said a parish such as St Mary, with a population of 1,752, had an unequal say compared to people living in St Helier, which has 33,522 residents.

Observers said the voting system and voter registration could also be “open to abuse” with the CPA suggesting a transfer to a digital system.

It also said that “consideration should be given to introduce media regulations to ensure equal access and balanced coverage during the campaign”.

Adam Batt: Jersey Reds sign former Doncaster forward

Adam Batt made seven league appearances for Doncaster Knights

Jersey Reds have signed former Doncaster forward Adam Batt.

The 23-year-old, who was born and brought up in New Zealand, can play at second row or back row.

Batt has had trials with the junior All Blacks and played for North Shore in his homeland, before moving to England in 2017 and joining the Knights.

“Adam made an impact when we last played Doncaster and I expect him to do the same now he’s wearing a Reds’ shirt,” said boss Harvey Biljon.

London Victoria travel chaos due to signal problems

London VictoriaImage copyright Waring Abbott/Getty

Commuters have been advised to avoid London Victoria railway station after a signal failure caused major disruption across south London.

Gatwick Express services are suspended while Southern and Thameslink trains are badly affected, National Rail said.

There has been a total loss of signalling power on three separate supplies in the Streatham area, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said.

Disruption is expected until the end of the day, National Rail added.

Victoria is the second busiest station in Great Britain with 75.8 million passenger entries and exits, according to Network Rail figures in 2016-17.

A GTR spokesman said Network Rail was working to solve the problems.

He added: “In the meantime passengers are urged not to travel from the south on our remaining services, which will be heavily overcrowded.”

National Rail said the failure at Streatham Common station meant disruption, cancellations and delays of up to 60 minutes until the end of the day’s services.

The issues have also affected Thameslink services between Luton and Wimbledon, which have been suspended until further notice.

Alternative travel

Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express tickets are valid for travel on the following services, via any reasonable route, including:

  • Across other Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express trains
  • South Western Railway between Portsmouth, Southampton, Wimbledon and London Waterloo
  • Tramlink
  • London Underground to and from Wimbledon
  • London Overground between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction / West Croydon
  • London Northwestern Railway between Watford Junction, London Euston and Milton Keynes Central
  • London buses
  • Great Western Railway
  • Metrobus to and from Gatwick Airport
  • Brighton and Hove buses
  • Southdown Buses between Oxted and East Grinstead
  • Compass Buses in the Tunbridge Wells area

Source: National Rail

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-44721415

Wiltshire pair poisoned by Novichok nerve agent

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Media captionAssistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations Neil Basu speaking on Wednesday night

A man and woman found unconscious in Wiltshire were poisoned by Novichok – the same nerve agent that poisoned ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, police say.

The couple, believed to be Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill at a house in Amesbury on Saturday and remain in a critical condition.

Police say no one else has presented with the same symptoms.

There was “nothing in their background” to suggest the pair were targeted, the Met Police said.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The couple, believed to be Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley were found unconscious on Saturday in Amesbury

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said it could not be confirmed whether the nerve agent came from the same batch that Mr Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, were exposed to.

But he said the possibility was “clearly a line of enquiry”.

Mr Basu said no contaminated items had yet been found, but officers were putting together a “very detailed examination of [the couple’s] movements” in order to determine where they were poisoned.

He added that members of the public should not pick anything up if they don’t know what it is.

“We have no idea what may have contained the nerve agent at this time,” he said.

The Counter Terrorism Policing Network is now leading the investigation, working with Wiltshire Police.

The BBC’s security correspondent Gordon Corera said: “The most likely hypothesis is that this is leftover Novichok from the attack on the Skripals back in March.”

Chemical weapons expert Richard Guthrie said it was possible that the Novichok which poisoned the Skripals may have been disposed of “in a haphazard way”.

If the couple had come across it in a syringe or pot, it might have been better preserved, he told BBC Breakfast.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police have cordoned off a number of areas including Muggleton Road in Amesbury

England’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies, said: “I want to reassure the public that the risk to the general public remains low.”

The Skripal episode meant officials had a “well-established response” in place, she said.

“As before, my advice is to wash your clothes and wipe down any personal items, shoes and bags, with cleansing or baby wipes before disposing of them in the usual way.

“You do not need to seek advice from a health professional unless you are experiencing symptoms, as any individual who had been significantly exposed at the same time would by now have symptoms.”

On Saturday, paramedics were called twice to the property in Amesbury – in the morning, after Ms Sturgess had collapsed, then later the same day, after Mr Rowley had also fallen unwell.

“It was initially believed that the two patients fell ill after using possibly heroin or crack cocaine from a contaminated batch of drugs,” Wiltshire Police said.

The news that Novichok was to blame was announced following analysis at the defence research facility at Porton Down, Wiltshire.

As a precautionary measure, sites in Amesbury and Salisbury, believed to have been visited by the couple before they fell ill, have been cordoned off.

There is no evidence to suggest either visited the sites that were decontaminated following the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Local residents have been warned to expect to see an increased police presence – including officers wearing protective equipment.

Image copyright Other

Security correspondent Gordon Corera said the poisoning was “hugely significant” as the public “will be worried about public health”.

He added: “Perhaps this is some of the Novichok prepared for the attack [in Salisbury in March] and discarded – maybe somewhere like a park, a house – and maybe these two came across it.”

He added it could give counter-terrorism investigators new leads on where the nerve agent was “brought and put together” before the attack on the Skripals.

Image caption The Amesbury branch of Boots was closed on Wednesday morning as a “precautionary measure”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said his thoughts were with the two individuals affected and thanked the emergency services and staff at Salisbury District Hospital.

He said the events follow “the reckless and barbaric attack which took place in Salisbury in March”.

“The government’s first priority is for the safety of the residents in the local area but as Public Health England has made clear, the risk to the general public is low,” he said.

“Tomorrow [Thursday] I will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee Cobra in relation to the ongoing investigation.”


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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44719639

Alesha MacPhail death: Teenage boy arrested on suspicion of murder

Alesha MacPhailImage copyright Facebook
Image caption Alesha MacPhail was reported missing on Monday morning

A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail.

The girl’s body was found near Rothesay on the Isle of Bute on Monday, just hours after she was reported missing.

Detectives working on the case said they were still seeking information from the public, especially anyone who was in the Ardbeg Road area where Alesha’s body was found.

They said the male arrested was under the age of 18.

The detective leading the investigation described the arrest as a “major development”.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Additional police officers were sent to the Isle of Bute to assist with the investigation

Det Supt Stuart Houston said: “The response to our earlier public appeals has been significant.

“However, despite this evening’s major development, I am still appealing for anyone who was in the Ardbeg Road area of Bute on Sunday night or in the early hours of Monday and who may have information about Alesha’s death to contact us.

“Anyone who has CCTV at their home or business, or indeed any motorists with dashcam footage which might help with our investigation are also urged to get in touch.”

Alesha, who was from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, had been staying at her grandmother’s house on Bute when she was reported missing at about 06:25 on Monday.

She was a few days into a three-week summer break on the island in the Firth of Clyde, west of Glasgow.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-44714577

Downing Street sets out some details of new Brexit customs plan

Angela Merkel and Theresa MayImage copyright Downing Street
Image caption Brexit will be on the agenda when Angela Merkel hosts Theresa May in Berlin

Downing Street has set out some of the detail of how customs could be handled after Brexit.

No 10 says its new plan – dubbed the “facilitated customs arrangement” – offers “the best of both worlds”.

The details come as Theresa May and Angela Merkel prepare to discuss the progress of Brexit negotiations when they hold talks in Berlin later.

The UK prime minister is facing calls from the EU to clarify the UK’s position.

According to Number 10, the new plan would allow the UK the freedom to set its own tariffs on goods arriving into the country.

Technology would be used to determine beforehand where they will ultimately end up – and therefore whether UK or EU tariffs should be paid.

Downing Street says it’s confident the arrangement would be partly in place by the end of the proposed transition period in December 2020 – with the system being fully operational by the next general election.

On regulations, it’s understood that the UK would closely mirror the EU’s rules – but parliament would be able to decide where to deviate.

However, the arrangement has not been explained in full – and it is not clear whether the cabinet will back the plan, or whether the EU would agree.

A source close to Brexit Secretary David Davis refused to comment on a Daily Telegraph report that he had already told Mrs May the plan is unworkable.

Mr Davis and Mrs May are “working closely on what will be presented on Friday”, the source said.

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Your guide to Brexit jargon

The UK is leaving the EU in March 2019, but has yet to agree how it will trade with the remaining EU members – who are part of a single market and a customs union.

In particular, a solution is needed to avoid new border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic when the UK is outside the customs union.

Eurosceptic MPs have warned Mrs May against tying the UK to the EU after it leaves, saying this will prevent it from striking its own trade deals with other countries.

After two models for customs were criticised, Downing Street has come up with a “third way” solution, to be presented to the cabinet when it gathers at Chequers on Friday.

After Friday’s meeting, the government is expected to publish a White Paper setting out its plans in detail.

Will Merkel be sympathetic?

BBC Berlin correspondent Jenny Hill

Mrs May is on a mission to reassure her European allies. But talks earlier this week with the Dutch prime minister did little to allay concern over the slow pace of Brexit negotiations.

And few in Berlin expect much more from today’s meeting with Angela Merkel. German business and industry leaders are particularly worried about the impact of an important trading partner leaving the EU with no deal in place.

It’s thought Mrs May might run an as-yet unpublished proposal for a post-Brexit customs arrangement past Mrs Merkel before it’s discussed at a meeting of British ministers on Friday.

She might not find the German chancellor on sympathetic form. Mrs Merkel – herself preoccupied with a domestic row over migration – has repeatedly warned Britain it can’t cherry pick the terms of its exit.

Speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics on Wednesday, leading Conservative Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg hit out at suggestions the new arrangement could, in a bid to ensure smooth trading, involve a single market on goods with the EU and close alignment with its regulations.

Mr Rees-Mogg, who leads the pro-Brexit European Research Group of Tory MPs, said this would be a “really foolish policy” and “would not be a sensible way to run our economy after we’ve left the EU”, adding: “I won’t be reassured until I know the details of what comes out of Friday one way or the other.”

In an attempt to address concerns, Mrs May said at Prime Minister’s Questions the government would ensure “we are out of the customs union, that we are out of the single market, that we are out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, we are out of the Common Agricultural Policy, we are out of the Common Fisheries Policy, we bring an end to free movement, we take control of our borders, we have an independent trade policy”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44719576