Your morning briefing: What you should know for Tuesday, February 12

Jason Collie


Leadsom shoots down Labour’s Brexit plan over customs union

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom has insisted there is no chance Theresa May will accept Labour’s plan for Brexit, despite speculation she was softening her stance on being in a customs union.

Mrs May will update MPs today on the latest Brexit talks but Mrs Leadsom said the Prime Minister had been clear leaving the EU would involve exiting the single market and customs union.

Mrs May has brought forward her statement by a day to give MPs more time to "digest the content", according to Downing Street, ahead of a series of expected Commons votes on Thursday.

Elsewhere Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay was said to have held constructive talks on Monday night with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels.


Horse racing back on tomorrow

Racing across the UK has been given the all clear to resume tomorrow following a six-day suspension due to an outbreak of equine influenza.

It had been stopped last Thursday after three horses from one trainer’s yard tested positive for the virus.

Three further cases were then confirmed before the British Horseracing Authority said tests on hundreds of horses over the weekend had come back negative.

Announcing the resumption of racing, the BHA said it would maintain strict biosecurity controls.


Agreement thrashed out for new US wall

Congressional negotiators have reached an agreement to prevent a US government shutdown and finance building new barriers along the US-Mexico border.

Republicans were desperate to avoid another bruising shutdown, so tentatively agreed to a deal for 55 miles of new fencing at the Rio Grande in Texas made of metal slats rather than a concrete wall.

That was far less than the 215 miles of barrier the White House demanded in December.

Negotiators say they are hopeful Donald Trump would agree to back the deal.


Motorists lose up to £1,680 a year due to traffic jams

Road congestion cost the UK economy nearly £8 billion last year, according to new analysis.

Transport data firm Inrix calculated that the average road user in London lost up to £1,680 due to jams, while those in Edinburgh, Manchester and Leicester list more than £1,110.

London and Edinburgh are the country's slowest cities with an average speed for journeys into the central business district of just 7mph in peak time.

The research also found that London is the sixth most gridlocked city in the world when population is taken into account.


And the greatest radio programme ever is…

Desert Island Discs has been named the greatest radio programme of all time in a new poll.

The Radio 4 programme, in which castaway guests share the soundtrack of their lives, beat shows such as The Archers and Round The Horne to top the Radio Times list.

It was picked by a panel of industry experts including Cerys Matthews, Justin Webb, Adrian Chiles, Caroline Wyatt and Sara Cox.

Desert Island Discs has been broadcast since 1942.


On this day…

1554: Lady Jane Grey, Queen of England for nine days, was executed on Tower Green by her cousin and rival claimant to the throne, Mary.

1688: The Glorious Revolution ended. James II fled to France and Prince William of Orange and Princess Mary were declared King and Queen of England.

1809: Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, was born in Kentucky.

1809: Charles Darwin, naturalist and author, was born in Shrewsbury. His work On The Origin Of Species (1859) formulated his theory of evolution and natural selection.

1898: Henry Lindfield of Brighton became the first British motorist to be killed in a car crash - a result of a steering failure.

1818: Chile proclaimed an independent republic.