News Daily: Brexit, a year to go, and spy poisoning latest

By Victoria King
BBC News


Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

Image source, Getty Images

Brexit, one year to go

A year from today, the talking will be over and the UK will finally leave the EU. To mark this milestone, Theresa May is setting off on a whistlestop tour of all four nations of the UK. With visits to a factory in Ayrshire, a baby group in Newcastle, lunch with farmers near Belfast and a business meeting in south Wales - the highly choreographed event is reminiscent of a final pre-election push.

The symbolism's obvious enough, says the BBC's deputy political editor John Pienaar, the UK is leaving the EU as one. The prime minister will be determinedly upbeat today, promising the future "will be a bright one" and the country strong and united. However, he adds, she is still to convince the leaders of the devolved nations, as well as those who voted Remain, that they won't lose out.

With a year to go, where is Brexit up to? Well, an agreement has been struck on the "divorce bill", but we're yet to reach a deal on the future UK-EU trading arrangement. The Irish border remains a sticking point. Why's it all taking so long? Well, there's a lot to sort out - here's everything you need to know and some of the key questions that you've been asking us to answer.

And if you feel like you've had your fill of Brexit cliches, you're not alone. The ball, the cliff-edge, the cake.... here are our top five.

Spy poisoning latest

Police investigating the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, now say they first came into contact with nerve agent at his home. Multiple locations in and around Salisbury have been tested, but the highest concentration of Novichok was found on the front door. BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera says it could have been administered via a gloopy substance smeared onto the handle. The pair remain critically ill. Here's a reminder of everything we know so far.

Labour executive quits

The anti-Semitism row within Labour is not going away and on Wednesday night, the head of the party's disputes panel resigned after it emerged she had opposed the suspension of a council candidate accused of Holocaust denial. Christine Shawcroft sent an email calling for the reinstatement of Alan Bull, who said he had reposted an article calling the Holocaust a "hoax" for the purpose of debate. Ms Shawcroft, a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn, was appointed in January to oversee investigations into issues such as sexual harassment and anti-Semitism. She said she was "deeply sorry" for her "wrong and misguided questions on this case".

Malala's return

Six years after she was shot in the head by Taliban militants, Malala Yousafzai has returned to Pakistan for the first time. The attack on her - motivated by anger at her campaign for female education - drew international attention and condemnation. Now aged 20 and living and studying in the UK, Ms Yousafzai is a vocal human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Are adverts deliberately being racist?

By Cherry Wilson, Newsbeat reporter

Several big brands have been labelled "racist" recently after releasing adverts which have backfired. H&M apologised in January for showing a black child modelling a hoodie which had "coolest monkey in the jungle" on the front, following a huge backlash. Dove said sorry a few months earlier for releasing a series of images that appeared to show a black woman turning white after using their soap. And Chance the Rapper has labelled an advert for Heineken's low calorie beer "terribly racist" - claiming that brands are "purposely putting out noticeably racist ads so they can get more views". But is there any truth in his claim?

What the papers say

The fallout from the John Worboys case is covered by most of the papers. The Daily Telegraph says Justice Secretary David Gauke is facing calls to resign after the rapist's victims accused him of a "disgusting" attempt to divert blame for his department's failings. The Daily Mirror agrees Mr Gauke's position is "shaky", while the Daily Mail says the case has sparked fears that the parole system is not fit for purpose. Writing in the Daily Express to mark one year until Brexit, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says "a glorious view awaits" the UK. But in its editorial, the Guardian takes a more pessimistic approach, asserting that leaving the EU will not enhance Britain's place in the world - it will damage it.

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If you see one thing today

Image source, Martin Eberlen

If you listen to one thing today

Image source, Kate Nutt

If you read one thing today

Image source, Michael Balogun


Morning Former Parole Board chief Nick Hardwick gives his first interviews after being forced to resign over the John Worboys case.

Midday Deadline for shareholders at GKN - one of the UK's largest industrial firms - to accept or reject a takeover bid from turnaround company Melrose.

On this day

1981 Thousands of people take to the streets of the capital for the first ever London marathon.

From elsewhere

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