News Daily: Brexit battle goes on and benefits 'sex work'

By Victoria King
BBC News

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May fights on

Image source, Reuters

The prime minister will address business leaders later at the start of a crucial week for her and the country. She'll be working hard at home and abroad to win support for her draft Brexit agreement - what's that? - after not insignificant opposition to it. That effort begins on Monday with a speech to business group the CBI, focusing on immigration and the benefits she believes the agreement will bring in terms of greater control.

Later in the week, she'll head to Brussels to continue talks on one aspect of the agreement - the declaration on the shape of the future UK-EU relationship. As the BBC's Europe editor Katya Adler explains, it's very much a broad-brush outline, but has to look attractive enough economically and politically to win over waverers in Westminster. It also has to persuade them that we'll never need to enter into a customs union to protect the Irish border - that the much-talked about "backstop" will never come to pass.

Back home, the PM has made it through the initial turbulence triggered by the draft agreement, but may still face a vote of no confidence from her own MPs if enough of them send letters of dissent. More here on how any leadership challenge would work - plus, here's our handy upsum of where we are on Brexit right now.


Women are turning to sex work to cope with hardship inflicted by Universal Credit, according to several charities. Universal Credit (UC) is meant to simplify the benefits system and better reward those who return to work, but its introduction has been beset with problems - more on those here - and many recipients have been forced to wait weeks for their first payment. Single mum Julie, from Merseyside, was one of those driven to sell sex after being left "desperate" by delays. "It's something I never ever thought I would be ever capable of doing," she told the BBC. The government insists "no-one has to face hardship" as they switch to UC. Will the benefit changes affect you? Find out here.

Cost of convenience

Express, Local, Little... supermarket convenience stores are a feature of many high streets, but do you expect to pay more if you shop there than in the same company's superstore? Well, there's a good chance you will. BBC Inside Out has looked at a mix of own-brand and branded items in a sample of locations, and found that at Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose, 45 of 50 items cost more in the convenience shop. At Tesco Express, 39 of 50 items cost more. The supermarkets put the difference down to higher operating costs in the convenience stores. Read more from BBC Reality Check on why prices vary from one area to the next.


Four things to know for the week ahead.

Why it costs £73,000 to educate a child

By Luke Sibieta, Institute for Fiscal Studies

The amount spent on schools is a source of frequent controversy. So, where does all the money go? It's a fact that spending on schools in England is much higher than it was 20 years ago. But that's not the full picture in a country which has seen a population boom coincide with a squeeze on public spending. Spending per pupil is actually lower than it was in 2010 in today's prices - as is the case across the rest of the UK.

What the papers say

The front pages are dominated by Brexit and the fate of the prime minister. The Daily Telegraph says Theresa May will make clear to five cabinet Brexiteers that she does not intend to alter the draft agreement with the EU. In his weekly column in the paper, Boris Johnson says "of all the lies being peddled", the worst is the idea that imperfections in the agreement can be remedied in the next stage of the talks. The Sun, meanwhile, says two more cabinet ministers could resign this week. The Times carries an interview with former Conservative chief whip Andrew Mitchell, who warns colleagues against "hunting down" Mrs May because any move to depose her would do the party "untold damage". Finally, the Daily Mirror reports that the Army has been placed on standby to deal with any chaos which might result from a no-deal Brexit.

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