News Daily: Backstop backlash, migrant money and Airbnb ban

By Victoria King
BBC News


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'Faith broken'

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Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party helped keep Theresa May in office after the 2017 general election - agreeing to back her in key votes. But the DUP is deeply unhappy at the draft Brexit agreement and on Monday sent a stark warning to the PM. Its 10 MPs refused to vote in favour of the government's Finance Bill - needed to enact the policies announced in the Budget. The message, deputy leader Sammy Wilson says, is "Keep your side of the bargain" - or else.

What does the DUP dislike about the draft agreement? It's the backstop - effectively the position of last resort if future talks between the UK and EU fail. It would keep Northern Ireland aligned to some EU rules while the rest of the UK would be free of them. The party feels that amounts to breaking up the United Kingdom, which Mrs May promised never to do. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says once faith is broken like this between the two parties, it's hard to see how it could be restored.

Meanwhile, in Brussels, the EU's remaining 27 members could agree the final draft political declaration on future relations with the UK on Tuesday. But Spain has warned it isn't happy with how the issue of Gibraltar is being handled.

'Skimmed off'

Migrant workers in the UK, many in low-paid jobs, are sending £8bn a year to support families in their home countries - often to help relatives stay in school. The figure comes from UN agency Unesco, which says the money gives a huge boost, reducing child labour and making life better for girls in particular. But it warns too much is being "skimmed off" in transfer charges by finance companies. The industry, though, says prices would be lower if regulators allowed more competition.

Listings ban

Airbnb has announced it plans to remove all homes in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank from its listings. The firm said it reflected a feeling that "companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced". The West Bank settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this. It called Airbnb's move "shameful" and threatened legal action. Here's a brief guide to the settlement issue.


The stress of modern living is taking a toll people's sex lives, a survey for BBC Radio 5 Live has revealed. On Tuesday, the station is hosting a Sex Takeover, a day of programming focused on our sexual behaviour, relationships and attitudes.

Can you be 'employed' for one hour's work?

By Tom Edgington, BBC Reality Check

Steve Garner, a sociologist, recently tweeted about how his son had repeatedly turned up to work at a warehouse only to be regularly told he wasn't needed. Mr Garner's message was retweeted more than 8,000 times. In the replies, several people commented about the employment status of people who worked on zero-hour contracts. BBC Reality Check asked the Office for National Statistics whether working just one hour a week was all that was needed to be officially classified as employed.

What the papers say

Several papers lead with a warning from the Police Federation chairman that officers could "let thugs go" if the "walk on by" culture - in which witnesses film violent scuffles instead of offering assistance - doesn't end. The Daily Express feels "we all have a responsibility to do our bit in keeping society safe." The Daily Telegraph agrees, arguing: "The police are entitled to the support of the public." The Sun welcomes the decision to keep "black cab rapist" John Worboys in prison. "Now throw away the key," it demands. The Daily Mirror believes the case raises serious questions for Justice Secretary David Gauke, calling his initial refusal to intervene when the Parole Board decided to release Worboys "contemptible". Elsewhere, Brexit does, of course, feature. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tells the Guardian Theresa May has got perhaps the most difficult job of any prime minister or president in the Western world right now.

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