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News Daily: EU says no to renegotiating Brexit deal, and Strasbourg attacker shot dead

By Justin Parkinson
BBC News


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'No, prime minister': EU says Brexit deal not up for renegotiation

Theresa May has been told that her Brexit deal with the EU is "not open for renegotiation". The prime minister, who has been attending a summit in Brussels, had hoped for legally binding assurances from other leaders about the Irish backstop. But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has ruled this out.

However, he said there could be "clarification" on the issue of the backstop, which has angered many of Mrs May's own Conservative MPs. Mr Juncker also said the EU would, on 19 December, publish its own plans for a possible no-deal Brexit.

Critics say the backstop - aimed at preventing a hard border in Northern Ireland - would keep the UK tied to EU rules indefinitely and curb its ability to strike trade deals.

After a tumultuous week for Mrs May - during which she has delayed the "meaningful vote" in the Commons on her deal with the EU and survived a confidence vote among her own MPs - where does this setback leave her? "If this meeting in Brussels was meant to provide Mrs May with the beginnings of an escape route from her Brexit conundrum," writes BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, "the signs are not good." So how long can Mrs May, who says she will not lead the Conservatives into the next general election, survive as PM? And, here's our simple guide to Brexit.

Strasbourg attacker Chekatt shot dead

Cherif Chekatt, the gunman who killed three people in an attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, has been shot dead by police. Officers came across the 29-year-old in a street in the city and shot him after he opened fire.

Three people were killed in the Christmas market shooting on Tuesday and several more were injured. Chekatt had several criminal convictions in France and Germany and had become a radical Islamist in jail. Five people have been arrested in connection with the attack, including Chekatt's parents and two of his brothers. Here's what we know so far about the attack.

Half of UK homes could get faster broadband

Is it taking a while to download things these days? Well, maybe you're living in one of the millions of UK homes (half of the total, in fact) that haven't taken up faster services, even though they're available. Regulator Ofcom is urging people to switch, adding that one in seven homes are paying more than they should for broadband and could get quicker services for the same, or even for less, money.

Who wins from Christmas Jumper Day?

Woollies at Christmas are nothing new - remember Mark Darcy's reindeer jumper in 2001's Bridget Jones' Diary? - but they began to grow in popularity during the early 2010s. Some say that was partly due to Danish drama The Killing, whose lead character wore Nordic-patterned jumpers.

Since then, it's become a big market in the UK, with shops selling them for anything between less than a tenner to more than £100. Many people will be taking part in the Christmas Jumper Day run by Save the Children, which urges participants to wear their "daftest woollies" and donate £2 each. But with the cheapest shop-bought jumper costing at least five times that - who is the real winner, the retailers or the charity?

What the papers say

Some Brexit to end the week. The i says the EU has failed to give Theresa May a Christmas present by ruling out a renegotiation of their deal, while the Daily Telegraph says it has "turned a deaf ear" to the PM's entreaties. Meanwhile, the Times quotes senior Conservative sources saying the party faces a "lasting split" over Brexit. The Financial Times leads on Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley warning that Christmas shopping levels in November were "unbelievably bad" for high-street retailers. And the Daily Mail warns readers of a "council tax bombshell".

Daily digest

Online delays Army's £113m recruitment website "was 52 months late"

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Exchange misery Travellers see pound close to dollar parity

Seven days quiz Why were women banned from the Cresta Run?

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10:30 The Duke of Cambridge represents the Queen as the reviewing officer at the Sovereign's Parade, marking the passing out of cadets from Sandhurst.

18:00 The winner of the BBC African Footballer of the Year award is announced.

On this day

2003 The ousted president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, is captured by US soldiers near his home town of Tikrit.

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