Blog: Brakes on Brexit?

GMB's Political Editor Ranvir Singh writes:

So if you know anyone who's been divorced - it can be messy - you make the decision you want out but then it can be expensive and full of, sometimes painful, compromises.
The vote in the commons was the agreement that the marriage is over, but the next two weeks in the House of Lords, is the conversation with your lawyer - who you argue with over what you want from the divorce versus what your lawyer thinks is realistic.

Prisoner Charles Bronson’s fiancée admits: 'I’m taking a huge risk'

He’s a gentle giant and he is a gentleman

– Paula Williamson speaks on Charles Bronson

The nation wants to know - what made Paula Williamson fall in love with Britain’s most notorious prisoner Charles Bronson?

The former Emmerdale and Coronation Street actress is now engaged to Charles and in an exclusive interview with Good Morning Britain, she admitted she’s taking a “huge risk” marrying him. But she insists the relationship is the “real deal”.

When speaking on whether she’s frightened of him, Paula responded: “No, I’m not frightened at all. Charlie – and this may seem completely bizarre to many people – he’s a gentle giant".

Paula and Charles are due to be married but Paula admitted that they’re unsure when the ceremony will take place. She said: “We don’t know – sooner rather than later. We’ll get married in prison, within the prison chapel, depending on where he is at that point".

Watch the full interview above.

Top five headlines you’re waking up to

  1. A coalition of cross-bench peers are expected to amend the Brexit bill to make clear that EU citizens who were in Britain before the referendum will be allowed to stay in Britain. The Lords have been warned by senior Conservatives that they face public outrage and even abolition if they go ahead with the amendments.

  2. Around 350,000 children are trapped in western Mosul, Save the Children warned on Sunday as Iraqi forces launched a fresh offensive on jihadists defending the strategic city. The charity's Iraq country director, Maurizio Crivellaro said: "This is the grim choice for children in western Mosul right now: bombs, crossfire and hunger if they stay -- or execution and snipers if they try to run".

  3. The NHS is at "breaking point", with a decline in the number of hospital beds leading to delays and cancelled operations, the British Medical Association warned. Analysis by the BMA found the number of overnight beds in English hospitals fell by a fifth between 2006/7 and 2015/16. The report found that in the first week of January this year, almost three-quarters of trusts had a bed occupancy rate of 95% on at least one day.

  4. President Trump has been in the White House for a month and during the last four weeks he has shocked the world with his controversial policies. But what do ordinary Americans make of the man they voted for President? We discuss this more during the show.

  5. The maximum prison sentence for people convicted of animal cruelty offences should be increased tenfold to five years behind bars, a charity has said. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (BDCH) will launch a campaign today aiming to get the "shocking" six-month maximum custodial term raised, saying England and Wales lag behind most other western nations in penalising abusers.

Golden couple of hockey set to receive honours

Lots of people work with their spouse and there are pros and cons of it... at work we're Kate and Helen and we're hockey players

– Kate Richardson-Walsh on being a part of a sporting team with her wife Helen

They've been playing hockey together since they were teenagers and then Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh made history becoming the first same-sex married couple to win an Olympic Gold medal together. They also became the first married British couple to win Gold together since 1920 and this week become the first same-sex married couple to be honoured on the same honours list.

They joined us this morning to talk about their excitement over the honour and of how their sporting partnership blossomed into love.

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The seven year old who got noticed by the boss of Google!

A letter written by a seven-year-old girl asking for a job at Google has gone viral after the youngster received a reply from the head of the multinational technology company.

Chloe Bridgewater, who loves computers and robots, was encouraged by her dad to write a letter about her dreams for her future career - which also include becoming an Olympic swimmer - and received a very encouraging personal response from Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

We were joined by Chloe and her family to talk about how they felt when they received the letter!

Top five headlines you're waking up to

  1. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will give a speech this morning calling for the British people to have a say on the terms of Brexit. In his first major speech since the referendum, he'll say the public should be able to "change their mind" on Brexit if they don't like the deal being presented to them

  2. A 36-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts, according to police. Counter-terrorism detectives swooped as he arrived at London's Heathrow Airport on Thursday, Scotland Yard said. He is currently being held at a west London police station.

  3. There is a "possibility" that cuts to health and social care could be linked to tens of thousands of "excess deaths", a new research paper suggests. In 2015 there was an "unprecedented" rise in mortality in England and Wales and a possible explanation behind the spike could be the "relentless cuts" to health and social care budgets, according to two articles published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

  4. Screening military personnel when they return from conflict zones fails to reduce mental health disorders or increase the numbers seeking help, a new study suggests. A personalised screening service was no more effective than the standard general mental health advice for the British military, it found. Instead, other approaches to encourage personnel with mental health disorders to seek help will be needed, concludes the study, published in The Lancet.

  5. US President Donald Trump has launched a ferocious attack on the media while defending his record during his first weeks in office. He appeared in a nearly hour-long press conference where he lambasted the media, telling reporters their level of dishonesty was out of control.

Social care crisis: 1.2m older people going without support

We're talking about a serious risk to health - and it's going to get worse

– Dr Marcus Green, speaking on the health and care system

Social care for older people is on the verge of collapse according to a new report by Age UK, with the charity revealing there are now nearly 1.2 million people aged 65 and over who don't receive the care support they need with essential daily living activities such as getting out of bed in the morning, being washed and dressed and even getting fed.

We spoke to Dr Marcus Green, who leads Age UK's programme of social, economic and evaluation research and works to improve public policy and he explained how the health and care system is rapidly straining under pressure.

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Should we reward pregnant mothers who quit smoking?

Should shopping vouchers be offered by the council as a reward for pregnant mothers to quit smoking? Well this is what the Stoke-on-Trent City Council plan to do. They are offering up to £260 worth of vouchers as a way to reduce the number of infant deaths in their city.

Today we were joined by Dr Sarah Jarvis who thinks that this new scheme can potentially save the NHS money: "If you can stop one mum in a thousand not having a premature baby with all the costs that go with that, then of course you're onto a winner".

Watch the full discussion above.

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