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Britons are normally never more comfortable than when talking about the weather, but recent extreme weather events have began to test that theory. Since December, the United Kingdom has faced a relentless assault from some of the worst winter weather on record. It began with the worst storm and tidal surges in 60 years hitting the North Sea coastline, floods that ruined Christmas for thousands across Surrey and Dorset and in January, the most exceptional period of rainfall since 1766. The deluge has transformed swathes of southern England into cold, dark lakes, destroying homes and businesses.

Politicians have looked weak in the face of such natural disaster, with many facing criticism from local residents for doing little more than turning up as “flood tourists” at the site of disasters, incapable of helping those in crisis and only there for a photo opportunity. The Environment Agency, the body responsible for combating floods and managing rivers, has also been blamed for failing to curb the disasters. But there’s an ever larger debate over the role of climate change in the current floods and storms, and it has been unremittingly hostile.

Politicians have looked weak in the face of such natural disaster, with many facing criticism from local residents.— Julia Slingo, ETF

For those affected by flooding however, their immediate concerns are not necessarily about the manmade changes to the earth’s atmosphere. A YouGov poll from February found that while 84% of those surveyed believed Britain was likely to experience similar extreme weather events in the next few years, only 30% thought it was connected to man-made climate change. Politicians have looked weak in the face of such disaster.

There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events. When heavy rain in 2000 devastated parts of Britain, a later study found the climate change had doubled the chances of the flood occurring, said Julia Slingo.

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Brits ‘will be forced to eat chlorine-washed turkey for Christmas’ if we relax food standards after Brexit, report warns

BRITS could be forced to eat chlorine-washed turkey for Christmas dinner in future if we relax food rules, experts warn today. The controversial product is popular in the US – and is likely t…

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BRITS could be forced to eat chlorine-washed turkey for Christmas dinner in future if we relax food rules, experts warn today.

The controversial product is popular in the US – and is likely to be imported into Britain once we strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the country.

 Brits could be eating chlorine-washed turkey for Christmas after BrexitGetty Brits could be eating chlorine-washed turkey for Christmas after Brexit

But a group of academics say in a report that Britain should “keep EU standards” – claiming that chlorinated meat is not safe.

In America nearly all chicken and turkey is washed with disinfectant in order to remove dangerous germs.

Supporters say the technique ensures that all meat is safe, and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the EU’s ban on chlorinated chicken is “really not science-based”.

But today’s report compiled by three researchers argues the science is still uncertain and letting the products in to Britain would risk people’s health.

 Michael Gove wants to keep the ban on meat washed with disinfectantAFP Michael Gove wants to keep the ban on meat washed with disinfectant

Erik Millstone of Sussex University said: “The UK should continue to insist on improving hygiene standards in poultry farms, slaughter houses and meat-cutting plants and not allow standards to decline, nor try relying on chemical disinfectants to reduce the harm that filthy meat can cause.

“UK consumers would be safer to keep EU standards and not to accept US disinfectant-washed-but-still-dirty poultry.”

He and two colleagues claim that washing meat in chemicals allows producers to avoid cleaning it properly because they rely on the chlorine process instead.

In Britain and the rest of Europe, water is the only substance which meat can be washed with.

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Spectacular snowbow snapped arching across calm UK sky – but 70mph Storm Dylan due to strike

THIS spectacular rare snowbow emerged over the Derbyshire Peak District this morning amid calm weather over the UK. But the outlook could change dramatically by the end of the week when Storm Dylan…

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THIS spectacular rare snowbow emerged over the Derbyshire Peak District this morning amid calm weather over the UK.

But the outlook could change dramatically by the end of the week when Storm Dylan arrives with powerful 70mph winds set to batter Britain.

 The rare rare snowbow over the Derbyshire Peak District. A snowbow is still actually classed as a rainbow because the light must pass through water droplets in the airCover Images The rare rare snowbow over the Derbyshire Peak District. A snowbow is still actually classed as a rainbow because the light must pass through water droplets in the air

This disruptive weather could hit from Thursday when a predicted 29million car drivers hit the roads in time for Xmas celebrations.

Temperatures are set to stay in the balmy mid-teens on Tuesday and Wednesday thanks to a freak sub-tropical air flow.

The south west is predicted to hit as high as 16C and even Scotland will reach 15C.

The calm conditions led to the rare snow bow in Derbyshire.

 The rising sun on the opposite side of the sky gave the stunning pink colour tone to the rainbow in DerbyshireCover Images The rising sun on the opposite side of the sky gave the stunning pink colour tone to the rainbow in Derbyshire  This was the stunning scene over the Derbyshire Peak District on Monday morningCover Images This was the stunning scene over the Derbyshire Peak District on Monday morning  Only the tallest trees and the snow-capped fells of the Lake District appear above the mist cloaking Windermere this morningNorth News and Pictures Only the tallest trees and the snow-capped fells of the Lake District appear above the mist cloaking Windermere this morning  A winter sun rises over mist in Bolton, Greater Manchester, highlighting churches, chimneys and mills from the historic cityMercury Press A winter sun rises over mist in Bolton, Greater Manchester, highlighting churches, chimneys and mills from the historic city  A stunning colourful sunrise in Wimbledon, south London, this morningRex Features A stunning colourful sunrise in Wimbledon, south London, this morning

It is actually still a rainbow because the light must pass through water droplets in the air and then split to form the spectrum.

The rising sun on the opposite side of the sky gave the pink colour tone to the rainbow.

The climate looks a lot pleasant at the end of this week when Storm Dylan could cause havoc.

With millions travelling over the festive period, there will be 123 miles’ of roadworks, 260 rail engineering works and potential delays when more than 1.5 million fly from Heathrow and Gatwick over the two-week holiday.

The RAC said that it was the “worst possible time for stormy conditions”.

Its spokesman Simon Williams said: “Conditions could be treacherous, travel before or after the strongest winds.”

 The winter scene in Bolton as the UK awoke to sunny skies on Monday morningMercury Press The winter scene in Bolton as the UK awoke to sunny skies on Monday morning  A man struggles with an umbrella on London Bridge during wet and windy weatherRex Features A man struggles with an umbrella on London Bridge during wet and windy weather

With #Christmas 🌟 just around the corner it’s a busy week for many of us, but will the #weather help or hinder? Here are all the details pic.twitter.com/tEoF8SXILK

— Met Office (@metoffice) December 17, 2017

The Met Office will name Storm Dylan — the fourth this season after Aileen, Brian and Caroline — when “medium weather impact” from rain, wind or snow is forecast.

Meteorologists said 55mph gusts will arrive in the north of Scotland on Tuesday before strong winds move south as Christmas Day approaches.

The Weather Outlook said 70mph gales could come on Boxing Day.

Its forecaster Brian Gaze said: “Storm Dylan has potential to be named over the Christmas period.

 

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Tory rebels call on Theresa May to join forces with Labour for a soft Brexit – rejecting her own party

THERESA MAY is being urged to team up with Labour to push through a softer Brexit in a move which would enrage her own party. The Tory rebels who defeated the PM in a Commons vote last week are now…

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THERESA MAY is being urged to team up with Labour to push through a softer Brexit in a move which would enrage her own party.

The Tory rebels who defeated the PM in a Commons vote last week are now lobbying her to reach out to opposition MPs on Brexit.

 Theresa May has been urged to work with Labour over Brexit Theresa May has been urged to work with Labour over Brexit

They believe there is a majority in Parliament for a close relationship with the EU – which could include being a member of the customs union, the Guardian reported.

And they want Mrs May to take advantage of the split in Labour to attract centrist MPs into an informal coalition.

Rebellious Conservative backbenchers led by Dominic Grieve inflicted a damaging defeat on the PM last week as they voted to give the Commons a say on the final Brexit deal.

They are reportedly using their new-found power to push the PM and pro-EU ministers such as Philip Hammond to take a softer line on Brexit.

 Dominic Grieve is the ringleader of the Conservative rebelsAFP Dominic Grieve is the ringleader of the Conservative rebels

Two of the 11 rebels who defied the Government have spoken to Gavin Barwell, Mrs May’s chief of staff, about working with Labour MPs.

One of them told the Guardian: “At the moment, the Labour party is terribly divided and therefore there are quite a large body of independent-minded Labour MPs who would be willing to respond positively to a request to provide support to a Government that is seen to be doing the right thing.”

Moderate Labour figures including Chuka Umunna are now dedicated to forcing Britain into a close relationship with the EU after Brexit.

 Moderate Labour MPs such as Chuka Umunna may be willing to work with the ToriesAFP Moderate Labour MPs such as Chuka Umunna may be willing to work with the Tories

They are already estranged from the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, meaning they may be willing to work with the Tories.

But Brexiteer MPs are likely to be furious if Mrs May ignores them and joins with pro-EU Labour politicians instead.

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