City must come first in Brexit, May told –

City must come first in Brexit, May told –

Theresa May risks crippling the economy unless the City of London is prioritised immediately in Brexit talks, senior City sources said on Friday.

There are concerns that a weakened Prime Minister will shy away from putting financial services, the backbone of the economy, at the forefront of the agenda as the UK starts its negotiations with Brussels.

Instead, they believe the Government is prioritising sectors such as car-making or fisheries, which the public regard as more important than banking or financial services but that employ fewer people and generate less tax.

An urgent rethink is needed, senior City figures told The Daily Telegraph, with Britain fast running out of time.

The longer it takes for the Government to strike a deal ensuring the City continued access to clients and markets in the European Union, the more likely it is that banks, insurers and asset management firms will have to move significant numbers of jobs to the continent, the sources warned. Many of these roles pay high salaries and their departure will inevitably result in reduced tax for the Treasury to spend.

William Wright, the managing director of New Financial, a think tank, said: “The focus since the election has been on a free-trade agreement for goods with UK politicians talking about German cars, Italian prosecco and French cheese. But the most complicated area of any future agreement with the EU will be services, especially financial services.

Sideline banking and Brexit will fail –

Sideline banking and Brexit will fail –

Whether you are a Leaver or a Remainer, one thing that almost everyone can agree on is that the Brexit process needs to be handled very carefully. The UK’s departure from the European Union may hurt the economy in the short-term or it may not; if there’s to be pain, it could be mild or severe. We can sit around arguing about such forecasts until we’re all blue in the face. But one thing is certain: if the process is bungled, it will be catastrophic.

That being the case you would have thought that the Government would have a laser-guided focus on what Brexit means for the economy’s most important sector. They should be swaddling it in cotton wool, tissue paper and bubble wrap and then placing it on fluffy cushions during the Article 50 process.

PM’s European court stance has ‘hamstrung’ Brexit negotiations – The Guardian

PM’s European court stance has ‘hamstrung’ Brexit negotiations – The Guardian

Theresa May’s “absolutist” stance on Britain leaving the jurisdiction of the European court of justice has “hamstrung” David Davis in negotiations with Brussels, according to the Brexit secretary’s former chief of staff.

James Chapman, who worked for George Osborne before serving as Davis’s chief of staff until shortly before the election, said May’s insistence that the ECJ must not have oversight once Britain leaves the EU, revealed in her party conference speech last year, had made the negotiators’ task more difficult.

“She’s taken some absolutist positions on particular issues – I’m thinking of the European court of justice,” he told the BBC’s Week in Westminster. “She’s set a red line effectively for a conference speech that hamstrung these negotiations in my view,” said Chapman, who left government before the election and has now become a partner at the PR firm Bell Pottinger.

He praised his former boss as a “tough, resilient operator”, but added, “there have been red lines that have been set for him that make the job he has to do very difficult.”

May, who was keen to win over Ukip voters and assuage the fears of Brexiters that a remainer might not be fully committed to leaving the EU, told her party in Birmingham last autumn, “Let’s state one thing loud and clear: we are not leaving the European Union only to give up control of immigration all over again. And we are not leaving only to return to the jurisdiction of the European court of justice. That’s not going to happen.”

This bar on future ECJ involvement has already become contentious in the first phase of the negotiations, with the EU insisting that the rights of EU citizens already living in the UK must be underpinned in perpetuity by the ECJ.

May has said these rights will be enforceable in UK law; but government sources have also hinted that a new oversight body could be established to arbitrate in disputes and perhaps also deal with questions over any future trade deal.

Chapman said May’s stance on the ECJ had also had a knock-on effect in other areas, including forcing the government to pull out of Euratom – the European body that oversees standards in the nuclear industry across the continent – because the ECJ is the ultimate enforcer of its rules.

“Now the government has announced its intention to withdraw from the Euratom treaty as we leave the EU and the reason for that appears to be there’s a locus for the ECJ in that treaty which covers the free movement of nuclear scientists.

“Now I would have thought the UK would like to continue welcoming nuclear scientists who are all probably being paid six figures and are paying lots of tax. But we’re withdrawing from it because of this absolutist position on the European court. I think she could show some flexibility in that area,” he said.

Asked if other cabinet ministers would be cheering if May had a change of heart, he said, “I think they would be and I think if she doesn’t shift on Euratom I think the parliament will shift it for her.”

Chapman’s intervention came as Damian Green, whom May appointed as first secretary of state as she sought to shore up her position in the aftermath of the election, urges his party to heed the message of the electorate, and reinvent itself.

Speaking to the conference of Bright Blue, the liberal Conservative thinktank, in London on Saturday, Green is expected to say: “I am not standing here and saying all we need to do is keep calm and carry on. We need to think hard, work hard, and change hard.”

He will add: “Modernisation in 2017 involves, as ever, listening to the complaints of those who are being excluded and developing both individual policies and an overall message which speaks to them.”

Theresa May has ‘hamstrung’ David Davis in Brexit talks – BBC News

Theresa May has ‘hamstrung’ David Davis in Brexit talks – BBC News

David Davis

Image copyright

Theresa May has made David Davis’s job more difficult by setting “red lines” for him in Brexit talks, his ex-chief of staff has told the BBC.

James Chapman said the Brexit secretary had been “hamstrung” by the prime minister’s stance on the European Court of Justice (ECJ), among other things.

He said Mrs May would not get a Brexit deal through Parliament unless she showed more “flexibility”.

Downing Street and the Department for Exiting the EU declined to comment.

Mrs May has insisted the ECJ will have no jurisdiction over the UK.

But the EU insists that the ECJ must continue to offer legal protection for its citizens in the UK, just as it does now.

The ECJ’s main role is to uphold the rules of the single market, rather than rule on criminal matters like the European Court of Human Rights.

Mr Davis has said a new international body will have to be set up to settle disputes between the UK and the EU after Brexit, a job currently done by the ECJ.


Mr Chapman accused Mrs May of taking an “absolutist” position on the ECJ, saying: “She’s set a red line effectively for a conference speech that hamstrung these negotiations in my view.”

He added: “There have been red lines that have been set for him that make the job he has to do very difficult.”

Mr Chapman also warned, in an interview with The Week in Westminster to be broadcast on Saturday at 11:00 BST on BBC Radio 4, that Mrs May would struggle to get her version of Brexit past MPs.

“If she doesn’t, in my point of view, show more flexibility, show more pragmatism than she did demonstrate in the Home Office, she won’t get this stuff through Parliament.”

A former Daily Mail journalist, Mr Chapman was George Osborne’s director of communications before becoming Mr Davis’s chief of staff at the new department for exiting the EU.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Theresa May and Spain’s PM Mariano Rajoy at a G20 summit

He also revealed that cabinet ministers wanted Mrs May to do a U-turn over plans to pull the UK out of Euratom, the pan-European atomic energy regulator.

Euratom is a separate legal entity from the EU and gives Britain’s nuclear industry access to technology and fissile material.


Mr Chapman said the reason for wanting to withdraw from Euratom was to prevent the free movement of nuclear scientists, which is governed by the ECJ.

“Now I would have thought the UK would like to continue welcoming nuclear scientists, who are all probably being paid six figures and are paying lots of tax,” he said.

“But we’re withdrawing from it because of this absolutist position on the European Court.”

He added: “If she doesn’t shift on this I think Parliament will do it for her.”

He also took a swipe at the ability of ministers in Mrs May’s top team, which he said was “not groaning with talent”.

“I think a political party is in a bad place when there’s more talented people on its back benches than there are on the front benches.”

He said the cabinet’s leading “Brexiteers”, David Davis and Boris Johnson, were “actually pretty liberal on issues like immigration” and would like to “recalibrate” Mrs May’s position, “but at the moment she is showing no willingness to do this”.

Mr Chapman stopped working for David Davis at the election and is now a partner at lobbying company Bell Pottinger.

Think tank to move operations from London over Brexit –

Think tank to move operations from London over Brexit –

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem gives a press conference at a meeting of the European Council on Foreign Relations in The Hague, on June 28, 2016 | Baart Maat/AFP via Getty Images

Think tank to move operations from London over Brexit

Having largest office in London not the right thing for a pan-European firm, says European Council on Foreign Relations boss.


6/30/17, 4:34 PM CET

The European Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank, is scaling back its operations in London as being in the U.K. is no longer “appropriate” because of Brexit, its boss said.

The think tank’s co-chairman, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, announced the decision earlier this week after a staff meeting in the German capital, and it was confirmed by Mark Leonard, the think tank’s director, on Friday.

Although the ECFR does not have an official headquarters, its largest office is in London, which Leonard said “wasn’t appropriate in a Brexit environment.”

Instead, the think tank’s senior management team will be split between Berlin and London, it will move to a smaller office in the British capital, and focus on boosting its offices in Paris and Berlin.

The ECFR, founded in 2007, provides what it calls a “pan-European perspective” on foreign relations and has offices across the Continent, including in Madrid, Warsaw and Sofia. It focuses on common European policy toward China and the Middle East, as well as on “European power.”

“After Brexit and Trump, we realized national politics is becoming more and more important,” Leonard said, citing that as a reason why he didn’t choose Brussels as an alternative to London.

In addition to Brexit, the think tank is also moving because of “the belief that Germany will serve even more as a pivot in European foreign and security policy,” the ECFR said in a statement Friday.

Leonard — who was born in the U.K. and has German ancestry — said he was applying for a German passport.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who spoke at the staff meeting, was unsurprisingly pleased.

“Thanks to your activities, Berlin is becoming more and more a vibrant hub of intellectual debate on international affairs and security policy,” Gabriel said.


Related stories on these topics:

Brexit has pushed the amount Brits are saving to the lowest level since records began – Business Insider

Brexit has pushed the amount Brits are saving to the lowest level since records began – Business Insider

Barclays cash

man repairs a cash machine outside a bank in London, November 25,


LONDON — A Brexit-fuelled economic slowdown is looking
increasingly likely, with more data out Friday suggesting UK
household finances are being squeezed to breaking point.

Brits are saving less than at any point in more than 50 years,
due to inflation and falling real wages.

According to new
figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Friday
just 1.7% of incomes were put aside for a rainy day
in the first quarter of 2017, which is lower than at any point
since comparable records began in 1963.

The previous record low was set in the fourth quarter of 2016,
when Brits saved just 3.3% of their incomes. The amount being
saved has been falling rapidly in the post-crisis years, dropping
from more than 10% in 2010 to the current level.

The savings’ fall has accelerated since the vote to leave the EU,
with inflation surging to its highest level in four years, and
wage growth stuttering.

“The saving ratio has fallen again this quarter to a new record
low, partly as a result of higher tax payments reducing
disposable income. Some of the fall could be as a result of the
timing of those payments, but the underlying trend is for a
continued fall in the saving ratio,” Darren Morgan, the ONS’ head
of GDP, said in a statement.

Here’s the chart, courtesy of investment firm Hargreaves
Lansdown:UK savings ratioHargreaves Lansdown

As Tom McPhail, HL’s head of policy notes in a statement sent
after the news emerged: “This data is likely to set alarm bells
ringing; whether this is in fact evidence of a confident economy
or peak complacency remains to be seen. The fall in the household
savings ratio is undoubtedly in large part due to the squeeze on
disposable income caused by a combination of flat average
earnings and rising prices.”

This is worrying because, if the savings rate it falling because
of rising prices and flat wage growth, it suggests Brits have
little headroom to absorb further price rises. This could mean
that Brits cut back on their spending. Consumer confidence
figures out on Friday show
shoppers are at their most pessimistic for 12-months.

Any spending slowdown would be disastrous for the economy, as it
is consumer spending that has largely held up GDP growth since
last year’s Brexit vote.

Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, the market research
firm that compiled Friday’s consumer confidence figures, said in
a statement: “The twin pressures of higher prices and sluggish
wage growth are squeezing household finances and adding to
widespread fears of a Brexit-induced economic slowdown.”

Separate figures from the ONS also released on Friday
confirmed the British economy growing at just 0.2% in the first
making Britain the slowest growing of the G7
countries in the period.

“Growth was driven by business services and construction,
partially offset by declines in some consumer-focused industries,
such as retail sales and accommodation,” the ONS said.

Brexit: France promises new court to handle English law cases in bid to lure UK-based firms – The Independent

Brexit: France promises new court to handle English law cases in bid to lure UK-based firms – The Independent

  • 1/29

    Brexit concerns shrink UK’s lead as Europe’s top finance hub

    Brexit concerns have bitten into the UK’s lead as Europe’s top financial services location for investors, new research shows.

    The UK’s financial services industry has retained its title as Europe’s most attractive location for international investment, but its lead has narrowed due to fears over the impact of Brexit, according to a report by professional services firm EY.


  • 2/29

    Longest squeeze on household incomes since 1970s, says ONS

    The aggregate real disposable income of UK households has fallen for three quarters in a row for the first time since the 1970s, according to the Office for National Statistics.

    The ONS said that the inflation-adjusted compensation of the household sector fell 1.4 per cent in the first three months of 2017, reflecting spiking inflation and weak pay growth.

    Macrobond, The Independent

  • 3/29

    Brexit worries Wimbledon strawberry farmer who depends on EU workers

    The owner of the farm which provides Wimbledon with its strawberries has said she hopes there is a “mechanism” for European citizens to work seasonally in the UK after Brexit.

    Marion Regan, who owns Hugh Lowe Farms in Kent with her husband Jon, relies on seasonal labour to make sure Wimbledon is supplied with fresh strawberries throughout the tournament.


  • 4/29

    Consumer confidence slips back to post-Brexit vote lows

    Consumer confidence is now almost back down to the lows seen in the wake of last June’s Brexit referendum, adding to a picture of a wilting consumer in the face of fast rising inflation and weak wage growth.

    The latest GfK Index slipped to -10 in June, down from -5 in the previous month, its lowest since last July.

  • 5/29

    Tobacco giant Philip Morris wants everyone to quit smoking

    Philip Morris International, the world’s second largest tobacco company, has said it wants people to quit the habit.

    Peter Nixon, UK and Ireland managing director for the global tobacco giant said “We are absolutely serious – one day we want to stop selling cigarettes.”

  • 6/29

    Alibaba’s Jack Ma warns evolving technology could cause World War III

    Chinese business magnate Jack Ma said that evolving technologies are likely to pose a threat to more than just the job market and could in fact trigger a Third World War.

    In an interview with CNBC, the billionaire chairman of Alibaba said that world leaders have a duty to educate people to prevent the pain caused by a rapid rise in automation and artificial intelligence.


  • 7/29

    Japanese bank Nomura chooses Frankfurt for EU headquarters after UK’s withdrawal

    Nomura picked Frankfurt as the headquarters for its European Union operations after the UK leaves the bloc, people with knowledge of the matter said.

    Japan’s biggest brokerage will start preparations this month to form a base in the German financial centre, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is confidential. It will seek regulatory approval and find office space before transferring fewer than 100 employees from London to the city, according to the person.

    Getty Images

  • 8/29 says artificial intelligence will be more disruptive to UK tech than EU withdrawal

    The reckless rise of artificial intelligence is going to be much more disruptive for the London technology scene in the longer run than Britain’s departure from the EU, according to musician, entrepreneur and philanthropist

    Speaking at an event celebrating his collaboration with Atom Bank, an app-based digital-only bank launched last year, the founding member of The Black Eyed Peas said that by 2030, Brexit will be “an old school thought” for the UK’s rapidly evolving tech industry and AI will present a much more acute challenge.

    Getty Images

  • 9/29

    How climate change will threaten food security of world’s poorest countries

    Some of the world’s poorest countries will be hit hardest as climate change affects marine fisheries all over the world, according to a new study.

    The global fishing industry produces a total catch worth of about $90bn (£71bn) but the warming ocean temperatures are causing many valuable species to shift their usual ranges.

    Lisa Murray

  • 10/29

    Supersonic passenger jet to take off next year

    An American firm is promising the return of supersonic passenger aviation, with transatlantic airfares “about the same price as today’s business class tickets”.

    Boom, based in Denver, says London-New York will cost £2,000 one-way and take just 3 hours 15 minutes. With a planned cruising speed of 1,451mph, the plane is almost 100mph faster than Concorde.

  • 11/29

    Casamigos: George Clooney tequila brand sold for $1bn to drinks giant Diageo

    George Clooney is selling his US tequila brand Casamigos to British beverage company Diageo for almost $1bn (£790m).

    The London-based distiller will initially pay $700m (£553m) for Casamigos and possibly an additional $300m (£237m) based on the performance of the brand over the next decade. The purchase will be Diageo’s biggest since it bought United Spirits for $3.2 billion (£2.5 billion) in 2014.

    Getty Images

  • 12/29

    Jaguar Land Rover to create 5,000 new jobs

    Britain’s biggest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover will hire 5,000 staff as it boosts its skills in autonomous and electric technology, a welcome business endorsement as Prime Minister Theresa May starts Brexit talks after a botched election.

    JLR, which employs more than 40,000 people globally, said it would hire 1,000 electronic and software engineers as well as 4,000 additional personnel including in manufacturing, most of whom will be based in Britain.

  • 13/29

    European shares rebound as Emmanuel Macron wins historic majority

    Internet giants will face increased pressure to tackle online extremism as European leaders were expected to back a UK-led drive for tougher internet regulation.

    Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will lead calls to ensure there is “no safe space for terrorists” to plot attacks and share radical material online when he attends a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday.


  • 14/29

    The real reason UK employers hire European Union workers

    While the end of free movement is presented by politicians as ‘taking control’, for employers it means quite the reverse – it means a loss of control, it means new barriers to recruitment and, for some, the risk of irreparable damage.

    In our research at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) before and after the referendum vote we’ve detected a gradual change in outlook among employers.


  • 15/29

    Boris Johnson calls on internet giants to leave ‘no safe space for terrorists’

    Internet giants will face increased pressure to tackle online extremism as European leaders were expected to back a UK-led drive for tougher internet regulation.

    Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will lead calls to ensure there is “no safe space for terrorists” to plot attacks and share radical material online when he attends a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday.


  • 16/29

    Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

    Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth that sells everything from toothpaste to tennis shoes, has announced it will purchase grocery store Whole Foods for $13.7bn (£10.7bn).

    The Seattle-based retailer will buy the popular health food chain for $42 per share, pending approval by its shareholders.


  • 17/29

    Workers producing Ivanka Trump’s fashion line subjected to verbal abuse and ‘poverty pay’

    Ivanka Trump has come under fire again after workers at a factory making clothes for her brand in Indonesia described an environment of “verbal abuse” and poverty wages.

    More than a dozen workers at the factory in Subang told the Guardian that they regularly work unpaid overtime and are paid one of the lowest minimum wages in Asia, despite production targets that are impossible to meet.


  • 18/29

    EU launches antitrust investigation into Nike, Universal Studios and Hello Kitty owner

    The EU has launched antitrust investigations into Nike, Universal Studios and the owner of the Hello Kitty brand, over their licensing and distribution practices within the single market.

    In a statement, the European commission said that it was looking into whether the three companies were illegally preventing retailers from selling certain goods licensed by them across borders and online, thereby breaking competition rules.

  • 19/29

    Morrisons is selling 16oz ‘Daddy of all burgers’ for Father’s Day

    The “daddy of all burgers” has arrived, just in time for Father’s Day. Morrisons launched the huge, one pound, 18cm monster, which should satisfy even the hungriest of dads, on Wednesday.

    Each one is made by butchers in-store using 100 per cent British beef seasoned with paprika, sage and parsley. Morrisons claims it is the biggest beef burger money can buy in a UK supermarket, and it costs just £3. Shoppers will have to be quick however, as the oversized patties are only available until Sunday.


  • 20/29

    Verizon completes Yahoo acquisition and announces CEO Marissa Mayer’s resignation

    Verizon Communications said on Tuesday it closed its $4.48bn (£3.51m) acquisition of Yahoo’s core business and that Marissa Mayer, chief executive of the internet company, had resigned.

    The completion of the acquisition marked the end of Yahoo as a stand-alone internet company, a tech pioneer once valued at more than $100bn.


  • 21/29

    Thames Water hit with £8.55m fine after failing to reduce leakages

    Thames Water has been hit with a £8.55m penalty for failing to reduce leakages, regulator Ofwat said on Wednesday.

    A “cluster of significant bursts” meant that Thames Water’s leakages increased by five per cent since last year, according to the company’s annual report. This brought the leakages up to 677 million litres per day, exceeding the 630 million target.

    PA Wire

  • 22/29

    UK General election 2017: Pound sterling hovers near two-week high as voters take to the polls

    The pound traded near a two-week high against the dollar on Thursday morning, as the first voters took to the polls in the UK’s general election.

    Sterling was recently trading little changed against the dollar at around $1.2955, not far off its $1.2970 peak hit on Wednesday, which was the currency’s highest level since 25 May.


  • 23/29

    UK car production slumps by nearly a fifth in April as timing of Easter bites – Thursday May 24

    UK car manufacturing plummeted by almost a fifth in April, as the timing of Easter ate into the number of production days in the month.


  • 24/29

    Marks and Spencer reports slump in profit hurt by clothing sales and cost of new food stores – Wednesday 24 May

    High street stalwart Marks and Spencer has reported a more than 60 per cent fall in pre-tax profit in the year to the end of March, hurt by a decline in clothing sales and higher costs from opening new food stores.

    Pre-tax profit came in at £176.4m for the year, while sales were broadly steady at £10.6bn. Food revenue was up 4.2 per cent.


  • 25/29

    Apple named world’s most value company in tech-dominated Forbes ranking – Tuesday 23 May

    Tech behemoth Apple has been named the most valuable brand in the world for a seventh consecutive year.

    The highly-regarded ranking, compiled by Forbes magazine, puts the iPhone makers’ brand value at $170bn, a 10 per cent increase on figure for 2016 and well ahead of second-placed Google, whose brand value has risen $19.3bn from last year to just under $102bn, according to Forbes.

    Tech peer Microsoft nabbed third spot, with a value of $87bn, followed by Facebook at $73.5bn. Consumer goods giant Coca-Cola rounds out the top five with a value of $56.4bn.


  • 26/29

    Diamond ring bought for £10 at car boot sale expected to fetch £350,000 at auction – Monday 22 May

    A large, diamond ring is expected to fetch £350,000 at auction 30 years after its owner paid £10 for it at a car boot sale, thinking it was a costume jewel.

    The “exceptionally-sized” stone was presumed not to be real because 19th Century diamonds were not cut to show off their brilliance like today’s gems.

    And so the owner, unaware of its value, wore it for decades, while doing everything from the shopping to the chores.


  • 27/29

    $110 Basquiat sold by Family who bought it for $19,000 – Friday 19 May

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting of a skull sold for $110.5 million at Sotheby’s in New York, setting an auction record for American artists and providing a windfall for the daughter of two collectors who purchased it for $19,000 in 1984.

    Getty Images

  • 28/29

    Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One announces 117 new episodes – Friday 19 May

    The company that owns the Peppa Pig brand has announced that it is producing 117 new episodes for the popular children’s cartoon.

    The new series will air from spring 2019 and take the total number of Peppa Pig episodes to 381.


  • 29/29

    Property tycoon who banned ‘coloured people because of curry smells’ faces legal action – Thursday 18 May

    A buy-to-let tycoon who banned “coloured people” from his properties “because of curry smells” is facing legal action brought by the equality watchdog.

    Millionaire Fergus Wilson, who reportedly owns close to 1,000 properties in Kent, sent an email to a local letting agency informing them of the ban.
    Commission chief executive, Rebecca Hilsenrath, said: “We have asked the court if it agrees with us that Mr Wilson’s lettings policy contains unlawful criteria and, if so, to issue an injunction.

    “As this is now formal legal action we will release further information at a later date.”

    Gareth Fuller/PA