Theresa May’s plans for a crackdown on immigration after Brexit could cause UK companies to go bust and spark job losses across the country, the head of Britain’s biggest business lobby group has warned. Carolyn Fairbairn, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said the measures aimed at restricting low-skilled immigration could have unintended consequences, and warned the prime minister against using “derogatory terms” about EU migrants working in Britain.
Canada has arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the US in a move likely to exacerbate tensions between the US and China. Meng Wanzhou, one of the vice-chairs on the Chinese technology company’s board and the daughter of the company founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on 1 December and a court hearing has been set for Friday, according to Canada’s department of justice. The arrest is reportedly related to violations of US sanctions.
China has said that Beijing and Washington will push forward with trade negotiations in the next 90 days and it is confident that an agreement can be reached but doubts remain over whether the two sides can resolve their deep differences. The commerce ministry, in a brief statement on its website, also said China would work to implement specific issues already agreed upon as quickly as possible. - Guardian.
Financial institutions are coming under pressure from countries in the European Union to relocate more of their business from London ahead of Brexit, the City regulator has warned. Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, said that companies were being lobbied to move operations to rival trading centres as countries look to maximise the amount of business they win from Brexit at the expense of the City. - The Times.
China has agreed to “reduce and remove” tariffs below the 40% level that Beijing is currently charging on US cars, Donald Trump has claimed, amid a trade war truce agreed by the two countries. The US president and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to halt new tariffs during talks in Argentina on Saturday, following months of escalating tensions on trade and other issues. - Guardian.
China and the United States have agreed to halt additional tariffs as both nations engage in new trade negotiations with the goal of reaching an agreement within 90 days, the White House said on Saturday after talks between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping in Argentina. - Sunday Telegraph.
The Trump administration is exploring a deal to delay further tariffs on Chinese imports in exchange for decisive talks about overhauling Beijing’s economic policy, it was reported last night. Officials in Washington and Beijing have spoken for several weeks about setting up talks that could delay the tariffs until at least the end of the spring, as they seek to avert escalation of their trade war. - The Times/Wall Street Journal.
UK banks are strong enough to survive a disorderly Brexit that could leave the country worse off than the 2008 financial crisis, according to the Bank of England. For a second straight year, none of the high street lenders have been told to raise billions of pounds in capital to strengthen their finances, under the Bank’s latest financial sector health check. – Guardian.
Britain is running out of food warehousing facilities needed by retailers and manufacturers to stockpile goods before a possible no-deal Brexit – and the shortage may be the result of Amazon booking the space, MPs have been told. Ian Wright, the director general of the Food and Drink Federation, told the business, Energy and industrial strategy committee (BEIS) on Tuesday that a shortage of space had driven up the cost of chilled warehouse space, even though the shelves may be empty.
President Donald Trump has warned Britain “may not be able to trade with the US” because of Theresa May’s Brexit deal in comments that could torpedo her hopes of winning Parliament’s backing. Mr Trump said the agreement Mrs May reached with Brussels on Sunday “sounds like a great deal for the EU” as he urged the Prime Minister to think again. - Telegraph.
Theresa May launches a frantic two-week campaign today to save her Brexit deal and premiership by telling MPs to do their duty and support her or face going “back to square one”. In a high-risk strategy to turn the tide of opposition in Westminster, the prime minister will then embark on a nationwide tour designed to sell her plan directly to the electorate. - The Times.
Theresa May warned MPs that the public wanted Brexit “settled” as she faced bitter opposition from her own party to her EU exit deal yesterday. The prime minister presented the draft agreement on a future relationship with Europe to a largely hostile Commons after closing a 17-month negotiation earlier than expected. - The Times.
Bosses at the housebuilding firm Berkeley Group were accused of engaging in years of bribery with a partner at a major estate agent, according to papers filed in a pair of lawsuits brought against Berkeley by a former finance director in 2014 and 2015. The claim was among numerous “whistleblowing” allegations by Nicolas Simpkin, 49, who served on the board of the £2. 7bn turnover company from 2009 until he was fired in 2014. – Guardian.
The US-China trade standoff will continue to weaken confidence in the global economy into next year, economists have warned, as the increasingly gloomy outlook for growth dragged on share markets across the world. Plunging oil prices and intensifying concerns about technology stocks in the US spread contagion to Asia Pacific markets on Wednesday after renewed losses on Wall Street. – Guardian.
Online shopping and food retailers are forecast to be the winners this Christmas as consumers keep a tight rein on spending on clothing, homewares and other non-food items. Total retail spending is expected to rise 4% in December, compared with the same month in 2017, to reach nearly £48bn excluding VAT, according to data from the market research firm Mintel. – Guardian.
Theresa May will move to seize back the initiative from mutinous Tory MPs on Monday by promoting her Brexit deal with a defiant speech to business leaders, even as critics in Westminster scramble to trigger a no-confidence vote in her leadership. As she enters perhaps the most perilous week of her premiership, May will insist at the CBI annual conference in London that her deal delivers on the central demand of voters in the 2016 referendum, by allowing the UK to control immigration.
Brexit chaos is set to halt the Bank of England’s rate rise plans, investors are betting. Markets have scaled back their bets and are not pricing in the next increase in interest rates until January 2020, following sharp moves in derivatives contracts linked to future borrowing costs. - Sunday Times.
A European Court ruling has thrown the UK’s energy security into disarray by ordering the immediate halt to a £1bn scheme designed to keep Britain’s lights on. The cornerstone energy security scheme has come to an abrupt standstill after the European Union’s Court of Justice ruled that the UK should not be allowed to pay power plants to stay open. - Telegraph.
Theresa May confronted her mutinous party with the threat of “no Brexit at all” after she forced her draft deal with the EU through a divided cabinet. Esther McVey, the welfare secretary, was believed to be on the verge of quitting last night after clashes at the end of a marathon five-hour meeting. She was shouted down by the chief whip and cabinet secretary after she demanded a vote by ministers on the deal. – The Times.
Theresa May summoned her cabinet to an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon to sign off her long awaited final Brexit deal, prompting hard-Brexit Tories to call for senior ministers to stand up and block it. The critical meeting is the culmination of months of negotiations and will see May’s senior ministers consider whether they can personally endorse the agreement that the prime minister has been able to reach. - Guardian.