A health check of Britain’s manufacturers has shown thatsome of the most economically and socially deprived areas in UK are highly exposed to the impact of a no-deal Brexit. Exporters are already suffering losses, especially in Wales, north-east England, Yorkshire and Humberside, which have a significant exposure to trade with the EU, according to a report by manufacturing trade body Make UK and business advisory firm BDO. – Guardian.
The future of Thomas Cook is hanging in the balance as the travel company scrambles to raise an additional £200m to secure an emergency rescue deal. Britain’s oldest package-holiday firm must secure the funds before a crucial meeting next Friday after a last-minute demand from its lenders, which include about 10 banks led by RBS, Barclays and Lloyds. – Guardian.
Credit card spending has overtaken cash for the first time, according to data from UK retailers. This means notes and coins have been demoted to the third most popular method of payment. The figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) – whose members are responsible for £180bn of sales – come amid warnings that millions of adults would struggle to cope in a cashless society. – Guardian.
Britons are £128 a year worse off on average than they were in 2008, according to a report that reveals household incomes were hit harder in the wake of the financial crash than official figures have revealed. The New Economics Foundation said figures used to calculate GDP, which is adjusted to take account of rising prices, failed to include essential items that affected the cost of living over the last 10 years. – Guardian.
Thomas Cook has delayed a crunch creditors’ vote until next week, giving the stricken tour operator more time to smooth obstacles to a £1. 1bn rescue package aimed at saving it from collapse. Fears for the future of the the 178-year-old tour operator have been mounting, as it threatens to buckle under the weight of high debt, intense competition and one-off factors including last summer’s heatwave and Brexit uncertainty. – Guardian.
Brexit uncertainty and a global economic slowdown amid the US-China trade war has set Britain on course for the most prolonged slump in business investment in 17 years, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). Setting Britain on course for weaker economic growth in future, the lobby group said business spending in the UK was due to decline by 1. 5% in 2019 and by 0. 1% next year as companies put their investment plans on ice amid the global political turmoil.
John Bercow has threatened Boris Johnson that he will be prepared to rip up the parliamentary rulebook to stop any illegal attempt by the prime minister to take the UK out of the EU without a deal on 31 October. In a direct warning to No 10, the Speaker of the House of Commons said he is prepared to allow “additional procedural creativity” if necessary to allow parliament to block Johnson from ignoring the law. – Guardian.
Strengthening local economies will do more to revive Britain’s struggling high streets than sprucing up city centres or changing the tax system to help retailers, according to a report. The Centre for Cities thinktank said the government should help towns and cities improve skill levels among local workforces in order to attract businesses and generate well paid jobs. Without the spending power these jobs provide, attempts to make high streets more attractive to consumers will fail, the report said.
Retailers and unions are calling for urgent government action to help struggling high streets as new data shows the number of shops, pubs and restaurants lying empty is rising at the fastest pace in nearly a decade. About 16 stores closed their doors every day in the first half of 2019 while only nine opened, resulting in a net decline of 1,234 chain stores on Britain’s top 500 high streets according to analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and high street analysts the Local Data Company (LDC).
The head of the Treasury spending watchdog has warned Sajid Javid that he is on track to break government borrowing rules after embarking on the biggest annual increase in spending for 15 years. Robert Chote, the chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), said the chancellor had set a course for the public finances that would probably breach a Conservative manifesto pledge to deliver balanced budgets by the mid-2020s. – Guardian.
Britain will plunge into its first recession in a decade should the government quit the European Union without a deal, according to the latest in a string of gloomy forecasts about the UK’s fortunes outside the EU’s free trade area. Eonomists at the accountancy firm KPMG said that the knock-on effects to Britain’s trade and business confidence of a no-deal Brexit would lead to the economy shrinking by 1. 5% next year. – Guardian.
Major oil and gas companies have invested $50bn (£40. 6bn) in fossil fuel projects that undermine global efforts to avert a runaway climate crisis, according to a report. Since the start of last year, fossil fuel companies have spent billions on high-cost plans to extract oil and gas from tar sands, deepwater fields and the Arctic despite the risks to the climate and shareholder returns. – Guardian.
Britain risks turning the clock back to the working conditions of the Victorian age unless unions have greater powers to organise and negotiate, the head of the TUC has said. Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said that without a shift in the balance of power from employers to unions the UK would face rising inequality and insecurity at work. – Guardian.
Amazon has been accused of continuing to underpay corporation tax in the UK despite nearly tripling the payment from a key British division to £14m. Amazon UK Services, the company’s warehouse and logistics operation that employs more than two-thirds of its 27,500-plus UK workforce, said its corporation tax contribution had risen by nearly £10m in the year to December 2018 from the £4. 7m paid in 2017. – Guardian.
The EU is considering whether to categorise a no-deal Brexit as a major natural disaster akin to flooding, fires or earthquakes, a move that would release emergency funds to the member states most affected. The plan would allow EU officials to distribute cash from the bloc’s solidarity fund, set up in 2002 in response to that year’s severe weather. About €500m (£450m) can be accessed every year but unspent cash from the previous year is also available if required.
Boris Johnson has delivered an ultimatum to Philip Hammond and other rebel Tory MPs, warning they would be expelled from the party if they join forces with Jeremy Corbyn to try to halt a no-deal Brexit this week. In a plan agreed by a dozen whips and Mr Johnson at a lunch in Chequers, any Tory MP who defies Number 10 will lose the party whip and be banned from standing in the next general election. - The Daily Telegraph .
Michael Gove signalled today that the prime minister was prepared to ignore legislation to block no-deal as the government set out its stall ahead of a week of Commons clashes.
A fire has torn through lorry trailers at a domestic appliance factory in Peterborough, sending large clouds of thick black smoke over the city. About 50 firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control at the Whirlpool UK headquarters in Shrewsbury Avenue, with up to 40 trailers affected. Witnesses used social media to report hearing explosions as billowing clouds of dark smoke were visible for miles. There were no reported casualties, and residents were warned to keep their doors and windows closed.
The British car industry has witnessed its worst period of decline since 2001, as rising global trade tensions and Brexit uncertainty combine to provide a dire operating environment for manufacturers. UK car production was down more than 10% year on year in July and has now fallen for 14 consecutive months, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The decline is now longer than the 13-month downturn between October 2008 and October 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.
Boris Johnson is heading into the crunch period for Brexit negotiations with the UK economy potentially on the brink of recession and as global economic growth falters, according to a Guardian analysis of economic news over the past month. The prime minister faces the challenge of breaking the deadlock with Brussels to avoid a no-deal Brexit on Halloween, just as the outlook for the economy deteriorates at home and abroad. – Guardian.