Porsche asks UK buyers to commit to 10% no-deal Brexit surcharge | Business – Business Article

Porsche is asking British customers to sign a contract committing them to pay a surcharge of up to 10% of their vehicles’ purchase price if there is a no-deal Brexit. Cars made in Europe could attract tariffs of 10% if imported to the UK under the terms of the World Trade Organization, the default trading relationship if the UK and the EU are unable to agree a transition period before 29 March. The car industry is particularly exposed to the…

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Phew, the Bank would deploy common sense on no-deal Brexit | Nils Pratley | Politics – Business Article

A no-deal Brexit, in economic terms, would be a trip into the unknown and would very likely involve a severe shock. Even the sober sub-set of Brexit promoters concedes the latter short-term point. But at least one likely outcome is becoming clearer: the Bank of England would not make things worse by cranking up interest rates. The idea that it might was a strange notion entertained by Threadneedle Street last November as it sketched various scenarios for the UK’s departure…

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Brexit: UK has rolled over just £16bn out of £117bn trade deals | Business – Business Article

The government’s push to roll over EU trade deals from which the UK currently benefits has yielded agreements covering just £16bn of the near-£117bn of British trade with the countries involved. Despite frenetic efforts by ministers to ensure the continuity of international trade after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March, the trade secretary, Liam Fox, has so far only managed to secure deals with seven of the 69 countries that the UK currently trades with under preferential EU…

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Business leaders demand May answers 20 questions on trade | Politics – Business Article

Business leaders have demanded the prime minister answer 20 crucial questions before the 29 March deadline to prevent a chaotic no-deal Brexit. The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), the UK business trade body, said that without greater clarity over import and export duties, border controls and customs procedures, Theresa May risked thousands of companies suffering a potentially catastrophic shock when the UK quits the European Union. Adam Marshall, the BCC’s director general, said British firms could face the biggest change…

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Hammond’s Brexit ‘dividend’ claim rejected as UK economy stalls | Politics – Business Article

Philip Hammond’s claim that Britain can reap an economic dividend from Theresa May’s Brexit deal has been flatly rejected by MPs, as official figures confirmed the UK has suffered its worst year for GDP growth since 2012. In a highly critical report, the Treasury select committee warned that the chancellor’s claims of a “deal dividend” if Britain avoided a no-deal exit lacked credibility. The criticism came after data on Monday showed the economy grew by just 0.2% in the final…

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Hammond £5bn short of ‘austerity is ending’ target, says thinktank | Business – Business Article

Philip Hammond must find an extra £5bn in this year’s Whitehall spending review to reverse planned cuts and meet his claim of ending austerity, a leading thinktank has revealed. The Institute for Fiscal Studies told the chancellor that funds pledged in last year’s budget to boost NHS spending, defence and international aid failed to safeguard local councils and some of the worst-hit government departments from further shortfalls. The thinktank said a minimum of £2.2bn would be needed to freeze all…

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Sack Grayling over the Brexit ferry fiasco, demand MPs | Politics – Business Article

Theresa May faced cross-party calls to sack her transport secretary, Chris Grayling, last night, after the calamitous collapse of a no-deal Brexit ferry contract handed to a company with no ships. Senior Tories said the prime minister had turned “a blind eye” to Grayling’s decision to award the £13.8m contract to Seaborne Freight to run ferries between Ramsgate and Ostend, despite widespread derision and accusations that it had been awarded illegally. The collapse of the contract comes amid growing unease…

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Government cancels Brexit ferry contract with no-ship firm | Politics – Business Article

A controversial no-deal Brexit ferry contract awarded to a firm with no ships has been cancelled by the Department for Transport after an Irish shipping firm that had been secretly backing the deal pulled out. The decision by the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, to award Seaborne Freight a contract worth £13.8m had attracted widespread criticism and ridicule. It was one of three firms awarded contracts totalling £108m in late December to lay on additional crossings from Ramsgate to ease the…

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Financial markets seem lost in the fog of Brexit | Nils Pratley | Business – Business Article

Mark Carney could just as easily have shrugged his shoulders and declared that, like the rest of us, he hasn’t a clue how Brexit will work out. Instead, the Bank of England governor, obliged to riff on a theme when unveiling new economic forecasts, opted for “the fog of Brexit”, which amounted to much the same thing. Sadly, he couldn’t say when visibility will improve. Financial markets, too, seem baffled. The headline news that the Bank was making deep cuts…

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No-deal Brexit: UK exporters risk being locked out of world’s harbours | Business – Business Article

British exporters sending goods to far-flung destinations in the coming days risk being locked out of harbours around the world as a no-deal Brexit looms, business leaders have warned. The Confederation of British Industry, the EEF manufacturers’ lobby group and trade experts said exporters could be dispatching goods from UK ports imminently which would not arrive until after the 29 March deadline – raising the prospect of goods being stuck in ports or facing hefty additional costs in the event…

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Bank of England sets interest rates as Brexit looms and house prices slide – business live | Business – Business Article

“With Brexit negotiations still in deadlock, it is unsurprising that the property market continues to stagnate, with just 0.8% annual house price growth, and a monthly fall of -2.9%. Little progress was made in January, and Reapit’s data shows that a lack of clarity has caused buyers and sellers to abstain from engaging the market. Exchanges are now down by 16% across Greater London, with 27% fewer new listings in December 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. “However,…

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Brexit jitters hit housing market as newbuilds decline sharply | Business – Business Article

Housebuilding declined sharply in London and the Midlands last year as political and economic uncertainty around the shape of Brexit hit the housing market, according to industry figures. The number of new homes in London registered by housebuilders with the National House Building Council (NHBC) in 2018 fell 10% from the previous year to 16,069, the biggest annual drop since 2016. In the east Midlands and West Midlands, registrations were also down 10%, to 13,447 and 13,087 respectively following two…

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UK carmakers allotted £150m in state aid in attempt to save jobs | Business – Business Article

Government pledges of £80m in support to Nissan were part of a package of almost £150m in state aid promised to leading carmakers since the EU referendum in 2016, as ministers tried to prevent an exodus of jobs from the UK. Support offered since October that year has totalled at least £64.1m, according to Guardian analysis of EU data on state aid. The business secretary, Greg Clark, was on Monday forced to admit that Nissan had been offered £84.2m since…

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Nissan was offered secret state aid to cope with Brexit, minister concedes | Business – Business Article

The business secretary has been forced to admit the existence of a previously secret package of state aid to Nissan that could have been worth up to £80m had the carmaker gone ahead with plans to manufacture a new model X-Trail in Sunderland after Brexit. Greg Clark released a letter dated October 2016 in which he pledged tens of millions of taxpayer support and promised the Japanese company it would not be “adversely affected” after the UK left the EU.…

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Falling diesel sales more than Brexit behind Nissan’s X-Trail decision | Business – Business Article

When Nissan announced its intention to build the new X-Trail in Sunderland in October 2016, it was hailed by the government as a vote of confidence in Britain, so soon after the referendum result that had shocked Japanese carmakers. Theresa May was personally involved in lobbying the company, giving assurances to Nissan’s ousted chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, shortly before the decision. The government’s promises that Nissan would not be harmed by Brexit included pledges to ensure supply chains were not…

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Nissan warns of Brexit concerns as Sunderland U-turn confirmed | Business – Business Article

Nissan has confirmed it is abandoning plans to build a new model of one of its flagship vehicles at its Sunderland plant, as it warned that uncertainty over Brexit was affecting businesses. The Japanese car manufacturer announced in 2016 it would be making the new version of the X-Trail SUV at the factory in north-east England after receiving unspecified assurances about Brexit from the government, but on Sunday it said it would be produced in Japan. Nissan said it had…

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We must rule out a hard exit. Business is at breaking point | Politics – Business Article

The clock is ticking. In the House of Commons, MPs spend hours debating points of parliamentary procedure, but are unwilling to take real decisions about our country’s future. Negotiations between the prime minister and EU leaders seem to have reached an impasse. But in the real world, businesses are at breaking point. I know from my own business career that – above all – what business needs is certainty. Certainty about the terms on which they will be able to…

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Saga scraps its credit card, leaving customers in the lurch | Money – Business Article

Is over-50s specialist Saga axing its popular platinum credit card because of Brexit? The card is run for Saga by a Dublin-based bank and is closing on 28 March, hours before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU. The Saga platinum credit card has long been a popular choice among people who travel abroad because it doesn’t charge currency conversion fees. Other benefits include up to 55 days of interest-free cash withdrawals, discounts on Saga holidays and cruises, and…

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Pound falls after Commons vote spurs no-deal Brexit fears | Business – Business Article

The pound fell sharply on the foreign exchanges after MPs failed to seize control of the Brexit negotiations from Theresa May in order to rule out a no-deal departure from the EU. Sterling dropped by more than a cent against the US dollar to its lowest point of the day after a series of votes in the House of Commons were seen as increasing the prospect of Britain leaving without an agreement on 29 March. The pound has been rising…

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UK house prices grow fastest in north of England and Midlands | Money – Business Article

House prices have grown fastest since the UK voted to leave the EU in cities in the Midlands, the north of England, Wales and Scotland, according to the property website Zoopla. Birmingham (up 16%), Manchester and Leicester (both up 15%) have seen the fastest growth since the June 2016 referendum, followed by Edinburgh and Nottingham (14%), Leeds and Cardiff (12%), and Liverpool and Sheffield (11%). Zoopla said economic and political uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote was more acutely felt…

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European shares open lower ahead of key US-China trade talks – business live | Business – Business Article

Reuters has done a useful explainer on the trade negotiations. The two sides are trying to resolve deep differences over China’s trade and intellectual property practices, industrial subsidies and market access – to avert an increase in US tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled for 2 March. What are Washington and Beijing fighting about? After years of steadily rising US trade deficits with China and US complaints that Beijing has systematically obtained American intellectual property and trade secrets through coercion and…

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No-deal Brexit: UK firms ‘praying’ for article 50 extension, says KPMG | Business – Business Article

British firms are “praying for an extension to article 50” rather than face a no-deal Brexit as it emerged that foreign investment has fallen steeply and the outlook for growth has slumped to a six-year low. The Confederation of British Industry said that firms’ reported growth prospects were at their weakest for almost six years, while other research shows the number of acquisitions of UK companies by foreign buyers is falling 11% year on year. The warnings emerged after the…

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UK cannot simply trade on WTO terms after no-deal Brexit, say experts | Politics – Business Article

The UK will be unable to have frictionless, tariff-free trade under World Trade Organization rules for up to seven years in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to two leading European Union law specialists. The ensuing chaos could double food prices and plunge Britain into a recession that could last up to 30 years, claim the lawyers who acted for Gina Miller in the historic case that forced the government to seek parliament’s approval to leave the EU. It…

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UK firms plan mass exodus if May allows no-deal Brexit | Politics – Business Article

Thousands of British companies have already triggered emergency plans to cope with a no-deal Brexit, with many gearing up to move operations abroad if the UK crashes out of the EU, according to the British Chambers of Commerce. Before a crucial week in parliament, in which MPs will try to wrest control from Theresa May’s government in order to delay Brexit and avoid a no-deal outcome, the BCC said it believed companies that had already gone ahead with their plans…

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Drug firm Novartis fears no-deal Brexit could put patients at risk | Business – Business Article

The Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis has said it is stockpiling drugs in the UK before a possible no-deal Brexit, which it warned would be “hugely impactful” for patients. Firms across the economy are bracing for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March without a deal after parliament resoundingly rejected Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. The Basel-based company said on Friday it imported 120m packs of medicines to the UK from the continent each year but suggested a…

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Who is the Brexit-supporting Lord Bamford of JCB fame? | Business – Business Article

Long before Lord Bamford, the chairman of the machinery manufacturer JCB, invited Boris Johnson to speak at his company earlier this month, the billionaire had bulldozed his way into British politics. Johnson was paid £10,000 by the company three days before he gave his 18 January Brexit-themed speech, which was widely seen as his latest tilt at the Conservative leadership and which he peppered with repeated praise for the company’s business acumen and innovation. The payment was disclosed on the…

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Philip Hammond urges business leaders to accept Brexit result | Business – Business Article

Philip Hammond has told business leaders they need to accept the result of Britain’s EU referendum and warned that a failure to implement it would damage the country’s political stability. The chancellor told increasingly restless business leaders that he was working for a deal that safeguarded the economy, and said he understood their frustration but companies had to accept that changes were coming – such as an end to the free movement of people and business models built on a…

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