European Union

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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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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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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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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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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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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UK consumers shun credit cards as Brexit looms – business live | Business – Business Article

French riot police clash with Yellow Vests protesters at the Place de la Bastille Photograph: Alfred Photos/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business. With gloom gathering over Europe, France has given the eurozone a much-needed boost by beating growth forecasts for the last quarter. French GDP expanded by 0.3% during October-December, new figures show, crushing fears that growth could have fallen to just 0.1%. That matches France’s…

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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 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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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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