10 November

@lyle_h_hill

10 November

Good morning,

Theresa May will be pleased that headlines over Priti Patel and the state of her government have not persisted into Friday.

Instead, the papers are today focusing on what they have specialised in for the last year and a half: Brexit. Mrs May has been clear that she will not tolerate any attempt to block the Brexit process from rebels within her own party and has gone as far as to amend the EU Withdrawal Bill to explicitly state the time and date of departure. 

The prime minister made her pledge in an article in The Daily Telegraph this morning, in which she was clear that her government was working hard to secure Brexit, but would not be swayed by those trying to derail or slow her plans.

However, in a sign of just how difficult May's job is, this morning the Financial Times reports that the prime minister is prepared to "considerably increase" the offer of €20 billion currently on the table for an EU divorce bill.

The concession comes following signs hard Brexiteers in her party would not object to paying more in order to break the deadlock in talks. Brussels has been very clear over the last week that a firm commitment on a divorce bill would be the only way to move forward with discussions of a transition period before the year is out.

This all comes alongside the familiar backdrop of business groups warning against the perils of a no deal Brexit. Responding to reports that transition talks could slip into 2018, the CBI and BusinessEurope have both stressed the need to secure a transition deal quickly to ease business nerves.

News

Priti Patel's allies in the Conservative Party have accused Sir Alan Duncan, a foreign office minister, of briefing stories against her. Duncan is vocally pro-Palestine and Patel's supporters believe he had both the "means and the motivation" to act against her.

Donald Trump, speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Vietnam, has reiterated that the US will not tolerate "chronic trade abuses". In what appeared to be an ultimatum, Trump said the US was happy to trade with Apec countries if they "abide by fair reciprocal trade".

The Advertising Association expects the industry to take in a record £6 billion over the Christmas period, which would amount to a record high spend by retailers. The industry body believes this is due to intense competition in the market and the rise of big budget advertising.

Business & Economy

China has announced that it will open up its banking and financial services sector, allowing foreign and domestic investors to be treated equally when buying stakes in banks and asset management companies. Lifting limits on foreign investment leaves hope the Chinese banking sector is finally opening up to foreign competition.

Lord Macpherson, one of the UK's most senior former civil servants, has accused the government of pursuing "mercantilism"and a commercially driven foreign policy, after it emerged $2 billion in loan guarantees were granted to Saudi Aramco. The Saudi oil giant is considering listing its shares on the London Stock Exchange.

Rivals to the offshore tax firm Appleby are worried that they could be targeted by similar leaks in the future. The source of the 13.4 million Paradise Paper leak has yet to be identified, leading rival firms to fear further leaks that could implicate not just Appleby but themselves.

Markets

What happened yesterday?
The FTSE100 closed down 45.62 points at 7,484.10 yesterday.

Burberry had a miserable day on the market after announcing plans to change its strategy and focus on the upmarket sector. Shares ended the day down 10% when it announced that it would "sharpen" the brand and close some US and European stores.

Despite being the largest faller on the FTSE100, its results were healthy. The group reported a 26% rise in half-year profits to £128m and like-for-like sales were up 4%.

On the FTSE250, the estate agent Countrywide slipped 2.8% as it announced that the market remained "challenging". It expects its profits to be at the lower end of market forecasts as a result.

The currency markets saw the pound creep up 0.21% against the dollar to $1.3145, but sterling fell back 0.19% against the euro to €1.1290.

AGMs
Galliford Try
VinaLand Ltd
 
Interims
Castings
Vendanta Resources
Volex

UK Economic Announcements
(09:30) Balance of Trade
(09:30) Industrial Production
(09:30) Manufacturing Production
 
International Economic Announcements
(14:00) U. of Michigan Confidence (Prelim) (US)

Columns of Note

A year on, Esquire has the full untold story of the US election night. The magazine has secured interviews with key Trump and Clinton staffers who give a fascinating insight into how the evening unfolded.

Writing in The Times, Edward Lucas gives us a look into the future. He believes that in time electric cars will not only make our environments healthier, they will also power our homes.

Did you know?

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989. Its aim is to accelerate economic integration in the region and contribute to sustainable growth.

Parliamentary Highlights

TODAY
          
House of Commons
No business scheduled

House of Lords
No business scheduled

Scottish Parliament
No business scheduled
 

MONDAY
 
House of Commons
Oral questions
Work and Pensions (including Topical Questions)

Legislation
Proceedings on legislation relating to Northern Ireland

House of Lords
Oral questions
Impact of eventual financial settlement with the EU of those EU assets towards which the UK made a financial contribution and which at Brexit will remain part of the EU. - Lord Spicer

Ratio of overseas aid expenditure to defence expenditure in the current financial year. - Lord Lee of Trafford

Legislation
European Union (Approvals) Bill - Committee stage - Committee of the Whole House

Data Protection Bill [HL] - Committee stage (day 3) - Committee of the Whole House - Lord Ashton of Hyde

Short debate
Government assessment of the risks posed by current levels of household debt in the UK - The Lord Bishop of St Albans

Scottish Parliament
No business scheduled