Whilst political news at home seems to have dried up for the summer, the next big development in Europe’s migrant crisis has arrived on the shores of Spain.
A video surfaced yesterday of a boat packed with migrants arriving on a beach in Cadiz, Spain, before fleeing amid flocks of sunbathing tourists. According to a local maritime rescue officer, the scene is now a ‘regular occurrence’. Reports suggest Spain could overtake Greece as the most accessed migrant gateway into Europe this year.
Amid a crackdown on migration through Libya, and reports of horrific conditions along the route, international monitors say the number of people travelling via the Western Mediterranean Route from Morocco into Spain has tripled year on year.
The crisis has been out of the press of late, overshadowed by headlines surrounding the effects of increased immigration on the continent, including migrants involved in acts of terrorism and the rise of populist politics. An editorial by the centre-left Spanish newspaper El Pais on Thursday urged that “Spain cannot be left alone as the guardian of the south of Europe,” saying it was “obvious that the migratory pressure has transferred to the western Mediterranean”.
As the end of summer approaches, expect hard questions to be asked of Chancellor Merkel as she seeks to placate her own electorate in the run up to German elections in September. Although polls suggest she’s in line to return, I’d wager that her summer holidays are just about over.
President Trump has warned that North Korea should be ‘very, very nervous’as highly confrontational dialogue continued between the nations yesterday. He said North Korea “better get their act together or they're gonna be in trouble like few nations have ever been.” North Korea said on Wednesday it planned to fire medium-to-long-range rockets towards Guam, where US strategic bombers are based.
The contaminated eggs scandal continues to affect the UK, as supermarket chains Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons pull products from their shelves. The Foods Standards Agency (FSA) announced that the number of eggs to enter Britain contaminated by the insecticide, Fipronil, which has been used illegally on Dutch and Belgian farms, was ‘closer to 700,000’ than 21,000 it announced last week. The FSA insists no affected products remain on sale.
Cladding ‘similar’ to that used on Grenfell Tower has been found on Scotland’s largest hospital. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has said the cladding used on Glasgow’s new super hospital, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, is to be removed as a ‘purely precautionary measure’ and was also the result of ‘public concern’.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
The UK trade deficit has grown to its highest since September 2016 despite the expectation that the weakened value of the pound would stimulate our export growth. Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the trade deficit in goods and services grew by £2bn between May and June to £4.56bn. Sterling has fallen around 13 per cent against the dollar since last June.
A joint venture between Abellio, Mutsui and East Japan Railway, has won the tender for the West Midlands rail franchise. This marks the first time a Japanese operator has won a competition for a UK rail franchise, taking over from Govia. The Department for Transport has said the new deal will include 400 new carriages by 2021 to relieve overcrowding at rush hour, ‘metro-style’ cabins, and free on-board WiFi.
Lego has removed its British chief executive after only 8 months saying it has found a younger replacement earlier than expected. The 61-year-old Bali Padda, who has been moved to a ‘special advisory role’ with the Danish plastic brick giant, makes way for Niels Christiansen, 51-year-old former chief executive of the industrial technology company Danfoss. Lego’s chairman said Padda’s relocation was not reflective of his performance, but because he would not have been able to have a long tenure.
US-North Korea relations continued to send markets downwards yesterday in Europe and the US where stocks briefly tumbled into the red for a third consecutive session - as investors dumped riskier assets. The FTSE 100 dropped 1.4pc or 108.12 points to 7389.94, its worst session in four months, where losses may be attributed to a host of blue-chip giants going ex-dividend and figures released overnight showing a slowing housing market.
Coca-Cola HBC and Aegon were big winners, jumping 5.3pc and 9.3pc respectively, after better than expected earnings first half and Q2 figures whilst bakery chain Greggs advanced 5.1pc on the FTSE 250 following a broker upgrade.
The pound finishes the day up slightly at 0.02pc against the dollar at $1.2976, and flat against the euro at €1.1027, as ONS data showed a widening UK trade deficit, counterbalanced by strong industrial production figures.
Old Mutual, Societatea Nationalia De Gaze Naturale Romgaz S.A. GDR (Reg S), TT Electronics, Touchstone Exploration Inc NPV (DI)
Health (Samuel) & Sons, iEnergizer Ltd., Tower Resources]
Volution Group (WI)
International Economic Announcements
(07.00) Consumer Price Index (Germany)
(13.30) Consumer Price Index (US)
COLUMNS OF NOTE
Fraser Nelson comments in The Telegraph that President Trump’s recent aggressive overtures towards North Korea are ultimately designed to unsettle China out of its complacency towards the peninsula. Nelson points out that whilst the looming prospect of American military intervention may be bad, an American retreat would be worse.
As the 10-year anniversary looms of the 2007-08 financial crash, Gillian Tett's column in The Financial Times comments that the next crisis 'may be in plain sight', warning against complacency even though certain indicators of the financial system seem safe. In particular, she points to the long-term high interest rates of Treasury bonds, which may become a future source of volatility for the markets.
DID YOU KNOW?
About one million dogs are the primary beneficiary in their owners' wills in the U.S.
House of Commons
In recess until 5th September
House of Lords
In recess until 5th September
In recess until 5th September