11 October

@lyle_h_hill

11 October

Good morning,

Another day, another article in a national newspaper written by a senior member of the Cabinet that may well upset some of his colleagues. 

A couple of weeks ago it was Boris undermining the prime minister by outlining his vision for "Global Britain", but today it's the turn of the chancellor, Philip Hammond, to use his comment piece in The Times to outline that the government is not planning in advance for a 'no-deal Brexit'.

Hammond argues that in his upcoming budget he will not commit billions of pounds of taxpayers' money towards preparing for a hard Brexit outcome, a move that is likely to anger some of his more staunch Brexiteer colleagues who have argued that the government should show that it is planning adequately for such a scenario in order to "focus the mind" in Brussels.

The chancellor, however, believes that it would be "irresponsible" to deal in such hypotheticals, and he is not alone. Yesterday, Prime Minister Theresa May told Iain Dale on LBC that she "refused to answer hypothetical questions", in response to Dale probing her on how she would vote in a second referendum on Brexit.

The prime minister outlined that “I could sit here and I could say I’d still vote Remain or I’d vote Leave just to give you an answer to that question, I’m being open and honest with you. What I did last time around was I looked at everything and came to a judgment and I’d do exactly the same this time around."

NEWS

The Harvey Weinstein scandal that has shocked the US film industry continues to build momentum as both Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie join the accusers of the film producer. Both actresses said incidents with Weinstein happened early in their careers. Earlier this week, Weinstein was fired from his production company and was condemned by Barack and Michelle Obama.

Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, signed a declaration of independence last night but suspended its implementation until talks had taken place with the Spanish government. He argued that this would give time for tensions to defuse, but the speech was widely viewed as a climbdown. The Spanish Cabinet will meet today to discuss a response.

In her conference speech yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Scottish government would set up a publicly-owned, not-for-profit energy company by 2021. She argued that the move would give people more choice over their energy supplier, particularly if they were on low incomes.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

The International Monetary Fund has significantly cut the UK's ten year growth forecast in its twice yearly World Economic Outlook evaluation. The IMF said that Britain was a “notable exception” to an improving global economic output. Annual growth forecasts were cut from 1.9% to 1.7% and are set to lag behind Greece over the ten year period.

The online retailer eBay has reported a $1.3 billion revenue in the UK despite only paying £1.3 million in tax to the UK government. According to Companies House filings, eBay reported that revenue had grown 8% to £200 million. However, in the company's US annual report to shareholders, it reported the far larger $1.3 billion.

The energy price cap is expected to be delayed beyond winter, as Ofgem has insisted that any freeze must be implemented as soon as possible, but only when "legislation is in place". Until legislation is passed, a more limited price cap currently in place will be extended to cover a million more users.

MARKETS

What happened yesterday?

The FTSE 100 rose 30.38 points yesterday to 7,538.27 and the FTSE 250  also climbed 43.72 points to 20,146.28.

On the FTSE 250, Domino's Pizza was the biggest riser on the day, with shares gaining 8.9% after the company announced a large increase in sales in the third quarter. Sales in the UK were up 8.1% and online sales grew 17.4%.

Elsewhere, Capita's sales rose 1.2% following the announcement that former Amec Foster Wheeler chief executive Jonathan Lewis would be the outsourcing group's new boss.

At the other end of the spectrum, Pets at Home fell 7.7% following the sale of £119 million worth of shares from large shareholder Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

On the currency markets, sterling rose 0.53% against the dollar to $1.3211 and also rose marginally against the euro to €1.1197.

Finals
Proactis Holdings

Trading Announcements
Countryside Properties, Jupiter Fund Management, Mondi, Quiz

 

AGMs
Coral Products, Hargreaves Lansdown

Interims
Vertu Motors

 

International Economic Announcements
(12:00) MBA Mortgage Applications (US)

COLUMNS OF NOTE

Writing in The Times, Roger Boyes argues that Rex Tillerson is one of the few men in Washington and within Trump's administration that has the ability to restore order to the White House. Boyes believes this can be done if Tillerson "revives American values" as secretary of state.

Rafael Behr, writing in The Guardian, believes that for the hardest Brexiteers the allure of the cliff edge is too irresistible. He argues that they do not realise or care for the damage that leaving the EU without a deal would do to both the country and their party. 

DID YOU KNOW?

From 1995 to 1997, eBay was known as AuctionWeb. The name was changed in mid-1997 as most people referred to the site as eBay anyway.

PARLIAMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS

TODAY

House of Commons
Oral questions
Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (including Topical Questions)

Prime Minister's Question Time

Legislation
Finance Bill - Committee stage - Committee of the whole House - Mel Stride

Adjournment
University Vice-Chancellors' pay - Dr Andrew Murrison

House of Lords
Oral questions
Maintaining benefits to the UK arising from EU students studying at UK universities - Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
Human rights violations against the Royingya people in Burma - Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead
Broadcasting code in relation to smoking on reality TV shows - Lord Storey
Proposals to split World Trade Organisation tariff rate quotas following Brexit - Lord Mendelsohn

Legislation
Armed Forces (Flexible Working) Bill [HL] - Report stage - Earl Howe

Scottish Parliament
In recess until October 23.


TOMORROW 

House of Commons
Oral questions
International Trade (including Topical Questions)
Women and Equalities (including Topical Questions)

Business statement
Business questions to the Leader of the House - Andrea Leadsom

General debate
Exiting the European Union and data protection

House of Lords
Oral questions
Government reporting to Parliament on a financial settlement with the EU - Lord Spicer
Progress of the competition to design a Small Modular Reactor for the UK - Viscount Hanworth
Creating extra capacity on the railways - Lord Berkeley

Debate
The availability and affordability of housing - Lord Smith of Leigh
Effect of globalisation, technology and demographic change on the future of work, and the public policy response to change - Lord Knight of Weymouth