We have enjoyed/endured a weekend full of sporting achievement, further political meltdown, and awkward diplomatic meetings. Those who are repulsed by football will be delighted to discover that France’s victory over Croatia yesterday signalled the end of the World Cup final and dismayed to learn that the English Premier League starts again in less than a month’s time.
For now, though, we can turn our attention back to that perennial source of excitement and diplomatic uproar that is Brexit. Justine Greening, fully recovered from her cabinet dismissal and sensing an opportunity to attack,has suggested in The Times that a second referendum on Brexit is needed to “end the deadlock”.
The former education secretary holds that the prime minister’s current plan is the “worst of both worlds” and fails to satisfy anyone. Instead, Greening argues, the only solution is to call another vote by the British people with three ballot sheet options: leaving the EU on the current draft deal, leaving with no deal, or reversing the decision to leave at all.
Elsewhere, Donald Trump has described the European Union as an “enemy” to the US on trade. He told CBS news that European nations were taking advantage of the US and failing to support him on defence spending. When asked to name his biggest global competitors and foes, Mr Trump also spoke of Russia and China. However, the first on his list was the EU.
Never shy of offering diplomatic wisdom to fellow leaders, it transpired yesterday that Trump had some advice for Theresa May on how she could handle this particular “foe”. Sue them. “Brutal” is the word.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Tory Eurosceptics have set up a “party within a party” with a highly organised whipping organisation to challenge and frustrate Theresa May’s Brexit plans. More than 100 Eurosceptic MPs are now on a WhatsApp group established and run by Steve Baker.
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has landed himself in hot water after calling a British diver who helped in the Thai rescue a paedophile. Musk made the unsubstantiated remarks about Vern Unsworth on social media platform Twitter following Unsworth’s public remarks about Musk’s attemps to involve himself in the rescue operation. Unsworth described Musk’s contribution as a “PR stunt.”
Rail operator Govia Thameslink is changing its timetable for the third time in two months. The changes follow extensive disruption to services in the north of England, with many workers struggling just to make their daily commute.
Business & Economy
A reduction in UK house prices has been attributed to a surge in sellers. The number of properties coming onto the market in July rose by 8.6%, but there was no corresponding rise in buyers. Consequently, annual price growth slowed to 1.4% in July, down from 1.7% the previous month.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of super-rich foreigners seeking to live and work in the UK. More than 400 very wealthy overseas investors applied for tier one visas in the year to 31 March, a 46% increase on the previous year. This rise comes as Theresa May promised to crack down on “illicit and corrupt” money flowing into the UK. Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea FC owner, recently had a request to renew his tier one visa denied.
Theresa May has pledged to boost the UK’s aerospace business despite Brexit-related concerns. Government-backed projects are expected to dominate the Farnborough Airshow today, as the prime minister looks to reassure and promote the aerospace market in Britain. Business Secretary Greg Clark will also confirm a £2.5m grant to facilitate construction of the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands.
The week ahead
As President Trump prepares for his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, his comments on trade with the EU are already affecting the markets. European bourses made a steady start to trading after Trump’s rhetoric on his EU “foe” had set an edgy tone. The dollar is now falling, after its rise to an 11-session high on Friday.
Earnings season will return to a focus on the US trading day, with announcements expected from Netflix, Bank of America and BlackRock. Netflix’s numbers should be especially interesting following sharp content investments in Europe. This increase has harmed traditional broadcasters, with many struggling to keep up with the standards set by Netflix.
On Wednesday, the ONS will publish inflation statistics for June. These results follow positive data on manufacturing, construction and retail from last week.
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JP Morgan European Investment Trust Inc Shs
International Economic Announcements
(10:00) Balance of Trade (EU)
(13:00) Retail Sales (US)
(15:00) Business Inventories (US)
Columns of Note
Boris Johnson has returned to The Daily Telegraph as a columnist and is making the most of the opportunity, as you might expect. His latest offering outlines his views on the current state of Brexit, and where he hopes negotiations will lead in the future.
Matthew d’Ancona, writing in The Guardian, considers the many difficulties facing an “embalttled” Theresa May, but concludes that her demise as prime minister would not end the crisis facing the nation.
Did you know?
‘Set’ has 464 definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary. ‘Run’ is the second most defined word, with a distant 396 definitions.
House of Commons
Home Office (including Topical Questions)
Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill - Remaining Stages
Standing Orders relating to the European Statutory Instruments Committee
Whole company pay policy - Siobhain McDonagh
House of Lords
Permitting the use of cannabis oil on prescription - Lord Rennard
Attorney General's decision to give over £400 million from a registered charity, the National Fund, to the Treasury - Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town
Encouraging employers to offer high-quality work experience placements to all students aged 16 to 18 - Lord Aberdare
Introducing a state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs in England - Lord Sharkey
Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill - Committee Stage - Baroness Donaghy
Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [HL] – Second reading - Lord O'Shaughnessy
Income from the National Lottery and its use for the arts and good causes - The Earl of Clancarty
Recess until 3rd September