18 July

@Stu7Tay

18 July
Good morning,
 
As is tradition every week in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister stands at the despatch box and, when asked what engagements she has planned for the day, announces to the parliament that she has “held meetings with ministerial colleagues and others.”

It has been a while though that such a meeting has attracted as much media attention as it has today. That is because Theresa May is preparing to read the riot act to her cabinet which threatens to break into civil war over the issue of Brexit and plans to end austerity.

May will tell the final cabinet meeting before the summer recess that they must put an end to the “unhelpful” leaks of the past few days which were aimed at damaging the chancellor Philip Hammond.  The PM says they only serve to boost the chances of Jeremy Corbyn replacing her in 10 Downing Street. 

The PM’s intervention is seen as further evidence of the evaporation of loyalty towards her following the disastrous election result, so much so that she yesterday turned to an unlikely source of support in David Cameron. Her predecessor – who yesterday spoke of the need for the party to offer a “more inspiring vision” of the country – was seen entering Downing Street last night.

As speculation over an autumn leadership challenge mounts, the prime minister has a busy summer ahead of her as she attempts to stave off a ‘cabinet of chaos’.
NEWS
The defection of two Republican senators last night brought about the end of the party’s efforts to replace Obamacare, delivering a damaging defeat for Donald Trump. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is now likely to place a two-year delay on the repeal on Obamacare as it searches for a suitable replacement.

Improvements in life expectancy in England have stagnated over the past seven years, and it is "entirely possible" that austerity has affected the health of elderly Britons, according to a leading health expert. University College London expert Sir Michael Marmot said spending cuts are having “a significant impact” on how long people live.

David Davis' decision to leave Brussels within hours of the start of EU exit talks has led to criticism that the Brexit secretary is failing to engage with the “substance” of the negotiations. A spokesman for Mr Davis has said he always intended overseeing the discussions with opposite number Michel Barnier from London. (£)
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Carillion yesterday won two large contracts on the HS2 high-speed rail line, delivering some reassurance to its nervous shareholders. Shares in the construction group rose by almost 20%, having seen its value drop 70% over the course of last week. It was also announced that they had drafted in the services of EY, the accountancy firm, to assist on “cost reduction and cash collection”. (£)

Netflix has announced that it now has about 104 million subscribers, a larger-than-expected number that company leaders said was proof that investment in new shows and movies was paying off.

Sir Philip Green has appointed Karren Brady, the entrepreneur best known for her leading roles at West Ham United football club and on The Apprentice, aschairwomen of the company behind his retail empire. Brady will take over the role at Taveta Investments,the parent company of Arcardia Group with immediate effect having been on the board for seven years. (£)
MARKETS
Shares in ITV rose 1.3% yesterday after they announced the appointment of EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall to replace Adam Crozier as chief executive. The FTSE 100 ended the day 25 points, or 0.35%, up at 7,404.

The more UK-focused FTSE 250 closed 112 points, or 0.6%, higher at 19,520. Shares in Weir Group rose 8% after the company posted better-than-expected yearly revenue and operating profit figures.

On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.3% versus the US dollar to $1.31; sterling was also 0.3% down against the euro at €1.14.
Finals
Castleton Technology, Ideagen, IG Group Holdings, NCC Group
 
Trading Announcements
Alliance Pharma, British Land Company, Clinigen Group, Experian, Royal Mail, Safestyle UK

AGMs
Assura, British Land Company, Bloomsbury Publishing, Dairy Crest Group, First Group, Scapa Group
International Economic Announcements
(13:30) Import and Export Price Indices (US)

UK Economic Announcements
(09:30) Consumer Price Index
(09:30) Producer Price Index
(09:30) Retail Price Index
COLUMNS OF NOTE
Writing in The Guardian, Jonathan Freedland says that while Philip Hammond “may have an abacus where his conscience should be,” we should be wary of the apparent plot to oust him. Freedland says that it is clear the chancellor wants a “sane Brexit” and this is why hardline Brexiteers are attempting to remove his influence over negotiations.

Ryan Bourne, who occupies the R Evan Scharf Chair in the Public Understanding of Economics at the Cato Institute in Washington DC, argues inCity A.M. that the government need to make economic growth its overwhelming priority. He says the last government did not appear interested in this and May’s government cannot make the same mistake.
DID YOU KNOW?
The frequency of a cricket's chirps is consistent with air temperature so, by counting how many chirps there are over 25 seconds then dividing by 3 and adding 4, you can calculate the temperature in Celsius.
PARLIAMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS
 
TODAY

House of Commons
 
Oral questions
 
Treasury (including Topical Questions
 
General debate
 
Drugs policy
 
House of Lords
 
Oral questions
 
Promoting trading relationships with Southern African countries - Lord St John of Bletso
 
Debate
 
Report from the European Union Committee 'Brexit: trade in goods' - Baroness Verma
 
Scottish Parliament
 
In recess until 3rd September
 

TOMORROW

House of Commons

Oral questions

Scotland

Prime Minister's Question Time

General debate

Exiting the European Union and sanctions

Adjournment

Job losses at Tesco House, Cardiff - Anna McMorrin

House of Lords

Oral questions

Discussion with governments of the Crown Dependencies about the negotiations for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU - Lord Beith

Action to address the on going refugee crisis and acute food emergency in East Africa - The Earl of Sandwich

Conclusions drawn from consultation on the introduction of a new industrial strategy - Lord Fox

Short debate

Report by the AGGP on Refugees, 'Refugees Welcome? The Experience of New Refugees in the UK' - The Lord Bishop of Durham