In a 4,200-word article published in the Telegraph on Friday, Boris Johnson set out a “glorious” vision for Brexit, including a renewal of his claim that Britain could recoup £350 million a week for the NHS.
Weekend news commentary was dominated by rumours of the Foreign Secretary’s imminent putsch for the Tory leadership, followed by questions on whether he will be sacked.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd accused Mr Johnson of being a Brexit "back-seat driver". She said it was fine for him to show his enthusiasm but he was not "driving the car". Ms Rudd said ministers must be united in their approach and help the prime minister manage the Brexit process.
There seems to be a pretty good case for sacking Johnson, and it would give Theresa May (who knew about the article before it was published) some much-needed authority, so it remains to be seen whether he will keep his job.
And if Mr Johnson’s article was in some way a leadership bid, it doesn’t seem to have worked for him. Perhaps he has inadvertently helped position someone else…a certain home secretary who presented herself well yesterday on The Andrew Marr Show. Something tells me that Amber Rudd’s slim majority hasn’t obstructed her leadership ambitions.
An exclusive in the Guardian has reported that the government of Cyprus has raised more than £4bn since 2013 by providing EU passports to Russian and Ukrainian business elites in so-called “golden visa schemes”. A leaked list of names suggests more than 400 passports have been issued in the last year alone, with the “citizenship-by investment” scheme requiring applicants to place €2m in property or €2.5m in government bonds.
The Caribbean is due to be battered again this week, as hurricane Maria was announced on Sunday with 120mph winds expected within 72 hours. As of 2100 GMT yesterday, Maria was a Category One hurricane, following two Category Four storms in Irma and Jose last week, which left 40 people dead in the region.
Business and Economy
Ryanair has revealed a list of all flights to be cancelled until Wednesday after news over the weekend that it could cancel up to 2,000 flights between now and Christmas after the airline admitted to mismanaging the planning of pilot holidays. There are 164 cancellations, affecting up to 30,000 passengers planned until Wednesday, with a projected 400,000 disrupted in total.
Property prices in London have seen the largest annual fall in a decade, amid a drop of 1.2% across the UK in September, research from the property site Rightmove has found. Average prices in the capital saw a yearly fall of 3.2%, with Kensington and Chelsea hit hardest by an average drop of more than £300,000 between August and September alone.
Insurance tycoon Sir Peter Wood is reported to be selling his £1bn stock-market listed company, Esure. Informal discussions have been held with potential buyers over a deal to offload Wood’s controlling 30.7% stake in the London-listed company — a move that would trigger a bid for the whole business.
The week ahead
The week kicks off with the latest annual Michael Damdessus Central Banking Lecture by Bank of England governor Mark Carney to the International Monetary Fund in Washington on Monday, fresh off last week’s speculation of a coming rate rise for the UK in November
The UK’s central bank is followed by both Japan and the US on Wednesday, when it is widely expected the US Federal Open Market Committee will announce unwinding plans for its $4.2tn portfolio of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities in a step towards normalization of monetary policy. The Bank of Japan is likely to vote for aggressive stimulus measures, as inflation and wage growth remain stagnant.
The tail-end of the week will be dominated by news from Europe, including the provisional application of the EU-Canada free trade deal (Ceta) taking effect on Thursday and British prime minister Theresa May’s long-awaited Brexit speech in Florence on Friday.
Poll watchers are in for a week-end doubler, as New Zealand goes to the polls on Saturday, followed by Germany on Sunday. An upset isn’t on the cards for German chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing Christian Democrats, although polls show NZ’s opposition Labour party closing-in on the governing centre-right National party’s decade-long grip on power.
Big company headlines this week include half-year results from fashion chain French Connection on Tuesday, followed on Wednesday by home improvements firm Kingfishers’ half-year results and Manchester United full-year results.
Bluefield Solar Income Fund Limited, City of London Investment Group, Finsbury Food Group, Green Reit, Petra Diamonds Ltd. (DI)
Concurrent Technologies, Ergomed, Learning Technologies Group, Medica Group, M. P. Evans Group, Secure Income Reit, Veltyco Group
Dairy Crest Group
Int. Economic Announcements
(10.00) Consumer Price Index (EU)
Columns of note
Writing in yesterday’s Sunday Times, Kevin Pringle comments on a looming problem for Scottish Conservative leader and aspiring-First Minister, Ruth Davidson, as the most recent Scottish Social Attitudes survey shows up to four in ten of her party voters would do away with devolution. The survey also showed a record-high for the share of Scottish voters preferring independence, serving as a note of caution for the British government, but also the need for devolutionists to boldly remake their case.
Neil O’Brien, a Conservative MP and former adviser to Theresa, sets out a thoughtful case for renewal of the government’s housing policy in Sunday’s FT. He comments that the seeds of today’s housing crisis are in Thatcher’s ‘popular capitalist’ vision of the 1980s, but new measures should limit buy-to-lets in favour of aggressive tax cuts for the young.
Did you know?
As a student, Boris Johnson flirted with joining the Social Democrat Party, held dual American citizenship until 2016, and was fired from The Times for making up a quote as a trainee reporter.
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