22 June 2018

Lyle Hill

22 June 2018

Good Morning, 

For weeks we have seen pressure on the government build and then subside with all too frequent regularity. The parliamentary wrangling that saw Theresa May avert a disastrous rebellion in the House of Commons last week over the EU Withdrawal Bill was only the most recent in a long saga of similar events.

This morning there is no respite for the government as The Times is reporting that the aircraft manufacturer Airbus is preparing to move production of its aircraft wings from the UK to either China, the US or elsewhere in Europe.

The decision has been taken in light of what appears to be a deadlock in negotiations with the EU. The numbers if Airbus abandons the UK do not look pretty: the company currently generates £1.7 billion in tax revenues alone and directly employs 14,000 people, while supporting a further 110,000 jobs in its supply chain.

Tom Williams, chief operating officer at Airbus, is quoted as saying "In the absence of any clarity, we have to assume the worst-case scenario, it's a dawning realisation that we have to get on with it."

The hard facts of Airbus's particular decision, should it come to fruition, will worry the government, but perhaps not as much as the precedent it sets.

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Business Secretary Greg Clark have worked hard to convince large manufacturers that post-Brexit Britain believes in building and have been pushing companies with concerns to go public in a bid to outflank Boris Johnson and other Brexiteers. 

That move could backfire if more household names come forward and a deal is not secured, but that is just another risk the government is being forced to run as the deadline draws ever nearer.


EU tariffs on American goods come into force today as the retaliatory measures against President Trump's trade policies continue to escalate. The duties have been imposed against £2.4bn worth of goods, including bourbon whiskey, motorcycles and orange juice.

The government has produced guidance for jobcentre advisers designed to bust myths about fruit picking. The horticulture industry currently employs 85,000 workers, of which 95% are from the EU. The guidance is designed to convince unemployed Britons the benefits of the seasonal work as two thirds of farms have reported a drop in applications this year.

A report from the University of Georgia has concluded that close to 111 million tonnes of rubbish will have nowhere to go between now and 2030 as China revoked its status as the dumping ground for the developed world's plastic waste.Currently, China imports over half of the world's plastic waste as the countries that generate it are not prepared to deal with it.

Business & Economy 

Philip Hammond and Mark Carney are moving to a common ground on financial services post-Brexit, opting for a mutual recognition approach that Carney has championed. In his annual speech to Mansion House last night, Hammond claimed the EU had provided no credible alternatives to the proposal of a future relationship outlined by the UK.

Eurozone governments have negotiated what is being described as an "historic" debt relief deal with Greece, that will see repayment deadlines on €100 billion of bailout loans pushed back by ten years. Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s economy commissioner, said after the negotiations that “The Greek crisis ends here tonight in Luxembourg” as Greece prepares to exit its era of financial rescue programmes.

A rise in interest rates in August looks increasingly likely after the chief economist at the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, voted for a rate rise to 0.75%. The monetary policy committee voted six to three to hold rates at the current level of 0.5%, but in another move that surprised the markets, agreed to end its £435 billion quantitative easing programme earlier than expected.



What happened yesterday?

Sterling was the big riser of the day as the currency shot up on the back of the news that Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, had joined two other colleagues on the Monetary Policy Committee and voted for an interest rate rise.

The pound was up 0.6% against the dollar at $1.3250 and 0.4% versus the euro at €1.1424. On the FTSE 100, this news prompted a slide as many of the constituents book overseas revenues in dollars. The market dropped 71 points or 0.9% to close at 7,556.44.

Earlier figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that public borrowing in the first two months of the financial year fell to the lowest level since just before the financial crisis in early 2007 as the government received more in tax revenue.

Housebuilders have continued their recent falls as Barratt, Berkeley, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon all slipped. The decline yesterday was due to the potential impact of any interest rate rise.

Shares in Melrose fell almost 4%, BAE Systems fell 2% and Rolls-Royce was also down following uncertainty over comments made by Theresa May regarding the UK's continued status as a tier one military nation.

Naspers Ltd
Prime People
Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust
Trading Announcements


Braemar Shipping Services
Cambian Group
Next Fifteen Communications
Tiger Resource Finance

Columns of Note 

Julia Ioffe, writing in GQ, provides a long read assessment of 'The Real Story of Donald Trump Jr'. The article looks closely at Trump Jr's upbringing and his relationship with his father, and the current role he plays in the Trump family power hierarchy.

Gary Younge, writing in the Guardian, urges more people to honour the NHS but to also recognise that the health service was and is built on the contributions and hard work of many immigrants. He believes that 70 years after Windrush, it's time more people acknowledged the work done to keep the NHS afloat.


Did you know? 

It is possible to fit all of the planets into the distance between the Earth and the Moon (238,555 miles). There would even be 4,900 miles to spare.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons
No business scheduled
House of Lords
No business scheduled
Scottish Parliament
No business scheduled