26 February 2019

@TomGillingham

26 February 2019

Good morning,

What would you use as a general word for the outer garment for the lower half of the body, with individual leg parts reaching to the ankle?
 
Once you’ve figured out what that question is actually asking, if you answer with ‘strides’ or ‘keks’, then we’re going to need an interpreter.
 
If you haven’t tried it already, the New York Times’ British and Irish dialect quizis an interesting diversion from the otherwise unrelenting tide of news doom, and its popularity tells us a lot about the type of content that people like to engage with online.
 
We’re already doing reasonably well in terms of being divided, without a US newspaper wading in to expose yet more fractures in British society, but as a piece of content it works for a number of reasons.
 
It tells people something they didn’t know about themselves, it’s smart with an overlay of pretty pictures and it’s an instant conversation/argument starter. The only thing holding it back from pandemic levels of virality is the lack of a social media share button for the results (New York Times, you can have that one for free). 
 
Working through the quiz, the fact we ever have the faintest clue about what other Brits are on about feels like a minor miracle. Forget the oft-derided 24 official languages of the EU, in the event of a no-deal Brexit we’ll have the challenge of 40+ regional dialects to contend with as we bravely staycation to some of the more exotic corners of the UK.
 
Thankfully, in this regard, one of the few phrases that resonates across every conceivable vernacular is ‘pissing it down’, to refer to heavy rainfall.
 
You might think I’m overstating these linguistic quirks, but I will leave you with the fact that in some parts of these islands, a slater (woodlouse) is known as a ‘cheeselog’, or that a ladybird can also be known as a ‘bishy barnabee’.
 
Thank goodness, then, that Brexit still means Brexit…

NEWS

Theresa May today faces a potential revolt by Remain-supporting ministers, ahead of a crucial cabinet meeting on the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Pressure has increased following Labour’s announcement that it will back a second referendum, and three ministers say that they will resign unless no-deal is taken off the table.
 
According to Pakistani officials, Indian jets have conducted air strikes in the Pakistan-controlled side of Kashmir this morning. This is the first time that Indian warplanes have crossed the Kashmir Line of Control in years, and the action marks a significant escalation of tensions between the nuclear powers after a suicide bombing against Indian troops this month.
 
The Independent Group has ruled out electing a leader until the end of the year. The decision follows the group of 11 MPs’ first formal meeting in Westminster. Chuka Umunna is the favourite to take on the role, but it is believed that Heidi Allen has also put her name forward.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has renewed its scrutiny of the mercurial Tesla co-founder, Elon Musk (£). It has asked a judge to find the billionaire in contempt of court for failing to abide by a promise, agreed in October 2018, not to tweet potentially market-moving information without first getting approval from Tesla’s top lawyer.
 
This morning, housebuilder Persimmon announced pre-tax profits of £1.091bn, an increase on £970m recorded last year. This comes against the background of government criticism of its involvement in the Help to Buy scheme. It has also confirmed that interim chief executive Dave Jenkinson has been appointed to the role full-time, following the well-publicised departure of Jeff Fairbairn.
 
The Competition and Markets Authority is seeking to become nimbler and to extend its reach (£), according to its Chairman, Lord Tyrie. Under the new far-reaching plans, boards could be overhauled, and directors disqualified for serious breaches of consumer laws.

MARKETS

What happened yesterday? 

London stocks ended Monday fairly flat as investors pondered the long-term outlook for US-China trade relations, amid ongoing worries about the impact of Brexit. There were eventually some positive developments on the trade front as President Trump confirmed overnight that the 1 March deadline for the implementation of higher tariffs on Chinese imports will be delayed.
 
At the end of the day, the FTSE 100 was up 0.07% at 7,183.74, while the pound was 0.02% higher against the US dollar at 1.30547 and 0.04% lower versus the euro at 1.1512.
 
US stocks also closed slightly higher on Monday, apparently reacting positively to the encouraging signs from the US-China talks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.23% at 26,091.95, as did the S&P 500, up 0.12% to 2,796.11 and the Nasdaq picked up 0.36% at 7,554.46.

Finals  
Augean
Croda International
Dalata Hotel Group
Derwent London
Drax Group
Devro
Fresnillo
Fisher (James) & Sons
Lighthouse Group
Morgan Advanced Materials
Meggitt
PJSC MNC Norilsk Nickel ADR
Persimmon
Synectics
Standard Chartered
Travis Perkins
Verona Pharma

Interims
Bluefield Solar Income Fund Limited
Green Reit
Hotel Chocolat Group
 
International Economic Announcements 
(09:00) M3 Money Supply (EU)
(13:30) Building Permits (US)
(13:30) Housing Starts (US)
(15:00) Consumer Confidence (US)
(15:00) U. of Michigan Confidence (US)

COLUMNS OF NOTE

Writing in the Guardian, Simon Jenkins suggests that a delay to Brexit is now vital to ensure the UK achieves a ‘sensible’ departure from the EU. He still believes Theresa May’s deal offers the best way out, but bemoans the lack of unity required to deliver on it.
 
Transport for London’s ban on junk food advertising is the focus of Sally Davies’ piece for the Independent. England’s Chief Medical Officer suggests that this sort of action is vital to save lives and improve the health of young people in the UK.

DID YOU KNOW?

The only temperature at which the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales are the same is -40 degrees.

 

PARLIAMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS

TODAY
 
House of Commons
Oral questions
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (including Topical Questions)
 
Ten Minute Rule Motion
National Health Service (Prohibition of Fax Machines and Pagers) - Alan Mak
 
House of Lords
Oral questions
Giving greater power to local authorities to deal with issues arising from short-term lettings - Baroness Gardner of Parkes
 
Strengthening controls over internet providers in the light of concerns over child bullying and suicide - Baroness Massey of Darwen
 
Will HS2 Ltd fulfil the requirements of public procurement regulations by obtaining its electricity supply through transparent and competitive tendering - Viscount Ridley
 
Report 'Closing the Regional Attainment Gap' published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility. - Baroness Tyler of Enfield
 
Scottish Parliament
Ministerial Statement: Patient Safety within the NHS in Scotland
 
Stage 1 Debate: Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill


TOMORROW

House of Commons

Prime Minister's Question Time

Motion
UK's withdrawal from the European Union

House of Lords

Oral questions 
Update to the Human Tissue Act 2004 - Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Debate
Further discussions with the European Union under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union - Lord Callanan

Scottish Parliament

Portfolio questions
Communities and Local Government

Scottish Labour Party Debate
Carers