5 September

@stu7tay

Good morning,

MPs will be dusting off their parliament passes today as they return to Westminster after the summer recess.

With barely time to compare suntans, parliamentarians will be straight back down to business, with Brexit negotiations an all-too familiar topic on today’s agenda. Brexit Secretary David Davis will make a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon on the progress of the third round of talks that took place in Brussels last week.

For any MPs who perhaps spent the last week on a remote island and missed coverage of the talks, they may get a hint as to the turgid pace of discussions from the prime minister comments that the UK was prepared to “intensify” the one-week-a-month negotiation schedule in an attempt to speed up the talks.

As the pressure builds on Theresa May’s government to deliver a clear vision for the country post-Brexit, the prime minister will be grateful for the sympathy demonstrated by the body responsible for promoting financial and professional services firms during the proceedings.

Jeremy Browne, Special Representative for the City of London to the EU, has today told the FT that Brussels is every bit as responsible for presenting a divided vision of what a future relationship will look like with one of their most important trading partners, concluding that each of the 27 countries have their own short-sighted idea which only reflects their own interests.

For those of us used to near-daily headlines on Brexit, it almost feels like parliament has never been away.

News

Kim Jong-un is “begging for war” and must face the toughest sanctions yet, the US ambassador told the UN yesterday. Nikki Haley was talking at an emergency session of the UN security council when she warned that “the time has come to exhaust all diplomatic means to end this crisis”. (£)

Plans are being drawn up by Theresa May and Philip Hammond, the chancellor, to end the seven-year-long cap on public sector pay rises for certain public sector employees. The proposed policy is supported by a number of key members of the Cabinet and would see the 1% pay freeze lifted for nurses and newly qualified teachers. (£)

Several Caribbean islands are braced for a powerful storm after Hurricane Irma was upgraded to a category four storm. The hurricane has already sustained winds of up to 140mph and the US National Hurricane Center predict that this will strengthen in the coming days. The state of Florida has already declared a state of emergency.

Business and Economy

British manufacturers and retailers are confounding Brexit fears and reporting one of the strongest performances in two decades, according to the British Retail Consortium. The BRC reported that the weak pound supported an increase in retail sales of 1.3% on a like-for-like basis last month from August 2016, when they fell 0.9%.

TalkTalk is in discussions with rivals including Vodafone, O2 and Virgin Media as it looks to move away from its mobile operations and return to its roots as a budget internet provider. (£)

Boeing has won a long-running dispute against European rival Airbus. The World Trade Organization reversed a ruling, on appeal, that the US aircraft manufacturer was in receipt of state aid to assist in the building of its newest aircraft, stating that the claim by the European Union was “baseless”.

Markets

What happened yesterday?

The FTSE 100 dipped on Monday following unrest in Asia, sparked by North Korea’s most powerful nuclear test to date on Sunday.

The index ended the day at 7,411.47, down 27.03 points or 0.36% from when trading began. The drop was likely mitigated by the closure of Wall Street for the Labor Day holiday. In Asia, the activity in Pyongyang impacted on South Korea's KOSPI index, which fell 1.2% lower, and Japan's Nikkei 225 which dropped by almost 1%.

With investors flocking to safe-haven stocks amid the geopolitical tensions, it is perhaps unsurprising that mining stocks were among the biggest risers, with Fresnillo and Randgold Resources up 2.9% and 2% respectively. Precious metal stocks also seen a rush in activity, with gold prices is at their highest level in almost a year. 

On the currency markets, the pound was flat against the dollar at $1.2952 and 0.42% lower against the euro at €1.0875.

Finals

Craneware

A&J Mucklow Group

Mattioli Woods 

Interims

888 Holdings, Alpha Fx Group, Cairn Homes, Dalata Hotel Group, EU Supply, Gamma Communications, Lighthouse Group, Stadium Group, Spectra Systems Corporation, Vipera

UK Economic Announcements

(00:01) BRC Shop Price Index

Int. Economic Announcements

(10:00) Gross Domestic Product (EU)

(11:00) Retail Sales (EU)

(15:00) Factory Orders (US)

Columns of note

William Hague, the former Foreign Secretary, tries to solve the dilemma that world leaders around the world are today grappling with: how do you engage with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. Writing in The Telegraph, Hague says threatening “fire and fury” and putting in place tough sanctions will do little to deter a man who has always “faced a choice of getting absolute power for himself or facing the dire consequences of not doing so”. Instead, he says that we must begin to see how the world looks to him and consider diplomacy as a solution to diffusing the nuclear tension. (£)

Writing in the FT, Janan Ganesh argues that while there may not have been an absolute economic collapse since the Brexit vote, the gradual decline being experienced is a form of bad stability. He says Britain should worry about the aggregation of marginal losses, manifested by such measures including growing slower than the other EU nations and the fact that the country will underperform compared to economic projections had we voted to remain. (£)

Did you know?

“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is an English-language pangram—a sentence that contains all of the letters of the alphabet.

Parliamentary Highlights

TODAY

House of Commons

Oral questions

Justice

Legislation 

Telecommunications Infrastructure (Relief from Non-Domestic Rates) Bill - Committee stage - Committee of the whole House - Sajid Javid

House of Lords

Oral questions

Road congestion - Baroness Neville-Rolfe

Procedures for trying members of the armed forces for serious crimes - Lord Morris of Aberavon

Implementing the NICE guideline 'End of life care for infants, children and young people with life-limiting conditions: planning and management' - Baroness Walmsley

Legislation

Air Travel Organisers' Licensing Bill - 2nd reading - Lord Callanan

Debate

Report from the EU Committee 'Brexit: UK-Irish relations' - Lord Jay of Ewelme

Scottish Parliament 

Topical Questions

First Minister Statement: Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2017-18

Scottish Government Debate: Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2017-18

 

TOMORROW

 House of Commons

Oral questions

Wales

Prime Minister's Question Time 

Adjournment

Knife crime - Sarah Jones

House of Lords

Oral questions

Electoral spending limits in Wales - Baroness Humphreys

Regulation of financial services - Lord Leigh of Hurley

The Prevent strand of CONTEST - Baroness Warsi

Legislation

Financial Guidance and Claims Bill [HL] - Committee stage (day 2) - Committee of the Whole House - Baroness Buscombe

 

Scottish Parliament

Portfolio Questions: Finance and the Constitution

Scottish Government Business