6 July

Ania Lewandowska

6 July

Good morning,

President Donald Trump and the First Lady, Melania, arrived in Warsaw last night for a brief visit, before heading to Germany later today for the G-20 summit.

Trump will be hoping for a friendlier welcome on his second European trip, which goes some way towards explaining why he has opted for a stopover in Poland, a country run by a right-wing, populist government with a likeminded approach on any number of key issues, from immigration to global warming and coal mining. A rapturous reception is all but guaranteed as supportive crowds are being bused in from across the land to cheer for him.

We have a new success, Trump’s visit,” Jarosław Kaczynski, the head of the governing Law and Justice party (PiS) and Poland’s true power broker, said in a speech last week. Trump’s visit, he said, is making Poland the “envy” of other European countries. That may be a matter for debate.

Trump will meet Poland’s President Andrzej Duda this morning, before attending the Three Seas Summit in an effort to improve trade, infrastructure and energy links with the 12 nations between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas. But the real show is expected later in the afternoon, when the US President delivers his first major public address on the continent at Krasiński Square, which houses a monument to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.

Like many others who have taken to the stage in this special place before him, we can expect Trump to praise Polish courage during one of European history’s darkest hours and maybe, just maybe, lay out a detailed vision for America’s future relationship with Europe and NATO.

Trump's first trip to Europe as president in May saw an awkward encounter with Pope Francis and an agonisingly cringeworthy push on Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, so Poland may offer him a chance to shine, even if briefly.

News

One in three nursing homes are failing on safety, according to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) first national report on adult social care services in England. Drug errors, lack of staff, and falls were also highlighted. Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC chief inspector said it was "completely and utterly unacceptable" in the modern age.

North Korea’s successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile has revived talk of military intervention. Speaking at an emergency UN Security Council meeting yesterday, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said North Korea's regular missile launches were "quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution". She also warned Beijing that it risked its trading relationship with the US unless it enforced UN sanctions on North Korea.

In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Sir John Chilcot, the chairman of the inquiry into the 2003 Iraq war, said Tony Blair was not "straight with the nation" about his decisions in the run up to the conflict. Sir John said the former prime minister had however been “emotionally truthful” in his account of events, meaning he relied on both emotion and fact. In response, a spokesman for Mr Blair said "all these issues" had been dealt with.

Johanna Konta, Andy Murray, Heather Watson and Aljaz Bedene all won at Wimbledon yesterday as four British players reached the third round for the first time in 20 years. Murray, the world number one and defending champion, took just one hour and 36 minutes to advance with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Dustin Brown.

Business & Economy

Volvo is to become the first mainstream car manufacturer to produce only electric or hybrid vehicles. The Swedish firm's president and chief executive, Hakan Samuelsson, announced that from 2019 all new Volvo models will feature some form of electric propulsion, either as hybrids that will retain a conventional petrol or diesel engine, or as purely electric models.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that UK productivity – calculated by dividing gross domestic product by the number of hours people worked – is now lower than it was a decade ago. Hourly output fell 0.5% in the first three months of the year and that brought the level down, 0.4% below the peak recorded at the end of 2007.

British Airways cabin crew are to stage a fresh round of strikes in peak holiday season, in a long-running dispute over pay. Members of Unite will walk out again from July 19, just three days after completing a 16-day stoppage.

Markets

What happened yesterday
The FTSE 100 climbed higher yesterday and ended up 10.37 points or 0.14% at 7,367.60.

Shares in Worldpay slumped 8.8% after news broke that it was being taken over by US rival Vantiv. Earlier in the day, the company had been leading Britain's major share index for the second day running, following a rise of 25% on Tuesday.

Gains in Tesco helped the consumer staples sector provide the biggest sectoral boost to the FTSE, adding 9.4 points to the index, while energy stocks weighed as oil prices retreated.

Tesco was up 3.8% after wholesaler Booker reported strong sales figures. Tesco’s deal to buy Booker awaits approval from regulators.

Housebuilder Persimmon rose 2.4% after posting robust first-half results. Persimmon said last month's British parliamentary election had not impacted consumers' demand for new houses, and sales rose seven per cent for the first half.

On the currency markets, the pound was up 0.11% against the dollar at $1.2933 and also up 0.11% against the euro at 1.1399 euros.

Finals
Supergroup (SGP)
Syncona Limited (SYNC)

Trading Announcements
Associated British Foods plc (ABF)
Bovis Homes Group plc (BVS)
Ferrexpo plc (FXPO)
Great Portland Estates (GPOR)
Persimmon plc (PSN)

International Economic Announcements
(13:00) Balance of Trade (US)
(15:00) ISM Non-Manufacturing (US)

AGMs
3i Infrastructure plc (3IN)
C & C Group plc (CCR)
Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (CGH)
Elektron Technology Plc (EKT)
Establishment Investment Trust (The) (ET.)
Great Portland Estates (GPOR)
Maven Income & Growth VCT plc (MIG1)
McKay Securities (MCKS)
Pennon Group (PNN)
Puma VCT 11 plc (PU11)
Quantum Pharma plc (QP.)
Seneca Global Income & Growth Trust plc (SIGT)
TwentyFour Select Monthly Income Fund Limited (SMIF)

Columns of Note

Writing from Tokyo, Julian Ryall presents worst case scenarios following the recent escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Analysing the potential for a possible pre-emptive strike by the US on the North Korea, Ryall admits that diplomatically it would be almost impossible for the US to secure international support.

Richard Brooks, the outgoing vice president for union development at the National Union of Students, writes in the New Statesman about how the youth and student vote played a large role in the outcome of the recent general election. However, as he points out, this has “led to a number of retributions in the aftermath of the surprise hung parliament”.

Did you know?

The fastest ever serve at Wimbledon was delivered by Taylor Dent in 2010, who hit a ball at 148 miles an hour. The fastest women’s serve to date in SW19 was 129 miles an hour, struck by Venus Williams in 2008.

Parliamentary highlights

TODAY

House of Commons

Oral questions

International Trade (incuding Topical Questions)
Women and Equalities (including Topical Questions)
General Debate
Exiting the European Union and Global Trade

House of Lords

Oral questions

Impact on jobs and the economy of relocations away from the UK of EU institutions - Lord Harrison
Tax incentives to businesses to encourage their staff to obtain recognised qualifications in exporting skills - Lord Empey
Bringing forward proposals to establish a curriculum fund for Britain’s leading cultural and scientific institutions - Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall

Scottish Parliament

In recess until 3rd September

TOMORROW

House of Commons

No business scheduled

House of Lords

No business scheduled