The focus returns to Brexit this morning, as David Davis hosts an informal summit of British business leaders at Chevening.
The group of over 30 leaders, who represent some of Britain’s biggest employers, is expected to put pressure on Davis to soften his Brexit strategy.
The CBI’s Carolyn Fairbairn set the tone for the meeting in a speech to the London School of Economics last night. She called on ministers to agree a transitional deal with the EU that would retain access to the single market and customs union until a final deal is in force. She suggested this will give negotiating teams time to “iron out” the details.
Fairbairn said a transitional arrangement would be “common sense”. Whether the Brexit secretary will view it in that light is another matter given the complexities such an arrangement could add to the negotiations. However, the decision to meet with senior leaders is a welcome signal of the government’s willingness to engage with the business community.
Our guess is the small talk in between the hard talk could revolve around the tennis with Andy Murray due on Centre Court at Wimbledon later today. No doubt strawberries and cream will feature on the Chevening lunch menu – a spoonful of sugar for Davis and his team to help the “suggestions” go down.
Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet for the first time officially today on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg. The meeting takes place after Trump has toughened his line on Russia, and used his speech in Warsaw yesterday to urge the nation to “cease its destabilising activities in Ukraine and elsewhere”.
Theresa May’s focus at the G20 summit will be on terror. She has said her priority is to disrupt terror groups from accessing finance, and will focus on improving standards in areas vulnerable to exploitation for terrorist financing. However, opposition leaders have criticised her failure to raise questions over Saudi Arabia’s role in funding extremism.
Labour has taken an eight -point lead over the Conservative Party in the first poll since last month’s General Election. The YouGov survey for The Times puts Labour on 46 to the Tories 38. This comes against news of Labour party infighting, as Jeremy Corybn faces accusations of a plot to purge moderate Labour MPs after one of his leading allies backed a new round of re-selections.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Reckitt Benckiser has suffered an estimated £100m loss in revenue as a result of a ransomware cyber-attack. The attack last week affected some of the world’s biggest corporates, including advertising group WPP and US delivery service FedEx.
Deliveroo has called on the Government to change workers’ rights legislationin order to allow it to award its delivery riders with benefits without the conditions attached to classifying them as employees. The company wants legislation to be updated to reflect new ways of working.
The Office for National Statistics has indicated that real household disposable incomes in the UK are falling at the steepest rate since 2011. The amount families have to spend fell by 2 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 in comparison to 2016. The drop is largely attributed to the rise in inflation.
What happened yesterday
European markets dropped to an 11-week low yesterday on the back of the release of European Central Bank meeting minutes demonstrating that it had considered dropping a long-standing pledge to expand or extend its bond purchase programme. European shares ended the day firmly in the red.
On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.26 per cent against the dollar to $1.2967 and fell 0.2 per cent against the euro to 1.1370 euros.
Shares in Associated British Foods rose 2.6 per cent on the back of a better-than-expected performance at its Primark clothing chain, making the company’s shares the biggest riser on the FTSE 100. The index closed down 30.32 points or 0.41 per cent at 7,337.28.
International Economic Announcements
(07:00): Industrial Production (GER)
(13:30): Non-Farm Payrolls (US)
(13:30): Unemployment Rate (US)
Aveva Group, Value and Income Trust
UK Economic Announcements
(08:30): Halifax House Price Index
(09:30): Balance of Trade
(09:30): Industrial Production
(09:30): Manufacturing Production
COLUMNS OF NOTE
Writing in The Times, Philip Collins offers some advice to Theresa May on how to rebuild her image. He recommends that she focuses on making herself indispensable to the Brexit process and that she sets the agenda on welfare and social care.
Historical novelist Hilary Mantel’s Reith Lecture is now available on BBC Radio 4’s Medium feed. The piece, broken up into four parts, offers a beautiful meditation on the craft of writing and a celebration of the importance of history. It’s a long, but worthwhile, summer read.
DID YOU KNOW?
An analysis of top tennis players by psychologists at the University of Sussex has found that grunting can help players improve their psychological focus – which might help them win.
House of Commons
No business scheduled.
House of Lords
No business scheduled.
In recess until 3rd September.