Thursday 13 December 2018

May secures divided cabinet's agreement on EU goods plan

Theresa May. Photo: PA
Theresa May. Photo: PA

British Prime Minister Theresa May secured a cabinet agreement for her plans to leave the EU, overcoming rifts among her ministers to win support for "a business-friendly" proposal aimed at spurring stalled Brexit talks.

After an hours-long meeting at her Chequers country residence, May, pictured, seemed to have persuaded the most vocal Brexit campaigners in her cabinet to back her plan to press for "a free trade area for goods" with the EU.

The agreed proposal - which also says Britain's large services sector will not have the current levels of access to EU markets - can not come soon enough for Brussels, which has been pressing May to come up with a detailed vision for future ties.

But the hard-won compromise may yet fall flat with EU negotiators.

By also committing to ending free movement of people, the supremacy of the European court and "vast" payments to the bloc, May could be accused of "cherry-picking" the best bits of the EU by Brussels officials, who are determined to send a strong signal to other countries not to follow Britain out of the door.

For now, May will be buoyed by the hard-won agreement.


JP Morgan in EU plea to staff

JPMorgan, which employs about 10,000 people in London, has asked "several dozen" employees to relocate across the EU before the UK formally leaves the bloc in March next year.

The staff, drawn from JPMorgan's investment bank and other units including asset management, will begin moving at the end of the year, according to an internal memo.

The New York-based bank is bolstering operations in Madrid, Paris, Milan and "other locations" along with Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, where it has banking licences.


Back business say top brands

Walpole, the official sector body for British luxury and its 210 member companies, has urged the UK Government to unite around a pro-business Brexit and safeguard the future success of an industry that contributes £32.2bn (€36bn) to the economy and exports £25bn to overseas markets.

Walpole chief executive Helen Brocklebank said: "We urge the government, once famous for being the party of business, to deliver a pro-enterprise Brexit, enabling our members to protect jobs in the UK and continue to promote Brand Britain around the world."


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