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Brexit weekly news digest 4 February

Amendments to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement were brought before the Commons on 29 January, when the majority of MPs voted for a non-binding agreement that suppressed the backstop option – the major sticking point for the Commons.

For a full review of the next stages, the BBC has outlined a scenario path here. The next steps will be for the Prime Minister to come back to the Commons mid-February (date to be announced) with any further EU negotiation terms.

As part of their Brexit contingency planning, Barclays is moving €190bn (£166bn) of assets to Dublin because it "cannot wait any longer". The High Court, which has approved the move, says the move involves 5,000 clients, but few jobs in London are expected to be affected.

Growth in the housebuilding and civil engineering sectors slowed sharply, showing in the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 50.6 from 52.8 in December, below all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists that had pointed to a reading of 52.4.

In an interview, head of the CBI Carolyn Fairbairn said a plan to renegotiate the UK's withdrawal deal "feels like a real throw of the dice” and that "I don't think there will be a single business this morning who is stopping or halting their no-deal planning."

Deloitte reported that major British businesses’ appetite to take on financial risk has fallen  to its lowest level in nearly a decade due to fears of “the hardest of Brexits”, and rising U.S. protectionism, according to their survey.

Ryanair said the risk of a no-deal Brexit was “worryingly high”. It has obtained a UK licence to protect its three domestic routes and will place restrictions on shareholders in the event of a hard Brexit to ensure it remains an EU owned and controlled airline. This comes as Ryanair announces its third-quarter loss of €19.6m.  Ryanair went on to further mention that in the event of a hard Brexit, it will place restrictions on the voting rights and share sales of non-EU shareholders for a period of time.

There has been analysis around business plans for Brexit that have not painted such a negative view of the current trading climate.  Chancellor Philip Hammond noted that the economy's "resilience through the turbulence of the Brexit process has been particularly noteworthy". But the reasons for the UK’s economic resilience is complicated by other economic factors.

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