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Brexit weekly news digest 15 February

There has been a second round of votes in the Commons last night (Thursday 14th February) where the majority voted against the current Brexit negotiation strategy.

Whilst this does not hold any legal weight and does not prevent the Prime Minister from continuing with her current negotiation plan, it does not move the Commons any further towards a political consensus.  To see more about the votes in the Commons, click here   

It is reported that Brexit is already delaying private and public sector projects, according to the construction firm Galliford Try, which said companies are holding off on investment while the government is preoccupied with preparations for leaving the European Union.  They note that a managed and full negotiated EU exit would have less of a detrimental effect on the construction sector.

Coca-Cola have released news about their stockpiling for ingredients  to service the UK market, in light of their concerns about border delays and tariffs.  Nik Jhangiani, the company’s chief financial officer expressed concerns about the outcome of the EU withdrawal process.  One-fifth of Coca-Cola European’s sales came from Great Britain last year.

A report published this week that only 4 of the forecasted 40 trade deals have been completed, ahead of leaving the EU. The UK has only agreed four deals. Labour's Shadow International Trade Secretary, Barry Gardiner, said he understood that talks on 19 other deals were "significantly off track" and that "two are not even being negotiated".  Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade has  agreed that seven of the 69 deal that will lapse as a result of leaving the EU have been completes, which amount to £16bn of the £117bn worth of trade value. 

The German bank supervisor Joachim Wuermelling is reported as saying that UK  Banks have not relocated enough staff into the EU in order to comply with the regulators expectations as Euro zone rules require banking in the single currency to be conducted from within the EU. Euro zone rules require banking in the single currency to be conducted from within the EU. Brexit makes this an issue in particular for investment banks, which have long used London as their hub. The survey went onto the show that one in eightGerman firms are looking to relocate their investments outside of the UK  because of Brexit.

 

Ford Motors, in a private call with the Prime Minister, has said that it is accelerating its plans to move its production out of the UK in light of the no deal exit outcome. Ford, which operates two engine plants in Britain, last month said that it faces a bill of up to $1 billion if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal. 

The German Chamber of Commerce have reported, in a recent survey of 1500 businesses, that German businesses are struggling to prepare for the UK exiting the EU and are having to ‘navigate without a compass’. The survey shows that 70% of the German businesses show their expect their UK based businesses are forecasting to do worse in 2019 than the previous year. 

GC Business Growth Hub partner, MoneyCorp, note that   businesses of all sizes operating in global markets are finding that rising costs are squeezing profit margins.  “Between Brexit and the US-China trade war, there have been challenges for businesses of all sizes who import or export goods and services across the world. In addition, the uncertainty in the global picture is causing greater volatility in the currency market.

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