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Northern Powerhouse

Brexit weekly news digest 28 January

The political negotiations continue with Theresa May continuing to try to gain support for her ‘Plan B’ Withdrawal Deal.  There have been calls for political consensus from all corners of the UK, with businesses leaders asking MPs to represent their views.

Lloyds Bank report that companies are increasing their stockpiling  prior to Brexit in light of the uncertainty around a deal, and whilst overall exports are down, export of consumer goods from the UK remains strong. The UK Manufacturing PMI Index for purchases of stocks jumped up to 53.7 for the month of December, from 51.1 in the previous month.

Political uncertainty at home and abroad, along with weakening economic growth in key markets, were cited as the drivers for the export downturn. Tom Enders, Airbus’s chief executive, urged Britons to ignore “Brexiteers’ madness”.

Sky News reports that hard Brexit will cost Ford £614 million in additional tariffs and the weakened pound.

A deal has been struck between the UK and Switzerland outlining how insurance companies will continue to trade in a similar manner under a no deal Brexit scenario.  The deal will replicate the effects of the European Union’s insurance agreement with Switzerland and will come into force once that agreement ceases to apply in Britain.

Large UK companies such as Dyson, Sony and P&O announced their plans to move their some of the head office and operations out of the UK as it is reported that businesses are pressing 'the panic button’.

With world leaders gathering at the Davos summit, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Thursday that many British businesses still face problems that have yet to be solved if Britain leaves the European Union without an agreement to smooth its transition, and that British businesses are not well prepared.

The new chief executive of Goldman Sachs says that a "difficult" Brexit will negatively affect its investment plans in the UK.  David Solomon is reported as saying that while headcount has been frozen in the UK, the bank has been adding staff in the EU over the last two years.

Whereas trade department minister George Hollingbery said on Thursday, Britain expects that it will have most of the agreements  it needs to replicate existing trade deals between the European Union and third countries ready by the end of March.

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