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Northern Powerhouse

Brexit weekly news digest 4 March

The UK Prime Minister will bring the details of a renegotiated Brexit deal to the House of Commons on or before 12 March, only 17 days before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.

The renegotiated deal will need to be voted upon and accepted by the Commons, otherwise a further vote will be undertaken to ask if MPs want to press ahead with a no-deal EU exit.  According to the Financial Times, this vote would take place by 13 March. “The UK will only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consensus in the House for that outcome,” the prime minister has told MPs.

That would mean there would be no transition period after 29 March 2019, and EU laws would stop applying to the UK immediately.  The government says it is preparing for this potential situation, but there is "little evidence" that businesses are. It expects some food prices could rise and checks at customs could cost businesses billions of pounds.

FCA Chief Executive Andrew Bailey told a House of Lords committee that he could give no assurance there would not be market disruption if Britain crashes out of the bloc next month with no transition deal.  

Data firm Markit reports  that the activity across the construction sector has fallen during February, the first decline in 11 months. 

During an interview the Japanese Ambassador said  that his country is perplexed by the UK's departure from the EU and that more Japanese companies may relocate away from the UK in the coming months if Britain does not seal a promising post-Brexit deal.

UK chemicals companies face being shut out of a common EU products registry after Brexit and would need to pay around half a billion pounds ($664 million) to set up a British counterpart, said the head of the Chemicals Industry Association.

THere have been contradicting press reports suggesting Indian parent company is considering selling Jaguar  which it bought from Ford in 2008, while sources close to the company and the government told the BBC that news of fresh investment in the UK was imminent. If the new investment is confirmed, this will be a welcome boost to the UK car industry which has seen a raft of bad news in recent weeks.

Europe’s largest development bank, the EIB, has revived plans for a new offshoot focused solely on non-European Union projects.  In an interview, EIB head Werner Hoyer also said he was confident EU countries would replace the 3.5 billion euros of British cash and near 40 billion euros of callable capital that will be lost if Brexit goes ahead as planned.

UK manufacturers are cutting jobs at the fastest pace for six years, with confidence in the sector hit by Brexit uncertainty, according to a closely-watched survey. The research, by IHS Markit/CIPS, also found that companies stockpiled raw materials at a record pace last month. While firms' output continued to grow, this came as they built up stocks of finished goods ahead of Brexit.  It also said growth in new orders slowed to "near stagnation".

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