Past generations of British politicians proved equal to the crises that faced them. This time, there is a strong whiff of panic in the corridors of power
To say that the lunatics have taken over the asylum would doubtless be termed politically incorrect. But the uncomfortable truth is that a bunch of ideological Brexit clowns have perpetrated a coup on the British government and the majority of the British people.
Seldom – or, to be more precise, never – in half a century of covering British economics have I encountered such a failure of leadership at a time of crisis. We came close to the abyss in 1976 but were saved by Jim Callaghan, the prime minister, and Denis Healey, the chancellor. On that occasion, after fraught talks, the two held the cabinet together and negotiated a loan from the International Monetary Fund which restored our credibility in the markets.
No bespoke trade deal can be as good as the single market, says Sir Martin Donnelly
There is no trade deal on offer from the European Union that will stop Britain taking a major economic hit after Brexit, the government’s former top trade official has warned.
In a direct warning to MPs, Sir Martin Donnelly, the chief civil servant in Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade until earlier this year, states that leaving the single market in favour of negotiating a long-winded, Canada-style trade deal will “damage UK competitiveness and leave us with less investment, lower living standards and long queues at the border”.
Related: We shouldn’t even be contemplating leaving the single market
Building society warns ‘sluggish’ economy, Brexit uncertainty, weak wage increases and rising inflation are hurting customers’ finances
Household finances are under worsening pressure, according to Nationwide building society, which reported a fall in profits and warned of tougher trading conditions ahead.
Total mortgage lending slipped from £17.5bn to £16.7bn, largely because of a steep decline in loans for buy-to-let following the tax changes. But as lending for landlords has fallen, loans granted to first-time buyers have surged.
Related: Nationwide sounds note of caution over lending in run-up to Brexit
Central bank boss Mario Draghi gets tough on financial institutions’ risk management plans
Mario Draghi, the usually calm president of the European Central Bank, is fuming at the antics of London’s banks as they try to minimise the effects of Brexit.
In a move that mimics Donald Trump’s America First campaign, Draghi has issued London’s financial institutions – including the 450-odd foreign banks operating in the capital – a stern warning that unless they put euroland first, they won’t be able to trade inside the 19-member currency bloc.
Central bank warns against setting up ‘empty shell’ operations in euro area without adequate staff
The European Central Bank has warned banks that some of their Brexit plans are inadequate as they involve setting up “empty shell” operations in the EU that are not properly staffed.
The Frankfurt-based institution said “elements in a number” of relocation plans submitted by banks that use the UK as their gateway to the EU “did not fully meet” its expectations.
Motor industry says threatened new tariffs could add £1,500 to price of an imported car, and make exports more expensive too
The devastating impact of a hard Brexit on the UK car industry was laid bare on Tuesday to MPs, who were told every 15 minutes of customs delays would cost some manufacturers up to £850,000 a year.
Presenting the industry’s most detailed evidence yet to the business select committee, Honda UK said it relied on 350 trucks a day arriving from Europe to keep its giant Swindon factory operating, with just an hour’s worth of parts being held on the production line.
Related: Brexit: failure to update customs system could be ‘catastrophic’
Related: EU business leaders tell PM: agree Brexit deal or face collapse in confidence
Those who voted for Brexit wanted migration to be managed, say Jonathon Porritt and Colin Hines. But Eric Goodyer voted remain to keep his freedom to work, live and retire anywhere in Europe. Plus John Hall says the benefits system must be reoriented
What those who want to remain in a reformed EU that lessens people’s insecurity must grasp is that Brexit voters don’t want an apology, they want policies to deal with their desire for managed migration. What is still inadequately understood is that the one upside of the grim rise of the extreme right across Europe since the referendum has been the increasing discussions in the EU about adapting free movement of people with measures to manage migration.
In our new report, The Progressive Case for Taking Control of EU Immigration – and Avoiding Brexit in the Process, on how Brexit can be reversed if progressives actively support these trends, we speculate that if Keir Starmer (on behalf of Jeremy Corbyn), Vince Cable and Caroline Lucas shared this analysis, they would prioritise seeking authentic agreement across the EU to properly acknowledge EU citizens’ concerns about migration. This would involve highlighting existing and proposing new measures to help “manage” migration. Then Brexit could be reversed.
Jonathon Porritt and Colin Hines