CBI chief calls for urgent ‘jobs first’ Brexit transition deal

Staying inside EU customs union is vital, Carolyn Fairbairn will tell Theresa May

The leader of Britain’s biggest business lobby group is to call for a “jobs first” Brexit transition deal to be negotiated within 70 days.

In a speech on Monday, Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI director general, will also call for Theresa May’s government to show greater urgency in Brexit talks to give clarity to companies that will otherwise need to trigger alternative plans, including moving jobs and investment offshore.

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Britain’s tired old economy isn’t strong enough for Brexit | Phillip Inman

Leave campaigners’ visions of national renewal depend on a level of commercial vibrancy that the UK can no longer muster

Brexit, at its heart, is a recognition that Britain has become steadily weaker since it spent much of its empire wealth fighting two world wars – too feeble in the years before the 2016 referendum to sustain an exchange rate of $1.60 and €1.40, just as it was too poor to cope with $4 to the pound in the 1950s and $2 to the pound in 1992.

Manufacturers were unable to make things cheaply, reliably or efficiently enough against the headwind of a high-value currency, forcing many to give up. An economy that boasted 20% of its income coming from manufacturing in the 1980s found it was the source of barely 10% at the beginning of this decade.

Brexit is only something – even if you accept the premise of socialism or free-market bonanza – that works on paper

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Europe must wake up to the drastic consequences of a hard Brexit | Joris Luyendijk

The Netherlands knows what it will lose if the UK crashes out. It is less than the price of giving Britain a sweet deal

Because it is such a riveting clown show with new crazy episodes almost every day, Europeans can be forgiven for ignoring the fact that Brexit is going to hurt them too. But as the date of Britain’s departure comes closer and Theresa May’s government continues its kamikaze policy of demanding the politically unthinkable from the EU, it is time for Europeans to wake and begin preparing for the worst.

On Thursday the Dutch government published a report drawn up by the consultancy firm KPMG analysing the consequences of a “no-deal” Brexit in which the UK leaves the EU without an agreement on 29 March 2019. Here are the practical implications and cold numbers behind the hot-headed rhetoric about no deal with the EU being “better than a bad deal” for Britain: should the UK “crash” out of the EU by late March 2019 the Dutch companies trading with the UK will have to secure a total of no less than 4.2m exporting and 750,000 importing licences. If by this time both states have a functioning customs system in place – a big if for this consistently incompetent UK government – costs for companies are between €80 and €130. That is per licence.

A hard Brexit could make every Dutch person poorer by an average of €1,000

Related: Through humility and understanding, we can still stop Brexit | Andrew Adonis

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Nearly half a million UK firms facing ‘significant’ financial distress

Thousands of businesses across sectors need to find ways to cut costs to survive beyond 12 months, warns insolvency specialist

Almost half a million UK businesses have started 2018 in significant financial distress, according to insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor.

In its latest “red flag alert” Begbies said firms across all UK regions and sectors were affected as the new year got underway, as the whole economy felt the effects of higher inflation, rising interest rates, growing business uncertainty, and weaker consumer spending.

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An Ancient Greek idea could have foiled Brexit’s democratic tragedy | Nicholas Gruen

Given the chance to think on each others’ views, we become more tolerant: a citizens’ assembly is how to fight illiberalism

There’s a chasm between the will of the British people as expressed in their 52% vote for Brexit and their considered will. It turns out that ordinary Britons deliberating with their peers think things through, “unspinning” much of the surrounding media hysteria.

In late 2017, a group of universities selected 50 people by lot to be representative of ordinary Britons in a “citizens’ assembly”. Between the referendum and the end of two weekends spent deliberating on Brexit, a group exemplifying the referendum’s 52:48 Brexit vote had swung to 40:60 against.

The tragedy of Brexit doesn’t concern Britain’s economy but rather its democracy

A hard Brexit would take Britain out of the EU’s single market and customs union and ends its obligations to respect the four freedoms, make big EU budget payments and accept the jurisdiction of the ECJ: what Brexiters mean by “taking back control” of Britain’s borders, laws and money. It would mean a return of trade tariffs, depending on what (if any) FTA was agreed. See our full Brexit phrasebook.

Related: Citizens UK makes Westminster’s politicians face power of the people

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Brexit is hampering UK productivity, says Bank policymaker

Silvana Tenreyro, a member of the bank’s monetary policy committee, said firms will delay investment due to uncertainty

The uncertainty caused by Brexit is deterring companies from investing and hampering Britain’s ability to close its productivity gap with other leading developed countries, a Bank of England policymaker has warned.

Silvana Tenreyro, one of the nine members of Threadneedle Street’s monetary policy committee (MPC), which sets UK interest rates, said 75% of the decrease in growth of output per worker since the financial crisis a decade ago was due to manufacturing and financial services, but that a period of catch-up was feasible.

Productivity is an economic measure of the efficiency of a workforce. It typically measures the level of output per hour of work, or per worker.

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No-deal Brexit would cost EU economy £100bn, report claims

Trading bloc would suffer more in lost output than thought, although lack of trade deal would cost UK around £125bn

A no-deal Brexit would cost the remaining 27 EU nations €112bn (£99.5bn) in lost economic output, according to research by a UK-based thinktank.

Although the UK would still be the biggest loser from crashing out of the EU single market and customs union without a new trade deal – with a cost to the economy of £125bn by 2020 – the EU would also suffer a bigger economic hit than previously thought by the end of the decade, according to the consultancy Oxford Economics.

A hard Brexit would take Britain out of the EU’s single market and customs union and ends its obligations to respect the four freedoms, make big EU budget payments and accept the jurisdiction of the ECJ: what Brexiters mean by “taking back control” of Britain’s borders, laws and money. It would mean a return of trade tariffs, depending on what (if any) FTA was agreed. See our full Brexit phrasebook.

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Brexit could cost Scottish economy £16bn a year – report

Nicola Sturgeon says updated analysis strengthens case for UK staying in the EU single market

The Scottish economy faces losing up to £16bn a year as a result of leaving the EU, according to a Scottish government forecast.

The updated analysis warns that a hard Brexit, in which the UK falls back on World Trade Organisation trading rules, would cost Scotland up to £12.7bn and cause real household incomes to fall by 9.6%, or £2,263 a head.

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