Chequers plan rebuffed in Salzburg

This week the background noise of uncertainty over Brexit increased to a deafening roar as Theresa May took her Chequers plan to Salzburg only to have it dismissed out of hand. While much of the press has been fuming about the way the EU27 have treated the Prime Minister, this outcome should not have been a surprise.

Rare ray of sunshine as Brexit negotiations continue

This week we had an announcement that Britain and Germany had agreed to drop specific sticking points around the shape of our future relationship with the EU, which was perceived to make an exit deal more likely.

Yet another company exits the UK

This week we had a reminder that while the ultimate outcome of Brexit is unknown, companies don’t have the luxury of waiting to find out. Panasonic became the latest company to move its European headquarters from London, adding to announcements from Unilever, EasyJet and…

Time to worry, Mr President?

Robert Mueller, the man responsible for investigating Russian collusion with the Trump presidential campaign, will be going into the weekend feeling particularly smug on the news that two of the President’s former associates may be facing jail time.

Italy passes the blame to avoid homegrown issues

A collapsed bridge in Italy this week that left 39 dead has further widened the cracks in the Italian government. The Eurosceptic League pointed the blame at the EU for restricting maintenance spending, while the Five Star Movement aimed its fire at the motorway operator responsible for the maintaining the bridge.

Thinking about pension fraud

Almost all of the mainstream press have some comments to make on pension fraud yesterday and today. The BBC’s headline is “Pension scam victims 'lost £91,000 each', the Telegraph goes with “The five most common scams that cost pensioners millions”, the Financial Times runs with “Pension pot scams cost £91,000 per victim since rules relaxed”, …..

GAM suspends star bond manager

This week has been thankfully quiet by recent standards, making it possibly the worst time for an asset manager to make the headlines. Without warning GAM suspended one of its star bond managers and gated his funds, preventing investors from withdrawing their money. This was followed by a period of radio silence and then a confusing series of press releases.

Trump and Juncker bond at UK's expense

This week we were treated to the now familiar show of Donald Trump taking credit for solving a self-induced crisis. After meeting with EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker, not only has there been an agreement to scrap the trade war, but the pair also signalled a reduction in all tariffs; including on politically sensitive farm goods. The deal comes at a tough time for the UK, as one of the few remaining pillars of the Brexit faith has been a bilateral trade deal with the US.

Brexiteer rebellion seen off for now

This week we saw the absurd spectacle of the government supporting attempts to wreck its own Brexit plan, as the hard Brexiteers struck back following the Chequers agreement. This leaves the government with no foundation for negotiations with the EU, as there is no position it can take that will command the support of the Tory party.