“Brexit: UK and EU at odds over size of ‘divorce bill’”
The UK won’t pay a 100bn-euro (£84bn) «divorce bill» to leave the EU, Brexit Secretary David Davis has said, as the two sides clashed over the issue.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain the UK would pay what was legally due, in line with its rights and obligations, but «not just what the EU wants». EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said there was no desire to punish the UK but «its accounts must be settled». While he wanted a «cordial» Brexit, he warned the «clock was ticking» now. Publishing his Brexit mandate, Mr. Barnier said the EU would «put all its efforts» into reaching a deal but said negotiations must start as soon as possible after «ten months of uncertainty» and suggested the outcome of June’s general election would not change anything.
While approaching the process in a «cool-headed and solution-oriented» manner, he said it was an illusion to think it would be concluded «quickly and painlessly» or that there would be «no material impact» on lives. An EU source has told the BBC that officials in Brussels will not enter into a discussion about potential figures for a final bill, likely to be one of the hardest-fought and most sensitive areas of the Brexit process.
On Wednesday, the Financial Times claimed the likely bill had risen sharply from 60bn to 100bn euros, basing its calculations on new data from across Europe.
“JP Morgan to move hundreds of jobs out of UK due to Brexit”
Hundreds of bankers working for JP Morgan in the City of London are to be relocated to Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg as it implements Brexit contingency plans.
Setting out for the first time the locations that will be beneficiaries of the UK’s exit from the EU, one of the US bank’s most senior executives indicated that other roles would follow once the outcome of the negotiations was known. “We are going to use the three banks we already have in Europe as the anchors for our operations,” Daniel Pinto, JP Morgan’s head of investment banking, told Bloomberg. “We will have to move hundreds of people in the short term to be ready for day one, when negotiations finish, and then we will look at the longer-term numbers.”
His remarks came as Standard Chartered, which is listed in London but focuses on emerging markets, told shareholders at its annual meeting in London on Wednesday that it was in talks with regulators in Frankfurt about setting up a subsidiary in Germany.
The bank employs about 16,000 people in the UK, with about 11,000 in the City, 4,000 in Bournemouth – it is the biggest private-sector employer in Dorset – and the remainder in Scotland.
“Clinton, Trump can’t stop airing their 2016 grievances”
America has two ex-candidates, the victorious Donald Trump and the vanquished Hillary Clinton who just can’t let it lie.
In a stunning interview Tuesday, Clinton, the former Democratic nominee, vented her still raw emotions and blazing bitterness over her defeat by Trump — pointing to Russia and FBI Chief James Comey as the key drivers of her loss.
Trump, for his part, rarely lets more than a few days go by without boasting about his outsider win. Then, remarkably for a victor, he disputes the result — claiming without evidence that millions of illegal voters handed Clinton a popular vote triumph.
The prospect of regurgitating the most bitter election on record must horrify Americans who were forced to live through it for roughly two years. But given Clinton’s public anger over her loss and Trump’s unwillingness to move on, a long-range rhetorical rematch is inevitable, especially since Clinton has a book coming in the fall.
The President is extraordinarily touchy about the merest suggestion that his victory is not totally authentic. Clinton has now given her supporters, many of whom believe she was cheated out of breaking the highest, hardest glass ceiling in politics, even more reasons to view Trump as illegitimate. And the President is unlikely to take a pass at Clinton’s unflattering description of his performance, including her renewal of her claim that he was unprepared for office.
The former secretary of state’s return to the spotlight on Tuesday will inevitably spark questions about whether she is considering a return to front-line politics. Her remarks equally appeared calculated to show that Clinton believes she has a voice and a rightful place in the political fray. But a confidant of Clinton told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny that «she is not running for anything — but she’s just not hiding.»
“Euro-area GDP growth outpaces America’s”
The enduring appeal of GDP is that it offers, or seems to, a summary statistic that tells people how well an economy is doing. On that basis, the euro-area economy is in fine fettle, indeed it is improving at a faster rate than America’s. Figures released today show that GDP in the currency zone rose by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2017, an annualised rate of around 2%. That is quite a bit faster than the 0.7% rate reported in the same period for America’s GDP.
These figures probably overstate the gap between the two economies. In recent years, first-quarter estimates of GDP growth in America have been revised upwards substantially. Still, the euro-zone economy is clearly picking up speed, even as America’s goes through a soft spot. A jump in car sales in March saw Europe as a whole overtake America as the world’s second-largest market. Euro-zone manufacturing grew at its fastest pace for six years in April, according to the purchasing managers’ index, a closely watched gauge of activity. The corresponding index for America fell.
The good news is not confined to manufacturers. The European Commission’s economic-sentiment index, based on surveys of service industries, manufacturers, builders and consumers in the euro zone, rose to its highest level for a decade in April. The euro area’s extra pep is in large part because its recovery from recession is at a much earlier stage than America’s. There is more pent-up consumer demand to accommodate and more spare capacity in businesses to meet it. There is a lot of catching up to do. The unemployment rate is 9.5% compared with 4.5% in America.