British Manufacturers’ Order Books At 29 Year High

UK manufacturers’ order books are at their highest level since August 1988. A CBI survey of 464 firms found a “broad-based improvement” in 13 out of 17 manufacturing sub-sectors, with food, drink and tobacco and chemicals leading the British-made boom. Meanwhile, export orders rocketed to a 22-year high. CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith said:

“Britain’s manufacturers are continuing to see demand for “Made in Britain” goods rise with the temperature. Total and export order books are at highs not seen for decades, and output growth remains robust.”

This is the same CBI that warned before Brexit that an out vote would cause a “serious economic shock“, set to cost £1 billion to the economy and threaten nearly 1 million jobs. This time last year, 70% of surveyed city economists predicted the UK would by now be in recession. Experts…

Fanatical Remainer Gummer Said Brexit Made Him “Sick to His Stomach”

Curious story in The Times this morning claiming Boris is to be demoted, David Davis is heading to the FCO and Ben Gummer is being lined up for the Brexit department. Ben Gummer? Not sure what they are smoking. He is one of the most fanatical Remainers in the Tory party. During the referendum he was one of the most enthusiastic proponents of Project Fear, tweeting endlessly about how the sky would fall in if Britain voted to Leave. The day after the referendum Gummer said the outcome had made him “sick to the pit of my stomach”. He said Brexit was akin to Marine Le Pen.

Yesterday Theresa May said “You can only deliver Brexit if you believe in Brexit”. That surely completely and categorically rules out Gummer for the Brexit department. The pro-Brexit Tory right would explode if Gummer was the lead minister for Brexit. If he wasn’t so close to May it would have ruled him out of government all together…

£12 Billion Allied Irish Banks to Float in London

Britain’s Brexit IPO boom continues with the news that the Irish government will float state-owned Allied Irish Banks (AIB) in London and in Dublin. City AM reports the bank could be valued at as much as €12 billion, making it London’s biggest flotation since the 2011 Glencore IPO, and one of the City’s largest listings for two decades. Figures released earlier this month showed 20 IPOs took place in London during the first quarter of this year, raising £1.83 billion, up on Q1 2016, which saw 18 IPOs, raising £1.79 billion. This boom makes a mockery of market doom-mongers such as EY, who warned after Brexit: “IPO activity can be expected to largely cease in the next 12 months”. How’s that working out? 

Lloyds Chairman: City Could Weather “No Deal” Brexit

The chairman of Lloyds Banking Group Lord Blackwell has said the City can weather a “no deal” Brexit. In comments this morning reported by City AM, Blackwell said:

“I’m not complacent, but I do think London and UK financial services can weather a situation where there is ‘no deal’… There is no single centre in Europe that is likely to emerge as being able to replace London.”

Blackwell’s comments come a month after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned the City was not doing enough to prepare for a no deal outcome. In a speech Carney said: “Prudent planning means that you have to also plan for a shorter time horizon and a more extreme outcome… we’ll be absolutely clear that is not in the best interest of the EU 27 or the United Kingdom or the global system as a whole.” Firms seem more confident…

Clegg Spinning Brexit Doom Report

There’s much woe in the Remain press today over a new report apparently forecasting a bleak future for Brexit Britain. The study by the Centre of Economic Business Research, produced for Open Britain, has been translated by the Independent as:

“Brexit: Lost access to single market in services could cost UK economy up to £36bn, new report concludes”

This might have something to do with Nick Clegg, who has been providing doom-mongering quotes all over the shop:

“This report exposes what is at risk if Theresa May fails to deliver on her promise to deliver a trade deal with the exact same benefits as membership of the Single Market… Lost access to the single market could cost the UK economy between £25 and £36bn a year.”

If you actually take time to read the report, you’ll see it makes it quite clear that the research is not a basis upon which to make forecasts about the impact of Brexit:

This research should also not be seen as an attempt to forecast Brexit impacts. Rather, the analysis discusses various economic scenarios, specifically relating to how the impacts of Brexit might be transmitted into the UK real economy. The value of the output is therefore analytical rather than being necessarily predictive.”

The report categorically says it is not “forecasting Brexit impacts“. It even says it in bold. Clegg spinning it up yet again…

Brexit On Display In New £44 Million EU History Museum

There was chatter this morning that Brussels’ newly opened House of European History – a £44 million vanity project funded by the continent’s taxpayers – would make no mention of Brexit. Fear not. Apparatchiks chronicling the bloc’s official history have installed two modest display cabinets dedicated to the most seismic European political event in recent times. Vote Leave wins with both a badge and t-shirt on display, alongside a referendum ballot paper. How did they get hold of that?

Pics via @trouwschmidt

£3.6 Billion Fund Lists in London Despite Brexit

Given how the slightest hint of a bad news story from the City is seized upon by certain elements of the media, it’s interesting that this one has gone under the radar. US billionaire Bill Ackman’s £3.6 billion fund Pershing Square Holdings, which initially listed in Amsterdam some years ago, has listed on the London Stock Exchange today. The move clearly reinforces London’s attractiveness to international fund managers despite the doom and gloom from Remainers. Ackman explicitly says today that Brexit has not affected London’s stature as a global financial stature and that listing in London rather than Amsterdam improves market access and liquidity. As a City source puts it:

“No one is pretending Brexit wont present real challenges but in business we deal in facts and the facts show London markets remaining resilient and open to investors around the world. London’s unique financial ecosystem continues to drive global economic growth benefiting both the UK and European economies.”

Q1 2017 saw 20 IPOs in London raising £1.83 billion. Compare that to Q1 2016, which saw 18 IPOs, raising £1.79 billion. Market watchers EY warned after Brexit: “IPO activity can be expected to largely cease in the next 12 months”. £2.6 billion has been raised in Q1 2017 by London-listed funds, up more than 100 per cent year-on-year…

Britain’s £40 Billion-a-Year Untapped Trade Potential

Britain’s untapped trade potential will comfortably offset any effects of Brexit on exports to the EU, new research by the think tank Open Europe has found. Their new report in conjunction with Prosperity UK has located £41 billion-a-year of under-performing non-EU export markets. Remarkably, Britain is currently on track to under trade with India, Canada and Israel by £10 billion-a-year…

Membership of the EU has stopped the UK trading freely with faster-growing non-EU countries, though the report argues we should not focus solely on Free Trade Agreements, instead seeking bilateral investment treaties and targeted agreements to address particular trade issues. It argues for greater engagement with India, Canada, Israel and China prioritising UK service exports. These are practical, sensible solutions to make Brexit work from Open Europe’s director Henry Newman, who says:

“With the right trade policy, the UK can seize the opportunities that Brexit will create, while compensating for its impact on exports to the EU… whatever Government is formed after 9 June, it should prioritise trade with India, Canada, and Israel, and – in the case of services – China. The UK needs a trade policy to fit the future and by 2030, our model indicates, the UK will have £41 billion of untapped trade potential with the top ten countries for goods and services.”

The parlous state of Britain’s exports was immediately identified by Theresa May’s government when they took office. Liam Fox, far from twiddling his thumbs as some tiresome Remainers would have you believe, has spent most of his time at DIT trying to get exports up to shape. There is a lot of work to be done but this will be key post-Brexit…

How Do You Solve a Problem Like 73 Empty Seats?

Meanwhile in Brussels… the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs is meeting today to scratch their heads on a tricky problem: Brexit Britain will leave behind 73 empty seats in the chamber. The next European Parliament elections are in 2019. What to do with those empty seats…

  1. Abolish them: The simple answer would be to abolish the United Kingdom’s seats and shrink the European Parliament (from 751 to 678 – not exactly a deep cut). But cutting the number of MEPs would mean leaving a lot of officials with less work to do and would be a symbolic body-blow. Is this likely to happen in a super-massive bureaucracy?
  2. Redistribute to other member states: The obvious answer – but then the question becomes how to distribute 73 seats between the remaining EU-27. You could even out the number of seats so as to distribute them equally between the remaining countries. Or you could distribute them proportionally according to the current number of MEPs per country. Or you could distribute them to less-represented countries. The numbers on this are being crunched
  3. Create a pan-European list: The most intriguing possibility is that Britain’s seats could be re-allocated to form a pan-European list, meaning every EU citizen could have a say in who should replace British MEPs. A European electoral college would run alongside the current party system. The idea ran into trouble in committee earlier this year but is still being actively campaigned forEurophiles call this “making elections European again”…
There is one other answer, of course. Who cares?

Public Still Not Sure What Labour and LibDems Believe on Brexit

A deeper dive into the Lord Ashcroft’s latest Brexit poll reveals the public remains confused about Labour and the LibDems’ position on Brexit almost a year after the historic referendum vote. The full report shows an near perfect four-way-split amongst respondents when asked to name Labour’s position. Remarkably, the majority think Labour “would still like to prevent Brexit from happening if at all possible” despite Jeremy Corbyn making media appearances for months to emphasise that his party will not seek prevent Brexit and “respects the will of the people“. Either people are not listening or Jeremy is not getting enough cut through…

As for the Lib Dems, almost 37% of respondents “don’t know” the party’s position at all – but at least those who do come to a consensus. Meanwhile, UKIP and the Tories dominate in the battle for clarity on Brexit…

Item Club Quadruples GDP Forecast

Independent economic forecaster the Item Club – sponsored by City professional services giant EY –  today reports a headline prediction of 1.8% GDP growth for 2017. This is well up on even the 1.3% prediction it made last October. And it is incredibly well up on its post-referendum forecast…

The Item Club sent shock-waves through the City last summer when it downgraded its forecast for 2017 GDP growth to an absolutely dismal 0.4% after the Brexit vote. This prediction of dread set much of the business media agenda: the Item Club is taken seriously because it uses the same economic models as the Treasury. Between July 2016 and today the Item Club has revised up its forecast by an eye-popping 1.4%…

Peter Spencer, chief economic advisor to the Item Club, said today:

“Although the starting gun for Brexit has just been fired, the UK economy has been adjusting to life outside the EU since the referendum…”

And the Item Club has been adjusting its numbers…

Siemens U-Turns, Now Talking Up Brexit Opportunities

Siemens is Europe’s biggest manufacturing firm and employs 15,000 people in the UK. During the referendum the company was a paid-up member of Project Fear, sending out doom-mongering statements threatening to pull investment from Britain in the event of a Leave vote:

“Brexit would disrupt the economy in the short-term and we believe that uncertainty about the UK’s future relationship with the EU could have more significant and negative long-term effects… [this] could make the UK a less attractive place to do business and may become a factor when Siemens is considering future investment here.”

Yesterday, Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser met Theresa May at Downing Street where he said he was “confident and optimistic” about the “big opportunities” in Brexit Britain:

“There is no reason not to invest tomorrow, if there is a demand and a commitment from the customer. I am willing – and the company is willing to invest – further. There are more opportunities than risks for us.”

Who’dathunkit?

European Parliament Resolution Response Leaked

With the support of the leaders of the main integrationist blocs; Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE), Manfred Weber (PPE), Gianni Pitella (S&D), Philippe Lamberts/Ska Keller (Greens/EFA) and Danuta Hübner, Chair of the Constitutional Affairs Committee this now leaked draft resolution will probably be tabled later today. Under the slogan “United in Diversity” it is a tough starting position, warning there will be no giving ground. We shall see…

To download and read the Draft-Resolution in full click (PDF).

Hat-tip: Guardian

Hammond: “Can’t Have Our Cake and Eat It” on Brexit


Over to you, Boris…

Anti-Brexit Protest on Whitehall Last Night

The continuity remain campaign summed up in one person…

Nige vs Bad Al Campbell Brexit Bust-Up

Red-cheeks and a lot of huffing and puffing on the Good Morning Britain sofa today…

FT’s David Allen Green Triggered By Article 50

Spare a thought for the FT’s columnists – they are really having a tough time of it at the moment. Take David Allen Green, the paper’s legal commentator who has been imparting his Article 50 wisdom to readers of the pink ‘un. In a column headlined “The three steps that mean Brexit may never happen”, DAG voiced his belief that Article 50 may never be triggered:

“Unless Leave create another moment of opportunity – another wrong-footing of the established order – so as to force through the required Article 50 notification, then it may not happen at all.”

Then there was his column titled “Brexit: the facts”, in which he again argued Article 50 might never be triggered:

“There are a number of reasons why a notification may never be sent. During the referendum campaign, the prime minister sought to give the impression that the notification would be sent “straight away”. But when he resigned he said it would be a matter for his successor. It may well be that if the notification was not sent on the day of the referendum result, it may never be sent.”

He couldn’t have been clearer in this tweet:

David’s latest update is that the triggering of Article 50 is now “more likely than unlikely”. He has given up on making predictions:

“My only prediction now is that those who doubted that the Article 50 notification would ever be seen will get a good-natured ribbing by those who never had such doubts.”

8 days to go…

Toyota Invests Quarter of a Billion in UK #DespiteBrexit

Toyota today announces an investment of more than a quarter of a billion pounds into the UK, contrary to previous warnings from the firm and car market analysts over Brexit. The Japanese company has a major plant near Derby where it manufactures its Auris and Avensis models. About 75% of cars made at that plant are exported to EU nations. Last year the FT warned:

“The Leave vote could be the final straw for the two Japanese carmakers… Ahead of the referendum, Toyota had already warned of “huge cost reduction challenges” at its plants in Burnaston in Derbyshire and Deeside in north Wales if the UK faced a 10 per cent tariff on exports to Europe.

“The reality is that it’s nearly impossible to make profit considering that they had not made much money over the past two decades. Can you keep holding on to a perpetually lossmaking operation in Britain?” said Koji Endo, analyst at Advanced Research Japan.”

Experts…

OTT Tasmina Asks About Deporting EU Citizens

This is the level of debate from zombie Remainers like the SNP’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh: asking the government if they have considered establishing a deportation process for EU citizens. The government has repeatedly said it will guarantee the rights of EU citizens once the EU reciprocates for Britons. It is the EU that is holding back an agreement. Talk of rounding up French and Germans in Britain and deporting them is quite mad. As Remainer scrutiny of Brexit goes, this is particularly naff.

Vodafone Boss: Mobile Roaming Charges Won’t Rise Post-Brexit

The claim that mobile phone roaming charges would rise post-Brexit was one of Project Fear’s best lines. Hence why it was parroted time and time again during the referendum:

  • Treasury: Abolition of roaming fees would not include Britons if UK leaves EU
  • Tim Farron: “From the cost of food and petrol to mobile phone bills, Brexit is hitting consumers in the pocket”
  • Britain Stronger in Europe: “Being in the EU means you pay less for… mobile roaming charges”
  • Deloitte report said using your phone abroad could become more expensive post-Brexit
  • Financial Times: “British mobile phone users face bills of up to €50 for each song they stream while roaming in the EU”
  • Guardian: “UK tourists face mobile phone roaming charges post-Brexit”

Indeed, Britain Stronger in Europe explicitly used the words “more roaming charges on mobile phones” on this graphic:

Today, the chief executive of Vodafone has signalled that post-Brexit mobile phone costs are not likely to rise.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Theresa May tells Bercow:

“Mr Speaker-elect, can I congratulate you on your re-election. At least someone got a landslide.”

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