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News Brexit - Press releases

Monday's Business and Politics round-up

03 Dec 2018

Person reading the news on their smartphone on a train

Good morning,

Should the Government's Brexit Withdrawal Deal fail to pass through the Commons, Labour will seek a no confidence vote.

Speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge programme, shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the party's next step would then be to seek a second referendum.

But while Starmer implied a 'No Deal' option would not be on a suggested ballot, this was contradicted the same morning by Labour Party colleague and shadow Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner.

In other Brexit news, the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is due to give a statement to parliament today disclosing whether the Government will publish in full legal advice on the deal.


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Tariffic!

Good news emerged from the weekend's G20 summit in Argentina, as the USA and China agreed to make concessions, with the former putting planned tariffs on ice.

President Trump had intended to impose higher tariffs on $200bn's worth of Chinese goods at the start of the new year, but this will be delayed for at least 90 days as the two global superpowers seek to continue talks.

According to a US statement, the countries pledged to "immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft".

But not all was hunky-dory. In their official statements, the two countries differed substantively in emphasis, highlighting the distance left to travel in the negotiations.For instance, while the Chinese statement declares that the sides agreed to boost market access, this is not mentioned on the American side.

Netflix and bill 

HMRC is examining the accounts of streaming site Netflix, in the latest of a set of investigations into the digital economy.

Netflix, which described the move as a 'standard' review, makes approximately £850m every year from its British subsribers, however the declared revenue of its British division was 26.9m euros. The company's European headquarters are situated in the Netherlands. Reports suggest HMRC's investigation may look into the transfer pricing deal between the UK arm and its Dutch parent.

However, Netflix differs greatly in profitability from many of its fellow tech giants, spending most of what it makes on creating and buying up new content.

In other tech news, The Daily Telegraph reports that Uber is looking to make a multi-billion dollar move into the electric scooter market.

Lime, or Bird are two possible landing points for the ride-hailing firm. The former, which Uber is already invested, is weighing up Milton Keyes as a potential first site in the UK, while Bird has begun trials in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Snark de Triomphe 

The French President Emmanuel Macron is being forced to seek new solutions as violence in Paris continued 'at a level not reached in recent decades.'

The head of the Paris police described 'violence of unprecedented gravity' as protesters threw hammers, dismantled cobbled streets, and set cars alight, committing widespread vandalism, including of a statue near the Arc de Triomphe. Hundreds of arrests were made over the weekend.

Protests originated as a response to Macron's fuel duty rise - an attempt to counter climate change - which raised the ire of a group known as the 'yellow vests'. It has tapped into larger concerns about the cost of living and the President's economic reforms, and attracted anarchists and sections of the far-right, fanning the violence.

CNN reports that Macron is now seeking to meet leaders of political parties across the spectrum, as well as representatives of the yellow vest movement. The latter has proven difficult due to the decentralized nature of the protesters' organisation, which has relied on social media for co-ordination.

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