AUTUMN STATEMENT AT A GLANCE

The Guardian
24 November 2016

Philip Hammond delivered his first Autumn Statement as chancellor on 23rd November. These are the key points, together with political analysis.

Key points to note are that Philip Hammond said growth is expected to be 2.4% lower over the forecast period after Brexit. The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast economic growth of:

  • 2.1% in 2016 – down from 2% it forecast before the EU referendum
  • 1.4% in 2017 – down from 2.2%
  • 1.7% in 2018 – down from 2.1%
  • 2.1% in 2019 – down from 2.1%
  • 2.0% in 2020 – down from 2.1%

While the OBR is clear that it cannot predict the deal the UK will strike with the EU, its current view is that the referendum decision means that potential growth over the forecast period is 2.4 percentage points lower than would otherwise have been the case.” 

Hammond predicted SLOWER growth, HIGHER inflation, WEAKER tax receipts, HIGHER borrowing. This means the economy is expected to weaken as the Brexit negotiations intensify. To be clear, this is seriously bad fiscal news.

The Guardian runs an excellent daily business live stream, the link for which is HERE. I highly recommend it, along with the BBC Business live stream, for keeping up to date with current developments.

THERESA MAY HINTS AT BREXIT TRANSITION DEAL FOR BUSINESS

The Guardian
21 November 2016

For those of you here in the UK, this is a story to keep your eye on.

Theresa May was speaking to the CBI on 21 November 2016 at its annual conference, and hinted at a transition deal on Brexit to avoid a cliff edge for business. I checked other news sources, including the CBI website to find out more. At this point, the story is little more than a hint. So we’ll have to see how it develops.

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA ON THE BACKLASH AGAINST GLOBALISATION

The Guardian
16 November 2016

Speaking in Athens during his visit to Europe, President Obama made this important speech, warning that a backlash against globalisation is boosting populist movements both at home and abroad and called for a “course correction” so the benefits of an increasingly interconnected world are shared more equally.

During the speech, he said:

We cannot sever the connections that have enabled so much progress,” he said. But, he warned, it was leading to increasing inequality around the world, and fast-moving technological innovation – as well as causing enormous disruption to many workers’ lives – was making it easier for people to see it.

The current path of globalisation demands a course correction,” Obama said. “In the years and decades ahead, our countries have to make sure that the benefits of an integrated global economy are more broadly shared by more people, and that the negative impacts are squarely addressed.”

When we see people, global elites, wealthy corporations seemingly living by a different set of rules, avoiding taxes, manipulating loopholes … this feeds a profound sense of injustice.

The impulse to pull back from a globalised world is understandable. Leaders around the world must do more to reduce inequality, fight corruption, ensure governments are effective, and restore citizens’ trust in institutions: “We have to make clear that governments are there to serve the people.”

You can read more in this article from The Guardian.

BREXIT COURT RULING: FAQS ANSWERED

The BBC
4 November 2016

Following the Brexit court ruling, the BBC asked its audience to send in their questions about what the decision means. The BBC has compiled a comprehensive set of answers from more than 1000 responses received during a 5 hour period.

BREXIT JUDGEMENT REINFORCES THE SUPREMACY OF PARLIAMENT

The Observer
6 November 2016

In a landmark legal decision on 3rd November, the high court upheld a legal challenge brought against the government by Gina Miller and others, and ruled the government cannot use the royal prerogative to trigger article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, and so formally commence the process to leave the EU, without parliamentary approval. The court’s judgment means that the process must be subject to parliamentary control and oversight.

This ruling was a strong judgment, by a powerful trio of judges including the lord chief justice, and its reasoning looks hard to overturn. If the ruling stands, it means that a Bill will have to be introduced in Parliament. Although it is highly unlikely Parliament will vote against triggering article 50, Parliament could seek to impose certain conditions on the government.

The June referendum resulted in a vote for the UK to leave the EU. However, it did not determine the way in which the UK leaves the EU. The court’s judgment means that Parliament will have a role in debating and deciding many matters, rather than their being determined in private by the executive.