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I have a burning need to know stuff and I love asking awkward questions.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Truth will out (itself).

Sir Alan Duncan: Boris Johnson didn't want Brexit win.

Boris Johnson only campaigned to leave the EU to set himself up as the next Conservative leader, Sir Alan Duncan said the day before June's referendum. Sir Alan said he believed the now foreign secretary, who is his current boss, wanted to lose narrowly and be the "heir apparent" to David Cameron. The foreign minister's comments were made in a BBC Two documentary. Meanwhile Mr Johnson has told the BBC the formal process of leaving the EU would "probably" begin early in 2017. The UK voted by 52% to 48% to end its membership of the bloc, in a referendum on 23 June. But formal negotiations over the withdrawal cannot begin until it triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Mr Johnson, speaking in New York, said: "The government is working towards an Article 50 letter, which as you know will be produced, probably, in the early part of next year."

Lloyd's of London considers setting up EU subsidiary.

Insurance market Lloyd's of London is working on "contingency plans" to ensure it can trade across Europe when the UK leaves the EU. Chief executive Inga Beale told the BBC that Lloyd's may set up a subsidiary or branches in mainland Europe. She estimates that 4% of revenues could be lost after Brexit because Lloyd's would lose its licence - or passporting - rights to operate across the EU. The fallout from Brexit "is a major issue for us to deal with", she said. Lloyd's, one of Britain's oldest institutions, is the world's leading insurance and reinsurance market and houses around 90 syndicates. It focuses on specialist markets, such as marine, energy and political risk, and this year insured the taste buds of a Cadbury's chocolate taster. Continental Europe accounts for about 11% of gross premiums written by the London market. Ms Beale told the BBC that Lloyd's was now "focusing our attention" on maintaining its position in a post-Brexit landscape. It had not yet been decided whether to establish branches in individual EU countries or an EU-wide subsidiary, but the latter option would probably be cheaper, she said. But Ms Beale said Lloyd's had to respond. "It's the lack of certainty for our clients. Business cannot hang around," she said. "Boards are going to insist that they make plans [for life after Brexit]"

NHS should get £5bn 'Brexit bonus' – Lansley.

The NHS should get a "Brexit bonus" of £5bn a year, former Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said. Speaking at the NHS Providers annual lecture, Lord Lansley said the public had a right to expect extra funding, which should be in place by 2019-2020. He also called for ministers to commit to spending 7% of GDP on the NHS. In the run-up to June's EU referendum, Leave campaigners said the £350m a week the UK paid into the bloc's budget would be spent on the NHS instead. The figure proved contentious during the campaign, with Remain supporters arguing that figure did not take into account money the UK got back from the EU in grants, subsidies, and the British rebate.

UK 'did not vote for hard Brexit', George Osborne warns.

Britain did not vote for 'hard Brexit' in the EU referendum and will have to compromise in exit talks, former Chancellor George Osborne has warned. He said Leave campaigners were naive for thinking the UK could secure everything it wanted in negotiations. In a speech in Chicago, he also warned against "the dangerous purity of splendid isolation" over co-operation. He campaigned for the Remain side and was criticised for warning of a £30bn "black hole" if the UK voted to leave. Mr Osborne's speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs is one of few public interventions he has made, since being sacked as chancellor when Theresa May became prime minister. In it, he described the vote to leave Europe on 23 June as "one of the low points" of his time in government and warned Conservative colleagues now looking to negotiate Brexit that they faced "the most important set of decisions Britain has faced since the Second World War". He is now a backbencher, but urged Prime Minister Theresa May to pursue "the closest possible economic and security relationship with our European partners while no longer being formal members of the EU".

Mortgage approvals at 19-month low, but consumer credit soars.

The number of people taking out mortgages fell to its lowest level for 19 months in August, according to Britain's High Street banks. A total of 36,997 homeowners had their mortgages approved, the British Bankers' Association (BBA) said. That is the lowest figure since January 2015, and a 21% drop on August 2015. The number of people borrowing to buy a house or flat has been falling since April, when there was a rush to buy property ahead of stamp duty changes. "Mortgage borrowing is growing at a slower pace than it has for the last few months reflecting both the slowdown in housing market growth after the April spike and broader trends in the sector," said Rebecca Harding, chief economist at the BBA. The figures do not include lending by UK building societies, which account for about a third of mortgage borrowing. However, UK consumers are continuing to borrow more through loans and overdrafts. The total amount of consumer credit grew by 6.4% in the year to August, the fastest rate of growth for nearly 10 years. "Given the low interest rate environment and high levels of confidence during the summer, the strong credit growth can be interpreted as strong consumer sentiment," said Ms Harding.

Brexit: UK universities consider EU branches.

UK universities could open campuses in Europe to offset the effect of Brexit, some vice-chancellors have suggested. The higher education sector largely supported remaining in the UK and since the vote, has voiced concerns about the financial implications of leaving. Universities fear losing research funding, students and staff in the event of a "hard" Brexit. But some universities are considering expanding into Europe as a way round the problem. The University of Kent has had a centre in Brussels for almost 20 years, for more than 200 postgraduate students from 60 countries, and also runs branches in Paris, Athens and Rome. These sites are recognised by relevant legal and educational authorities in each country and allow the university "to develop and foster connections that enable our students to gain important access to professional networks", said a University of Kent spokesman. Other universities could follow suit as Brexit negotiations gather pace.

All details above from BBC News website.

[It’s a little quiet on the Brexit Front ATM as the world struggles to digest the political earthquake in the US. No doubt things will get fractious again as the Supreme Court appeal gets underway despite the fact that only a handful of MP’s have come out publically that they’ll oppose Article 50. I wonder what the Government are so scared of that they’re denying themselves an apparent overwhelming victory. Odd, isn’t it?]

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