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Johnson looks to tax reforms to boost post-Brexit investment – Boris Johnson is expected to outline how the UK will “roll out the red carpet” for US businesses after Brexit by offering “the most competitive tax rates and the best skilled workforce in the hemisphere”. Speaking in New York, the PM will say: “As we come out of the EU, we are going up a gear. We are going to take advantage of all the freedoms that Brexit can give, whether that is new tax allowances for investment or speeding up public procurement contracts, or creating free ports and new enterprise zones, or devising better regulation for the sectors in which the UK leads the world.” Mr Johnson on Monday pointed to examples where the UK could diverge from EU regulations in the future, such as financial services or biotechnology. (Source: Financial Times, 24/09/19)
Pound climbs on hopes of a deal – The pound has hit its highest level against the dollar since July amid hopes a no-deal Brexit can be avoided. Sterling jumped more than 1% on Friday to over $1.24 against the dollar, its highest level in seven weeks. The pound was boosted after a report in the Times said the DUP, Northern Ireland’s largest political party, was prepared to abide by some European rules after Brexit. However, the DUP swiftly denied the claim. Despite this, sterling held on to its gains, and against the euro it was up 0.7% at over €1.12. (Source: The Times, 14/09/19)
FSB: Small businesses unprepared for no-deal Brexit – A UK-wide survey of small businesses by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that almost 40% of small companies would be negatively affected by a no-deal departure – and of those only one in five has planned or prepared for disruption. Nearly two-thirds said they felt unable to plan because they were unsure about what to plan for. The FSB’s Mike Cherry said: “Ongoing uncertainty is to blame for preparations hitting the skids with the picture still not clear as to how the UK will leave the EU.” (Source: Financial Times, 27/09/19)
FCA launches no-deal helpline – The Financial Conduct Authority has set up a helpline for UK financial services firms to help them prepare for a no-deal Brexit. Nausicaa Delfas, an executive director at the FCA, said: “We expect firms to ensure they are ready if there is a no deal. If firms haven’t finalised their preparations, there is a risk they could be impacted.” (Source: The Times, 12/09/19)
Brexit: EU audit and accounting rules retained – A motion to approve draft legislation retaining EU accounting and audit law after the UK leaves the EU has been passed in the Lords. The statutory instrument (Statutory Auditors, Third Country Auditors and International Accounts Standards (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019) also completes the process of extending powers to the UK’s competent authority, the Financial Reporting Council. It extends the FRC’s ability to regulate third-country auditors to include EEA and Gibraltarian auditors. It also puts beyond doubt that those EEA auditors who have already registered in the UK as statutory auditors will retain that status after exit. (Source: Hansard, 27/09/19)
Business services firms in pre-Brexit hiring spree – Accountancy and law firms have been on a hiring spree fighting for talent that can help them advise clients on the implications of Brexit. A survey by Manpower found that six out of nine industrial sectors and eight out of 12 UK regions had reported a rise in hiring plans for the upcoming fourth quarter, which includes the October 31 Brexit deadline. The recruitment firm’s poll also found the outlook for the finance and business services sector is up three points to 6%, its highest level in more than a year. (Source: The Sun, 10/09/19)
Banks only move 1,000 jobs despite Brexit exodus fears – Analysis by EY shows that large investment banks have so far relocated fewer than 1,000 jobs out of Britain despite fears that Brexit would see an exodus from the City. The reports says firms “still have significant work to do” before the scheduled Brexit date, with it suggested that around 7,000 jobs could shift from London to Europe “in the near future”. Previous long-term projections for job losses in financial services pointed to a worst-case scenario where up to 75,000 UK jobs were lost. Of 222 companies monitored by EY’s Brexit tracker, 92 have at some point suggested they were considering moving or had already moved operations or staff. Dublin is the most popular destination, followed by Luxembourg and Frankfurt. (Source: Financial Times, 20/09/19)
Duty-free shopping will return with no-deal – Holidaymakers travelling to countries in the European Union will pay no excise duty on cigarettes and alcohol in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Treasury announced. (Source: The Times, 10/09/19)
Eurozone suffers biggest monthly fall in confidence ten years – Overall economic confidence in the eurozone fell to its lowest level in four years this month. Business confidence in Germany and Italy tumbled to a six-year low amid worries over shrinking order books, according to the European Commission. The fall in confidence was the steepest in ten years. (Source: The Daily Telegraph, 28/09/19)
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