YouGov poll: No evidence of regrets after Brexit vote
A YouGov poll for The Times has found no evidence that voters regretted the decision to leave the EU. Asked whether Britain was “right or wrong to leave the EU”, 46% of respondents said that it had been the right decision and 42% said that it had been the wrong one. Meanwhile, the Conservatives have secured their biggest poll lead since winning power, according to the poll. The Conservatives are on 42%, followed by Labour on 28%, UKIP on 12%, and the Lib Dems on 8%.
Separately, a 16-country poll by Ipsos MORI has found that 56% of Britons think the UK should receive favourable exit terms, more than twice as many as in Germany, Belgium and France. Countries outside the EU generally want to see more favourable terms: for example, 52% in South Africa and 51% in India say the terms should be favourable.
Italians are the most positive EU members about the overall impact of Brexit on Britain: 41% say it will make the UK weaker, but 34% say stronger, compared to 64% in Germany and Spain who say the vote will weaken the UK. Views are even more positive outside the EU: Russia and India in particular are more likely to say the UK will be stronger (47% and 44% respectively) than weaker (17% and 36%). The US is evenly split, with 32% saying the UK will be weaker but 33% saying the UK will be stronger.
39% of people in EU countries say they are sad to see Britain leave, while 13% say they are happy. Swedes are the most likely to be sad to see Britain go (48%), while the French are the least likely to be sad (25%).
Bank of England expected to cut rates today in response to Brexit
The Bank of England is today expected to cut interest rates for the first time since 2009 in response to Brexit. Most economists expect a cut from 0.5% to 0.25%. There is less certainty over whether the Bank will resume its purchases of government bonds (Quantitative Easing) or even whether it might expand purchases to other assets.
May set to host roundtable with small business leaders to discuss response to Brexit
Theresa May will ask small businesses to set out what they want from Brexit negotiations so they can take advantage of the UK leaving the EU. The Prime Minister will today host a roundtable with small and medium-sized enterprises with less than 250 employees and trade associations in Downing Street, including the Federation of Small Businesses and British Chambers of Commerce.
Meanwhile, the number of jobs advertised last month was higher than at the same time last year, according to the recruitment website Reed.co.uk. There were 8.2% more vacancies on offer last month compared with a year before, the website said, as employers continued to take on new staff. Skills shortages are high in many sectors of the economy because of record employment levels, which mean there are fewer skilled workers looking for a job.
Banks in no rush to move staff out of the UK
HSBC Group Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said yesterday that his firm was not in a rush to move any staff out of the UK, saying, “There isn’t a burning need for us to make a decision ahead of seeing how the UK government negotiates…We’ve got plenty of time to see how that pans out.” Recently, the heads of Barclays, Crédit Suisse and BNP Paribas has all made similar comments, according to Bloomberg. Standard Chartered Plc CEO Bill Winters said, “There are reasonably good arguments for why the EU should accommodate some of the UK’s requests in terms of being able to access the single market, retaining something like the passporting rights…You can imagine scenarios that are in the real realm of possibility where the EU would agree on arrangements that wouldn’t impact the City at all. And that would be great.”
Austrian Chancellor urges EU to abandon membership talks with Turkey
In an interview with state broadcaster ORF, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern called EU membership talks with Turkey “diplomatic fiction” and advocated “pressing the reset button.” He argued, “We know that the democratic standards are clearly not sufficient to justify [Turkey’s EU] accession…The economic question is at least just as significant, because the Turkish economy is too far from the European average.”
Bundesbank chief warns against big changes to ECB bond-buying, sees little impact from Brexit on Eurozone
Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann told Die Zeit and Corriere della Sera that, in terms of the ECB’s bond-buying programme, “There are adjustment possibilities. But from my point of view we must be very careful with the configuration.” Speaking specifically of changing the weighting of bond purchases, which is currently done according to Eurozone countries’ capital shares in the ECB, he said, “If we grant individual countries special conditions or concentrate increasingly on highly-indebted countries than we will blur the lines between monetary policy and fiscal policy somewhat further.” Weidmann also said that, while Brexit may put a “small damper” on Eurozone growth, “the economic outlook for the currency area has not fundamentally changed through the Brexit vote.”
He added that the debate over deeper Eurozone integration “has little to do with Brexit, but I think we have reached a crossroads. We can establish closer ties among us, for example through a common [Eurozone] budget. But in that case we should also be prepared to transfer sovereignty at the European level. I don’t see this willingness in Germany or in Italy.”
Irish Foreign Minister suggests EU counterparts understand Ireland’s “unique position” in Brexit talks
Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan has said that, when speaking to his counterparts across the EU regarding Brexit, “I was anxious to ensure that the unique position of Ireland was acknowledged. I was encouraged by the understanding of my foreign ministerial colleagues to our position.”
Meanwhile, the Markit/Investec Purchasing Managers’ Index of services in Ireland, a measure of private service sector activity, dropped to its lowest level in two and a half years following Brexit. However, the survey showed that the sector was still expected to grow quickly.
Separately, the Irish Independent reports that the Irish Research Council (IRC) is attempting to lure British scientists to Ireland in the wake of the EU referendum, a decision which could, potentially, put at risk the £1bn or so in science and research funding the UK receives via the EU budget every year. The IRC has taken out a double-page ad in the current issue of the UK-based Times Higher Education publication pointing out that, after Brexit, Ireland will be the English-speaking country in the EU. IRC Director Dr Eucharia Meehan is quoted as saying, “The message is that the opportunities are in Ireland and, through Ireland, researchers have guaranteed access to European research funding.”
Diane James favourite for UKIP leadership after Woolfe excluded from ballot
Diane James MEP is the frontrunner in the race for the UKIP leadership, following the decision to exclude Steven Woolfe from the ballot. The other names on the ballot are Bill Etheridge, an MEP, Elizabeth Jones, a deputy chairman of UKIP’s Lambeth branch, Jonathan Arnott, also an MEP, Lisa Duffy, a party organiser, and Phillip Broughton, a former candidate. Three members of the national executive committee (NEC) resigned – Victoria Ayling, Mick McGough and Ray Finch – following the decision to exclude Woolfe, who missed the deadline to submit his application by 17 minutes. The Guardian quotes a source close to Nigel Farage as saying that he was “open to coming back but not immediately.” The UKIP source claimed that “Diane [James] is probably best placed to steer the ship” but said she might come under attack from forces within the party.
National Trust calls for revamp of farming subsidies post-Brexit
The National Trust has said that, after Brexit, farm subsidies should be paid only to farmers who deliver clear public benefits, such as protecting wildlife, rather than for simply owning land. UK farmers receive £3.1bn a year through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). More than £2bn is allocated according to the size of a farm – via what are known as basic payments. Less than £600m is linked to specific environmental improvements, such as enhancing woodland and encouraging more wildflowers and birds. The proposals have angered the National Farmers’ Union, which said that the ideas could make British farming less competitive and result in a greater reliance on imported food.
UK and France in talks over armed marshals on cross-Channel ferries
Armed sea marshals could be based on Channel ferries after talks between France and Britain over tighter maritime security, The Times reports. Officials in both countries are working on proposals that would allow the guards to board ferries in French ports and remain on the vessels as they cross the Channel. The Home Office said, “We work extremely closely with our French counterparts on matters related to security and counter-terrorism.”
Source: The Times
British fruit and vegetable producers say they need foreign seasonal workers to survive
The Guardian reports that some of Britain’s biggest fruit and vegetable producers have warned that the industry relies on seasonal foreign labour in order to survive. “If we don’t have freedom of movement and they don’t replace it with a permit scheme, then the industry will just close down” in the UK, said John Shropshire, chairman of G’s, one of the nation’s biggest producers of salads and vegetables, which employs 2,500 seasonal workers and also has farms in Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic and Senegal.
Source: The Guardian
New car demand holds steady in July following vote to leave EU
Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that new car demand remained steady in July from June, and was 2.8% up on the same time last year, despite the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Separately, Siemens has today lifted its full year profit forecast despite the UK’s vote to leave the EU.
Bank of Italy chief seeks to allay concerns over Italian banks
Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy, told Politico in an interview, “The results of the EU-wide stress test show that, notwithstanding the long and deep recession of the Italian economy, most of the largest Italian banks would be resilient to further hypothetical shocks to macroeconomic conditions. However, given its initial conditions and some of the methodological assumptions of the exercise, the performance of a single bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, was unsurprisingly poor.” He added, “In the absence of a clear pass/fail mark it is not possible, nor advisable, to use this year’s stress test to draw mechanistic implications for banks’ future capital requirements.”
Source: Politico: Visco