Category Archives: United Kingdom

(JN) Farfetch cumpriu o sonho de içar a bandeira portuguesa na bolsa de Nova Iorque

(JN) A Farfetch tornou-se esta sexta-feira a primeira empresa tecnológica portuguesa no mercado de valores mundial e içou, literalmente, a bandeira de Portugal no edifício da maior bolsa de valores do mundo, em Nova Iorque.

“Colocar a bandeira portuguesa no New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) era um dos pequenos sonhos que tínhamos e que foi realizado hoje”, disse José Neves, fundador da empresa, numa entrevista à Lusa.

O empreendedor português fez questão que a bandeira portuguesa estivesse içada neste dia em que a Farfetch se estreou no mercado de valores mundial a 27 dólares por acção e pouco depois já passava dos 30 dólares.

“Hoje foi um dia fantástico de celebração. Este dia é para equipa”, afirmou José Neves. “Eu sei que todos os nossos escritórios internacionais, incluindo os escritórios de Portugal, celebraram com muita alegria. O trabalho é deles, os resultados são deles”, adiantou, agradecendo à “equipa fantástica de três mil pessoas”, das quais metade tem nacionalidade portuguesa.

Sem adiantar números nem mercados a conquistar nas próximas etapas, José Neves afirmou que, depois desta oferta inicial pública, “começa o segundo capítulo”. “Não damos números concretos, mas vamos continuar a empregar mais pessoas e a gerar mais emprego”, garantiu.

O empresário referiu que desde a fundação da empresa, em 2007, estes 11 anos serviram para criar relacionamentos “fantásticos” com as marcas e “estabelecer a presença internacional” da Farfetch, que se encontra agora nos principais mercados de luxo.

A Farfetch é uma plataforma global no sector da moda de uma indústria que factura mais de 300 mil milhões de dólares anuais, a indústria de luxo.

Segundo o gestor, actualmente apenas 9% das vendas de luxo acontecem na Internet, mas o número vai mudar para 25% nos próximos dez anos, que representam 100 mil milhões de dólares (85 mil milhões de euros), um crescimento “exponencial”. “Penso que a oportunidade para o sector de luxo ‘online’ é enorme”, considerou o empresário.

A Farfetch orgulha-se de ser o único ‘marketplace’ do mercado de luxo e não ter concorrentes nesse modelo de negócio, mas admite ter de disputar a atenção do cliente, que pode comprar em diversos ‘sites’, mas que não oferecem o mesmo serviço.

Além de ser a única que não vende nada seu, o crescimento da Farfetch na primeira metade do ano de 2018 foi de 60%, o que deu a esta empresa luso-britânica mais quota de mercado.

O que se segue são “mais dez anos de crescimento, de inovação e continuar a construir uma empresa que é gerida com base num sentido de cultura e de valores muito fortes”, sustentou José Neves.

Um dos valores que a Farfetch agora assume é ser uma inspiração para outras empresas. “Espero que este lançamento em bolsa seja uma inspiração para outros empreendedores em Portugal. As ‘startup’ portuguesas estão a ter muito sucesso”, declarou José Neves, numa alusão ao programa de aceleração de ‘startup’ da Farfetch, o Dream Assembly, que dá aos empreendedores participantes conhecimentos e contactos na indústria de luxo.

(BBC) Brexit: May urges EU leaders to consider ‘serious’ UK plans

(BBCEU leaders in SalzburgImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionMrs May spoke to EU leaders for 10 minutes over dinner in Salzburg

Theresa May has urged EU leaders to focus their minds on getting a Brexit deal in the next two months, saying negotiations will not be extended.

At a dinner in Salzburg, she told her 27 counterparts her priorities were maintaining economic ties and ensuring promises to Northern Ireland were kept.

There are suggestions the UK will put forward new ideas for regulatory checks to address the current Irish deadlock.

On Thursday the other EU leaders will discuss Brexit without Mrs May present.

Arriving for the second day of the gathering Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the host, said that “away from the hard media statements, I think both sides are aware that they will only reach a solution if they move towards each other”.

Negotiations over the terms of the UK’s exit and future relations are at a critical stage, with about six months to go before the UK is scheduled to leave on 29 March 2019.

In her speech, Mrs May stressed her “serious” proposals for future co-operation between the UK and EU would ensure a “shared close relationship”.

The informal gathering of EU leaders in the Austrian city was the first opportunity the prime minister has had to make the case for her Chequers blueprint to other leaders collectively.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, two EU leaders said they hoped the UK would hold another referendum on Brexit, in the hope of reversing the 2016 result.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said most of his counterparts would like the “almost impossible” to happen.

Andrej Babis, the Czech Republic’s prime minister, added he hoped the British people might change their minds.

Campaign group People’s Vote is also calling for another referendum, arguing there should be a choice for voters between leaving with, or without, a deal or staying on current terms.

‘Brexit cliff-edge’

Mrs May’s proposal for the UK to sign up to a common rule book for trade in goods and a combined customs territory is unpopular with many in her own party, who believe it will erode British sovereignty and is not what people voted for when they backed Brexit in the 2016 poll.

In a further sign of how difficult it might be for her to persuade the UK parliament to back the plans, former minister Sir Mike Penning, who worked under Mrs May at the Home Office and backed her for Conservative leader, told the Daily Telegraph they were “as dead as a dodo” and that he could not back them.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Mrs May must delay Brexit beyond next March if there is not a detailed agreement on future trading arrangements.

Ms Sturgeon told the BBC that it would be completely reckless to leave the EU without establishing a future relationship.

She said that taking the UK off the “Brexit cliff edge” without an agreement “would be the most irresponsible thing any PM has done in a very, very long time”.

What did May tell EU leaders?

Media captionTheresa May on what can be achieved at Salzburg summit

According to a senior government spokesman, the prime minister told her counterparts that Brexit was a “uniquely complicated” challenge, but one that could be completed on time.

She said there was no question of the UK seeking to extend the negotiations beyond 29 March 2019, as Ms Sturgeon is calling for, thus delaying the moment of departure.

She told them she has “put forward serious proposals and the onus on all of us is to get this done”.

Her three priorities, she said, were protecting Northern Ireland’s place within the UK, safeguarding trading links with the EU and maintaining a close security relationship with the EU to deal with common threats.

Was there anything new on Ireland?

On Northern Ireland, there are suggestions the UK will present new proposals in the coming weeks aimed at helping break the impasse with the EU.

Brussels has insisted Northern Ireland must stay aligned with its rules unless another solution can be found preventing physical checks on goods crossing to and from the Irish Republic.

The UK has said the EU’s so-called backstop is unacceptable and its position must “evolve”.

Media captionBBC News NI’s political reporter Jayne McCormack explains why the border is an issue

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said the UK might accept a border for rules and regulations in time, amid suggestions new proposals on regulatory checks might be published in the coming weeks.

But she said there was no chance, as things stand, they will go anywhere near touching a different customs system for Northern Ireland, which would create more friction on the border.

And she said officials privately admit there is little chance that the solution is going to be found in any of the technical solutions, relying instead on a big political move by one or both sides.

How was the UK PM received?

This might not become clear until Thursday when the EU’s negotiator, Michel Barnier, will brief European leaders on progress in the negotiations.

But Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini told Reuters there had been “no progress” on Brexit and the Irish border.

Mrs May will meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and European Council president Donald Tusk on Thursday.

The BBC’s Europe editor Katya Adler said EU leaders believed they “held all the cards”, given that time was running out to seal a deal.

Mrs May’s trump card, she added, was the risk of a no deal – which the EU is increasingly concerned about – if her own proposals are rejected.

(Reuters) Portugal eases registrations for asset managers as Brexit looms

(Reuters) Portugal launched a bid on Monday to attract asset managers away from Britain ahead of its exit from the European Union next year, with regulators announcing they are simplifying the process for the firms to register in the country.

In a presentation, the central bank and CMVM stock market regulator said they “are determined to make Portugal an appealing option” for investment managers, promising to streamline authorisations for firms that want to move to Lisbon.

Among the changes, the regulators said applications would be approved more quickly, firms would deal with a single point of contact, and support will be offered in English to asset managers that want to move.

Approvals will be given in up to six months.

“The objective is to create the necessary conditions for firms that want to move to Portugal, within the context of the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, so that they have clear and easy information to do so,” said Helder Rosalino, an administrator at the central bank.

Britain is the world’s second largest asset management hub, with fund assets reaching 9.1 trillion pounds ($11.96 trillion) last year, managed chiefly from London and Edinburgh.

Portugal is already trying to attract wealthy Britons who want to move after Brexit and has established a special office to make it easier to make real estate and other corporate investments.

It also offers so-called ‘golden visas’ to foreigners who want to gain residency through house purchases of 500,000 euros.

But it has been slow compared to places like Frankfurt and Paris in grabbing a slice of London’s financial services industry.

(Reuters) Deutsche to shift more assets to Frankfurt, ringfence UK operations after Brexit: source

(Reuters) Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is considering shifting large volumes of assets from London to Frankfurt after the UK’s planned exit from the European Union next year to meet demands from European regulators, a person close to the matter said on Sunday.

Deutsche will also transform its UK arm into a ringfenced subsidiary after Brexit and reduce the size and complexity of its British operations, the source said.

The Financial Times reported earlier on Sunday, citing people familiar with the thinking of the bank’s executives, that Deutsche could eventually move about three-quarters of its estimated 600 billion euros in capital back from London to its headquarters.

No final decision has been made on the size of the asset move, it added.

Deutsche Bank and the ECB declined to comment.

  • DBKGn.DE

According to the Financial Times, one option being considered is to shrink the size of the London balance sheet so it ends up smaller than its U.S. holding company, which has roughly $145 billion of assets.

Any large-scale transfer of assets would not happen overnight, but would take between three and five years or even longer, the paper reported, adding that setting up a ringfenced UK subsidiary would potentially cost Deutsche hundreds of millions of euros.

(NYT) From Mountain of CCTV Footage, Pay Dirt: 2 Russians Are Named in Spy Poisoning

(NYT) LONDON — In March, when British detectives began their investigation into the poisoning of Sergei V. Skripal, the former Russian spy, they had little to work with but mounds of CCTV footage. Heads bent over their desktop computers, they began the unglamorous work of poring through it, looking for an assassin.

Britain is one of the most heavily surveilled nations on earth, with an estimated one surveillance camera per 11 citizens. It has cutting-edge technology for visually identifying criminals, and software so sensitive it can scan an airport for a tattoo or a pinkie ring. And then there is that team of genetically gifted humans known as “super-recognizers.”

On Wednesday, the authorities announced that the effort had paid off: Two Russian intelligence officers had been charged with attempted murder, the first criminal charges in a case that has driven a deep wedge between Russia and the West.

Investigators released a cache of evidence, including security camera images that captured the progress of the two men from an Aeroflot flight to the scene of the crime, and from there back to Moscow. They also released photographs of the delicate perfume bottle that was used to carry a weapons-grade nerve agent, known as Novichok, to the quiet English city of Salisbury where the attack took place.


In the days leading up to the March 4 poisoning, the same two Russian men kept popping up on cameras.

The British authorities have identified these two men as suspects in the poisonings. In early March, they were videotaped walking on Fisherton Road in Salisbury.CreditMetroplitan Police, via Reuters

“It’s almost impossible in this country to hide, almost impossible,” said John Bayliss, who retired from the Government Communications Headquarters, Britain’s electronic intelligence agency, in 2010. “And with the new software they have, you can tell the person by the way they walk, or a ring they wear, or a watch they wear. It becomes even harder.”

The investigation into the Skripal poisoning, known as Operation Wedana, will stand as a high-profile test of an investigative technique Britain has pioneered: accumulating mounds of visual data and sifting through it.

Neil Basu, Britain’s top counterterrorism police official, broke months of silence in a hastily convened Scotland Yard news conference on Wednesday, taking the unusual step of stripping journalists of their electronic devices to keep the news under wraps until arrest warrants for the two men, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, had been issued. Two hours later, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that British intelligence services had identified the men as officers in the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence service.


Russian officials responded witheringly, declaring in a Foreign Ministry statement that “we decisively reject these insinuations.”

“It is impossible to ignore the fact that both British and American colleagues act according to the same scheme: Without bothering themselves to produce any evidence, they announce a list of some ‘Russian agents’ in order to justify London and Washington’s witch hunt,” said Maria Zakharova, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.

Mr. Bayliss said that all along, investigators have been acutely aware that the suspects would be protected in Russia and never tried, though Interpol red notices and domestic and European arrest warrants were issued.


On Wednesday, police officers stood outside the City Stay Hotel in East London. The authorities say the suspects stayed there.CreditToby Melville/Reuters

“There are a lot of people who would sort of give up on it, because what’s the point?” he said. “They’re in Russia, we’re not going to get them back. But the thing is, once you’ve got it to that point, that means those people can’t leave Russia.”

Beyond that, Mr. Bayliss said, “there is a satisfaction of getting to the truth, to be able to prove to the Western world that the Russians did this.”

The day of the attack, Mr. Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found barely conscious on a bench beside the Avon River. (They both recovered, but months later, two Britons, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, fell ill after being exposed to the poison. Ms. Sturgess died.)


In the days that followed the Skripal attack, investigators began by collecting 11,000 hours of video from ports, train stations, shop windows, car dashboards and the roadways around Mr. Skripal’s house.

Before searching for a needle, investigators said wryly, they first had to build their own haystack.

The investigation drew on some of Scotland Yard’s most storied assets, like its Super-Recognizer Unit. Its officers are selected for their superior ability to remember faces — the opposite of prosopagnosia, also known as “face-blindness.”


Sergei V. Skripal at a court hearing in Moscow in 2006. He was released in 2010 as part of a spy swap with Western countries.CreditMoscow District Military Court, via Getty Images

“They don’t concentrate on the obvious: the graying hair or the mustache or the glasses,” the unit’s founder, Mick Neville, told Sky News last week. “They look at the eyes, the mouth, the ears — the things that don’t change. They can recognize a face from the tiniest glimpse of part of it.”

In cases such as the Skripal investigation, which begin with an enormous pool of potential suspects, super-recognizers can help by singling out people who seem to move suspiciously, experts say. Local police officers are often brought in to help them eliminate bystanders, like small-time drug dealers, who may also appear suspicious.

Those results were then overlaid with passport data for Russians who left the country shortly after the poisoning, bringing the pool of suspects down to a manageable number. The police were able to cross-reference suspects in other ways, mapping mobile phone and bank card use, for example.


“It’s a bit like a funnel, the top of the funnel has a vast amount going in, and by the time the liquid comes out at the bottom, it narrows down to a tiny stream,” Mr. Bayliss said.

Investigators had one bit of luck: Heavy snow fell through the weekend of the attack, reducing the number of people on the streets.

A big breakthrough took place nearly two months after the Skripals were poisoned, when the police arrived at the City Stay Hotel in East London, where the two suspects had spent the two nights before the attack. Officers took samples from the room where the two men had stayed, and sent them for laboratory testing. Two of them showed trace contamination for the nerve agent used in the attack.


A police barrier in July outside Mr. Skripal’s home in Salisbury.CreditHannah Mckay/Reuters

On Wednesday, as news of the charges spread, neighbors peered curiously at the building, which had smeared windows and dingy artificial grass.

“I just got a shiver, a cold shiver,” said Debbie Weekes, 47, who lives nearby. “It’s just shocking, I’m at a loss for words. You never know who’s around.”

Some wondered why they had not received a warning in May, when the police found the nerve agent traces in the hotel.


“Obviously we don’t feel safe,” said Shehan Ravindranath, 43, the manager of a supermarket across the street. “We can only take protection if we know about it.”

In Salisbury, though, the announcement about the charges was greeted with relief. Matthew Dean, the head of Salisbury’s City Council and owner of a local pub, the Duke of York, said he hoped it would put to rest conspiracy theories circulating about the crime.

“This is a piece of closure,” he said.

Ceri Hurford-Jones, the managing director of Salisbury’s local radio station, saluted investigators for their “sheer skill in getting a grip on this, and finding out who these people were.”

It may not have been the stuff of action films, but Mr. Hurford-Jones did see something impressive about the whole thing.

“It’s methodical, plodding,” he said. “But, you know, that’s the only way you can do these things. There is a bit of Englishness in it.”

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of a headline and a summary with this article misstated the status of the two Russian suspects in the nerve agent attack on British soil. While Interpol red notices and warrants have been issued, the men have not been arrested.

(Algemeiner) Poll: Nearly 40% of UK Jews Would ‘Seriously Consider Emigrating’ If Corbyn Becomes PM


British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Reuters / Pierre Albouy.

Nearly 40 percent of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister, according to a poll published by The Jewish Chronicle on Wednesday.

Labour has been roiled by a series of antisemitism scandals since the far-left Corbyn took control of the party in 2015.

Jonathan Goldstein — the chair of the Jewish Leadership Council — was quoted as saying of the poll:

“As someone who has always been a proud British Jew, it saddens me that almost 40% of our community would consider emigrating if Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister. This is deeply worrying.

“Our community is open, confident and proud of our traditions, while at the same time also being proud how we are integrated across society and public life. The current difficulties with the Labour leadership serve as a sharp reminder that our values and our people have often needed defending.

“The Jewish Leadership Council and its members will always work to ensure that our community is protected and secure both physically and otherwise.

“Ultimately, we must also remind everyone that antisemitism is the world’s most reliable early warning sign of a major threat to freedom. If members of our community would even consider leaving Britain because they feel threatened by the prospect of our potential next prime minister, this should worry everyone.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May — the head of the Conservative Party — said during Prime Minister’s Questions at the House of Commons on Wednesday, “Jewish people living in this country should feel safe and secure — and not have to worry about their futures in their own country.”

Also on Wednesday, Dave Rich — the head of the Community Security Trust (CST) ––told a parliamentary committee that a recent surge of antisemitic incidents in the UK was linked to the Labour situation.

“Over the last two years we have seen a much closer correlation between events in the Labour Party and our antisemitic incidents statistics than any other single factor,” he said, according to a Daily Mail report.

(Times) How antisemitism in Britain is rooted in the Second World War

(Times) Archive papers released to The Times show that Churchill’s bastion of propaganda and censorship allowed prejudice towards Jews to grow relentlessly. Dominic Kennedy reports

Sir Oswald Mosley leading his British Union of Fascists
Sir Oswald Mosley leading his British Union of FascistsTHOMSON NEWSPAPERS

That enduring motto of British stoicism, “Keep calm and carry on”, was coined by Winston Churchill’s Ministry of Information.

The morale-boosting message has been revived on mugs, posters and teatowels as a cheerfully ironic invocation of the wartime spirit that defeated the Nazis.

Yet archive papers released to The Times show that Churchill’s bastion of propaganda and censorship harboured one of the most disturbing secrets of the Second World War: throughout the struggle against Hitler, British prejudice towards Jews grew relentlessly.

The discovery will revive nagging doubts about whether, had the Nazis invaded, Britons would have betrayed or rescued their Jewish neighbours.

A long withheld file, called Antisemitism in Great Britain and disclosed by the National Archives, shows that officials confronted by reports of rising prejudice decided that Jews themselves were to blame.

“A considerable increase in antisemitic feeling”
The ultimate consequences of antisemitism on the continent were revealed as British soldiers liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp
The ultimate consequences of antisemitism on the continent were revealed as British soldiers liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration campGETTY IMAGES

On May 26, 1943, Cyril Radcliffe, the ministry’s director-general, gathered his regional information officers to brief him. Mr Radcliffe wrote to his minister that the only regions untroubled by antisemitism were northeastern England and Northern Ireland.

“All the others showed general agreement on the fact that from the beginning of the war there had been a considerable increase in antisemitic feeling,” Mr Radcliffe wrote. “They seemed to regard it as quite beyond argument that the increase of antisemitic feeling was caused by serious errors of conduct on the part of Jews . . .

“This view held true both of officers dealing with industrial centres and those dealing with rural areas; it held true of officers coming from old-established Jewish centres, such as Manchester and Leeds, and officers coming from areas which had known the Jews mainly as war-time evacuees from the cities.

Cyril Radcliffe memo to the Minister of Information
Cyril Radcliffe memo to the Minister of InformationNATIONAL ARCHIVES

“The main heads of complaint against them were undoubtedly an inordinate attention to the possibilities of the ‘black market’ and a lack of pleasant standards of conduct as evacuees.

“I reminded them that it was part of the tragedy of the Jewish position that their peculiar qualities that one could well admire in easier times of peace, such as their commercial initiative and drive and their determination to preserve themselves as an independent community in the midst of the nations they lived in, were just the things that told against them in wartime when a nation dislikes the struggle for individual advantages and feels the need for homogeneity above everything else.

“I thought that our main contribution from headquarters would be to try to keep before people’s minds the recollection that antisemitism was peculiarly the badge of the Nazi.”

The tensions around evacuation have long been forgotten but they were noted by Tony Kushner, professor of Jewish/non-Jewish relations at the University of Southampton, in his 1989 study The Persistence of Prejudice. His book estimated that about half those fleeing the East End of London were Jews. Among prejudiced comments from provincials were that Jewish evacuees had “extraordinary bad manners — noisy, aggressive, loud and tactless”.

Women and children taking cover in Bethnal Green air raid shelter, scene of the war’s worst civilian tragedy
Women and children taking cover in Bethnal Green air raid shelter, scene of the war’s worst civilian tragedyREX FEATURES

The worst civilian disaster of the war unleashed a wave of antisemitism. In March 1943, 173 people were killed in a stampede at the Bethnal Green bomb shelter in east London. The public blamed panicking Jews, although when the bodies were identified only five Jewish people were among the victims. An inquiry found the slur to be baseless.

The conclusion of Cyril Radcliffe’s memo to the Minister of Information
The conclusion of Cyril Radcliffe’s memo to the Minister of InformationNATIONAL ARCHIVES

Mr Radcliffe wrote: “If specific stories hostile to the Jews could be traced and pinned down as untruths, such as the recent canard of the Jews being responsible for the London shelter disaster, this should be done by countering it with the individuals who were putting it about, not by giving it general publicity.”

After the war, Mr Radcliffe drew the “bloody line” that partitioned India from Pakistan. He was knighted and became a law lord.

As Mr Radcliffe’s minute was being typed, in Amsterdam the Nazis began to round up Jews for the death camps. Anne Frank, still 13 and hiding in the secret annexe of a warehouse, was recording in her diary how, despite the hot weather, the family needed to light a fire each day to burn vegetable peelings. Any rubbish thrown into bins might arouse suspicions. “One small act of carelessness and we’re done for!” she wrote. She died in Bergen-Belsen before the camp was liberated by the British.

Alec Guinness in make-up as Fagin for the post-war Oliver Twist movie, which provoked demonstrations in Berlin
Alec Guinness in make-up as Fagin for the post-war Oliver Twist movie, which provoked demonstrations in BerlinREX FEATURES

The depths of the horrors uncovered by the liberators transformed the public’s view of the enemy. The historian Antoine Capet has written of “the peculiar atmosphere of the summer and autumn of 1945, when ‘the Nazi camps’ provided a ready-made ex post facto justification for the war in Britain”.

Antisemitism became taboo. In the post-war movie Oliver Twist, Alec Guinness as Fagin was made up faithfully to replicate the caricature by the illustrator George Cruikshank in the original 1838 Charles Dickens novel, complete with long hooked nose and beard. Outrage ensued. The film was banned in Berlin following demonstrations. Hollywood was so offended that the release was delayed for three years in the United States; eventually only a heavily censored version was shown.

Prejudice against Jews on the home front was quietly forgotten and tidied away. The file released by the National Archives was due to be kept under lock and key until 2021 but was opened early in response to a request from The Times under the Freedom of Information Act.

“Walking into the jaws of destruction again”
Duff Cooper, minister of information, with his wife, Lady Diana Cooper
Duff Cooper, minister of information, with his wife, Lady Diana CooperTIMES NEWSPAPERS LTD

The caste of leaders confronted with the rise in British prejudice belonged to the decadent interwar generation satirised in works such as Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies “walking into the jaws of destruction again”.

Churchill’s first information minister was Duff Cooper, married to the exquisite society beauty and actress Lady Diana Cooper. The politician’s gossipy diaries were edited posthumously by their son, the much loved author John Julius Norwich. Cooper’s great-great nephew is David Cameron.

Cooper’s set ranged from the Jewish banking family the Rothschilds to the minor aristocrats the Mosleys, among them the MP Sir Oswald Mosley, known as “Tom” to family and friends. “I can’t bear the Mosleys,” Cooper once confided to his diary, which was protected from prying eyes by a lock. “The sight and sound of them talking their tedious twaddle makes me feel sick.”

When Cole Porter telegrammed him an invitation for dinner at the Ritz, Cooper sat alone in the Piccadilly hotel until it dawned on him that his musical friend had meant the one in Paris. Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth and Cary Grant added vim to Cooper’s social whirl.

The Coopers attended the Mosleys’ fancy dress barge party in Venice on September 7 1922. According to the diaries, Diana made a friend “up as a Venetian Jew and he looked very well . . . Tom Mosley made a declaration of love to Diana this evening. She told him not to be silly. He said he had adored her all this summer — that he had never felt anything like it in his life before.”

Then there was Brendan Bracken, an Irish Catholic fantasist who entered British high society by pretending to be the orphaned son of Australians who died in a bush fire.

Bracken inspired the character of Rex Mottram, the vacuous colonial adventurer satirised in Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited who, after complaining that he could not taste brandy served in what he derided as a “thimble”, was brought “a balloon the size of his head”.

Winston Churchill with Brendan Bracken
Winston Churchill with Brendan BrackenGETTY IMAGES

Among those fooled by the Irish chancer was Cooper, whose diary entry for January 15 1924 recalls a dinner with Winston Churchill, his wife Clemmie “and a young Australian journalist called Bracken. It was a very enjoyable evening.” Cooper dined at Claridge’s with Anthony de Rothschild, known to him as “Tony Rothschild”.

Sir Oswald ultimately had as little success in seducing the electorate as he did with Cooper’s wife. Losing his seat in the Commons, he founded the British Union of Fascists in 1932. Cooper recalled on February 26 1933: “I attended a debate between Tom Mosley and [James] Maxton [radical Clydesider and leader of the Independent Labour Party] on Fascism v Socialism, in which I thought that Mosley got the best of it.”

When Hitler took power, Jews in Britain were quick to rally. Anthony de Rothschild became founding chairman of the Central British Fund for German Jewry, whose creators read “like a Who’s Who in Anglo-Jewry”, according to Men of Vision, the fund’s history by its late archivist Amy Zahl Gottlieb.

Anthony de Rothschild
Anthony de RothschildROTHSCHILD ARCHIVE

Britain had earned a reputation as a haven from persecution. During the 19th century, 140,000 Jews fled here from pogroms. The Jewish-born Benjamin Disraeli became prime minister for the first time as early as 1868. At the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 the Jewish Chronicle proclaimed: “England has been all she could be to Jews, Jews will be all they can be to England.”

The leading Jewish families all “benefited from Britain’s liberalism of the late 19th century, which had granted political emancipation to its Jews”, Gottlieb wrote. “Members of the cousinhood were soon elected to parliament. Some were elevated to the peerage.”

Now Simon Marks of Marks & Spencer, the chief rabbi and the banking brothers Anthony and Lionel de Rothschild set about helping Jews in peril from the Nazis.

Communal tensions peaked with the Battle of Cable Street in 1936, when Jews and locals erected barricades and fought running battles to prevent Mosley’s fascist Blackshirt marchers entering Jewish neighbourhoods in the East End.

In the Kristallnacht emergency, Anglo-Jewry’s fund arranged for 10,000 unaccompanied Jewish children to escape from Hitler to Britain in a humanitarian rescue known as the Kindertransport.

Sir Oswald Mosley inspects members of his British Union of Fascists
Sir Oswald Mosley inspects members of his British Union of FascistsGETTY IMAGES

Cooper stuck out in the 1930s as an opponent of appeasement and was the only cabinet minister to resign in protest against Neville Chamberlain’s popular but doomed Munich agreement with Hitler. Cooper’s friend Noël Coward sent a handwritten note congratulating him on his strength and courage while lamenting how odd and unpleasant it had been “to see thousands and thousands of English people wildly cheering their own defeat”.

Cooper was alert to antisemitism. In the final years of peace, he warned Chamberlain’s secretary of state for war, the Jewish politician Leslie Hore-Belisha (who introduced the eponymous beacons as transport minister) of impending bigotry. The episode is recalled in Kushner’s The Persistence of Prejudice.

Hore-Belisha, who became lifelong friends with Cooper and Lady Diana, wrote in his diary that Cooper predicted that “the military element might be very unyielding and they might try to make it hard for me as a Jew”.

Once war broke out Chamberlain indeed sacked Hore-Belisha because “there was a prejudice against him”.

Hore-Belisha was then vetoed as a potential minister of information by the Foreign Office, whose attitude was summed up by the undersecretary Sir Alexander Cadogan: “Jew control of our propaganda would be a major disaster.”

William Joyce, known as Lord Haw-Haw, addressing a fascist meeting in London
William Joyce, known as Lord Haw-Haw, addressing a fascist meeting in London

Churchill, appointed prime minister in 1940, sent Cooper to run the Ministry of Information. The airwaves were buzzing with Nazi propaganda. As many as six million listeners a night were tuning in to William Joyce, the Hitler enthusiast known as “Lord Haw-Haw”.

The virulent antisemite, known for his catchphrase “Germany Calling”, sought to undermine British morale with broadcasts threatening bombing raids against civilian targets.

“Frequently ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ warned the Eastenders what was coming to them,” recalled R G Burnett in These My Brethren, his history of a mission that tended to London’s poor. “He tried to make their flesh creep — and succeeded.” After the war, Joyce would become the last man hanged for treason against Britain.

An early warning was sounded of wartime British prejudice. Anthony de Rothschild wrote to “Dear Duff” on March 26 1941 that: “There is an impression that there has been of recent weeks a growth of antisemitism in the country and there is some reason for supposing that it may not be unconnected with enemy propaganda, although this is hard, of course, to establish.

“Representatives of the Jewish community in London have considered the matter and are naturally perturbed from their own point of view, but it also seems to them that developments on this line help the enemy and damage the war effort.” He suggested a radio broadcast condemning antisemitism as potentially destructive to Britain.

Anthony de Rothschild’s letter to Duff Cooper warning of the growth of antisemitism
Anthony de Rothschild’s letter to Duff Cooper warning of the growth of antisemitismNATIONAL ARCHIVES

Cooper wrote back to “My dear Tony”, stating: “I shall be very pleased to have a talk with you about the important matter.”

Cooper’s position as minister of information was weak. John Julius Norwich recalled: “The appointment was not a success. The press, terrified of censorship, mounted a virulent campaign against him.” Newspapers derided the ministry’s social surveyors, sent out to question the public about morale, as “Cooper’s snoopers”. An Achilles’ heel was that Cooper had allowed the ten-year-old John Julius to be evacuated to safety in America.

Four months after replying to Anthony de Rothschild, Cooper was replaced as minister of information by none other than Churchill’s friend, the imposter Bracken.

There was no doubt where Cooper’s heart lay. He went on to complete a wartime biography of the biblical King David, dedicating it “to the Jewish people to whom the world owes the Old and the New Testaments and much else in the realms of beauty and knowledge: a debt that has been ill repaid”.

Duff Cooper’s reply to Anthony de Rothschild
Duff Cooper’s reply to Anthony de RothschildNATIONAL ARCHIVE

The importance attached by Cooper, at the Ministry of Information, to challenging antisemitism never bore fruit. Bracken would be the minister who received Radcliffe’s memorandum recording that prejudice had risen throughout the war.

In northwest England, police in Salford discovered a clandestine basement printing press that was flooding the market with forged clothing coupons. In a confidential memo of April 17 1942, a regional information officer wrote: “Since the Salford coupon case we have observed anxiety among the Jews culminating in the visit of two representative Jews to the regional office.”

Jews believed that they were being discriminated against for jobs: “In spite of the shortage of nurses and the wishes of the Ministry of Health, local authorities are unwilling to employ Jewish girls.”

The official blamed Jews for the prejudice against them: “It appears that the Jewish leaders are so anxious to avoid admitting that ‘The People’ have been especially blameworthy in black markets that they are unwilling to take strong spiritual and communal action. Blindness to facts and alternate periods of arrogance and whines are unlikely to endear the Jewish cause to Britain.” A London civil servant applauded the “reasoned arguments put forward in this memorandum”.

The Ministry of Truth
Senate House in Bloomsbury was the secret headquarters of the Ministry of Information
Senate House in Bloomsbury was the secret headquarters of the Ministry of InformationALAMY

The Ministry of Information was secretly housed away from Whitehall in the University of London’s Senate House amid the elegant garden squares of Bloomsbury.

The early skyscraper, when it was opened in 1937, was the second tallest building in the capital, almost as high as St Paul’s Cathedral.

There was hostility to an institution dedicated to such an un-British endeavour as propaganda. The ministry employed some of the finest writing talents of the age, including appointing Laurie Lee as publications editor.

The future poet laureate John Betjeman, working on government films, immortalised in verse his muse “Miss Joan Hunter Dunn”, whom he found there doing the catering. Yet the ministry remained unloved.

Joan Hunter Dunn worked in catering at the Ministry of Information and inspired John Betjeman to write a love poem
Joan Hunter Dunn worked in catering at the Ministry of Information and inspired John Betjeman to write a love poemJOHN BETJEMAN : A LIFE IN PICTURES

Graham Greene, a recruit, recalled “the high heartless building with complicated lifts and long passages like those of a liner and lavatories where the water never ran hot and the nail-brushes were chained like Bibles. Central heating gave it a stuffy smell of mid-Atlantic except in the passages where the windows were always open for fear of blast and the cold winds whistled in.”

George Orwell’s wife worked in its censorship division, while the author himself broadcast ministry-approved propaganda at the BBC.

In Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, a thinly disguised Senate House served as the Ministry of Truth where Winston Smith worked.

“The Ministry of Truth — Minitrue, in Newspeak — was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, 300 metres into the air. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party:


There has been speculation that Big Brother was deliberately given the same initials as Brendan Bracken.

The Ministry’s ham-fisted meddling extended to refusing permission for Coward’s classic wartime morale-boosting movie In Which We Serve, with officials complaining that “the film was exceedingly bad propaganda for the Navy, as it showed one of HM’s ships being sunk by enemy action”.

The story was inspired by the loss of HMS Kelly, captained by Lord Mountbatten, who saved the movie by submitting a script to George VI. Filming went ahead after the King wrote that “the spirit which animates the Royal Navy is clearly brought out in the men”. It won an Oscar.

The ministry was quickly closed down in peacetime and replaced by the more modest Central Office of Information.

“Nothing to suggest organised activity”
A camp leader ringing the dinner bell for Jewish Kindertransport refugees from Germany and Austria at Dovercourt Bay near Harwich
A camp leader ringing the dinner bell for Jewish Kindertransport refugees from Germany and Austria at Dovercourt Bay near HarwichGETTY IMAGES

Through much of continental Europe, Jewish people in countries falling to the Nazis were rounded up and sent for slaughter.

Jews in Britain expected the same fate if the Germans invaded. “Some East End Jews, knowing what had been done to their compatriots by the Nazis in Germany, made ready for the coming of Hitler by carrying pellets of poison,” wrote R G Burnett in These My Brethren. “There was a moment when some began to trek out of London, pushing their belongings on handcarts, like the continental refugees in countries overrun by the Germans.”

An Eastender born in 1902 told the Jewish Museum London’s oral histories that he believed that British antisemites would not have bothered to gas Jews, as Hitler had done: “I’ve always maintained it, if they had their way here . . . while you’re alive, they would absolutely chop lumps off you. They wouldn’t wait to put you in a gas chamber, they’d be so eager to get at you.”

The British government’s only wartime acknowledgement of the Holocaust came in 1942 when Anthony Eden, the foreign secretary, told the House of Commons that “the German authorities are now carrying into effect Hitler’s oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe”.

Anthony Eden was foreign secretary during the war
Anthony Eden was foreign secretary during the warGETTY IMAGES

Scepticism remained. Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, chairman of the joint intelligence committee, regarded the reported use of gas chambers as an exaggeration by Jews “to stoke us up”, according to Tony Kushner in The Persistence of Prejudice. “Doubts of the atrocity stories, based on distrust of Jewish sources, continued in government circles until the end of the war,” Professor Kushner wrote.

On June 2 1943, the Lvov ghetto in Poland was liquidated by the Nazis and the last of the city’s 110,000 Jews were sent to a concentration camp.

The same day, it fell to Margaret Corbett Ashby to struggle to sound the alarm about rising antisemitism in Britain.

Mrs Corbett Ashby had begun her political activism campaigning for women to have the vote, creating a group called the Younger Suffragists when she was 18 at the turn of the century.

Victor Burgess, British fascist
Victor Burgess, British fascist

Now 61, she was the grande dame of English liberalism and was invited to a meeting of the committee advising Bracken. She confided her concerns that Jews in Britain were facing increasing hostility and prejudice. Doubtless she was heard in respectful silence. Behind her back, though, officials treated her warning with disdain.

One civil servant responded by leafing through issues of the Home Office Special Branch’s fortnightly summary. In a paper marked “Secret” he wrote to a colleague that the following were the only examples of anti-Jewish action that he could find.

November 15 1942: Large numbers of an antisemitic [sticker] portraying two Jews and bearing the words “Britannia rules the waves — yeth, but we rule Britannia” found affixed to doors and windows of business premises in Shoreditch, east London.

January 1-15 1943: A Fascist typewritten broadsheet called The Flame featured antisemitism.

March 16-31 1943: A pamphlet by R D Lees, who formed a branch of the wartime far-right movement the British National Party in Blackpool, argued that antisemitism was provoked by Jews. He opposed any measures for succouring Jews now under Nazi domination.

March 1943: Antisemitic slogans chalked and painted on walls and pavements in London districts and in Old Trafford, Manchester. Reference was made to the Jewish connections of Churchill, the foreign secretary Anthony Eden and other public figures. At Hove, typewritten slips bearing the words “Down with the filthy Jews” were found fixed to shop windows of a tobacconist and confectioners, the proprietor of which was Jewish, and to the windows of a Jewish hotel.

April 1-15 1943: Edward Godfrey of the British National Party bought 1,000 copies of the antisemitic booklet The Truth About The Jews published by Alexander Ratcliffe of the British Protestant League, Glasgow.

April 16-30: Antisemitic notices such as “burn the Jews” were chalked on five occasions in the Paddington area of west London. Slogans were chalked on a wall in Old Trafford.

The civil servant wrote: “You will agree that there is nothing in all this to suggest anything in the nature of organised activity, at any rate on an important scale.”

A scrawled response to the typed memorandum states: “I did not think that Mrs Corbett Ashby’s account showed signs of careful consideration.”

Nearly all the Jews from Lvov would be killed by November.

Once the war ended, there was a price to pay for the British authorities’ tolerance of antisemitism.

A shop in London run by Victor Burgess, who had been temporarily interned as a suspected enemy sympathiser under the same defence regulations as Sir Oswald and his wife Lady Diana Mosley, was issuing “anti-Jewish propaganda”, officials were told in January 1945. The Home Office was alerted but did nothing. Burgess persisted to become a notorious post-war fascist orator.

Lady Diana Mosley speaking at a meeting on behalf of Sir Oswald Mosley’s Fascist party in 1934
Lady Diana Mosley speaking at a meeting on behalf of Sir Oswald Mosley’s Fascist party in 1934PA

Returning from the war, appalled Jewish ex-servicemen formed the 43 Group, which physically smashed up Mosley’s gatherings and attacked fascists and antisemites. “Any six of us was more than a match for 20 of them. We never failed, we always won. We always closed their meetings down, never failed to close a meeting down,” Len Sherman, a martial arts expert from the Welsh Guards, told the Jewish Museum London’s oral history collection.

In 1947 anti-Jewish riots spread through many parts of Britain, triggered by the hanging of two British sergeants in Palestine by the Irgun, an insurrectionary Jewish paramilitary group. A crowd of 700 broke windows at Jewish-owned shops in Eccles, Manchester. Anti-semitic slogans and the fascist sign were daubed on a synagogue in Plymouth. There were days of rioting in Liverpool. Slaughtermen at Birkenhead refused to handle kosher meat.

Officials had turned a blind eye to latent antisemitism throughout the war. When the Ministry of Information staged a touring show, The Evil We Fight, highlighting Nazi atrocities to rouse the public against Hitler in 1944, copies of a subversive pamphlet were found stuffed into exhibition screens.

The typewritten, two-page tract warned that parliament was controlled by “The City of London International Jew Finance” and rejoiced that “Hitler is ridding the world of Jews and Judaism”. Condemning the British authorities, it said: “They lock up Fascists who at least want Britain for the British and clear the country of these slimy, oily, greasy, immoral Jewish dagoes . . . ANTI-SEMITISM MUST BE ENCOURAGED! Britain for the British and to Hell with Jews and all other alien swine.”

One official wrote: “It is my opinion that the open letter to Fellow-Britons is not antisemitism — it is pure German propaganda. Antisemitism is merely a part of the whole.”

Another commented in a handwritten note that it was childish nonsense which left him quite unconcerned. At the Ministry of Information, they kept calm and carried on.

(Reuters) Britain can’t afford to close door to EU banks after Brexit

(Reuters)Britain is expected to keep the door open for European Union banks and investors after Brexit to try to preserve London’s global financial clout, irrespective of whether it gets a good trade deal from the bloc, bankers and industry officials say.

Nerves in the City of London financial district were rattled last month when the UK government proposed future financial services trade with the EU based on “reciprocal” arrangements.

Bankers worried this meant that if the EU did not give Britain broad market access, London would impose tit-for-tat restrictions on EU banks or even tighten up treatment of all foreign lenders.

“But the Treasury later told us it does not mean that. Reciprocity would make the City very nervous,” a senior international banker in London said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The Treasury had no immediate comment on Tuesday.

At stake is one of the most liberal and lucrative financial services trade regimes in the world.

“The City has grown up by being everyone’s playground and that needs to continue. The White Paper was not to be read as limiting market access coming into the UK,” said a senior financial sector official, referring to the government’s Brexit plan published last month.

Britain allows non-EU “third country” banks to operate as a wholesale – but not retail – branch in London, meaning it doesn’t require costly capital cushions that subsidiaries have.

It also allows overseas entities to offer a wholesale service without a permanent UK base, subject to some conditions.

“The UK’s approach to third country firms may be regarded as one of the main factors which have made it one of the world’s leading financial centers,” said a European Parliament study on Brexit.


Bankers are waiting to see how EU bank branches in Britain and UK branches in the EU will be treated in future under any trade agreement or no deal scenario.

UK policymakers say Britain should get good terms because the bloc needs City expertise to manage 1.2 trillion pounds ($1.5 trillion) of assets for EU investors, issue bonds and float new companies.

The bloc is also slow to create its own capital markets union to substitute the City, and many EU companies don’t want hikes in costs from fragmented markets, policymakers say.

But 43 percent of UK international and wholesale financial services revenue comes from the EU, the sector’s biggest export market and worth 26 billion pounds ($33 billion). Deutsche Bank estimates that Britain’s current account deficit would be 40 percent higher without this.

In a sign of UK caution, consultants advised regulators to put their open approach to foreign banks into question as a negotiating tactic, but the government did not want to do that, a senior financial official said.

Britain’s finance ministry said in a June paper that if there was no transition deal to smooth the Brexit process after the official departure day in March 2019, then as a general principle Britain would default to treating EU states largely as it does other third countries.

But there are instances where “we would need to diverge from this approach,” it said, without elaborating. It is due to publish a new paper on no-deal contingency plans shortly.

The EU has also said it will treat Britain like other third countries.

“The EU has not given any indication that it won’t allow UK banks to establish branches in the bloc,” said Vishal Vedi, Deloitte’s financial services Brexit leader.

Analysis chart:


In another sign of pragmatism, Britain has proposed a “temporary permissions regime” to allow EU banks and insurers with branches in London to continue operating after March for three years, if there is no transition period.

The EU has not reciprocated for UK bank branches in the bloc, but is urging lenders in the City to gets licenses for their European hubs.

Andrew Bailey, head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, says a key question is whether EU customers will be allowed to continue doing business in London after Brexit. France has taken a tough stance on City access to the bloc.

“The FCA’s optimal position is open access, but if we can’t get that, what does the UK do?” said Jonathan Herbst, a financial services lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright.

Britain will also be under pressure to respond if Brussels rejects its calls to ease up the EU’s “equivalence” rules for market access used by Japan and the United States. The rules give some market access to third-country firms if their home regulators have equivalent policies to those used in the EU.

The equivalence rules have also been put into UK law and in theory Britain could apply them against the bloc in retaliation.

But no matter how difficult the EU may be in respect of UK firms trying to do business there, Britain has no choice but to stick with open borders, said Simon Gleeson, a financial services lawyer at Clifford Chance.

“There is no way the UK can go for tit-for-tat. What the UK can’t do is maintain openness for Americans and impose restrictions on Europeans. The only leverage we have is that if you cut off access to us, you are hurting yourself, “ he said.

(Economist) How Keynes would negotiate Brexit

(Economist) The great economist would strive to understand the other side and focus only on the future

WOULD John Maynard Keynes be a Brexiteer or a Remoaner? The great 20th-century economist started out as a free-trader. But he argued against “economic entanglement among nations” in an essay titled “National Self-Sufficiency” in 1933. Goods should be “homespun” wherever possible, he wrote, and “above all, let finance be primarily national.”  By 1945 Keynes was an internationalist again.

If nothing else, Lord Keynes was a pragmatist (“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?,” he apocryphally said.)  What is certain is that he would be at the negotiating table.

How Keynes would handle Brussels today is clear from a speech to the House of Lords in December 1945 on Britain’s post-war financial dealings with America. In it, he sets out what it means to get the best deal possible, even in unfavourable circumstances.

Keynes was a seasoned negotiator. He represented Britain at the Versailles peace conference in 1919. And he led the delegation that set up the Bretton Woods system on exchange rates, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the mid-1940s.

The 1945 speech, four months before he died at age 62, was in effect his “last words” to British policymakers. Keynes would have three tips for Britain’s negotiators today.

First, Keynes would encourage negotiators to understand the position of their counterparts in Brussels. He implored British politicians to understand the mood in Washington. “No one would easily accept the result of these negotiations with sympathy and understanding unless he could, to some extent at least, bring himself to appreciate the motives and purposes of the other side,” he stated. Hence, today’s negotiators should look beyond the facts to understand the Eurocrats’ motives and purposes, as well as their difficulties.

Keynes would encourage negotiators to understand the position of their counterparts in Brussels

Understanding their psychology—their “pride”, “temper” and “habit”—will strengthen Britain’s negotiating position, he argued. Britain should bear in mind that the major objective of negotiators in Brussels is the preservation of the European project. The European Union cannot afford to be too lenient on Britain, for fear that other countries will follow suit.

This idea—that the symbolism of a deal is as important as the deal itself—is something that Keynes would counsel Westminster today. In 1945 it was a recognition that the terms extended to Britain would form the expectations of other allies. “We naturally have only our own requirements in view,” he told his fellow peers, “but the United States Treasury cannot overlook the possible reaction of what they do for us on the expectations of others.” A good understanding of the other side will “minimise the causes of friction and ill will between nations” and maximise the chances of a just deal.

Second, negotiators should avoid using Britain’s past contributions to the EU as a negotiating tool, while at the same time being mindful not to expose Britain’s present weaknesses. Instead, Britain should focus on the future. Persuade Brussels of its future value to the EU, as a political ally as well as a trading partner.

As Keynes explained in 1945, reiterating Britain’s contribution to the war was not an effective negotiation tactic: “It was not our past performance or our present weakness but our future prospects…and our intention to face the world boldly that we had to demonstrate.”

Persuade Brussels of Britain’s future value to the EU, as a political ally as well as a trading partner.

Third, negotiators should demonstrate their commitment to the development of the international trading system, showing the EU that Britain remains a desirable trading partner. As Keynes declared: “Above all, this determination to make trade truly international and to avoid the establishment of economic blocs which limit and restrict commercial intercourse outside them, is plainly an essential condition of the world’s best hope, an Anglo-American understanding, which brings us and others together in international institutions which may be in the long run the first step towards something more comprehensive.”

If Keynes were alive today, he would probably relish navigating the intellectual and political minefield that is Brexit. However, it is unlikely he would have supported it in the first place. Keynes often warned of the dangers of sacrificing present well-being for an uncertain future. “Our power of prediction is so slight, it is seldom wise to sacrifice a present evil for a doubtful advantage in the future”, wrote Keynes at age 21 in “The Political Doctrines of Edmund Burke” in 1904.

Keynes would certainly appreciate the difficulties of extracting Britain from the EU, and the risks of damaging the economy, society and the political climate. As to whether leaving the EU might provide long-term economic benefits—as Brexiteers claim—that’s a timescale in which Lord Keynes would gleefully note we’ll all be dead.

(Ynet) Photos show Corbyn at graves of Munich Massacre terrorists

(Ynet) Daily Mail publishes photos from the British Labour leader’s 2014 visit to cemetery where leaders of Black September terror group, responsible for murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Oympics in Munich, are buried.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has denied visiting to the graves of the terrorists behind the 1972 Munich Massacre, but photos published by the Daily Mail on Saturday show him at a memorial service for members of the Black September terror organization in Tunisia in 2014.In photos taken a year before Corbyn was elected as the leader of the Labour Party, he is seen holding a wreath over the grave of Atef Bseiso, the head of intelligence for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who helped plan the attack at the Munich Olympics, which claimed the lives of 11 Israeli athletes. 

Source close to Corbyn insisted to the Daily Mail that the 2014 service he attended commemorated the 47 Palestinians killed in an Israeli air strike on a Tunisian PLO base in 1985.

But the monument for that attack is some 14 meters (45 feet) away from where Corbyn was photographed, in a different part of the complex, according to the Daily Mail. 

The photos, which were posted on the Palestinian embassy in Tunisia’s Facebook page, show Corbyn also standing near the graves of Black September founder Salah Khalaf, his aide Fakhri al-Omari and PLO chief of security Hayel Abdel-Hamid. 

Another photo shows Corbyn apparently joining in prayer while at the graves. An insider insisted the Labour leading was not taking part in the Islamic prayer, but merely “copying the others out of respect,” according to the Daily Mail. 

Corbyn spoke of his visit to Tunisia in an article in communist newspaper the Morning Star, writing: “After wreaths were laid at the graves of those who died on that day and on the graves of others killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991, we moved to the poignant statue in the main avenue of the coastal town of Ben Arous, which was festooned with Palestinian and Tunisian flags.” 

According to the Daily Mail, the Mossad did not carry out any assassination in Paris in 1991, but Khalaf, al-Omari and Abdel-Hamid were indeed killed that year. Foreign media does attribute the assassination of Atef Bseiso to the Mossad in 1992. 

During the 2017 general elections in Britain, Corbyn insisted he was not honoring Bseiso in his visit. “I was in Tunisia at a Palestinian conference and I spoke at that Palestinian conference and I laid a wreath to all those that had died in the air attack that took place on Tunis, on the headquarters of the Palestinian organizations there. And I was accompanied by very many other people who were at a conference searching for peace. The only way we achieve peace is by bringing people together and talking to them.”


There have recently been calls in the Labour Party to oust Corbyn from the Labour leadership due to his extreme anti-Israeli positions, with Jewish Labour MPs calling on him to resign amid accusations of anti-Semitism in the party

Videos that came to light a week ago from six and eight years ago show Corbyn calling Hamas terrorists his “brothers” and comparing between the destruction in Gaza to that in Stalingrad and Leningrad during World War WII—essentially comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. 

One video shows Corbyn, a serious contender for the British premiership, speaking at a rally outside the Israeli Embassy in London in 2010. 

“I was in Gaza three months ago. I saw the mortar shell that had gone through the school buildings, the destroyed UN establishments, the burned out schools, the ruined homes, the destroyed lives, the imprisoned people, the psychological damage to a whole generation, who’ve been imprisoned for as long as the siege of Leningrad and Stalingrad took place,” Corbyn, at the time a backbench MP, told the crowd. 

“This is a war crime that has been undertaken, but this time on live television,” he added.

(Express) Parliament TERROR ATTACK: Car hits cyclists at 40mph – driver arrested, several injured

(ExpressWESTMINSTER has been placed on lockdown after a car crashed into security barriers installed to stop terror attacks outside the Houses of Parliament, injuring a number of pedestrians.

Parliament: Police respond to car crashed into barriers

Dozens of emergency vehicles swarmed the area and members of public have been ordered to clear the area as as more than 200 police officers descended on the scene within minutes.

A man, in his 20s, has been arrested on suspicion of terror offences.

Dramatic footage shows dozens of armed police pointing rifles inside the silver Ford Fiesta car ploughed into the security barriers, which were installed after the 2017 Westminster terror attack.

A number of pedestrians, including a cyclist, have been injured.

Officers have cordoned the whole square and members of the public have been told to move back further as police put up a “Terrorism Act cordon”, according to an officer at the scene.

Horrified witnesses described the moment they heard a “loud bang” at around 7.37am this morning and how the car driving at “more than 40mph” appeared to “deliberately” drive into the bollards.

Jason Williams, 45, from Kennington, was walking to work when he saw the rush hour smash.

He said: “I saw a car going at high speed towards Parliament.

“It hit a bollard. It looked deliberate. It didn’t look like an accident. How do you do that by accident? It was a loud bang.”

parliament crash

Parliament crash: A car has crashed outside parliament (Image: BBC/SKY NEWS )


Parliament crash: A car has carried into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament (Image: NC)

parliament crash

Parliament crash: A man was led away in handcuffs (Image: SKY NEWS )

The driver of the car, a man in his late 20s, was arrested at the scene by armed officers. He was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences

Met Police

Mr Williams told how he saw “10 peope lying down” following the incident outside the Houses of Parliament.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “He had driven it at speed – more than 40 mph. There was smoke coming out of the car.

“I have seen people on the ground, lying on the road. I don’t know if they have actually been hit by the vehicle or not. I saw at least 10 people lying down.

“I was told basically to move away, to run. I have run for my life.”

Met Police tweeted to confirm counter-terror oficers are now leading the investigation, saying: “While we are keeping an open mind, the Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command is leading the investigation into the #Westminster incident.”

Scotland Yard said a man, in his 20s, has been arrested on suspicion of terorr offences and taken to a south London police station where he remains in police custody.

Armed officers were seen surrounding the car before a man, wearing a black puffer jacket, was led away in handcuffs.

Police vans were seen rushing through the City of London on their way to Westminster moments after the incident unfolded.

Met Police tweeted: “At 07:37hrs today, Tuesday 14 August, a car was in collision with barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.

“The driver of the car, a man in his late 20s, was arrested at the scene by armed officers. He has been taken to a south London police station where he remains in police custody.

“He was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences.

“There was nobody else in the vehicle, which remains at the scene and is being searched. No weapons have been recovered at this stage.

“A number of people were injured as a result of the collision and they have been taken to hospital.

“At this early stage none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.”

More than 10 police vehicles and at least three ambulances remain outside Parliament.

parliament crash

Parliament crash: Police have cordoned off the surrounding area (Image: BBC NEWS )

Firearms officers and at least two police dogs are stationed inside Parliament Square.

An eyewitness said among the injured was at least one cyclist.

Paramedics could be seen tending to the victim near the scene of the crash.

London Ambulance Service said two people had been taken to hospital after sustaining injuries during the smash.

Assistant Director of Operations Peter Rhodes said: “We were called at 7.40am today (14 August) to reports of an incident on St Margaret Street, SW1.

“We sent a number of resources to the scene including three ambulance crews, responders in cars and an incident response officer.

“We have treated two people at the scene for injuries that are not believed to be serious and have taken them to hospital.”

parliament crash

Parliament crash: The silver car crashed into the security barriers outside parliament(Image: TWITTER (Ewelina U Ochab))

Parliament crash

Parliament crash: Westminster has been placed on lockdown (Image: PA )

Met Police said: “At this stage, officers do not believe that anybody is in a life-threatening condition. Cordons are in place to assist the investigation. Westminster tube station is closed.”

The cordon has been widened twice and sniffer dogs were seen scanning the area.

Streets around Parliament Square, Millbank and Victoria Tower Gardens have been cordoned off as dozens of armed police swooped on the scene.

The length of Whitehall is completely shut off to traffic, with the cordon extended up to where the road meets Trafalgar Square.

A series of ambulances and firefighters are on the scene.

Westminster station has been closed for both entry and exit due to the security alert, Transport for London said.

Passengers are still able to change between lines at Westminster.

Scores of commuters on foot and cycling arrived at the police tape trying to get to work.

parliament crash

Parliament crash: A number of pedestrians have been injured (Image: PA )

Workers at Portcullis House have been allowed through the extended cordon and were seen queuing to get into the building.

Witness Jason Williams told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Basically I’ve seen a man driving a vehicle, and he’s gone into one of the bollards. There was a loud bang.

“Straight away I thought ‘Oh no, this is another terrorist attack’ so I just started to run and the police were saying ‘get out, get out of the area’.”

He described the incident as “very, very scary”, adding that he was feeling “very anxious”.

Mr Williams added: “The car was behind me. I didn’t see anyone else involved. I just saw this one vehicle, so it seems to be deliberate.

Parliament: Witness describes what he saw as car crashed

“I was very surprised the police didn’t go in straight away. They seemed to be standing back. They were obviously a bit wary, like what’s going to happen next?

“I don’t know if it was a tip-off, a warning, that this was a bomb. There seems to be maybe about 200 police here now, and it’s all happened very quickly in the space of half an hour.’

“The police were saying get out, get out of the way.”

He added “it seemed to be deliberate”.

Another eyewitness Ewalina Ochab descrbed the moment she saw the incident unfold.

She said: “I think it looked intentional – the car drove at speed and towards the barriers.

Parliament crash

Parliament crash: Armed police are on the scene in Westminster (Image: PA )

Bus driver Victor Ogbomo, 49, was driving passengers past the front of Westminster when he saw the crash.

“All I saw was the smoke coming out of a vehicle, a silver vehicle … I just stopped the bus,” he told the Press Association.

“The police said we have to move back, then in less than five minutes the response team came.

“They went to the vehicle, so we had to push back. I saw the car in the barrier, I didn’t know how it got there.

“I think someone was inside the vehicle because many police went towards the vehicle.”

He said officers had their guns out when they arrested the driver.

parliament crash

Parliament crash: Sniffer dogs are also involved in the investigation (Image: PA )

“I was walking on the other side of the road. I heard some noise and someone screamed. I turned around and I saw a silver car driving very fast close to the railings, maybe even on the pavement.”

Ms Ochab said “the person driving did not go out” of the vehicle, which did not appear to have a front registration plate when it crashed.

An eyewitness, who gave his name only as James, described how he had been cycling past Parliament shortly after the incident happened.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “There was a cyclist clearly injured on the floor, there was a number of cyclists off their bikes. As I went past, an ambulance turned up.

“As I carried on down I was told to get off my bike by a police officer. He said there’d been an incident. As I looked up as I got off my bike, I saw there was a car in the barrier.

“My natural reaction was to get away from the scene.”


Parliament crash: Most of Westminster and large parts of central London to be closed this morning. (Image: PA )

Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with those injured in the Westminster car crash and thanked emergency services for their “immediateand courageous” response.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he is in “close contact” with the Police Crime Comissioner.

He tweeted: “I’m in close contact with @MetPoliceUK Commissioner about the incident at Parliament Square this morning. Thank you to the first responders who were on the scene so quickly. Enquiries are continuing. Westminster tube station is currently closed. Follow @metpoliceuk for updates.”

MPs have also taken to Twitter to react to the incident, which took place during parliament recess for summer.

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, said: “Awful news from Westminster. My thoughts are with all those injured. Thanks for a quick response from @metpoliceuk, Parliament security and the London Ambulance Service.”

Neil O’Brien Tory MP for Harborough said: “Awful news – thoughts very much with those currently receiving medical treatment, and everyone else affected by this.

“Please remain vigilant if working in/visiting Westminster today.”

Parliament crash

Parliament crash: 200 officers are on the scene (Image: REUTERS )

The Houses of Parliament are surrounded with security barriers of steel and concrete.

The measures were extended in the wake of the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017 when Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing five people, inlcuding a police officer.

Khalid Masood ploughed a 4X4 into crowds before he was shot outside Parliament, injuring 50 people.

Masood abandoned his car then stabbed and killed unarmed PC Keith Palmer before he was shot by armed police in a courtyard outside Parliament.

parliament crash

Parliament crash: Firefighters are on the scene at Westminster (Image: REUTERS )

Security expert Chris Phillips told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Clearly this vehicle has crashed into the barriers. The barriers are there to protect the building and the people inside. They’ve been there a long time actually.

“I think one of the biggest issues for police officers when they approached the vehicle was could it explode. So the fact that the officers have got in there, got the man out and are dealing with it is a really good sign.

“This could well be some form of an attack that’s not quite worked properly for the attacker. The whole point of those barriers is they are to stop and slow down any vehicles getting close to the building and people inside.

“So if you tried to crash through those barriers, it just wouldn’t work. They’re strong enough to stop a vehicle at 50mph. So the fact that the officers are taking it very seriously obviously means that they’ve got some concerns.

“And of course they also now want to search the vehicle to make sure there’s nothing inside it that could cause anyone damage.”

(BBG) U.K. Unemployment at 43-Year Low Fails to Ignite Pay Growth

(BBG) U.K. unemployment dropped to a new 43-year low in the three months through June but the pace of wage growth eased.

The jobless rate stood at 4 percent, the least since February 1975, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday. Economists had expected it to stay at 4.2 percent.

The decline helps to explain why the Bank of England increased interest rates this month. Policy makers believe inflationary pressures are building in the labor market as skill shortages force employers to raise wages to attract and retain staff. Yet the absence of stronger pay growth so far also raises questions about whether the central bank committee’s unexpected unanimous decision was justified.

There was little sign of overall wages surging in the latest data — the rate slowed to a nine-month low of 2.4 percent between April and June — but the BOE sees a pickup toward 3.5 percent.

For policy, much also depends on productivity. Without a significant improvement, firms may find their profit margins coming under pressure and increase prices to compensate. Flash figures for the second quarter show output per hour rose 0.4 percent, leaving productivity up just 1.5 percent on the year.

The pound initially climbed after the data, before erasing its gains to trade little changed at $1.2775 as of 10:17 a.m. in London. The market-implied probability of another BOE rate hike in May 2019 edged up to about 45 percent, from 39 percent on Monday.

Rate Hikes

BOE officials expect unemployment to fall to 3.9 percent this year and Governor Mark Carney has signaled that further rate hikes will be needed to return inflation to the 2 percent target, assuming Britain avoids a chaotic departure from the European Union next year.

Wage growth excluding bonuses slowed to 2.7 percent, the weakest since January but still ahead of the 2.4 percent rate of inflation. Upward pressure on settlements is expected to come from the public sector, where millions of workers will this year benefit from the easing of a cap on pay increases in place since 2010.

“There remains precious little sign that wage growth is set to take-off — undermining a key assumption behind the Monetary Policy Committee’s recent decision to raise rates,” said Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce. “The pace at which pay is exceeding price growth remains negligible, and is therefore unlikely to provide much respite to the financially squeezed consumer.”

Employment Rate

There were other signs of weakness in the labor market report. While vacancies were at a record, the jobless rate fell thanks to people leaving the work force, and employment rose by just 42,000, less than half the increase forecast. The employment rate dipped to 75.6 percent.

The increase in employment over the past year was driven by U.K. nationals as foreigners arrive in fewer numbers since the Brexit vote. There was a record 86,000-drop in employment among EU nationals, driven by citizens of the eight countries that joined the bloc in 2004.

Separate figures showed a record drop in the number of people on a zero-hours contract in their main job, with 780,000 now working with no guarantee of hours from week to week.

(BBC) Boris Johnson ‘won’t apologise’ for burka comments


Media captionBoris Johnson ‘has caused offence’, PM says

Boris Johnson has stood by his remarks about the burka after the Conservative Party chairman told him to apologise.

The former foreign secretary has been criticised for saying Muslim women wearing burkas “look like letter boxes” and comparing them to “bank robbers”.

PM Theresa May has backed calls for Mr Johnson to apologise, saying the remarks have “clearly caused offence”.

But a source close to Mr Johnson said he “won’t be apologising”, adding it was “ridiculous” to attack his views.

“We must not fall into the trap of shutting down the debate on difficult issues,” the source added.

“We have to call it out. If we fail to speak up for liberal values then we are simply yielding ground to reactionaries and extremists.”

Mr Johnson’s remarks, in a Daily Telegraph article, have provoked criticism from Muslim groups, some Tory MPs and opposition parties.

Senior Conservative Muslim peer Lord Sheikh calls on party to take whip away from Johnson

Media captionSenior Conservative Muslim peer Lord Sheikh calls on party to take whip away from Johnson

In the article, Mr Johnson said full-face veils should not be banned but looked “ridiculous”.

However, the founder of the Conservative Muslim Forum said the remarks would harm community relations.

Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis said he agreed with Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt that there had been degree of offence in Mr Johnson’s comments, and called on the former London mayor to apologise.

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By BBC political correspondent Susana Mendonca

The criticism pitted at Boris Johnson has largely been around the words that he used – “letter boxes” and “bank robbers” to describe Muslim women wearing face veils.

But Mr Johnson hasn’t directly responded to the accusation that it is his language which caused the offence.

Instead, the statement that has come from a source close to him suggests Mr Johnson wants to turn this into a debate about whether or not women should wear the burka at all.

Keeping a high profile is important to Mr Johnson.

He is seen by some in the Conservative Party as a contender for leadership – particularly since his resignation in which he criticised the prime minister’s plan for Brexit.

But he risks being seen as weak if he is forced into an apology by the party chairman.

So his refusal to apologise, and an attempt to now put himself on the side of “liberal values”, could be an example of Mr Johnson trying to save face while maintaining his profile.

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Former Conservative chairwoman Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim woman to sit in a British cabinet, welcomed Mr Lewis’s intervention and called for disciplinary action against Mr Johnson if he did not apologise.

She described the remarks as “offensive and deliberately provocative, but very clever politics”.

A debate about the burka should be had “in a serious way”, she said, rather than “trying to get airtime and attention on an issue which he knows will resonate with a certain part of the Tory Party”.

Media captionShazia Awan-Scully on Johnson

Shazia Awan-Scully, a Muslim who ran as a Conservative candidate in 2010, said she did not agree with wearing the burka but it was up to women to make up their own minds.

She told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “Some women choose to wear it, some women are conditioned to wear it, but it’s certainly out of the question for me to tell a woman what to wear.”

She added that the language used by Mr Johnson showed he was “pandering to this Islamaphobic attitude bubbling away in the Conservative Party”, which she said she had experienced herself.

Conservative backbench MP Andrew Bridgen said Mr Johnson had raised an important subject in a “light-hearted way”.

The reaction “says a lot about internal Conservative Party politics”, he told the BBC.

Dr Qanta Ahmed, a British-American Muslim doctor who supports banning face veils, said Mr Johnson had been “tactless”.

The 50-year-old said wearing a full-face veil was a “new phenomenon” and she didn’t consider it a religious right, adding that she would be “very opposed” to it becoming normalised in British society.

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What is Islamophobia?

By BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani

Last year, Zaynab Hussein, a mother from Leicester, was left fighting for her life after a man she didn’t know smashed into her with his car – and then ran over her again. She was attacked because she was a Muslim.

Tell Mama, the national organisation that collects anti-Muslim attack statistics, says that the majority of street victims of such abuse and violence are women, for the same reason that Mrs Hussein was singled out: some Muslim women are easily identifiable by their mode of dress – and therefore easy to target.

Seven years ago Baroness Warsi said prejudice against Muslims had passed the “dinner table test”.

And Mr Johnson’s critics regard his “letter box” and “bank robber” comments as part of the problem the peer defined: normalising prejudice and dehumanising women, rather than calmly debating the complexities of the veil in an open society.

Since Baroness Warsi’s warning, there has been the launch of a cross-departmental anti-Muslim working group to combat hate.

But it has been criticised as toothless, not least because the government can’t agree a definition for Islamophobia.

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What Boris Johnson said

In his Daily Telegraph column, Mr Johnson – who last month quit the government in protest at Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit policy – was commenting on the introduction of a burka ban in Denmark.

He said he felt “fully entitled” to expect women to remove face coverings when talking to him at his MP surgery – and schools and universities should be able to take the same approach if a student “turns up… looking like a bank robber”.

“If you tell me that the burka is oppressive, then I am with you,” he said.

“If you say that it is weird and bullying to expect women to cover their faces, then I totally agree – and I would add that I can find no scriptural authority for the practice in the Koran.

“I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes.”

He said businesses and government agencies should be able to “enforce a dress code” that allowed them to see customers’ faces.

Women wearing burkasImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionBoris Johnson said he did not think face coverings should be banned but said the burka was “oppressive”

But he said: “Such restrictions are not quite the same as telling a free-born adult woman what she may or may not wear, in a public place, when she is simply minding her own business.”

He said a total ban on face-covering veils would give a boost to radicals who said there was a “clash of civilisations” between Islam and the West, and could lead to “a general crackdown on any public symbols of religious affiliation”.

(Express) Brexit BOMBSHELL: Barnier warms to May’s plan that hands EU veto over UK regulatory reform

(ExpressMICHEL Barnier has paved the way for Britain to secure a comprehensive trade agreement for the City of London after softening his opposition to Theresa May’s plan for financial services – which effectively hands the EU a veto over UK regulatory reform.

Brexit news Michel Barnier

Brexit news: Michel Barnier softens his position on Theresa May’s financial services offer (Image: GETTY)

Brussels’ negotiator made the significant U-turn after Britain affirmed the EU would be able to withdraw the market access for British firms if the UK’s rules were no longer equivalent to EU standards.

British negotiators made clear to the Frenchman that he was misinterpreting what the Prime Minister’s White Paper was asking for financial services in the post-Brexit relationship between the UK-UK.

Mr Barnier has previously rejected Mrs May’s latest proposal for the City of London because he believed the UK was requesting an independent arbiter would decide whether the UK’s regulations were close enough to Brussels’ to maintain market access.

He was concerned such an agreement would break one of the EU’s red lines by removing the bloc’s “decision making autonomy”.

However, British negotiators have told him that he has misinterpreted two parts of what was asked for as part of the White Paper, which was signed off by the Cabinet before its publication in July.

Michel Barnier: White paper gives UK unfair advantage

We  agreed that future market access will be governed by autonomous decisions on both sides

Michel Barnier

UK sources insist that nothing has changed in the plan and they have merely offered fresh guidance to Mr Barnier ahead of his softening.

The White Paper understands Britain will take a hit on market access for its financial services companies in order to have the right to diverge from EU regulations.

However, the document says the UK is seeking a relationship with the EU in the same model as New York, Singapore or other “third country” financial centres with Brussels.

This would see Britain certify that its regulatory system has “equivalence” with the EU’s rulebook and that Brussels will be able to deice if UK financial services rules are equivalent to its own without the prospect of a British appeal.

This effectively hands Brussels the chance to withdrawal access for British firms if it deems UK regulatory reforms falls outside the EU’s own guidelines.

Mr Barnier told a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels that a joint-arbitration system would be rejected because it would hand Britain more influence over the European Commission’s equivalence decisions as a third country than it has as a member.

In a separate meeting, British negotiators told their European counterparts the Prime Minister’s overall governance proposals are not designed to cover financial services.

Mr Barnier signalled his softening to reporters in Brussels during a press conference with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.

He said: “We  agreed that future market access will be governed by autonomous decisions on both sides.

“We recognised the need for this autonomy, not only at the time of granting equivalence decisions, but also at the time of withdrawing such decisions.”

Dominic Raab suffers awkward handshake with Michel Barnier

Mr Raab said: “While recognising our access will be different in future,

we seek to minimise barriers to trade between the UK and the EU, with specific arrangements for financial services, tailored to our close and interdependent relationship in this particular sector.”

The change in Brussels tone also comes after the UK issued a series of “tit-for-tat” warnings about the potential damages to EU firms if Britain cannot secure a deal for the City.

At the meeting in Brussels, British negotiators warned that European firms would be put in danger if plans aren’t put in place to allow UK insurers and financial services companies to sell to European clients.

A Treasury spokesman said: “Last week we held positive discussions with the European Commission on our proposal for a pragmatic new arrangement for financial services after we leave the EU.”

The UK Government refused to brand the “tit-for-tat” tactic a threat, a source said: “This was not intended as a threat.

“Rather, we wanted to set out what both sides could lose if we don’t get a good deal, and it was received in that spirit.”

(Independent) Brexit: Liam Fox says no deal better than a ‘betrayal’ of voters by prolonging negotiations with EU

(Independent) Brexiteer accuses the EU of putting ‘political ideology’ before economic prospects of citizens

A cabinet minister has said a no-deal Brexit would be better than prolonging talks with Brussels, a move he described as a “complete betrayal” of voters.

Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, said any attempt to extend the Article 50 process was unacceptable amid speculation Theresa May could be forced to lengthen the negotiations to prevent Britain crashing out without a deal.

The Brexiteer also accused the EU of putting “political ideology” before the economic prospects of ordinary people and warned that its uncompromising stance could force Britain to walk away.

His comments came after Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief negotiator, poured cold water over Theresa May’s new Brexit blueprint, by rejecting a central plank of her plans.

The Independent has launched its Final Say campaign to call for a public vote on the Brexit deal, which attracted more than 200,000 supporters in the first 24 hours.

Asked if the UK should extend the talks if no agreement has been reached by the official exit day in March, Dr Fox told Business Insider that Britain should “leave without a deal.”

The Brexiteer MP said: “The public have told us, it wasn’t a consultation, to leave the EU, and the public already wonders why it’s going to take more than four years after the referendum for us to fully remove ourselves from the EU.

“To attempt to extend our membership even longer, many voters would regard as a complete betrayal by the political class, and I think they would be right.”

Dr Fox has remained loyal to the prime minister following the turmoil over her Chequers compromise, which triggered the resignations of both Boris Johnson and David Davis from the government.

However he made it clear to Ms May that any attempt to extend the Article 50 process would be unacceptable for Eurosceptic Tories.

Influential backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg immediately backed his comments, saying: “Extending Article 50 is the definition of failure for the government.”

Speaking after Mr Barnier dealt a critical blow to the prime minister’s Brexit strategy, Dr Fox also warned that if the EU “keep saying no to everything, they will end up with no deal”.

He said: “They simply don’t want to make this particular method [the customs plan] work.

“So it’s clear that it is possible, but it requires political will to do so. The question will be whether the EU27 leaders are willing to see the commission’s political ideology put ahead of the economic well-being of the people of Europe.

“What the commission seems to be saying is look, there has to be Brexit on their terms, or no deal at all.

“Now, that may be in line with their own theological attachment to ever-closer union and EU treaties but it may have a large cost to EU member states, the member states who require jobs, prosperity, and trade, because they need to get elected, unlike the commission officials.”

On Thursday, Mr Barnier said the EU could not agree to let another country collect European customs duties on its behalf – a key plank of Ms May’s plan for the future relationship.

“The EU cannot and the EU will not delegate the application of its customs policy, of its rules, VAT and excise duty collections to a non-member who would not be subject to the EU’s governance structures,” Mr Barnier said, after meeting Brexit secretary Dominic Raab in Brussels.

(City AM) Deutsche Bank shifts half its clearing from London to Frankfurt

(City AM)

Deutsche Bank Announces 2012 Financial Results

Source: Getty

Deutsche Bank has moved almost half of its euro-clearing business from London to Frankfurt in one of the clearest signs of the impact Brexit is having on the City yet.

The Financial Times reports that the bank – one of the five largest clearers of interest derivatives – has shifted around half its operation to the German city over the last six months. At the start of the year, the activity was almost entirely carried out in London.

The City has feared businesses may shift clearing away to European hubs since the EU referendum result came in, with repeated warnings about how fragmentation may lead to increased risks. Until now London’s LCH has been the king of clearing euro-denominated interest rate swaps, processing up to €1tn of notional deals per day.

Last month Germany’s finance minister Olaf Scholz said it was “indepensable” that clearing was carried out “in full conformity with EU standards,” suggesting Frankfurt would be the natural place.

LCH parent company London Stock Exchange Group has warned that as many as 100,000 jobs could leave the City if London loses its status as the euro clearing hub.

However, Deutsche Bank‘s global co-head of institutional and treasury coverage told the FT the move had not led to a wholesale relocation of jobs.

“It’s the same London-based person who clears a transaction. We’re just using a different clearing house,” he said.

Neither Deutsche Bank nor LCH replied to requests for comment this morning.

(BBC) Sir Cliff Richard: BBC agrees to pay £850,000 towards legal costs


Sir Cliff RichardImage copyrightEPA

The BBC has agreed to pay Sir Cliff Richard £850,000 towards his legal costs within 14 days, following his privacy case against the corporation.

A judge ruled the BBC infringed the singer’s privacy in its reporting of a police raid on his home in 2014, awarding him £210,000 in damages.

Sir Cliff was never arrested or charged as part of the investigation.

The BBC sought leave to appeal against the High Court ruling but the application was rejected.

The corporation has apologised to Sir Cliff for the distress caused, but wanted permission to appeal, arguing the court judgement could threaten press freedom.

The BBC will now decide whether or not to go directly to the Court of Appeal to seek permission to appeal.

A BBC spokesperson said: “This is a complex case and while we hadn’t decided on whether to pursue an appeal, we sought permission today in order to keep all options open.

“We reiterate that we are very sorry to Sir Cliff for the distress caused and have no desire to prolong this case unnecessarily, but the ruling has raised significant questions for press freedom and we are considering the best way to address these.”

The judge’s findings had included that Sir Cliff had a right to privacy while he was a suspect in the South Yorkshire Police investigation – trumping the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression to publish his name and cover the raid.

Barrister Gavin Millar QC, leading the BBC legal team, told a hearing on Thursday it was “appropriate” for the corporation to pay legal fees incurred by Sir Cliff.

The £850,000 may not be the final total for his legal fees, but Sir Cliff is being given it now to pay his lawyers.

The singer’s lawyer, barrister Justin Rushbrooke QC, did not give an overall figure for how much the case had cost his client, but Sir Cliff told the trial he had spent more than £3m.

The BBC is also going to pay £315,000 to South Yorkshire Police for legal costs.

Media captionSir Cliff Richard v BBC – how did we get here?
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By Amol Rajan, BBC News media editor

For the BBC, the decision whether to spend more money on this case is a difficult dilemma with high stakes.

There are many factors to consider.

First, will an appeal cause further distress to Sir Cliff? The corporation has said that it is sorry for the distress caused to him, so why extend the agony?

Second, to fight this verdict is to keep it in the public eye. An appeal could create the possibility of more adverse publicity.

Third, what are the chances of success? And finally, this is public money.

Sir Cliff is commonly regarded as a national treasure. Why throw more of other people’s money – ie licence-fee payers’ incomes – at a case in which a national treasure is aggrieved?

But what is the cost of not appealing? If the freedom of journalists is diminished as a result of editorial decisions made by the BBC, then not fighting this verdict could lead to resentment in Fleet Street, where the BBC lacks friends. And then there is the principle.

Many journalists, inside the corporation and beyond, really do feel that journalism would be damaged.

Read more from Amol

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Mr Justice Mann ruled in favour of Sir Cliff, 77, following the trial in London.

He concluded the BBC’s coverage – which involved a helicopter filming the search at Sir Cliff’s Berkshire home – had been a “very serious” invasion of privacy.

Police officers had been investigating an allegation made by a man who claimed he was sexually assaulted by Sir Cliff at an event at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane in 1985, when he was a child.

Last week, Mr Justice Mann awarded Sir Cliff £190,000 damages and an extra £20,000 in aggravated damages after the BBC submitted its coverage of the raid for an award.

The BBC must pay 65% of the £190,000 and South Yorkshire Police 35%.

South Yorkshire Police had earlier agreed to pay Sir Cliff £400,000 after settling a claim he brought against the force.

‘Very serious impact’

On Thursday, the BBC’s Mr Millar outlined his permission to appeal arguments in a written document, saying there was a “compelling reason” for the case to be heard and that it had a “real prospect” of success. It was rejected by Mr Justice Mann on all counts, however.

The BBC’s director of news has said the ruling could have an impact on press freedom.

Speaking outside court last week, Fran Unsworth admitted the case had had a “very serious impact” on Sir Cliff, and there were things that could have been done differently.

But she stressed that even if no footage of the search had been broadcast, “the very naming of Sir Cliff would have been unlawful”, according to the judge’s ruling.

“This creates a significant shift against press freedom,” Ms Unsworth said.

(Reuters) Portugal wants Britain to welcome all EU migrants after Brexit


(Reuters) – Portugal’s foreign minister told Britain on Thursday it should keep its doors open to “construction workers and waiters” as well as high-end professional migrants after it leaves the European Union.

“I’ve had the opportunity to tell the home secretary that Portugal doesn’t have a segmented view on people’s movement,” Augusto Santos Silva said when asked about Britain’s plans to prioritise highly-skilled European migrants after Brexit.

“Therefore the brightest EU migrants are also the construction workers and the waiters,” Silva told reporters after meeting UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

Thousands of Portuguese live in Britain and many work as nurses, waiters and cleaners while British citizens living in Portugal are mostly pensioners. Portugal is actively courting wealthy British to move and invest there in the run up to Brexit.

Javid was in Lisbon to present London’s recently published plan on leaving the EU and to discuss the rights of European and British citizens in both countries.

Britain and Portugal have the world’s oldest alliance, signed under a 1386 treaty.