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The European Union will not give a new mandate to renegotiate post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland agreed as part of the Brexit deal, the bloc's ambassador to London said on Thursday, Reuters reported. Britain is lining up a new law that would effectively override parts of a Brexit deal and has said that the bloc's refusal to budge on its negotiating mandate for the talks is "hugely disappointing". Speaking at an event in Westminster, the EU ambassador, João Vale de Almeida, said that the EU would stick to its existing mandate for the talks with Britain.
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Too many global investment banks continue to serve euro zone clients out of London and the European Central Bank plans to force them to relocate senior staff and trading activity to the bloc, ECB supervisory chief Andrea Enria said on Thursday, Reuters reported. The ECB has long battled the industry's biggest players, who are reluctant to relocate activities after Brexit, despite explicit demands by the ECB, which supervises the bloc's biggest financial institutions.
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The U.K. is due to become the first big European economy to reach pre-pandemic levels of corporate insolvencies as crisis support is unwound and rising inflation threatens companies’ survival prospects, according to research, the London Times reported. Business insolvencies will rise by 37 per cent this year, Allianz Trade, a credit insurer, predicted. It cited as the main causes the withdrawal of Covid support schemes, rising commodity prices, supply chain problems, the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the “lagging effects” of Brexit.
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British inflation surged last month to its highest annual rate since 1982, pressuring finance minister Rishi Sunak to offer more help for households and the Bank of England to keep raising interest rates despite a risk of recession, Reuters reported. Consumer price inflation hit 9% in April, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday, surpassing the peaks of the early 1990s recession that many Britons remember for sky-high interest rates and widespread mortgage defaults.
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European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said on Tuesday the EU had significant concerns about the announcement by the UK government to enable legislation that would disapply basic elements of the Northern Ireland protocol, Reuters reported. "Unilateral actions are not acceptable," Sefcovic said in a statement. Sefcovic added that should the UK decide to move ahead with the bill, the EU would need to respond with all measures at its disposal.
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Britain's jobless rate hit a 48-year low in the first three months of 2022 and employers paid bigger bonuses to keep or attract staff, according to data that added to bets by investors on further Bank of England interest rate hikes, Reuters reported. Core earnings for most workers fell by the greatest amount since 2013 when adjusted for surging inflation, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday. But total pay including bonuses was up 7.0% on a year earlier, far above economists' average forecast of 5.4%. Sterling climbed by 1.1% against the U.S.
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More than 50 economists warned on Monday that Britain's post-Brexit plans to boost the competitiveness of its huge finance industry risked creating the kind of problems that led to the global financial crisis, Reuters reported. The government, seeking to use its "Brexit freedoms", announced this month that it would require regulators to help the City of London to remain a global financial centre after the country left the European Union.
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Administrators for the collapsed rent-to-own firm BrightHouse, which specialised in loans for big-ticket items such as fridges and sofas, have warned they will not have enough money to compensate thousands of customers who were left with unaffordable debts. The latest report from the accountants Grant Thornton, which is managing the administration, shows a plan to set aside £600,000 for payouts to customers who may have been mis-sold expensive loans by BrightHouse has been scrapped. Meanwhile, a number of creditors have received large sums.
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A metals firm that was handed a £586million ­ Scottish Government ­support package to buy a Highland smelter is facing a court bankruptcy fight, the Daily Record reported. Taxpayers could be hit with losses if businessman Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance goes under as a result of the controversial deal signed by SNP ministers. The company, given massive state support to buy metal and power plants in Lanarkshire and Fort William, is now at the ­centre of a fraud investigation and it could be ­liquidated if it loses a court ­battle with creditors.
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A start-up investment group backed by Sir Terry Leahy that secured close to £11 million in emergency pandemic loans is being scrutinised over a series of insolvencies set to cost taxpayers about £2 million, the London Times reported. We Are Nova, which is under investigation by the government’s Insolvency Service over alleged misuse of the bounce back loan scheme, is the subject of separate inquiries over subsidiaries that collapsed before the pandemic.
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