Hargreaves Lansdown

Tuesday newspaper round-up: Brexit talks, PFIs, ARM, easyJet

Tue 26 September 2017 07:11 | A A A

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(ShareCast News) - The Brexit secretary, David Davis, and the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, have clashed over the UK's exit bill and Britain's request for a transition period after Theresa May's speech in Florence last week failed to unlock the stalemate in negotiations. On the first day of the fourth round of talks, Barnier said the prime minister's €20bn (£17.6bn) offer did not mean the UK would be given a transition period or that negotiations could move on to the detail of a future trading relationship. - Guardian

Political deadlock in Germany is likely to delay the start of Brexit trade talks for several months, senior ministers fear. Downing Street had hoped for Theresa May's concessions last week to "unlock" negotiations in Brussels and allow talks on a transition deal and a future relationship to begin after a meeting of European leaders next month. - The Times

Labour has pledged to seize control of up to £200 billion of contracts running schools, hospitals and prisons in an expansion of nationalisation plans that business leaders warned would send investors "running for the hills". John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, delighted party activists and union leaders yesterday with a promise to "bring back in-house" assets built and maintained under the private finance initiative (PFI). - The Times

The microchip designer ARM is attempting to position itself as a white knight ready to save its struggling rival Imagination if a Chinese takeover is blocked. The Cambridge giant, acquired by Japan's SoftBank in a £24bn swoop last year, is understood to be circling the controversial sale in the hope of snatching a bargain. - Telegraph

Low-cost airline easyJet appears to have beaten its rivals IN snapping up parts of the insolvent European carrier Air Berlin. The Luton-based airline will enter into discussions with the German carrier to snap up some of its fleet with Lufthansa set to taking control of the company and two subsidiaries of Air Berlin - Luftverkehrsgesellschaft Walter (LGW), a Dortmund-based airline, and the Austrian holiday airline NIKI. - Telegraph

The sixth mass extinction of global wildlife already under way is seriously threatening the world's food supplies, according to experts. "Huge proportions of the plant and animal species that form the foundation of our food supply are just as endangered [as wildlife] and are getting almost no attention," said Ann Tutwiler, director general of Bioversity International, a research group that published a new report on Tuesday. - Guardian

Britain was accused last night of "cooking the books" on defence spending to meet a Nato target even as the cash-strapped armed forces was being over-stretched. Johnny Mercer, a Tory member of the defence select committee, said it was only within the MoD that people believed that a 2 per cent minimum of GDP was being spent on defence. - The Times

The UK has set a new landmark for clean energy after the National Grid announced that the electricity powering the UK's homes and businesses this summer was the greenest ever. The record comes as the first subsidy-free large solar power project opens in the UK, in what the government described as a significant moment for the energy sector. - Guardian

Britain's first solar farm to operate without a direct subsidy opens today and is expected to generate enough power for 2,500 homes. Clayhill solar farm contains 31,000 ground-mounted panels and occupies 45 acres of farmland previously used to grow wheat and rapeseed near Flitwick in Bedfordshire. - The Times

Apple confirmed that its smart assistant Siri will now use Google rather than Bing for searches, in a sign of increasing integration between the two tech giants. Customers searching on Apple's Safari browser across its Mac, iPad and iPhone portfolio already received Google search results, and investment firm Bernstein has estimated Google currently pays around $3bn (£2.2bn) for this deal, based on the fact Google paid around $1bn for the same deal in 2014. - Telegraph

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