Skip to main content
  • Register
  • Help
  • Contact us
  • Log out of your HL account

Sunday newspaper round-up: Brexit, the Queen, French ports, RBS, Interserve, SSE, power cut

Sun 11 August 2019 14:59 | A A A

No recommendation

No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. Hargreaves Lansdown may not share ShareCast's (powered by Digital Look) views.

(Sharecast News) - The Queen has privately expressed her disappointment in the current political class and its "inability to govern", the Sunday Times reported. The monarch's views have emerged as MPs threaten to drag her into the escalating Brexit crisis. It is among the starkest political statements the Queen is known to have made during a 67-year reign, when her views on the political climate have rarely been exposed. - The Sunday Times

The head of the French channel ports has dismissed warnings of Brexit chaos on the Dover-Calais trade route as irresponsible scare-mongering by political agitators. "The British authorities have been doing a great deal to prepare. People say they are asleep but I can assure you that they are highly professional and they are ready," said Jean-Marc Puissesseau, president of Port Boulogne Calais. - Sunday Telegraph

The Conservatives will lose significant votes to the Liberal Democrats or other remain parties if they force through a no-deal Brexit against the will of parliament, the party stalwart Michael Heseltine has warned. Imposing a no-deal departure without MPs' consent would be "an intolerable position for democracy,'' said the former deputy prime minister, who is heavily critical of Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson's lead adviser and Brexit enforcer. - Observer

Remainers have missed their chance to stop a No Deal Brexit through the courts, sources close to the Prime Minister have declared bullishly today. With the UK's October 31 departure date from the EU now only 81 days away, any attempt to bind the government's hand would take too long to reach the Supreme Court, aides said. Boris Johnson's senior allies now believe the only person who can put a stop to Brexit is the Prime Minister himself. - Mail on Sunday

Boris Johnson will this week seek to burnish the Conservatives' credentials as the party of law and order with plans for 10,000 new prison places and a shake-up of police stop-and-search powers to combat knife crime. The prime minister today unveiled plans for a renewed prison-building programme as part of a domestic policy blitz to position his party for an autumn general election. - The Sunday Times

The Royal Bank of Scotland is poised to name Alison Rose as its new chief executive, making her the first-ever female boss of one of the UK's big banks. It is the clearest indication yet of RBS's attempts to move on from the macho, high-risk culture that resulted in the lender having to be bailed out by the UK Government at the height of the financial crisis. - Sunday Telegraph

The government has announced an inquiry into the power cut on Friday that left people stuck in trains for up to nine hours and almost a million people in England and Wales without electricity. The outage, the biggest in a decade, caused chaos during the evening rush hour, plunging Newcastle airport into darkness and causing gridlock in some areas as traffic lights stopped working. - Observer

Interserve, a key contractor to the Government owned by its lenders since it collapsed in March, could be broken up and sold off. City sources said the owners of Interserve had asked longstanding corporate finance advisers at Lazard to sound out potential buyers for some or all of the £2.9bn-a-year group with a view to beginning a formal sale process as early as next month. - Mail on Sunday

An energy challenger set up a decade ago is closing in on an audacious deal to buy the electricity and gas supply business of power giant SSE, upending the industry. Ovo Energy, founded by Stephen Fitzpatrick, is in advanced talks for the struggling household supply division, SSE confirmed last night. - The Sunday Times

The Government's rail lifeboat is tracking up to six franchises amid fears operators could soon hand back the keys - putting a quarter of the train network at risk of renationalisation. Officials from the Operator of Last Resort (OLR) are monitoring South Western Railway, Transpennine Express, Northern, Southeastern, CrossCountry and c2c, industry sources have revealed. - Sunday Telegraph

The chancellor, Sajid Javid, is said to be drawing up plans for millions of 50p Brexit coins to be minted in time for Britain's departure from the EU. Javid has asked officials to look at whether it will be possible to produce the coins in volume ready for the UK's scheduled EU leaving date of 31 October, according to the Sunday Telegraph. - Observer

High street chain Next has risen to twice the stock market value of its fiercest rival Marks & Spencer - even though M&S operates a similar-sized clothing arm and a large grocery division on top. Next's gravity-defying share price gives it a value of £8bn compared with M&S at £3.7bn - making Next the third most valuable retailer in the UK behind Tesco and food delivery firm Ocado. - Mail on Sunday

HSBC ran two separate board processes before deciding to oust John Flint as chief executive - one of which excluded its chairman. Mark Tucker, the insurance veteran who joined as chairman in October 2017, asked the HSBC board to hold a parallel process on Flint's future, led by Jonathan Symonds, deputy chairman. - The Sunday Times

Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicide in prison on Saturday has launched new conspiracy theories online in a saga that has provided fodder for them for years. Fuelled by Epstein's ties to princes, politicians and other famous and powerful people, online theorists quickly offered unsubstantiated speculation - including some retweeted by President Donald Trump - that Epstein's death wasn't a suicide, or it was faked. - Sunday Telegraph

China has lashed out at the British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, after he spoke to Hong Kong's leader about protests that have morphed from a campaign against a controversial extradition bill into rolling street demonstrations demanding electoral reforms. Raab spoke to Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam, and stressed the need for "meaningful political dialogue and a fully independent investigation into recent events as a way to build trust" in the territory, the UK Foreign Office said. - Observer

Lady Cobham has blasted the planned US takeover of the British defence company bearing her name - saying it puts the UK's national security at risk and should be stopped by the Government. The widow of Sir Michael Cobham, who built up Cobham over 25 years - said the proposed £4bn takeover by private equity firm Advent International would place in jeopardy 'important high-tech jobs'. - Mail on Sunday

    Daily market update emails

    • FTSE 100 riser and faller updates
    • Breaking market news, plus the latest share research, tips and broker comments

    Register now for free market updates

    The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments. This website is not personal advice based on your circumstances. So you can make informed decisions for yourself we aim to provide you with the best information, best service and best prices. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment please contact us for advice.