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Friday newspaper round-up: Brexit, SME lending, Brighton Pier

Fri 11 January 2019 07:25 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Up to 4,000 civil servants are being asked to abandon their day jobs to work on no-deal Brexit preparations under plans being rolled out across Whitehall. Officials in education, justice and welfare are among staff in five government departments being asked to take up new roles within weeks. - The Times

The government has signed two contracts to secure warehouse space for the storage of drugs as part of 'no-deal' Brexit planning but officials are still working to secure a third with just 11 weeks to go before the UK leaves the EU. Details of the Department of Health's work on one of the most sensitive areas of Brexit planning emerged as the government comes under intensive pressure to say which firms it is working with following controversy over a £13.8m contract given to a 'start-up' freight company to operate ferries in the case of no deal, and questions about the way it was allocated. - Guardian

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct has engineered an audacious coup at Debenhams, voting the chairman and chief executive off the board amid growing concerns about the department store group's future. The sportswear retailer, which is the largest shareholder in Debenhams, teamed up with Milestone Resources, the third largest investor, to vote against the reappointment of Sir Ian Cheshire and Sergio Bucher. - The Times

A no-deal Brexit would have profound economic consequences with GDP shrinking by up to 8%, putting thousands of jobs at risk, the Confederation of British Industry is to warn. The business body is urging MPs to back Theresa May's deal, describing it as a "solution" businesses can work with as it delivers a transition period and avoids a "hugely damaging cliff edge". - Guardian

The government has been accused of caving to big banks and setting the scene for another financial scandal after refusing to heed calls by the influential Treasury select committee to regulate small business lending. Business lending is still not regulated in the UK, an anomaly that has left victims without the protection of the Financial Conduct Authority, the City regulator. - Guardian

The City watchdog is expected to scrutinise share trades at Brighton Pier Group after a 14 per cent fall in the stock price in the two days before yesterday's profit warning. The alert, which sent the shares tumbling 62 per cent in early trading, is a fresh blow to Luke Johnson, its chairman and biggest shareholder, as he seeks to rebuild his reputation after the travails of Patisserie Holdings. - The Times

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