George Soros, on the sideline of Davos Forum, gave his views on the state of the world. The EU, according to billionaire investor, is disintegrating following last year's Brexit vote and Italian referendum, a course that must be reversed. The trading bloc has become dysfunctional because it is governed by laws that are "not appropriate to the current circumstances" and not easily changed, he said. "If Europe breaks down, the consequences will be very dire," the investor said. "But I do see a way it could be saved, and this is also recognized by many of the people in Brussels. They can't say so publicly, but they know that Europe is not functioning."
The top boss of HSBC, Stuart Gulliver, has said it is planning to move some staff from London to Paris following Britain’s exit from the European Union. Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Gulliver said in an interview Bloomberg Television that "about 1,000 jobs which are carrying out activities which are covered by European legislation... would probably need, in our case, to go to France". While Gulliver had in the past already hinted at such a switch of investment banking jobs, his comments appeared more precise as he suggested France would take precedence over other EU nations.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to say on Tuesday that she favours a clean break from the European Union, dismissing a "half-in, half-out" Brexit deal with Brussels. In a highly anticipated speech, May is likely to give further signals that Britain is heading to what analysts call a "hard" Brexit. It is thought the Prime Minister is ready to take Britain out of the European single market and customs union, though it remained unclear whether she will give a definitive answer on the question.
UK’s powerhouse financial sector would face heightened risk and an exodus of 232,000 jobs without certainty over Britain’s Brexit deal, MPs in the House of Commons have heard. Xavier Rolet, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE), said two thirds of the job losses would be felt outside Greater London, with the blow coming as soon as the euro clearing operation leaves Britain’s shores. Speaking to MPs on the Treasury Select Committee, Mr Rolet said the jobs figure came from a report produced by professional services firm EY for the LSE, which not only took into account the “few thousand” jobs lost from euro clearing itself, but the entire impact on financial services if the operation was moved outside the UK.
The government is seriously considering imposing a £1,000-a-year levy on every European Union skilled worker recruited by British employers after Brexit. Home Office minister Robert Goodwill told peers that the “immigration skills levy” could be introduced for EU migrants and would “be helpful to British workers who feel they are overlooked” in favour of migrants. He went on: “I don’t think many people are aware that in April of this year we are bringing for non-EU workers coming into the UK an immigration skills charge.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan downplayed concerns that London will suffer in the wake of Brexit, telling CNBC in an interview that European Union citizens "are welcome" in the city and "that's not going to change." Khan has vowed to “DEFY Brexit” by working on proposals for London-only work visas, not because he and the city’s business leaders believe this would help buttress its economy in the uncertain years ahead, but simply in order to “maintain the number of migrants entering London”. He told CNBC that one of their main concerns is to continue to attract talent post-Brexit. Among other advantages, Britain is hoping to retain access to Europe's common market, which currently requires the country to allow free movement of E.U. citizens across borders.
McDonald's Corp said on Thursday it would move its international tax base to the United Kingdom from Luxembourg after coming under increased scrutiny from European Union regulators over its tax arrangements in the small country. McDonald's said it would create a new international holding company domiciled in the UK that would receive the majority of royalties from licensing deals outside the United States. The profits will be subject to British tax, McDonald's said in a statement that was immediately welcomed by the British government, which is under pressure to preserve economic stability as the country prepares to leave the European Union.
Former British prime minister John Major believes there is a "credible case" for a second referendum on Brexit; he told guests at a private dinner in Westminster that departure from the EU must not be dictated by the "tyranny of the majority", The Times newspaper reported. "I hear the argument that the 48% of people who voted to stay should have no say in what happens. I find that very difficult to accept," as The Times newspaper reported.
The full impact of the Brexit vote becomes to be announced, as the Chancellor revealed that output will shrink, while borrowing increases. Phillip Hammond quoted the Office for Budget Responsibility's predictions of reductions in economic growth, telling MPs that it is now forecast to be 2.4% lower in 2020 than first predicted, as a result of the June referendum. The Office for Budget Responsibility was forced to revise down its prediction made before the Brexit vote that GDP would rise 2.2% next year. It now sees the economy expanding by only 1.4% and warns there will be a knock-on effect on the public finances.
Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann said on Monday his country would consider letting Britain join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) when it eventually leaves the European Union following June's Brexit referendum. "I told my colleagues if the U.K. approaches EFTA to explore the possibility of joining EFTA, Switzerland would be open to discussions," Johann Schneider-Ammann told the Geneva Press Club after an EFTA ministerial meeting.
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