More Brits now believe Brexit is a bad idea than a good one for the first time since the shock referendum result, according to a new poll by YouGov. Asked "in hindsight, was Britain right or wrong to vote to leave the EU?", the YouGov poll in The Times newspaper found that 45% said wrong (up two), while 43% said right (down three), meanwhile, 12% said they didn’t know. More Remainers than Brexiteers believed they’d made the right decision, with 89% of remain voters saying the result was the wrong decision, compared with 85% of leave voters who still backed exiting the EU.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have placed the chief executive of Barclays, Jes Staley, under investigation after he reportedly tried to discover the identity of a whistleblower, prompting experts to warn that the case could deter employees from reporting bad behaviour. Barclays said it never learned the identity.
Talks on the post-Brexit relationship between Switzerland and the UK are underway, according to the Swiss Federal Council. On March 31, Swiss Federal Councillor Johann N Schneider-Ammann met the UK's Trade Secretary Liam Fox for a working meeting on Swiss-UK relations after the UK leaves the EU. As part of the Federal Council's "Mind the Gap" strategy, it will seek to reach a post-Brexit follow-up agreement with the UK as swiftly as possible. According to the Council, Fox said this was in the UK's interests and that reaching such an arrangement with Switzerland is a priority. Schneider-Ammann and Fox agreed to meet on a regular basis.
Credit Suisse, surprised by a five-country tax evasion and money laundering investigation, said it has a “zero tolerance policy” on tax evasion in advertisements taken out in the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and Observer, U.K. newspapers on Sunday. The Swiss bank’s two-page ads, which included seven bullet points in response to the probes disclosed last week, also said a 2011 internal compliance review caused it to terminate relationships with clients who didn’t prove they paid their taxes. “This led to very significant asset outflows as we do not want to do business with clients who are unwilling to provide the required evidence,” said the ads. “Credit Suisse applies a strict zero tolerance policy on tax evasion.”
Nine months after the historic referendum in which the UK population voted to leave the European Union, the UK government has at last served notice to quit. Theresa May yesterday signed the letter that will formally begin the UK’s departure from the European Union, starting a process which will eventually make clear how the country will trade with the EU and the rest of the world. Since the Brexit vote last summer, the UK life sciences sector have been seeking answers as how it can trade and collaborate with Europe, and continue to flourish as a centre for science and innovation.
The UK could be left without any flights to and from Europe after Brexit, Ryanair has warned. The low-cost airline said aviation should be treated as a matter of urgency in Brexit negotiations, as summer schedules for 2019 must be finalised by March next year. The Dublin-headquartered company, which operates more than 1,800 flights to over 200 destinations in 33 countries daily, urged the UK Government to “put aviation at the forefront of its negotiations with the EU and provide a coherent post-Brexit plan,” said Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs in a statement.
The UK could be a “serious competitor” to Switzerland as a low-tax business location in a post-Brexit world, Mr Mauer, the Swiss finance minister said: “That is perhaps the chance - that we have a partner in the same position, which on important issues is close to us.” On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May will kick off two years of formal negotiations with 27 EU governments. She still wants tariff-free, friction-less trade with Europe but prioritizes the right to impose immigration limits above all else. Mr Maurer said: “The UK has lots of advantages and if they are used cleverly to decouple from the EU, as well as the new freedom in a good bilateral relationship, then the UK could develop very positively, I’m convinced of that.” If no favourable deal is struck, the tax rate could be dropped even lower to attract business, chancellor Philip Hammond has recently said.
The cost of making a car in the UK could increase by £2,370 ($2,930) in the event of a hard Brexit, according to research published by PA Consulting Group. The tariffs would apply to both imported and exported cars with the report stating carmakers would be likely to pass any price increases to buyers. The report explained that the increased cost of manufacturing could be the case if the UK falls back on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules post Brexit. It warned that the 10% WTO tariffs on exporting and importing with the European Union (EU), could force some manufacturers in the UK to relocate outside the country.
HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among 17 banks based in the UK, or with branches here, believed to have processed almost $740 million on behalf of Russian money launderers with ties to gangsters and intelligence services, according a major investigation carried out by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Novaya Gazeta, and reported by the Guardian. The figure was gathered by documents covering the years 2010-2014 showing at least $80 billion was moved out of Russia by an organisation called the Global Laundromat. Investigators are still trying to identify who is behind the nickname, but the task is difficult as the owners of offshore entities that moved money through the banks often kept their identities secret, the report noted, adding the documents include details of about 70,000 banking transactions, including 1,920 that went through UK banks and 373 via US banks.
British prime minister Theresa May will trigger article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal notification of the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the European Union, on March 29th, a spokesman for the British leader said on Monday. More than 40 years after the UK joined the EU and nine months since it voted to quit it, Britain’s envoy to the bloc, Tim Barrow, informed EU President Donald Tusk on Monday of her plan to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the mechanism for quitting that has never been used.
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