This blog is taking a break

  • 18 December 2018
  • From the section Business

This page won't be updated for some time while I'm on maternity leave.

If you want to follow the latest goings on with Brexit and more, you can read Newsnight's Nick Watt's blog and Mark Urban's.

There will also be someone covering economics and business for Newsnight in my absence - to be announced in due course.

In the meantime, merry Christmas - and best wishes for 2019.

You can watch Newsnight on BBC 2 weekdays 22:30 or on iPlayer. Subscribe to the programme on YouTube or follow them on Twitter.

Read full article This blog is taking a break

Brexit questions: Poultry edition

  • 4 December 2018
  • From the section Business
Chickens Image copyright KARL-JOSEF HILDENBRAND

Why did the chicken cross the Channel? Well, it's slightly complicated.

We've heard a lot about food imports in the discussion about the potential fallout from a no-deal Brexit. The risk is that disruption at borders, and particularly on the crucial Dover-Calais route, could mean shortages of fresh produce brought in from Europe.

Read full article Brexit questions: Poultry edition

Can the UK parliament block a no-deal Brexit?

  • 27 November 2018
  • From the section Business
Westminster Image copyright Dan Kitwood

It seems a simple question: can the UK parliament block a no-deal Brexit?

After all, we've been told repeatedly that there isn't a majority in parliament for no-deal. But the answer isn't that straightforward.

Read full article Can the UK parliament block a no-deal Brexit?

Brexit makes government and business bedfellows again

  • 19 November 2018
  • From the section Business
Theresa May at the CBI conference Image copyright PA

It is a mark of how topsy-turvy the world has become that it felt faintly unusual to hear warm words from the prime minister about business - and to get the feeling that she was talking to a largely receptive crowd.

But when Theresa May addressed the Confederation of British Industry's annual conference on Monday, there was a sense that two groups that have tended to find themselves on the same side of the argument are aligned once again.

Read full article Brexit makes government and business bedfellows again

No deal: When planning doesn't cut it

  • 14 November 2018
  • From the section Business
Dover port Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cargo trucks pass through the check-in points at Dover

Even definitive progress can feel like two steps backwards when it comes to Brexit.

The UK and the European Union have agreed on the terms of a Withdrawal Agreement. Whether or not this means we have "a deal" remains to be seen. What it means for the chances of leaving with no deal in March 2019 are similarly anyone's guess.

Read full article No deal: When planning doesn't cut it

Recycling: Sugar, bags, cups and changing UK behaviour

  • 24 October 2018
  • From the section Business
Coffee cup
Image caption The humble coffee cup can actually be recycled

With the Budget looming next week, there is one area that seems likely to merit Chancellor Philip Hammond's attention: plastics.

After the outcry over plastic waste prompted by the BBC's Blue Planet II and a massive response to a government consultation on the issue, it seems likely that the Chancellor will press ahead with using the tax system as a weapon in the war on waste.

Read full article Recycling: Sugar, bags, cups and changing UK behaviour

Could 'yoghurt' powers hurt Global Britain?

  • 16 October 2018
  • From the section Business
Activia green yoghurt pot

It has become almost a bit of deal-making shorthand: yoghurt.

It's a way of getting at the idea that governments, when faced with corporate takeovers that they don't much like, fall back on spurious characterisations of the national interest to stop or impede them.

Read full article Could 'yoghurt' powers hurt Global Britain?

Brexit: The traders who aren't (yet) trusted

  • 11 October 2018
  • From the section Business
Man in high-vis jacket reading 'border force' inspects a lorry Image copyright Getty Images

We've heard a lot about so-called trusted traders.

They featured in the government's post-Chequers white paper for our future relationship with the European Union. They featured in the European Research Group's proposals for what should happen at the Irish border.

Read full article Brexit: The traders who aren't (yet) trusted

Amazon’s other pay benefit: A higher UK tax rate?

  • 4 October 2018
  • From the section Business
Amazon logo Image copyright PA

Amazon has been making headlines - and, for once, for the right reasons.

The company said it will raise its minimum wage in the US to $15 an hour. In the UK it will pay workers at least £9.50 an hour, or £10.50 an hour in London.

Read full article Amazon’s other pay benefit: A higher UK tax rate?

Brexit questions: Warehouse edition

  • 25 September 2018
  • From the section Business
An employee moves stock in an Amazon warehouse Image copyright Getty Images

Where will all the stuff go?

Because it is hard to see how Brexit doesn't (at some point) involve British businesses wanting or needing to keep more stuff closer to home. By stuff, I mean parts, raw materials or inventories of finished products.

Read full article Brexit questions: Warehouse edition