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Live Reporting

Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

  1. Cheerio

    An early end for the Business Live page today. Please join us again tomorrow from 06:00.

  2. 'No-deal will see islands' food supply dry up'

    Rob Byrne

    BBC News Online

    Sir Vince Cable and leader of Portsmouth City Council Gerald Vernon-Jackson
    Image caption: Sir Vince Cable with leader of Portsmouth City Council Gerald Vernon-Jackson

    Congestion at Portsmouth's port under a no-deal Brexit scenario will lead to "enormous" problems for the Channel Islands' food supply, Sir Vince Cable has warned.

    The Liberal Decmocrat leader visited the port - which supplies the majority of the Channel Islands' food and medical products - on Tuesday.

    Yesterday, Sir Vince told MPs the port was a "lifeline" to the Channel Islands.

    "If trade is obstructed at the port because of the need to comply with veterinary requirements, phytosanitary requirements and things of that kind, lorries will be obstructed and fresh produce will not be able to get through," he said.

    "Quite apart from the disruption to traffic, the whole system of agricultural trade and the supply of food to the Channel Islands will simply dry up."

    "We have an enormous practical problem resulting from this," he added.

    Yesterday, Guernsey's government said it was working to ensure the security of supply of foods, medicines, fuels and chemicals.

    On Monday, Jersey's chief minister will set out the island's no-deal plans.

  3. Armed police were poised to shoot down Gatwick drone

    Tom Burridge

    BBC transport correspondent

    Gatwick drone sign

    Although shooting-down a drone is far from straight-forward and potentially very risky, I understand that armed police were poised at Gatwick to start shooting during the incident before Christmas.

    I’m also told that some of the drone sightings at Gatwick were in critical parts of the airport, near or in landing and take-off zones, making the threat to aircraft all the more real.

    The police are said to have photos of the drone or drones used at Gatwick.

    However no credible arrests have been made.

  4. Ashley and Landmark oust Debenhams chair and chief executive from board

    Debenhams Oxford Street

    Mike Ashley and Landmark, which are both major Debenhams shareholders, have voted chairman Sir Ian Cheshire and chief executive Sergio Bucher from the board, the BBC understands.

    Sir Ian will step down as chairman, and Mr Bucher will continue in role, reporting to the board, Debenhams said in a statement to investors.

    The move comes after the retailer reported a sharp drop in Christmas sales.

  5. Abe fully supports May's Brexit withdrawal agreement

    Shinzo Abe

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he hopes Parliament will approve Theresa May's Brexit deal.

    He adds that the whole world wants to see a no-deal Brexit avoided.

    Mr Abe has been speaking in Downing Street following talks with Theresa May.

    And he says Japanese businesses operating in the UK want to see certainty moving forward.

  6. UK weighs up drone deterrent options

    Tom Burridge

    BBC transport correspondent

    Drone sightings caused days of disruption at Gatwick before Christmas
    Image caption: Drone sightings caused days of disruption at Gatwick before Christmas

    The BBC understands that the government is considering installing military-grade anti-drone equipment at all major UK airports, as well as at other critical infrastructure such as prisons and power stations.

    Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, is meeting airport bosses this afternoon.

    It follows the major disruption at Gatwick before Christmas and the suspension of departures from Heathrow for nearly an hour on Tuesday night following drone sightings at both airports.

  7. Honda 'to suspend production for six days in April'

    Sky News

    Honda logo

    Car manufacturer Honda is going to halt production for six days in April "due to Brexit logistics and border disruption," Sky News reports.

  8. Venezuela's Maduro sworn in for second term

    Nicolas Maduro

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been sworn into a new term in office by the nation's Supreme Court, shrugging off international criticism that his leadership is illegitimate after last year's disputed election.

    The US, EU, and 13 countries in the Americas said last week that they would not recognise Mr Maduro's presidency.

    The socialist leader, 56, has dismissed talk of foul play, saying opponents "must leave us alone to govern".

    Read more here.

  9. Air France 'studying future' of its Joon brand

    Joon plane

    Air France is looking to pull the plug on its lower-cost Joon brand, which is aimed at millenials.

    "After much discussion with employees and customers alike, and in consultation with the unions, Air France has decided to launch a project studying the future of the Joon brand and the integration of Joon employees and aircraft into Air France," the airline said in a statement.

    "Despite the many positive impacts of Joon... the brand was difficult to understand from the outset for customers, for employees, for markets and for investors," it added.

  10. Trump will cancel planned Davos trip if shutdown continues


    US President Donald Trump has said he is still due to go to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland later this month but will not go if the partial shutdown of the US federal government continues.

    "I intended to go and speak in front of the world financial community in Davos. That's still on, but if the shutdown continues... I won't go. I had planned to go, it's been very successful when I went. We have a great story to tell," Mr Trump told reporters before leaving the White House to visit Texas.

    China's Vice President Wang Qishan is also expected to attend, but it is not clear if there are any arrangements for a meeting between him and Mr Trump during the annual gathering.

    China and the US have taken a 90-day hiatus in implementing tariffs to hammer out a trade deal.

  11. Trump: US having 'tremendous success' in trade talks

    Donald Trump

    President Donald Trump has said the US was having tremendous success with China in trade talks.

    On Wednesday US and Chinese officials concluded three days of trade talks in Beijing.

    The meetings in China were the first face-to-face negotiations since Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Buenos Aires in December and agreed a 90-day truce in a trade war that has disrupted the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars of goods.

    The US president, who has often said he has a good personal rapport with Mr Xi, made the comment to reporters as he left the White House for a visit to the southern US border. He did not elaborate.

  12. Trump 'will probably declare national emergency' if shutdown continues

    Donald Trump

    US President Donald Trump has said he is likely to declare a national emergency to secure funds for his long-sought wall along the US southern border if he can't reach an agreement with Democrats in Congress to provide the money.

    Speaking to reporters at the White House as he prepared to depart to visit the Texas border town of McAllen on the 20th day of a partial government shutdown, Mr Trump repeated his contention that he had the right to declare a national emergency over immigration.

    Trump has held out for $5.7bn in partial wall funding in talks with congressional leaders, but Democrats have been steadfast in their opposition to providing any money for a border wall.

    The dispute led to a shutdown of about one-quarter of US federal agencies when funding ran dry late last year.

    If Mr Trump were to declare an emergency in an effort to redirect funds Congress has approved for other purposes, it would be likely to lead to quick challenges in the courts.

  13. Sears chairman submits new $5bn bid for bankrupt retailer

    Sears in Brooklyn

    Sears chairman Eddie Lampert has submitted a revised takeover bid of more than $5bn (£4bn) for the company, according to a regulatory filing.

    The 126-year-old US department-store chain will consider Mr Lampert's offer against a proposed liquidation during a bankruptcy auction on 14 January.

  14. Wall Street opens lower as trade talks and retailers disappoint

    Wall Street traders

    US stocks have opened lower after a four-day rally after investor disappointment over lack of details from the US-China trade talks and holiday-season reports from retailers.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.01 points to 23,811.11. The S&P 500 opened lower by 11.45 points at 2,573.51.

    The Nasdaq Composite dropped 48.43 points to 6,908.65 at the open.

  15. Debenhams shares plunge


    Debenhams shares are down more than 13% after it reported a sharp fall in Christmas sales.

    Chief executive Sergio Bucher said the country's second biggest department store group would have to find £80m of cost cuts to protect profits after cutting prices. It is closing 50 stores.

    The group has lost more than 80% of its value in the past year.

  16. John Lewis: To pay or not to pay a bonus?

    Video content

    Video caption: The boss of John Lewis says there is the money to pay a bonus but it needs careful thought

    Sir Charlie Mayfield, the boss of John Lewis, says the partnership has been profitable but the decision to pay a bonus will be considered in March - and it may not be wise to pay a bonus this year, the first time it will have been skipped since 1953.

  17. Nissan "remains committed" to Renault-Mitsubishi alliance

    The national flags of France and Japan displayed at Nissan Motor's Oppama

    Nissan "remains committed" to its alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors despite the arrest of chairman and chef executive Carlos Ghosn over alleged financial misconduct and under-reporting of pay.

    It also said that it will increase the scope of decisions that require board approval in order to bolster corporate governance.

  18. Weak December rains on Macy's parade


    More retail figures but this time from the US where Macy's has cut its full year sales outlook.

    The department store group said like-for-like sales rose by 0.7% over November and December.

    But Macy's chairman and chief executive Jeff Gennette, said: "The holiday season began strong, particularly during Black Friday and the following Cyber Week, but weakened in the mid-December period and did not return to expected patterns until the week of Christmas.”

    He said: "We are revising the guidance we provided in November and will continue to take the necessary steps in January to ensure a clean inventory position as we enter fiscal 2019.”