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Tuesday newspaper round-up: Brexit bill, May delay, Trump, M&S

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Tuesday newspaper round-up: Brexit bill, May delay, Trump, M&S

Tue, 14 March 2017
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Tuesday newspaper round-up: Brexit bill, May delay, Trump, M&S

(ShareCast News) - Theresa May's Brexit bill on Monday night cleared all its hurdles in the Houses of Parliament, opening the way for the prime minister to trigger article 50 by the end of March. Peers accepted the supremacy of the House of Commons late on Monday night after MPs overturned amendments aimed at guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens in the UK and giving parliament a "meaningful vote" on the final Brexit deal. - Guardian
...However, Downing Street made clear yesterday that Mrs May would not use her mandate to trigger Article 50 this week. Instead - infuriating the European Commission and other member states - she is expected to delay an announcement until the last week of March. - The Times

Donald Trump's latest executive order paves way for downsizing of agencies as president seeks funds for armed forces and Mexican wall. The US president launched an overhaul of the federal government on Monday, signing an executive order he said would eventually streamline services and cut costs. - Telegraph

Stronger exports and the "great British consumer" will help the UK to weather Brexit uncertainty this year, according to Morgan Stanley, which almost doubled its 2017 growth forecast amid a series of upgrades by business groups and City forecasters. Morgan Stanley now expects the UK economy to expand by 1.8% this year, up from a previous forecast of just 1%. - Telegraph

With a rapidly growing middle class living in constant fear of shoddy counterfeit clothing and a perpetual cycle of food scares, China appears - on the surface at least - to be the perfect match for Marks and Spencer's brand of trusted quality. But barely a year after bosses expressed positivity as they opened their tenth store, the British retailer is pulling out of the Chinese high street this month. - Telegraph

Lloyds Banking Group is to shed almost 2,000 additional jobs as it prepares to contract out a large part of its information technology expertise to IBM, the American computing group. Some 1,961 employees and contractors would transfer to IBM and all but 193 would lose their jobs within four years as IBM then exported the work to offshore centres. - The Times

France and Spain fell short on defence spending last year despite an overall rise among European Nato states for the first time in seven years. Military expenditure across Europe, however, remained below 2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) - a target that President Trump has said is crucial for European allies to achieve. - The Times

The government's pledge to protect England's pubs by giving them a £1,000 business rates discount has been described as a "stay of execution" rather than long-term support by a Labour MP, as new industry estimates suggested thousands of businesses would get no help at all. Jim McMahon said it was welcome that chancellor Philip Hammond had shown some recognition of the pressures on pubs in last week's budget when he announced those with a rateable value of less than £100,000 would receive a £1,000 discount on their business rates bill this year. - Guardian

Britain is on track to record nearly $70 billion worth of deals in the first quarter, smashing last year's total and signalling the possible start of another mergers and acquisitions bonanza. More than $67.2 billion of deals involving a UK company have been agreed this year, which is about $16 billion more than the same period last year, data from Dealogic shows. - Times

Theresa May's reported plans to demand the return of £9bn of UK assets held by the European Investment Bank would put in jeopardy funding for key British infrastructure projects, including the government's flagship Midlands Engine. Over the weekend, it was claimed that the prime minister intends to reduce the size of Britain's divorce bill from the EU by threatening to pull out the UK's share of assets in the bank. - Guardian

Financial experts have warned that unscrupulous traders could be making millions of pounds in profits from leaked information before the publication of economic information such as unemployment and inflation figures. Research published yesterday by The Wall Street Journal found that prices of gilt futures appeared to accurately predict economic releases to a degree that raised suspicion that some market players might have foreknowledge of the numbers.

A quarter of young men have a gambling problem and GPs should consider screening them for the addiction, researchers say. A University of Bristol study found that 25 per cent of men aged between 18 and 24 had gambling problems of varying degrees of severity. - The Times

Troubled big six supplier Npower lost 77,000 customers last year , providing fresh evidence of its struggle to get back on track after years of disappointing customer service and steadily rising costs. The perfect storm led to an operating loss of £90m last year, an improvement on its £99m loss the year before but still well below its £183m operating profits in 2014. - Telegraph

Top lawyers have criticised a government move to review the future of the Serious Fraud Office as part of an inquiry into crime-fighting agencies. The work, being carried out by the Cabinet Office, has reignited speculation that Theresa May may call for the SFO to become part of the National Crime Agency to create a more powerful body because of dissatisfaction with the SFO's performance. - Times

Vienna, Austria's grand capital on the Danube river, has topped consulting firm Mercer's list of cities offering the highest quality of life for the eighth year in a row, while Baghdad is again considered the worst place to live. Meanwhile London, together with other global centres Paris, Tokyo and New York City did not even make the top 30, lagging behind most big German, Scandinavian, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian cities. - Telegraph

Handbag brand Aspinal of London, which counts the Duchess of Cambridge as a fan, has hired a new chief executive after attracting outside investment to boost its expansion plans. Aspinal has hired Lisa Montague from Loewe, the Spanish leather goods company owned by fashion giant LVMH. - Telegraph