britain

FILE PHOTO: British and EU flags flutter outside the Houses of Parliament in London
FILE PHOTO: British and EU flags flutter outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

March 19, 2019

By Thomas Escritt and Gabriela Baczynska

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union governments are exasperated by British dithering over quitting the bloc but have little appetite for pushing it out on schedule next week without a divorce deal, senior figures said on Tuesday.

EU ministers in Brussels to prepare a summit with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday voiced frustration after the speaker of parliament threw up a new obstacle for her plan to get her Brexit deal ratified before the March 29 deadline.

“Our patience as the European Union is being sorely tested at the moment,” German Europe minister Michael Roth told reporters. “Dear friends in London, please deliver. The clock is ticking.”

But Roth also echoed comments in Berlin by Chancellor Angela Merkel, the EU’s pre-eminent leader, who said she would “fight to the last minute” until midnight (2300 GMT) on March 29 to ensure an orderly exit for the EU’s second-ranked economy.

He said Germany’s main aim was to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which would disrupt business across the continent.

However, after two defeats for the Withdrawal Agreement that May negotiated with the EU, and her difficulty in trying to get it through parliament on a third vote even before the speaker ruled that it must be substantially changed, it is not clear how May can avert this without asking fellow leaders for more time.

ALL DEPENDS ON MAY

Leaders expect to discuss such an extension at the two-day summit starting on Thursday afternoon. But if May has yet to make a concrete proposal on her next move then, then the summit can do little more than outline possible steps — such as a readiness to give her a couple of months, or maybe longer.

“If there is no move from London, the leaders can also decide to wait,” said Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders. “It really depends on what May will say at the summit.”

Diplomats said member states were still discussing options for extension — possibly only for two to three months, if May persuades them she can clinch a deal at home, or for much longer if May accepts that radical reworking is needed. But these would come with conditions and might not be agreed until next week.

Merkel said there was “far too much in flux” to forecast the outcome of the summit, but her foreign minister, Heiko Maas, told reporters in Finland: “If more time is needed, it’s always better to do another round than a no-deal Brexit.”

EU diplomats say it is highly probable that leaders will unanimously support some sort of extension rather than see Britain lurch out of the bloc in 10 days’ time — even though some governments are starting to argue for ending the uncertainty and trusting to arrangements already put in place to mitigate the effects of a sudden, immediate exit.

Aides to French President Emmanuel Macron, a powerful voice on the Council alongside Merkel, say the onus is on Britain to say what it would do with more time.

“This uncertainty is unacceptable,” his EU affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau said in Brussels on Tuesday.

“Grant an extension? What for? Time is not a solution, it’s a method — if there’s an objective and a strategy. And it has to come from London.”

(Writing by Alastair Macdonald; @macdonaldrtr; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Mark Read, chief executive of WPP, leaves following the AGM in London, Britain, June 13, 2018
FILE PHOTO: Mark Read, chief executive of WPP, leaves following the AGM in London, Britain, June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By Kate Holton and Pamela Barbaglia

LONDON (Reuters) – A series of buyout funds including U.S. firms Advent and Blackstone are in talks with advertising group WPP to explore bids for a majority stake in its data analytics unit Kantar, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The sale, led by Goldman Sachs, may value Kantar at up to 3.5 billion pounds ($4.7 billion), but some private equity investors are fretting over the decline in profits and revenues that the business has suffered in recent years.

Hellman & Friedman and CVC Capital Partners are also working on the deal, the sources said, while industry players have so far shied away from the process.

Bain Capital has also expressed interest in making a bid for Kantar, another source said, adding Bain might later decide to team up with one of the other buyout funds in the race.

WPP sent out confidential information packs this week, with non-binding offers expected in April, one of the sources said.

WPP, Blackstone, Advent and CVC declined to comment, while representatives at Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman were not immediately available.

WPP, the owner of agencies including JWT, Finsbury and Ogilvy, is in the middle of an overhaul launched by its new boss Mark Read following several profit warnings in 2017 and 2018.

The London-based group wants to sell a majority stake in Kantar to reduce debt as it braces for a tough year with revenue expected to drop by between 1.5 and 2 percent in 2019.

Kantar, a leading player in market research, provides brand and marketing communications research for some of the world’s largest advertisers.

Yet it has suffered a decline in revenue in recent years, with underlying sales down 2 percent last year to 2.6 billion pounds and operating profit down 14 percent to 301 million.

“The deal poses some challenges for private equity funds as it’s been on a downward trajectory for a while,” one source said.

Private equity investors are examining the turnaround potential of a possible deal, the sources said, and would value the business at up to 10 times its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), hoping to reignite growth within the first three years of their investment.

Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker said in February that Kantar could fetch more than 3 billion pounds, with WPP raising close to 2.1-2.2 billion pounds from a 60 percent stake sale.

WPP boss Read aims to complete the sale by the end of the summer as he needs cash to steer the world’s biggest advertising group back to growth.

Read took the helm of WPP last year, pledging to spend 300 million pounds to restructure the group and bring it back in line with peers by the end of 2021.

Founder Martin Sorrell, 74, remains a major WPP shareholder but is now running a new company which last year beat WPP in the race to buy Dutch digital agency MediaMonks.

(Editing by David Holmes)

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech at the annual Global Solutions Summit in Berlin
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a speech at the annual Global Solutions Summit in Berlin, Germany, March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

March 19, 2019

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday she would fight for an orderly Brexit right up until Britain’s planned departure from the European Union on March 29.

Merkel, asked whether she was ready to offer British Prime Minister Theresa May a new Brexit deal, said she “noted with interest” a ruling by the speaker of parliament that May must change her twice-defeated divorce deal to put it to a third vote.

“Now, we will see what Theresa May says to us, what her wishes are – we will try to respond to those,” Merkel added, speaking at a conference in Berlin.

“We will follow very closely how the British government reacts to what was said yesterday in parliament,” she added. “As to how deal with the situation, I can’t assess how it will be (at an EU summit) on Thursday – there is far too much in flux.”

In a move that added to the sense of crisis in London and exasperation in European capitals just days before the March 29 exit date, Speaker John Bercow shocked May’s government on Monday by ruling it could not put the same Brexit deal to another vote unless it was substantially different.

“I will fight until the last minute of the time to March 29 for an orderly exit,” Merkel said. “We haven’t got a lot of time for that, but still some days.”

Asked if she would be prepared to grant Britain a delay to Brexit, Merkel replied that she wanted to have very good relations with Britain even after Brexit.

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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FILE PHOTO: Dignified transfer ceremony for four Americans killed in Syria is attended by President Trump at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware
FILE PHOTO: The casket carrying the remains of Scott Wirtz, a civilian employee of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency killed along with three members of the U.S. military during a recent attack in Syria, sits in a military vehicle during a dignified transfer ceremony as they are returned to the United States at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware, U.S., January 19, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S.-backed forces have captured Islamic State fighters tied to a January suicide bombing in Syria that killed four Americans, U.S. officials say, generating concrete leads for Washington about the deadliest attack to date there against U.S. personnel.

The bombing killed Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Farmer, Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent and Scott Wirtz from the Defense Intelligence Agency. It also killed Ghadir Taher, a naturalized U.S. citizen working as a civilian interpreter for a U.S. contractor.

One of the officials told Reuters the number of people detained was in the “single digits.” A second official said there were several “initial detentions” made in February, without offering a specific number. The detentions have not been previously reported.

“Those initial detentions have provided some leads and opportunities that we are continuing to exploit,” the second official said, speaking on condition of anonymity and declining to offer additional details.

“The investigation is ongoing as are efforts to bring all of those terrorists responsible to justice.”

The attack was the worst single incident involving U.S. personnel in Syria since they deployed on the ground there in 2015 and took place at a cafe in the town of Manbij, which was controlled by a militia allied to U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.

The bombing occurred nearly a month after President Donald Trump confounded his own national security team and allies with a surprise decision on Dec. 19 to withdraw all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, declaring Islamic State had been defeated there.

Critics seized on the killings as clear evidence that the Islamic State still posed a threat.

Trump backtracked in February, agreeing to leave a small U.S. presence to help keep pressure on Islamic State during what the U.S. military believes will be a critical stabilization phase in Syria. The United States is seeking contributions from allies including Britain and France to remain in Syria.

INSURGENCY THREAT

The U.S. military has warned that Islamic State may still count tens of thousands of fighters, dispersed throughout Iraq and Syria, with enough leaders and resources to present a menacing insurgency in the months ahead.

The Pentagon’s own internal watchdog released a report last month saying Islamic State remained an active insurgent group and was regenerating functions and capabilities more quickly in Iraq than in Syria.

“Absent sustained (counterterrorism) pressure, ISIS could likely resurge in Syria within six to 12 months and regain limited territory,” the report from the Pentagon’s inspector general said.

The report, citing information from U.S. Central Command, said Islamic State would portray the withdrawal as a “victory” and conduct attacks on American personnel during the pullout process.

A report by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that Islamic State has transformed into a covert network, but is still a threat with centralized leadership, up to $300 million at its disposal and thousands of fighters.

It said the group was interested in attacking aviation and using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials and that there were up to 18,000 Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, including up to 3,000 foreign fighters.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Tom Brown)

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FILE PHOTO: The HSBC bank is seen in the financial district of Canary Wharf
FILE PHOTO: The HSBC bank is seen in the financial district of Canary Wharf in London, Britain, July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs

March 19, 2019

By Sinead Cruise and Lawrence White

LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC is stepping up a root-and-branch overhaul of its global banking and markets division, naming 83 new managing directors in a 1,300-strong promotions spree aimed at revitalizing its investment banking franchise.

After another year of underwhelming performance in 2018, HSBC’s management team – bolstered by new finance chief and ex-investment banker Ewen Stevenson – are plotting a push to recover ground lost to rivals, with a revamp of its trading floor seen as top priority, sources close to HSBC said.

Samir Assaf, chief executive of global banking and markets, distributed a memo last Monday pointing out the significant rise in the number of women promoted this year.

HSBC is trying to close a gender pay gap of 61 percent, the worst among major British firms and largely caused by a lack of women in senior, higher paid roles.

Around a third of the 83 new managing directors are female, the memo seen by Reuters showed, a 13 percentage point rise from the previous year, according to a source at the bank with knowledge of the matter.

A spokesman for HSBC declined to comment.

The wave of promotions comes just weeks after the bank axed dozens of sales and advisory jobs in London following an extended period of turmoil in its investment banking operations.

Last year saw an exodus of high-profile dealmakers in Europe, with sources saying there was frustration at a lack of a clear strategy.

36 of the promotions are in HSBC’s global banking business, which includes its mergers and acquisitions and equity advisory bankers.

The bank has also poached senior hires from rivals, including former JPMorgan banker Greg Guyett as head of global banking and former Goldman Sachs banker Peter Enns as the global head of its financial institutions group.

HSBC tumbled further in investment banking league tables in some key market segments in 2018, with its fourth quarter performance in equities particularly weak.

Revenues there fell 20 percent from a year earlier, the second worst performance among major investment banks after France’s BNP Paribas.

HSBC slipped to 20th among global equity deal bookrunners in 2018 from 16th the previous year, according to Refinitiv data. It also fell to 24th from 19th in the rankings for advising on completed mergers and acquisitions.

The bank fared better in its traditional stronghold of debt underwriting, placing 6th according to Refinitiv data, with revenues growing 14 percent in its transaction banking business.

MOOD LIFT

Investors are pinning their hopes on Georges Elhedery to improve productivity and lift the mood in the bank’s global markets business, after he took over the division from caretaker boss Thierry Roland on Friday.

Elhedery, who is relocating to London from Dubai to take up the role, is filling a position vacated by veteran HSBC banker Thibaut de Roux in September last year.

25 of the new promotions are in global markets, and other high-ranking appointments are in progress.

Nathalie Safar, one of the investment bank’s most senior women, is leaving her position as global equities chief operating officer after eight years in the role, a second staff memo seen by Reuters showed.

She will take up a newly-created position of head of front to back resource and cost management, focusing on making savings that will fund investments in the bank’s growth areas.

A search for her successor is underway, the memo said.

(Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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The British union flag and the EU flag are seen flying near the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain
The British union flag and the EU flag are seen flying near the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

March 19, 2019

By Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union is uncertain nearly three years after the 2016 Brexit vote.

Most diplomats and investors think the United Kingdom faces three main options: leaving with a divorce deal, throwing the question back to the people or exiting without a deal.

Graphic on no-deal Brexit probabilities from major banks: https://tmsnrt.rs/2UIhlyz

Following are the main scenarios:

1) BREXIT WITH A DEAL – May gets her deal approved at a third attempt and the United Kingdom leaves in an orderly fashion after a modest delay.

May’s divorce treaty, the product of more than two years of negotiations with the EU, was defeated by 149 votes on March 12 and by 230 votes on Jan. 15.

She had been intending to put the deal to another vote in parliament as early as this week, but the speaker ruled on Monday that she could not do so unless the deal was re-submitted in fundamentally different form. [nL8N2153SV]

Unless May can find a way around Speaker John Bercow’s ruling – such as adding an addendum or starting a new session of parliament – she will have to ask the EU to delay Brexit to avoid a no-deal exit on March 29.

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay on Tuesday played down the possibility of cutting the parliamentary session short in order to start a new one.

Because May must now spice any deal with additional legal and procedural innovation, Bercow’s ruling means she is likely to get just one more chance to put the deal to a vote.

She had warned lawmakers that unless they approved her divorce deal, Britain’s exit could face a long delay which many Brexiteers fear would mean Britain may never leave.

May could discuss a delay and seek to get last-minute concessions at a March 21-22 EU summit, though with such chaos in London a crunch decision on Brexit might be delayed until the following week.[nL8N2154G1]

The EU has repeatedly said the Withdrawal Agreement is the only deal on the table and May’s spokesman said Britain would not be seeking to renegotiate the most contentious part – the Irish border plan.

If May is looking for a legal fix, though, she could seek a change to the accompanying Political Declaration.

Sources in Brussels said on Monday that Britain could ask for a Brexit delay even after the summit, suggesting that the decisive moment for Brexit might still be some days ahead.

One possible way out for May would be a Brexit delay until the end of 2019, with an option to leave earlier should her deal get passed. Ultimately, May might have to offer a date for her own resignation to win enough Conservative votes for her deal.

To get her deal through parliament, May must win over at least 75 lawmakers: dozens of rebels in her own Conservative Party, some Labour lawmakers, and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up her minority government.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group of eurosceptics in Britain’s House of Commons, signaled he could fall in behind the deal. [nL8N2152DJ]

Many banks and investors still say her deal could be struck and approved, and cite previous EU crises such as the Greek debt crisis, where solutions were found at the eleventh hour.

“I think MPs (lawmakers) will see sense and approve the Meaningful Vote before March 29,” said Matthew Elliott, the head of the 2016 campaign for leaving the European Union, told Reuters after Bercow’s ruling.

“The most likely outcome at this juncture is the deal going through,” Elliott said. “When it becomes apparent that the only extension on offer from the EU is long, tortuous and with lots of conditions, I suspect enough MPs will get behind the deal for it to pass.”

If May’s deal fails, or if another vote on the same deal is prevented, another option is that parliament at some point takes control of Brexit and lawmakers seek a closer relationship with the EU, staying in the EU customs union.

Lawmakers could seek indicative votes on a way forward and there might be a majority for a softer Brexit than May’s deal. To avoid that, May could call a snap election, though her party does not want one.

Another option, being pushed by some lawmakers is a referendum on May’s Brexit deal, though such a vote, were it ever called, would effectively become a referendum on EU membership.

2) BREXIT REFERENDUM – May’s deal fails and a long delay allows the campaign for another referendum to gain momentum.

It is far from clear how the United Kingdom would vote if given another chance.

An often chaotic set of votes in parliament last week has shown that none of the alternatives to May’s deal – such as leaving with no deal, a referendum or allowing parliament to decide how to leave – can muster a majority among lawmakers yet.

In the June 23, 2016 referendum, 17.4 million voters, or 51.9 percent, backed leaving the EU while 16.1 million, or 48.1 percent, backed staying.

While many surveys ahead of the vote incorrectly predicted that the United Kingdom would vote to stay in the club it joined in 1973, polls now suggest no great desire for a second referendum and indicate that many voters, fatigued by the political squabbling, would be happy to leave without a deal.

Corbyn, who voted against membership in 1975 and gave only reluctant backing to the 2016 campaign to remain in the EU, has given ambiguous backing for another referendum, saying he would push for one alongside a national election.

When asked if he would vote to remain in the EU in a possible future referendum, Corbyn said on Sunday: “It depends what the choice is in front of us.”

At the highest levels of government, there are worries that a second referendum would exacerbate the deep divisions exposed by the 2016 referendum, alienate millions of pro-Brexit voters and stoke support for the far-right.

Already, many supporters of Brexit, and even some lawmakers, say the elite has sabotaged the EU divorce and is trying to subvert the will of the people.

It is far from clear how the United Kingdom would vote and even if it did vote to remain, Brexit supporters might demand a third and decisive vote.

A new party backed by Nigel Farage, the insurgent who helped shove Britain towards the EU exit, has a message for the country’s leaders: The foundations of the political system will explode if Brexit is betrayed.

3) NO-DEAL EXIT – The chaos in London is such that parliament cannot find a way to approve May’s deal or find another divorce deal option, and after one or more delays, the EU says it will extend no longer. The United Kingdom then leaves without a deal.

Lawmakers on Wednesday voted 321 to 278 in favor of a motion that ruled out a potentially disorderly “no-deal” Brexit under any circumstances.

While the approved motion has no legal force and ultimately may not prevent a no-deal exit, it carries considerable political force.

Still, as the March 29 exit date is set in law, the default is to leave on that date unless May agrees a delay or parliament changes the law.

“You either have a deal, you have no deal, or you have no Brexit,” said Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay.

While an extension would avoid a no-deal exit on March 29, the potential for a no-deal Brexit would remain if the British parliament was unable to approve a deal.

And the European Union’s 27 other members must unanimously approve a delay to Brexit.

Barclay has said Britain should not be afraid of leaving without a deal if it cannot get a divorce deal approved.

No-deal means there would be no transition so the exit would be abrupt, the nightmare scenario for international businesses and the dream of hard Brexiteers who want a decisive split.

Britain is a member of the World Trade Organization so tariffs and other terms governing its trade with the EU would be set under WTO rules.

(Editing by Anna Willard and Giles Elgood)

Source: OANN

Handout photo of Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser, the winner of the $1.4 million 2019 Templeton Prize for his work blending science and spirituality
Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser, the winner of the $1.4 million 2019 Templeton Prize for his work blending science and spirituality, is shown in Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S., February 27, 2019. Eli Burakian/Dartmouth College/Handout via REUTERS

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser has been awarded the 2019 Templeton Prize, worth $1.4 million, for his work blending science and spirituality.

Gleiser, 60, is the first Latin American to win the award which honors “a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension,” the U.S.-based John Templeton Foundation said in a statement on Tuesday.

A professor at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, Gleiser has written best-selling books and appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, discussing science as a spiritual quest to understand the origins of the universe and life on Earth.

Previous winners of the award, started in 1972 by late global investor Sir John Templeton, include the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa. In 2018, it was won by King Abdullah II of Jordan.

“I will work harder than ever to spread my message of global unity and planetary awareness to a wider audience,” Gleiser said in a statement on the award issued by Dartmouth.

Gleiser studies the interface between what he calls the “physics of the very large” and “the physics of the very small” to reconstruct the beginning of the universe, Dartmouth said.

As well as researching the origins of life on Earth, he also delves into the possibility of life beyond the planet, the U.S. college said.

Gleiser was born in Rio de Janeiro to an influential family in the city’s Jewish community and educated in Brazil and Britain, said the foundation, which promotes dialogue and research on issues ranging from evolution to forgiveness. He joined Dartmouth’s physics and astronomy department in 1991, the college said.

(Reporting by Andrew Hay in New Mexico; editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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Speaker of the House John Bercow speaks ahead of a vote on Brexit in Parliament in London
FILE PHOTO: Speaker of the House John Bercow speaks ahead of a vote on Brexit in Parliament in London, Britain, March 13, 2019, in this screen grab taken from video. Reuters TV via REUTERS

March 19, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government must submit a different proposition to parliament to the one it lost last week if it wants to hold another vote on its Brexit plans, the parliament’s speaker, John Bercow, said on Monday.

Bercow, the ultimate arbiter of whether the government can ask parliament again to pass Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal to leave the European Union, said ministers could not submit the same proposition again.

“This is my conclusion: if the government wishes to bring forward a new proposition that is neither the same, nor substantially the same as that disposed of by the house on the 12th of March, this would be entirely in order,” he said.

“What the government cannot legitimately do is to resubmit to the House (of Commons) the same proposition or substantially the same proposition as that of last week which was rejected by 149 votes.”

According to precedents stretching back to 1604, parliamentary rules say that substantially similar proposals cannot be presented for a vote more than once during the same session of parliament.

“This ruling should not be regarded as my last word on the subject,” Bercow said.

“It is simply meant to indicate the test which the government must meet, in order for me to rule that a third meaningful vote can legitimately be held in this parliamentary session.”

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip leave church in Sonning
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip leave church in Sonning, Britain March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

March 19, 2019

By Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans were in disarray on Tuesday as her government sought to plot a way around the speaker of parliament’s ruling that she had to change her twice-defeated divorce deal to put it to a third vote.

After two-and-a-half years of negotiations with the EU, Brexit remains uncertain – with options including a long postponement, exiting with May’s deal, a economically disruptive exit without a deal, or even another EU membership referendum.

Speaker John Bercow blindsided May’s office on Monday by ruling the government could put the same Brexit deal to another vote in parliament unless it was substantially different to the ones defeated on Jan. 15 and March 12.

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said the ruling meant a vote this week on May’s deal was more unlikely but said ministers were studying a way out of the impasse and indicated the government still planed a third vote on May’s deal.

“This is a moment of crisis for our country,” Barclay said. “The ruling from the speaker has raised the bar and I think that makes it more unlikely the vote will be this week.”

“We always said that in terms of bringing a vote back for a third time we would need to see a shift from parliamentarians in terms of the support – I think that still is the case.”

May is due at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday at which she will ask for a delay to Brexit as the British government tries to come up with a way to leave the European Union after 46 years of membership.

EU leaders could hold off making a final decision at that summit on any Brexit delay depending on what exactly May asks them for, senior diplomats in the bloc said.

“Now it looks like we have to wait till the week after the Council to find out what happens,” said one diplomat.

SPEAKER’S SPANNER

Bercow said his ruling, based on a convention dating back to 1604, should not be considered his last word and the government could bring forward a new proposition that was not the same as those already voted upon.

Barclay, who last week said Britain should be unafraid of a no-deal exit, indicated the government was looking at different options and that circumstances, such an extension or a shift in support, would indicate a change in context.

“The speaker himself has pointed to possible solutions, he himself has said in earlier rulings we should not be bound by precedent,” Barclay said. “You can have the same motion but where the circumstances have changed.”

“The speaker himself has said that where the will of the House is for a certain course of action, then it is important that the will of the House is respected.”

He ruled out May asking Queen Elizabeth to cut short the entire parliamentary session, known as prorogation, saying involving the 92-year-old monarch in Brexit was a bad idea.

“The one thing everyone would agree on is that involving Her Majesty in any of the issues around Brexit is not the way forward, so I don’t see that a realistic option,” he said.

(Editing by Michael Holden)

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FILE PHOTO: The offices of Standard Life Aberdeen in Saint Andrew Square Edinburgh, Scotland
FILE PHOTO: The offices of Standard Life Aberdeen in Saint Andrew Square Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain February 15, 2019.REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo

March 19, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Life Aberdeen said on Tuesday that a tribunal has ruled in its favor regarding a dispute over an investment contract it had with Lloyds Banking Group

The tribunal ruled that the bank was not entitled to give notice to terminate the investment management agreements in respect of around 100 billion pounds ($132.61 billion) in assets managed by Standard Life Aberdeen.

Lloyds had argued that an 11 billion pound merger between fund firms Standard Life and Aberdeen triggered the right to review an agreement struck in 2014 for Aberdeen to manage its pension assets on behalf of its wealth and insurance businesses, because it saw Standard Life as a “material competitor” to both.

Standard Life Aberdeen said it was considering the terms of the decision and appropriate next steps.

(Reporting by Sinead Cruise, editing by Huw Jones)

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