Blog: EU to take legal action against UK for breach of international law – Brexit deal in chaos – Daily Express

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will send a “letter of formal notice” to the Prime Minister in a bid to make him drop his plans to rip up sections of last year’s divorce deal relating to Northern Ireland. Eurocrats will claim the UK has breached a number of “good faith” clauses in the Withdrawal Agreement. And if the Government refuses to drop its Internal Markets Bill, the EU will threaten further legal actions against the UK.

This includes hauling Mr Johnson before judges at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.


Blog: Brexit: EU, UK reportedly are split on the issue of state aid – FXStreet

According to the latest headlines floating on the wires, via Reuters, citing EU sources on the matter, the EU and the UK failed to close differences in the latest round of Brexit trade talks and are split on the issue of state aid.

The pessimistic remarks took its toll on the British pound and dragged the GBP/USD pair back below the 1.2900 mark, or fresh session lows in the last hour.

Blog: Avenir Registrars Ready To Support Irish Securities Issuers – Brexit Wake Forces Irish Issuers To Switch From London-Based CREST Settlement System In Next Four Months – Avenir Is First Registrar To Complete Agreement With New CSD – Exchange News Direct

Avenir Registrars Ready To Support Irish Securities Issuers – Brexit Wake Forces Irish Issuers To Switch From London-Based CREST Settlement System In Next Four Months – Avenir Is First Registrar To Complete Agreement With New CSD

Avenir Registrars (, the next-generation corporate registrar, has today announced an expansion of its Ireland operations. This move allows the business to better cater for the growing number of Irish entities who will be required to ensure they can migrate listings away from CREST, the London Central Securities Depository (CSD), in the coming months.

One consequence of Brexit, the UK’s decision to exit the European Union, is that Irish businesses who have previously maintained securities registers through CREST will no longer be permitted to do so. EU law mandates that all securities issued within the European Union must be held by securities depositories in the same jurisdiction.

Dr Hardeep Tamana, Managing Director of Avenir Registrars, commented: “Issuers of securities in Ireland, whether they are funds, debt or equity, now have just four months to pass the necessary corporate resolutions and ensure their registers can be accommodated on the new Euroclear system. Avenir has developed software which accommodates issuers switching seamlessly to the new CSD, with registers then being maintained for a single low annual fee and without the need for any expensive set up costs.”

Once the transition has been completed, Ireland will be positioned as the EU’s premier financial services jurisdiction. Those who choose to issue securities in Dublin will obtain direct access to Euroclear Bank’s global CSD infrastructure, offering the highest levels of security combined with a truly global reach. At present, every six days, Euroclear settles transactions with a value equivalent to the EU’s total GDP.

Avenir was established to provide issuers with a more streamlined and cost-effective option when it came to maintaining their securities register. Built using the latest technology, Avenir’s systems can update registers in real time and offer a range of self-serve options for issuers, as well as providing 24×7 support where necessary. By applying this same philosophy, Avenir can deliver a convenient, cost effective solution to Irish issuers who are now obliged to move away from CREST, both in terms of the migration process and the subsequent maintenance of the register.

A number of Irish issuers have already started to ensure the appropriate corporate resolutions have been passed and third party infrastructure systems have been upgraded to facilitate a smooth transition to the new CSD.

John Ferguson, Chairman and Executive Director of Audacia Capital commented: “Our business reached a point where we needed a Registrar that could meet our wider needs in this fast-developing space. Our considerations were based around technology, reputation, service, and the ability to meet our ongoing needs to keep evolving and be at the forefront of the issuer/settlement/registrar mechanism. Since engaging with Avenir we have been impressed with every aspect of the service. Our dealings to date with Avenir have been both highly efficient and professional, and we would not hesitate to recommend them.”

The entire Irish securities market, including the UCITS funds, ETFs, bonds and equities which are currently settled through CREST, will be impacted by this move. Issuers are obliged to advise Euronext that the appropriate corporate resolutions have been passed by February 24th 2021 so that migrations can be completed on March 12th, 2021. Failure to meet these deadlines will result in securities no longer being eligible for electronic settlement or trading on an regulated exchange within the EU.

For more details, visit

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Blog: Barnier on brink: Rattled EU chief under pressure from member states – Boris ‘in control’ – Daily Express

Lee Rotherham, was speaking after details emerged today about a bold new offer from aimed at breaking the deadlock over the dispute concerning , which has overshadowed trade talks so far. And Mr Rotherham – who recently suggested EU leaders might be ready to sideline in favour of bilateral talks – suggested the move was motivated by a willingness on the part of Mr Johnson to find a workable solution irrespective of the EU chief negotiator’s input.

Mr Rotherham, who is known as Dr Brexit and who was the Director of Special Projects at Vote Leave, said: “My sense is that there has been a shift in recent days over how the EU is treating all this.

“Boris Johnson’s October 15 deadline was always very sensible.

“It has forced the EU to take their loaded gun of the December 31 deadline off the table.

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“It has put him in control of the timetable.”

Mr Rotherham added: “I think he and David Frost have got under their skin, especially Barnier, who is increasingly looking rattled.”

Referring to Mr Barnier’s recent use of social media, he explained: “You can tell that with his use of language and his handling of Twitter.

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“He never used to respond like that before.

“I also think other member states may have spoken to the Commission about the fixation with fishing.

“Let’s just say there won’t be too many politicians in Hungary, or Luxembourg or the Czech Republic, for example, worrying about North Sea fish.

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“So they could be forgiven for wondering why this should be such a big treaty stumbling block for them.”

Taking back control over British waters is a key tenet of Brexit – but European fishermen, particularly French vessels – are implacably opposed to anything which would reduce their access to UK waters.

British negotiators are therefore proposing a three-year transition period, giving EU ships ample opportunity to get used to the new status quo.

In accordance with the plan, access to foreign ships would be “phased down” in order to allow coastal communities to adapt.

Mr Rotherham added: “By being so reasonable the UK is doing the EU a favour and it removes any reason for EU fishermen to object.

“Boris Johnson is being extremely fair minded with this three-year deadline and it shows both sides recognise they need to make practical accommodations for the other.

“There now needs to be some give and take on the EU side – for example, with fishing around Jersey and Guernsey to make easier for them to get their fish into France without facing red tape.

“But that shouldn’t be too much of a problem because the ports cover similar fishing grounds.

“What this proposal does is point the way for lots of other areas of possible agreements, which will avoid any kind of hard edge scenario.”

Blog: Taoiseach will discuss Brexit controversy at EU summit –

Taoiseach Micheál Martin will join other EU leaders for a two-day summit in Brussels today which will be dominated by the EU’s relations with Turkey and Europe’s response to the crackdown against demonstrators in Belarus protesting against the recent election result.

Mr Martin will address the summit tomorrow on the impact of the Brexit negotiations on Ireland, including the controversy over the UK’s Internal Market Bill, which breaches the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Over dinner tonight, leaders will discuss the strategic relationship with Turkey in light of Turkish incursions into Greek and Cypriot waters in connection with recently discovered natural gas fields.

Cyprus wants the EU to take a much tougher stance against Turkey, and that issue is holding up an overall EU response to the repression in Belarus.  

The EU has been unable to agree sanctions against senior figures in the Alexander Lukashenko regime because Cyprus wants what it calls solidarity from other EU capitals on Turkey first.

Leaders will also discuss the poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the recent EU-China summit.

Tomorrow, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will provide leaders with a brief state of play on the Brexit trade negotiations, which are in the final scheduled round of talks in Brussels this week.

A senior EU official said that because Ireland was the country most impacted by Brexit, the Taosieach would be given the floor to address fellow leaders. 

It’s understood that Mr Martin will set out his thoughts on the prospect of a deal in the coming weeks, and the impact of the UK Internal Market Bill, which, if it becomes law, will override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Blog: Stock Markets Today: Virus Restrictions, Brexit Talks, Joe Biden, EU Summit – Bloomberg

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Good morning. There are concerns about getting the virus under control, Brexit talks continue and Biden’s chances of winning increase. Here’s what’s moving markets.

Controlling the Virus

The U.K.’s Covid-19 outbreak is not under control with hospitalizations and death rates rising, the government’s chief scientist warned. The number of cases registered on Wednesday equaled the highest level so far in the pandemic, though there are signs that social restrictions are helping. There are concerns about the spread of the virus in the U.S. too, with infection rates rising in Wisconsin and New Jersey. There are some more encouraging signals on the vaccine front, however, with the front-runner from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc said to be set for an accelerated review by European regulators, plus a bet on an old-school approach from a French drug company and the approval of a rapid test.

Brexit Talks

The final scheduled round of Brexit talks continues on Thursday, with markets eagerly awaiting an update on whether the more conciliatory tone from the U.K. and the European Union recently will result in some tangible progress being made. A report from EY said financial services firms have so far shifted more than 1.2 trillion pounds worth of assets and around 7,500 employees out of the U.K. ahead of Brexit, with more likely to come. And the U.K. has been warned of consequences if it splits from the bloc on how it regulates its financial industry. Currency and rates traders, though, are positioning for a more amicable conclusion to the talks.

Biden’s Chances

Joe Biden’s chance of getting to the White House increased after the first debate, according to professional forecasters, who now see a 78% chance of victory for the Democratic presidential candidate. During the debate, Biden’s campaign raised nearly $10 million. That’s despite the event having descended into name-calling and bickering, prompting the debate commission to say a format change is coming. Biden yesterday hammered the president on the economy on a journey through the Rust Belt, home to many of the White working class voters he wants to win back from Trump. Beyond the campaign trail, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he sees “one more serious try” at securing a deal on a fiscal stimulus package with Congress.

EU Summit

The European Union begins a two-day summit on Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel likely to be center stage as she attempts to bridge the differences between members in order to unlock the bloc’s 1.8 trillion-euro recovery package amid concerns about a possible delay. Merkel said Germany will return to normal spending levels as soon as possible as she defended its unprecedented borrowing to deal with the fallout from the pandemic. French President Emmanuel Macron is also expected to address the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, having called Turkish rhetoric on the fighting “dangerous,” and leaders are expected to call for a rebalancing of the EU’s relationship with China.

Coming Up…

Stock trading in Asia was hit by the worst-ever outage in Japan which caused the Tokyo exchange to halt trading for the entire day. European and U.S. equity-index futures are trending higher going into the session. Oil held onto gains after U.S. crude stockpiles shrank. The economic data agenda is busy again, topped by manufacturing activity for the euro-area, the U.K. and later for the U.S., plus jobless claims for the latter. Numbers from Swedish fashion retailer H&M top the earnings calendar.

What We’ve Been Reading

This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours. 

And finally, here’s what Mark Cudmore is interested in this morning

A very bad U.S. labor market looks set to deteriorate further. It’s Thursday and hence jobless claims data out of America. Amid all the talk on how impressive the economic recovery has been, it’s worth a reminder that continuing claims remain almost double the record prior to the March blowout — that’s in data going back more than 50 years. And then Wednesday saw the announcement of tens of thousands of job cuts by blue-chip companies, including Walt Disney Co. and Allstate Corp., the fourth-largest car insurer in the U.S. It’s hard to overstate how desperately the U.S. economy needs more fiscal stimulus. Without it, financial assets will not remain elevated by liquidity alone. Excess cash compels investors to buy assets that offer minimal return for high risk, but it doesn’t mean they will purchase loss-making or negative-return assets. If corporate retrenchment accelerates from this base level of unemployment, 2021 may make 2020 look a pleasant year for markets

Mark Cudmore is a Bloomberg macro strategist and the Managing Editor of the Markets Live blog. Bloomberg Terminal users can follow him there at MLIV..

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Blog: Just Like You: Nick Hornby’s contemporary love story nestled in a Brexit novel – The Irish Times

Michèle Roberts’s exquisite recent memoir Negative Capability, succinctly expresses the imaginative power of authentic fiction by writing: “My own tiny pain helped me think about others’ huge ones.” It is the writer’s capacity to embody the life of another with respect, consideration and sensitivity that separates great fiction that reads as truth from a false impersonation of life.

When the creative ambition extends to creating a character that is a different gender, race, class or religion than your own, the stakes are heightened. Recent years in particular have seen a welcome discourse on cultural appropriation – where members of the dominant culture adopt elements of the minority culture and there is an imbalance of power.