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5 Things that mattered 8/10/18

A round-up of biggest issues of the last week, from Brexit to global trade, that finance directors need to know about.

Tories battle over Chequers plan

At the Conservative party conference, prime minister Theresa May rejects claims she does not believe in Brexit – saying her plan for post-Brexit trade with the EU was not dead, despite it having been rejected by EU leaders. She urges the Tory party to “come together” and back it while former foreign secretary Boris Johnson calls her so-called Chequers plan “deranged”, adding that he might be able to strike a better deal than her with Brussels.

RBS raises alarm over “bad Brexit”

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan says a “bad Brexit” could result in “zero or negative” economic growth which would hit RBS’s share price. The issue is particularly concerning because RBS is still 64% owned by the taxpayer following its bailout ten years ago.

Nissan warns about no-deal

Car maker Nissan says there will be “serious implications” for Britain’s manufacturing industry if the UK fails to secure a trade deal with the European Union. Concerns raised by the Japanese company, which operates the country’s largest car factory, have particular poignancy as there was a suggestion the government had offered some sort of special deal to stay here soon after the referendum.

IMF raises fears of slowdown

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde warns the global economy is facing an economic slowdown triggered by rising trade protectionism and soaring levels of debt. In a speech in Washington she drops the broadest possible hint that the IMF will cut its global growth forecast.

Trump backs North American trade deal

US president Donald Trump declares the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – the new name for the world’s second-biggest economic bloc after the European Union – a “wonderful new trade deal”.

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