Britain and the European Union play down the chances of clinching an immediate Brexit divorce deal but diplomats say they are moving closer to a legal compromise that Prime Minister Theresa May hopes will win over parliament.

The UK won’t be able to roll over an EU trade deal with Japan in time for a no-deal Brexit, Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said. It was one of the most important EU trade deals the UK hoped to replicate ahead of the 29 March withdrawal date.

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Kraft Heinz shares slumped yesterday after the food company cut its dividend by more than a third, took a $15.4bn impairment charge and also disclosed that it had received an accounting subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Defence company BAE Systems’ share price fell sharply yesterday after it warned that a German ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, imposed after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, could scupper a multi-billion-pound deal to sell Typhoon fighter jets.