The World Bank is warning of increasing risks, or what it calls “darkening skies”, for the world economy, predicting in its annual assessment of global prospects continued, though somewhat slower, growth this year and next.

The Bank’s forecast for the global economy is expansion this year of 2.9% and 2.8% in 2020.

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Senior Conservatives have signalled they are not prepared to support a no-deal Brexit as they inflicted a defeat on the government in Parliament.

MPs backed an amendment to the Finance Bill, which would limit the scope for tax changes following a no deal unless authorised by MPs, by 303 to 296 votes.

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British employers hired permanent staff in December at the slowest rate since April 2017, adding to a signs the economy has cooled ahead of Brexit, according to a report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and accountants KPMG .