Daily briefing: Brexit olive branch, Man Booker prize, could Camembert disappear? – Financial Times

Daily briefing: Brexit olive branch, Man Booker prize, could Camembert disappear? – Financial Times


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The UK is planning to extend a Brexit olive branch to the EU. Brexit negotiations start next week in Brussels and Britain’s Brexit secretary David Davis is planning to guarantee the 3m EU citizens living in the UK the same rights they currently have. Earlier this year Theresa May warned that the EU would have to guarantee UK citizens’ rights first.

But before that happens, Philip Hammond is expected to challenge Mrs May over Brexit in his Mansion House speech today. The chancellor has been huddled with advisers in the Treasury for the past few days debating whether to make his differences with Mrs May explicit in the speech. A bolder speech would fire a missile directly at Number 10 because it would show divisions in the Brexit strategy at the heart of government only a few days before negotiations are due to start. The FT editorial sums it up: “The task of agreeing the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU was always going to be difficult. It has now become infinitely more complicated.” (FT, Express)

In the news

Russia probe ensnares Trump
Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the US 2016 election, is examining whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, according to a report. (WaPo)

Fed goes for the double
The US Federal Reserve has defied a string of weak inflation figures as it lifted short-term rates for the second time in 2017. The Fed also set out detailed plans for paring back the size of its balance sheet later this year. (FT)

Man Booker prize announced
Israeli writer David Grossman has been named the 2017 winner of the Man Booker International Prize for fiction for his novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar, an “intensely disquieting, engrossing read”. (FT)

London tower block fire
The death toll, currently at 12 people, is expected to rise further from an enormous fire at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London, where residents repeatedly complained about fire safety. Here’s Edwin Heathcote on how the tower block’s refurbishment raises fire safety questions. Here’s what we know so far. (FT, BBC)

Roam like at home
European officials will gather today in Malta to toast the end of mobile phone roaming charges in the EU. It may be shortlived. Dozens of telecoms operators have already applied to be exempt from the roaming rates to avoid a financial hit, according to industry sources. (FT)

Congressman wounded in shooting
A man armed with a rifle opened fire on a group of Republican congressmen practising for an annual charity baseball game on Wednesday, wounding Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, and four others. The perpetrator of the latest US mass shooting was identified as Illinois man James T Hodgkinson, who had a history of domestic violence and did not like Donald Trump. (FT, WaPo, Vox, Daily Beast)

The day ahead

A Greek compromise
Eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund meet in Brussels to try and strike a deal on Greece, paving the way for new loans for Athens but leaving the contentious debt relief issue for later. (Reuters)

BoE decision
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will deliver its latest decision on interest rates. Despite headline and core inflation being both above its 2 per cent target in April, a rise in rates remains a distant prospect.

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.

What we’re reading

​Inside Formula One’s race for global domination​
​It is mindblowingly expensive, fiercely competitive and almost impossible to break into. Can the sport’s new owners broaden its appeal? (FT)

How Facebook changed democracy​
Simon Kuper on how targeting specific voters is more effective and cheaper than speaking to the public on TV. “It’s practically a secret campaign. And it’s cheap. My friend spent about €50,000 to reach 4m voters,” he writes. (FT) ​

Could Camembert disappear?
Genuine Camembert cheese comprises just 4 per cent of the 360m wheels bearing the name “Camembert” produced each year. Earning official Camembert de Normandie status is not easy, and the small producers who make it are being squeezed out of business. (Bloomberg)

Froth comes off
The volume of alcoholic drinks consumed globally is falling and it is mainly caused by the world drinking less beer. Here is how both economics and changing tastes play a part in the decline of beer consumption in the world’s biggest markets. (Economist)

Surviving life at the back
Reducing leg room, charging for bad food: airlines seem determined to make air travel unpleasant for those forced to travel in economy class. The FT’s Mike Skapinker offers tips to make life at the back of the aircraft a bit more bearable. (FT)

Video of the day

Norway’s electric car success
Norway has become a global leader in electric cars but rapid progress presents challenges such as when to withdraw subsidies. Richard Milne reports from the world’s largest charging station (FT)

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