The Finance 202: Democrats are more divided than ever over Wall Street regulations – Washington Post

The Finance 202: Democrats are more divided than ever over Wall Street regulations – Washington Post

Washington Post

The Finance 202: Democrats are more divided than ever over Wall Street regulations
Washington Post
In the first chapter of Trump’s presidency, the struggle over financial regulation has passed through the looking glass. Where Trump offered a confused message on the campaign — the Republican platform called both for eliminating the Consumer

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Hard Brexit could halt Heathrow expansion plans, experts say – The Guardian

Hard Brexit could halt Heathrow expansion plans, experts say – The Guardian

A hard Brexit would be a “calamity” that would spell the end for the Heathrow expansion, according to the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission.

While the airport has argued that Brexit makes its third runway ever more important, Andrew Adonis said private investment in infrastructure would be off the table unless Britain could maintain ties with the EU.

Lord Adonis said that a host of major projects including HS2, Crossrail 2 and HS3 rail links between northern cities, as well as universal broadband and mobile services, would be under threat but particularly those that rely on privately funding.

“If we were to go for a hard Brexit which severs Britain’s trading ties with the continent I think we could be heading for a calamity as a country,” he said. “It’s important that we have a Brexit that maintains Britain’s trading ties with the continent, and that probably requires a long transition period, so we can get a fully fledged trade treaty.

“These decisions on Brexit have a crucial bearing on infrastructure. Business will not invest for the long term if they think Britain is going down the tube. It’s as simple as that. The projects that will be most affected will be those that require immediate private sector investment – starting with Heathrow.”

Heathrow is owned by a range of foreign investors, the biggest two of which are a Spanish consortium and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. The cost of a third runway was put at £17.6bn, although Heathrow said it was trying to reduce the price.

The commission chair was joined on Monday by business leaders in calling on the government to make urgent progress on infrastructure decisions.

A decision has been taken in principle on Heathrow but it needs to be approved by MPs voting on a national policy statement due to be published this year. Although a majority of MPs are thought to back expansion, senior figures in both Conservative and Labour are strongly opposed.

With a hung parliament, Adonis said: “There is a real danger that no decisions come forward and we end up as a country seriously regretting yet another period of dither and delay on major infrastructure decisions.”

Adonis was joined by leaders from the British Chambers of Commerce, the CBI and the Federation of Small Businesses in calling on politicians to ensure infrastructure projects were not delayed. They set out a timetable for decisive action on a total of 12 schemes across transport, energy, digital and water sectors, all of which have been agreed in principle by government but could yet languish.

Adonis said all could be met, but said: “If we have dither and delay and a hard Brexit we’re going to really struggle to secure any agenda of long-term investment in the British economy.”

Adam Marshall, director general of the CBI, said Brexit was “so all-consuming it is sucking the air out of the room”. He said: “We must ensure our parliamentarians are focusing on infrastructure and investment too.”

The government is due to build HS2 with public funding and is expected to put legislation before parliament to build phase 2a from Birmingham to Crewe this year, and make a decision on the rest of the route. However, a faltering economy could further undermine the business case for the railway, with Treasury calculations basing passenger growth on GDP. Projects such as Crossrail 2 are expected to be significantly funded by private investment.

Lynton Crosby urged PM to call SNP’s bluff and approve indyref2 before Brexit –

Lynton Crosby urged PM to call SNP’s bluff and approve indyref2 before Brexit –

Theresa May is said to have been urged by her senior adviser to call Nicola Sturgeon’s bluff over a second independence referendum and approve a new vote before Brexit is complete.

A leaked memo prepared by Sir Lynton Crosby apparently shows that he told the party to “harness the uncertainty caused by Brexit and use it to secure support for the status quo”.

The revelation comes as Ms Sturgeon prepares to drop her preferred timetable for a new vote on breaking-up Britain in favour of a push for a soft Brexit. According to reports, she will tell MSPs this week that she will let her call for a vote before the spring of 2019 to slip, but keep the option of indyref2 on the table.

The First Minister announced in March that she wanted a vote on Scotland’s place in the UK between the autumn of next year and early 2019 after Mrs May confirmed that the UK would be leaving the European single market.

According to The Times, Sir Lynton wrote a memo to senior figures in Conservative Campaign Headquarters the following day suggesting that the Prime Minister should agree to a referendum before the end of Brexit negotiations.