Tuesday newspaper round-up: Brexit vote, defence plans, FOBTs, balance transfers

Digital Look WebFG News | 12 Sep, 2017 07:24 - Updated: 07:24 | | |


Senior Tory MPs yesterday warned ministers that they would have to accept changes to their flagship Brexit legislation or face defeats when the bill returns to the Commons next month. Ministers last night won a comfortable victory at the European withdrawal bill’s second reading, with seven Labour MPs joining the DUP in supporting the government and no Conservative MPs voting against it. After more than 13 hours of debate, the government secured a majority of 36, with 326 votes for and 290 against. - The Times

Britain will offer to agree positions on foreign policy with Brussels and contribute to joint military operations after leaving the EU, according to the government’s Brexit position paper on defence. The foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said it was important to make sure the UK’s “commitment to European security is undiminished” after Brexit, citing collective efforts to bring Iran to the negotiating table and the united response to Russian aggression in Ukraine as areas of successful EU action in the past. - Guardian

Fixed-odds betting terminals — described as the “crack cocaine of gambling” — will be subject to new curbs after Philip Hammond dropped his opposition to limiting their maximum stake. The issue has caused divisions in Whitehall, with the Treasury resisting proposals by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to cut the maximum stake because they would cost £400 million a year in lost tax revenues. - The Times

Theresa May has raised concerns with Donald Trump about a trade dispute that threatens thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland amid pressure from the Democratic Unionist party. Sources confirmed that the prime minister spoke to the US president and expressed her concerns that more than 5,000 jobs in Belfast could be put in jeopardy if Boeing won its case against rival planemaker Bombardier. - Guardian

Royal Bank of Scotland’s finance chief has warned that credit card lenders face a crackdown on zero balance transfers as regulators weigh up how to combat poor consumer borrowing practices. Ewen Stevenson, chief financial officer of RBS, said that 0 per cent balance transfers, which allowed borrowers to switch credit card debt from one lender to another to gain a limited interest-free period, were a “bad product” and faced curbs from the authorities. - The Times

The Financial Conduct Authority has called for representatives of Standard Chartered to meet it as the regulator examines allegations of bribery connected with the bank’s ownership of an Indonesian power plant builder. Standard Chartered officials will meet the City watchdog this week to discuss claims that managers at the bank sat on the board of Maxpower when executives at the Indonesian company authorised the payment of bribes to win business. - The Times

The UK’s offshore wind sector could power a £17.5bn investment inthe UK economy over the next four years after faster than expected cost-cutting slashed subsidies for the technology by half. The Government’s latest auction for support contracts, released on Monday, shows that offshore wind costs have halved in recent years to under £58 for every megawatt-hour of electricity produced, even lower than the estimates given by experts in the run-up to the results. - Telegraph

Google is appealing against the record €2.4bn (£2.2bn) fine imposed by the European Union for its abuse of its dominance of the search engine market in building its shopping comparison service. The world’s most popular internet search engine has launched its appeal after it was fined by the European commission for what was described as an “old school” form of illegality. - Guardian

Facebook has been hit with a €1.2m (£1.1m) fine in Spain after the country's data watchdog found it broke privacy laws. The social network breached laws designed to protect citizens' information and privacy on three occasions, according to the Spanish authorities. - Telegraph

Government efforts to boost the housing supply are being choked by a squeeze on funding for smaller housebuilders, according to an industry study. The Federation of Master Builders and 54pc of small and medium-sized developers said accessing finance is a major barrier to building more homes, up from 50pc last year. - Telegraph

Public sector employers are preparing to hire at the fastest pace since 2015, as NHS staff shortages and the rejection of austerity at the election encourages managers to recruit more workers, according to a survey. There are about 5.1 million public sector workers in the UK excluding banks rescued in the financial crisis, of whom 1.6 million work for the NHS and 1.5 million work in education. - Guardian

Halfords and the financial services company Prudential have been criticised for employing young jobseekers without pay for six weeks or more under a government-backed scheme. Some smaller businesses and training providers are pushing schemes that last as long as six months. - Guardian

Just 4% of the world’s richest families lost money last year thanks to booming stock markets and money-spinning private-equity deals. Research into the intensely privately guarded family offices of the super-rich found that just 10 out of 262 suffered a decline in wealth in 2016. Three-quarters [74.2%] of the families – who had an average fortune of $1.45bn (£1.1bn) – increased their wealth. - Guardian

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