It’s been a grim year – but what if Britain had never voted for Brexit?

Michael Gove releases his new book for Christmas – a brilliant science-fiction novel about what would happen if Britain had voted to leave the EU.

Can you believe it was just one year ago today that we all unanimously took the monumentally brave decision to put our hand inside a toaster and set that bad boy to hard Brexit? The world certainly has changed in the last 365 days – we’ve got a new prime minister, a new US president and a new sense of horrific, unending despair.

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Brexit: UK offer on EU citizens a good start, says Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described UK plans to ensure the rights of EU citizens in Britain after Brexit as "a good start". However, she said there were "many, many other questions" about Brexit and there was "still a lot to do".

And the rights of UK citizens living in the rest of the EU - are among the thorny issues that have to be resolved early on in Brexit talks, along with the UK's divorce bill and the Northern Ireland border.

Brexit: EU citizens offered 'UK settled status' by PM May

EU citizens legally resident in the UK should have the same rights as British citizens after Brexit, the UK prime minister has told EU leaders.

The EU wants the industry to help tackle the problem of attackers slipping under the radar by using apps with end-to-end encryption.

The Guardian -
Theresa May makes 'fair and serious' offer on rights of EU citizens in UK

Theresa May made a “fair and serious offer” to European Union leaders over the contentious issue of the future rights of EU citizens, offering those who arrive lawfully before Brexit the chance to build up the same rights to work, healthcare and benefits as UK citizens.

The offer, which is contingent on a reciprocal pledge about the rights of the 1.5 million British citizens currently living elsewhere in the EU, falls short of the EU’s demand for its citizens living in the UK to maintain all EU rights in perpetuity.

Brexit and security loom large at EU summit

EU leaders are heading to a Brussels summit amid heightened security after a foiled terror attack at the Belgian capital's main railway station.

Security will be high on the summit agenda, not least because London and Paris were shaken by more jihadist terror attacks recently. UK Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to offer a quick agreement on residency for EU nationals and employment rights.

The Guardian -
Theresa May can’t hold a grudge – and 15 more things we’ve learned since we voted leave

Months later, he’s back as environment secretary, proving, if nothing else, that May can’t hold on to anything for long – not a policy, not a parliamentary majority, not even a grudge.

Shortly after the referendum, one prominent leave campaigner, Iain Duncan Smith, said: “I never said that during the course of the election. The £350m was an extrapolation of the £19.1bn – that’s the total amount of money we gave across the European Union.

Queen's Speech: Brexit bills dominate government agenda

A host of proposed new laws designed to prepare the UK for a "smooth and orderly" departure from the EU have been announced in the Queen's Speech.

The Lib Dems said the Queen's Speech was "bereft" of ideas to support the public services while the Green Party said it was a "shell of a Queen's Speech from a hollowed out government". The CBI said there had been a "welcome change of tone" towards business but ministers should put "pragmatism before politics" over Brexit.

The Guardian -
Theresa May drops key manifesto pledges from Queen's speech

Theresa May’s minority government has dropped key Tory manifesto pledges, including expanding grammar schools and a free vote on restoring foxhunting, as the Queen announced a pared-down legislative programme focused on delivering Brexit.

There will be a new data protection bill, as outlined in the Conservative manifesto, giving people the right to ask social media companies to delete certain information about them, as part of wider measures to guard people’s data online.

Queen's Speech: Bill to secure UK space sector

At the moment, engineers can move without restriction inside the EU, and the UK space sector's leaders have told government that if the ambitious target for future growth is to be achieved then the recruitment of talent from the continent must continue to be frictionless.

The stated purpose of the new Bill is to make the UK the most attractive place in Europe for commercial space - including launches from British soil.

New York Times -
Queen’s Speech to U.K. Parliament to Outline Theresa May’s Scaled-Down Agenda

Struggling to secure support for a minority government, Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain was expected on Wednesday to present a scaled-down legislative program that would prioritize the country’s withdrawal from the European Union and would jettison policies likely to struggle to pass in Parliament.

That would include possible successors like Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and David Davis, the cabinet minister responsible for negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Wall Street Jurnal -
Pound hits 2-month low as doubts over support for U.K. government weigh

The dollar rose against the pound Wednesday, pushing the British currency to its lowest in two months as the Conservative Party struggled to find political support as the new legislative season opens with a hung parliament.

Sterling stumbles: The pound GBPUSD, +0.0396%  hit an intraday low of $1.2569, marking the first time the currency has traded below $1.26 since April 18, according to FactSet data.

Queen's Speech 2017: May promises 'humility'

Sources from the DUP have warned that the party cannot be "taken for granted", although it is expected to back the Queen's Speech when MPs vote on it next week.

The government has cancelled next year's Queen's Speech, so this one will cover a two-year period to give MPs more time to debate all the Brexit legislation. Mrs May said the speech would be about "grasping the opportunities that lie ahead for the United Kingdom as we leave the European Union".

Mark Carney says time not right for interest rate rise

Mr Carney echoed Mr Hammond's comments, saying that "fragmentation of such global markets by jurisdiction or currency would reduce the benefits of central clearing."

Wage growth is falling, and the impact of Brexit on the economy is unclear, Mr Carney said in a speech at Mansion House in London. Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond called for a smooth Brexit to avoid a "cliff edge" for businesses as the UK leaves the European Union.

Global News -
As rates rise, Canadians in debt face risk ‘beyond historical experience’: PBO

“The financial vulnerability of the average household would rise to levels beyond historical experience,” the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) warned today, based on projections about interest rates, household debt and debt servicing costs.

Canadians will have to devote an unprecedented amount of their incomes to debt repayments, if interest rates return to normal levels, according to a new report.

Rolls-Royce boss warns against a 'hard Brexit'

The boss of Rolls-Royce has called for "as little change as possible" after Brexit to minimise the impact on business of leaving the European Union. Warren East told the BBC: "The further we get from the status quo, the harder it's going to be."

The number of large engines being produced had doubled, which required more staff, Mr East said: "On headcount we're flat - we have fewer managerial positions and more people who are assembling engines and building components."

New York Times -
The Rise of Jeremy Corbyn and the Death Throes of Neoliberalism

Such critiques are now commonplace among insurgent left-wing movements in the United States and Europe, like the one that anointed Jeremy Corbyn leader of the British Labor Party and then increased the party’s share of the popular vote.

George Osborne, a former chancellor of the Exchequer in Cameron’s government, accused May of following Jeremy Corbyn in a terrible “retreat” from globalization. May broke many ideological taboos in her eagerness to turn angry disaffection with Thatcher’s long revolution into electoral gains.

Galileo contract faces Brexit crunch

The contract will be signed on Thursday giving a German-UK consortium the go-ahead to build another eight satellites for Galileo - Europe's version of GPS.

The Commission relies on the technical competence of Esa to manage the EU's two big space programmes - Galileo and the Copernicus Sentinel Earth-observation satellites.

Wall Street Jurnal -
Brexit threatens to become a fiasco — and investors are in denial

Great Britain on Monday entered Brexit talks critical to its economic future without a plan, a stable team or a strong government.

In other words, investors are acting as if Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May won a stable majority in the general election, her party is united, she knows what she’s doing, Brexit is on track, and everything is A-OK. The most logical explanation is surely that decades of a bull market, combined with central bank interventions during every panic, have taught a whole generation of investors in Britain as well as in the U.S. to forget about “risk” entirely.

Wall Street Jurnal -
This is what elite fund managers are watching closely — and it’s not Trump or Brexit

For years the financial markets have been swayed by such geopolitical threats — and the response of central banks to them — but that dance is over now, according to high-profile fund managers.

While political risks such as the U.K.’s Brexit and the Trump presidency featured highly in discussions at FundForum last week, many at the Berlin conference noted the market is now largely ignoring such political upsets.

Wall Street Jurnal -
European stocks climb, with French market higher after parliamentary elections

Stocks across Europe leapt Monday, with French shares rising by the most in more than a month after French President Emmanuel Macron’s upstart party scored a majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday.

Among decliners on the Stoxx 600, shares of Mediaset Espana Comunicacion SA TL5, -3.43%  fell 3.3% and Polymetal International PLC POLY, -2.65%  lost 2.5%.

Wall Street Jurnal -
FTSE 100 rises, with retailers in recovery mode

The FTSE 100 UKX, +0.65%  rose 0.8% to 7,518.30, with all sectors gaining, led by oil and gas and consumer-goods shares.

Retail recovery: J Sainsbury PLC SBRY, +2.06%  rose 1.9% and Marks & Spencer Group PLC MKS, +2.14% MAKSY, -2.05%  picked up 1.7% after Friday’s selloff among food retailers. U.K. stocks rose alongside European markets SXXP, +0.73%  , as the French CAC index PX1, +0.96%  surged after French President Emmanuel Macron’s upstart party notched a strong win in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

Wall Street Jurnal -
Four ways to play the European boom

For this summer at least, however, it looks set to easily outperform the rest of the world — and perhaps even for a lot longer than that.

Following Emmanuel Macron’s victory in France, and the almost inevitable re-election of Angela Merkel in Germany in the autumn, the European Union looks far more stable than it did at the start of the year. Even so, there is no question the European economy is looking in better shape than it has done for at least a decade.

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte