President Donald Trump has signed an executive order barring US companies and citizens from dealing in Venezuela`s crypto-currency, the Petro.
Mr Trump said the currency - which was launched in February - represented an "attempt to circumvent US sanctions".
The Petro is intended to bolster Venezuela`s crumbling economy, which has been suffering from hyperinflation and devaluation for years.
The Venezuelan government called the US move a "new imperial aggression".
Mr Trump issued the executive order on Monday.
It bans "all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a United States person or within the United States, any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token" issued by Venezuela`s government since 9 January.
Last month, Venezuela said a pre-sale first block of 100 million Petro would take place between 20 February and 19 March.
In a statement released on Monday, the government committed its "absolute and sovereign decision to continue promoting Blockchain technology and make the Petro one of the most solid and reliable cryptocurrencies in the world".
Critics said the crypto-currency was a desperate attempt by President Nicolás Maduro to raise cash at a time when Venezuela lacked the ability to repay its $150bn (£107bn) foreign debt.
Opposition leaders said the sale constituted an illegal issuing of debt, while the US Treasury Department warned it may violate sanctions imposed last year.
President Maduro has said each token will be backed by a barrel of Venezuelan crude.
The Latin American country has the world`s largest proven oil reserves.
Venezuela`s economic crisis has largely been triggered by a slide in oil prices and production, which accounts for 96% of exports.
President Donald Trump used the annual presidential statement marking the Persian holiday of Nowruz to criticize Iran’s government and military leaders with sharp-tongued language rarely before seen in a celebratory presidential message.
“The history of Nowruz is rooted in Iran, where for millennia a proud nation has overcome great challenges by the strength of its culture and the resilience of its people,” Trump said in a statement released Monday.
“Today, the Iranian people face another challenge: rulers who serve themselves instead of serving the people.
” In the message marking the start of the spring New Year’s festival, Trump said he was announcing that the Treasury Department would issue guidance “reaffirming America’s support for the free flow of information to the citizens of Iran” and that the U.
would hold the regime accountable for cyber-attacks abroad.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin later issued a separate statement underscoring that commitment.
Nowruz, which means "new day" in Persian, has its origins in the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism and is also celebrated in Afghanistan, Turkey, India and other countries.
Trump specifically attacked Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, saying it had engaged in corruption and mismanagement of the Iranian economy.
"Twenty-five centuries ago, Darius the Great asked God to protect Iran from three dangers: hostile armies, drought, and falsehood," the president said in the statement.
"Today, the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) represents all three.
" Trump highlighted the high unemployment rate among Iranian youth and said “the average Iranian family is 15 percent poorer today than it was 10 years ago.
” “Ordinary Iranians struggle economically and find it difficult to celebrate holidays like Nowruz,” Trump said before adding: "may light prevail over darkness in this New Year and may the Iranian people enjoy a new day of peace, prosperity and joy.
" Sharp Departure Trump’s statement this year was a sharp departure from previous presidential statements marking Nowruz, which have largely sought to reach out to the Iranian people with messages of unity and support.
In his own statement to the Iranian people last year, Trump said he was sending his “best wishes” to the Iranian people celebrating a “wonderful holiday.
” “For many years, I have greatly enjoyed wonderful friendships with Iranian-Americans, one of the most successful immigrant groups in our country’s contemporary history,” Trump said in his 2017 statement.
Trump’s 2018 statement came after he fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and amid continuing threats to pull out of the nuclear accord with Iran before May.
Tillerson had supported remaining in the accord.
Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who leads the Foreign Relations Committee, said he believed Trump would pull the U.
out of the agreement.
“Right now it doesn’t feel like it’s going to be extended,” Corker said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program.
On Tuesday, Trump will meet with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House to discuss further efforts to combat Iran.
The State Department issued a milder Nowruz message on Monday night.
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan offered his good wishes as people gather, "cooking, feasting, dancing, singing, and spending time with family and friends.
" Sullivan added that the U.
supports Iranians "seeking to reclaim their fundamental freedoms of expression, religion, and peaceful assembly.
They’re two of Russia’s most powerful tycoons, each with a reach that extends into Vladimir Putin’s inner sanctum, and now their fight over one of the country’s most lucrative assets is flaring anew.
The dispute between the billionaires—Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska—runs from Arctic mines to the High Court in London.
The legal proceedings provide a glimpse into the rules, written and not, that govern the vast fortunes that exist at the pleasure of the newly re-elected president.
As a British judge prepares to rule on small ownership changes that may have a big impact on Siberian metals titan Norilsk Nickel, initial signs from Kremlin insiders suggest one longtime Putin ally may have an edge over the other.
Putin is displeased when leading business figures opt to resolve feuds publicly abroad, as Deripaska is doing, instead of privately, one senior official said.
The issue is particularly sensitive now that Britain is blaming Russia for the nerve-agent attack in an English park on a turncoat spy.
Both parties need to understand this isn’t a good time for a fight, he said.
Deripaska has also irritated senior officials for what two other people close to the Kremlin called a string of missteps.
They cited his publicized connections to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and a sex scandal that’s become a media sensation.
All three people said Putin prefers not to get involved in business conflicts, though he has before in the case of Nornickel, even hinting at possible nationalization.
“Putin likes Potanin because he’s a former official and a billionaire who was never affiliated with any alternative group other than Putin’s,” says Valery Solovei at the Institute for International Relations in Moscow.
“Deripaska is also loyal, but he never served the state.
” At the center of the tussle is Nornickel, one of the world’s largest suppliers of not only the high-grade nickel that helps power iPhones and Teslas, but also palladium, platinum and cobalt, three metals the U.
just declared vital to national security.
Both men hold sizable stakes—and opposing views about how to deploy the torrent of cash the company spins off.
Nornickel has paid about 680 billion rubles ($12 billion) in dividends over the past five years.
QuicktakeOligarchs’ Feud With key provisions of a 2012 shareholder agreement expiring, Deripaska, 50, wants Nornickel to pay out at least $2 billion annually—a figure almost equal to the company’s entire profit for last year—while Potanin, 57 and now chief executive officer, favors more spending on upgrades and expansion.
Deripaska’s press service declined to comment, while Potanin’s spokeswoman didn’t answer messages seeking comment.
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, also didn’t reply to requests for comment.
The feud dates back a decade to when Deripaska acquired 25 percent of Nornickel from Potanin’s former partner, Mikhail Prokhorov, for what was initially said to be $15 billion in cash and stock in his aluminum giant Rusal.
The deal closed in April 2008, just as the global credit crunch was about to slash Deripaska’s fortune to $2 billion from $28 billion.
With Rusal drowning in debt and Deripaska demanding more cash from Nornickel, an old KGB colleague of Putin’s was installed as CEO to make sure the mining company continued to function and its 80,000 workers kept getting paid.
Putin then approved a $4.
5 billion emergency loan that helped Rusal keep its stake.
What’s changed about the feud, aside from the economic backdrop, is Putin, who’s since become the country’s longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin.
“Putin is different now,” says Gleb Pavlovsky, a Kremlin adviser during Putin’s first two terms.
“He values owners who solve their own problems and pursue agendas useful to the country.
He’s not interested in business conflicts.
” Even so, Norilsk holds a place in Russian history that makes whatever happens to the city and the company a matter of political significance.
Stalin’s secret police established a forced-labor colony in the remote region in 1935 to exploit the rich and varied deposits that formed after a mass-extinction event known as the Great Dying some 250 million years ago.
More than 1 million prisoners may have perished in Norilsk and other “islands” in the “Gulag Archipelago,” a tragedy largely unknown to the public until freed dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn published a book by that name in the West in 1973.
Putin has repeatedly said he doesn’t care how Nornickel is divvied up as long as its owners meet their commitments, particularly to a $2 billion project to clean up decades of toxic discharges that have turned the city of 178,000 people 1,800 miles northeast of Moscow into one of the dirtiest places on Earth.
The animosity between Potanin and Deripaska, who went almost 18 months without even meeting to discuss Nornickel, according to court testimony, has spilled into the open in the past, a rarity for two businessmen so close to the president.
Before the 2012 bargain was struck, Potanin mocked Deripaska for not knowing how to lose and Deripaska accused Potanin of being a petty thief.
Complicating matters for the Russian leader, who prides himself on—and demands—loyalty, are the unique and deep ties both billionaires have to late President Boris Yeltsin, who essentially crowned Putin czar when he resigned at the turn of the millennium.
Potanin formed one of capitalist Russia’s first banking empires and was a driving force behind Yeltsin’s infamous loans-for-shares scheme through which he gained a dominant stake in Nornickel for just $171 million in 1995.
A year later, he helped fund Yeltsin’s surprise re-election victory over a resurgent Communist and then befriended Putin as the newly arrived bureaucrat began his rapid climb to the top.
The two Vladimirs still play hockey together.
Deripaska, a former Red Army conscript with a physics degree, built his fortune by scooping up newly issued worker shares in smelters and emerged from the bloody and gangster-ridden aluminum wars of the 1990s victorious.
He cemented his place among the elite by marrying into the Yeltsin family in 2001, a year after Putin became president and granted his predecessor immunity.
Now he heads a state council on trade and often travels with Putin abroad.
The Yeltsin connections are key to the Nornickel truce that Putin helped broker in 2012 and go to the heart of the current wrangling.
As part of that deal, Roman Abramovich, an early Putin backer who reportedly had an apartment inside Yeltsin’s Kremlin, and Valentin Yumashev, Yeltsin’s son-in-law and the father of Deripaska’s estranged wife Polina, became mediators.
Potanin and Deripaska each sold about 2.
5 percent of Nornickel to Abramovich and handed him their voting rights to another 7.
Abramovich agreed to a five-year lock-up period for his own shares, but that ended in December and now he’s looking to cash out, prompting Deripaska to file suit in London to preserve the status quo.
A judge ruled this month that Abramovich can sell about two-thirds of his 6.
4 percent stake to both Nornickel owners on a pro rata basis, provided the transactions are upheld at a hearing in May.
Potanin closed his part of the deal Thursday, lifting his stake to almost 33 percent.
Deripaska’s acquisition, if completed, will keep his stake just below the 30 percent threshold that would trigger a mandatory offer to other shareholders, a move his creditors would vigorously oppose, people familiar with the matter said.
And there’s another provision in the 2012 pact that Deripaska, whose relationship with a self-described sexpert is making international headlines, is seeking to avoid.
If Abramovich’s stake drops below 1 percent then Yumashev, grandfather to Deripaska’s two kids, may become the sole arbiter of the dispute.
A high-end escort who claims to have been Deripaska’s lover published a tell-all book titled, “How to Seduce a Billionaire.
” The woman even posted photos on social media of what appears to be Deripaska and a top Putin aide on a yacht she says she was hired to work on in 2016.
She also claims to have audio recordings of the men that prove Russia meddled in the U.
Given the multiple headaches, it would be in Deripaska’s interest to strike a compromise or risk a revolt by powerful shareholders within his own company, Rusal, including fellow billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, according to Kirill Chuyko, head of research at BCS Global Markets in Moscow.
“Without a new deal, this conflict may lead not only to a change in the shareholder structure of Norilsk, but likely even Rusal itself,” Chuyko said.
And lurking in the background, as always, is Putin, whose involvement doesn’t come cheap.
When the KGB veteran who was seconded to Nornickel during the crisis stepped down, Potanin and Deripaska agreed to pay him the richest golden parachute in Russian history—$100 million, with 10 percent going to a charity for widows and orphans of intelligence officers.
— With assistance by Patricia Suzara.
Exercises will be of similar scale as last year, Pentagon says Annual U.
-South Korea military exercises will start on April 1, the Pentagon said, in a move that risks irking North Korea.
The exercises on the Korean Peninsula would be of a similar scale as in previous years, the U.
Department of Defense said in a statement, stressing they were routine and not in response to any North Korean provocations or the current political situation.
No details were given on specifics such as whether U.
strategic assets would be deployed.
The exercises had been delayed from their normal start in March as South Korean President Moon Jae-in sought to ensure a peaceful Olympics and Paralympics in his country.
They come as Moon prepares for planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month, while U.
President Donald Trump prepares for a potential meeting with Kim the following month.
While North Korea has long seen the drills as provocations of war, Kim was quoted by one of Moon’s envoys to Pyongyang this month as saying he understands they must go ahead.
But North Korean state media said later they were a "grave provocation aimed to deliberately deteriorate the situation of the Korean peninsula and again push it to the brink of war.
" The Foal Eagle field training exercises will involve about 11,500 U.
troops and 290,000 South Korean soldiers, while around 12,200 U.
troops and 10,000 South Korean personnel will conduct the Key Resolve 18 exercises focused on computer simulations, the Pentagon said.
Last year’s drills included the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and F-35B fighter jets.
The United Nations Command has notified the North Korean army on the schedule, the statement said.
The exercises "demonstrate the Alliance’s commitment to the defense of the ROK through combined and joint training," the statement said.
"They are not conducted in response to any provocations.
President Donald Trump’s direct assault on Robert Mueller over the weekend renewed fears he’s preparing to fire the special counsel as Republicans mostly remained silent on the threat.
Just a few Republicans strongly warned Trump against firing Mueller -- Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said it could lead to the end of Trump’s presidency.
Most avoided taking a stand.
The lack of clarity from the majority party in Congress about potential repercussions may embolden Trump, who last week fired his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and is said to be contemplating a bigger shakeup of his Cabinet and inner circle.
The president’s attacks on the FBI, the Justice Department and Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling -- and whether anyone close to Trump colluded in it -- channeled a long-running narrative on conservative news outlets.
On Sunday evening, White House lawyer Ty Cobb issued a statement saying Trump “is not considering or discussing the firing” of Mueller.
But Trump already had made clear his growing impatience at the special counsel and his probe.
He continued to do that on Monday morning, saying in a tweet: “A total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!” Read more: A QuickTake explainer on Trump’s firing power In a series of posts over the weekend, Trump was more specific, criticizing Mueller by name on Twitter for the first time, saying his investigation is corrupted by political bias.
‘Hardened Democrats’ “Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added.
does anyone think this is fair?’’ Trump tweeted earlier Sunday, using false information.
“And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!’’ The tweet -- which failed to acknowledge that Mueller is a longtime Republican -- followed a statement by Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, calling for the Justice Department to shut down the investigation into potential collusion.
Dowd, who said he wasn’t speaking on behalf of Trump, argued that the probe should end in light of “recent revelations,’’ including the Friday night firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Trump celebrated McCabe’s dismissal, which he had called for, saying it showed evidence of a broad conspiracy against him.
In his statement Saturday, Dowd said, “I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier.
’’ Read more: Sessions Fires FBI’s McCabe Right Before He Was to Retire Any move to oust Mueller would ignite a political firestorm in Washington.
Democrats have warned of a constitutional showdown, and Republicans are worried it could damage their prospects in this year’s midterm congressional elections.
Yet Trump spent the weekend assailing an investigation that has secured guilty pleas from three of his campaign associates and the indictment of a fourth as a “WITCH HUNT!” Republicans lawmakers haven’t expressed much concern to the White House about such attacks, according to Marc Short, Trump’s director of legislative affairs.
“I’ve not heard a lot of outcry from Republicans,’’ Short said on CBS’s “Face the Nation’’ program.
Opposition to the president is politically perilous for most Republican lawmakers because of Trump’s popularity among the party’s voters.
The strongest Republican response to the attacks on the Mueller probe from Trump and his lawyer came from Graham, who repeated in a CNN interview his warning from last year that firing Mueller would be “the beginning of the end of his presidency.
” Ryan’s Standing Position Few Republicans joined in.
Most ducked the issue while at home over the weekend, though House Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokeswoman, Ashlee Strong, reaffirmed his standing position that the probe should continue.
“As the speaker has always said, Mr.
Mueller and his team should be able to do their jobs,’’ she said Sunday in a statement.
Ailing GOP Senator John McCain defended Mueller on Twitter, praising his “honesty and integrity” and saying it’s “critical” the investigation continue “unimpeded.
” Other Republicans appearing on Sunday talk shows also warned against firing Mueller, but, like Ryan, without saying what they’d do if Trump acts.
Representative Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee and a member of the Intelligence Committee, dinged Dowd, the president’s lawyer, for calling for the investigation to be shut down.
“If you have an innocent client, Mr.
Dowd, act like it,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.
” But asked what the House of Representatives, which has the power to bring articles of impeachment, would do if Trump fired Mueller, Gowdy said “I’m not sure the House can do a lot.
” Legislation Stalled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t comment.
The Kentucky Republican said in January he saw no need to act to protect Mueller because he knew of no official effort to undermine the probe.
Without McConnell’s backing, bipartisan legislation designed to protect Mueller from dismissal has stalled so far in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Democrats sounded the alarm and implored Republican colleagues to speak out.
“Every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat needs to step up in defense of the Special Counsel.
Now,” tweeted Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee.
“Our GOP colleagues, particularly the leadership, have an obligation to our country to stand up and make it clear that firing Mueller is a red line for our democracy that cannot be crossed,” said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
Firing Mueller would be a messy process in any case because Trump can’t remove him directly.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, has overseen the probe since Attorney General Sessions recused himself.
If Trump ordered Rosenstein to fire Mueller and he refused, Trump could fire Rosenstein.
That would put Solicitor General Noel Francisco in line to oversee the investigation -- and decide on Mueller’s fate.
The probe appears to be focusing more directly on Trump himself.
Mueller recently gave Trump a list of avenues for questioning ahead of a possible interview with investigators, the New York Times reported.
Mueller has also reportedly subpoenaed Trump’s business for Russia-related records.
— With assistance by Shannon Pettypiece, and Chris Strohm.
It was the victory rally he never doubted he`d join.
Two hours after the last polling stations in western Russia closed, Vladimir Putin strode on stage beneath the Kremlin walls to declare his re-election.
With a broad smile, he thanked the country for what he called "a vote of confidence" and promised to work for the future of a great nation.
He then led the crowd of loyal, flag waving fans braving the freezing cold in a chant of "Russia! Russia!" This was an election with eight candidates but one clear winner from the very start.
Russia`s most popular opposition politician Alexei Navalny had been excluded and a communist candidate was vilified by state-run media.
The society-girl-turned-activist Ksenia Sobchak ran her entire campaign on the basis she would lose.
President Putin shunned the pre-election debates entirely while the other candidates made threats or burst into tears.
No wonder some critics called the whole event a circus.
Dancing to Putin`s tune Turnout was the only real variable.
So the vast majority of election billboards were not for individual candidates but simply reminders that Russians were "choosing a president".
On voting day itself there was music and entertainment to help pull in the crowds.
At one central Moscow polling station a man on a balalaika played Western rock hits in front of a stall selling cheap pies.
There was a mini-ice hockey game for children, and face-painting.
Pensioners could take the chance to sign up for activities including ballroom dancing and keep fit.
It was all part of the effort to secure maximum support for another six years of Vladimir Putin.
The vote was held on the anniversary of Russia`s annexation of Crimea, the moment when the president`s rating had soared to a historic high.
"I want to see change, I am so tired of his leadership," Olga said, after casting her ballot for the only female candidate in the race.
"I want to see my country develop in a different way.
" "I`m not voting for Putin," Kirill agreed, recalling that Vladimir Putin had been in power since 2000.
"He`s been president too long and should go.
" But the final result - a landslide victory - showed that the vast majority of voters disagreed.
"We have started to live much better under Putin, patriotism is spreading.
It`s wonderful," Gelena Zakharova said, one of many smartly-dressed voters emerging from a central Moscow polling station.
"Russia has become a very powerful country.
We`re rising from our knees.
I really like it.
" `Tough guy` As Russia has "risen" relations with the West have sunk, most lately with furious accusations from the UK over the poisoning of a former Russian spy.
Shortly after his victory speech, Mr Putin made his first extended comments on the case calling claims of Russian involvement "utter nonsense" and insisting his country destroyed all chemical weapons "unlike our partners".
Most people here are baffled by the whole story.
To some, like Dmitry heading into another central Moscow polling station, it`s a chance for their president to act tough on the world stage.
"He`s one of the most powerful politicians in the world; a real tough guy and that`s good.
" But squaring up to the West only has limited appeal according to political analyst Ekaterina Shulman.
"The besieged fortress mentality is very useful to mobilise the incumbent.
It reinforces the idea that there`s no alternative," she says.
"But it makes the electorate anxious and tired.
It wears them out.
" Ultimately she argues the focus will have to shift to people`s real concerns - their shrinking wealth, health care, housing and education.
But judging by Vladimir Putin`s first comments after victory, a sudden thaw in relations with the West looks unlikely.
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It’s crunch week for businesses wanting to know the rules and trading regime they’ll be operating under just a year from now.
On Monday, Brexit Secretary David Davis and chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier meet in Brussels.
A news conference has been penciled in for midday.
Davis has avoided appearing alongside Barnier so far this year, so it could be a sign the two sides are on track to reach an agreement on a transition phase that will keep all the rules the same until the end of 2020 — or 21 months after exit day.
is trying to secure a written promise from the EU about the transition agreement, Tim Ross reports.
Businesses are cranking up the pressure to make the transition as solid — and useful — as possible.
They are becoming increasingly aware that any agreement reached at the summit this week will be a political commitment — not legally binding until the final withdrawal agreement is signed early next year.
Barnier has made the point repeatedlyin recent weeks that there’s no transition without a final deal and that the transition agreement isn’t certain until the divorce deal is inked.
With the Irish border issue still an intractable riddle, that’s a warning that businesses have to take seriously.
British negotiators are pushing for the EU to include an explicit statement in negotiating guidelines.
They want the document to state that an agreement in principle has been reached on the terms of transition, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The draft guidelines circulated earlier this month leave some blanks at the top to be updated just before the summit and the holding language is vaguer — it says the EU side “welcomes/notes the progress” on transition.
That kind of language wouldn’t go down well with businesses and might not be enough for them to put their contingency plans back in the drawer.
“Political agreement on transition alleviates some pressure on some companies, but it would be a mistake to think it solves the Brexit readiness problem,” said James Stewart, head of Brexit at KPMG.
“Just as no lawyer would allow you to complete a major deal without a legally binding contract, so it would be equally reckless for businesses to scrap their contingency plans until they have a similar level of assurance.
” Brexit Latest Unison Strained | National interests are starting to test the united front that the 27 remaining EU members have shown so far during the Brexit talks, according to three people with knowledge of the process, Ian Wishart reports.
At issue is whether to add language on specific industries — and addressing the concerns of specific countries.
 At a meeting in Brussels this week, Spain, whose national airline Iberia is owned by the same company as British Airways, signaled it would like specific references to aviation, while Luxembourg wants more detail on financial services.
View From Berlin | German Chancellor Angela Merkel is still looking for clarity from the U.
, she said in her weekly podcast published on Saturday.
“We will, for the first time, talk about what our vision for our future relation with the U.
looks like,” Merkel said.
“Of course, the U.
also has to say what it wants.
” May gave her detailed vision in a landmark speech on March 2, but EU officials have dismissed many of the proposals as unworkable.
Finance Is Fine | Royal Bank of Scotland Chairman Howard Davies said the finance industry is unlikely to be the one to make a longer transition period after Brexit necessary.
“If you suddenly faced a cliff edge, you’d have to move people very quickly into another a city,” he said on Sky News.
 “But the issue would be finding apartments — it wouldn’t be building huge facilities.
” Banks are well ahead of other companies when it comes to contingency measures, and RBS has plans for a subsidiary in Amsterdam.
Aviation Risk | The U.
’s Civil Aviation Authority doesn’t have the capacity to take over the functions of the equivalent European regulator, and it would take five to 10 years even to begin that process, according to a parliamentary committee report.
The chief executive of the U.
authority told the panel that “it would be misleading to suggest that’s a viable option.
” Any transition from one authority to another would lead to disruptions and risks to the industry, according to the report.
Freelancing Boris | Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it’s “claptrap” to say the European Court of Justice will continue to have some influence over the U.
after it leaves the EU, contradicting Prime Minister Theresa May, who made it clear in her March 2 speech that the court will still have a role after the split.
Minority Report | Parliament’s cross-party Brexit Committee is so divided that the pro-Brexit faction refused to sign off on a report this weekend and issued its own minority report that attacked the stance taken by the chairman of the influential panel.
The committee’s main paper called for the government to consider extending next year’s withdrawal deadline.
Hardline Brexit campaigner Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is on the committee, said the proposal “is the prospectus for the vassal state” and sets out a “future not worthy of us as a country.
” On the Markets | Pound traders are cautiously awaiting signs of progress toward a transition deal.
Even if those expectations are met, any gains in the currency may be short-lived, Charlotte Ryan reports.
London’s pain is Luxembourg’s gain.
While London house prices fall, Luxembourg’s are rising so much that its red-light district looks like it will be a likely home for bankers escaping Brexit.
As the Grand Duchy prepares to welcome financiers relocating from the U.
, a lack of housing has pushed the price of relatively modest family homes beyond the €1 million mark ($1.
2 million), Stephanie Bodoni reports.
That has led to edgier areas being developed to keep up with demand.
One luxurious project called “Soho” has sprung up around the Rue de Strasbourg, which is slowly shedding its reputation as a cut-throat, no-go-area populated by drug pushers and pimps.
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