US congressional leaders say they have a draft deal to avoid another government shutdown, but it’s not clear if Donald Trump will sign off on the plan. Pictured: Donald Trump delivers his state of the union address to the US congress, 5 February 2019. Photo credit: The White House
Refugee football player back in Australia, Hungary’s new family policies, Soros says Europeans need to “wake up” and beating burnout. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Tuesday.
US shutdown deal, “maybe”
Democrat and Republican negotiators in the US congress have reached a tentative deal to avoid another partial shutdown of the US government. The budget reportedly includes $1.4bn for border security but not the $5.7bn wall that Donald Trump wants. The plan still needs to be finalised, voted on and then signed by Trump before Saturday. After news of the deal came out, Trump told a rally of supporters: “Just so you know, we’re building the wall anyway… Maybe progress has been made, maybe not.” Reported by the Associated Press, BBC, Financial Times, Guardian and Reuters.
Barnier shows support for Corbyn’s Brexit proposal after meeting with Bettel
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said the British government should consider Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal for a permanent customs union, reported Bloomberg, DW and Reuters. “I found Corbyn’s letter interesting in tone and in content,” Barnier said at a press conference in Luxembourg after meeting PM Xavier Bettel (DP). “Something has to give on the British side,” said Barnier. He reiterated that the EU would not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement. Bettel agreed that the Brexit ball was in Britain’s court: “We never pushed for Brexit, we never demanded Brexit…. The responsibility started in London and is still in London.”
British port could expand if no deal
The port operator DP World said it could quickly increase capacity at its London Gateway facility by 30% in case of a hard Brexit, according to the Financial Times.
Britain’s economy slowed sharply
The UK economy has expanded at its slowest rate since 2012. Economic growth during the last three months of 2018 was 0.2%, down from 0.6% the previous quarter. Brexit uncertainty is thought to be a dampener. Reported by the BBC, Guardian and Reuters.
Voss quietly promoting Luxembourg
FTFM, the Financial Times fund management site, spoke with Denise Voss, chair of the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry and conducting officer at Franklin Templeton, during her recent trip to London. According to FTFM, Voss “seems gloomy”. She said Brexit is “definitely a lose-lose” for Luxembourg, even if the country has notched up some short-term gains.
Hungary to give tax exemptions to women who have more children
Viktor Orban, Hungary’s anti-immigration prime minister, unveiled a number of family friendly policies in a bid to boost the country’s birthrate. These include waiving income tax on mothers of four or more children, subsidies for larger families to buy homes and cars, creating more creche places and paying grandparents who look after their grandchildren. Reported by CNBC, the Guardian and ITV.
Soros says Europeans need to “wake up” before EU falls apart
Hakeem al-Araibi, a Bahraini with refugee status in Australia, has returned to Melbourne after being freed from a Bangkok prison. The footballer was detained in Thailand for two months after Bahrain had sought his extradition, but the Gulf nation then dropped the case. Reported by the AFP, BBC and DW.