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Posts tagged as Prime Minister Theresa May

Asian markets swing on tempered trade hopes, weak data

HONG KONG: Asian markets fluctuated Thursday as optimism over China-US trade talks was tempered by Donald Trump’s top negotiator, while investors also digested weak factory data from Beijing and fresh geopolitical tensions in Kashmir.
The global rally that has characterised most of this year took a knock after US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers that real progress had been made with China, but a lot of work was still needed before a pact is signed.
While his comments did not derail expectations of an agreement at some point with both sides reporting good progress and Trump delaying a deadline for a deal it did give traders pause for thought, observers said.Lighthizer said a trade deal hasnt been agreed yet, bringing some reality back to euphoric markets post-Trumps tariff extension, despite the fact Lighthizer also announced both sides had agreed on an enforcement process, said OANDA senior market analyst Jeffrey Halley.
After a negative lead from Wall Street, Asian markets swung Thursday and Tokyo went into the break 0.4 percent lower.Hong Kong was up 0.4 percent mid-morning, Shanghai gained 0.3 percent, Sydney put on 0.2 percent and Wellington was up 0.4 percent.But Singapore slipped 0.5 percent and Seoul shed 0.2 percent, while Jakarta retreated 0.5 percent and Manila lost 0.7 percent.
Also fuelling selling pressure was figures showing Chinese manufacturing activity contracted for a third straight month in February, with factories hit by the long Lunar New Year break, concerns about slowing growth and uncertainty from the trade row. Better sense-However, Zhou Hao, a senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank AG, said the results were likely not as bad as they seemed and the outlook could be positive.
I think we still want to wait for the next months reading as this months is distorted by the holiday, he said.Also the economy could stabilise this month.
Rising input prices suggest that there is no need to worry about deflation, so the question now rests on whether the economy has enough impetus.Nervousness continues to stalk trading floors after Pakistan and India said they had shot down each others fighter jets on Wednesday, fuelling worries of a conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
The developments followed the February 14 suicide bombing by militants in the disputed Kashmir region that that killed 40 Indian troops.Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called for better sense to prevail.With politicians on both nuclear-armed sides making soothing comments overnight, the trick will be finding a mutually face-saving path to de-escalate the situation. Of course, this will be much easier said than done, and the potential for hostilities to ratchet higher remains very high, Halley added.
On currency markets the pound held gains after touching a near eight-month high earlier Thursday after MPs gave Prime Minister Theresa May more time to work on her EU withdrawal deal after she promised they could delay Brexit if necessary.Sterling was also given a boost after the opposition Labour Party said it would back a second referendum, having lost a vote on its own Brexit plan Wednesday.

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May hails Brexit talks ‘progress’ but no breakthrough

BRUSSELS: Prime Minister Theresa May said she had made ‘progress’ in talks with the EU on Wednesday as she sought to extract concessions on the terms of Britain’s divorce, but as expected there was no major breakthrough.
With less than six weeks until Brexit day, May met European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker hoping for movement on the Irish backstop issue after EU leaders insisted they would not restart negotiations.Fears are growing that Britain could yet crash out without a deal, and there was fresh drama just before May headed to Brussels as three of her MPs resigned from her Conservative party in protest over Brexit to join a new independent group of lawmakers.Citing the risk of a hard Brexit, ratings agency Fitch on Wednesday warned it could downgrade Britain, while the pound slipped against the US dollar.A joint statement from May and Juncker called their meeting constructive, striking a slightly more positive tone than when they met a fortnight ago.How Europe reacted to Brexit deal defeatThe two leaders agreed that talks had been constructive, and they urged their respective teams to continue to explore the options in a positive spirit, the statement said,Separately, May said she had stressed the need for legally binding changes to the backstop though the EU has ruled this out.Weve agreed that work to find a solution will continue at pace, time is of the essence and its in both our interests that when the UK leaves the EU it does so in an orderly way.And so weve made progress, May said.May and the other 27 EU leaders approved a Brexit withdrawal agreement at a summit on November 25 last year, but the British leaders own parliament rejected it overwhelmingly on January 15.Since then, May and her ministers have repeatedly met EU leaders and their negotiator Michel Barnier to urge them to reopen the text to find a way to appease eurosceptic MPs.The main stumbling block has been the Irish backstop, which provides for Britain to remain in the EU customs union until a way is found such as a future free trade deal to ensure that Irelands border with Northern Ireland remains open.
Brexiteers in Mays own Conservative party see this as a trap to keep Britain tied to the bloc indefinitely, and have demanded a time limit or exit clause.But such a clause would be seen in Brussels as a betrayal of EU member Ireland and has consistently been given short shrift by EU officials.May and Junckers statement indicated a fresh push to see what guarantees the EU could offer on the backstop to convince sceptical MPs it will not be used to trap Britain.In sadness, EU leaders approve Brexit dealIt also suggested the political declaration outlining plans for future EU-UK ties could be beefed up to increase confidence that both sides will try to reach a future deal as soon as possible, so the backstop never has to be used.May said her Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox would be back in Brussels on Thursday just three days since their last visit as the pace of negotiations picks up.A European source said Cox, whose legal analysis of Mays deal confirmed Brexiteer fears, will have a key role to play.
If Brussels does enough on the backstop to persuade Cox to soften his advice, it could help swing the parliamentary arithmetic behind the prime minister.Without a deal, Britain is due to leave the Union abruptly after four decades on March 29, with no follow-on agreement or transition period to manage trade and economic relations.Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will meet Barnier on Thursday.Officials in both Brussels and London have played down talk that an EU-Arab League summit in Egypt this weekend could become a Brexit in the desert meet, insisting the issue would not hijack the gathering.Both sides have said they want to avoid a no deal Brexit, and many experts foresee economic chaos, even warning of food and medicine shortages or a renewed threat of unrest in Northern Ireland.Manufacturing supply chains could be disrupted, and Brexit uncertainty has already been cited as a contributing factor in the closure or departure of several British-based businesses.One option to avoid no deal would be for Brussels to accord Britain an extension to the March 29 deadline, although May insists she will not request a delay.A delay could keep Britain inside the EU for May 23-26 elections for a new European Parliament, which will start sitting from July 2, presumably without any British members.

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Gross or Savvy? Theresa May’s mouldy food confession shocks Britain

The 62-year-old delved into her eating habits this week during a cabinet meeting on food waste where she offered up a controversial piece of advice.
Source: Getty British Prime Minister Teresa May has shocked residents across the UK with a mouldy food confession that has left people cringing.
Not wanting to waste seemingly good food, May claimed instead of dumping a jar of jam in the bin when it has gone off she simply scrapes away the mouldy part on top and continues to eat what’s underneath, BBC reports.The prime minister explained to the cabinet that the rest of the jam is “perfectly edible” and that it’s not always the best idea to follow use by dates as they can sometimes be incorrect, leading to more wasted food.Her admission has shocked many Brits who have questioned her habits labelling her decisions “disgusting” and contemplating how the jam went mouldy in the first place.“If she actually does scrape the mould off the top of the jam, she is disgusting,” one person wrote on .“Take you own jar next time the prime minister invites you over for afternoon tea,” another joked. While a third said: “If you jar the jam properly you don’t get mould.”

However, there have been others who claim May’s technique is actually quite savvy and prevents an abundance of food waste and money down the drain.For those born in the post war generation in particular, wasting food was very much frowned upon.
It was not uncommon to simply cut off a mouldy piece of cheese or ditch a slice of mouldy bread and keep the rest.That is the argument that some put forward when hearing of May’s food waste preventative measure.“What is she supposed to do? Eat it? Or throw away an otherwise good jar of jam? Having grown up with little money, I was taught to do the same. Wasting food is wrong,” someone argued.Never thought Id say this, but: bravo Theresa May!If people were willing to scrape the mould out of jam there wouldnt be any need for foodbanks.until, of course, brexit harms the poor, whom I care about very deeply.
February 13, 2019A second praised the prime minister adding:  “Never thought I’d say this, but: bravo Theresa May! If people were willing to scrape the mould out of jam there wouldn’t be any need for foodbanks… until of course, Brexit harms the poor, whom I care about very deeply”.Another claimed there is absolutely nothing wrong with what May does, and eating the mould itself wouldn’t even be a bad idea.
“I work for a jam manufacturer,” they said. “Simple fact is that most fruit jams are naturally acidic, and therefore the mould is likely harmless.
”It turns out they’re correct too as mould expert Dr Patrick Hickey previously told the BBC that jam that has developed mould on top is safe to eat as long as you scrape it off and ensure there is none left in the jar. This is because the high acidity levels in the fruit help keep harmful bacteria at bay.

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