Brexit – On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented his latest version of the withdrawal agreement to members of Parliament. In the newest draft, the PM’s idea would be to scrap the contentious Irish backstop, where special arrangements for customs and regulatory enforcement on goods crossing the Irish border would apply for around a year. When EU officials were presented with the new agreement, they said it took two steps backwards from the earlier agreement and would have to be overhauled to yield a divorce agreement before the 31st October.
Hong Kong – The protests and riots in Hong Kong have been hitting the tourist market hard, having a big knock on effect on the economy. The latest retail sales figures released on Wednesday showed a large deterioration year on year, posting a decline of 23%, the largest on record. As the unrest heightened this week, emergency rules were put into place for the first time in half a century, making it illegal to wear a face mask in a public gathering. This, as the latest attempt by authorities to end the protests, could see anybody found guilty facing a year in jail.
Trade tariffs – On top of a week of fairly poor economic data globally, the US have announced a range of extra tariffs on $7.5 billion of goods being exported from Europe. The duties range form 10% to 25%, which have hit a diverse mix of items such as whiskey, aircrafts and cheese. The tariffs come as counter measures for EU subsidies provided to Airbus, with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling the subsidies illegal. The WTO have also stated that the EU can impose their own measures against the US in retaliation, as it has been ruled that Airbus’ US rival, Boeing, have also received billions of dollars in illegal subsidies.