• ECB faces challenges over Italy, Brexit — and its own strategy (The Financial Times) – The European Central Bank is facing serious challenges: rising tensions between Brussels and Rome, doubts about monetary policy and worries about Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal. A closely watched poll of purchasing managers published on Wednesday also showed that the region’s businesses are struggling to come to terms with increased global trade tensions — and that the export-led slowdown is beginning to affect the much larger services sector.
  • Flights and trains between UK and EU after Brexit ‘increasingly a cause for concern’ says Department for Transport (The Independent) – Flights and trains between the UK and the European Union after Brexit look increasingly in jeopardy in the event of no withdrawal deal being agreed, the Department for Transport (DfT) has said. Lucy Chadwick, director general at the DfT, told the Public Accounts Committee that agreements on air and rail services between Britain and the EU comprise “an area of growing concern to us”.
  • People’s vote on Brexit is live option, Cable tells Barnier (The Guardian) – The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Vince Cable, has urged Michel Barnier to stop talking up a no-deal Brexit and instead make public his contingency plans for a second referendum. Speaking before a meeting with the EU’s chief negotiator, Cable suggested both the government and Brussels had been emphasising the danger of the UK crashing out in order to sell a “bad deal” to parliament. The former business secretary said a so-called people’s vote was now an increasingly viable way to solve the logjam in parliament, and Brussels needed to change its approach.
  • No-deal Brexit could raise price of mince by 50%, meat industry says (The Guardian) – The price of mince would go up 50% in the event of no Brexit deal, the meat industry has warned. It would push British favourites including burgers, spaghetti bolognese and shepherd’s pie out of the reach of many families and cause budgeting difficulties for nearly all meat-eaters, with data showing 55% of all beef consumed in the UK is mince. “It would be a significant price rise and it’s a valued product to the consumer, not just used in spag bol but also lasagne and koftas,” said Katie Doherty, policy director of the International Meat Trade Association. Speaking at a National Farmers’ Union conference in London she said no deal would mean huge food inflation, with World Trade Organisation tariffs highest on food products.