One year to Brexit: How businesses in the most economically exposed region of the UK are coping

The North-east has a decent claim to be the economic ‘ground zero’ of a hard Brexit. Yet it’s also one of the heartlands of Leave. The Independent travelled to the region to see how firms there are dealing with the threat hanging over their heads, and the social contradictions thrown up by the referendum
A sword of Damocles hangs over the economy of the North-east of England. That at least is the implication of the government’s own economic analysis when it comes to Brexit.
Internal research leaked from Whitehall earlier this year suggested the North-east’s economy could take a hit of up to 16 per cent from an ultra-hard Brexit, in which the UK crashed out of the European Union with no trade deal. That’s compared to the 8 per cent injury estimated for the UK as a whole.
And that’s a projection of the economic damage over the course of 15 years, relative to staying in the EU. This highly export-reliant region could be damaged even more grievously in the short term if the UK-EU negot..

Brexit: UK car production slumps 4% in February as industry demands 'frictionless' trade with EU

Output for domestic market sees particularly marked decline of 17%
British car manufacturing output fell by 4.4 per cent in February while output for the UK market registered a double-digit monthly decline, the industry’s trade body said.
Production for the domestic market, which accounts for a minority of the UK car industry, plummeted 17 per cent on the previous month to 28,336 vehicles, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Thursday.
The figure is the seventh consecutive monthly decline in production for the domestic market.
Read more Car industry issues fresh Brexit warning as one-year countdown looms Exports remained relatively steady, dipping 0.8 per cent to 117,139. More than eight out of ten cars assembled in the UK are destined for overseas, the SMMT said.
Mike Hawes, the SMMT's chief executive, said: “Another month of double-digit decline in production for the UK is of considerable concern, but we hope that the degree of certainty provided..

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality on brink of collapse with 2,500 jobs at risk

Company went cap in hand to investors to raise £125m but it has been unable to convince them of long-term future
Bargain Booze owner Conviviality could be heading for administration after failing to secure emergency funding, placing 2,500 jobs at risk.
Over the past few weeks the firm has seen its chief executive step down after issuing a string of profit warnings and revealing a £30m tax bill.
Conviviality was forced to go cap in hand to investors to raise £125m as a result, but it has been unable to convince them of its long-term future.
Read more Bargain Booze owner says suppliers remain supportive despite tax bill A statement read: “Despite a significant number of meetings with potential investors resulting in good levels of demand, and constructive discussions with a number of key customers and suppliers regarding the provision of support, there was ultimately insufficient demand to raise the full £125m.
“The board wish to thank its customers, suppliers and employees for t..

UK consumer confidence boosted slightly by wage growth and Brexit progress, survey shows

Greatest improvement seen in the way that respondents expect their personal financial situation to unfold over the coming year
UK consumers became slightly more confident this month than they were in February, cheered by the prospect of wages inching higher, inflation easing slightly and progress being made on Brexit negotiations, a survey shows.
The GfK UK consumer confidence index rose to a score of minus 7 for March, which was up from a score of minus 10 in February and minus 9 in January.
The monthly questionnaire, which has been running since 1974, examines how consumers rate their personal financial situation and the general economic situation over the last 12 months and over the coming twelve months. It also takes in account how likely consumers are to make a major purchase.
March’s index rose for all five measures. The largest increase was seen in the way that respondents expect their personal financial situation to unfold over the coming year.
Read more Inflation falls..

PFN Backs Danjuma’s Call For Self-Defense, Says Majority Of Nigeria’s Security Agencies Headed By Compromised Fulani Citizens

  The National Publicity Secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop (Dr) Emma Gospel Isong has backed the advice by a former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.) that Nigerians should defend themselves against killers.   Dr Isong in an seven-point to back the former Minister of Defence said Nnamdi Kanu…