Brexit trade deal: US lays out 'wish list' and it does not look good for the UK

Donald Trump's administration wants to scrap a host of EU rules on food safety, chemicals, animal welfare and the environment
The US has laid out its annual trade “wishlist” and it will not make easy reading for David Davis and Liam Fox’s team of negotiators.
The 500-page tome from the US Trade Representative published this week firmly espouses the virtues of free trade and bringing down tariff and non-tariff barriers, just as Donald Trump proposed slapping a further $100bn (£71.5bn) of import levies on Chinese goods.
This openness might sound good for “Global Britain” as it seeks trade partnerships beyond the EU post-Brexit but it’s a little more complicated than that.
Read more China vows to fight 'at any cost' as Trump threatens $100bn tariffs The first concern stressed by the USTR is the “increasingly critical nature of standards-related measures (including testing, labeling and certification requirements) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures to US tr..

US falls short of expectations adding only 103,000 jobs in March

The unemployment rate stayed flat in March, while job additions widely missed the mark
The US added 103,000 new jobs in March, according to the latest non-farm payroll figures.
Ahead of the data release, Wall Street was looking for growth of about 185,000 and a decline in the unemployment rate to 4 per cent from 4.1 per cent. Unemployement held at 4.1 per cent, the numbers showed.
In February, the US added 313,000 jobs, smashing through expectations of 200,000.
The pound rose sharply against the dollar following the announcement.
Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets, said the jobs number was a “big miss”.
“The market reaction is adverse and gold has moved higher on the back of this. Today’s data is not something which Trump will be tweeting about,” he added.
However, Kully Samra, UK managing director at investment group Charles Schwab, said: “This is a healthy jobs report, reinforcing the view that the US economy shows few signs of slowing down. Risks to growth a..

Britain's sugar tax is a sweet idea

Free market think tanks and the food industry may grouse, but similar measures have reaped benefits when they've been tried overseas and they don't 'clobber the poor'
Welcome to the first day of the sugar tax, a sweet idea despite the bitter taste its opponents have been trying to leave.
An example of the latter came from the Institute of Economic Affairs. “The sugar levy is a cynical revenue raising device that will clobber people on low incomes,” it growled. “The British public are being treated like children.” If you think you can hear cheering in the background it's probably from the food and retail industries.
It always rather amuses me when Thatcherite think tanks try and portray themselves as defenders of the poor, but does the IEA have a point? Particularly when it contends that while the consumption of sugary drinks has been falling, obesity has not?
Read more Sugar tax: the soft drinks that slashed their sugar ahead of the levy How meal deals..

Selfridges to stop selling carbonated drinks in single-use plastic bottles

The retailer banned single-use water bottles almost two years ago
Department store Selfridges is removing all single-use plastic bottles containing carbonated drinks from its stores after stopping sales of disposable plastic water bottles.
The retailer has not sold single-use water bottles for almost two years and said it wanted to further encourage customers to end their use of throwaway plastic and switch to alternatives such as aluminium cans and glass.
It hopes the move, which takes effect this week and will stop the sale of the equivalent of six tonnes of plastic, will encourage other companies to remove the bottles from their offices and retail outlets.
Read more Decline in plastic bags on seabed shows tackling waste is working Selfridges Group deputy chairwoman Alannah Weston said: “We are seeing a huge shift in people's attitudes to single-use plastic water bottles, and now, carbonated drinks.
“We still have a long way to go but we can encourage environmentally con..

Jessica Huie on finding a job that gives you a sense of purpose

A whole industry has sprung up around helping people who feel unfulfilled at work. What should you do if you get the itch to try something different?
Jessica Huie has every reason to be happy with her lot. She has made an extraordinary success of her life against all odds. Expelled from school at 15 and a single mother by the time she was 17, Huie turned away from her path, threw herself back into her studies and climbed the ladder in PR, ending up with at Max Clifford Associates representing high profile clients like Samuel L Jackson and Mariah Carey.
Read more One in three Britons use baking to help them de-stress after busy day How a music studio started by an Essex grime artist is opening doors Work email could be banned outside office hours by New York City In 2006, she went one step further and started her own business. She was looking for a card for her daughter one day and discovered a gap in the market for cards featuring people of colour.
Color Blind Cards propelled Hui..

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality collapses into administration

The drinks company has appointed administrators after weeks of teetering on the brink
Conviviality, the owner of Bargain Booze, has officially gone into administration.
Matthew Callaghan, Ian Green and David Baxendale of PwC were appointed as joint administrators on Thursday, bringing to an end weeks of speculation that the company was on the edge of collapse, with up to 2,500 jobs at risk.
Read more Death of the high street? Closures and cuts paint grim scene for 2018 Earlier this week, Magners owner C&C said it planned to buy Conviviality brands Matthew Clark and Bibendum, saving around 2,000 roles.
Meanwhile, the administrators said Conviviality “continues to engage with parties interested in its retail business, which continues to trade under the names of Bargain Booze, Bargain Booze Select Convenience and Wine Rack”.
However, experts said it may be difficult to find a buyer for the retail brands.
“Conviviality’s retail operations, Bargain Booze and Wine Rack, may not ..

Sugar tax: the soft drinks that slashed their sugar ahead of the levy

The UK’s first ever sugar tax comes into force on Friday.
Soft drinks manufacturers will have to pay an extra levy on drinks that contain a high amount of sugar, which is expected to bring the treasury an extra £240m.
Some big name brands slashed their sugar content ahead of the first day of the sugar levy, while others have decided to shrink the size of their bottles and increase prices.
Read more Co-op group is back in the black as it reveals members got £74m reward The Treasury estimated on Friday that over half of manufacturers reduced the sugar content in their drinks since plans were first announced in March 2016.
Irn-Bru’s decision to slash its sugar content attracted vocal opposition from some of its customers in Scotland, where its popularity verges on the iconic.
AG Barr, the company that makes Irn-Bru, went ahead with its plan in early 2018 to reduce its sugar content by over half, from 10.3g to 4.7g per 100ml.
Ribena also followed Irn-Bru by slashing its sugar by ..

Co-op group is back in the black as it reveals members got £74m reward in 2017

The group has put previous struggles, including the near-collapse
The Co-operative Group swung back into profit last year, with sales up and debt “significantly reduced”, in a marked turnaround from the past few turbulent years.
Members of the Co-op received a total reward of £74m in 2017, the firm said, comprised of £61m in personal rewards and £13m going towards community projects. Active membership grew by 15 per cent to 4.6 million last year.
Read more How the Co-op went from near collapse to 100 new stores The group reported pre-tax profit of £72m for 2017, compared with a loss of £132m the year before. Underlying pre-tax profit was £65m, up 25 per cent on the £52m reported in 2016, while operating profit fell to £126m from £148m.
Revenues were flat at £9.5bn, with like-for-like food sales up 3.4 per cent, and convenience sales up 4.3 per cent.
The Co-op said revenues from its funeral and life planning business rose 4 per cent to £343m, with sales in will writing and p..