Theresa May has appointed a veteran investment banker as her new “business envoy” in an attempt to bolster her often strained relations with the corporate world. William Vereker, a former executive at UBS, will take up the role from September 3 with a remit to strengthen links with British companies and potential foreign investors into Britain, the Financial Times has learnt. Mr Vereker will have his work cut out to soothe a business world where fears are growing about the potential for a hard Brexit should no deal be reached by the end of the year.
Brussels has rejected the UK’s proposals on how to govern the City of London’s access to the European market after Brexit, saying Theresa May’s latest financial services plan would rob the EU of its “decision making autonomy”. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, told European affairs ministers on Friday that the British prime minister’s vision for the City’s relationship with the EU would violate the principle that access rights to the bloc’s financial services market are a gift from Brussels that can be freely withdrawn.
Sweltering Britain is soaring towards what could be the hottest day ever, as trains are delayed to prevent tracks from buckling in the heat and reservoirs run dry. The Met Office said Friday could be the UK's warmest July day as temperatures are expected to rise to at least 37C (98.6F), with the possibility the all-time heat record of 38.5C (101.3F) will be broken. But thunderstorms are expected to provide slight relief from the scorching heatwave. After weeks without rain, torrential downpours are due to hit parts of Britain this evening and weekend, with as much as 30mm (1.2in) expected to fall in just an hour today. (Note: honestly look at the state of the grass here).