The global slowdown has arrived on Britain’s doorstep.
Goods exports fell 9.2 percent in July, the most in nine years. The drop was broad based, with the U.S., Switzerland and China leading the decline outside the European Union. The bad news meant factory production declined on an annual basis for the first time in almost two years.
The figures suggest the risks to U.K. economic growth from Europe’s struggle to strengthen and China’s slowdown may be getting big enough to affect the outlook for Bank of England interest rates. While Governor Mark Carney said last month that rate path can withstand the volatility, Thursday’s Monetary Policy Committee announcement will show whether the other eight members of the panel agree.
“Downside risks have risen very significantly,” said David Tinsley, an economist at UBS in London. “This could prove a transitory phase but the possibility that it could become more protracted could tempt the committee to lean in a heavily dovish direction.”
Data for British manufacturers may continue to soften: Markit Economics’ manufacturing index fell in August as a strong pound and weakness in Europe sapped demand for exports.
For more information: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-09/international-turmoil-is-knocking-on-the-u-k-s-door
This morning, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and State Secretary for Asylum, Migration and Administrative Simplification Theo Francken announced that, from 1 July 2015, Belgium and the United Kingdom propose a new visa service to Chinese citizens wanting to travel to Belgium, the wider Schengen area and the United Kingdom during the same trip.
Currently, a Chinese citizen who visits Belgium and the United Kingdom during the same trip must submit applications for two visas at two different places.
The new service offered by Belgium and the United Kingdom will allow this Chinese citizen two submit an application for these two visas online, then book an appointment in one of the three UK visa application centers (Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai), at which they will complete the process. Each country takes its visa decision independently, but the decision will be sent to one visa application center, where the Chinese applicant receives the passport with visa, generally within 10 working days after the applications.
This Belgo-British initiative allows Chinese visitors the possibility to receive two visas as part of a single process. With these visas, they can visit Belgium (which must be the main destination), other countries within the Schengen area and the UK.
A combined visit to Belgium and the United Kingdom offers many advantages to the Chinese visitors. The excellent transport connections (Eurostar trains connect Brussels and London in two hours, numerous flights, ferry boats) and the central location of Belgium in Europe guarantee easy travel over the whole continent.
This Monday, David Cameron Monday met with his former ennemy, Jean-Claude Juncker, before starting a delicate tour through Paris and Berlin this week-end, to promote his idea of reforming the European Union before the UK takes part in it.
The talks went over an EU reform and a renegociation of the membership of the UK with the latter, said David Cameron’s spokesman after the meeting.
Cameron thinks that the EU does not fit with british standards and that it should encounter the desires and the needs of the british population more in order for them to be part of it.
Cameron also aspires to bring home a few fundamental powers given to the EU back to the UK, on behalf of the sovereignty of the British Parliament, and wants to tighten the conditions of access to social benefits for EU citizens, especially those from the eastern countries.