14/03/2017 BBC Business Live


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This is Business live from BBC News with Ben Thompson and Sally Bundock.


The historic move by UK Parliament to pass the Brexit bill.


Theresa May is now on track to trigger the formal process


of taking Britain out of the EU in the last week of March.


Live from London, that's our top story on Tuesday 14th March.


historic vote last night? We look at historic vote last night? We look at


this milestone moment that set the stage to unwinding 40 years of close


cross-channel ties. Also in the programme,


in Tokyo Toshiba shares plunge as it delays its results announcement


for a second time. And in Europe markets are mixed as


political risk is firmly back on the agenda. Plus, will a winter storm


affect the meeting of the Federal reserve? We will tell you all you


We will tell you all you need to know.


Later in the programme we'll hear from one of the world's leading


board game manufacturers about the threat from computer games


And as Levi's launches a smart jacket that can


control your smartphone we want to know is it one step too


Get in touch with your thoughts about the smart jacket, Brexit,


whatever we are discussing this morning. We love to hear from you.


We begin with the historic move on the part of the UK Parliament.


Late last night it passed the Brexit bill, paving the way


for the Government to trigger Article 50 so the UK formally can


We expect formal negotiations to begin before the end of March.


And that brings with it a period of uncertainty


Last year, despite the surprise outcome of the June referendum on EU


membership, Britain recorded growth of 2%.


According to the International Monetary Fund it will slow to 1.5%,


though this is actually up from their previous


And in 2018, growth is expected to come in at just 1.4%.


The ongoing uncertainty has also impacted the currency.


Since the referendum last June, the value of the pound has fallen


Our economics editor, Kamal Ahmed, is with me.


Nice to see you. Running through some of the economic growth


forecasts. Let's start at the beginning. Where are we now? Where


does it leave us this morning? The government has got through the


legislation in the UK Parliament, that means they can now write the


formal letter to the European Commission, triggering the exit


process. From that moment, which is likely to be the end of this month


they have two years to negotiate, not only Britain's exit from the


European Union, which is the technical issue that needs to be


done there, but for the British Government they also in parallel


want to negotiate a new trade deal with the European Union. A lot of


people say that is a big stretch in two years, but that is the way the


government wants to approach it. It has made it clear Britain does not


want to be in the single market and it is unlikely to be in the customs


union. Whatever the trade deal is with the European Union, it will


have to be reformulated. But this is different from Canada trying to


negotiate free-trade deal with the European Union because there is a


free trade deal in place which will be unpicked. The government's


argument is we are starting from a position of no tariffs and it is a


question of adding in tariffs and they believe that is an easy process


than the eight or nine year process that Canada went through to get the


free trade deal with the European Union. The next couple of years will


be defined by certain landmark moments. Triggering Article 50 is


the first one. That gives business uncertainty in some respects because


we have got a timetable, but it raises so many other uncertainties.


Economically what do we expect to happen? The most important thing


will be what news flow do we get in that two-year period? We may not get


much, but what we will get is news about the arguments and that is


where the Treasury is concerned. You get the rows, the conflict over what


tariffs might exist in the automotive sector, the


pharmaceutical sector. That leads to pressure on sterling. Sterling has


lost value and it goes down and it introduces inflation into the UK and


that affects consumer confidence. The UK economy is driven by consumer


confidence and that could dissipate. The UK economy could slow. That is


the worry in the Treasury's mind. It is not that we will not get a good


deal at the end of the process, but anyone dealing with Europe knows


there is often a long period of negotiation and then an


absolutely eye watering final five days when everyone stays up all


night and they get a deal at the very end. In that situation that


two-year process is devoid of real substance and that leads to economic


uncertainty. It keeps us all in a job for a while!


So much analysis and information on our website. We have not mentioned


the Scottish curved ball as well which introduces even more


uncertainties. Have a read and dig deep. We will keep you in touch with


every twist and turn on the BBC you can guarantee.


14 million could loose insurance coverage in 2018 under


the new Republican health care plan, according to the


The nonpartisan group of budget analysts and economists claims


the added number uninsured would rise to 24 million by 2026


and reduce federal deficits by $337bn over the ten-year period.


Facebook has banned software developers from using its data


to create surveillance tools, closing off a process that had been


used by US police departments to track protesters.


The social media network says the change will help build


a community where people can feel safe making their voices heard.


And the Brokerage, Charles Schwab, has becomes the latest company


to launch a part human, part robot financial advice service.


It's part of a wider shift among the big banks to offer digital


products to customers on more routine transactions.


The service combines its automated investment management technology


We are all human here, but we are trying to get the technology to


work. I think it knows very well we are human. We have got the situation


regarding that decision in Parliament yesterday and that is


dominating the business live page. But we have got the Fed beginning


its closely watched meeting. Our next guest will talk about that. I


was a bit concerned about the winter storm and the impact that would have


on Janet Yellen and and her team gathering in Washington. Their snow


boots will be on. They will trek through to talk about interest


rates. Let's go to Singapore because we are talking about Toshiba and it


has missed its earnings deadline. about Toshiba and it has


missed its earnings deadline. First, Karishma Vaswani


is in Singapore... Explain the significance of this. It


is the second time it has delayed its earnings announcement and it is


a major embarrassment for an already troubled firm. It asked for the


extension, one month this time around, until April the 11th, to


sort out what it says are auditing problems. We have heard this before


and this was the reason it gave in the previous set of announcements


when it was expected to make the announcement in March. In the last


hour there has been a news conference that Toshiba has held and


the president has repeatedly said it is planning to sell its stake in its


troubled American nuclear business. Nuclear is a third of the company's


revenues. That division has not made a profit for the last few years. The


president has also said he is hoping the company will return to growth in


2018 and 2019, but the market and investors are not holding up much


hope and the shares fell by 7% with that news. That was one of the big


movers in Japan today. You can see that the UK index is down slightly


in anticipation of an interest rate hike coming from the Federal reserve


the United States. In the Chinese economy on the whole growth is on a


firm footing. Hong Kong was boosted a bit by that, although it closed


flat, down by one point. Let's have a look at Europe which is trading at


the moment to give you a sense of how things are going. Again Europe


is fairly flat. Political risk is very much on the mind of Europeans


because that Brexit boat went through. Also as well we have got


voters going to the polls in the Netherlands tomorrow which kicks off


a year of general elections in Europe. We cannot bring you the


European numbers right now, but the main markets in Europe are slightly


up and slightly down. I will hand you back to bed and hope the


technology will catch up with us. The European numbers are here and


Richard Fletcher is here with us. Let's pick up on what Sally was


talking about. We have got some clarity on Brexit last night. It is


going to happen. The markets are taking it in their stride. Yesterday


the pound closed up on the day despite we had the Scottish


referendum news and overnight it has given up those games and some. The


pound is at an eight-week low at $1.21. It has been a bumpy morning


and we will see how that goes throughout the day. Let's talk about


the Federal reserve. There could be a snow day. We still expect them to


me, but the snow could get in the way. We expect some numbers to dial


in by a conference call. There was a storm in 2016 and they still managed


to meet the next day. Only a few weeks ago everyone saw another rate


rise as unlikely and yet now it is an odds-on certainty, and 90% chance


of arise. What people are looking for now is the language from them.


They have said they expect to raise rates three times this year and some


people are forecasting it could be four times. It is really about the


language of the rate rise and the markets believe it is odds-on. We


should be clear on the snow. They are expecting a lot. Ten inches


in Washington and 20 inches in New York. Thousands of flights are


cancelled, schools have closed. If that happened in London, it would be


a major disaster. Let's have a look at the G20 finance


ministers meeting in Germany. There is a lot going on. This is the first


post Donald Trump G20 meeting. In the draft communiques some of the


language has changed. We have lost that we will resist protectionism on


all fronts, that line has gone. That appears to be a change of tone. What


happens in the two days of the meeting, we will have to wait and


see, but they will be a change of tone. We have got the Bank of


England as well, so there are lots of issues for the markets to face


this week. We appreciate you coming in. It is a very packed week.


Come on! Give us a demo. I cannot do it. I have got some playing cards.


Still to come... Keep talking, it is live TV.


Playing his cards right, we meet the man behind the firm that


makes cards for some of our most popular board games -


and tells us how new technology is changing the oldest of businesses.


You're with Business Live from BBC News.


I was so impressed with that. There are so many things you do not know


In the UK, Fashion retailer French Connection has


Those losses narrowed to ?3.7 million,


an improvement on the 4.7 million pounds it lost the year before.


David Shaw is a business writer on Fashion Buying.


Once it was the darling of the high street and it is now struggling.


Everybody has been watching this and this once great British brand seems


to have lost a great deal of traction with its original brand


followers. Reading the results this morning it is on what appears to be


a downward spiral which is a great shame because this brand has great


potential. What is the outlook? How will it turn itself around? They are


doing all the right things. I have had a look at the accounts and the


statements and they are closing loss-making shops and they are doing


quite well on Internet trading. They seem to be doing the right things,


but they do not seem to be able to get people back in love with the


brand. Whether they can pull the rabbit out of the hat as they did


with the famous SC UK, we will have to wait and see. This business has


been around for 50 years and everybody is hoping it will hold on


and do something pretty quick. The issues to be a separation on the


high street, the winners and losers are becoming clear.


If you look at all fashion retailers they are rather limited. If you have


a shock, you're competing with an intranet business with an infinite


range. How can you hope to satisfy them? I think French Connection will


have difficulty competing with this. The other issue is the problem of


huge foreign investment, these people are on a massive scale so it


is being pitched everywhere. That is another problem. People feel French


Connection are overpriced. Top story, the UK Parliament has passed


the Brexit Bill. Theresa May has the formal process of taking Britain out


of the European Union. Let's have a look at how markets are faring. We


have had problems with the graphics today for some reason but just to


say the value of sterling went up slightly and then has been falling


back today. The sheer markets are pretty flat. Treading water.


Elections are expected to change this in the Netherlands tomorrow.


You all probably owned some phone mood by next guess.


Belgian-based Cartamundi is one of the worlds biggest manufacturers


of playing cards and board games - making family favourites including


and the firm has manufacturing facilities all over the world,


including in Germany, Poland, Mexico, the US and India.


That is where it all started. The ancestry of the company goes back to


1765. It is the reason why they were so expensive, and why the cards


still detect the kings and queens and Jackson jokers who used to play


with cards. Tell us how you got from the humble playing card to this sort


of stuff? The way that people play obviously progresses. To stay


relevant we have to keep our factories busy with products that


are relevant, great experiences for people to play with. The purpose of


the company is to share the magic of playing together. Talk us through


how the relationship works. You make the games we've all heard of. But


you don't actually sell it in the stores. Other companies do that.


Talk us through your competitors. The Lubbock we have games


manufacturing services. We make electrical card games, that is the


business of games manufacturing services. You have shifted where you


make things from China to the United States because of your relationship


with Hasbro, four example. When the game market grew by 15% last year.


It has been growing exponentially in core markets, one of them being the


United States. In order to capitalise, you need to manufacture


the products closer. You would imagine something that is


traditional is suffering from computer game. I want to show


viewers this. Explain what this slightly high-tech thing inside the


card is about. This is a printed intelligent near Field communication


card. It is a new form of electronics which can be printed.


Traditional electronics are silicone but that is metal oxide. It enables


electronics to be able to integrate into everyday paper-based items. In


the future your cards will be intranet enabled, your board game


will be able to connect and give you a different game experience than


before. Taking all technology and making it very new. Yes but still in


a fast, fun and easy way. At the end of the day it is the game experience


that matters. Thank you so much for coming in. I love playing with these


cards. We like you to get in touch with the


stories we are covering and one of them is about this smart jackets


that tells you what's going on. It is a jacket attached to your


smartphone and it can tell you the time, let you listen to music...


The goal for Google is to provide access to their favourite services


and information from everywhere and anywhere at any time. Whether they


are biking walking or cycling, they should be able to access their


favourite services. Tell us what is here. This is integrated into a


portion of the cuff material. The thread that capture your gestures


integrate and are transferred to the little tag. You have the destination


and it tells us this. You can control the music from the cuff of


this sleeve. That would drive me insane.


Everybody else around you as well. Dominik is with us. That jacket,


would you wear it? It would drive me insane. Imagine being on a train.


What about when it malfunctions and you're in a meeting. One person


says, not so smart, give the not so smart something new to play with.


Jasper says I'm not convinced wireless signals are safe so I would


not wear it. We've had quite a few people talking about it but nobody


has said they want to wear it. Wearable tech was going to be the


next big thing. It has not taken off. A lot of people are wearing it


on their arrest. That is wearable tech. It is but it's not a jacket.


Let's talk about oil prices. We thought they were going back up.


They'd finally agreed production cuts but it has gone down. Last week


it went down 9%. It was $55. Now it is down to 48 dollars. Not just


because it is having difficulty maintaining this but also the second


she'll revolution in the states. The biggest ever oilfield discovered.


The numbers are out from the US Department of. They are on course to


produce an extra million dollars -- million barrels of oil a year. It's


an astonishing new source for production. That has a huge impact,


economically. Oil is important for everything we buy. Transport costs,


driving the world economy. It is going down. Most to see you. Thank


you. Sally is going to teach me more card tricks. I am. Thanks to your


company. Goodbye. For the next couple of days it looks


pretty settled. Things


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