29/03/2017 BBC Business Live


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


Today's the day - the UK is set to formally tell


the European Union it's leaving, but how prepared are businesses?


Live from London, that's our top story on Wednesday, 29th March.


With just hours to go we will look at the impact on the UK's role


as one of the world's biggest financial centres.


We'll assess what's at stake in the trade


Also in the programme, Samsung launches its latest


After the disaster of its Note 7 fires -


will the new device win Samsung headlines for the right reasons?


And it is a big day for the politics of Brexit, but not


We'll assess what the markets make of today.


And we'll get the inside track on the fastest


growing publishing market, audiobooks.


It's a global industry valued at $3.5 billion and the boss


of the biggest company in the business - Audible - is here.


As the Brexit process formally gets underway how do


Let us know. Just use the hashtag BBCBizLive.


Nine months after voting to leave the EU - today begins that process.


It kicks off two years of negotiations.


And for businesses in the UK and across the continent it's


likely to be two years of uncertainty and preparation.


In the financial heart of the country, several big banks


have threatened to move staff overseas if they don't get


Latest figures show it contributes $159 billion a year to the UK


economy It employs almost 1.2 million people in UK.


It also contributes a trade surplus of nearly $73 billion to the UK's


That's to say it brings lots of money into the country.


$6.6 trillion worth of financial assets are under


Well, one reason it's so high is what's known as passporting .


Licences that let banks and other financial firms do business


94% of all the licences to do that are held by UK registered firms.


Run us through the day for what will turn out to be a pretty historic


day? Also a carfully choreographed day, Ben. Theresa May is meeting


with the Cabinet at Downing Street. Later on, she will head to the


Palace of Westminster to the House of Commons for Prime Minister's


Questions and it is after that that she will stand up in the House of


Commons to make that long awaited speech saying that she has triggered


Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which will set off the process of


Britain leaving the European Union. As you would probably know, if you


have been to any dinner parties around the UK lately, this is a


controversial subject so she will make conciliatory remarks. She will


say she promises to represent every person in the whole of the UK during


the negotiations. Now, whilst she is doing that, our man in Brussels, the


UK's permanent representative to the European Union will travel to the


Europa Building, the headquarters of the European Council, he will meet


with Donald Tusk and he will hand over the letter itself. It has been


signed. After that, there maybe a short formal acknowledgement that


Article 50 has been received by the council which will appear on their


website and Donald Tusk may well tweet. The chief negotiator is


expected to tweet during the day and the European Parliament u the heads


of the political groups in the European Parliament, they're going


to be meeting during the day and they'll come out with a press


conference later. So all of this is very carefully choreographed. What


happens after that is within 48 hours the European Commission will


draw up a negotiating mandate, a draft negotiating mandate which the


27 other members of the EU will have to endorse and give permission to


the Commission for. Theo, thank you very much indeed. That gives us a


sense of the timeline. With us is John Longworth,


former director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce


but he resigned from that job to I imagine you are excited about this


process and it formally beginning, something the Prime Minister was at


pains to say late yesterday was, she is looking to broker a deal that


will benefit all. High hopes. What are you hoping the outcome will be?


Well, benefiting all, of course, means doing what's best for Britain


and we're fortunate that the real benefits of Brexit which there are


many, can be crystallised entirely by the UK. Entirely independently of


the European Union, and actually independently of the single market


and the customs union. We have to leave those two institutions in


order to get the benefits of Brexit. So whatever happens in the next two


years, Britain can make itself the best place in the world to do


business which will boost the economy and which will solve a


problem of the deficit problems and the balance of employment will


improve. So Actually, the UK is in a uniquely good position to have the


best deal for Britain. Even if we don't get a free trade arrangement


with the EU because a free trade arrangement with the EU is actually


icing on the cake, it is by no means important as important as the other


things that we can do. Lots of ifs and abouts, aren't


there, John and the Chancellor at the time was campaigning for Remain,


of course, called it a leap into the dark. A leap into the unknown and it


really is, isn't it? It has never been done before. It is


unprecedented and we don't know how it's going to turn up. We don't know


what will happen in the negotiations. The main part is


around sorting out the administrative arrangements twoon


the UK and the EU, customs union, border control and so on. That's


really very, very technical and a process that we can readily go


through. The rest of it actually is very much known because if it is in


our gift to actually crystallise those real benefits, removal of the


CAP, and repatriation of our net contribution and fisheries and


deregulation, all the things that will boost our economy, those are in


our gift, it is not a leap into the unknown in that sense because we can


do the things we want to do. It does depend how the negotiations go. The


horse trading which will go on for months to come and Brussels made it


clear it will not be persuaded, it will not be giving the UK an easy


exit, it will be a very costly exit and for each particular sector and


industry in the UK, it will mean very different things? Well, there


is lots of administrative stuff to be sorted out, there is no question


about that. There will be a lot of heat and light and the EU will be


upset about it because it is the lifeblood of the commission. There


is so much more to discuss, John. Thank you for your time this


morning, John Longworth. Later on today, there will be


special programming about this, but let's tell our viewers how they can


get their questions in to us. All sorts of ways of getting in touch


with the BBC. If you have got any specific business questions about


the implications of Article 50 then let us know. You can use the hashtag


there on the screen. We're going to answer your questions on this


Friday's edition of Business Live. We will let the dust settle and work


out what it means and send us your questions and we'll answer them on


Friday. We have been asking whether you think it is good news and bad


news, and Ian says, "We will be find in the UK. The world is larger than


us, we must set our horizons." One viewer says, "It maybe wise for the


individual state, but the long-term consequences could be disastrous."


Delta Airlines and Korean Airlines have agreed to form a joint venture


to share costs and revenue on flights across the Pacific


in a bid to lure customers with more options amid intense competition.


Delta will be launching new non-stop service between Atlanta


At the same time Korean Air will introduce new services


The world's trade association for airlines, IATA, says the US


and UK ban on laptops in cabin baggage on some flights is not


It says the ban creates commercial distortions and is not


The group has also questions why the bans are targeted


US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order rolling


back Obama's plans aimed at curbing climate change.


President Trump said it would put an end to the "war on coal" and end


Samsung is due to unveil its latest smartphone later today.


It is first since it was forced to recall the Note 7 last year


The South Korean firm hasn't released too many details


about what we should expect from the S8.


This is important for Samsung? Don't mess up. You've got a company which


had the last big launch and the phone caught fire and the top man in


the company is currently in jail. So away from the razzmatazz in New York


and London things are not brilliant for Samsung, but all that will count


for nothing without razzmatazz that Steve Jobs with Apple made his own.


There will be that kind of fuss, the big questions for the techie people


big screen without making the phone big screen without making the phone


any bigger? They will take various bits off the current models and make


it only screen and find other ways of doing it. There will be a lot of


talk amongst the gizmo nerds about besles and all that kind of thing


and whether you can talk to it or not, but at the end of it all,


Samsung will remember, don't mess up, that's the motto.


Steve, thank you very much. Steve Evans in Seoul. We will keep an eye


on how things fair for the firm. Some breaking news out of Asia. News


that Toshiba's nuclear unit filing for bankruptcy protection. We talked


a lot about the woes for the firm. It is the nuclear unit of toe Sheba.


It has been facing multi-billion losses as a result of accounting


fraud. They should be able to get their financial affairs in order.


And then you would hope emerge out of the other side, but it will


protect them while they can do that. So news just in toe Sheba's loss-hit


nuclear business has filed for bankruptcy protection. More from our


teams in Asia on BBC Business Live. The focus will be on sterling. Let


me show you what's happening in Europe. A big day, triggering


Article 50 later today. Playing out on the markets across the day.


Opening up higher, but we will get the real impact when we find out


what is happening over the next two years of negotiations. We're in it


for the long haul. This is very much the start of the process. Let's head


to Wall Street. Samira Hussain has the details about


what's ahead on Wall Street Today. Lulu Lemon will be reporting


earnings on Wednesday and strong holiday sales will carry the company


through their fourth quarter, but investors will be keen to see how


the company is planning to deal with the fading popularity of leisure


wear and some stiff competition from other players. Finally, the US


National Association of Realitiors is expected to report that contracts


to buy previously owned homes increased 2.4% in February after


falling 2.8% in January. Joining us is Mike Amey,


Managing Director and Today is the day, Article 50,


historic? Yes, it is. We haven't been here before. So as a fund


manager, that's great. It is interesting to see new developments


and keeps us on our toes. I guess what is interesting is which markets


will react. You can argue it both ways. What we will be looking at as


Ben mentioned is the currency. The currency is the one that seems to be


most sensitive to the Brexit and whether there will be any kind of


deal and in which case sterling will probably go up. If both sides stick


to their current negotiating stance it will probably go down actually.


What I find really interesting when we talk about Arle 50, markets


normally love any sort of rumour, any speculation and they'll go hay


wire as a result. Here, we have got lots of speculation and lots of


uncertainty and markets are like, we will see how it plays out? You had


the initial move down post the 23rd June vote. And then sterling has


stuck around those levels, 1.25ish roughly against the dollar. The


equity market has done well because sterling has been wack and we wait


and see what happens. We're hopefully going to get an indication


of what is going to happen. A rarebit of patience on the markets.


That never happens. Mike is returning later. We will be tacking


travel with Mike. We meet the man behind


the audio book giant Audible on its small beginnings,


how it pre-empted the iPod and its You're with Business


Live from BBC News. Leaving the European Union


will potentially have a huge impact on companies here in the UK


which produce and export goods. We've been talking to firms


in the north of England about how I am Simon. Man, managing director


of the Acme whistle company. We saw export about 40% Europe. We are


looking east, we must assume things will get harder in Europe, the free


market will no longer be for us. There is a tremendous sporting goods


market, police market, it is almost another world opening up as they get


richer and there is potential for us, difficult though it will be. My


name is Paul, I am the managing director. We are an old established


ceramics factory, we predominantly supply bottles to the spirits


industry all over the world. Product has go to Europe and that may not be


a route forward to grow the business. We have put a lot of


effort over the last six to nine months at looking at the USA is a


real business growth opportunity. The pound dollar relationship and


hopefully a free trade agreement going forward will benefit us and


our ability to sell into that market place and it is a growing market. My


name is Jonathan, we are a specialist flooring manufacturer and


we export around the world. To the States, the mainland Europe and also


obviously a large market in the UK. Having looked at everything, Brexit


actually leaves our strategy unchanged. We will carry on


exporting to Europe, exporting to the States and dealing with the UK.


With the effect of sterling devaluation, we have become so much


more competitive that our sails into Europe have become even better for


us. So for us, steady as she goes, exports into Europe stay unchanged.


This afternoon, Daily Politics presenter Andrew Neil will be


interviewing exclusively Prime Minister Theresa May, this afternoon


at Downing Street. You're watching Business Live -


our top story - Britain is finally set to formally to tell


the European Union it's leaving. The pound has been falling


and Chancellor Philip Hammond has told the BBC a trade deal will be


done. Looking at markets in Europe, these


are the share markets, all up slightly today following a good


session on Wall Street the night before, and in Asia.


Now we're going to get the inside track on a business


Audible was founded in 1995, and is now the world's biggest


It was bought by Amazon in 2008 for around $300 million.


The company now has over 300,000 titles in its library and serves


millions of customers from 16 global hubs.


From 2007 to 2017, a large chunk of Audible's revenue came


from its exclusive tie up with the Apple app store.


But in January that deal came to an end after pressure


from regulators in Germany and the European Commission.


Don Katz is the founder and Chief Executive of Audible


Welcome to Business Live. You and I have met before, we cover what have


talked about but it was a few years ago. Somewhere on this show. I


remember the story of how you started out the career, because you


were a journalist... Rolling Stone magazine's corresponded in London.


-- correspondence. My wife talks about a nontoxic midlife crisis that


changed into a business experience. So how do you move from that running


a company that is the business -- biggest in the industry? In my case,


I wrote books, as did all of my Rolling Stone and new Republic


colleagues of those years and we could not give our readers time to


read. We were writing into the same general market, what we did at


Audible is unleashed all this time he can't use your eyes to look at a


screen or read to effectively read. We have millions of people listening


right now, we will project $2.6 billion of hours. It is an


incredibly habituated way of using your time to read. The distinction


between textual reading and listening to welcome prose


literature, and believe me this is performed by very high level actors


at this point, it is nonexistent at this point. The time people have is


in the time they are exercising or driving, and they are filling it


with... Our average listener gets two hours per day of listening in


the Audible, which makes it the stickiest media service there is. It


is fair to say your business has been changed by technology, it first


began with CDs, physical media, and then downloads, and you pre-empted


the iPod. We commercialise the first digital player in 1997, developing


it from late 95 when it was founded. It was four and a half years before


the iPod came out. We were way ahead, perhaps most businesses don't


survive that are that off in terms of being too early, but it gave us


an amazing amount of learning and an edge and understanding how powerful


the spoken word could be, if you unleashed it with really strong


technology and then added these incredible powerful performances. At


this point, it is why not do Audible? If you can have Andy Newton


Lee or Colin Firth or Stephen Fry to read you a book, it harks back to


all the pleasures of childhood. You can watch all of those on a screen


now and very easily with the wide use of tablet everywhere by all


ages. Has that hit you? All of our technology is compliant with


tablets, we even have a technology that allows you to read, but Daniel


Talbot, and the Audible picks up where you have left. So the amount


of money you are making will not be hit by that move? This is really


about taking the hundreds of millions of hours per week that


people's eyes are occupied and imbuing it with value they've never


thought they would have. We have run out of time, thank you so much for


coming in. Good to see you. We are going to stay with the technology


theme. Two British schoolgirls have


qualified for the robotics World Championship in


the United States with a robot They will be taking Roy the robot


to Kentucky after winning I am Beth and I am eight years old.


I am Emily and I am nine years old. We built Roy the robot. He drives an


eight foot grid and he has a four bar left that lifts up walls, sets


in the scoring zone, and in the middle of the eight foot grid, there


is a bridge, and Roy has the balance there with other robots. We are


hoping to take Roy to America. We are representing the UK. It is the


World Championships and there are 500,000 other teams to compete with,


and they are the best of the whole world.


Go for it, girls. We asked you what you thought would be the outcome of


Brexit. The deal, bad deal, or no Deal. Nothing like Brexit to get


people talking and nailing their views to the mast. Lots we can't


read out. This one says we are screwed, Theresa May is purely


honouring her mandate but there could be problems later down the


line. Ian says we are getting our country back, wonderful day, believe


we will be getting. Mike is back, let's talk travel. Many think about


where they are going to their holidays and for some it would seem


that Turkey and places like Egypt are back on the radar. Indeed.


Interesting to see how these things develop because the weakness in the


pound creates new challenges for going on holiday to Europe so the


classic destinations of Spain under pressure. The Turkish lira is very


weak. And the Egyptian pound has been under some pressure as well so


it looks as though the first indications that people are moving


back into those countries, yes. You might go on holiday on a plane built


from something different? Sir Richard Branson is predicting that


planes could be made by graphene within the next ten years. We have


talked a lot about that, it is this one the material. A super thin


material that is 200,000 times stronger than steel and a thousand


times lighter than paper apparently. The cost of getting people wherever


you go is the fuel, so the less you can do that is better and better for


the environment as well. Mike, thank you for being with us, Article 50


day. A busy day, the big day for everyone, full coverage across the


BBC. See you soon, goodbye.


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