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Theresa May says there will be no
hard border in Ireland. That is our
top story live from London.
This is Business Live from BBC News,
with Jamie Robertson and Ben Bland.
Live from London, that's our top
story on Friday 8th December.
A major breakthrough
in the Brexit process,
but is it too little,
too late for businesses
here in the UK?
We'll hear from the boss
of the organisation
which represents UK industry.
Also in the programme...
We're taking a break from fake news,
we'll be looking at fake goods
A Chinese firm has lost a landmark
legal case preventing it
from selling counterfeit Lego.
And finally, on the markets, the
stats looking fairly strong and we
have had a good performance on the
Asian markets as well. We will bring
you more on that.
And the US government has avoided
a cliff-edge of its own.
Republicans and Democrats have come
to a temporary agreement
which prevents the shutdown
of federal agencies -
we'll have more on that
later in the show.
Following that story
about copyright in China,
today we want to know whether you've
had to deal with fake goods.
Maybe you've bought
Can you even spot the difference?
Let us know, using the
Hello and welcome to Business Live.
We start in Brussels,
where it looks like, for now,
the deadlock over Brexit
has been broken.
After talks with UK Prime Minister
Theresa May early this morning,
the European Commission has
announced that "enough progress" has
been made on the terms
of divorce to begin the second
phase of negotiations.
This now opens the door for talks
on the future trading relationship
between the UK and the EU after it
leaves in 2019.
The agreement comes
after the Prime Minister
committed to no hard border
between Northern Ireland
and the Republic.
The business community has
welcomed the decision.
Earlier, we spoke to the head
of the organisation which represents
industry here in the UK.
Now, of course, the hard work
starts, that is developing agreement
for the long term relationship
between the EU and the UK. And in
the meantime, bringing great clarity
to transition, so that businesses
can suspend any contingency
planning. And secondly, making sure
that the EU citizens go home this
Christmas confident that they're
welcome in the UK and they can stay
with the full support of the UK
going forward. So, and unconditional
assurance to EU citizens I think
will make a big Franz Liszt
-- will make a big
difference this Christmas.
Our economics editor
Kamal Ahmed joins us now.
A bit of divers and should -- a bit
of a divers and check -- a bit of a
divergences between what Theresa May
and what Donald Tusk were saying in
terms of the future trading
Is I think many
businesses would argue that they are
much more in the Donald Tusk
position than they are in the
Theresa May position. The key thing
for businesses and indeed for the
economics of this deal is the
transition and final end stage of
the relationship between the UK and
the European Union. Now, on that
matter, there's not a lot of
substance in the agreement we've had
today. So, the agreement on citizens
rights, the agreement on the open
border and the agreement on the
divorce bill, I think politically
are good news for the UK Government
and for the European Commission and
for the European Union 27. But what
of course we don't have is how any
of those things are going to work.
How are we going to maintain an open
border between the Republic of
Ireland and Northern Ireland, if we
have different customs arrangements
between the UK and the rest of the
EU? So, I think it's not the time
that businesses will think, right,
that's the deal done, we can get on
with it. The big issue now is the
transition period, and what will the
end state look like? Businesses plan
long-term and that is what they will
be looking for.
Have we passed any
particular milestones, are there
things in this statement where we
can say, that's done?
I think on the
divorce deal, the money, that seems
to be clear. Britain will be paying
money over a long period of time for
the commitment is...
Do we know how
We will never know, we will
not know how much until we have paid
that last amount. It could be years,
it could be decades. The UK will pay
an amount every year, dependent on
when the liabilities become due,
like pension payments, for example,
for European Union officials. On
citizens rights, much more clarity
on that. That is citizens rights for
EU people living in the UK and for
British people living in the
European Union. Those will be
guaranteed. The UK has pledged to
write that into UK law and to take
due regard of the European Court of
Justice judgments on that. I would
say that is a dotted line authority.
The judges are well used to this
idea of due regard. Action can be
taken against you if you have been
proved not to have taken due regard.
I think the big issue is this open
border issue, which is the real
business of economics. The document
today says that the border will
remain open, and that Britain will
commit to having no customs border
between the Republic of Ireland and
Northern Ireland. How that works is
difficult to see, as I say, if we
have a situation after 2019, when
Britain and the rest of the European
Union have different customs rules
and are not in a single market.
That's the big thing that businesses
now want to. And they will want the
Thank you very much. You can
check out the effect this is having
on business and the economy by
looking at the BBC business live
For that, just go to the BBC
website, follow the links to the
business page and click on business
live. Updates throughout the day on
this breaking and developing story.
Lego has won a landmark case
in China against two companies that
made and sold toys almost identical
to its Lego Friends range.
This is the first time Lego has won
a copyright case in China.
Leisha Santorelli is in our
Asia Business hub with more.
Leisha, counterfeiting is a big
problem in China isn't it?
Absolutely. International brands
have complained about the problem
for years, but the good news is that
it looks like the authorities are
now taking steps to protect overseas
intellectual property. In the case
of Lego, these two Chinese companies
had 30 much copied the Lego Friends
range of toys, and they had even
copied the packaging and the logo,
which you can see for yourself if
you do a search online. This is a
big win for Lego in China. Earlier
this year a court had ruled that it
was a well-known trademark in China.
But China is a particularly
important market for the company,
because it has actually been
struggling. It posted its most
disappointing sales numbers out of
the US and Europe recently. In fact,
the worst performance in over a
decade, and so it is cutting more
than 1000 jobs. So, China is
particularly important to its future
fortunes. And so this ruling will
make sure that its toys are sold
through the proper, so is and not
the counterfeit ones.
Thank you very
much for that. Now, the markets
here... The growth forecast for
Japan was very good. We also had
some very good figures on economic
growth coming out of China as well,
so the Hang Seng was up well over
1%. And the European markets... The
FTSE started up but only by a small
amount. The Dax was up by three
quarters of 1%. Some details now...
And Samira Hussain has
the details about what's ahead
on Wall Street Today.
This Friday is all about the jobs
report to be released by the US
Labor Department. Economists are
expecting the economy to have added
about 200,000 jobs, after surging
with 206 to 1000 jobs in the month
of October. The unemployment rate is
expected to remain the same, at
4.1%. This is the final jobs report
before the US Federal reserve, the
central bank of America, meets next
week. The Fed will be watching this
jobs report closely and they are
expected to raise rates at this
meeting. The latest consumer
sentiment index by the university of
Michigan will be released and it is
expected to show a preliminary
reading of 99 points over the month
of December. That is up from
previous month. This is a measure of
how confident Americans are feeling
about finance and the business
climate and their finances.
Hussain there in New York.
Joining us is Jeremy Stretch,
head of currency strategy
at CIBC World Markets.
And currency is where we seem to be
seeing a lot of the reaction to the
politics going on in Brussels and
week we have seen extreme levels of
volatility, we've seen the market
react team to Twitter rumours all
week as we've seen this debate about
whether there was going to be an
agreement or not. Now that we've
seen this move towards the next
phase, we have seen sterling
benefiting, which has taken us back
to the kind of levels we were
trading at at the beginning of the
week, when we thought there would be
an agreement. And notably, as the
parity rallies, that's why the
FTSE-100 is less robust than its
counterparts in Europe, because as
sterling goes up, that impacts the
What about the US,
what should we be looking for in the
jobs report which Samira Hussain was
talking about, from a currency and
markets point of view?
think it is all about the wage
numbers. I think that's the real
issue, not just for the US but in
terms of global central backs in
general. Of course, we've seen
remarkable falls in unemployment
levels, not just in the US but in
most Western economies and yet we
have not seen that reflect it in
higher wages yet. If there is a sign
that because of the labour market
and because of the lower
unemployment, that it is starting to
come through, if that is the case
then I think it has indications for
the Federal Reserve in terms of
their interest rate policy for 2018.
And I think it has applications for
other countries as well.
to talk about newspapers later in
the programme! And you will be
Indeed I will!
Still to come...
Republicans and Democrats have come
to a temporary agreement
which prevents the shutdown
of federal agencies.
It'll see operations continue
for another fortnight,
but is the next funding crisis just
around the corner?
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
How easy is it for you to get
to work by public transport alone
from where you live?
According to new research
by Direct Line Car Insurance -
a fifth of us are unable to get
to work using public
is the Chief Executive Officer,
of the Campaign for Better Transport
and he joins us from the newsroom.
Is this the government's problem, or
the free market? Because generally
it has been the free market for the
last 20 years.
government. Government controls a
lot of what goes on in transport. To
do with the railways under of
funding. We have seen bus fares
going up by something like twice the
rate of inflation over the last 20
years. We have seen the
disappearance of whole bus networks
and therefore transport deserts
appearing. And we've seen rail fares
go up significantly, as well, above.
With another rise due of the
inflation level in the New Year. We
are trying to get people away from
core independence. Giving them real
choice in how to get around, and
particularly funding public
transport better in the way other
European countries do.
Is this a
productivity issue? We've heard a
lot about that over the last few
weeks with the Budget, and so on.
is. One of the things we have seen,
we are getting heart rendering
stories from people who find
themselves locked out of labour
markets because basically cannot get
to or from work. In some places this
affects whole communities. Some of
the old coal communities in the
Midlands and North of England have
lost a lot of public transport. It
makes it difficult for people there
to actually get into the labour
markets. We've always said transport
is an underrated part of the market.
It doesn't fall into the transport
frameworks, but it is very
Thank you very much.
What have you found out?
Plenty of updates. The story
dominating his Brexit. Now for the
hard work, the words from the CBI.
History shows that trade
negotiations are the toughest thing
you can engage in. That is where the
talks move next week to begin
discussing the future trade
relationship. More details on the
The talks on Brexit have reached
something of a milestone. And it
looks like they are progressing to
the talks on trade in the coming
months. Talks about talks beginning
on Monday, according to Donald Tusk
. Let's turn our attention to the
other side a -- the other side of
The US Congress has passed
a last-minute bill to stop
the government running out of money
- but only for two weeks.
Now President Trump and the House
have until December 22nd to thrash
out long term deal on spending.
It's all about what's known
as the 'debt ceiling' -the country's
borrowing limit set by Congress.
Mike Jacob and joined us. We seem to
reach this point any soap -- every
so often, is it different this time?
It was only three months ago we last
talked about this when Trump struck
a deal with Democrat leadership
rather than republicans and upset
his party significantly.
I'm really sorry to interrupt... We
need to cross live to Michel Barnier
who is speaking. Let's listen to him
And also the tax payers. We need
to be accountable at every stage of
the negotiations. Now if the
European Council agrees, and
following the European Parliament's
resolution next week, the document
could be the basis for the
withdrawal agreement. Let me be
clear. There will still work to be
done. There are a range of issues,
such as the governance of our
agreement, or, for instant... There
are more others to take. We will
need to have the final version of
the withdrawal agreement ready by
October 2018. Less than one year.
But at this turning point I want to
pay tribute to the dedication of all
members of both our teams, our
coordinators, Europeans, and on my
side, all of the members of my task
force team. And also on our side, I
want to personally thank President
Jean-Claude Juncker and his Cabinet,
the secretary-general, the legal
service Commissioners, and their
Cabinet. We have all worked very
hard over the last few weeks, days,
and nights, to achieve this. This
first result was also made possible
by our very close work with the
council team. With the 27 member
states. On the EU side we have all
worked together every single week
since negotiations started. On
Wednesday the president and I
updated the College of
Commissioners. Jean-Claude Juncker
told you this morning, based on our
agreement, his recommendation, my
recommendation, and the
recommendation of the College of
Commissioners, that the progress
achieved today is sufficient to move
to the next phase. It is now up to
the European Council to decide
whether this constitutes sufficient
progress, and to move talks to the
next stage. We will then have
completed the first chapter of this
extraordinary negotiation. My
assessment of this first result,
ladies and gentlemen, is based on
the real progress on each of our
three main issues. SPEAKS FRENCH.
STUDIO: Michel Barnier, the lead
negotiator for the European Union in
the Brexit talks just giving hers
comments. Earlier we heard from
Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk,
and Theresa May. Underlining there,
Michel Barnier, the fact there is an
expectation that the withdrawal, the
full withdrawal agreement, must be
ready by October next year. The
reason for that, they want to give
plenty of time for the European
Parliament to discuss it, debate it,
and ratify what at the negotiating
teams come up with. That, as he
pointed out, gives them less than a
year. It echoes the earlier
sentiment of Donald Tusk who said
breaking up is hard, but breaking up
and crafting a new future
relationship is even harder. And all
of them alluding to the fact there
are more hurdles to overcome as the
Brexit talks move into the next
The other thing we must remember,
this all still has to be approved by
the European Council, even though a
deal has been done. They have final
say on this. They are saying an
agreement has been done, the
agreement isn't in place until that
meeting of the 27 members next week.
Mike is still with us from the
Economist Intelligence Unit.
Listening to Michel Barnier, it was
quite an interesting point he made
about the hurdles that lie ahead.
And I suppose that is what a lot of
businesses will be waiting to see.
Just how quickly, how much more
smoothly to the next -- to the next
phase of talks go.
You start from
different positions. They harden
themselves into those positions. In
the UK realises a compromise needs
to be struck and they start to make
concessions. The pattern will
continue throughout the entire
negotiating process, I think.
are the big slip ups going to be, or
the obstacles in the trade
discussions, do you think?
of sets of the UK economy will want
something specific. Particularly
agriculture. Getting the opt outs
will be difficult, I think.
you for your thoughts. Mike Kennedy
talk about the US debt ceiling, and
we've bounced you into talking about
Brexit, thanks very much. -- Mike
came in to talk about. More
throughout the day here on BBC World
News, and the BBC News Channel.
And you can get everything we have
been talking about all the BBC