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  1. UK services industry rebounds in August, suggesting the country could "avoid recession"
  2. Japan warns firms may move European HQ out of Britain
  3. MPs to debate calls for second EU referendum
  4. Follow BBC News on Snapchat
  5. Join our live debate on the BBC News Facebook page at 16:30
  6. Use #BrexitBritain on Twitter to share your thoughts

Live Reporting

By Ian Pollock

All times stated are UK

Get involved

We are closing early today

There are no US markets today because it is Labor day there. See you tomorrow.

BBC 1962 test card

FTSE 100 close

FTSE 100 graph

In London the 100 share index closed 15 points lower at 6,879.

On the foreign exchanges the pound was barely changed at 1 dollar 33 and 1 euro 19.4.

Who's keen on a Brexit trade deal?

Theresa May and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Theresa May says a range of non-EU leaders - including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi - are open to trade deals with the UK after Brexit.

Leaders from Mexico, South Korea and Singapore would also "welcome talks on removing the barriers to trade between our countries", she said after a series of meetings at the G20 Summit in China.

Brexit trade deals

Single market access? What's that then?

Brexit Britain logo

To help decipher if politicians (or anyone else) are talking sense about the UK’s possible trade deals after Brexit, it is worth reading this overview from the IFS, published on August 10th:

The BBC wrote it up as a short story:

Its chief point was that “single market access is virtually meaningless as a concept". 

The report said:Any country in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) - from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe - has ‘access’ to the EU as an export destination.” 

The real issue, the report said, is membership of the EU (or not).  

The full report contains a handy guide to the four broad post-Brexit trade options, outside the EU.

1) EEA membership (for example, Norway).

2) An EU-UK free trade agreement (FTA).

3) WTO rules.

4) Unilateral ‘free trade’.

Brexit - your views

'Cast aside like old tea bags'

Brexit Britain logo

Business Live readers, Lorna and David Button, say: 

"Many of us are disenfranchised due to the 15-yrs-abroad rule. Please note the Tories under Cameron said that rule would be repealed after the referendum but now Mrs May says her civil servants have declared that task too difficult and unworkable! How dare we be cast aside like old tea bags.

"Of all those to be affected by this preposterous Brexit, it is the senior UK citizens based here in Spain, France, Italy etc who will be pushed aside and forgotten. We urge the BBC to hear our voice and anger at being ignored in the debate.It is the loss of our reciprocal health care arrangements, tax issues and freedom to travel which concern us most."

The 15-year rule prevents British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting in UK elections.

'Europe's tallest residential skyscraper'

Spire London
Greenland Group

A Chinese property company has confirmed plans to develop what it calls Western Europe's tallest residential skyscraper in London.

Greenland Group is pushing ahead with Spire London, an £800m project, which will rise 235m (771ft) on a site close to Canary Wharf in London Docklands, according to media reports. By way of comparison, the Shard is 310m tall. 

Yuliang Zhang, chairman and president of Greenland Group, said: “Spire London will create a new iconic landmark on the London skyline. This tower will be Western Europe’s tallest residential building and underlines London’s enduring status as a world-class city and destination."   

Business class airline leaves Luton

La Compagnie plane
La Compagnie

La Companie, which describes itself as a "boutique business class airline", has suspended its route between Luton airport, near London, and New York.

The French airline operates up to six flights a week between those cities.

La Compagnie blamed "a new economic climate in Europe, fuelled by Brexit". 

The company plans to add a second daily flight from Paris to New York.

Brexit - your views

View from a former Member of European Parliament

Brexit Britain logo

A retired Conservative MEP, John Corrie, writes:

"You would think from all the talk by Cabinet, Brexit ministers and MPs that they were setting the agenda. Nothing could be further from the truth. The United Kingdom does not hold a single bargaining card. 

"The rest of the EU are glad to get rid of us. With all 27 countries having a veto on any proposed free market deal the Spanish members just laugh when one suggests the UK will take back its fishing waters. 

"Free movement of people is enshrined in EU law and they will not budge on it, so no free trade deal. Bilateral deals between non-EU countries and member states could bring the wrath of the Commission and penalties on their country."  

Back to school blues?

FTSE 100 index

Heading into the final 30 minutes of trading in London, the FTSE 100 is down 7 points at 6,887. 

"A resurgent British pound, US markets on holiday and perhaps some back-to-school blues left UK stock markets a little sanguine on Monday," said Jasper Lawler of CMC Markets.

Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds bank are two of the biggest fallers after they were downgraded by analysts at Deustche Bank.

Brexit - your views

The view from a small family business

Brexit Britain logo

Business Live reader Matt Buxton tells us how his business is suffering because of the Brexit vote.

"The country has not felt most of the effects of the slump in the pound yet, because big businesses buy stock well in advance. Little businesses like us live much more hand to mouth. We order stock in and try to sell it as soon as it arrives. We then use the profits to order more stock. We don't have massive cash reserves to order stock in bulk months before selling it. The falling value of the pound is already pushing up our prices and squeezing our profit margins.

"We export more to the EU just because Europe is right on our doorstep. Free trade deals to Australia are all well and good but they aren't going to push the price of postage down. Without the EU single market we will lose what is by far our most lucrative contract.

"I've already had to assure my supplier that I'll help him find another distributor within Europe if Brexit drives us out of the single market. I will then be forced to wind the business up."

May 'didn't discuss Hinkley' with China

Theresa May and China President Xi Jinping

Ahead of the G20 in China, much of the focus on Theresa May was about how she would explain to China's President Xi Jinping her delay over Hinkley Point. 

The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg reports that, in the end, when Mrs May and President Xi held talks earlier today they didn't discuss the nuclear project. 

View more on twitter

Brexit - your views

Doom-mongering and point systems

Brexit Britain logo

Business Live reader, Alastair Price, says: 

"It is now clear that the July figures were simply a reaction to the doom-mongering we saw from the BBC and the remain side. The recovery in manufacturing, services etc will see the pound continue to strengthen although it will remain weaker than before the referendum in the short term. This recovery will reduce the inflation that is now the source of doom-mongering."

Meanwhile, a reader in Australia, Brian Kane, says: 

"As to immigration, we should set up a point scoring system as it works exceptionally well over here in Oz and the country’s home security is very high and still works well with international co-operation."

May on China-UK relations

Brexit - your views

Facts and opinions

Brexit Britain logo

Business Live reader Chris Denham says: 

"Nearly all the remain “facts” are and were just opinions, whereas the hard statistics are beginning to point to a “soft landing” and not a slump."

But Stephen Haworth says the actual impact of Brexit will not be felt fully until the UK leaves the EU: 

"Everything else is exactly as it was before the Referendum vote, we still have freedom of movement, we still have tariff free trade with the EU, we still have bank “passporting”. In essence there is no change to how businesses do business and at the moment they can enjoy, for a while, the weak pound in generating attractive business deals."

Former French budget minister on trial

Jerome Cahuzac arrives at court
Getty Images

France's former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac has gone on trial, accused of tax evasion and money laundering.

Mr Cahuzac resigned in 2013 after it emerged he had once held an undeclared Swiss bank account and had lied about it to parliament.  

He initially denied a report by the investigative website Mediapart that he had kept an undeclared Swiss bank account until 2010.

But after a meeting with investigating magistrates in April 2013, he admitted having the account, which contained about 600,000 euros (£460,000). He said at the time that he was "consumed by remorse".

Protests against the Jungle in Calais

French businesses owners and locals blockade the main road into the Port of Calais
Getty Images

French businesses owners and locals blockade the main road into the Port of Calais as they await the arrival of a convoy of trucks protesting against The Jungle migrant camp. 

Local people and business owners are taking part in the protest, dubbed Operation Escargot, calling for The Jungle camp at the French port to be demolished. 

Up to 10,000 migrants are now living at the camp and are using desperate and violent measures to try and board trucks heading for the UK. 

Anti-immigrant protests in Calais

Harbor workers, truck drivers, farmers, storekeepers and residents attend a protest demonstration on the motorway against the migrant situation in Calais, France,

Harbour workers, truck drivers, farmers, storekeepers and residents attend a demonstration on the motorway against the migrant situation in Calais.

Somali hawkers spark street battles

Retailers in the Kenyan capital Nairobi have called on the government to resolve the problem of street traders from Somalia blocking entrances to their shopping malls. 

Over the weekend there were running battles between anti-riot police and hawkers in the business district of Eastleigh in Nairobi. 

Eastleigh is one of the biggest markets in east and central Africa and it is renowned for selling affordable electronic goods and clothes.

Omar Hussein, the secretary general of the local Business Community, told the BBC the mostly Somali hawkers do not contribute to the Kenyan economy.

View more on twitter

'It's British fish and we want it'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

The World at One has been spending the morning in Cornwall to gauge residents' opinions on Brexit. 

Fisherman Timmy George is pretty clear where he stands, telling Edward Stourton that Mrs May is "backtracking" on the assertions that were made by Leave campaigners during the referendum and needs to show more backbone. 

He says the Cornish fishing industry has been "decimated by the powers that be" and calls for a 20 mile exclusion zone off the coast where only British trawlers can fish. 

"It is British fish, it is the English Channel and we want it," he says, adding that foreign vessels should be "kept out". 

Our man in Tehran

The Foreign Office has appointed its first ambassador to Iran since 2011 in the latest sign of improved diplomatic and trade relations.

View more on twitter

Watch: Barbers on Brexit

Sterling effort

Pound coin and note
Getty Images

The pound surged earlier to $1.3375 - a seven-week high against the dollar - after a report showed the UK services industry returned to pre-referendum levels in August.

Sterling has since fallen back a bit - to $1.3329 - although it's still 0.3% higher on the day. Against the euro, it is trading 0.2% higher at €1.1945.   

Chris Saint of Hargreaves Lansdown said the services figures come "hot on the heels of last week’s encouraging manufacturing numbers and provides further evidence that the economy is managing to shrug off Brexit-related uncertainties, for the time being at least". 

Theresa May on trade deals

Theresa May

At her G20 press conference, Theresa May reiterates that Brexit means Brexit - saying the government will deliver on the referendum vote to leave the EU. She says she's been encouraged in bilateral talks with world leaders by "a willingness to talk about opening up trading relationships".

Referring to Japan she said the two countries had been clear they would work together to "maintain and build on our relationship", she adds.

Japan says all options open post-Brexit

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

From earlier in the day. All options are open on Japanese business investment in the UK after Brexit, says the country's ambassador to the UK.

Koji Tsuruoka said it was hard to imagine Japanese companies pulling out entirely from the UK, but said they had concrete demands for negotiations on the UK leaving the EU.

The Nissan factory in Sunderland is one of the biggest Japanese investments in the UK

Set your alarms

UK can be 'global leader in free trade' - May

Prime Minister Theresa May is holding a news conference following talks at the G20 summit of world leaders in Hangzhou.    

She says leaders have agreed at the summit to "oppose a retreat to protectionism" and committed to ratify the WTO agreement to reduce costs and burdens of moving goods across borders.

On post-Brexit Britain, the PM says she set out the UK's ambition to become "the global leader" in free trade and signalled the country's determination to secure trade deals with countries around the world.

She says India, Mexico, South Korea and Singapore have said they would welcome talks on removing barriers to trade, while the Australian trade minister would visit the UK next week for "exploratory talks".

Mrs May says she'll be chairing a cabinet committee next week to consider trade strategy.

Fund manager Hermes says vote down Sports Direct chairman and CEO

Fund manager Hermes says Sports Direct shareholders should vote against re-electing chairman Keith Hellawell and chief executive Dave Forsey as well as three other board members.

Hermes, which manages £26bn, said governance concerns and “poor working practices” meant investors should no longer support the leadership of the firm.

Sports Direct's founder Mike Ashley has admitted workers at its Derbyshire warehouse were paid below the minimum wage and its policy of fining staff for being late was unacceptable.

HMRC is investigating the firm over the minimum wage issue, Mr Ashley told MPs in June.

Sports Direct holds its annual meeting on Wednesday where shareholders will vote on matter including re-electing board members, executive pay and receiving the annual report. But because Mr Ashley owns more than 55% of the stock, the remaining stockholders may struggle to be heard.

Korea 'concerned' about Brexit

Sky political editor Faisal Islam tweets from the G20

What's happened to the pound?

A useful graphic from our friends on the visual journalism desk...


New car sales grow in August

car sales
Getty Images

It's not just services PMI which rose in August, new car sales did too, increasing 3.3% year on year, with 81,640 cars were registered last month.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which compiles the figures, said growth was driven by the fleet sector, which saw a 7.7% rise. 

"August is traditionally one of the quietest months as consumers look ahead to the September plate change, so growth, albeit small, is good news.

"The key to maintaining this strong market is consumer confidence for which we look to government to deliver the conditions for economic growth," says SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

Fair fight?

What of the 16,141,241?

Some of you have been writing in with your thoughts on Brexit - please keep them coming to @bbcbusiness on Twitter or

Linda and Steve Gimbert - As pensioners living in France for the past 12 years our biggest fear about Brexit is what will happen to the reciprocal health arrangements if these are discontinued, cover under the French health system would no longer be guaranteed. We were denied the right to vote on Brexit along with thousands of others because our papers never arrived. We feel as if we have been forgotten, there has been a lot of talk about what will happen to EU nationals in the UK, but little about ex pats living abroad.

Sheila Ennis, Surbiton (born 1944) - The PM declares to the world that the UK voted to leave the EU. When is someone going to point out that only just over one third of the electorate voted to leave. Don't the views of the majority matter, particularly the 16,141,241 people who voted to remain? 

Juncker junks UK trade talks

Christine Lagarde, Theresa May, Jean Claude Juncker

EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker isn't too happy that Theresa May is doing her bit for UK trade at the G20 Summit. 

Mr Juncker said he opposes trade talks between Britain and other economies while it remains part of the European Union. 

"I don't like the idea that member states of the EU, including those who are still a member state of the European Union, are negotiating free trade agreements," he told reporters.

Under EU rules, the UK cannot sign trade treaties with other countries until it's left the bloc. Formal negotiations with Brussels itself can't start until London triggers Article 50, the treaty provision governing its departure. 

And from this photo, it doesn't look like there's been much talking between the two of them.  

Angry commuters launch crowd-funding campaign


Some Southern Rail passengers are so fed up with delays and cancellations on regular services, that they are crowd-funding £25k to pay for legal action against the government, which awarded the franchise.  

There have been months of disruption, because of a long-running dispute over the role of conductors as well as high levels of staff sickness, The Independent reports.

Angry commuters are questioning the "legality of decisions of a government who, in this particular case, seem more concerned with serving the interests of a private company whose first priority is their shareholders, rather than passengers who are paying for a service that they are not receiving”.

FTSE stays negative

FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 has stayed in negative territory despite the better-than-expected services data. It's currently 0.07% lower at 6889.99.

Sterling's rise after the services data is not necessarily good news for the globally focused firms which make up the majority of the blue-chip index as a weaker pound helps makes their exports more attractive. 

'Let's give it a go'

Brexit a 'tall order'?

Lord Ashcroft
Getty Images

The pollster Lord Ashcroft, writing in the Telegraph, outlines what he believes voters want from Brexit.

"A clear majority thinks retaining access to the EU single market would be compatible with Brexit," he says. 

"Indeed, leavers are even more likely to think this than remainers."

But voters also want curbs on immigration, he adds, which could prove "a tall order". 

What will third quarter growth be?

BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed tweets...

'Don't count your chickens'

Getty Images

It's not only Pantheon warning not to read too much into August's surprisingly upbeat services PMI.  

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says it's "way too early to start counting any chickens just yet".

"Dramatic bounce-backs are often a reflection of the depths of previous despair, rather than of optimism over the future. 

"In terms of services output, today’s reading is simply in line with survey results earlier in the year, and it is last month’s sharply negative reading which is the outlier," he says.