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  1. Wall Street drops; European stocks fall
  2. Deliveroo riders 'are self-employed'
  3. Aston Martin, Honda warn on Brexit risks
  4. Go Compare rejects bid from Zoopla
  5. Inflation remains at 3% in October
  6. Tesco's £3.7bn Booker deal cleared
  7. Get in touch:

Live Reporting

By Dan Macadam

All times stated are UK

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Good night

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That's it for this evening, thanks very much for reading. Do join us tomorrow when the Business Live page will start again at 06.00 UK time.

The Trump-Russia saga in 200 words

Trumps as Russian dolls
Getty Images

It's the story that has dominated Donald Trump's presidency, but it's complicated. Let's take a step back.

Trumps as Russian dolls

The Trump-Russia saga in 200 words

It's the story that has dominated Donald Trump's presidency, but it's complicated. Let's take a step back.

Read more

Venezuela claims refinancing progress

Venezuela oil pump
Getty Images

Venezuela's cash-strapped government insists it has successfully begun efforts to refinance some $60bn in foreign debt.

However, some creditors disagreed following fruitless talks. A ratings firm has declared the nation in selective default, meaning that it is practically insolvent.

Venezuela's Vice President, Tareck El Aissami, blames the United States and the government's domestic critics for engineering the crisis.

The government has also pointed to the fall in global oil prices. The country relies on oil exports for 95% of its foreign earnings.

Wall Street slips on oil

New York Stock Exchange
Getty Images

US markets have finished in negative territory, following falls in oil prices and European stock indexes.

Oil has fallen by more than $1 a barrel - with Brent crude trading 1.7% lower at $62.11, following a gloomier outlook about demand growth in an International Energy Agency report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 30.3 points, or 0.13%, to 23,409.4, the S&P 500 lost 5.93 points, or 0.23%, to 2,578.91 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 19.72 points, or 0.29%, to 6,737.87

Brexit Bill: More stressful than Christmas shopping?

MPs are putting in the hours at Westminster, but will a key Brexit bill be over by Christmas?

The government has only eight shopping days left to pass one of the most complex pieces of legislation: the EU Withdrawal Bill, which will allow all of EU law to be transferred into UK law.

Deliveroo decision 'a blow for unions'

Deliveroo rider
Getty Images

As we reported earlier, Deliveroo riders have been ruled self-employed by labour law body the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).

The test case was brought against the delivery company by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) .

Crowley Woodford, employment partner at law firm Ashurst, said: "This decision has come hot off the heels of the game changing Uber decision where drivers were found to be workers.

"In rejecting the current judicial trend the CAC has today decided that the Deliveroo riders are self-employed and therefore not entitled to union recognition.

"This will be a significant blow to the unions who are trying to expand their membership within the gig economy by challenging the basis on which such employers engage and use their labour."

Your views on inflation

'All about the euro'

Pound and euro coins
Getty Images

The surge in the euro has been the standout move on global markets today, according to analysts.

The single currency jumped more than 1% against the dollar, on the back on stronger than expected economic growth in Germany. The euro is also up against sterling, leaving one pound trading below €1.12.

"It's been a euro trade today, and it's stronger against just about everything," Brad Bechtel, managing director FX at Jefferies in New York.

The rally in the single currency dented Continental stock markets, dragging the Frankfurt Dax, Paris Cac 40 and Madrid Ibex 35 lower, said David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets in London.

The slight weakness in the pound helped the UK's FTSE 100 index, though, along with positive results from Vodafone, he added.

Gone for $29.8m...

Jamie Robertson

Business reporter

Diamond necklace

The largest D Flawless Diamond ever offered at auction has just been sold for $29.8m (£22.6m) at Christie's in Geneva. There's also a $4m premium, taking the total sale to almost $34m.

It's a bit of a monster, and like all very, very expensive things, pretty hideous - cut from a 404 carat rough rock discovered in February 2016 in the Lulo mine in Angola into a 163.41sparkler, all in a mater of 1700 hours of cutting by 14, well, cutters, I suppose.

El-Erian in frame for Fed deputy

Mohamed El-Erian
Getty Images

The White House is considering Mohammed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at German insurance giant Allianz, to be a vice chair at the US Federal Reserve, according to US media reports.

Mr El-Erian, a former chair of President Obama's development council, is reported to be one of a broad range of candidates under consideration. The White House has declined to comment.

Shine on you crazy diamond

A necklace featuring a flawless 163-carat diamond - the largest of its kind to be auctioned - is about to go under the hammer in Geneva.

Named 'The Art of de Grisogono,' the necklace took more than 1,700 hours to make, according to Christie's.

The auction house said it expected the "masterpiece of unparallelled beauty and exquisite workmanship" to fetch around $25m.

US stock indexes fall

US trader

The downbeat mood hasn't lifted on Wall Street. US stock indexes are still in negative territory, after major European indexes clocked up losses earlier in the day.

Analysts said weaker oil prices, uncertainty about US tax policy and the economy's ability to deal with more interest rate hikes were weighing on US equities.

The Dow Jones index is down 0.2% at 23,394

S&P 500 is 0.3% lower at 2,576

And the Nasdaq has dropped 0.4% to 6,730.

EU flag and Big Ben

Several Tories also urge Theresa May to drop exit date plan as MPs begin marathon Brexit scrutiny.

Read more

Davis aims for transition agreement

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

David Davis

David Davis moved to reassure the City today in a speech to Swiss bank UBS.

The Brexit Secretary said he hoped to get agreement on a time limited implementation period "very early next year".

He stressed it depends on the EU negotiators obtaining a mandate to agree it but if he can achieve that, that would be very welcome news for many businesses.

It may still be too late for some who have begun to trigger their contingency plans and don't intend to mothball them now.

A new tenor?

Property agent Henry Pryor wonders what Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman might do if he snaps up Go Compare.

View more on twitter

BreakingUnion to review Deliveroo decision

Deliveroo rider

The trade union IWGB has said it will review an arbitration ruling, which found that Deliveroo riders are self-employed, and decide on the best course of action.

The Central Arbitration Committee ruled against the IWGB's argument that riders for the takeaway delivery app should be classed as workers entitled to union rights.

The union's general secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee said: “Despite the CAC's finding that a majority of the riders in the bargaining unit would likely support union recognition for the IWGB, it seems that after a series of defeats, finally a so-called gig economy company has found a way to game the system.”

Go Compaaaare!

Gio Compario

This would have given Gio Compario something to sing about.

Price comparison site Go Compare - best known for its adverts involving the Welsh tenor - received a takeover bid from the company behind uSwitch and Zoopla.

News of the offer sent shares in Go Compare surging nearly 10% in afternoon trading.

But the company said it had "unanimously and unequivocally" rejected the bid because it undervalued the business.

Zoopla owner ZPG confirmed the rejection, adding that it was "considering its position".

Brexit transition deal 'early next year'

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

Rate rebel 'waiting for wage growth'

Jon Cunliffe
Getty Images

When Bank of England policymakers decided to raise interest rates earlier this month for the first time in a decade, they did so with a 7-2 vote.

One of those two was Sir Jon Cunliffe, the Bank's deputy governor for financial stability.

In a speech this afternoon, Sir Jon has explained why he opposed the rate rise. He said he preferred to wait for clearer signs that wage growth is picking up.

Limited evidence that the British economy was generating too much inflationary pressure meant the Bank could afford to hold off on rates, he added.

'Victory for all riders'

Deliveroo rider
Getty Images

Deliveroo says it welcomes the arbitration's decision that its riders are self-employed.

Dan Warne, Deliveroo's managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: "This is a victory for all riders who have continuously told us that flexibility is what they value most about working with Deliveroo.

"We welcome the decision of the Committee. As we have consistently argued, our riders value the flexibility that self-employment provides."

The IWGB union has yet to respond to a request for comment.

Deliveroo ruling 'hinged on shift swaps'

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

BreakingDeliveroo riders 'self-employed', committee rules

Food takeaway firm Deliveroo says an arbitration committee has ruled its riders should be treated as self-employed.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) argued that riders were workers, and therefore able to claim for union recognition.

Deliveroo said the Central Arbitration Committee panel rejected the union's application.

FTSE finishes flat

FTSE 100

The UK's FTSE 100 share index has finished less than 1 point lower at 7,414.42.

Big gains for Tesco and Vodafone were cancelled out by losses for miners Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Antofogasta. Mining stocks make up a large chunk of the trading volume on the index.

The pound is flat against the dollar - rising just 0.07% to $1.31250 - but is down more sharply against the euro.

Sterling is 0.8% lower against the euro to €1.1152, after stronger economic growth in the eurozone boosted the bloc's currency.

Brexit: Can we rely on German car makers?

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

VW cars

Fact: BMW, VW and Mercedes sold nearly 600,000 cars in the UK last year. It is their biggest external market in the EU.

Hypothesis: The powerful German car industry will lean on Angela Merkel to lean on Michel Barnier to secure tariff-free trade between UK and EU.

When German manufacturers air their concerns with Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister urges them to communicate their fears direct to Mrs Merkel - thereby creating a useful feedback channel direct to Europe's most influential leader.

However, conversations with company and diplomatic sources suggest this channel, and the influence the government hoped might flow through it, is not working.

Read more of Simon's blog here.

From Russia with love

At a keynote speech in front of UK finance leaders last night, Theresa May accused Russia of "planting fake stories" to "sow discord in the West".

"We know what you are doing and you will not succeed," the prime minister said at the Lord Mayor's banquet in London.

Russian politicians have hit back at the criticism, with Russia's UK embassy describing her remarks as "fake news".

But the country's Foreign Ministry has taken a different approach...

View more on twitter

Stretching the horizon

Mark Carney
Getty Images

The Bank of England says it won't rush to rein in inflation, in order to support Britain's economy as it adjusts to the country's exit from the European Union.

"These are exceptional circumstances that the UK is operating in," the Bank's governor Mark Carney told a European Central Bank conference.

"During these exceptional circumstances we will stretch out the horizon over which we return inflation to target ... in order to support the economy in the adjustment process."

The UK's inflation rate is running at 3% - official data confirmed earlier - which is still above the Bank's inflation target of 2%.

Venezuela crisis 'could get worse'

BBC News Channel

Venezuela's economic woes could intensify if the government doesn't act on its foreign debt payments, according to an economist who was at yesterday's creditor meeting.

Francisco Rodriguez is a top Venezuelan economist who now works for a New York investment firm. He’s been explaining the potential consequences of default.

View more on twitter

In numbers: UK car market

Cars for sale
Getty Images

MPs ask car executives for a breakdown of where the UK's cars are sold.

Mike Hawes of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says:

  • UK car makers export just under 80% of the cars they produce
  • 56% of that goes to the rest of the EU
  • The EU is 4x bigger than the US, which is the next biggest market for exports
  • For EU car makers, 7% of their exports come to the UK
  • The UK is the EU's second largest market for new cars

Car executives call for Brexit trade clarity

Aston Martin worker
Getty Images

MPs have asked British car executives what they need from the government to help them plan for the different possible outcomes from the Brexit talks.

"What's really important to allow us to scenario plan effectively is to set a direction of travel and give clarity as quickly as possible," says Aston Martin's chief financial officer Mark Wilson.

The government's aims for trade talks with the EU - which are yet to start - are crucial, he says.

Mike Hawes, head of industry body SMMT, echoes the call for more clarity, but adds that "ministers do understand the challenge we face".

Lufthansa's Alitalia offer

Alitalia and Lufthansa planes
Getty Images

Lufthansa has offered €250m to take on most of Alitalia's fleet of aircraft and half of its staff, according to a source reported by Reuters.

Alitalia, which has made a profit only a few times in its 70-year history, was put into special administration earlier this year after staff rejected a plan to cut jobs and salaries.

Lufthansa is one of seven companies that submitted binding offers for Alitalia last month.

Honda warns on delay costs

Guardian Brexit correspondent tweets...

View more on twitter

Business Live has listened back to the select committee hearing, and Honda's UK government affairs manager Patrick Keating suggests the £850,000 figure is annual, rather than hourly.

Venezuela hits back at 'default'

President Maduro
Getty Images

Venezuela's government has accused international credit ratings agencies of deliberately seeking to "hinder" the country's access to financing, according to local media reports.

President Nicolas Maduro's government issued the statement as credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's declared Venezuela to be in "selective default", following a government meeting with some creditors yesterday.

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA has also been declared in default by rating agencies Fitch and Moody's.

Maduro's government accused the agencies of "following the pattern of the financial blockade introduced by the Trump Administration" against Venezuela, according to government newspaper Correo del Orinoco.

Aston Martin 'encouraged' by transition

Aston Martin CFO Mark Wilson
Parliament Live

Aston Martin is hoping that UK car certifications will still be valid in the EU after Brexit, because otherwise it would face halts to production, chief financial officer Mark Wilson says.

That's why the British car maker is "encouraged" by the prime minister's call for a transition period after the end of Article 50 talks.

"March 2019 is not the end of the end, we don't suppose," Mr Wilson says. "But during that transition we'd then have to look at how Aston Martins could be certified under a non-[UK] approval structure."

How expensive would that be? Mr Wilson won't say because it's commercially sensitive, but promises to tell the committee privately.

Mike Hawes from industry body SMMT tells MPs the problem of UK certifications would affect cars under construction – not the ones already on the roads or forecourts.

'Semi-catastrophic' Brexit risk - Aston Martin

Aston Martin car on production line
Getty Images

Aston Martin is facing a "stark picture" if UK car authorisations aren't recognised in the EU after Brexit, the car maker's chief financial officer says.

"We're a British company. We produce our cars exclusively in Britain and will continue to do so," Mark Wilson tells MPs on the business select committee.

But there will be "significant costs" if it has to re-apply outside the UK to authorise the cars it's making: "Not only in resourcing to another type of approval, but also the semi-catastrophic effects of having to stop production because we only produce cars in the UK."

Aston Martin would have to stop production because under current rules it can't hold approvals from two authorities simultaneously, the committee is told.

Wall Street off to rocky start

Trader on New York Stock Exchange
Getty Images

US stock indexes have dropped in the opening few minutes of trading on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones index is down 0.2% to 23,383 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has fallen 0.3% to 6,734 and the S&P 500 is 0.3% lower at 2,575 points.

Honda's Brexit contingencies

Honda worker
Getty Images

Honda is looking for more clarity about how Brexit will affect customs checks and car authorisations, says Patrick Keating, government affairs manager for the Japanese car maker.

It'll take a year for the company to start planning its new customs arrangements, including sorting out extra warehouses, so it needs more information by March 2018, he tells MPs.

Honda is also hoping that cars authorised in the UK will still be authorised in the EU after Brexit, he says.

Otherwise it'll "have to look for contingency plans", including possibly moving approval to another EU country, he adds.

Bombardier lands plane order

Bombardier CS300

A bit of aircraft news to bring you, and it might be a boost for Bombardier's Northern Ireland workers. The plane maker has scored a win at the Dubai Air Show.

EgyptAir has signed a letter of intent to order 12 of Bombardier's CS300 passenger jets for $1.1bn.

The planes will be used by the airline's domestic and regional carrier EgyptAir Express.

The letter of intent also includes purchasing options for a further 12 CSeries which if exercised would increase the total value of the deal to nearly $2.2bn.

Paradise Papers debate

House of Commons


Elsewhere in Parliament, MPs are still debating how to crack down on the problems of tax avoidance and evasion revealed in the Paradise Papers.

We're moving away from that debate here on the Business Live page to hear the car industry's views on Brexit.

But if you want to follow the tax debate, you can here.

Car makers delay investment

Mark Wilson, Mike Hawes, Patrick Keating
Parliament TV

Car manufacturers are delaying major investment decisions until they have more clarity on Brexit, according to the president of industry body SMMT, Mike Hawes (pictured, centre).

The SMMT is hearing from its members that "people are often sitting on their hands waiting for more clarity what the trading relationship will be with our biggest market", he tells MPs on the business select committee.

"The general view is that companies need more certainty by the turn of the year," Mr Hawes says.

Between 2012 and 2015, car makers invested £2.5bn on average a year in the UK, but this year that's likely to fall below £1bn, he adds.

MPs to quiz car bosses on Brexit

Aston Martin car
Getty Images

In the next few minutes car executives will be appearing before MPs to discuss the implications of Brexit for the automotive industry.

Facing the business select committee will be: Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders; Patrick Keating, government affairs manager at Honda Motor Europe; and Mark Wilson, chief financial officer at Aston Martin.