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  1. Get in touch:
  2. Wall Street opens higher
  3. Boeing shares jump on software patch
  4. FTSE boosted by housebuilders
  5. Wetherspoon profits slide
  6. US sues VW
  7. Tesla unveils the Model Y
  8. Business reacts to Brexit delay

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. UK tariff plan 'breaches rules'


    The UK's plan to drop tariffs on most imports into the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit has been criticised by EU commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan.

    Under a temporary scheme 87% of imports by value would be eligible for zero-tariff access.At the moment 80% of imports are tariff free.

    Mr Hogan said the plan was "a political stunt" and would likely breach World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

    "I think the timing of it was unfortunate and it was a deliberate attempt to put Ireland more on the agenda, as if it wasn't on the agenda already," he said.

  2. Good afternoon

    School children protesting climate change in Parliament Square

    Thanks Jill and Katie for this morning's live coverage of all things business.

    Mary-Ann Russon with you until 21:30 for the rest of the day's news and views.

    Today, school children gathered in Parliament Square in Westminster to protest against climate change.

    Got a point of view? You can tweet me at @concertina226 and @BBCBusiness.

  3. Postmasters win court battle


    Hundreds of postmasters have won the first stage of a court battle with the Post Office, after they claimed that their lives had been ruined by the Horizon system used to manage shop finances.

    This judgement covers the Post Office’s obligation to treat them fairly. There is another trial underway looking at individual cases, then a further one starting later in the year.

  4. Bank of Japan downbeat

    Yen notes

    We missed this earlier, but the Bank of Japan has issued a downbeat judgement on its economy.

    It said that "exports and production have been affected by the slowdown in overseas economies".

    However, it said that "Japan's economy is expanding moderately".

    Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has come under fire over the effectiveness of his monetary easing programme and how he intends to return the bank's policy to normal.

  5. Outsourcing model fails, says Unite

    Unite represents 1,700 Interserve workers and says it is the largest union at the company. It wants a meeting with EY, the accountancy firm being lined up as administrators to the company.

    The union's national officer Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “Interserve’s management has portrayed this as business as normal but this is anything but normal. Workers are being asked to deliver vital public services without knowing who their employer will be and whether they will continue to have a job in the future.“The government must step in and ensure that services continue and that workers are treated with dignity and respect. Once again we have seen the government’s outsourced model fail".

  6. Interserve jobs 'not affected'

    Quote Message: This announcement will not affect jobs or the provision of public services delivered by Interserve. We are in close contact with the company and we are confident a positive way forward will be found. from Cabinet Office Spokesperson.
    Cabinet OfficeSpokesperson.
  7. 'Fly-by-night profiteering'


    Interserve has contracts in the NHS, including Ambulance preparation in London, supervises 40,000 offenders on probation, and is responsible for live firing exercises in Ministry of Defence ranges, the GMB union says.

    Kevin Brandstatter, national officer of the GMB - which is calling for an end to outsourcing - said: "Shambolic mismanagement is putting jobs put on the line and services in jeopardy. Our public services can't go on like this.

    "It's time to turn the tide on the disastrous experiment of gifting our public services to fly-by-night profiteering companies."

  8. Reforming procurement is 'vital'


    Interserve's failure highlights why reforming procurement is so vital, says the National Federation of Builders (NFB).

    Chief executive Richard Beresford said the system needed to be reformed to prevent "the damaging trend to work within wafer thin profit margins".

    "Spread risk across fiscally responsible businesses who reinvest profits and are not bound by shareholders," he said.

  9. Interserve failure raises questions

    The failure of Interserve is likely to prompt further debate over the use of private sector contracts for public services.

    The firm employs 65,000 staff worldwide, 45,000 in the UK, cleaning schools and hospitals, running probation services and in construction.

    It is the second outsourcing giant to fail after Carillion fell into administration last January.

    The firm employed about 20,000 people in the UK and was best known for being one of the largest suppliers of services to the public sector.

  10. What does Interserve do?

    Interserve chart

    If you're wondering what Interserve does, here's a handy reminder.

    The outsourcing firm is one of the UK's largest public services providers. The firm started in dredging and construction, and from there has diversified into a wide range of services, such as healthcare and catering, for clients in government and industry.

    It sells services, including probation, cleaning and healthcare, and is involved in construction projects.

  11. Interserve's stock market decline

    chart price

    Shares are being suspended. The chart shows the steady decline over the past five years.

  12. Interserve - deal to be done tonight

    Interserve says that the administration and sale is expected to be completed this evening, "ensuring that the business will continue to operate as normal for customers and suppliers".

    The firm says the move "will provide the group with a strong financial position, allowing it to grow and develop the business, to deliver on its long-term strategy and protect the group's employees (including the beneficiaries of the Group's pension schemes)."

  13. Business as usual

    prison service

    The outsourcing giant says in the "absence of any viable alternative", it is likely to implement its alternative plan and make an application for administration.

    Accountants EY are expected to be appointed as administrators. They will then sell the company for a nominal amount to the current lenders (a mixture of banks and bond holders) who will own 100% of the new company.

    The company says is does not expect any changes to underlying contracts or any immediate job losses, in the event of administrators taking over.

    "If the order is granted, the immediate sale of the company's business and assets (i.e. the entire Group) to a newly-incorporated company, to be owned by the existing lenders," it said.

  14. BreakingInterserve faces administration

    Interserve's rescue plan has been voted down by shareholders with 60% of shareholders voting against the motion.

  15. Best week since January

    The pound is on track for its best week since January after the votes in parliament this week, which culminated on Thursday with the decision by MPs to ask the EU to delay the date for the UK's departure.

    Sterling has risen around 1.7% against the dollar this week but is below Wednesday's nine-month high of $1.3380.

    For Friday trading, it is holding steady at $1.3255.