FirstFT: Tory MPs attack Johnson’s plan to rip up…
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Tory MPs have accused Boris Johnson of “damaging the UK and everything the Conservatives stand for” as he prepares to publish a bill to rip up his 2020 Brexit deal with the EU covering trade with Northern Ireland.
The legislation, to be published today, will bring the UK prime minister into conflict with the House of Lords, the EU, lawmakers in Washington and some business groups in Northern Ireland as well as many of his own MPs.
An internal note circulating among Tory MPs opposing the bill and seen by the Financial Times said the measure “breaks international law and no shopping around for rent-a-quote lawyers can hide that”.
The legislation would expunge crucial elements of the Northern Ireland protocol, part of an international treaty with the EU. It would also give ministers sweeping powers, which government officials insist are just an “insurance policy”, to change almost every aspect of the text.
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Five more stories in the news
1. US set for recession next year, says economists The world’s largest economy will tip into a recession next year, according to nearly 70 per cent of leading academic economists polled by the FT, as the Federal Reserve has embarked on one of the fastest tightening cycles in decades.
2. UK regulator puts Credit Suisse on watchlist The Financial Conduct Authority has put Credit Suisse on its watchlist for tougher supervision after saying last month that it was concerned the Swiss lender had not done enough to improve its culture, governance and risk controls following a series of crises.
3. Russians get first taste of rebranded McDonald’s The fast-food chain opened its doors yesterday under local ownership as Vkusno & Tochka, or “Tasty — Full Stop”, after McDonald’s sold its Russian business last month, declaring operations “no longer tenable” because of the country’s war with Ukraine.
More on the war in Ukraine
Military conscription: Angry relatives say Russian forces are plucking young men with no military experience from the streets of Ukraine’s breakaway eastern enclaves and sending them to the front.
Supply crisis: Campaigners want to divert crops and commodities from biofuel production as famine looms. But would doing so alleviate hunger and rising food prices?
The FT View: Western leaders should unite around President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s framework of refusing to make territorial concessions.
4. Google engineer put on leave after claiming chatbot is ‘sentient’ Blake Lemoine, a senior software engineer in Google’s Responsible AI unit, has been put on leave after he went public with his belief that the tech group’s chatbot has become “sentient”, triggering a social media firestorm.
5. France’s leftwing alliance surges in strong first-round Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s leftwing alliance made a strong showing in the first round of France’s legislative elections yesterday. While it is unlikely his group will win a majority after the final round next Sunday, the initial results gave the left leverage against Emmanuel Macron’s economic reform plans.
The day ahead
UK GDP The UK releases April gross domestic product data, which is expected to have barely grown after stagnating in February and March. Figures on trade and construction output are also out.
In Westminster: Environment secretary George Eustice will unveil the Food Strategy white paper, which is expected to reject the main points of a review that called for urgent changes to fight obesity and climate change. The government will also table amendments to the freedom of speech bill demanding universities share details about overseas funding.
WTO conference The 12th ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization’s most senior decision-making body continues in Geneva. Director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has urged governments to end food export restrictions to help alleviate a hunger crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Eurosatory defence exhibition The industry event begins in Paris, France.
What else we’re reading
Should Elon Musk’s bankers help him kill the Twitter deal? Wall Street lenders bankrolling the Tesla chief’s $44bn acquisition of the social media company may soon find the industry’s biggest payday on the line, as Musk claims that concerns about fake accounts give him grounds to walk away from a deal.
Kenya’s political titans gear up for electoral fight After 10 years under Uhuru Kenyatta’s rule, a faltering economy and rising prices, voters in the east African powerhouse are hoping for change in one of year’s most crucial polls. Here are the frontrunners.
Can the aviation industry get airborne by summer? As passenger numbers pick up, staffing problems at airlines have caused chaos across the US and Europe, leaving little slack in a system struggling to deal with other operational issues, from weather to air traffic control delays.
Xi Jinping is reshaping China’s capital markets Beijing’s IPO pipeline is in flux as Xi aligns the stock market with Communist party objectives, with more listings in industries vital to China’s competition with the west (think: biotechnology, renewable energy and artificial intelligence). Analysts warn the state’s growing influence could come at a hefty cost if western governments cut off investment flows.
A new wave of tech work is too baffling for too many If you don’t know your XaaS from your UX and UI, you’re not alone. There is something unsettling about the speed at which the online revolution has bred a generation doing jobs that utterly baffle outsiders, writes Pilita Clark.
Artist Rashid Johnson evokes longing and homesickness in his exhibition in Menorca and talks about the potential of new media for artists of colour.
“A lot of artists of colour at that time were interested in these new media, partly because it didn’t have all this canonical history that was so framed by western constructs — it was like, maybe we can affect the discourse here
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