Firms halt deliveries from UK to EU over Brexit border problems

DPD pauses road service and retailers suspend sales or reduce lines amid concerns over paperwork and tariffs

A growing number of retailers and courier firms are suspending or cutting back deliveries into the EU as companies grapple with new border controls as well as import taxes.

On Friday DPD, the international delivery giant, said it was “pausing” its road service from the UK into Europe, including the Republic of Ireland. Separately, Marks & Spencer said it was concerned that a third of the products in its Irish food halls, including Percy Pig sweets, would now be subject to import tariffs. Such taxes could spell higher prices for shoppers.

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Sainsbury's is playing the long game by surrendering rates relief

The reputational gamble of hanging on to Treasury support is not worth taking if permanent reform is the goal

Sainsbury’s Christmas trading update was a demonstration of why the boards of all the big supermarket chains were obliged to come to their senses last month and concede that, yes, all that relief on business rates had to go back to the Treasury.

After surrendering relief worth £410m this financial year, Sainsbury’s expects to achieve pre-tax profits of £330m, an uncomfortable year-on-year decline of 44% from the previous £586m. But consider the alternative: if it had kept the money, Sainsbury’s would now be forecasting profits this year of £740m, a year-on-year increase of 26%, which would have guaranteed endless publicity about profiting from a pandemic.

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Veteran investor is right to question stock market exuberance

Jeremy Grantham’s warning that an ‘epic bubble’ has formed on Wall Street should not be ignored

Jeremy Grantham, a wise old investor with an excellent record in calling time on wild stock market exuberance, picked his moment well this week to warn that a “fully fledged epic bubble” had formed on Wall Street. On cue, world share prices hit all-time highs as investors seemingly looked beyond the pandemic and decided everything was about to go very right.

Hopes for a Democratic clean sweep of US Congress were priced up before Senate election results in Georgia were even confirmed. The talk now is of great “reflation” trade – serious US government spending to stimulate economic growth, coupled with a pleasant level of inflation (but not enough to panic the Federal Reserve).

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