Morning Call: pick of the comment

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers

1. The politics of ownership could define the next decade (Independent)

Steve Richards says the debate over ownership and the role of co-operatives will shape the next decade as privatisation did in the 1980s.

2. This parody of the nanny state helps neither children nor adults (Guardian)

Timothy Garton Ash argues that not even Orwell's pen could do justice to the absurdities of Labour's vetting service.

3. Britain's power gap and why politicians have to narrow it (Times)

The Demos head, Richard Reeves, says that calls for "localism" will ring hollow until ordinary people have more power over their own lives.

4. Mr Obama, here's your Copenhagen speech (Guardian)

George Monbiot writes the speech Barack Obama must deliver to turn the Copenhagen talks around.

5. Civil servants intent on evading all responsibility (Independent)

Adrian Hamilton argues that the Chilcot inquiry has exposed how bureaucrats are willing to blame anyone but themselves.

6. How America let banks off the leash (Financial Times)

John Gapper says that Obama has wasted the opportunities provided by the financial crisis.

7. Quiet diplomacy will get our voice heard (Times)

Baroness Ashton, the EU's first representative for foreign affairs, says that Europe can punch above its weight through soft power.

8. Curling up with a good e-book? (Daily Telegraph)

Philip Hensher says that digital books will transform our view of literary merit.

9. Mysterious peer Lord Ashcroft is an inconvenient truth for Cameron (Guardian)

Michael White calls on David Cameron to order Michael Ashcroft to stop playing coy games about his tax status.

10. Locking up children shames us (Independent)

Matthew Norman says that we must all resist the state's mistreatment of children.

Getty
Show Hide image

FTSE 100 plunges after Theresa May signals hard Brexit ahead

The Prime Minister is to lay out her Brexit plan later today. 

The FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 plummeted this morning after the Prime Minister signalled Brexit will mean leaving the single market.

Theresa May is expected to rule out "partial membership" or any other kind of "half-in, half-out" deal with the EU in a speech later today.

The FTSE 100, the index of the UK's 100 biggest companies, and the FTSE 250 both fell more than 0.3 per cent immediately after opening. 

The worst performers included the housebuilder Barratt Developments, consumer goods tester Intertek and the mining company BHP.

Stock markets have been buoyant since Brexit, in part because many of Britain's biggest companies are international and benefit from a devalued pound. 

However, while markets fell, the pound crept up against the dollar, to $1.21. 

Critics of the Prime Minister say she is sacrificing the economy to prioritise immigration controls.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady warned: "If we leave the single market, working people will end up paying the price. It'd be bad for jobs, for work rights & for our living standards."

According to the Office for National Statistics, inflation rose from 1.2 per cent in November to 1.6 per cent in December. 

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.