The European Commission says it has started to implement its preparations for a no-deal Brexit - in case the UK leaves the EU without a plan. It has announced temporary measures to try to reduce the impact but says it cannot counter all the problems it expects.
The Italian government has defied the European Commission by sticking to its big-spending budget plan. Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said a deficit target of 2.4% and a growth forecast of 1.5% were unchanged.
Standard & Poor’s on Friday left Italy’s sovereign debt rating unchanged but lowered its outlook to negative from stable, saying that the new government’s policy plans were weighing on the country’s growth and debt prospects.
The European Commission has told Italy to revise its budget, an unprecedented move with regard to an EU member state. EC is worried about the impact of higher spending on already high levels of debt in Italy, the Euro zone's third-biggest economy.
Moody's has cut Italy's credit rating by a notch over concerns about plans for larger deficits and the high public debt load as the country's populist government clashes with Brussels over its budget. The European Commission formally warned Italy late Thursday that its budget plans for 2019 are a serious concern, launching a high-stakes process that could see Rome hit with unprecedented sanctions for breaking commitments to Brussels.
A spokesman for the European Commission said calmness not drama was needed during the critical end phase of negotiating a withdrawal agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
The United States has supplanted Brazil as the European Union's top supplier of soybeans since a deal in July with President Donald Trump to avert a trade war, according to EU data seen by Reuters on Thursday.
Apple has paid the Irish government €14.3bn (£12.7bn), money that the European Commission ruled the tech giant owed due to illegal tax breaks. Ireland's Finance ministry said the payment was a significant milestone, although Dublin insists Apple was not given any special tax treatment. In 2016 the Commission ruled the below 1% effective tax rate the firm paid in Ireland amounted to illegal state aid.
A no-deal exit from the European Union would deliver a “hammer blow” to the British economy, the head of the CBI has warned. The business body’s director general Carolyn Fairbairn said the country should get behind Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chequers proposals as a blueprint for a Brexit deal.
The EU must back Theresa May's Brexit plan or risk the UK leaving without a deal, the most senior member of the UK PM's cabinet has said. Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington said the European Commission's proposals remained unacceptable and he appealed for compromise from the EU side in Brexit talks.