Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Bonnie prince and princess

Written by Maria Julia Pieraccioni, associate 
Edited by David Gaffney, partner
7 June 2021

Good morning,

Over the weekend, The Times revealed plans for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to spend more time in Scotland in an attempt to salvage the Union. Senior aides apparently intend for the Duke and Duchess to spend more time at Balmoral, the Queen’s Scottish estate, treating it as a regular home “rather than a place for brief holidays”. This follows their most recent foray north of the border, when the Duke and Duchess toured Edinburgh, St Andrews, Orkney, North Lanarkshire and East Lothian.

In a parade of wonderfully thought-out tartan ensembles – and endearing relatability, when the Duchess asked onlookers in St Andrews whether their favourite pub during university years was still open – William and Kate did nothing short of nailing the brief. However, that’s not to say it will always be plain sailing in Scottish waters.

Scotland traditionally returns the lowest levels of support for the monarchy in opinion polls. An Opinium poll commissioned by Sky News earlier this year suggested that 39% of all people surveyed would agree to retain a monarchy after independence. Placed against the favourability the monarchy enjoys throughout the rest of the United Kingdom—some 69%—this is stark.

Second, it is widely respected that the British royals reject political interference and never publicly reveal their political affiliations. However, the Union was royal before it was political. Before the political union of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the union was personal, which meant nations had their own laws, identities, and distinct borders but recognised the same monarch.

The current monarch’s level of emotional and personal attachment to Scotland was revealed in 2014, before the first vote on independence, when Queen Elizabeth II made headlines after telling a well-wisher at Balmoral that she hoped “people would think carefully about the future”.

The monarchy embodies historical and cultural continuity and is therefore a part of our national identity. Whether the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are capable of salvaging a fractured political union remains to be seen.

News

Recent research by Sky News suggests a quarter of contentious statues have been removed, are due to be removed or are under review since protesters toppled the statue of slave trader Edward Colston last year. In 44 councils, commissions comprising members of the public, politicians, and business leaders will determine the fate of many controversial monuments throughout the UK.

Ahead of the G7 summit on Friday, where leaders will discuss their commitment to vaccinate the world against Covid-19 by the end of next year, debate has erupted in Scotland on whether vaccinating teenagers is a higher priority than those in struggling countries. Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, has given an interview to BBC Scotland supporting the prioritisation of adults internationally rather than younger people at home.

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) party won in the state election in Saxony-Anhalt in the last poll ahead of national elections in September. Chancellor Merkel will not be seeking re-election, leaving Armin Laschet to lead the CDU beyond the vote.

Business and economy

 The G7 countries have agreed to back a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15% in a historic deal on Sunday, designed to reduce profit-shifting and tax avoidance. G7 leaders have also agreed to standardise procedures for companies to declare their environmental impact to investors.

Boris Johnson’s premiership will be put to the test today, as Conservative MPs aim to reverse the prime minister’s $4 billion cut to international aid. More than 30 MPs, including former prime minister Theresa May,  have publicly pledged to vote in support of former aid secretary Andrew Mitchell’s proposed amendment to the cut. (£)

The UK is facing pressure from the EU to follow suit on a dozen climate policies that aim to slash greenhouse emissions by 55% by 2030. Germany has already announced it will back the ending of free carbon permits for airlines, in an extension of a suite of policies that will be subject to a vote on 14 July.

An annual survey conducted by EY reported that Scotland had “bolstered its position as the UK’s most attractive [foreign direct investment] location outside London” last year. Despite the SNP coalition government’s agenda for independence, Edinburgh was ranked the UK’s top city outside London for foreign direct investment. (£)

Columns of note

After years of enforcing the two-child policy in China to curb overpopulation, the Chinese government has recently relented, allowing married couples to have up to three children. This piece for CNN by Jessie Yeng and Nectar Gan argues the policy will perpetrate existing rampant gender discrimination in the workplace. With many Chinese companies reluctant to pay for maternity leave, the question remains whether the economic onus of childbirth and childrearing should be left to the government, ever obsessed with birth-rates.

Recent news that G7 leaders agreed to an international corporate tax rate minimum has attracted much scepticism about who will benefit from the floor rate. The Economist posits that avoiding profit shifting from poor countries to tax havens should benefit poorer countries, which will be able to keep the revenue generated from corporate taxes, but argues that richer countries will make bigger profits, leaving poorer ones poorer still. (£)

Cartoon source: The New Yorker

Markets

The week ahead

Markets will be geared for various announcements of inflation data and interest rate adjustments from central banks. The European Central Bank will meet this week for its June interest rate decision, with investors monitoring closely whether the ECB will maintain its earlier position to avoid tapering interest rates. The US Fed will also announce its consumer price data for May, but has already said that despite early signs of inflation, they will avoid pulling back on stimulus, hopeful that the labour market will improve.

Markets will also be preparing for the shifts in retail investors’ sentiment, as last week shares of GameStop and AMC reached record highs for the second time this year. Especially weak is AMC’s shares, which is very heavily funded by retail investors.

Finally, President Biden’s infrastructure deal is expected to be debated on Monday in Congress. Government spending on infrastructure has already boosted value stocks this year, particularly the industrials and materials sectors, so investors will remain attentive to their performance this week.  

What’s happening today?

Finals

Sirius R E.

Interims

Redx Pharma

AGMs

Filta Group

Ocean Out

Ocean Out

Octopus T.vct

S4 Cap.

Sec Newgate   

Zaim Credit Sy.

Final Ex-Dividend Date

Saint Gobain Or

Final Dividend Payment Date

Epwin Grp

Phoenix Spree D

Interim Dividend Payment Rate

Smart (J) & Co

Quarterly Payment Date

Octopus Renew.

UK Economic Announcements

 (08:30) Halifax House Price Index

International Economic Announcements

(07:00) Factory Orders (GER)

(20:00) Consumer Credit (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

Eating the head of a sea bream called sarpa salsa can cause hallucinations. It was used as a recreational drug during Roman times. [source: QI Twitter]

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral questions

Home office (including topical questions)

Legislation

Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill: Remaining Stages

Adjournment

Preserving heritage and statues in cities

Westminster Hall Debate

e-petitions 300535, 326261, and 574305, relating to the Government’s action plan for animal welfare

e-petition 328621, relating to the protection of retail workers

House of Lords 

Oral questions

Reduced funding to health partnership schemes used by UK clinicians to support doctors and nurses abroad

Publication of a strategy for public engagement and behaviour change to support the target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050

Education in arts subjects in secondary schools

British Iranian dual nationals being held in Iran

Private notice questions

To ask the government, following the resignation of Sir Kevan Collins as Education Recovery Commissioner, what steps they will take to develop a long-term plan to help pupils make up for the lost learning during the Covid-19 pandemic

Legislation

Environment bill – second reading

Orders and regulations

Immigration (collection, use and retention of biometric information and related amendments) Regulations 2021; Immigration and Nationality (fees) (amendment) Order 2021

British Nationality Act 1981 (immigration rules appendix EU) (amendment) Regulations 2021

Health Protection (coronavirus, restrictions) (steps and other provisions) (England) (amendment) Regulations 2021

Myanmar (sanctions) Regulations 2021

Scottish parliament 

No business scheduled

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