Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Bye bye Barbados

Written by Katie Armour, senior associate
Edited by Scott Reid, associate partner

30 November 2021 

Good morning,

As the clock struck four this morning, Barbados became a republic.

Prince Charles rather awkwardly looked on as people paraded through the streets of Bridgetown towards the celebrations in National Heroes Square (formerly Trafalgar).

For the last 55 years since independence, the Queen has been the head of state of Barbados and was represented on the island by a governor-general. But in September last year the Barbadian government announced its plans to end the constitutional monarchy but retain its place in the commonwealth.

(Now president) Dame Sandra Mason said it was time to “fully leave our colonial past behind”, as “Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state”. Others voiced pride that the time has come to shake off the “Little England” label.

Although discontent with a detached monarchy has been building for two decades, commentators have been questioning just how powerful other factors were in the decision and whether the island’s affinities are drifting from west to east.

China has been accused of orchestrating a concerted campaign to extend its reach and roots in the wider Caribbean. There are any number of motivations but the New York Times highlights the region’s strategic importance as a hub for logistics, banking and commerce, and of course, its proximity to the US.

Outlining how Beijing has been “buying up Barbados”, The Times detailed extensive investments in (or donations of) hotels, universities, stadiums, sewage systems, vaccines, patrol vessels, road rebuilding and homes for those displaced by hurricane Elsa.

China has also made major infrastructure offerings to other countries in the region including Jamaica. But we’ve seen instances elsewhere the kindness turns calculated, which may be a warning to heed. In 2018 Sri Lanka found itself unable repay Chinese loans and ended up surrendering a port.

Questions were put to prime minister Mia Mottley, who stunned global audiences with her impassioned speech at COP26, about whether Barbados was in essence “swapping one superpower for another”. Mottley refuted the suggestions, noting long standing relationship with China and arguing the island could be a “friend of all and satellite of none”.

More broadly, however, Barbados has decided that this archaic model doesn’t suit them anymore and the move should raise some interesting questions over here about how attractive ‘Global Britain’ really is.

One can’t help thinking future king Charles III is likely to see more flags fall on British sovereignty and with 14 overseas territories remaining, the foreign office is undoubtedly feeling jittery.

But Britain’s rhetoric on the end of empire looks hollow while it continues to refuse to decolonise Africa in direct opposition to international rulings. This is not a past but a very present problem.  

News

Labour leader Keir Starmer begun a shadow cabinet ministerial reshuffle yesterday. Well known backbench figures Yvette Cooper, Lisa Nandy and David Lammy have taken up major briefs as shadow home secretary, levelling up secretary and foreign secretary respectively.

The first minister has announced that the Scottish child payment will double to £20 from April, in what she says is “the most ambitious anti-poverty measure anywhere in the UK”. She expects the policy to eventually support 400,000 children.

The trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell began in New York yesterday, where she was accused by prosecutors of preying on and grooming young girls for convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein to abuse. She faces up to 80 years in prison if found guilty. The trial is expected to run for six weeks.

Business and economy

The 45-year-old founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has announced he is stepping down as chief executive of the company after six years in the role. He will be replaced by Parag Agrawal, who has been chief technology officer since 2017. Dorsey also runs the payments company Square, which is worth almost $100bn. (£)

The second largest bank in Australia, Westpac, has admitted to breaking the law after being faced with six lawsuits for the poor treatment of customers, including charging fees to dead people. The bank will pay $81m in penalties, subject to court approval.

Columns of note

Frances Ryan writes in The Guardian that England’s new covid measures still leave clinically vulnerable people “out in the cold”. She pays attention to the worries of millions who are now questioning how to get through the winter months and stresses that the government has a duty to protect the public.

Former Conservative party leader William Hague writes in The Times that nationalism is “bankrupt and has no answers” and argues that the ideas of Trump and Farage are becoming more irrelevant in a world where nations must solve crises together.

Markets

What happened yesterday?

London stocks closed in a more positive state on Monday, after fears about the omicron covid variant began to fade.

The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.94% at 7.109.95, and the FTSE 250 was also up 0.97% at 23,22,756.33.

Sterling was, however, weaker against the dollar trading 0.28% lower at $1.33 but 0.19% higher against the euro, changing hands at €1.19.

In company news

Retail experts reported that footfall at shopping centres increased by 6.5% and footfall at retail parks grew by 4.9%, which was significantly influenced by black Friday sales.

Shares in travel firms grew after falling sharply on Friday, Wizz Air saw its rise by 5.47%, TUI rose by 0.96% and Cineworld increased by 1.75%.

What’s happening today?

AGMsDish Tv IndiaAlternative IncAdvance EnergyNanocoEuropa MetalsCastillo Coppe.

Final Dividend Payment DatePz CussonsFonix Mob.Diverse IncK3 Capital Gro.Coral ProductsNew Star Inv

FinalsMarstonsFutureGreencoreeasyJetTreattTopps TilesGooch & HousegoContango Holdings

Interim Dividend Payment DateBankers Investment TrustEjf InvestmentsLloyds Group 9.25Twentyfour SelHenderson IntCrown PlaceCQS Natural ResourcesHipgnosis Song.Ecofin GlobalEdiston PropertyCqs New C.h.y.fSchroder OrientLloyds Group 9.75BAE Systems

Interim ResultsVpWise PlcPennonGb GroupSystem1 Group

Interim Ex-Dividend DateJames Hal.5.5%

Q3 ResultsAb Ignitis. S

Quarterly Dividend Payment DateCustodian ReitPicton PropBmo Comm Prop.City of London Investment

Special Dividend Payment DateCrown Place

Trading AnnouncementDp Eurasia

International Economic Accountment(07:00) Import Price Index (GER)(07:00) Nationwide House Price Index(08:55) Unemployment Rate (GER)(09:30) M4 Money Supply(14:00) House Price Index (US)(14:45) Chicago PMI (US)(15:00) Consumer Confidence (US)

 

Source: Financial Times

did you know

The elaborate White House Christmas tree tradition started with President Benjamin Harrison in 1889, who erected a tree in the Oval office and decorated it with wax candles as the building didn’t have electricity until 1891. Yesterday Jill Biden unveiled this year’s elaborate decorations. (link) (Source: Country Living)

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral questionsForeign, Commonwealth and Development  

Ten Minute Rule MotionMicroplastic Filters (washing machines)

DebateApproving health protection regulations

Opposition day debateSNP business

AdjournmentPatient access to NICE-approved products

Westminster Hall debatesAllocations to UK-EU fisheries following the UK’s departure from the EUWales’ contribution to the UK armed forcesEmpowering community energy schemesSecuring employment and community benefit in the offshore renewables wind sector

House of Lords 

Oral questionsEfficacy and efficiency of outsourcing the telephone services provided by DWPEnsuring older people are aware of wider definitions of domestic abuseRequirement for shipbuilders in the UK to use British steelPreparations for the 2022 Qatar World Cup

LegislationDissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill

Scottish parliament 

Parliamentary Bureau Motions Topical Questions First Minister’s StatementCovid 19 Update Parliamentary Bureau motions Ministerial StatementPathways to recovery – update on progress and milestones for expanding access to residential rehabilitation in Scotland Scottish Government debateJustice and the 16 days of action Committee Announcements Business Motions Parliamentary Bureau Motions Member’s Business DebateLamb for St Andrew’s Day campaign

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