Good morning, here’s your Wednesday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.
Brexiteers give May an ultimatum
The UK’s most senior ministers are meeting today to discuss options to replace the European Union’s customs union after the UK leaves the bloc in a little less than a year’s time.
Prime Minister Theresa May has proposed replacing membership of the existing customs union with a so-called customs partnership.
That would see the UK continue to collect EU tariffs for goods whose ultimate destination is member states, but which would still allow the UK to sign its own trade deals around the world.
This has been described as “magical thinking” by Brussels and “bonkers” by Conservative Brexiteers.
May’s chancellor Philip Hammond has come out and said he backs the plan and it could also be a solution to the problem of the Irish border, as it would mean no hard customs border between the UK and the EU.
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European Commission set to unveil EU seven-year budget
The European Commission will today unveil proposals for the European Union’s next seven-year budget.
EU budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger will unveil plans for the 2021-2027 budget with the total amount covered by the proposal set to be substantially over €1 trillion.
However, EU officials insist that spending is only about 1% of the bloc’s total income — or roughly equal to the cost of one cup of coffee a day for its 440 million citizens.
From the end of 2020, under current Brexit plans, the UK will no longer be paying into the EU budget. The ensuing budget black hole is likely to be between €12 billion and €14 billion annually.
TSB boss Paul Pester to face MPs over recent online banking outage
Customers of UK bank TSB are still facing difficulties getting into their online accounts ahead of an examination of the bank’s bosses by UK law makers today.
The influential Treasury Committee will grill three of the bank’s bosses, including TSB chief executive Paul Pester.
TSB chairman Richard Meddings, and Miquel Montes, chief operating officer at TSB’s Spanish owner, Sabadell will also be questioned.
TSB shutdown services for two days from the evening of Friday 20 April to move customer data from former owner Lloyds to a new IT system managed by Sabadell. The service failed to come back online for many on Sunday 22 April.