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  2. Morning briefing
December 12, 2019

General election voters head to polls / Ocado posts Q4 trading statement / European Council talks Brexit and climate change

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

General election voters head to polls

Voters head to polling stations across the UK today to cast their votes in the 2019 general election.

The Conservative Party has enjoyed a ten-point lead for much of the campaign, but a last-minute opinion poll saw Labour narrow the gap.

The election campaign has been rife with underhand tactics, from misleading leaflets to disinformation campaigns.

Polls close at 22:00 GMT, after which broadcasters will publish their exit polls to give the first indication to the direction the country has chosen. The result is expected to be known in the early hours of Friday.

Ocado posts Q4 trading statement

Online food retailer Ocado posts its trading statement for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Shares in the British firm, which owns no stores and delivers from its warehouses, have soared 400% in the past two and a half years.

Despite its high valuation, the firm posted an adjusted loss before tax of £43m for the first half of 2019.

Deals with Japanese retailer Aeon and British chain Marks & Spencer are likely to provide a boost.

European Council talks Brexit and climate change

EU leaders gather in Brussels today for the European Council to shape the union’s political direction and priorities.

Climate change, Brexit, Russia and the EU’s long-term budget are all on the agenda. European Council president Charles Michel will present his first EU summit since being elected in July this year.

The Council, which meets every three months, comprises of the heads of state of EU members, along with the president of European Council and the president of the European Commission.

The two-day event will conclude with a Special Council on Article 50 to discuss EU-UK relations post-Brexit.

Wednesday’s Highlights


Small business voting plans: One in four SMEs has no confidence in any political party

Today’s encryption crackable by quantum computing in five years, 73% of cybersecurity pros say

5G in London: No boroughs have 5G rollout strategy