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February 27, 2020updated 26 Feb 2020 6:47pm

UK2070 report calls for connectivity revolution / UK publishes Brexit negotiating mandate / Italian health minister gives coronavirus update

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

UK2070 report calls for “connectivity revolution”

An independent inquiry has found that London’s productivity over the last ten years was nine times higher than the entire Northern Powerhouse area, highlighting how the economic gap has widened between different regions in the UK.

The UK2070 Commission’s final report urges the government to “go big or go home” if it is to put a halt to the widening economic and social divisions.

Sectors such as fintech have defied Brexit uncertainty in London, with the capital’s tech scene continuing to attract large investment.

The report recommends a “connectivity revolution” to level the playing field. In the 2019 general election, the Conservative Party promised to roll out gigabit broadband across rural Britain.

UK publishes Brexit negotiating mandate

The UK today publishes its negotiating mandate for its future relationship with the EU post-Brexit, which will act as a blueprint for the discussions.

It follows the EU’s mandate published on 25 February, which said EU standards should serve as “a reference point” in any future trade deal.

Boris Johnson has hinted that the UK will push for a Canada-style agreement.

The UK’s mandate will be published online and presented in Parliament this morning.

Italian health minister gives coronavirus update

Italy’s Health Minister, Roberto Speranza, and its Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, hold a press event this morning to provide an update on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Italy has confirmed at least 322 cases of the virus, the highest number of infections outside of Asia.

The country has put 11 towns in Lombardy and Vento into lockdown, but the government is facing criticism over its handling of the outbreak that has so far claimed 11 lives in the region.

The death toll for the coronavirus has now surpassed 2,700 worldwide, with the vast majority in mainland China where the disease first spread.

Wednesday’s Highlights


Managing the double-edged sword of the cloud: Security vs productivity

Digital Risks nets $10.4m to disrupt SME insurance market

Seven in ten UK businesses will invest in 5G by 2023: EY