Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Pound falls afterMPs reject bill timetable
Naspers arm Prosus makes $4.9bn offer for Just Eat, sparking bidding war
SoftBank takes control of WeWork as Adam Neumann pockets $185m payoff
Reckitt Benckiser cuts revenue outlook after mixed results
St Jamess Place sees inflows weaken
Big Brother maker Endemol Shine is on the brink of being bought by French firm Banijay
Read the latest on the Neil Woodford saga: why investors look set to miss out on a Brexit bounce
See you tomorrow!
Thanks for following along tonight.
Join Louis Ashworth tomorrow morning with all the latest business news.
Live blog wrap
The pound hit session lows after tonight's Brexit votes but later stabilised, settling lower against the dollar and the euro.
Pound Sterling trading near session lows after British MPs rejection of PM Boris Johnson's #Brexit deal timetable $GBPUSD 1.2878 (-0.62%)$EURGBP 0.8639 (+0.42%)$GBPJPY 139.70 (-0.76%) DailyFX Team Live (@DailyFXTeam) October 22, 2019
As seen in the chart below, the currency spiked as MPs voted in favour of a Brexit deal for the first time ever but the gains were short lived.
Oh boy!
POUND WEAKENS AS GOVERNMENT DEFEATED ON SECOND BREXIT VOTE#GBP jeroen blokland (@jsblokland) October 22, 2019
Untangling ourselves from our biggest trading partner requires more than slap dash scrutiny...
Jasmine Whitbread ofLondon First, says:

Were hopeful the EU will grant an extension toArticle 50to avoid us crashing out next week, which would hurt those who can least afford it.
We have now had more than three years,two governmentsand five attempts at a meaningful votewithout agreement.
"The Government must get on with the detailed scrutiny of its legislation andletParliament decide whether to back this deal or to takethis momentous decision back to the British people, giving us all a clear choice between the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement or remaining in the EU.
Pound settling...
Boris Johnson has now confirmed that he will pause the legislation andawaitthe EU's decision on the delay.
The pound seems to have stabilised after its earlier spike and then sudden decline.
The pound's ride this evening...
Sterling settling down: #GBP -0.19% against other currencies IGSquawk (@IGSquawk) October 22, 2019
MPs reject bill timetable
The pound has dropped further to its lowest today, hitting$1.2881, as the Government has lost its Brexit bill timetable vote.MPs voted against by 322 to 308.
It is 0.25pc down against the dollar at $1.2931 and 0.02pc lower against the euro at 1.1612.
$EURGBP $EURUSD $GBPUSD | UK MPs Defeat Govt In Vote Against Govts Timetable For Brexit| Legislation; 322-308 Vote LiveSquawk (@LiveSquawk) October 22, 2019
Vote on govt timetable - Ayes 308 Noes 322 - choice now for govt to opt for slower timetable or do what they warned of earlier, pushing straight for a General Election .. lets see Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) October 22, 2019
What goes up must come down...
Well, that was short lived! The pound has tumbled again...
Quite the ride... Neil Wilson (@marketsneil) October 22, 2019
Still waiting....#GBP -0.20% against other currencies#GBPUSD 1.29113 -0.37%#EURGBP 0.86183 +0.17%#GBPAUD 1.88268 -0.23%#GBPJPY 140.152 -0.44%#GBPCAD 1.69069 -0.33%#GBPCHF 1.27746 -0.02%#GBPEUR 1.16048 -0.16% IGSquawk (@IGSquawk) October 22, 2019
Sterling is on the up...
The pound has jumped asMPs have voted in favour of a Brexit deal for the first time.
329 MPs voted in favour with 299 voting against.
Sterling is starting to rise as the chamber fills up...
Sterling rallying into this vote Neil Wilson (@marketsneil) October 22, 2019
MPs voting now on second reading - whether to allow the Brexit deal to be debated and voted on by MPs - seems this stage will get thro, which is a win of sorts for No 10, but it's the timetable vote afterwards, the programme motion, that really matters Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) October 22, 2019
It's all about to kick off...
MPs are currently voting ontheWithdrawal Agreement Bill.
It is the first key vote tonight, with MPs due to vote on the programme motion later this evening.
Thomas Cook auditors defend fee bonanza as MPs lash out
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Thomas Cook collapsed last month
Thomas Cooks former auditor PwC has defended snaffling ?21m in fees for additional work between 2007 and 2016.
Under questioning in parliament, PwCs head of audit Hemione Hudson insistedthat the provision of so-called non-audit services did not impact the quality of its work signing off the travel companys accounts.
Labour MP Rachel Reeves, the chairman of the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEIS) attacked PwC and Thomas Cooks most recent auditor EY as "complicit" in the collapse of the 178-year-old travel agent.
The auditors' grilling came as business secretary Andrea Leadsom explained why she let the Department for Transport lead negotiations over a potential bailout.
Too many cooks can spoil the broth, she told the Commons after her handling of the situation was attacked byshadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Read the full report here
Commodities update...
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Gold is currently trading flat, up 0.01pc to $1,484.59.The metal, seen as a safe-haven, hasbeen in a small trading range recently. It hit a six year high at the beginning of September, but has been pushing lower since then.
Meanwhile, oilhas rebounded from the yesterday's decline amid US-China trade optimism. The remarks from China vice foreign minister have lifted sentiment in the oil market.
At the moment it is 0.51pc higher at $59.33 per barrel.
Markets Hub I Brent Spot
Whitbread boss happy to have sat on the sidelines during deals frenzy
Whitbread chief Alison Brittain insists she has no regrets after doling?2.5bn outto investors instead of using the money to buy other businesses,despite a takeover frenzy this summer in theleisure industries, writes Oliver Gill.He adds:

The FTSE 100 company struck the deal of the year in 2018by selling coffee chain Costa to Coca Cola for ?3.9bn, andMs Brittain was always clear that themajority of these proceeds would be returned to shareholders.
The sale has left Whitbread, which has owned some the biggest brewing, hotel and restaurant names during its 277-year history, with Premier Inn as its main remaining asset.
Three blockbuster transactions have grabbed the headlines this summer. Alton Towers owner Merlin Entertainments was subject to a ?6bn take-private approach, pub group Ei was bought by Stonegate in a deal worth ?3bn and Hong Kong's richest man made a ?4.6bn approach for brewer Greene King.
Ms Brittain said she had no regrets about not getting involved in a mergers and acquisitionsspree. She said: Weve been pretty clear that we wanted to be a hotel-focused business."
Pound update...
Sterling is still down 0.09pc and 0.02pcagainst the dollar and the euro, respectively, and we will of course be keeping a sharp eye this evening on the currency's movements.
It is currently trading at $1.2951 and 1.1628.
Sirius Minerals crashes out of FTSE 250
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Sirius is now seeking alternative funds or a partner to save its Yorkshire mine project
Sirius Minerals will crash out of the FTSE 250 tomorrow after a torrid year in which its share price collapsed.
The fertiliser miner will become part of the FTSE small cap index in another blow for thousands of retail investors.
Last month the company lost more than half its market value in a single day after announcing that its $3bn (?2.4bn) funding plan for a potash mine in Yorkshire had fallen through.
Who is taking its place?
The firm is being demoted as part of a reshuffle to make room in the blue chip FTSE 100 index for fund manager M&G, which has split off from insurance company Prudential.
What is Sirius' value?
Shares fell another 7pc today to 3.1p, valuing the company at ?220m. Shares were close to 25p a year ago.
More on Brexit...
No 10 source: PM will be calling EU leaders tonight making clear our policy remains that we leave on 31/10 and that no delays should be offered.
If EU accepts PARLIAMENT's request for delay to Jan then as the PM has made clear in the house we pull bill and General Election. Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) October 22, 2019
Market update
The FTSE 100 closed 0.68pc higher to 7,212.49, boosted by a weaker pound, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 ended 0.53pc lower.
Stocks in Europe also pushed higher, with the CAC 40 and the DAX ending 0.17pc and 0.05pc up, respectively.
David Madden of CMC Markets says: "The slide in sterling is helping the FTSE 100 outperform its Continental counterparts.Recently, equities as well as sterling have been moving higher when it looks like the government is making progress in relation to Brexit, but any signs that MPs are trying to derail Brexit or delay it, markets tend to move in the opposite direction."
Markets Hub I FTSE 100
Business demands EU trade deal as export optimism sinks to 18-year low
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Optimism among manufacturing firms about export prospects has slumped to the lowest level for nearly 20 years
Business leaders stepped up the pressure on ministers to strike an ambitious tariff-free trade deal with the European Union as optimism among manufacturers over exports sunk to its lowest level in 18 years, says my colleague Tom Rees. He writes:

The CBIs latest industrial survey - taken before Boris Johnson struck a new Brexit deal in Brussels - comes as the PMs withdrawal agreement faces an uncertain path through the House of Commons.
The data found plunging business optimism over export performance in the year ahead, with firms expecting weaker sales outweighing those expecting growth by 46pc - the worst result since October 2001 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on New York.
Business optimism has slumped at the fastest pace since immediately after the Brexit vote in July 2016, and investment intentions at their weakest for a decade, the CBI added.
Good afternoon
Hi everyone - I'll be taking you through into the evening for tonight's Brexit bill vote.
For those just tuning in, Boris Johnson is hoping to have a vote on the withdrawal agreement bill later, but a government spokesman suggested the vote on the bill could be pulled should the programme motion be voted down.
George Parker, political editor at the Financial Times, has also just tweetedthat the Prime Minister is ready to accept a ten day Brexit delay beyond Oct 31...
NEW Am told that @BorisJohnson is now ready to accept a ten day Brexit delay beyond do or die day on Oct 31 if he loses programme motion tonight. But only if EU says its the final, final extension. They wont do that - so in practice well pull the bill, says No 10 source George Parker (@GeorgeWParker) October 22, 2019
Things are dragging along a bit in the Commons, where the debate stage means were hearing the usual arguments be re-trodden. Follow along, if you dare.
With the action not set to kick off properly for a few hours yet, Im going to hand over the blog to my colleague LaToya Harding, who will bring you the latest updates on how the money markets react to tonights vote. Ill be back tomorrow see you then!
Macron warned over budget giveaways
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

The French government has looked to ease tensions with budget giveaways

Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA-EFE/REX
Brussels has fired a warning shot at France over its 2020 spending plans in a humiliating blow for President Emmanuel Macron, after he slashed taxes to appease the "yellow vest" protestors, reports Tom Rees. He writes:

The European Commission sent a letterto French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, warning Pariscould breachthe European Unions fiscal rules and requesting an explanation.
Italian counterpart Roberto Gualtieri also received a letter, while four other nations were criticised forspending or incomplete budget plans. Governments having until tomorrow to reply.
France was warned that its plans for higher public spending were at risk of a significant deviationfrom the Commissions recommendations as Emmanuel Macron uses budget giveaways to quellthe so-called Gilets Jaunesriots.
Read more: Brussels fires warning shots at France over 2020 budget plans in blow to Macron
Just Eat shares hold above offer price... 735p, a 24.70pc climb.
That numbersuggests that Prosuss bid may not be enough and, given the rejection by the board of Just Eat sets the stage for a bidding war. Clearly, investors see the food delivery firms shares as being worth more than the investment firm is offering.
Wall Street trading weak
Over in the US, where around a fifth of the benchmark S&P 500s companies are set to report this week, markets are somewhat muted.
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Bloomberg TV
Heres a round-up of the days big results, via Bloomberg:
Procter & Gamble climbed after raising the high end of its full-year sales forecast.
United Technologies boosted its profit outlook, lifting shares.
Harley-Davidson jumped as earnings beat estimates.
McDonalds home market lost momentum in the latest quarter amid fierce competition. Shares fell.
UPSs profit margin expanded, but shares slid on the retirement of Chief Operating Officer Jim Barber.
Hasbro tumbled on weaker-than expected earnings as tariffs weighed on sales growth.
Travelers sank as profit missed estimates.
Texas Instruments,Snapand Whirlpool are due to report results after the close of regular trading
Economic Intelligence newsletter SUBSCRIBER (article)
Money & Tech round-up: Isil turns to TikTok for propaganda, Hypersonic planes draw nearer, City watchdog scrutinised over Lendy failings
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

TikTok has become hugely popular with teenagers and currently has more than four million users in the UK

Danish Siddiqui/REUTERS
Here are more top stories from today:
Isil turns to viral teen app TikTok to spread propaganda:Islamic State militants have started using TikTok, the viral video app popular with teenagers, to spread disturbing propaganda, including clips of corpses being carried through streets.
Hypersonic planes a step closer after breakthrough that prevents engine melting at 4,000mph:Hypersonic planes that can take passengers from London to New York in under an hour are a step closer to reality thanks to British technology.
City watchdog failed to visit ailing peer-to-peer firm Lendy for 14 months as it neared collapse:The City watchdogfailed to visit the premises of troubled peer-to-peer provider Lendy for more than a year in the lead up to its collapse, despite knowing of issues at the firm.
Investor newsletter REFERRAL (article)
Johnson confirms plan to pull bill if Brexit is set to be delayed
The PM just confirmed Number 10s briefing (see 1:56pm update) in the Commons. However, Telegraph Political Editor Gordon Rayner tweets:
If the WAB passes at 2nd reading (meaning there is a majority for it, though it still needs to go through further stages) would the PM really pull the whole thing if the EU said they would give us one more month to get it done? Gordon Rayner (@gordonrayner) October 22, 2019
So PM clearly leaves open door to a few weeks delay to allow fuller scrutiny of his Brexit bill.
Everything else is pure spin. Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) October 22, 2019
Ben Wright: WeWork fiasco is a warning for investors
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

SoftBank has invested more than $10bn in WeWork, which is now valued at just $8bn

With WeWork at least, as we knew it dead, SoftBank will now need to find a different way of turning the company into a viable long-term business. Business Editor Ben Wright says:

This is a tale of corporate and investment muppetry that will echo down the ages. When SoftBank last pumped money into WeWork in January this year just 10 long months ago it valued the company at $47bn.
At that point the company, which claimed it uses technology to disrupt the office lettings market and elevate the worlds consciousness but is really just a landlord, was destined to become one of the biggest stock market floats of the year.

How things have changed.
Read Bens full thoughts on the fiasco here here:WeWork fiasco should put investors on guard against conventional companies masquerading as tech disruptors
Round-up: Energy suppliers face tough checks from Ofgem, Reckitt boss cuts sales guidance, lover bankers face insider-trading charges
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Following a wave of collapses in the sector, energy suppliers could face more scrutiny from Ofgem

Here are some of the days biggest stories:
Energy suppliers to face tougher checks from watchdog Ofgem:Energy companies face tougher tests to weed out risky businesses as the industry watchdog pledges to protect customers following a string of small supplier failures.
New Reckitt boss cuts sales guidance after disappointingperformance: The new bossof Reckitt Benckiser has bemoaned the Durex and Nurofen owners disappointing performance and put a string of projects on hold as he battles to boost its fortunes.
London banker lovers nicknamed Popsand Popsyface insider trading charges:Benjamin Taylor and Darina Windsor, who both worked for global investment banks with offices in London and Manhattan, are accused by prosecutors of helpinggeneratetens of millions of dollars in illicit profits.
Economic Intelligence newsletter SUBSCRIBER (article)
Pound falls below $1.29
The pound brieflydropped back below $1.29 a few minutes ago, for the first time since before London markets opened yesterday.
Traders appears to absorbingreports from Number 10-briefed journalists that the Government might pull its attempt to pass Brexit legislation tonight if MPs force him to slow the legislative timetable (see 11:25am update), as was first reported by BuzzFeed News last night.
A loyal backbench Tory MP is skeptical about No10s ability to force a snap election if it pulls the WAB. How? He has tried twice and Labour MPs confirming they still wont vote for one before Spring. Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) October 22, 2019
WSJ: Softback to take control of WeWork
The Wall Street Journal reports that Japanese investment fund SoftBank will take control of WeWork, with founder Adam Neumann stepping down as part of the deal. Citing sources, the paper says SoftBank will provide Mr Neumann with about $1.7bn.
My colleagues James Cook and Michael ODwyer report:

WeWork's ousted founder Adam Neumann will be paid a $185m (?143m) consulting fee as part of a deal to leave the company after the office space firm accepted a bid by investor SoftBank to provide crucial funding.
The business decided on Tuesday to accept funding from SoftBank that cut its valuation to just $8bnand removedMr Neumannas chairman.
As part of the deal, herelinquished his voting shares in the firm and his board seat.
Mr Neumann will also sell $1bn of stock to SoftBank and be given $500m of credit.
Read more:WeWork founder to pocket $185m as board backs SoftBank rescue
Talking bull: Some lunchtime reading...
1 x ? ? = 1 x ?

Toyota has claimed that its hydrogen-powered car can be powered for a year by the manure of a single cow Telegraph Business (@telebusiness) October 22, 2019
Just Eat activist investor: Prosus offer dramatically undervalues company
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Cat Rock has been agitating for change at Just Eat

Just Eat/PA
Cat Rock Capital, which is Just Eats 11th-largest shareholder (with a 3pc stake) and has been agitating for the firm to find itself a buyer, has issued a statement in response to Prosuss offer for the company.
The US-based fund says:

The Prosus offer underscores the significant long-term potential and strategic value of Just Eats business. However, unlike the NV offer, the Prosus offer does not allow Just Eat shareholders to participate in any future value creation through the equity of the combined businesses. Prosus should share this future value creation with Just Eat shareholders by paying a fair premium.
The Prosus offer of 710p per share dramatically undervalues Just Eats equity, representing a multiple of only 3.8x fiscal year 2020 consensus revenue before ascribing any value to Just Eats valuable stake in iFood in Brazil.
Based on historical transaction precedents and market multiples, Prosus should pay at least 5.0x Just Eats fiscal year 2020 revenue, again attributing no value to Just Eats valuable stake in iFood. This multiple would translate to anall-cash offer of at least 925p per share.

The fund said the proposals would produce better long-term value for investors (it also owns a 5.5pc stake in

The proposed merger allows Just Eat shareholders to participate in future value creation and is therefore far more attractive than the Prosus offer of 710 per share.

It adds:

It is imperative that any entity related to Prosus, including Delivery Hero, immediately cease market actions that interfere with the effective value provided by competing bids for the duration of the offer period.

Gauntlets are being thrown down...
UK borrowing is surging
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

The Chancellor is already racking up a bigger deficit, even before his expected Budget splurge

Heres Deputy Economics Editor Tim Wallace on public borrowing stats, which were released this morning:

Central government expenditure jumped ?4.3bn to ?67.6bn.Overall borrowing hit ?9.4bn in the month, the Office for National Statistics said, ?400mhigher than September 2018.
So far this financial year the Treasury has borrowed ?40.3bn, a rise of ?7.2bn on the year.
Tim adds:

The deficit is set to exceed ?50bn for the year as a whole, far above the ?29.3bn forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility, or ?40.6bn once the new sums for student loans are included.
The national debt is up to ?1.79 trillion, or 80.3pc of GDP.
It means the deficit is surging in the good years - so imagine what that means when a slowdown hits.
Read his full analysis, complete with lovely charts, here:The sun is shining on the economy but surging borrowing is blowing the roof off
From our man in Japan...
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Telegraph industry editor Alan Tovey in the i-Road
While todays live markets and business coverage is coming to you, as usual, from our Victoria offices in London, other Telegraph journalists our further afield. Heres a report on a rather terrifying-looking three-wheeler that Toyota is producing, from our Industry Editor Alan Tovey:
i-Road: The future of personal motoring?

It feels likes a Sinclair C5 on steroids, and I dont feel altogether safe behind the wheel but its Toyotas answer to ever more congested streets.
Called the i-Road, this single-seat electric three-wheeler is described as a personal mobility solution by the Japanese car maker. Its aimed at cutting down on traffic generated by vehicles occupied only by the driver.
A range of just 50km means you wont be going on cross-country drives, but for nipping down to the shops or commuting its probably perfect. Youll have to abandon ideas of doing a weekly shop in it: I reckon you might get three carrier bags in the storage space behind the seat.
Toyota plans to demonstrate i-Roads at the 2020 Olympics, where the vehicles will allow athletes and officials to beat Tokyos even more gridlocked than usual traffic.
It might not be a conventional car, but Toyota has said its going to stop being a conventional car maker and they might just be on to something. Alan Tovey, Tokyo
Full report: St Jamess Place boss admits questions over staff bonuses as inflows fall
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

The boss of St James's Place said recent reports had "shone a light" on staff incentives (file shot from City of London)

The boss of St Jamess Place has said it is asking questions about how to reward its best-performing staff, as Britains biggest advice firm battles intense criticism over client fees and its close association with disgraced fund manager Neil Woodford, my colleague Harriet Russell reports. She writes:

Speaking alongside the release of third quarter numbers, which showed a 14.5pc decline in net inflows but a 12pc rise in funds under management, chief executive Andy Croft said: There is nothing wrong with incentives, but the most important thing is having correct checks and balances, which we think we do.
St James's Place
Read more here:St Jamess Place boss admits to asking questionsover staff bonuses
Big day for US reporting
Across the pond, it is a mega day for US third-quarter earnings. Bloomberg notes:

UPS, McDonalds, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, Whirlpool, Lockheed Martin, Harley-Davidson, Snap, Texas Instrumentsand Chipotle Mexican Grillare among the many, many companies announcing results.

Ill try to bring you some highlights a little later.
US earnings crossing now Neil Wilson (@marketsneil) October 22, 2019
Could raising happiness be the key to improving productivity?
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

A study has found that workers are 13pc more productive when happy
Logo: The Think Tank
In todays Think Tank, Economics Editor Russell Lynch asks whether happiness could be the key to solving the UKs productivity puzzle. He writes:

The finest minds in economics have been fretting over the UKs decade-longslump in productivity for years. But the researchers employed an innovative approach: they surveyed 1,800 BT sales workers across 11 call centres, asking them once a week over a period of six months to click on one of five emojis ranging from ecstatic to downright miserable depending on their mood.
Intriguingly, they found that workers were 13pc more productive when happy. They work faster by making more calls per hour worked and, importantly, convert more calls to sales, according to Prof Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, of Oxfords Said Business School.
Read more here:Why improving workplace happiness is key to solving the decade-long productivity slump
The Think Tank | Read more
Markets mixed
With Germanys CAC totally flat, its a muted picture across major European stock indices today. The FTSE 100 is benefitting from a slightly weaker pound, while the FTSE 250 is almost totally flat.
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Bloomberg TV
Where will sterling go from here?
Plenty of analysts and strategists have been taking a punt on how they think the pound will move if different Brexit scenarios play out.
Capital Economics say $1.35 is the likely point the currency would hit if a deal passes Parliament. They write:

If Boris Johnson's Brexit deal is approved in Parliament soon, we expect the pound would rise from $1.29 now to about $1.35 and 10-year gilt yields would increase from 0.72pc to around 0.90pc by the end of the year. While a lot of good news is already baked in, which explains the recent leap in the pound and gilt yields, a deal is not fully priced in (the betting markets currently imply a 66pc chance of a deal).
That said, should Parliament block a deal and Brexit ends up being delayed again, the pound may slide back a bit. And if there's a no deal on 31st October, which seems very unlikely now the UK has asked the EU to delay Brexit, we suspect the pound would fall to $1.15.

Heres how those different scenarios would look in practice:
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Capital Economics
Brexit: the latest
Reminder you can follow our live coverage of events in Westminster here:
Brexit deal latest news: Boris Johnson faces major test as MPs prepare to vote on timetable to deliver Brexit by Oct 31
Jeremy Warner | Latest columns
Brexit: What is happening today?
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Michael Gove, who is in charge of no-deal preparations, arrives at Downing Street today

Leon Neal/Getty
Well, we have danced around it long enough this morning its time to bring out the B word once again (I suppose that could be business).
After Saturdays final showdown turned out to be anything but, and yesterdays less probable final showdown proved to be a damp squib, today, at least, there is a showdown of sorts.
Barring a major shift, the Government faces a 7pm second reading vote on the legislation needed for the UK to withdraw from the EU. As this is on the terms of Boris Johnsons Brexit deal, the vote could in principle indicate support for the PMs proposals Labour have said they will not support it, according to the Times.
The current state of the House of Commons
After that vote, there will be a second vote on the programme motion the timetable for passing the legislation needed for withdrawal. MPs were in uproar over the plans last night: the bills required we only unveiled yesterday evening, and the Government is trying to push through everything that needs to be voted on in just a day and a half.
Theresa May gave us four days debate for a meaningful vote.
Maastricht Treaty has 19 days debate

This is the most important decision for our country since WWII and Boris Johnson wants it over in a day-and-a-bit

This is truly shocking. A dark day for our standing as a country Peter Kyle MP (@peterkyle) October 21, 2019
Labours Keir Starmer has called the timetable outrageous. Expect amendments to derail the process.
The pound has been rising mightily for the past fortnight, with markets hopeful that a no-deal Brexit has been avoided. However, since the crunch votes are after the bell, the impact could be limited to the pound (until tomorrow).
However, the CBI saysbusiness optimism has hit its lowest level since the referendum:
??#UK CBI manufacturing business optimism has fallen further to -44, the lowest since immediately after the EU referendum

Manufacturers are hurt by lack of #Brexit clarity and slower global growth Danske Bank Research (@Danske_Research) October 22, 2019
Just Eat offer cheeky
Reacting to Prosuss offer for Just Eat, Markets.coms Neil Wilson says the situation is good news for Just Eat shareholders, writing:

Prosus has sniffed an opportunity as the all-stock offer from has left JE shareholders nursing paper losses due to a drop in shares. Having initially valued JE at 731p, the latest implied offer for the company prior to the Prosus bid was a more meagre 594p. The more shares fell after the bid the less attractive the offer and the greater the likelihood of a cash counter bid. shares are trading up 4pc on this.
There have been doubts about the offer being a bit low-ball. The Prosus offer is in many ways very cheeky and even more low-ball its still under the 731p initial offer from and whilst it has been rejected, will certainly up the ante and could force into raising its offer as it looks in a weakened position due to the stocks decline.
TUI shares fall after analyst cut
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

TUI shares have performed well following the collapse of Thomas Cook

Eric Greer
TUI is the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 currently, down just under 6pc after analysts warned the travel groups full-year results are likely to land beneath expectations.
Morgan Stanley analysts, who have previously noted the positive impact that TUI shares have felt from the collapse of rival Thomas Cook (andfrom recent Brexit hopes), said they expected the companys earnings to be below consensus.
The company is now down about 10.5pc for the year to date:
Whitbread warns on challenging market conditions
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Whitbread owns Premier Inn

With the opening salvos fired in what looks set to become a hostile battle for Just Eat, lets take a moment to sweep up elsewhere.
Shares in Whitbread are more or less flat today, after the company (which owns Premier Inn, and recently sold Costa Coffee) warned of challenging market conditions as it reported a drop in pre-tax profit.
The companys revenues remained broadly flat at ?1.08bn.
Alison Brittain, its chiefexecutive, said:

We have delivered a resilient first half profit performance despite challenging market conditions in the UK. Shorter-term trading conditions in the UK regional market have been difficult, particularly in the business segment where we have a higher proportion of our revenue, whilst trading in London remained strong. Against this challenging backdrop, we have a number of activities underway which continue to build our brand strength as the UK's favourite hotel chain.

The Share Centres Ian Forrest says of the results:

There are certainly plenty of warnings from the company today about the operating environment in the UK in the short term, but theres also no doubt the company has a strong balance sheet and is investing in its business both in Germany and the UK.
Speaking of SoftBank...
Pound tumbles as Government loses Brexit bill timetable vote

Adam Neumann, founder of WeWork (centre)

Mark Lennihan/AP
WeWork is to consider a rescue proposal today that could lead to its valuation cut to just $8bn (?6bn) and the exit of its founder Adam Neumann as chief executive, my colleague James Cook reports. He writes:

A $10bn (?7.7bn) financing deal offered by Japanese telecoms conglomerate SoftBank would help the firm avoid running out of funding next month but would hand the investor up to 80pc of the business.
A rival debt package offered by JP Morgan is also due to be considered by WeWorks board.
The offers mark a majorfall from gracefor WeWork, once a darling of Silicon Valley and valued at as much as $47bn earlier this year.
Read more here:WeWork to be rescued by biggest shareholder SoftBank
WeWork | Behind the co-working firm's problems
The Telegraphs own Nostradamus?
Of course, the new takeover offer may not been seen as such a surprise for keen readers of the Telegraphs City Intelligence newsletter, which is being manned by Assistant Business Editor Jon Yeomans this week in Ben Marlows absence.
City Intelligence newsletter (SUBSCRIBER) Article
Reacting to the companys interim results yesterday, Jon said the company faced major challenges, with its margin advantage over rivals such as Deliveroo not enough to make up for a less-controlled delivery model.
He said that might lead some investors to hold out for a better offer:

With such challenges on the home front, its perhaps the right time for Just Eat to be throwing itself into the arms of a suitor, with whom it can share the huge costs of investing in delivery...
Before it throws its lot in with, shareholders should ask themselves again whether they want a sweetener for sticking with it particularly those who are not also investors in the Dutch company.

I am told Jon does not do lottery numbers.
Read more here:Just Eat investors should hold out for a bigger bite of merger
Offer lands right after Just Eat laid out merger plans
Heres more from Michael ODwyeron Prosuss offer for Just Eat:

The announcement came just over two hours after Just Eat published the main document setting out the terms of Takeaway.coms offer ahead of shareholder meeting to approve the deal on December 4.
The tie-up would lead to the creation of a combined company worth about ?9bn.
Bidding war erupts for Just Eat with rival 710p offer
Just Eats board says it:

...believes that the Combination is based on a compelling strategic rationale that will deliver a number of strategic benefits to Just Eat shareholders

It addsthat the plans offers greater value creation than the terms of the Prosus Offer.
Inside the story:
Read Just Eats full reply to Prosushere
Read Prosuss offer here
Read the Just Eat/ tie-up plan here
Just Eat rejects offer, says it significantly undervalues company
Just in: the board of Just Eat have responded to Prosuss offer with an (expected) rejection. They have recommended shareholders reject the offer, defended plans to tie-up with

The Board of Just Eat has considered the terms of the Prosus Offer and believes that it significantly undervalues Just Eat and its attractive assets and prospects both on a standalone basis and as part of the proposed recommended all-share combination with Accordingly, the Board of Just Eat unanimously recommends that shareholders reject the Prosus Offer.

The board says that Prosuss announcement follows a series of bids from the investment group:

The Prosus Offer follows a number of proposals from Prosus to the Board of Just Eat regarding a possible cash offer for Just Eat. The Board of Just Eat unanimously rejected Prosus' initial proposal of 670 pence per Just Eat share and subsequent proposals of 700 pence and 710 pence per Just Eat share.
Just Eat shares still 20pc off their all-time high
Todays offer gives Just Eat a market value of just under ?5bn. As noted earlier (see 9:32am update) that would have been enough to keep the company in the FTSE 100, which it only re-joined in March.
Its share price is still about 18pc below the all-time high it reached early last year, andhad been virtually flat for the year to date until todays offer was unveiled.
Bob van Dijk: we have been unable to engage constructively with Just Eat
Heres a full statement from Naspers boss (and Prosus group chief executive)Bob van Dijk on the Just Eat offer. He says the company can use its broad experience of the food delivery sector to help boost the (soon to be ex-)FTSE 100 company.:

We believe our global experience and resources can help Just Eat to achieve its significant potential. Our plan is to support the Just Eat management team, with whom we have worked closely as joint investors in iFood, to deliver on the exciting opportunities to grow the business. We believe that Just Eats customers and restaurant partners will ultimately benefit from more delivery options, greater restaurant choice as well as improved service and delivery speeds driven by the combined groups expertise in product and technology innovation supported by increased capital investment in the business. As a combined group, we see significant growth and value creation potential.

Mr van Dijk is critical on Just Eats board, saying constructive engagement had proved impossible.

We presented this idea to the Board of Just Eat, in good faith, but we have been unable to engage constructively in what we see as a compelling proposition for Just Eat shareholders. As an investor and operator with significant experience in this dynamic and competitive sector, both globally and on a local level, we believe we are best placed to support Just Eat through its next phase of essential investment. We aim to deliver value by eliminating operational execution risk and providing certainty for Just Eats shareholders today at an attractive premium.
Just Eat
Who are Prosus and Naspers, the companies behind the Just Eat bid?
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