Good morning. Most companies taking part in the world’s largest trial of a four-day week have opted to continue with the new working pattern, in a result hailed as evidence that it could work across the UK economy.
Brink of Brexit progress
The ongoing saga to find a solution to the Northern Ireland protocol may be announced as soon as this week. The UK and the EU have been in talks for more than a year to try to resolve issues with the protocol, a controversial set of post-Brexit trade rules that kept Northern Ireland in the EU as a way to preserve the peace deal with the Republic of Ireland. The protocol came into place at the start of 2021 and since then has caused headaches for the UK and EU due to the checks and controls which has led to delays in delivering goods. Ending the impasse would enable the UK to reset relations with the EU, its biggest trading partner, more than the three years after Britain formally left the bloc and nearly seven years since the Brexit referendum.
Brewdog goes to China
The Scottish craft beer maker has signed a deal with global brewer Budweiser to make and sell its signature product – Punk IPA - in China. Brewdog also says it plans to open more bars in the world's second largest economy. The company has already signed similar deals in Japan with Asahi and in Northern Ireland with Carling owner Molson Coors. The international expansion comes as Brewdog looks ahead to a London stock market floatation, originally planned for 2020 but shelved due to the pandemic.
Fruit and veg shortage
The UK is facing a shortage of salad vegetables and citrus fruits including tomatoes and peppers after bad weather disrupted supplies. In the last few weeks, heavy rain and cold temperatures in Southern Europe and North Africa have affected crops. Nearly all tomatoes sold by British supermarkets comes from Morocco and Spain. The harvest of peppers was down 70% in Spain and cucumbers by up to 50% in the country’s Almería region. In addition, poor weather conditions have caused ferry cancellations and transport disruption which has made it difficult to bring the produce to the UK. Supermarkets say the shortages are likely to last for weeks.
Cyber review defence
British cybersecurity firm Darktrace said it’s hired accounting firm EY to review “key financial processes.” It comes just weeks after the company launched a staunch defence of itself after an American investor accused it of overinflating its client numbers. CEO Poppy Gustafsson called the allegations ‘unfounded’ in a 120-page rebuttal as Darktrace’s shares sunk to an all-time low. Company chairman Gordon Hurst said the decision to engage an external reviewer was a sign of its confidence in the robustness of Darktrace’s financial processes.
Walking out: Junior doctors in England are set to go on strike for 72 hours next month in a row over pay.
Changing security: Twitter is removing text-message two-factor authentication for non-subscribers.
Grocery competition: Morrisons is cutting food prices for the second time in less than a month as it battles to win back customers from Aldi and Lidl.
Raising the wage: Tesco will raise hourly pay for about 220,000 store workers by 7% from April, the third increase in less than a year.
Not for sale: Liverpool owner John Henry says he is not selling the Premier League club.
Pay games: Videogame giant Sega is increasing employee salaries by 30% to create a more 'comfortable working environment'.
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Number Of The Day
The increase in average UK home asking prices between January and February, according to Rightmove - the lowest increase since its records began in 2001.