By DebbieH 12 Jan 2018 7 min read

In the news this week: Brexit, Bitcoin, and the end of coal power

Brexit and Bitcoin hit the headlines again this week as South Korea considers a ban on cryptocurrencies and Sadiq Khan released the results of an economic analysis of Brexit. The report made grim reading with the potential for a £50bn price tag and 500,000 jobs in the case of a no-deal Brexit. The Christmas trading season was largely positive for the major retailers and the productivity of British workers has seen an increase.

Sadiq Khan commissioned an independent economic analysis of Brexit which reports on five possible scenarios for EU. The report claims that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit could end up costing the UK economy as much as £50 billion and half a million jobs.

Cryptocurrencies have had a particularly volatile week as South Korea considers banning virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. South Korea accounts for around 20% of all Bitcoin transactions and the impact of the potential ban has already been felt globally.

The Guardian has reported on the winners and losers of the all-important Christmas trading season. Tesco, John Lewis, and Sainsbury’s all enjoyed growth over the period while Marks & Spencer, House of Fraser, and Debenhams struggled. The report is positive overall with more winners than losers – see their article for a useful round-up of major retailers.  

The Office for National Statistics has reported that the productivity of British workers has increased over the last three months at the fastest rate in over six years. Economists say that this is due to a combination of weaker jobs growth and increased factory output. This means that fewer hours were worked while broadly maintaining the same output.

The government has confirmed that it will move ahead with its 2015 pledge to end coal power by 2025 with the introduction of a new rule to limit the ‘carbon-intensity’ of power plants. The plants will now be closed unless they introduce new carbon capture technology.



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