Daily briefing: Barnier’s Brexit warning, Immelt’s out, why China no longer fears Fed rate rise

European Union’s chief negotiator says UK needs to appoint a team ‘very quickly’ if it wants to avoid crashing out without a deal

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“I can’t negotiate by myself.” This was the message from Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief negotiator, to the UK government as he warned that time to agree a deal on Brexit was limited. He pointed out in a wide-ranging interview that Britain needed to appoint a negotiating team “very quickly” if it wanted to avoid crashing out of the EU without a deal.

The problem is that London is grappling with uncertainty in the wake of elections last week that left it with a hung parliament. A contrite prime minister apologised to her colleagues for the election disaster late on Monday and vowed to clean up the mess. Amid the disarray, business leaders have called for the formation of a cross-party group on Brexit. But even starting to govern is looking tricky, with the date for the state opening of parliament in flux. The timing of the first meeting between David Davis, the Brexit secretary, and Mr Barnier is also now in question. In the meantime, Brussels is getting on with business. It is proposing to force parts of London’s lucrative euro clearing business to relocate to the EU after Brexit if needed to preserve financial stability. (FT, Reuters, Independent, Times UK)

In the news

Employment rate passes 2007 high
The number of people working in the developed world increased to 61 per cent of 15-74 year-olds last year, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The good news was tempered by the discovery that many of the newly created jobs offer stagnant pay and no career prospects, fuelling discontent in the world’s 35 wealthiest nations. (FT)

The human cost of Qatar’s blockade
Thousands of people living and working in the tiny Gulf state find themselves in limbo after being ordered to leave by their governments. Citizens of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE have until June 18 to uproot themselves from Qatar and try to find lives and careers elsewhere. (FT)

Is the ‘tech bubble’ bursting?
It seemed like there would be a late recovery, but then the comeback by US tech stocks on Monday faltered. The losses followed a rout on Friday that erased some 4 per cent, or $140bn in market value, from Wall Street’s best performing sector in 2017. Tech stocks put in a mixed performance in Asia on Tuesday. (FT)

Immelt out
Jeff Immelt, GE’s chief executive, is stepping down after 16 years. He tells the FT the advice he gave his successor: “Every job looks easy when you’re not the one doing it.” One analyst called Mr Immelt’s tenure an “unmitigated disaster for shareholders” and said he expected the new boss to consider “an AT&T-style break-up of GE”. (FT, CNBC)

Panama establishes ties with China
The move by Panama is the latest blow to Taiwan as Beijing seeks to isolate the self-governing Asian island. Taipei fears that Beijing could convince other Central American countries to follow suit with promises of investment. (Bloomberg, NAR)

The day ahead

UK parliament back in session
British MPs will reassemble for the first time since the shock general election result. Here’s a look at six myths about the election. (FT)

The Trump-Russia saga continues
US attorney-general Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Trump team’s Russia ties. Here’s what to expect. (FT)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.

What we’re reading

A vein-to-vein solution
Hundreds of blood cancer victims are alive today because of Car-T, which has produced remarkable results. As cell therapies hit the market, investors have turned to a more prosaic question: can the highly personalised, tailor-made treatments be manufactured at scale? (FT)

The lost genius of the Post Office
For almost two centuries, it was a hotbed of new, interesting, sometimes crazy ideas as it sought to accomplish a seemingly simple task: deliver mail quickly and cheaply. What happened? (Politico)

Love your skin 
Black people are stigmatised for the colour of their skin, and millions try to bleach their skin in order to look “better”. Attempts to discourage skin bleaches have been largely unsuccessful. How can internalised biases against dark skin be overcome? (The Conversation)

Why China no longer fears Fed rate rise
The People’s Bank of China no longer lives in fear of a rate rise by the US Federal Reserve. The FT’s Tom Mitchell explains why. (FT)

What’s in a name
Giving your child a “foreign” name in Egypt could land you in prison. Parents who give their newborns western names such as “Lara” or “Mark” could receive a jail term of up to six months under a draft law. (Quartz)

Video of the day

Cash: a technology on the way out?
Some governments, central banks and economists advocate a switch to all-digital currencies. But what would be the consequences of removing cash from society altogether? Martin Wolf, the FT’s chief economics commentator, gives his view on the cashless society. (FT)

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