Listen to this article
Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here
Britain’s supreme court has ruled that parliament must have a say in triggering the process of leaving the EU. The government had argued it should be able to use the royal prerogative — the residue of powers once held by the monarch — to trigger exit from the EU, and that the powers allowed the government to make and unmake international treaties. A spokesman insisted that the defeat would not delay Brexit.
The ruling may have dealt a blow to the government but the judges’ decision that ministers did not have to consult with devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before triggering Article 50 — which would have delayed the process — will be seen as positive by Theresa May.
The British pound initially jumped in the aftermath of the ruling, before retreating to where it was before the decision. The currency had hit a month-high on Monday in the run-up to the ruling as investors anticipated the outcome. (FT, Politico, BBC)
In the news
AIIB gets 25 new members A wave of African, European and South American countries is set to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank this year, reinforcing Beijing’s determination to push a global agenda even as US President Donald Trump rails against the ills of economic globalisation. The AIIB is keeping its door open to the US, which criticised the UK’s “constant accommodation” of China when London announced in 2015 that it would join. (FT)
Saving TPP The Asia-Pacific region is scrambling to save the Trans-Pacific Partnership after Donald Trump signed an executive order withdrawing from the pact in one of his first acts as president. The remaining members of the trade agreement are hoping to salvage the pact in the coming months, with China to fill the gap. (NAR, FT, Guardian)
Going hard — and soft — on Russia US counter-intelligence agents have reportedly investigated communications that Mr Trump’s national security adviser — Michael Flynn — had with Russian officials, in the latest news on probes into the president and his team’s links to Moscow. But across the Atlantic, France’s presidential frontrunner, François Fillon, has urged Germany’s Angela Merkel to soften her position towards Russia and harden her policies on migration, during a visit to Berlin. (NYT, FT)
Ecclestone steps down Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone has stepped down as chief executive, ending a 40-year reign over the global motor-racing series. The move completes the $8bn takeover of the sport by new US owner Liberty Media. The 86-year-old Mr Ecclestone is one of international sport’s most colourful characters and transformed what had been an amateur motor-racing series into a multibillion-dollar enterprise. (BBC)
Kosovo peace in peril The European Union is stepping in to try and end a squabble between Kosovar Albanians and Serbs amid fears that an argument over a rail link could derail Balkan peace. (Politico)
It's a big day for
Hollywood The 2017 Oscar nominations will be announced later today. After last year’s scandal over the lack of nominations for people of colour, nominations are expected for several black actors. (ABC)
Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s WeekAhead.
Food for thought
I’m a business, man Should Apple and Spotify be worried? Jay Z bought Tidal for $56m but the streaming service has struggled since its star-studded launch. He just sold a stake to Sprint for about $200m, valuing the company at $600m. Or, maybe they should worry about Pandora: here in-depth read on the music service that dominates the US online radio market and how it is about to enter the bruisingly competitive on-demand subscription market dominated by Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon. (FT, Billboard)
Truth, lies and Trump “The man from the BBC was laughing as he reported the White House’s false claims about the size of the crowd at Donald Trump’s inauguration,” writes the FT’s Gideon Rachman. “He should have been crying. What we are witnessing is the destruction of the credibility of the American government.” (FT)
African democrats fight back The resignation of Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh after he lost elections in December may have been reluctant but it has become a symbol of democratic aspirations in a continent long associated with dictators and autocracy. (FT)
Trusteeship for South Sudan? The world’s youngest country is having serious teething troubles, with millions on the brink of starvation and displaced by civil war. As frustration grows there is growing momentum for an international trusteeship, similar to those in East Timor or Bosnia, to help bring order. (NYT)
The man trying to kill dark matter For 80 years, scientists have puzzled over the way galaxies and other cosmic clusters appear to gravitate toward something they cannot see. At the end of 2016, a series of developments revived a long-disfavoured argument that this so-called dark matter doesn’t exist after all. Meet the physicist who is attempting to explain away dark matter. (QuantaMagazine)
Video of the day
Assessing May’s industrial plan UK prime minister Theresa May has outlined an industrial strategy aimed at boosting some of the country's leading sectors. The FT’s Robert Armstrong and Sarah Gordon discuss the key elements of her plan and how effective it is likely to be. (FT)
Get alerts on World when a new story is published