Your commercial news round-up: Brexit, BNPL, gas, McDonald’s, Lloyds Banking Group

updated on 28 July 2022

Reading time: three minutes

After last week’s quarter-final victory against Spain, England soared into the Euro 2022 final with a 4-0 win against Sweden earlier this week. Manchester United forward Alessia Russo’s back heel that took the England side 3-0 up has been dominating the news this week (and aren’t we glad!). But what could this victory mean for women’s football on the pitch and commercially? Taking a step away from the Euros, read this week’s round-up for insights into the latest legal action brought against the UK by the EU, price rises for both gas and McDonald’s 99p cheeseburger, and more.

  • The EU has launched more legal action against the UK for allegedly failing to apply customs and tax rules that are part of the 2019 exit agreement. The UK government called the claims “disappointing”, adding that a “legal dispute is in nobody’s interest and will not fix the problems facing the people and businesses of Northern Ireland”. These allegations follow a separate challenge to the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill with the European Commission having now launched four additional legal actions against the UK over its implementation of the bill.

Earlier this year, the EU launched legal action against the UK government over its plans to scrap parts of the post-Brexit deal for Northern Ireland because the UK said it had disrupted trade. The EU says that scrapping parts of the deal would break international law, with Maros Sefcovic, vice president of the European Commission stating that there was "no legal or political justification whatsoever for unilaterally changing an international agreement".

  • European gas prices jumped 2% as Russia continues to cut supplies to Germany and other central European countries via the Nord Steam 1 pipeline. The pipeline is now operating at less than one-fifth of its normal capacity with critics accusing Russia of using gas as a political weapon. Gazprom has put the latest cuts down to the need to carry out maintenance work on a turbine. Before the conflict in Ukraine, Germany imported more than half of its gas from Russia with most of it coming via Nord Stream 1. Meanwhile, Poland plans to be fully independent from Russian gas by the end of 2022, and the UK is unlikely to be directly impacted by the cuts as it imports only 5% of its gas from Russia. That said, the rise in prices as a result of increased demand would affect the UK.
  • McDonald’s has increased the price of its 99p cheeseburger for the first time in 14 years amid growing cost pressures. The cheeseburger will now cost £1.19, with the fast food chain confirming that its UK restaurants will be adding 10p and 20p to a number of its items, including breakfast meals, large coffees and McNugget share boxes. Prices will vary across different restaurants because some are operated by franchisees, who can set their own prices based on recommendations from McDonald’s.

“As our customers do more online, visits to some branches have fallen by as much as 85% over the last five years,” said Russel Galley, director of consumer relationships at Lloyd Banking Group. The news comes just two months after the group revealed plans to close 28 branches between August and November.

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