Of course they gave him fish and fish. What else would they have served? But no word I have seen on the wine. I mean surely Manny Macron could have rustled up a saucy little Pouilly Fume to wash it down with – if only to emphasise what we will be missing when he refuses to sell us any more after the end of the year. Anything else would have been uncivilised.
Is it any Von Der?
Since we are here we may as well go on. All to predictably the Prime Minister’s trip to Brussels did no b****y good at all – indeed it may have made things worse. So let us unpick it a bit.
Firstly why does Bozzer (and TMa before him) insist on flying to Brussels rather than getting the train like the rest of us? Memo to BJ – you are hosting COP26 this year and are supposed to be in to all that green stuff so start acting like it. More pertinently, the Eurostar takes less than two hours now if you get one of the ones that doesn’t stop at Lille. And I am even prepared to accept that the public coin could run to Standard Premier so he could “enjoy” one of those ludicrously small quiches they specialise in. Once there you just nip down the metro (there is no point getting a taxi in Brussels, you would never get there) onto line 2 as far as the racily named Kunst Wet, flick over to line 1 and it is a couple of stops to Schumann underneath the Berlaymont. Two and a half hours door to door max. I would have even lent him my Mobi card if he had asked. But no, he must get a ticket for an aeroplane, presumably believing he ain’t got time for a fast train. Maybe Urs sent him a letter? Does Carrie know?
Still once he got there it turns out he needn’t have bothered. The two sides remain “some way apart”. This does not surprise me. I suspect that Johnson is uncomfortable around women in the workplace. I would even go so far as to suggest he probably addresses Urs as “Dear lady” a bit like Sir Humphrey did to Hacker’s political adviser in that episode of Yes, Prime Minister. Chuck in the fact that half his chat will have been in Latin and you rapidly paint a portrait of a diplomatic disaster.
And so it all boils down to Sunday. At which point they will set another deadline. But the Covid numbers are not going to help PM out this time. At best his tiers will stay the same. More likely London and others will move into Tier 3. This will distinctly annoy the libertarian wing of his party who have enough votes to defeat him if Labour also voted against the government. Those MPs – being basically the ERG – will not wear what they would see as a sell out Brexit deal. So Johnson’s preferred tactic of giving in on all outstanding issues, calling it a triumph and only realising what he has done sometime in the middle of next year when a French trawler starts catching salmon in the Thames at Henley. So it is all very difficult. And Boris doesn’t really do difficult. So who knows? But if you have money on him still being Prime Minister this time next year – or even this time next month I would be worried.
On a separate note, it is such a disappointment to me that the “von” and the “der” are separate words. Otherwise you could speculate as to which is the bigger threat to peace in Northern Ireland – UVL or UVF? But you can’t. Annoying.
Don’t run off
You will recall that previously we gathered together information on the emergency legislation EU27 countries were preparing for a potential no deal Brexit. As we approach the end of the implementation period not many seem to have cottoned on to the need to provide some sort of leeway to run off existing insurance contracts if EU clients are not to be disadvantaged. Thus far we believe that only the following are planning anything.
- Belgium (where a Royal Decree has given FSMA the power to basically do what it likes, but I need to establish what it does like)
- Ireland (which has improved on its previous effort and is now proposing a 15 year run off period)
- Italy (but only to the extent that it has specifically stated that insurance intermediaries that are not authorised in EU must stop all activities at year end)
- Luxembourg (which maintains that claims handling is not a regulated activity)
- Malta (but it definitively forbids endorsing existing contracts which means that much London business will not work)
I am at a BIPAR meeting on Monday where we will be discussing this so will bring you more information as I have it. The position has not been aided by this paper from European Commission which you could interpret as discouraging run off periods. Which is ridiculous, but we live in ridiculous times.
Tier down these walls
Back to the rona stats. In Tier 3 Kent, the number of infections in Swale and Thanet continue to be very high and intermittently rising. Which can lead to only one conclusion, which everyone seems to afraid to say. That lockdown did not work. And since our reaction to a lockdown not working has been to impose another lockdown, well, you know, first sign of madness and all that.
So, without wishing to come over all Piers Corbyn, should we not be thinking of something else? After all, despite Margaret Thingy and the oh-so-coincidentally named William Shakespeare getting it this week, for the rest of us a vaccine is some way off. And staying at home all day does not seem to make a blind bit of difference, save for the destruction it is delivering to large swathes of the economy. So I say this to you Matt Hancock. Stop blubbing on TV with bully boy Moron and get you binoculars out. Because you need to spot a science traveling in a much different direction that you can follow. And be sharp about it.
She’s back, Jack, to do it again
The bit where our very own Ms Hobbs sucks all the air out of the room as she insists on talking about bulking lineslips. This week she offers…
- Bulking Lineslips: (you see??) To support the Lloyd’s Europe bulking lineslips mandate, Lloyd’s will be hosting virtual training for Delegated Data Manager (DDM) users from January 2021. Details regarding how to register are attached.
- DDM – for those brokers already signed up and familiar with DDM, a new release (3.4) is being implemented… on Monday 14th! We’ve received details from Lloyd’s regarding the changes going in, and have attached here along with how people can sign up for training on the detail. (and for those of you not signed up, ahh DDMs)
- Claims Webinar. LIIBA’s first claims webinar was held this week with many brokers signing up to find out what’s happening. Unfortunately due to the presentation being held on Webex (probably the most complex system to sign in to) we are aware some people could not get logged in. We will be sharing the slides and recording on our website before the end of the week. Additionally, as the presentations from Lloyd’s far exceeded their allocated timeslots, we will be looking to run another session (without Lloyd’s!) in the New Year. (this is The Hobbs gently suggesting that one of the presentations was so boring you are strongly advised to fast forward through it, but I can’t remember which one)
- Data Protection and Privacy Webinar. Grant Thornton provided LIIBA members with a session this week outlining Brexit implications for data protection and privacy (this one sells itself). Unfortunately due to a decision on a deal remaining outstanding, the news is there’s not much news, other than be prepared and start mapping out who your suppliers are and what contracts you have in place that relate to transference of data. We are looking to provide brokers with a more in depth webinar in the New Year, when we will hopefully know more detail about the deal (or no deal)
- Tax Working Party. HMRC’s IPT Consultation has been issued with the response deadline being 5th February 2021. We are happy to report that HMRC have taken onboard the eminently sensible suggestions of our TWP in relation to overseas markets who may not be registered for IPT. We will be looking to update the guidance we issued back in February 2019, following the HMRC’s publication relating to the facilitation of tax evasion (Part 3 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017) (the Criminal Finances Act being the predecessor obsession to bulking lineslips in Hobbsworld)
No es si (Ma) duro
It is only right and proper, given this column’s obsession with rigged elections, that we pay some attention to the events in Venezuela this week. Big Nic Maduro proved that there is more than one way to steal a vote. You don’t need to make up the results if you engineer a situation where nobody with the faintest chance of winning apart from you agrees to participate in the vote in the first place (cf Nicaraguan presidential election of 1984 – although tbf to Daniel, that was the Americans ordering the oppo to withdraw). Even so, this does not look to me like a great outcome for the big man. 31% turn out is UK European Election territory – and we all know how that story ended. And he only won 67% of that paltry vote with people more keen on queueing at the petrol station than queuing at the polling station. But at least it keeps him in power. And when his countryman moves into the White House next month, he may just be there for good.
The every now and again shameless self-promotion section
Double bubble this week with this magnificent offering from Insurance Day (behind a paywall but surely worth the time to sign up for a free trial using one of the email addresses you used to create fake Instagram accounts to spy on your friends. Don’t deny it, you know you do) being complemented by my latest opus from Insurance Business Magazine. Disfruta!
I’m off to Bedgebury Arboretum for a walk with Ben Reid and Peter Spires. As in that is actually what I am about to do.