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EQ Weekly Roundup

This week’s roundup includes news that Theresa May is continuing to try and win backing for her Brexit deal, Mark Carney has approved the idea of an extended transition period and a new tax on sugar has raised millions in its first months.

May seeks business backing for Brexit plan

Prime Minister Theresa May has renewed her efforts to sell her draft Brexit withdrawal agreement - arguing it will stop EU migrants "jumping the queue".

Speaking at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), May said migration would become skills-based, with Europeans no longer prioritised over "engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi".

The PM, who is trying to gain more support for her Brexit deal after a number of high profile cabinet resignations, also insisted to business leaders at the CBI that the withdrawal deal had been "agreed in full".

Her language has been criticised, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling the PM's remarks on EU free movement "offensive".

Sugar tax on soft drinks raises £154m

The new sugar tax on soft drinks has raised £153.8m since it was introduced in April, the government has announced.

The figure, which covers the period to the end of October, means the tax is on track to raise the estimated proceeds of £240m for the full year.

The new tax is applied to soft drinks with a certain amount of sugar per litre. The levy is applied to manufacturers - whether they pass it on to consumers or not is up to them. There are 457 producers registered for the levy.

The latest survey by Public Health England (PHE) has found 90% of the public said they supported the government working with industry to make food and drinks healthier.

Carney offers some Brexit support to May

The Governor of the Bank of England has offered support to Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal.

Mark Carney said that, in particular, he welcomed a 20-month transition period immediately after the UK leaves the EU in March next year (already suggested by the EU).

This week, he told MPs on the treasury select committee: "We have emphasised from the start the importance of having some transition between the current arrangements and the ultimate arrangements.

"So, we welcome the transition arrangements in the withdrawal agreement and take note of the possibility of extending that transition period."

Patisserie Valeri near collapse sparks audit probe

The accounting watchdog is to investigate auditors' work for the parent firm of Patisserie Valerie ahead of its near-collapse.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said it would examine Grant Thornton's handling of Patisserie Holdings' accounts over three of the high street chain's financial years.

The regulator added that it would also look in to the "preparation and approval" of Patisserie Holdings' financial statements and other financial information by former chief financial officer Chris Marsh.

He was suspended by the company in October and later resigned after Patisserie Holdings alerted the market to a multi-million pound black hole in its finances (Marsh was arrested but later released).