tate and lyle sugar

Tate & Lyle Sugars, a prominent corporate backer of Brexit, has warned of sugar and syrup shortages in Northern Ireland in the new year, due to lack of clarity over the UK and EU trade relationship (The Guardian).

Marks & Spencer will issue its first ‘junk’ bond in a dramatic sign of how far the high street stalwart has fallen (The Mail). Credit rating agencies downgraded its debt earlier this year from investment grade to junk status. But it has not been back to the debt markets to raise cash since then – until now.

Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, has condemned the UK’s “baffling” Covid-19 regulations as the pub chain warned it would be forced to spend £11m a month more during the second lockdown than in the first period of closure in the spring (The Financial Times £).

The boss of JD Wetherspoon lambasted the regulatory regime governing coronavirus as “a complete muddle” as the pub chain reported a 28% slump in like-for-like sales in the first quarter (The Times £).

Boss Tim Martin fears restrictions on pubs becoming permanent as Wetherspoons struggles to shake off lockdown hangover, with the company chairman citing rules imposed on pubs during WW1 that lasted until 1986 (The Telegraph).

Guinness has issued a “precautionary” recall of the alcohol-free version of its stout over fears of bacterial contamination just weeks after its launch (The Financial Times £).

Owner Diageo warned cans of the new Guinness 0.0 drink, which took four years to develop, may be “unsafe to consume” and advised people who had purchased the alcohol-free beer to dispose of it or return it to where it was bought (The Guardian).

It is understood that nobody drinking the beer has been taken ill and that its recall is a precautionary measure (The Times £).

Retailers are bracing for December chaos as supply chain mayhem threatens to deprive millions of families of their presents and wreck hopes of a profitable Christmas (The Telegraph).