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The report said there had been no notable increase in FDI from British firms into countries outside of the EU.

Authors of the report speculated that British companies were offshoring production to the EU because they expected Brexit to increase barriers to trade and migration – making the U.K. a “less attractive place to do business.”

“The economic risk of Brexit is larger on the U.K. side of the Channel. British firms feel compelled to invest more in the EU but not the other way around,” said Dennis Novy, one of the report’s authors.

Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the Confederation of British Industry, said in a statement last week that the threat from a no-deal Brexit was “chilling investment and starving growth.”

“No-deal would create considerable issues for our world-leading services firms, in most cases only avoidable by moving jobs and investment from the U.K. to EU,” she said.

Earlier on Monday, figures from Britain’s Office for National Statistics showed that U.K. economic growth fell to its weakest in six years in the final quarter of 2018.

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China and India will remain defiant against US



Tugboats dock the oil tanker "Daniel" carrying crude oil imported from Iran at the Port of Zhoushan in Zhoushan city, east China's Zhejiang province, 8 March 2018. 

Imaginechina | AP Images

Tugboats dock the oil tanker “Daniel” carrying crude oil imported from Iran at the Port of Zhoushan in Zhoushan city, east China’s Zhejiang province, 8 March 2018. 

China and India are both unlikely to completely cut off Iranian crude imports, energy analysts have said, despite the imminent threat of U.S. sanctions.

President Donald Trump‘s administration announced Monday that buyers of Iranian oil must stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions.

The move, which took many market participants by surprise, ends six months of waivers which had allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers of crude to continue to import limited volumes.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $74.26 Tuesday afternoon, up around 0.3%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $65.93, almost 0.6% higher.

“Iranian exports will not actually reach zero,” analysts at Eurasia Group said in a research note published Monday.

“China, which imports approximately 500,000 bpd (barrels per day), will make considerable cuts in the near term. For Beijing, securing the trade agreement with the U.S. is the top priority, and China will not link Iran oil imports to the trade talks.”

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Microsoft, Facebook, Google staff offer support to Chinese coders



Some Microsoft employees have used their company’s own platform to support Chinese tech workers who are expected to carry out 12-hour workdays with just one day off a week.

In March, tech workers in China first published the “” project, aimed at highlighting the sector’s “grueling and illegal” work schedule. 996 stands for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week, while the ICU refers to the possibility of ending up in the intensive care unit of a hospital due to exhaustion.

The project is a collection, or repository, of alleged evidence of long hours and wrongful working conditions.

Despite such long hours being officially illegal in China, Alibaba founder Jack Ma has previously hailed the 996 culture as a “huge blessing” for the country. However, it seems his appetite for extended work is now being met with resistance from outside China.

On Monday, software engineers from Microsoft, Google, Facebook and others signed a letter of support for Chinese workers. The online letter was added to the project on the web-based code-sharing service, GitHub.

The letter, co-signed by 100 tech workers, says that the workers of Microsoft and GitHub “stand in solidarity with tech workers in China.” It also warned that Chinese internet firms are already attempting to censor the protest.

“Since going viral, Chinese domestic browsers, such as those by Tencent and Alibaba, have restricted access to the repository on their web browsers, warning users that the repository contains illegal or malicious content.” Spokespersons for Tencent and Alibaba were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Microsoft bought GitHub in 2018 for a reported $7.5 billion and the employees call on the two firms not to remove the content.

“We must entertain the possibility that Microsoft and GitHub will be pressured to remove the repository as well,” it read. A spokesperson for the Washington-based firm also wasn’t immediately available when contacted by CNBC.

As a sign of wide support, has been “starred” by GitHub readers more than 230,000 times, making it one of the most popular repositories in the site’s history.

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New tech in UK prisons can pinpoint illegal phones to an ‘exact cell’



The U.K.’s Ministry of Justice has started to use “specialist mobile detection technology” to find and then seize phones that are being used illegally by prisoners.

The technology is being used to tackle the problem of mobile phone smuggling, which authorities said resulted in both violence and drug-dealing inside prisons.

When it detects the presence of a cell phone in prison, the technology sends real-time alerts. A digital heat map is used to identify the strength of the phone’s signal, enabling prison officers to home in on its location “to the exact cell.”

Prison staff are able to look at the data of a specific period of time to monitor the emergence of any patterns, such as when prisoners work together to smuggle drugs into a prison. The intelligence can be analysed and lead to arrests.

The technology has undergone a six-month trial in one prison and is being rolled out to four more facilities. The locations of where it’s being used have not been made public.

“As criminals look for new ways to smuggle contraband into prisons, it is vital that we stay one step ahead, and this kind of technology will help prevent them operating from their cells,” David Gauke, the U.K.’s justice secretary, said in a statement Sunday.

“This is vital to ensuring prisons are places of safety and rehabilitation, where offenders can turn their backs on crime for good,” Gauke added.

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