EU, Britain prepare for ‘divorce’; Dubai rents may see 8% decline; After exit, Brits Google ‘what is EU?’

1 EU, Britain prepare for divorce (BBC) EU leaders are to meet to discuss the UK’s “divorce” from the organisation after a historic referendum result. The UK voted by 52% to 48% to leave the EU. Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will step down by October.

The first meeting of EU leaders with no British representation will be held on Wednesday. The EU has urged the UK to start negotiations to leave quickly. European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker stressed the “Union of the remaining 27 members will continue”.

Global stock markets fell heavily on the news of the so-called “Brexit”. The value of the pound has also fallen dramatically. The UK must now invoke Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty, which then allows for two years for withdrawal to be negotiated. Mr Cameron said he preferred to leave negotiations to his successor.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the EU “as a whole was taken as a hostage” by infighting among Mr Cameron’s Conservative party.

2 Dubai rents to see 8% decline (Cleofe Maceda in Gulf News) Jesse Downs, managing director of Phidar Advisory, argued that softening demand will continue to put pressure on residential rents in Dubai to drop to more affordable levels this year, giving some relief to tenants who are still spending too much of their income on housing.

Downs said they expect average rents to fall by approximately 8 per cent to 10 per cent over the next three months, with some areas forecast to post “even higher declines.” Downs said “these rent declines are caused by softening demand, especially in mid-high to high income bracket, a consequence of the current economic situation which has increased job losses and slowed new job creation”.

Downs’ forecast runs contrary to recent analysis by other experts that the market is at the trough stage and nearing recovery. Consultancy firm ValuStrat said that based on their price index for the month of May, there is now a “clear trend of a plateau” in residential prices.

Downs said that Dubai’s property market is a reflection of global and regional trends. With employment levels also slowing down in other parts of the globe, it is normal to expect the same for the domestic market.

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services had earlier said that the UAE real estate market in general is not showing any signs of market improvement yet. It said that the market will continue to face pressure from declining oil prices and softening of hiring and business activities

3 After exit, Brits Google ‘what is EU?’ (Amy Graff in The Guardian) Hours after Britons voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, they started Googling “What is the EU?” according to Google Trends.

“What is the EU?” is the second top UK question on the EU since the #EURefResults were officially announced. In a tweet, the tech company claimed this was the second top search term in the UK since the vote on the decision for a British Exit, or Brexit, was officially announced.

Some are saying a sharp uptick in searches posing basic questions about the European Union and Brexit suggests that many Britons weren’t clear on the details of what they were voting on. Other common questions on Google search in recent hours include: “How many countries are in the EU?” “Which countries are in the EU” and “What does it mean to leave the EU?”

The Washington Post noted that a British woman named Mandy, who voted in favor of an exit, told ITV that since the reality of the vote has hit her, she has realized that she would choose to stay with the EU if she were given the chance to vote again.


About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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