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Boris Johnson’s government will seek to patch up relations with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland following bruising recent clashes over the coronavirus crisis.

Michael Gove, Cabinet Office minister, told the Financial Times that a review would be accelerated to put relations between London and devolved administrations on a “firmer basis” after the UK has struggled to maintain a united front.

New steps will include more regular meetings with all sides able to raise agenda items — a crucial demand from Wales — but the changes are unlikely to grant significant new devolved powers.

The latest instalment in our major coronavirus series dives deeper into how the pandemic has driven a wedge between the UK’s nations, testing a constitutional framework already strained by Brexit. Could Covid-19 split the UK? (FT)

Read the previous entries here:

Coronavirus digest

The autumn surge in UK coronavirus cases may be slowing as tighter restrictions are imposed across the country. Follow our live coverage here.

In the news

Trump’s cash shortfall The Trump campaign began October with just $63.1m of cash on hand, a 50 per cent drop from September and a third of the Biden campaign’s $177.3m war chest. More Americans believe Mr Trump is hurting the economy than helping the recovery, the final FT-Peterson survey found, while the latest analysis of his tax records reveals a Chinese bank account. (FT, NYT)

line charts showing voters increasingly believe Trump's policies have hurt the economy

Follow our poll tracker to see where Mr Trump and Mr Biden stand in crucial swing states.

Exclusive: Carmakers’ Brexit appeal Europe’s car manufacturers have called on Brussels to take a less restrictive stance on UK market access as Moody’s warned that no deal constitutes a graver threat to the industry than coronavirus. EU-UK talks remain on ice after Boris Johnson demanded a “fundamental change of approach”. (FT)

Exclusive: South Korea-backed coal project under fire European funds with $3.4tn of assets have criticised South Korean and Japanese groups over developing a coal-fired power plant in Vietnam, underscoring mounting investor pressure over climate change. (FT)

Pakistan demands UK return ex-PM Priti Patel is “duty bound” to deport Nawaz Sharif to serve a jail sentence for corruption, his successor’s government said in a letter seen by the FT. Mr Sharif, who is living in London, has accused Pakistan’s military of overthrowing him in 2017. (FT)

Nawaz Sharif claims Islamabad’s corruption cases against him are politically motivated © AFP/Getty Images

Netflix growth slows, Snap surges The streaming boost from lockdown life has ended: Netflix added only 2.2m subscribers in the third quarter, well below the 16m and 10m added in the first and second, respectively. Snap posted record revenues, boosted by an advertisers’ boycott of Facebook. (FT)

Google antitrust case The US Department of Justice has accused the US tech group of suppressing competition, calling it “a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet”. The lawsuit opens the most high-profile US antitrust case since the Microsoft battle of the 1990s — but this time, bipartisan consensus could curb corporate power. (FT)

Nigeria crackdown The city of Lagos has declared a 24-hour curfew after violence marred mass protests against police brutality that have erupted across the country and brought Africa’s largest city to a standstill. (FT)

Witnesses at the scene reported multiple people were killed as security forces cracked down on peaceful protesters © AP

Berkshire’s $4.1m fine Berkshire Hathaway will pay $4.1m to settle alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran. Separately, a Goldman Sachs Asia subsidiary will plead guilty to US charges in the 1MDB money-laundering scandal, while Apollo Global Management will review Leon Black’s links with Jeffrey Epstein. (FT, WSJ)

The day ahead

TfL takeover The Transport for London board holds a crunch meeting on Wednesday after ministers threatened to take direct control unless mayor Sadiq Khan accepts higher council tax, congestion charge and tube and bus fares under a rescue. (FT)

EU decides what’s meat MEPs will vote on Wednesday on whether to limit words such as “burger”, “sausage” and “steak” to branding for meat-only products, a contentious move backed by the region’s agriculture industry. (FT)

Burgers — or are they ‘discs’ — ready to be eaten at a stall during the Calais Vegan Festival © AFP/Getty Images

France Covid-19 probe Former prime minister Edouard Philippe is set to appear before a Covid-19 inquiry on Wednesday. His house was searched by police last week as part of the investigation. (BBC, AP)

Earnings and data Tesla reports third-quarter figures after the market closes on Wednesday, having already confirmed production numbers. New York-based exchange Nasdaq, Biogen, Baker Hughes and Verizon also report, while UK inflation is expected to rebound. (elektrek, FT)

What else we’re reading

Long economic Covid-19 The pandemic is likely to leave the world not just with a deep recession, but years of debility, Martin Wolf writes. To meet the threat of a “long economic Covid”, policymakers must avoid the mistake of withdrawing support too soon, as they did after the 2008 crisis. (FT)

chart showing that sovereign debt has reached historic levels: general government debt as a % of GDP

Musk the miner Elon Musk’s plan to extract and refine lithium is unlikely to bear fruit for years, and is instead designed to put pressure on an industry dominated by five companies. There’s a paradox of lithium pricing — the metal is vital to the renewables drive, but demand has yet to match up. (FT)

Torlonia Marbles unveiled For 400 years, one of the world’s finest collections of ancient statues has been behind closed doors. At long last, 96 of the Torlonia Marbles will be shown at the David Chipperfield-renovated Palazzo Caffarelli in Rome. (HTSI)

The impressive body of 620 ancient Greek and Roman statues, sarcophagi, bas-reliefs and busts were acquired by the influential Torlonias, who administered the Vatican’s finances © Reuters

Biden bets on Catholic faith John F Kennedy was the first and only Catholic US president; Joe Biden could become the second. But the Biden team sees the candidate’s faith as an asset rather than a liability. There’s a case for Pope Francis to tacitly support the Democratic nominee. (FT)

EMBAs defy pandemic panic Executive MBA alumni and courses have emerged from the initial pandemic peak in robust shape, according to the FT’s latest survey. But Britain’s Black and Asian entrepreneurs aren’t matching the financial performance of white counterparts. (FT)

Chart on post-pandemic recruitment

Retirement worries The coronavirus crisis has raised retirement insecurity for billions of people, who now face working longer or having less income in later life. They may even be forced to resort to loans from their children, Claer Barrett writes, as intergenerational finances become a two-way street. (FT)

Wish I were there: California redwoods The mighty redwood is the tallest living tree on Earth. While less than 5 per cent of its ancient towering forests remain, one of the great natural wonders can still inspire, writes Hugh Carnegy. (FT)

A hiker in the Redwoods National Parks © Getty

With the pandemic disrupting travel, we asked writers to journey in their imaginations to a distant place they yearn to revisit.

Podcast of the day

Should I pay off my credit cards or buy a house? Claer Barrett chats to Josh, a high-earner living in New Jersey with large credit card bills to settle — but his wife wants to use their savings towards a deposit on a house. Should Josh come clean? (FT)

Thank you for reading. Send your recommendations and feedback to [email protected]

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