Good morning, it's Paul here.

Estimated time of completion is 3pm. Update at 13:30 - today's article is now finished.

As usual on Fridays, it's very quiet for company news. So once I've covered the few interesting small caps announcements, I'll write a section on the potential Brexit deal. I read through both the Protocol for Northern Ireland, and the revised Political Declaration last night. Also I've dug out my notes on the original withdrawal agreement, so have a few comments to make.

Aside from its effect on companies, the economy, and the stock market, this stuff also interests me on a personal level. In the 1980s I did a degree at Keele University in International Relations  (a hybrid course covering politics, history, economics, international law, international confllict & cooperation, etc.). Therefore, these days, in my time out from the markets, I can usually be found with my nose in a book on one of these topics. It's very important to switch off from the markets sometimes. Especially when your portfolio is going through a bad patch (as mine has been for about the last 18 months, unfortunately).

Can I just ask that in the comments, people try to avoid the whole political side of Brexit, which is (a) incredibly boring, (b) pointless, as nobody is likely to change their mind anyway, and (c) inflammatory.  Instead, let's stick tightly to the economic & stock market issues surrounding Brexit.

We have 2 takeover bids announced today, encouragingly in the small caps space. This reinforces my view that there's currently a lot of value out there, selectively, in UK small caps. Takeover bids confirm that. I think we could see a lot more, particularly if Brexit uncertainty is removed.

The stock market feels like a giant game of snakes & ladders. We're seeing lots of profit warnings, and the associated 30%+ instant plunges in price. Yet at the same time, plenty of premium-priced takeover bids are happening. It's a reminder that there's actually quite a lot of luck involved, in this game - due to future events often being unforeseeable.

Elegant Hotels (LON:EHG)

Share price: 109p (up 56% today, at 10:25)
No. shares: 88.8m
Market cap: £96.8m

Recommended cash offer

Elegant Hotels Group plc, the owner and operator of seven upscale freehold hotels and…

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