It is absolutely time to think about that winter coat purchase. Halloween and bonfire night are just around the corner and the clocks go back this weekend.
The coat is perhaps the most emotive of clothing purchases. Many of us can catalogue time through what coat we were wearing in a particular year. Whether it was the coat we wore to school - mud splattered from running through puddles and smeared with tuck shop food - the ditching of a coat altogether during our teenage years as we make our first frost-bitten rebellion against being told what to do, or that most precious of coats brought with our first pay packet, which came with pom poms, faux fur and sequins because it was all about impact not style.
Whether we decide to invest in a coat which will see us through the years or see the annual purchase of a new coat as a special winter treat, the coat is our outer-most layer of expression through the chillest months and therefore perhaps tells onlookers the most about us.
The fashion experts would not have it so – for them it is all about the trends and the biggest coat trend this winter 2017 is the ski jacket.
We're not talking here about a puffer jacket or a nice down coat by the way, we are talking about the sort of jacket you would actually wear skiing. Fashion mags have even come up with a catch-line - “from the slopes to the streets”.
Surely this is the ultimate 'fool them into thinking you are someone you are not' type of garment. Simply apply fake tan on your face everywhere but around your eyes to mimic those ski goggles and you can absolutely pretend you have just got back from a ski holiday in the Swiss Alps.
Ideal if a ski holiday is slightly out of budget, especially as the ski jackets themselves can see you shelling out several hundred pounds. My favourite has to be the ski jacket from Moncler which comes complete with Brethil ski-scene print and at a whopping £1,085 I would like to think it would also magically transform the wearer into a fantastic skier.
Talking about the ultra rich, the EU – remember them, the ones we are trying to get divorced from – have launched an inquiry into a British government scheme that is helping multinational firms pay less tax.
Which supreme villain would have introduced such an underhand scheme I hear you ask – well it turns out it was brought in by then Tory Chancellor George Osbourne in 2011 and happily passed through Parliament. The tax avoidance scam – sorry scheme – allows multinational companies resident in the UK to lower their tax bills by shifting some of their taxable income to an off-shore corporation known as a Controlled Foreign Company (CFC).
CFC's are not illegal but the EU Commission believes the UK set-up breaks EU competition rules by giving an unfair advantage to multinationals compared to British companies without foreign subsidiaries.
HMRC has revealed this week that multinationals avoided paying £5.8billion in taxes in 2016, 50 per cent more than government forecasts and this figure does not even include losses to CFC's.
EU officials do not know whether they will get their investigation completed by March 2019 when the UK is due to leave the EU and whilst the Commission wants all outstanding investigations to be completed under EU law even if the UK has already left, the UK has still not decided what will happen with ongoing state aid investigations and pending European court cases – quelle surprise.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has voiced concerns the Tory's are looking to make Britain into the ultimate tax haven once we leave the EU and the more cynical may view the rush to leave the EU as tied up with preventing this tax-avoidance investigation from reaching completion.