Into the Brexit void we go as Ryanair sounds chaos warning

Planet Business: The ‘neural lace’ that will mesh human brains with computers... finally

British prime minister Theresa May and Qatar prime minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani in  Birmingham for the  Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum. Photograph: Darren Staples / PA

British prime minister Theresa May and Qatar prime minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani in Birmingham for the Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum. Photograph: Darren Staples / PA

 

In numbers: No-fly zone

44 million

Number of passengers that Ryanair expects to carry in and out of the UK this year. The airline warned that the UK faces the “distinct possibility” of having “no flights to or from Europe” for a period after March 2019 if it doesn’t prioritise post-Brexit aviation negotiations.

41

Percentage of people in Britain who have changed their holiday plans this year because a weak sterling has made trips overseas more expensive, according to a survey by travel insurer Columbus Direct.

16

Percentage of people who told Columbus Direct they were planning a “staycation” in Brexit Britain this year. Might as well get used to them.

Image of the week: The last day

British prime minister Theresa May compared desktop flags and shared bottled water this week with Qatar prime minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, who was delighted to be visiting Birmingham as part of the now all-important Qatar-UK Business and Investment Forum. This was one of the last sightings of May before a tragic rift opened up in the space-time continuum. If you’re reading this, you’re trapped in one of two possible parallel realities. In one reality, May decided Brexit didn’t mean Brexit after all and everyone more or less lived happily ever after. In the other reality, she went ahead and triggered article 50. In this timeline, Scotland declares war on England, Boris Johnson becomes King of the Brexiteers and the new face on the pound coin is Nigel Farage.

The lexicon: Neural lace

The next frontier for Tesla Motors and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is the human brain. He’s launched Neuralink, a “medical research” start-up to develop technology that connects brains to computers. The plan is to develop “neural lace” technology that will implant tiny electrodes in the brain and give humans the, um, benefit of some artificial intelligence. The term “neural lace” was coined by the late novelist Iain Banks (writing as Iain M Banks) in his Culture series of science fiction novels, in which futuristic post-humans install a mesh inside their heads that grows along with their brains. Thanks to the magic of nanotechnology, “mesh electronics”, or a kind of wireless brain-computer interface, is now a real thing – or, at least, it’s been tested on mice.