It was another interesting day in the land of Brexit as PM May held talks with Jeremy Corbyn, while the House of Commons pushed through a bill to block a no-deal Brexit.
Firstly, many were surprised to hear such positive rhetoric from both parties after meetings took place between May & Corbyn yesterday afternoon. The rivals put to one side their differences in order to resolve the ever present Brexit crisis. Both sides confirmed that talks were constructive and have agreed to appoint negotiating teams to draw up a plan of further work. More meetings are scheduled for Thursday.
The House of Commons saw a lengthy debate and voting process which went into the late hours of the evening. In essence, Parliament was attempting to push through a bill, against the government’s wishes, to block a no-deal scenario. In chaotic scenes, the House was requested to vote a number of times while the clock ticked towards the 11pm hour. Finally, and by a margin of just 1 vote, a bill sponsored by MP Yvette Cooper was passed to block a no-deal Brexit. Hard-line Brexiteers will be furious as they’ll feel Remain-backing MPs have hijacked the process. The pound drifted higher while these proceedings took place. On balance, it appears MPs will have to back whatever concoction May/Corbyn produce or face an even lengthier extension. This comes as speculation rises over the prime minister requesting of a 9-month extension at next week’s emergency EU summit.
Today’s economic calendar is sparse. Yesterday’s negative UK services PMI number created concern for the pound. The reading slipped into contractionary territory for the first time in a significant number of months. Whilst it’s understandable, with the expected departure date from the EU on the horizon, it’s nevertheless very worrying due to the sector’s importance.
Written by Viv Savani. 9:25am, April 4th 2019
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