Theresa May came under more pressure to extend article 50 yesterday, as the leaders of the UK’s two biggest unions told her to delay Brexit. Both Unite’s Len McCluskey and Unison’s Dave Prentis, had separate meetings with the prime minister, explaining how catastrophic a no-deal Brexit would be, but Theresa May has failed to offer any guarantees. It all makes for a fascinating vote next week, when we could see some real surprises in terms of which amendments Parliament supports.
Airbus, which employs 14,000 people in the UK, said it could close factories if there is a no-deal Brexit. Chief executive, Tom Enders, said “Please don’t listen to the Brexiteers’ madness which asserts that ‘because we have huge plants here we will not move and we will always be here’. They are wrong.” He went on to brand the UK government’s handling of Brexit ‘a disgrace’. Later, leading Tory Brexiter, David Jones, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he didn’t think it likely that Airbus would close its plant in north Wales.
MPs who back the People’s Vote campaign have dropped their plan to table an amendment to the Brexit motion calling for a second referendum. Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston and Labour MPs Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger, announced that they did not want to call a vote until they have the support needed to win it. That is not to say the issue is impossible, but it is off the table for now.
The European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold again, but president Mario Draghi suggested there could be a rate hike this year. Of course, that doesn’t mean there will be an increase in 2019, but the comments were relatively surprising given the eurozone economy’s recent performance. It is currently suffering its biggest slowdown in five years, which Draghi acknowledged when he said “The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook have moved to the downside on account of the persistence of uncertainties related to the geopolitical factors and the threat of protectionism, vulnerabilities in emerging markets and financial market volatility.”
Sterling movements were a bit mixed yesterday, as the pound climbed above €1.15, but lost some ground against the dollar. Still, it has been a pretty decent week so far. There could well be significant moves next week as we have the Parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal. Before then, why not download your free copy of our latest forecasts and see what some of the major banks are predicting for the next 12 months? Some believe the pound could soar as high $1.59 this time next year, with others predicting a drop to $1.22.
From which it is easy to glean this important fact: nobody knows what is going to happen with Brexit or the pound, so we heartily recommend contacting us to see how best to protect your money from this volatility. Speak to your Personal Trader on 020 7898 0541 about how they can help you with a forward contract.