There are increased calls for an article 50 extension which would delay Brexit, albeit temporarily. With only 63 days until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, Parliament is still undecided on what type of deal to try and agree with the EU. The Parliamentary vote will take place next Tuesday, which could well give us some clarification but amidst all this noise it is easy to forget these facts:
- A deal has already been agreed between the UK and EU
- That deal was negotiated without the government consulting Parliament
- Parliament subsequently voted against it by a huge majority
- Any Parliamentary vote now has to be accepted by the government
- If/when accepted by the government, there is no guarantee the EU will accept it
We repeat: there are 63 days left until Brexit and there will only be 59 days left when Parliament votes on the bill/any amendments to the bill. Theresa May seems determined to win support for plan B (which is virtually the same as the already roundly rejected plan A). Her best hope of achieving this is by presenting MPs with the choice of her deal or no deal. By extending article 50, MPs will have the choice of voting against plan B without fear of crashing out of the EU without a deal.
There were no economic data releases from the UK yesterday, but today we will see the CBI distributive trades for January, as well as UK finance mortgage approvals for December. The former is expected to have done an about-turn, from -13 to +3. Let’s hope that proves to be somewhere near the mark.