Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Here's What FX Traders Should Watch as May Faces Brexit Votes

UK preparing 'state of emergency' in case of No Deal Brexit disorder WATCH: Dutch Prime Minister schools English reporter on the Irish border and backstop
Kelvin Reese | 30 January, 2019, 01:40

A leading Brexit supporter says he will back Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit divorce deal with the European Union if she wins concessions on controversial language created to prevent border checks in Northern Ireland.

While May had pleaded with MPs to support her original withdrawal agreement two weeks ago - an agreement that was rejected by a record margin of 230 votes - she had since called on them to back the Brady amendment, arguing that doing so would send a message to Brussels that the agreement, signed in 2017, needed to be renegotiated.

On Tuesday, May will try and steer her agreement with the European Union through parliament again with possible amendments to the Irish "backstop" element of the deal.

Sterling recently hit a 2-1/2 month highs of $1.3218 on hopes that a no-deal Brexit would be avoided, and stood around $1.3137 just before voting on the series of amendments began at 1900 GMT.

After British MPs overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal earlier this month, they will vote again on Tuesday (today) on what they want her to do next as the March 29 departure deadline looms.

"We continue to urge the United Kingdom government to clarify its intentions with respect to its next steps as soon as possible", Tusk said on behalf of the 27 European Union states remaining in the bloc after Brexit.

Mrs. May's gamble is that Europe - keen to avoid such a messy "no-deal" Brexit and frustrated by the fact that Britain has failed as yet to speak with one voice on the matter, might give her some new leeway if she presents a plan with solid parliamentary backing.

Meanwhile, late on Monday evening it emerged a new Brexit plan had been put forward which is reportedly backed by members of both the Remain and Leave camps of the Conservative party.

Amendment I: Put forward by Conservative MP Caroline Spelman and supported by lawmakers from most political parties, it seeks to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

She said Britain risked crashing out of the European Union without a deal "by accident" because London can not decide what it wants.

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Speaker of the House, John Bercow, has named seven amendments to be debated and voted on, including one from senior Tory MP Sir Graham Brady calling on "alternative arrangements" to the backstop, and one from Labour MP Yvette Cooper, which could delay the exit date by up to nine months.

Increasing numbers of government ministers have warned they will not accept the prospect of Britain leaving without a deal on March 29, immediately severing all ties with its largest trading partner and threatening economic chaos.

"We are open to alternative arrangements" on the Irish border, she said.

These include bills relating to trade, fisheries and agriculture, immigration, the environment and healthcare, as well as a law to implement any divorce deal with the European Union that MPs might yet agree to.

May's approach drew praise from Brexit-backing lawmakers but prompted scorn from their pro-EU colleagues.

"The Cooper Bill could give MPs a temporary window to agree a deal that can bring the country together".

Conservative MPs hate this mechanism, which would prevent a customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if the United Kingdom can not agree on a future trade deal with the EU.

Following the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would be willing to enter into Brexit talks with Mrs May.

At the weekend, Ireland's foreign minister, Simon Coveney, stated baldly the backstop simply "isn't going to change".

Overnight, a report by major think tank the Centre for European Reform's (CER) revelaed that while Brexit has still not happened yet, it has already caused the economy to be 2.3% smaller than if Brits had voted to remain in the EU.

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