UK: Bumpy days ahead for Brexit process – ING

James Smith, developed markets economist at ING, notes that on Monday evening, British MPs voted to take control of the Brexit process and allow time for indicative votes on alternative paths, which follows another bumpy few days in Westminster, where PM Theresa May has struggled to get the support she needs to get her Brexit deal through parliament.

Key Quotes

“The indicative votes process will kick-off tomorrow afternoon, and the big question is whether any single option can command a majority among lawmakers.  There is no preset list of options, and instead, lawmakers will be able to put forward their preferred choices, and the speaker of the House of Commons will select the most popular. Out of all the alternative paths, we suspect a permanent customs union is still most likely to emerge as the preferred option.”

“The bigger question is whether PM May has the political capital to change course. Theresa May has been highly reluctant to seek cross-party consensus on Brexit, amid fears that this could split the Conservative party. If parliament opts to take Brexit in a 'softer' direction, then many Conservative Eurosceptic ministers and backbench MPs may be prepared to vote against the government in another no-confidence vote. Some commentators have also suggested that PM May herself may view an election as preferable if MPs back a second referendum or another unpalatable alternative.”

“One way or another, the next two weeks are going to be a 'tug of war' between the government and parliament.”


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