An interesting UK political development has taken place after a recent TV interview with PM Theresa May where she repeated that control over immigration and national sovereignty are higher on the government's priority list than access to the EU single market.
The opposition Labour party has voted with the government and the majority of Tory MPs to vote in favour of invoking Article 50 by end-Mar 2017, regardless of what the Supreme Court's appeal decision is. This, however, is in return for a commitment by the govt to outline its detailed 'Brexit' negotiating strategy before Article 50 is invoked.
This means millions of taxpayers' money is being wasted by the government in appealing the High Court's original decision at the Supreme Court. Theresa May is proving to be a very calculating PM and this latest development should be interpreted as slightly GBP negative.
Over the weekend and ahead of PM Theresa May's important Brexit speech tomorrow, Brexit headlines have dominated the UK media. According to a story in The Times, Theresa May should be prepared to leave both the EU single market and the customs union in order to regain control over immigration. The Britons seem to support this stance, as 46 percent agree that greater control over immigration is more important than access to the single market (39 percent against), see Reuters. In general, PM Theresa May and the Conservative Party still enjoy huge support in opinion polls, reported Danske Bank.
In a comment in the Sunday Times, Brexit Secretary David Davis has not rejected a transitional deal between the UK and EU to make the process as smooth as possible. To some extent this is also the spirit of the so-called 'Great Repeal Act', where existing EU laws will be transposed in UK domestic laws on exit date, they added.
The Danske Bank in its research note mentioned that the GBP took another hit in the Asian session and EUR/GBP is currently trading at 0.88 up from 0.84 in mid-December. The pattern so far has been that GBP weakens further when the European markets open. We are currently reviewing our GBP forecast but we see the potential for further GBP weakness in the coming months as the triggering of Article 50 moves closer. As such, EUR/GBP once again touching 0.90 should not be ruled out.
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