Boris had wanted MP’s to consider more than 100 pages of legal text in just three days, which would then have kept him on course for his 31st October deadline. Opposition MP’s didn’t think that was enough time and so now it’s over to the EU to say if they’ll grant an extension and for how long (spoiler alert: they will grant one and they’ll probably put it to 21st January with an option to terminate sooner if the Commons pass the legislation)
Sterling has moved lower on the back of last night’s outcome, though possibly more because this could open the door to general election, rather than Brexit being delayed. If we went down that route then polling currently shows that Boris would command a greater majority and we’d probably end up back where we are today, so no major changes but, significantly, a majority. However this is yet more uncertainty we could probably do without.
Knowing that the deck is stacked against him, Jeremy Corbyn is more likely to want to negotiate the terms of the withdrawal rather then go to an election. As such, we may well see some dialogue between the two party leaders over what a sensible debating timetable would be and that would keep Boris’ plan on track, albeit he may have to go and lie in a ditch and play dead for a couple of days just to keep to his word (and from the man that brought you the ‘zipwire incident’, we wouldn’t put it past him)
Across the Pond it’s all about impeachment… The US’s top diplomat in Ukraine yesterday told impeachment investigators a vivid account of how a number of administration officials had told him that Trump had blocked aid until Ukraine investigated Joe Biden. This was meant to be a closed door testimony, but if you read the New York times article, they might have well been in the room! It’s well worth a read.
Whilst the US is adamant that they’re tech giants shouldn’t be taxed, they’re seemingly not shy about investigating them: An investigation into Facebook started by the NY attorney general has now been picked up and joined by 46 more states. the investigation is concerned with whether Facebook put consumer data at risk and pushed up advertising prices. Meanwhile Google is under investigation to see whether their practices break anti-trust laws.
If you want to stay on the tech theme, check out this Vox article on why Microsoft is getting away with trying to crush competition from Slack and Zoom with it’s Teams product. They’re getting away with it, because of the antitrust case back in the noughties where they were accused of trying to destroy Netscape by bundling Internet Explorer into Windows. They settled the case and were told to allow developers API access, but they were allowed to continue bundling their products and offering them for free, which is apparently enough of a precedent to keep investigators at bay this time round.
Rounding out the tech theme: Netflix shares fell yesterday on the reveal that Verizon will offer its unlimited broadband customers a years subscription to Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+. I think we’ve mentioned this before, but the Business-wars podcast series on Nextflix Vs Blockbuster gets to the future of streaming services and what a bloody battleground it will become – this looks like the start of it.
We’ll try and stick to economics and politics next time!
Have a great day