Well, it seems to be just a matter of time – but hours and minutes, not days and weeks. The pressure exerted upon the PM is unrelenting and seemingly from all sides, as her deal was trashed by Labour in PMQ’s yesterday, Andrea Leadsom quit as leader of the Commons and sir Graham Brady is due to have yet another meeting with her to urge her to go.
We can’t imagine this being turned around or even put on hold for long enough to get her vote into the Commons, so we could well be looking at a caretaker PM whilst the Tories organise a long term replacement. The thought that a change of personnel can make the Brexit negotiations a success seems like a very long shot, but at this point what is there to lose (apart from a soft Brexit, or Brexit all together)?
The market reaction is understandable and Sterling’s near 5% fall in the last two weeks should surprise nobody. We’re not back here because we’re at a Brexit cliff-edge, we’re here because investors only take long bets on a lot of uncertainty if there’s the chance of a big pay-off at the end of it. Given that the best case pay-off would only be a ‘return to normal’ it’s no surprise people would rather take short positions and hope for further chaos and a bigger value drop than we’ve already seen (whilst knowing that the best case ‘return to normal’ isn’t a massive risk to their position)
Great to go to the European polls with a strong and stable footing for the leadership… forecasters are putting the Brexit party on an average of 32%, Labour are looking at 21% but could slip below the Lib Dems who are forecast at around 19% of the vote, whilst the Tories are polling at just 7% according to YouGov. There’s still a bitter taste in everyone’s mouths from inaccurate polls in the last few years, so if this is wildly wrong, blame the Guardian
Across the pond (which at least gives our politics a modicum of sensibility) Trump threw his toys out of the pram in a meeting with Democrats, saying that he can’t work with them until they stop investigating him! This comes as another push towards impeachment is on the cards – unlikely that they’ll have the backing to get this any further than previous attempts. The New York Times has this story – and it’s a good one!
Huawei put a brave face on their problems with the White House, but the ripples are quickly turning into waves. Now it’s the turn of UK chip developer ARM holdings to cut ties, which puts on ice Huawei’s ambitions of further diversifying their hardware offerings. Panasonic has also halted some Huawei imports and now the US is leaning on South Korea to reject their products – Given just how much tech manufacturing there is in South Korea, this could be a massive, massive blow if Seoul is successfully swayed.
Nikkei report that if China starts to retaliate then Apple could be the ones at risk. They say that just under a third of Apple’s earnings per share would be at risk if China started restricting sales of the products. Apple shares have fallen around 14% this month as concerns grow that they’re going to have to hike sales prices to cover increased supply chain costs brought about by tariffs and also because of this fear that they’re front and centre for retaliation.
There’s a little more out there that we could have talked about, but this (even after three years) is still front and centre, so we’ll leave it there. We don’t get European election results until Sunday night, so maybe that gives the PM a couple of days to get the removal trucks into Number 10.