Tag Archives: no deal

Sunny Uplands and Baloney Economics: whence the falling Pound?

The pound has hit a 2-year low and is the worst performing currency this year and there are still strong headwinds ahead for sterling, particularly if a No Deal Brexit ensues.

The circumstances facing the UK economy and the exchange rate remind me more about country risk scenarios that I faced for dodgy Emerging or Transition Economies, not a developed and mature economy such as the UK. 

All bar our more mature colleagues will have no memory of the dark days of the IMF led bailout of the UK in the 1960s. It’s worth therefore sketching out what the economic-cum-financial risks lie ahead if the “Sunny Uplands” scenario of Prime Minister Johnson starts to take shape, based on his statements and promises since his speech at the doors of 10 Downing Street.

The pound’s value in terms of other currencies is based several factors. Right now, the increasing risk of a “no deal” is scaring away demand for sterling and for sterling assets, thus pushing down the price or exchange rate in terms of other currencies – but the markets sense that there’ll still be a resolution or a further extension.

However, in the event of a “no deal” we will face a genuine currency crisis as investors pile out of sterling assets. These events tend to lead to an initial “overshooting” of the depreciation and we could easily see a further drop of 10, 15 or 20% – nobody really knows. With liberalised exchange rates there’s nothing to really hold back the initial loss of the pound’s value.

Ignoring the immediate hit for UK holiday makers facing a steep rise in the cost of holiday spending, what are the likely consequences for a no Deal as far as the pound is concerned?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 18 Comments

How able is “negotiator” Hunt as compared to Johnson?

The Tory leadership campaign of Jeremy Hunt is, according to himself and many supporting MPs in the media, based upon the premise that Hunt will be (far) more trusted and more easily welcomed at EU negotiating tables than Johnson. They say this is the case because the European players (national ministers, EU negotiators like Barnier) have come to know him as sitting Foreign Secretary, and that they would trust him more than Boris (who they also know from his accident-prone Brexit spell at the Foreign Office).

Hunt also insists he has experience as an entrepreneur, including negotiating deals, which Johnson lacks because he was a journalist, not a businessman, between his public school/Oxbridge education and his political career.

But right at the start of his term as Foreign Secretary, Mr Hunt made a massive negotiating gaffe while trying to use his personal background to curry favour with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

At the start of his business career, Hunt had learned Japanese to be able to work as an English language teacher in Japan in the late 1980s; and minister Wang Yi studied Japanese and was a former ambassador in Japan (2004-07). As a minister in Cameron’s shadow cabinet, Hunt in 2008 met and married his Chinese wife, Lucia Guo. As the new Foreign Secretary negotiating in Beijing in July 2018, Hunt and Wang Yi had been speaking in Japanese, when Hunt, switching to English, made his gaffe when he talked about his wife and her parentage. According to the BBC, Hunt said “My wife is Japanese – my wife is Chinese. Sorry, that’s a terrible mistake to make.” The company at the table politely laughed it off, and Hunt went on to say that he and his wife had close ties with his in-laws still living in the Chinese city Xi’an.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Prorogueing Parliament will scupper any EU goodwill in Trade Talks, prorogueing the Tory Party Conference is better

Hearing British politicians talk in a cavalier way about proroguing parliament to push through any controversial policy should remind the British of the age when prorogueing and circumventing Parliament was all the rage (and instilled a different rage in the electorate): the reigns of kings James I and Charles I. In trying to get money without having to ask Parliament, Charles adulterated the “Ship Money” statute by applying it not just to the coastal and harbor cities, but to the whole of England. According to its Wikipedia item, demanding Ship Money of its own was possibly even an infringement …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

Newsnight highlights cover up of fears of no deal medicines shortages

I have a close family member who has Epilepsy. She needs daily medication to keep her condition under control and to allow her to work and live her life.

Last night Newsnight highlighted problems with the supply chain of some drugs, suggesting that some can’t be stockpiled.

Documents say that clinical outcomes “might be compromised” if treatment regimes have to be changed suddenly because of a lack of availability of particular drugs.

These documents have been kept quiet.

You can watch the report here:

This is yet another example of the Government’s irresponsible approach to Brexit. No Deal would not just cause economic catastrophe, it could put people in immediate danger of losing their lives. Yet the likes of Mark Francois, and, if reports are to be believed, significant numbers of Cabinet Ministers, think that inflicting that on us would be ok.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

26 February 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems join Amnesty International UK in fight against NI abortion laws
  • Cable: Housebuilders must not pinch their profits from the public purse
  • PM in the process of creating a double cliff-edge
  • Govt’s no deal papers shows PM driving UK to a cliff edge
  • Labour fail to oppose Govt’s controversial knife crime orders

Lib Dems join Amnesty International UK in fight against NI abortion laws

Today, Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine will join women impacted by NI abortion law along with Amnesty International UK, other MPs, and other service providers and activists to hand in a petition to …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 25 Comments

No deal Brexit causing panic for people with diabetes

Our Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West, Christine Jardine, wrote passionately in August about the worry facing many about provision of life-saving medicines in the case of a hard Brexit.

Today she has backed charities’ calls for the Government to provide urgent information on how supplies of life saving drugs, like insulin, will be safeguarded if the UK crashes out of the EU.

Christine says:

This goes far beyond politics. This is about people’s lives.

It is unimaginable that this Tory Government is prepared to let people suffer the anxiety of not knowing how or even whether they will be able to get the medicines they need.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 38 Comments

At what point do we call for Article 50 to be revoked?

At what point short of the cliff edge do Liberal Democrats say “Enough!” When in this utterly bonkers trashing of our economy do we call for the immediate revocation of Article 50?

We know that the UK can do that without requiring the consent of the other 27 EU member states.

We also have it as  part of our policy to call on the Government to suspend Article 50 to legislate for a People’s Vote or to avoid no deal and, if that suspension isn’t agreed, to call for the revocation of Article 50.  Here’s the motion we passed at Conference last year.

Conference reaffirms the Liberal Democrat commitment to:

Fight for an “exit from Brexit” referendum to be held once the outcome of the UK-EU negotiations is known, for the public to choose between “the deal” or Britain remaining a full member of the EU.

Campaign for Britain to remain a full and active member of the EU.

Enable all UK citizens living abroad to vote for MPs in separate overseas constituencies, and to participate in UK referendums.

Introduce votes at 16 for all elections and referendums across the UK.

Conference calls for:

The Government to release full impact assessments of all options, prior to any meaningful parliamentary vote, thereby demonstrating that there is no Brexit deal on offer that will deliver the promises of the Leave campaign.

The Government to seek to extend Article 50 if required to legislate for a referendum on the deal, or to provide enough negotiating time to avoid a catastrophic no-deal scenario, and if such extension is not agreed to withdraw the Article 50 notification.

The right to full participation in civic life, including the ability to stand for office or vote in UKreferendums and General Elections, to be extended to all EU citizens not already entitled tovote as Irish or Commonwealth citizens, who have lived in the UK for five years or longer.

The UK Government to guarantee unilaterally in law, including in a no-deal scenario, the rights of all EU citizens living in the UK, ringfencing the Withdrawal Agreements’ Chapter on citizens’ rights.

The bit about the revocation was put in as an amendment, but was not opposed by the leadership. It’s not as if Conference forced them into something that they didn’t want to do like we did over the immigration motion.

So the motion commits us to fighting for a People’s Vote and to campaign for Remain in that referendum. We are obliged to do that, therefore, until that becomes impossible.  I agree with Vince that there is a route to getting it, but the deal will have to be rejected by the Commons again first.

At that point, if the Government refuses to ask for the suspension of Article 50, or if that suspension was refused. then we should without doubt call for it to be revoked. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

Government defeat! Cross Party amendment requiring MPs to consent to no deal preparations passes

Yvette Cooper’s cross-party amendment which ensures that the Government would have to get the explicit consent of Parliament for no deal expenditure passed in Parliament tonight. This amendment was signed by Lib Dem, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green MPs.

I always like that moment in the Commons when the tellers line up in front of the Speaker. Those on the right are on the winning side. And if it’s the opposition MPs, you know that the Government has been defeated.

The margin was just 7 votes. 303-296.

There’s a bit of a  health warning with this, though. This doesn’t indicate how the vote on the draft withdrawal deal will go. The Tory Brexiteers would have voted with the Government and they oppose the deal. People like Nicky Morgan voted with the opposition and she will be supporting the deal. And, of course, you’ll have Labour Brexiteers voting with the Government.

If it has use, it’s about building relationships and trust across parties, amongst individual MPs which may help later.

Tom Brake said the Government must now rule out no deal:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 10 Comments

18 December 2018 – today’s press releases

Brexit is coming, the hedge fund’s growing fat, who will put a billion in Phil Hammond’s hat? If you haven’t got a billion, 3,000 troops will do, if you haven’t got 3,000 troops, then God bless you…

But at least we’re giving some opposition to this wastrel administration…

  • Lib Dem peers defeat Government to force Prevent review (this one arrived late last night)
  • Cable: Decision to ramp up no-deal is psychological warfare
  • Dropping migration target an admission Brexit won’t control immigration
  • Lib Dems: Putting troops on standby is simply scaremongering
  • Lib Dems table no confidence motion in Government

We’ve also received a press release from Tower Hamlets

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

No Deal would be horrendous – but let’s not forget that any other type of Brexit is bad news and we must resist it

So, let me get this right. Our own Prime Minister has admitted that we are now stockpiling food and medicines just in case Brexit goes disastrously wrong. Our ability to supply ourselves with the basics of life is now under threat because of her Government’s reckless appeasement of the extreme right of her party. And this really matters. It’s actually about whether people live or die. As my friend Jenny points out:

Tory extreme Brexiteers think that no deal would be just fine, we’d breeze through it. They also said that negotiating Brexit would be simple. No, it’s bloody complicated. And it would be even with a Government that didn’t turn up to the negotiations like a disorganised student turning in a badly crafted essay written in an all night Red Bull fuelled panic in the hours before the deadline. I’m slightly worried by all this ramping up of No Deal, though. I don’t want people to think that when the Brexit outcome is finally unveiled, that anything that doesn’t involve having to survive on barbecued rats, Baldrick’s coffee from Blackadder goes Forth and having our loved ones dying unnecessarily because they can’t get the medicine they need is in any way desirable. Just because we’re not cooking cockroach lasagne with boiled tulip bulbs from Theresa’s Brexit Cookbook and have our holidays cancelled because there are no flights anymore, it’s still a bad option that no responsible government would put before us.

Any sort of Brexit is really bad for this country. Don’t let the Government and the Brexiteers ramp up the possibility of No Deal to make the shambles they come back with look good in comparison. It really won’t be of any benefit at all to this country. How do we know? The Government’s own analysis tells us so. In January a leaked government document told us that we’d be worse off under every Brexit scenario. We can and should insist on a more ambitious approach – and the only thing that works is staying in.

The softest Brexit option of continued single-market access through membership of the European Economic Area would, in the longer term, still lower growth by 2%.

And some more misery:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 30 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill. 14th Oct - 7:38pm
    Peter Martin 14th Oct '19 - 11:59am The Independent had a cynical comic strip which is now in the Daily Telegraph. Do you agree that...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill. 14th Oct - 7:25pm
    Senator Elizabeth Warren can win the US Presidency in 2020. Sunday Times 13/10/19, Main News section Page 25, columns 2-4. Niall Ferguson, Hoover Institution, Stanford....
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 14th Oct - 6:29pm
    In my logic, any sovereign activity, i.e. any exercise of power over citizens should be publicly run: prisons, probation, social "services" awarding (e.g.means-testing), or decisions...
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 14th Oct - 6:01pm
    The really big argument against Labour is that they are pulling the usual Right-Wing Populist trick of saying two contradictory things at the same time...
  • User AvatarColin Paine 14th Oct - 5:10pm
    Good to see Chuka distancing us from Labour on this, let's hope we do the same as regards their policy on renationalisng the energy industry.
  • User AvatarChris Cory 14th Oct - 5:04pm
    Agree with David R. Being interested in economic/business policy I just looked on the Lib Dem Business and Entepreneurs website (as mentioned above). Full membership...