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Brexit Briefing: May Set to Reject Lords Amendment to Brexit Bill

Brexit Briefing: May Set to Reject Lords Amendment to Brexit Bill

Martin Essex, MSTA, Analyst

Talking Points

- The UK’s upper house will likely vote late Tuesday in favor of an amendment to the Brexit Bill.

- However, chances are it will be rejected by the lower house, which has the final say.

- See the DailyFX Economic Calendar and see what live coverage for key event risk impacting FX markets is scheduled for the week on the DailyFX Webinar Calendar.

The House of Lords, the unelected upper house of the Westminster Parliament, is expected late Tuesday to pass an amendment to the Brexit Bill, requiring Parliamentary approval of any final agreement between the UK Government and the EU on the terms of the UK’s departure from the bloc.

However, any such amendment is likely to be thrown out by the elected House of Commons as UK Prime Minister Theresa May has made clear she wants the Bill to pass through the legislative process unaltered.

While the UK Parliament plays ping-pong with the Bill, the British Pound has fallen to its lowest level for seven weeks against the US Dollar as signs begin to emerge that the UK economy is beginning to suffer from the Brexit uncertainty.

Chart: GBPUSD Daily Timeframe (January-March 2017)

Brexit Briefing: May Set to Reject Lords Amendment to Brexit Bill

Chart by IG

Data released Tuesday by the Halifax mortgage lender showed annual UK house price inflation fell to its lowest since July 2013 in February, hurt by increasingly squeezed consumer finances. A report by the British Retail Consortium showed prices in UK shops fell at the lowest annual rate in more than three years last month, adding to signs of growing inflationary pressures after last year’s post-referendum fall in the Pound. And market researcher Kantar Worldpanel reported that UK food price inflation has doubled in a month.

This all poses a headache for UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who presents the UK Budget to Parliament Wednesday. He has promised to keep reserves in the tank to see the economy through the Brexit process, which will last at least two more years, signaling little room for the announcement of extra spending despite recent good news on UK borrowing.

In an interview, he said tensions are now easing with other EU countries. However, Germany’s hard-line Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told a group of foreign journalists in Berlin Tuesday that he believes the Brexit negotiations will be difficult and complicated. He said that at the conclusion of the negotiations it should be clear to everyone that remaining inside the EU has more advantages than being outside.

Overall, therefore, the chances of an imminent strong rally by the Pound seem slim following its steady decline against the Dollar since the beginning of last month.

Markets

Index / Exchange Rate

Change (Exchange Hours/GMT Session Rollover)

Market Close/Last

FTSE 100

-0.10%

7,341

DAX

+0.01%

11,959

GBP/USD

-0.39%

1.2190

EUR/USD

-0.09%

1.0574

EUR/GBP

+0.28%

0.8673

Upcoming UK/EU Event Risk

Events

Date, Time (GMT)

Forecast

Previous

German Industrial Production s.a. (MoM) (Jan)

Mar 8, 0700

2.6%

-3.0%

German Industrial Production n.s.a. and w.d.a. (YoY) (Jan)

Mar 8, 0700

-0.6%

-0.7%

UK Budget

Mar 8, 1230

--- Written by Martin Essex, Analyst and Editor

To contact Martin, email him at martin.essex@ig.com

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