MP’s are due to debate the article 50 bill for a second time today and tomorrow, with the remaining steps due early next week. It has now come to light that Theresa May plans to get the ball rolling on Article 50 by March 9th, 2 days prior the third reading of the bill will be debated by Parliament.
This allows Parliament to scrutinise the Brexit strategy for a period of 6 weeks, but it remains unclear as to what will happen if the Lords or Commons reject the bill, with ratification expected May’s hopes for a March 9th deadline could be very difficult to achieve.
That being said, EU leaders including May will meet at the European council summit for 2 days on the date she expects to invoke Article 50, providing her and government an opportunity to formalise the Brexit position.
The Pound has dropped a cent against the Euro and US Dollar as markets prepare for an EU-exit.
Trump risk to the UK
Theresa May faces further criticism over her handling of the US President, following a controversial move to ban US entry from 7 countries. A petition to ban Trump from visiting to the UK reached over a million signatures yesterday, prompting parliament to debate the issue at hand.
May has rejected the call as it would undermine the UK’s Brexit position, following her visit to the US last week. However mounting pressure from MP’s calling for the President to reverse the decision has had little impact with Trump defending the move.
It’s not just the UK that have shown resent to the move, European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel have thrown their weight behind the issue which only works to further dent Theresa May’s Brexit position.
If May wants to secure a trade deal with the new President, she must place herself in a difficult position where she must maintain the relationship. Trump’s dogmatic and unpredictable nature makes it difficult for the PM to question the move, or face Trump backing down on a trade deal.
By sticking to her guns, she may in fact upset European neighbours who have already showed distaste for the UK’s attitude towards Brexit.
It remains unclear as to how the government plan on replacing EU membership with free trade deals. The UK currently exports 50% of its goods to the bloc, accumulating a huge amount of GDP. A trade deal with the US whilst holds potential, is unlikely to replace existing EU membership and could create further political issues under Trump.
Further downfalls for the Pound may arise from the headaches presented by the US President. The UK risks alienating itself if Theresa May insists on ignoring the issues raised under Trump.