Fail, fail… and extend

Macro 5 minutes to read

Christopher Dembik

Head of Macro Analysis

Summary:  The Brexit debacle is winding its way towards a conclusion on paper, but there are precious few certainties surrounding the topic as Parliament remains bitterly divided and the UK political class as a whole do not appear to know what they want.


Brexit is back on the top of the agenda as Parliament is expected to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal tomorrow. What is rather positive is that at the end of this week, probably as soon as Thursday, we will know a bit more about the Brexit process in the coming months. Investors are not waiting for any positive outcome today, however; most ministers think the deal will be defeated by at least 200 votes. According to press report's one even stated that “we are a long way up sh*t creek – never mind a paddle, we don’t have a boat”.

To say negotiations between May, her own party and the opposition are tense would be a severe understatement.
 
A defeat would open the door to a new vote on whether to leave the European Union with no deal on Wednesday, which will likely be rejected as well. Then, MPs will vote on whether to seek an extension of Article 50, which will probably pass on Thursday (for more on this, read Saxo CIO Steen Jakobsen's latest).

In other words, we should avoid a no-deal exit in the short-term, but negotiations are far from over. 
 
May will need to go back to Brussels to ask the EU-27 for an extension, which is not a done deal. I discussed this very issue last week with a group of EU diplomats at a Brexit event in Malta; all of them confirmed that EU leaders are open to an extension period but not at any cost. The British PM needs to come to Brussels with a clear plan: either a new referendum (unlikely at this stage), time to call early elections (unlikely as well), or more time to align her own party on the issue and what has already been negotiated with the EU. 
 
An extension of Article 50 is technically easy but politically sensitive. As the EU diplomats told me, if the extension goes beyond the EU elections, it means that that EU elections need to be organised in the UK and that there will be British MPs in the newly elected European parliament –a strange situation for a country that voted Leave, however tangled the aftermath has been.
 
If it goes beyond 2019, let’s say to 2020, it means that the UK should be part of the negotiations for a new EU budget. Obviously, this would make no sense at all. It seems very clear to me that Brexit will be messy even if an extension is granted, as the UK political class do not have any clear idea of what they want.
 
I think the following quote from Franz Kafka perfectly applies to the current UK situation: “one idiot is one idiot. Two idiots are two idiots. Ten thousand idiots are a political party”.

Looking ahead, I expect: 
 
• More pain for UK assets, especially listed companies that are heavily dependent on the UK market in terms of revenue, as UK consumption is slowing and UK household stress is increasing sharply.

• Higher GBP volatility (as a gentle reminder, based on PPP, the GBP is still undervalued by roughly 10% versus USD while it sits at an appropriate level versus EUR).

• A lack of new credit to push down UK economic activity more than forecasted, as political uncertainty will remain for longer.

• Worse data to come.
Disclaimer

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Pty Ltd prepares and distributes information/research produced within the Saxo Bank Group for informational purposes only. In addition to the disclaimer below, if any general advice is provided, such advice does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of trading any financial instrument as trading can result in losses that exceed your initial investment. Please refer to our Analysis Disclaimer, and our Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement. All legal documentation and disclaimers can be found at https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/.

The Saxo Bank Group entities each provide execution-only service. Access and use of Saxo News & Research and any Saxo Bank Group website are subject to (i) the Terms of Use; (ii) the full Disclaimer; and (iii) the Risk Warning in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of the website of a member of the Saxo Bank Group.

Saxo News & Research is provided for informational purposes, does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Bank Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. No Saxo Bank Group entity shall be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information on Saxo News & Research.

To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, such content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Full Disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)
- Analysis Disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-au/legal/analysis-disclaimer/saxo-analysis-disclaimer)
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit www.home.saxo/en-au/about-us/awards

Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 32 110 128 286 AFSL 280372 (‘Saxo’ or ‘Saxo Capital Markets’) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms, Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Trading in leveraged products such as CFDs and Margin FX products may result in your losses surpassing your initial deposits. Saxo Capital Markets does not provide ‘personal’ financial product advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Capital Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc.

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States and Japan.
Please click here to view our full disclaimer.