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Bercow puts brakes on May’s plans

The Speaker of the House of Commons proved histories make men wise as he invoked a 400-year-old rule to block a third meaningful vote.

Bercow puts brakes on May’s plans

John Bercow threw Theresa May’s hopes for a third meaningful vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement into disarray yesterday, 18 March. The Speaker of the House of Commons took everyone by surprise when he said he would block the vote on “substantially the same” motion as Members of Parliament rejected last week.

The Prime Minister must now change her plans to either gain extra last-minute concessions from the European Union on the Irish backstop or request a longer delay to Brexit at an EU summit on 21 March.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s lead negotiator, responded by saying, “Why should the EU27 even consider a Brexit extension this week if the UK Parliament vote on the deal is cancelled?

Now with the meaningful vote cancelled, market participants will switch their focus on economic data, including the release of UK employment and wage figures for February that are expected to show the unemployment rate held steady at 4 per cent but wage growth slowed down from 3.4 per cent in January to 3.2 per cent last month. The Pound could come under selling pressure if the data show a slowdown.

Later this morning, Germany’s ZEW Economic Sentiment Index is expected to show an improvement from -13.4 in February to -11.3 in March, albeit still a pessimistic view for the European powerhouse. If the outlook were to appear worse, the Euro will lose all the latest gains over the Dollar.

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