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Brexit may not happen on 29 March

While UK officials are looking to avoid crashing out of the EU, Donald Trump is playing hardball on the Mexican border.

Sterling suffers as May runs out of road

British and European officials are testing the possibility of extending Article 50 while Theresa May still hopes for a last-minute offer from Brussels that will salvage her Brexit deal.

This is the latest indication that the Brexit deal is highly unlikely to pass through the UK Parliament next Tuesday, 15 January and the divorce may not happen on 29 March.

Meanwhile, UK Cabinet ministers will today urge the prime minister to “play hardball” with the European Union and to allow MPs to vote on the deal with the caveat they will be able to decide later whether to introduce the Irish backstop.

Across the Atlantic, the US government shutdown continues. Around 800,000 federal workers will feel its negative impact, with many of them are unlikely to get paid this month. The number includes 420,000 “essential” government employees, including border patrol and airport security workers required to work without pay during the shutdown.

Donald Trump has blamed the Democratic Party for the shutdown, which is in its 17th day. While Democrats are refusing to agree to the US president’s demands to allocate $5.7 billion for the wall along the border with Mexico, he threatened to call a state of emergency to requisition resources from the Department of Defence.

Today is the second and last day of the US-Chinese trade talks. Market participants are waiting with bated breath for news that could abate the growing fears of a global economic slowdown.

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