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Labour backs second referendum

Theresa May avoids potential Cabinet resignations as a Brexit delay is now firmly on the table.

Labour backs second referendum

Jeremy Corbyn has said the Labour Party will formally back a new Brexit referendum after his plan to keep permanent membership in the European customs union failed in a parliamentary vote last night by 323 votes to 240.

Following the defeat, the opposition leader said he would back a public vote to “prevent a damaging Tory Brexit or a disastrous no-deal outcome”. He also said he would “continue to push” for other options, including Labour’s Brexit plan and a general election.

Significantly, more than 100 Conservative MPs voted down Theresa May’s plan to allow Parliament to delay the UK’s departure from the European Union if it rejects her Brexit deal again. The government’s plan was supported by more Labour MPs than Tory MPs.

The UK Prime Minister promised to give MPs a vote on a revised Brexit deal by 12 March. If they reject it, they will vote on extending Article 50 on 14 March to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Meanwhile, the Pound is keeping momentum as disorderly Brexit is looking less likely. Sterling has advanced by 0.3 per cent to just over $1.330 for the first time since last July and took its two-session gain to 1.5 per cent. The UK currency also strengthened against the Euro by a further 0.3 per cent to 1.1672, continuing its rally of 1.2 per cent measured from Monday’s close.

Despite the brisk pace of the rally, analysts are cautious as the terms of Brexit and the future political outlook are still far from clear.

In the US, Jerome Powell gave a cautious testimony to the US Senate committee. The Federal Reserve’s chair reiterated his “patient” approach to interest rate changes, vowing to monitor a host of unresolved questions, including the ongoing trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing and the direction of Brexit talks. He also said the Fed would soon announce its plan to complete the wind-down of its portfolio of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.

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