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May clings to her leadership, gets on with Brexit

Despite being undermined by Conservative Eurosceptics, the UK prime minister wastes no time trying to save her Brexit deal.

May clings to her leadership, gets on with Brexit

Theresa May has survived the no confidence vote yesterday, 12 December, having secured support of 200 out of 317 Conservative MPs.

The Pound rose by 1.36 per cent against the Dollar. This was Sterling’s third-biggest daily rise of 2018 after reaching a 20-month low. But the gain was short-lived as despite winning the confidence vote, the UK prime minister did not convince market participants she could win a meaningful vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Today, May travels to Brussels for a summit of European leaders in the hope to reopen talks on the Irish backstop. The Times reported EU leaders could offer assurances that the backstop would only be in place for a “short period” to help the agreement pass through the UK Parliament.

The European Central Bank (ECB) will announce its latest interest rate decision at 12:30 (GMT), followed by a press conference with ECB chair Mario Draghi at 13:30. Despite analysts’ predictions of no shift in interest rate levels, the ECB is likely to officially end its bond-buying scheme and give guidance for the European economic growth outlook and potential for rate rises in 2019.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has pledged to cut the country’s budget deficit target for 2019 substantially to avoid sanctions from Brussels for breaching EU fiscal plan rules. After months of wrangling, Italy is close to agreeing its budget, which will boost the single currency.

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