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May mulls over delaying Brexit vote

Theresa May's Cabinet has urged her to delay the Brexit vote next Tuesday in an attempt to avoid further humiliation. All eyes on US non-farm payroll data due for release today.

May mulls over delaying Brexit vote

UK Government Chief Whip Julian Smith has conceded that Theresa May will probably lose the meaningful vote next Tuesday, 11 December, with a defeat by 200 votes being highly possible.

During a crisis meeting with her Cabinet yesterday, 6 December, the UK prime minister had several options, including delaying the parliamentary vote and a government amendment on the withdrawal agreement that would give members of Parliament more say in the Northern Ireland backstop issue. If May decides to delay the vote, she will need the Parliament’s permission to do that, facing further humiliation after the initial three defeats on Tuesday, 4 December.

Stock markets fell sharply yesterday amid growing fears that tensions between the US and China could escalate after the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. US President Donald Trump said in a tweet he was confident that a trade deal with Beijing could still be achieved “within the next 90 days”.

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) yesterday released private-sector payroll data. Having missed expectations, only 179,000 jobs had been added, which is a substantial decrease from 227,000 jobs reported in the previous month.

ADP’s data are traditionally seen as the precursor to non-farm payroll figures, which are due for release today at 13:30 (GMT).  If the number misses the forecast of 200,000 new jobs, this could weaken the Dollar. The US economy has benefitted from the tightening labour market. A poor reading today could cast a shadow over possible interest rate increases later this month and in the future.

Also today the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Germany will elect a new leader after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced she would step down from office in 2021. The two front-runners are Merkel’s protégée Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Friedrich Merz a long-time critic of the chancellor’s immigration policies.

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