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May’s envoys return from Brussels empty-handed

Brexit talks will go to the wire but are unlikely to improve Theresa May's deal before the vote next Tuesday.

Centtrip: Sterling moves higher as no deal off the table

Theresa May will face tough Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) today, 6 March after Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay returned from Brussels empty-handed.

Cox and Barclay met with EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, seeking to change the language on the Northern Irish backstop and add concessions to avoid a hard border.

May now has until Tuesday, 12 March to present her deal for vote in the House of Commons. If it is rejected, MPs will get the opportunity to either back a no-deal Brexit or to extend the divorce deadline beyond 29 March.

The Pound has been slowly losing its gains, as the negotiations are likely to go to the wire. However, Sterling has been supported by positive Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data. The latest figures showed that despite the ongoing Brexit uncertainty, the probability of a delay to Brexit is improving confidence in the UK’s services sector. The data improved from 50.1 in February to 51.3. The number above 50 indicates expansion.

The US management services company ADP is due to release private payrolls forecast today at 13:15 (GMT), which will give a good indication of the strength of the US employment market and whether the government shutdown in January had a substantial negative impact. The Dollar’s reaction is likely to be somewhat muted today, but I would expect a bigger response to the non-farm payroll data on Friday.

Related Insights:

Services PMI shows business confidence waning

Pound rallies as May admits possible Brexit delay


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