Cable mixed as UK mulls Brexit/Juncker
More evidence of Juncker’s colossal ego was put on display today in his final “State of the EU” speech, an event eagerly awaited by only the most ardent fans of the EU superstate project. It is notable that he still sees the British decision to diverge from his project as a personal blow and remains unable to disguise his bitterness. The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, had championed the so-called Chequers Plan, which managed the astonishing feat of being unacceptable to nearly everyone involved, despite taking the unprecedented step of running it by Chancellor Merkel before even showing it to her own Cabinet. Today, Juncker added his voice to the chorus of disapproval, further boosting the uncertainty surrounding the exact terms under which the UK will depart. Sterling will be able to manage only technical rallies while such confusion reigns, although it remains notable that the Euro is also unable to gain any traction. The appetite for a ‘no deal’ Brexit is growing within the UK, as is the appetite for a new Prime Minister, and upsetting Juncker into the bargain would be seen as a fringe benefit, rather than an obstacle. A ‘no deal’ scenario would present many challenges to the EU in general, and to German industry and banking in particular, but it will be left to wiser (and one hopes, more sober) heads to resolve these matters and allow everyone to progress.