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Sterling  mixed ahead of key Brexit vote

15/01/2019

Sterling (GBPUSD) remains fairly stable ahead of tonight’s key Parliamentary vote on Prime Minister May’s Withdrawal Agreement. Derided by some as ‘the worst deal in history’, there can be no doubt that the Bill will be defeated, the only question is the extent of the embarrassment.  The Prime Minister has made the mistake of tying herself to this deal completely, and any failure will be seen as a very personal one. The risk for Sterling traders lies in the reaction to that defeat. The opposition Labour Party may call a vote of No Confidence, or May herself might resign. The resignation of May, the most catastrophically incompetent PM in living memory (or possibly, ever), would probably benefit Sterling in the short term. We suspect the market is generally short or neutral, and nervous covering/profit taking is a realistic possibility. The downside risk remains with a vote of No Confidence and the collapse of Government. Polls currently suggest that Conservatives still enjoy a lead over the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. However this reflects his electoral toxicity rather than any endorsement of the current ruling party, and with many voters so disaffected with the current state of party politics in the UK turnout might be low enough for surprises, mainly of the unpleasant variety.

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