Still No Roadmap to a Brexit Resolution as EU Offers Another Extension
Brexit may have been delayed again. The European Union has offered to allow the United Kingdom more time to decide how it wants to leave. While the measure may prevent a no-deal Brexit in the short term, our Head of European Fixed Income David Zahn thinks it may simply be saving up problems for the future.
The European Union’s offer to delay Brexit until October 31 has also extended the uncertainty surrounding the whole saga. And financial markets hate uncertainty.
We regard this extension offer as another case of the authorities kicking the can down the road. There doesn’t seem to be any agreement of how to come to a conclusion.
The big outcome is continued uncertainty for markets. It likely means the pound will remain under pressure and at the whim of the political headlines of the day. UK government bonds will likely remain sought-after as investors await an outcome.
No-Deal Brexit Remains a Possibility
The main driver of the UK request for a Brexit extension and the EU’s offer seems to be the desire to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
But the fact remains a no-deal Brexit continues to be a possibility.
Even though Europe has offered an extension, it still has to be ratified by the UK Parliament.
We don’t think it’s as clear cut as some people are predicting. One of the conditions of the extension offer is that the United Kingdom must take part in European Parliament elections in May. That is likely to irk more hardline Brexiteers, and we expect there will have to be some persuasion applied to get the measure through the House of Commons.
And even the long extension doesn’t eliminate the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. It could still occur at the end of the extension if no progress has been made.