That’s it it’s done! Having faced off against Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May has pressed the “Go” button. Article 50 is finally triggered. You can read the full text of Theresa May’s Article 50 letter here. Now I have to say I never wanted to leave the EU but it is what the Great British public have decided and after months of what I can only describe as faffing around I’m actually glad we can start the process and begin to recover from months of uncertainty. Although with 2 years of negotiations before Britain can officially leave the EU I’m sure there are more ups and downs to come. One thing can now be said for sure, by 29th March 2019 Britain will no longer be part of the EU.
The rest of the member states will meet in one month’s time and within 6-weeks of this meeting they will formally respond with their negotiating position. This means that formal talks won’t commence until the middle of June. So we can expect lots of market movement in the foreseeable future.
After a buoyant post yesterday about the pound rising to a one-month high against the dollar, the news isn’t looking so strong today. In fact as soon as Theresa May triggered Article 50, the pound fell 0.3% against both the USD and EUR in early trading. Maybe this will recover later on today but for now it’s looking like the fluctuations in the market could make for some testing times for traders and investors. During the course of the day, European Council President Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are both due to give speeches which could impact the market further. Unfortunately for those of us looking to go abroad in the next couple of weeks it means that your currency is probably going to remain expensive.
Ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU, the Scottish Parliament held a vote yesterday, deciding in favour of a second independence referendum, which could lead to Scotland leaving the UK in 2019. This has also caused currency market volatility.
Not everyone in Scotland was happy about the decision, Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, reminded the parliament that the Scottish people voted against independence by 55 per cent to 44 per cent in 2014.
She added: “There absolutely should not be another independence referendum until after Brexit. We have no idea what Brexit looks like, or how it will impact our economy and families in Scotland.
“If there is to be another vote, the people of Scotland deserve clarity on what they are being asked to vote on.”
It seems to make sense that one can of worms is safely closed before another one is opened but a referendum before the Brexit process is complete looks likely.
Looking to the Future
It’s been an unsettling week, that’s for sure with Westminster terror attack, AHCA in America, Scottish referendum votes and now Article 50 but in true British style we’ll continue on with our lives. The markets will continue to bounce around like Buster the Boxer on his John Lewis trampoline but I’ve no doubt that given time and enough tea, we will start to see recovery in the coming weeks and months. Do you agree? Or do you think that things will continue to decline? Let us know in the comments below.