Time is rapidly running out for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deliver a Brexit deal that would appease, not only the EU but also the pro-Remainers and the DUP.
As things stand, there’s no deal likely to be reached by the end of the week. News of France giving the EU until the end of the week to deliver an alternative solution to the Irish backstop merely delivered more false hope than an actual belief of a deal being reached.
French President Macron’s offer of more time may ultimately be nothing more than a smokescreen.
The British government has continued to deflect blame over the Brexit calamity to the EU. An offer of more time is certainly a softer stance than even a week ago.
When considering the time it took to deliver the last proposal, which was largely dismissed by Brussels, an 11th October deadline looks set to scupper the PM’s ambition of solving the Brexit puzzle.
At the time of writing, the Pound was up by 0.04% to $1.2296.
A lack of progress on Brexit continues to pin back the Pound. One area of support, however, is the expectation of an extension.
There is an element of disbelief that the British PM will be able to ignore the Benn Act.
Assuming that the British PM does make a request for an extension, however, there are likely to be more fireworks to follow.
What Lies Ahead?
In the wake of the Tory Party Conference, there’s been no progress. With France having given Britain until 11th October, all that is left is for Johnson to request an extension.
A number of member states, including a vocal France, continue to be against any further delays.
Boris Johnson would need to demonstrate likely progress in support of an extension request. Simply being forced to make a request as per the newly legislated Benn Act may not be enough.
A general election, however, could give Macron reasonable grounds to support an extension. An extension until 31st January 2020 may be a stretch, however.
For the British PM, a failure to deliver Brexit on 31st October is unlikely to lead to a loss of pro-Brexit voters.
The Benn Act has assured that even in failing to deliver Brexit, Johnson can say that he did his best. Few would contest with such sentiment with just 3-weeks remaining until Halloween.
A General Election
News of Boris Johnson getting election preparations underway will, however, throws the Pound into further uncertainty.
From a Tory perspective, Johnson will hope that there are enough pro-Brexit voters to deliver a no strings attached Brexit. For the EU, this would be the worst-case scenario. Well, for those who have any concerns over a no-deal Brexit and its impact on the regional economy…
For Opposition Party leader Corbyn, a call for a general election will be a judgment day. Having flip-flopped on Brexit, is it self-interest or the interest of the nation that will prevail?
The assumption is that Corbyn may not be able to garner the necessary support to fend off a Johnson victory. Recent polls suggest just that…
As things stand, an EU extension to allow for a UK General Election seems logical. This would allow Britain to address the Brexit Impasse once and for all.
Support for Johnson has been on the rise in the last week. If Corbyn doesn’t step down, it may become a battle between the Tories and the Lib Dems.
Polls from the weekend showed a jump in support for Boris Johnson and the Brexiteers. A tougher stance with the EU and in Parliament has shown that the Remainers and the EU have little regard for Britain’s democratic call to leave.
Johnson has given the Brexit fence-sitters reason to side with the Brexiteers.
For Brexiteers that have shifted in favor of remaining over the last 3-plus years, the general election would appease any claims that the EU Referendum was an inaccurate reflection of the nation’s true democratic view on EU membership.
Of greater significance, in the event of Johnson victory, would be the backfiring of the EU’s plan scupper Brexit altogether.
This article was originally posted on FX Empire
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