The universe of possible Brexit outcomes now more than ever resembles an outstretched Chinese hand fan. Spanning a spectrum of some 180 degrees from hard Brexit on 29th March 2019 through to its polar opposite, no Brexit at all, the decisions facing the Prime Minister, and increasingly facing Parliament, are growing ever more complex. Tabling an amendment to the government’s motion yesterday, the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, has explicitly opened the door to a second referendum. Mr Corbyn, who still finds himself at loggerheads with Theresa May over her refusal to rule out a no-deal Brexit, has proposed identifying Parliament’s feelings with respect to several possibilities. Firstly, Labour’s amendment requires “ministers to secure sufficient time” in order to consider opposing options. Most importantly, however, the amendment suggests “legislating to hold a public vote on a deal or a proposition that has commanded the support of the majority of the House of Commons”. So what does this mean in English? Well, should a deal be provided for by the collective will of the house of commons or majority position found, the public should be consulted on whether or not it wishes to accept it. To you and me, this means a second referendum on Brexit containing whatever question the House of Commons has managed to agree upon. Whatever this means to the UK, to me, to you, one thing’s clear; markets liked it, bidding the Pound up some 0.5% on the day.
Discussion and Analysis by Charles Porter