Three days of talks commence today between government officials, the Alternative Arrangements Working Group and both Leave and Remain MPs.
The talks follow on from the parliamentary vote last week which approved an amendment to the existing Irish backstop issue in Theresa May’s Brexit plan.
May now has roughly a week left to secure new terms before she must present an amended plan to parliament.
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EU Opposed To Renegotiation
The EU has currently displayed fierce opposition to the reworking of plans around how to handle the Irish border.
While Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said that “existing technology” could be used, the Irish PM Leo Varadkar has said that this is an idea that has “already been rejected.” Varadkar added that it is “very frustrating” for the UK government to be going over old, failed ideas like this.
Some MPs Still Pushing For Article 50 Extension
MP’s also approved an amendment which asserts that a no-deal Brexit is an unacceptable outcome. In the context of this, many MPs have said that they would be in favor of an extension to the Article 50 process to finalize the necessary Brexit details.
Justice Secretary David Gauke told reporters:
“We need to leave the EU in a smooth and orderly way, and our objective is to do that on 29 March. But I think it’s important it is a smooth, and orderly departure and that is key.”
However, Jacob Rees-Mogg, a pro-Leave MP who heads the European Research Group said that if May is able to achieve the desired amends to the Irish backstop, he could “swallow” the deal “with some reluctance.” However, he added that he would be “quite happy” to leave the EU with no deal, saying:
“If by accident we leave without a deal because the prime minister doesn’t run with this or the EU refuses it, then so be it.”
For now, the market awaits the outcome of the three days of talks, the results of which May will have to take back to the EU. This is to get any desired amendments approved before bringing the plan back to parliament for another vote.
GBPUSD is slowly grinding back down towards support at the 1.3004 level. While price holds above here, focus remains on a further pop higher with bulls eyeing a break of the 1.3304 level as the next key objective.