May’s Deputy Speaks
David Liddington, who is effectively the UK PM’s right-hand man, confirmed this morning that the UK will have to take part in the upcoming European parliamentary elections. The elections are taking place on May 23rd. Theresa May clarified that unless the UK is able to agree on a Brexit deal before then, it will have to take part.
Indeed, Liddington told reporters that, “regrettably”, it isn’t “going to be possible to finish that process” ahead of the 23rd May. However, they said that the government will aim to keep the delay “as short as possible”.
Liddington told reporters:
“We very much hoped that we would be able to get our exit sorted… so that those elections did not have to take place, but legally they do have to take place unless our withdrawal has been given legal effect.”
Brexit Due October 31st
The original deadline for the UK’s departure from the EU was on March 29th. However, following a lack of parliamentary support for her deal, May was able to get an extension until April 12th. With the PM still unable to secure parliamentary backing, May requested a further extension which the EU has now granted. The new deadline is now October 31st .
May’s “Deep Regrets”
The UK will remain in the EU until that date. This means that it must take part in the MEP elections and send MEPs to Brussels. May has spoken of the “deep regrets” she has following the decision not to leave in March as planned. She has acknowledged the “great frustration” that many feel around the prospect of being involved in the upcoming MEP elections.
May Still Seeking Compromise
The government and Labour are still involved in cross-party talks. The PM continues to campaign to break the political deadlock currently strangling parliament. May has said that should these talks fail to provide a solution, she will once again offer indicative votes to parliament. The aim of this will be to identify the best way to proceed.
“Very Robust” Talks
The shadow business secretary for Labour, Rebecca Long Bailey, told reporters that talks had been “very robust”. However, she added that the government still needed to concede more ground around its red lines in order to reach a compromise. Indeed, a Labour party source told UK reporters that talks had been “tense” and that “fundamental” divisions remained between the two parties over how to proceed.
The upcoming MEP sessions will be starting in July. Despite that, May has reportedly informed her Cabinet that should a Brexit deal be agreed upon before the end of June, UK MEPs will not have to take their seats up. Alternatively, if they can reach a deal after that time, but before the UK parliament takes its summer recess, MEPs will only have to sit for one month until August.
The UK100 is at an interesting technical juncture here. After trading up to just shy of the 7555.3 resistance level, price subsequently reversed. The sell-off saw price breaking back down beneath the broken bearish trend line. Recently, prices have also broken below the bullish trend line support.
Currently, they are fighting to hold the 7262.6 support level. The sell-off in UK100 yesterday was sharp. Pressure feels skewed to the downside with a further run down to deeper support at 7156.4 looking likely unless price can get back above 7368.3.