Another Brexit Deadline comes and goes, time is running out for the UK to negotiate a trade deal with the EU. Although markets believe a deal is still possible nothing is guaranteed and as we approach the latest deadline of Monday 23rd November there is time for unwelcome surprises.

Over recent weeks the outcome of a trade deal had started to look more positive, however it is clear to see that we are not there yet. This week saw the departure of Dominic cummings and Lee Cain two of the prime-ministers’ closest advisors and both strong Brexiteers. Analysts believe their departure may restore more balance to number 10 and tip the scale in favor of reaching a deal.

For Boris, the need to get a deal has increased in importance. Since the pandemic. recent polls have shown the popularity of the conservative party has been slipping with some polls reporting they are have now slipped behind the Labour Party. Although the markets are in favor of a deal it is clear to see that for this deal to be reached the UK government are going to need to make some major compromises.

Brexit Progression

The two main sticking points remain! Firstly, there is what is known as the level playing field, this means measures to ensure businesses on one side do not have a competitive edge over the others.  All trade agreements have these measures however the EU are insisting the UK stick close to the EU rules such as workers’ rights and environmental regulation.

The second sticking point is the UK fisheries, the EU want full access to continue fishing in UK waters. Fisheries played a large part in the Brexit Referendum and although the industry only makes up a small part of the economy on both sides it appears an agreement cannot be reached.

Michel Barnier and David Frost will continue Brexit talks this week in Brussels to try and reach an agreement. Michel Barnier has said the EU remain “determined” and “patient” to strike a post Brexit deal.

An EU Summit will be held this Thursday with Brexit being a key subject, Barnier has said he wants to be able to report positive news to the heads of 27 bloc states. There is just over 6 weeks until the UK leaves the single market and customs union and with Brexit deadlines continuing to come and go MEPS have expressed concerns. MEPS believe they will need 6 weeks for the deal to be translated, scrutinised and passed through the committees.

It is clear to see both sides would like to see a trade agreement but if they cannot come up with a draft agreement this week it could put in jeopardy a scheduled European parliament vote of 16th December. Rumors have also circulated of another chamber sitting after Christmas on December 28th however Brussels will have to get creative to get the deal ratified in time.

For more information how these events could affect your currency transfer contact your currency dealer.

Covid Update

Its two weeks today until the UK is due to emerge out of national lockdown. A government scientific advisor has said people must avoid breaking the rules for Britain to emerge from its lock down and be in a position for families to spend the festive season together.

News of a recent vaccine maybe making people feel complacent however this will make no difference to the current wave. This comes as the UK recorded 26,860 new cases on Saturday and a further 462 deaths within 28 days of positive tests.

Boris Johnson is keen to get the UK economy back up on its feet and has insisted these measures will end in two weeks after the four weeks lock down in which pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops were forced to close. However, Cabinet minister Michael Gove has said that measures of an extended period could be a possibility. 

Yesterday the UK bought 5 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine from US-Led Firm Moderna. This comes hours after the firm reported excellent result in its ongoing trials. Merderna claims the vaccine is 94.5% efficient. Scientist have hailed these results as a “tremendous break through”. Dr Stephen Hoge The Companies president said he “grinned from ear to ear” when the results were released. With Pfizers recent vaccine break through and Janssen, a sector of Johnson and Johnson set to begin trials in the UK with over 6000 volunteers across the country and eventually over 30,000 people there is growing confidence of bringing an end to this pandemic.

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