2019 General Election: the green light for Brexit
In this Perspective Ruth Lea, Economic Adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, discusses the outcome of the 2019 General Election of 12 December 2019:
- The Conservative Party won a decisive overall majority of 80.
- The Conservatives won 365 seats (47 more than in 2017), whilst the Labour Party won 203 seats (59 less than in 2017).
- There were significant swings in seats from Labour to the Conservatives in the Midlands, the North of England and Wales.
- The SNP won 48 seats, 13 more than in 2017.
- The Government’s priority is to “get Brexit done” by 31 January 2020. There are, however, issues on their in-tray including a Budget, expected in February 2020.
Concerning UK economic news:
- Underlying growth still seems to be slowing. GDP was flat (MOM) in October and, also, flat (QOQ) in the three months to October.
- The latest Markit/CIPS surveys (for November) suggested that private sector output may be slightly contracting.
Recent Central Bank news:
- The Fed left interest rates unchanged at their December meeting, indicating no changes are likely in 2020.
- The ECB, under new President Christine Lagarde, also left interest rates unchanged at their December meeting. Monetary policy is expected to remain accommodative for the foreseeable future.
- The Bank of England is meeting next week. No changes in policy are expected.
Ruth Lea said, “…the Conservatives’ decisive majority should ensure Brexit on 31 January 2020. With such a large majority and a party united on Brexit, the Conservatives should be able to pass the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill through the UK Parliament well before the end of January, seeing off any hostile amendments tabled by opposition parties or the House of Lords. Moreover, the European Parliament’s ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement is expected to be a formality. The General Election result has given the green light for Brexit.”