The A-Team had a plan, the British government has a nebulous goal

The UK has its own eclectic A-Team led by Prime Minister May, tasked with getting the UK out of the EU and securing a more beneficial relationship with trading partners.

Theresa May, David Davis, Liam Fox and Boris Johnson have been dealt a tough hand and unsurprisingly have so far refused to reveal the intricate details of their daring plan.

But voters, businesses, parliament, EU leaders and foreign trading partners are pressing the government to elaborate on its tactics and strategies for Brexit.

There was break-through of sorts on 7th December, with the 650 members of the House of Commons (MPs) voting overwhelmingly to allow the government to trigger Article 50 by end-March in exchange for publishing the details of its Brexit plan.

But the devil is in the detail – or lack thereof. This parliamentary vote is not binding and the government has only agreed in the vaguest of terms to publish its plan for Brexit.

If MPs receive the plan late in the game and/or it is insufficiently detailed and assuming the Supreme Court rules that government has no prerogative to trigger Article 50, parliament may decide to delay or even scupper the process by which Article 50 is triggered.

Moreover, this likely vote in the House of Commons and House of Lords may well be only one of multiple votes which parliament has to hold between now and the approval of a final treaty between the UK and the EU.

In addition to these possible parliamentary hurdles, the government may also have to navigate a number of pending legal cases.

Some of these parliamentary votes may not take place and these legal actions may fail. There is certainly scope for further compromise between Theresa May’s government and parliament.

But the risk is that this reputation-sapping cat-and-mouse game extends beyond March, in turn making it far more difficult to predict the end-outcome – which ranges from the UK reverting to WTO rules (the “hardest” form of Brexit) to the UK staying in the EU.

Given the uncertain path which British executive and legislative bodies will take to reach a difficult-to-predict outcome at an unidentifiable point in the future, forecasting Sterling remains fraught with difficulty.

In this context I would expect Sterling to continue lacking direction near-term, particularly as the FX market has, it would seem, already priced out the more negative scenarios for the UK economy. Mixed UK data may not provide Sterling with much direction either way.

Read The A-Team had a plan, the British government has a nebulous goal now.

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