Brexit’s back, back again…
Brexit is back on the agenda again today, as Representatives of Northern Ireland’s two main unionist parties meet chief EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, today. The Democratic Unionist Party and Ulster Unionists are due to hold separate meetings in Brussels. There was optimism over the weekend as EU officials talked about the possibility that a Brexit deal could be reached by the end of the year. However, the Irish prime minister said there is still “a fair bit of work to be done”.
UK politician, Steve Baker, believes that the UK should not be afraid to move ahead with No Deal. He says that the UK “will not accept a half in half out Brexit” and states that at least 40 of his colleagues would reiterate this. Baker says that they would vote UK Prime Minister Theresa May down if such a deal was put forward.
EU in limbo in more ways than one
And there’s more political limbo for Europe, as the current impasse between Italy’s government and the EU over the country’s budget has led to some people comparing the situation to the Greek debt crisis, with Italy having the potential to be “much scarier” than Greece, according to market commentators, given Italy’s status as the Eurozone’s third-largest economy and much deeper trade links with the rest of EU than Greece.
Also today, the German trade balance figures were released, again disappointing markets with a fall in imports and further evidence of slowing manufacturing growth in the EU’s largest economy.
What to watch out for today
Overall, the economic calendar is pretty light today, although across the Pond, Canada will release housing starts data, following the Thanksgiving break.
Markets will be watching the continuing Brexit negotiations closely, along with Federal Reserve speeches in the UK and Business Optimism results for September.