Posts belonging to Category ECB



The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged

Rate cuts are on the way

The Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged Wednesday but signaled that it’s prepared to start cutting rates if needed to protect the U.S. economy from trade conflicts and other threats.

The Fed kept its benchmark rate — which influences many consumer and business loans — in a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, where it’s been since December.

It issued a statement saying that because “uncertainties” have increased, it would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.” That language echoed a remark Chairman Jerome Powell made two weeks ago that analysts interpreted as a signal that rate cuts were on the way.

http://www.abcnews.go.com

Theresa May agrees to resign if her Brexit deal is defeated again

Parliament votes on her Brexit bill in the week of June 3

British Prime Minister Theresa May fended off pressure Thursday from Conservative Party lawmakers demanding she set a date for her resignation, buying herself a few more weeks to try to unblock Britain’s Brexit impasse.
But she agreed to give a timetable next month for her departure, raising the prospect that Britain will get a new prime minister before it leaves the European Union — currently scheduled for Oct. 31.

Leaders of a powerful committee that oversees Conservative leadership contests met May to express growing frustration party ranks at her refusal to name an exit date following her failure to take Britain out of the EU by the original Brexit date of March 29.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/

EU leaders agree to delay Brexit until 31 October

“Please, do not waste this time.”

  • EU leaders agreed to offer the UK an extension on article 50 until 31 October, which Theresa May has accepted.
  • Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, said that until that deadline what happens will be in the hands of the UK. It can ratify the withdrawal agreement, and leave. It can change strategy, or it can decide to revoke article 50 and cancel Brexit. He says the UK will remain a friend of the EU and ended his press conference with an address to “our British friends”: “Please, do not waste this time.”
  • There will be a “review” of the situation on 30 June, but Tusk said the point of the review was to inform EU leaders what was happening and was “not a cliff edge”.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said he took responsibility for blocking a long Brexit delay and convincing other European Union leaders to agree to a shorter one, sayiing he did so “for the collective good”.
  • In a press conference after the agreement was reached, May said “the choices we now face are stark and the timetable is clear”. She acknowledged the “huge frustration” that the UK had not yet left the EU.

https://www.theguardian.com/

BREXIT: Parliament rejects for the third time the Brexit deal

Death knell for May’s Brexit deal as lawmakers reject it by 286 to 344

Lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time on Friday, sounding its probable death knell and leaving Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union in turmoil on the very day it was supposed to leave the bloc.

The decision to reject a stripped-down version of May’s divorce deal has left it totally unclear how, when or even whether Britain will leave the EU, and plunges the three-year Brexit crisis to a deeper level of uncertainty.

After a special sitting of parliament, lawmakers voted by 286 to 344 against May’s 585-page EU Withdrawal Agreement, agreed after two years of tortuous negotiations with the bloc.

https://www.reuters.com/

Revoke Article 50 petition calling for Brexit to be cancelled hits 5 million signatures

One million people marched through London demanding a second referendum on Brexit.

An online petition calling on the government to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit has attracted more than 5 million signatures. The petition, started in late February, became the most popular petition ever submitted to the parliament website after it hit over 4 million signatures on Saturday. The record-breaking number came as an estimated one million people marched through London demanding a second referendum on Brexit.

The parliament website has crashed numerous time since the petition leapt in popularity on Wednesday following Theresa May’s appeal to the British people to support her as she demanded MPs back her deal. But Ms May rejected the message of the petition on Thursday, when a No 10 spokesperson said failing to deliver Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”.

https://www.independant.co.uk/

MPs overwhelmingly back Brexit delay

The short delay could last until June 30

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the European Union, setting the stage for Prime Minister Theresa May to renew efforts to get her divorce deal approved by parliament next week. Lawmakers approved by 412 votes to 202 a motion setting out the option to ask the EU for a short delay if parliament can agree on a Brexit deal by March 20 — or a longer delay if no deal can be agreed in time.

The vote makes it likely that the March 29 departure date set down in law, which May has repeatedly emphasised, is likely to be missed, although it is unclear by how long.

The short delay envisaged in the motion could last until June 30, but the longer extension is not currently time-limited. Either would require unanimous approval from the other 27 EU members, whose leaders meet in a summit next Thursday.

http://www.reuters.com

No-Deal Brexit: the UK will scrap 87% of tariffs

UK will not set up Irish border checks under a no-deal Brexit

The UK would refuse to introduce any Irish border checks and scrap 87% of tariffs on imported goods to the UK if it leaves the EU without a deal, officials have confirmed.

Theresa May’s government published explosive details of the tariff cuts and its Irish border plans after Theresa May’s Brexit deal was defeated heavily in parliament on Tuesday, significantly increasing the likelihood of no deal.

Downing Street would take unilateral measures to maintain an open Irish border by not introducing any new checks or controls on goods moving from Ireland to Northern Ireland, including no customs declarations for normal goods.

http://www.businessinsider.com

Brexit could be stopped by the end of the week, warns Jeremy Hunt

Europhile MPs could be two thirds of the way to win

Europhile MPs could be two thirds of the way to stopping Brexit by the end of this week, Jeremy Hunt has warned. The Foreign Secretary said there was now “wind in the sails” of Remain-backing MPs as he issued a direct plea to Tory Eurosceptics to vote for Theresa May’s deal on Tuesday.

He said Leave voters would ultimately hold the Conservative Party responsible for failing to deliver on the 2016 EU referendum result and the electoral consequences would be “devastating”. Mr Hunt’s intervention came as the UK and EU remained locked in a Brexit stalemate with no immediate prospect of a solution being agreed on the crunch issue of the backstop.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

ECB move sends stocks lower

Dollar climbs

A gauge of global stock markets stumbled on Thursday while the U.S. dollar rose, as the European Central Bank postponed interest rate hikes to 2020 and launched a new round of cheap loans to banks in an effort to spark the euro zone economy. Equities had drifted lower over the past several sessions before the session’s sharp drop, sparked by the ECB’s change of direction just months after it wound down its massive quantitative easing program.

The ECB’s move puts it in sync with other central banks around the world that have been taking a dovish tack, including the Bank of Canada earlier this week. The ECB also cut its growth and inflation estimates for 2019 as well as those for 2020 and 2021, raising alarm bells for investors once again over global growth.

http://www.reuters.com/

Labour will back call for second Brexit referendum

Labour would also back an amendment that would compel Theresa May to delay Brexit

Campaigners for a second referendum on Brexit received a major boost on Monday night when Jeremy Corbyn said Labour will back another public vote on leaving the European Union.

Mr Corbyn told Labour MPs that the party would also back an amendment this week that would compel Theresa May to delay Brexit rather than leave the EU without a deal on March 29th.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Europe sets up scheme to get round US sanctions on Iran

Vehicle will allow European firms to trade more freely with Iran

France, Germany and Britain have set up a financial mechanism designed to avoid US sanctions against Iran and keep the 2015 nuclear deal afloat. Through the Instex trade vehicle, they hope to assert European economic sovereignty in the face of Washington’s determination to impose its foreign policy on Europe. The strategy would initially focus on trying to ease the flow of humanitarian supplies to Iran, the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said. Such supplies, including medicines and foodstuffs, are not supposed to be subject to US sanctions.

Eventually, the plan is for the vehicle to expand to allow European firms to trade more freely with Iran in a range of goods, including those subject to US sanctions, the EU foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, said. Instex, which stands for “instrument for support of trade exchanges”, was registered this week, and will act as a proposed payment channel from Europe to Iran, and vice versa. It will not be fully operational until later this year. Iran will be expected to establish a parallel organisation. If the scheme works, it is likely to be most useful to small- and medium-sized firms with no links in the US.

http://theguardian.com

BREXIT: Britons would now vote to stay in EU

Britons want as well a second referendum

More Britons want to remain a member of the European Union than leave, according to a survey published on Sunday which also showed voters want to make the final decision themselves.

Britain is due leave the EU on March 29, but Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to get her exit deal approved by parliament, opening up huge uncertainty over whether a deal is possible, or even whether the country will leave at all.

The survey by polling firm YouGov showed that if a referendum were held immediately, 46 percent would vote to remain, 39 percent would vote to leave, and the rest either did not know, would not vote, or refused to answer the question.

The survey showed 41 percent thought the final decision about Brexit should be made by a new public vote versus 36 percent who believe it should be up to parliament. Removing those who are undecided, the split was 53 percent in favor of another referendum and 47 percent against.

https://www.reuters.com/

No-deal Brexit plans put 3,500 troops on standby

Cabinet says contingency plans must now be implemented across government

Emergency no-deal Brexit contingency plans must now be implemented across government, cabinet ministers have agreed, including reserving ferry space for supplies and putting 3,500 armed forces personnel on standby to deal with any disruption.

No 10 confirmed on Tuesday that ministers would “ramp up” no-deal planning, and that the departments would be expected to make it their main priority.

http://theguardian.com

May's Brexit deal sounds like a 'great deal for the EU', says Donald Trump

Trump has weakened May who is looking for approval by parliament

Donald Trump has delivered a weighty blow to Theresa May’s hopes of steering her Brexit deal through parliament, saying it sounded like a “great deal for the EU” that would stop the UK trading with the US.
Trump was speaking to reporters outside the White House when he was asked about the deal May struck with the EU’s other 27 heads of state and government on Sunday.
http://www.theguardian.com

Blind Brexit

Businesses fear even more uncertainty

Business is worried enough about Britain crashing out of the European Union. Now it has a new nightmare: a blind Brexit that could extend the uncertainty over trade for years. Fears are rising that the United Kingdom may leave the European Union in March 2019 with a deal so vague that it gives companies and investors no greater clarity on the future than they had in June 2016 when voters backed Brexit in a referendum.
The political pressure increased Thursday when the only firm proposal for Brexit was panned by a key EU leader and French President Emmanuel Macron described people who said leaving the bloc would be easy as “liars.”
http://www.cnn.com