Barnier still trying to throw a spanner in the works

24 February, 2020

Paul Newfield

Last week saw the pound deviate by as much as a cent-and-a-half against both the euro and US dollar before settling in the middle ground over the weekend. A lot of positive UK data (retail sales and house prices in particular) coupled with knock backs on talks with the EU seem to be the main drivers at present. Trade deal brexit talks continue with Michel Barnier saying a Canada style FTA would not be suitable for the UK “as they trade too much with the EU” and have a unique and close proximity. Inaccurate and misleading graphs ‘proving this’ were released. It has been pointed out that the US and Canada also have such a close and unique proximity also (

PM Johnson will however begin trade talks with the US in two weeks time – the US are still very disappointed, to say the least, that the UK has agreed to Huawei’s assistance with 5G technology this side of the pond, with very good reason. It is part of the Chinese constitution that the government may ask for any information from any Chinese company and all details MUST be provided…Could this matter cause delays in an agreement?

Today also sees the start of Labour’s 580,000 strong support vote for a new leader following the devastating general election defeat. Ballots will be sent out this week and will have until 2nd April to decide between sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy.

Meanwhile…Greta Thunberg is at it again and will be attending a Bristol school strike on Friday AND returning Britons from the doomed cruise ships have found out that FOUR people on the plane they came back on had COVID-19…Maybe a stricter border control will help with these issues in the future, hopefully?

A quiet week especially for the UK until Thursday but here is a summary of this weeks’ main economic data releases:

Monday: UK BBA mortgage approvals
Tuesday: German GDP
Wednesday: US new home sales
Thursday: UK Nationwide house prices, EU business climate, US goods, employment, housing, GDP
Friday: German unemployment, CPI, US personal income and expenditure, Canadian GDP