United Kingdom business group anxious by government's Brexit comments


British Prime Minister Theresa May signalled ahead of a House of Commons debate Wednesday (12 October) that she would let parliament scrutinise her plan for Brexit before she begins the formal process to exit the EU.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will trigger two years of official exit talks with the European Union by March 31.

Commenting for Open Britain, Labour MP Phil Wilson said: "The Government's negotiating hand would be strengthened if they had clear plans backed by a strong parliamentary mandate".

The British currency is particularly sensitive to any suggestion that the country might be heading towards a "hard Brexit", or a clean break from the EU's single market of 500 million consumers in order to control immigration.

The government says a vote in Parliament is not required.

Tuesday night May tabled an amendment conceding the need for scrutiny and a debate, but adding that it should "not undermine the negotiating position of the government".

Brexit may have dominated the early exchanges of Wednesday's PMQs debate, but it was the Prime Minister's initial congratulations to the newly re-elected Labour leader which set things off to a lively start.

"[A government] that has no strategy for negotiating Brexit and offers no clarity, no transparency and no chance of scrutiny of the process for developing a strategy".

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She pointed out that Brexit Secretary David Davis had made two statements on Brexit, that there would be a parliamentary committee on it and that there would be a Great Repeal Bill to end European Union authority that would need parliamentary approval, albeit after Article 50 has been triggered.

Debates in both the Commons and the House of Lords saw politicians fiercely attack the government's "go it alone" plan to invoke the exit process from Europe.

The pound was worth US$1.2227 at around 1400 GMT after falling to a 31-year low of US$1.1840 last week.

Downing Street said they were trying to "second-guess" the will of voters who backed Brexit in June's European Union referendum, although government sources said MPs could still be asked to approve the "final" deal that is reached.

She said "we should be holding our heads in shame" that Nottingham University, which is close to her constituency, was struggling to retain and recruit global academics because they no longer felt welcome in the UK.

The chairman of the Lloyd's of London insurance market John Nelson criticised the tone of language used by government ministers, and said Britain risked turning its back on the global economy for the first time since World War Two. Fearing a rebellion from her own MPs she had to give some ground and now a vote will be held.

"We are listening to the British people and delivering on that referendum result".

A Bank of America report Monday said the government's U-turn has enhanced the range of Brexit outcomes and clearly the pound, which HSBC has called the official opposition to May's policies, has delighted in the range in possibilities.