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Markets Shrug Off Brexit Delay to October 31

Reaction from currency and stock markets suggest the latest extension to Brexit is not the breakthrough that investors wanted after months of deadlock

Alliance News 11 April, 2019 | 9:40AM

Brexit negotiations April 10

The UK is heading for a Halloween Brexit after the remaining 27 EU nations offered Theresa May a further six months to ratify or rethink her withdrawal deal.

The second extension to the Brexit process – initially intended to conclude on March 29 – stopped the clock on a no-deal withdrawal on Friday with less than 48 hours to go. The pound was steady this morning around $1.31 after an initial dip, a sign that investors do not see the latest extension as a breakthrough in the Brexit logjam.

In an early-hours press conference, European Council president Donald Tusk did not rule out further extensions beyond October.

Tusk sent a message to the UK: "This extension is as flexible as I expected, and a little bit shorter than I expected, but it's still enough to find the best possible solution."

If a withdrawal deal could be ratified within the first three weeks of May, the UK could still avoid participation in that month's European Parliament elections and leave the EU in June, UK PM Theresa May said.

Ulrich Leuchtmann, analyst at Commerzbank, said: "The signal this sends out is clear: the UK can delay Brexit as often as they want, but only in small doses. That is about the worst outcome I can imagine. I fear Brexit is turning into a never-ending story."

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