May defeated in Lords as peers vote to beef up anti-prorogation measure in Northern Ireland bill (Guardian)

  • Peers in the House of Lords voted on an amendment to the Northern Ireland bill designed to stop a future prime minister proroguing parliament in the autumn to facilitate a no-deal Brexit, if the power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland has not been restored.
  • The amendment passed with 13 Tory peers rebelling against the government and voting for the so-called Anderson amendment.
  • It’s expected the government will try to reverse this in Commons tomorrow.

Ferry companies warn of gridlock in no-deal Brexit (BBC)

  • Cross-channel ferry companies have warned of gridlock around British ports, as they confirm they will not allow trucks to board ferries bound for France after a no-deal Brexit, unless they have the right paperwork.
  • About two-thirds of UK exporters are yet to obtain the proper documentation, and it is expected that even 2 minutes of extra check times at UK borders could result in queues extending up to 30 miles.
  • Department for Transport claims that “[t]here are well-developed plans in place to manage any traffic disruption in Kent in the event of a no deal scenario” however it is noted that French and UK port officials have previously sought to downplay concerns about traffic chaos in the wake of a no-deal Brexit.

Pound hovers around $1.24 on growing concern over chaotic Brexit (FT)

  • This week’s significant move lower was sparked after Boris Johnson signaled the Irish backstop would have to be scrapped entirely in any fresh Brexit deal, something the EU has rejected
  • Moves in options market show some traders beginning to hedge for further sterling volatility. It’s noted that the relatively cheap price to hedge offers an “attractive opportunity” given that sterling could break significantly one way or other dependent on politics.
  • Many investors and analysts coming to the conclusion that a general election and subsequent Brexit delay is a significant possibility.

London house prices fall at sharpest rate since 2009 (FT and Guardian)

  • London home prices fell in May at their sharpest annual rate since 2009 as a slowdown that began in the expensive central boroughs took hold around the capital.
  • Economists said Brexit was a factor in the slowdown: “[W]ith Brexit being delayed until 31 October . . . and the domestic UK political situation unsettled, prolonged uncertainty will weigh down on the economy and hamper the housing market.”
  • Amid a dearth of potential buyers, the cost of a home in London was 4.4% lower in May than a year earlier, according to the latest official snapshot of the market from the Office for National Statistics; the biggest drop in London prices since the 7.0% annual fall recorded in August 2009 – a period that included the near-meltdown of the global banking system in the autumn of 2008.