Amber Rudd drops opposition to no-deal Brexit – The Guardian

  • Amber Rudd, one of the leading cabinet opponents of hard Brexit, has publicly ditched her opposition to no deal as senior Tories jostle for position in a Boris Johnsoncabinet.
  • Rudd had previously joined with her cabinet colleagues David Gauke and Greg Clark to force Theresa May to take no deal off the table to stop the UK crashing out at the end of March.
  • But with Johnson on the brink of No 10, she has changed her mind, telling TalkRadio on Thursday morning: “Both candidates have said that no deal is part of the armoury going forward, and I have accepted that.

UK banks ‘prepared for Brexit and trade war fall-out’ – The BBC

  • The Bank of England says the UK banking system is still resilient to the financial impact of a worst-case disorderly Brexit.
  • The comment came in its regular health check on the banks, the Financial Stability Report.
  • Since last year, UK banks have been forced to hold back more capital, and demonstrate easy access to £1 trillion in funding (liquidity).
  • The Bank says that such a buffer would allow the banking system to continue to lend into the economy, even if the UK were shut out of international markets for three months.
  • This worst-case scenario stress test involves the economy shrinking by 4.7%, unemployment more than doubling to 9.5% and property prices falling by 33%.
  • The Bank’s key Financial Policy Committee went further than it has before by saying that the banking system would also be resilient to a disorderly Brexit occurring at the same time as a global trade war involving 25% tariffs on US-China trade, all global inputs and a 30% drop in the US stock market.
  • “Even if a protectionist-drive global slowdown were to spill over to the UK at the same time as a worst-case disorderly Brexit, the core UK banking system would be strong enough to absorb, rather than amplify, the resulting economic shocks and continue to serve UK households and businesses,” it said.
  • The Bank did say, though, that the impact of rising expectations of no-deal was already being seen in “much weaker” levels of investment in markets dependent on foreign investors – for example, commercial property.

No crumbs of Brexit hope from new EU leaders – the FT

  • A new EU leadership team is preparing for office in Brussels. The chances that they will support more generous Brexit terms for a UK government led by Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt lie somewhere between remote and non-existent.
  • Ursula von der Leyen, the nominee for European Commission president, was scathing last year about Brexit. She called it a “burst bubble of hollow promises . . . inflated by populism . . . castles in the air”.
  • This makes her an object of deep suspicion among diehard UK Conservative party Brexiters. However, like most German politicians since her country’s unification in 1990, she pays lip service to a politically united Europe but does little about it in practice.
  • Her views are softer than those of Charles Michel, Belgium’s prime minister. He will replace Donald Tusk as head of the European Council, which groups EU government leaders. On Brexit Mr Michel said in February that “between a ‘no deal’ and a bad deal, I prefer a ‘no deal’, which will have the merit of clarity and responsibility”.