Friday, June 9, 2017

"Britain wakes up to a hung parliament"

And we are devouring the FT's Westminster blog. First though the headline story from FT Alphaville:
Britain wakes up to a hung parliament. FT Opening Quote is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here.

Britain has woken up to a hung parliament. With only eight seats left to declare, the Conservatives are 13 seats short of a majority. The shock result has caused sterling to fall sharply and left Theresa May’s future as leader of the Conservative Party in doubt.

But TV news channels are reporting that Mrs May has “no intention” of standing down in the wake of her party’s drab electoral performance. She’s due to speak at 10am.

Apparently spooked by the extra in-fighting ahead, the pound is at new lows for the day, now at $1.2650, down by a cool 2.3 per cent.

Senior British business figures have expressed their shock at the result. Speaking to the BBC this morning, Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, told the BBC’s Today programme that businesses “will be pretty stunned” by the result, and said “the main concern in the short run will be the uncertainty”.

Ms Fairbairn said businesses “will be looking to the government to create a functioning administration quickly”, and called for whoever forms a government to put “a strong eye on financial stability and [put] the economy right back on the agenda”....MORE
After last year's Brexit referendum Westminster became a favorite and looks to be so again:

Hung parliament after UK election - Live
Prime minister Theresa May’s Conservative party has lost its overall majority while remaining the largest party in a hung parliament, after Jeremy Corbyn's Labour makes good progress
Key points
  • Theresa May says she will try to form a government
  • Tories projected to get 319 seats vs 261 for Labour
  • 326 seats needed for a technical majority
  • Sterling slides 2% against the dollar, FTSE100 seen rising at the open
  • Big name losers: Lib Dem's NIck Clegg, SNP's Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson
  • Ukip leader Nuttall quits
  • Visit our full results page

S&P reiterates UK's negative outlook
From our FastFT reporter Nicholas Megaw:
Ratings agency S&P said the lack of a Conservative majority "is likely to delay Brexit negotiations", and said it would "not exclude the possibility of another snap election" that could push them back further. However, it added that these dangers were factored in to the UK government's credit rating, which already has a negative outlook.
The UK lost its top AAA rating with S&P after the Brexit vote last year, and the negative outlook suggests the ratings agency gives the government a one in three chance of being downgraded in the next two years.

Germany sees vote as rejection of hard Brexit
German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel has been speaking to the local press, with some strong(ish) words for the UK:
"I find that the British voters showed they won't be played with... The message of the election is this: Have fair discussions with the EU, and have another think about whether it is good for Britain to leave the EU in this way."
A little bit more, in German on Twitter...MUCH, MUCH, MORE
In handy little chunks, full of bloggy goodness.