Brexit clashes amid economic concerns

October 14, 2016

UK politicians are engaged in an increasingly bitter battle over the country’s future role in the EU ahead of a crucial decision to trigger the official leaving process. MPs clashed with ministers this week because some want a vote in Parliament to challenge this year’s referendum decision to leave the EU and to discuss the government’s negotiating strategy on a future trading agreement with the EU before it triggers Article 50. MPs say the offer of a general debate is not enough and claim political processes are being undermined. Tension has been heightened further by Scotland, which is going to announce next week a proposal to hold a second referendum on its own independence from the UK. The political debate is being held against a backdrop of economic instability after the dramatic fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote was held. Original equipment manufacturers have already signalled price rises and fuel costs are expected to increase in the coming weeks, while supermarkets are now facing their own price battles that will affect millions of consumers. Global trade credit insurer Euler Hermes says it all points to a ‘misfiring’ economy and a UK car market that could fall 9% in 2017. But Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu Motors, one of the UK’s biggest dealer groups, says the rows and uncertainty have yet to filter through to car buyers. He told Automotive Management: ‘The last thing I am worried about is Brexit, it is certainly not keeping me awake at night. We are seeing robust consumer confidence. We have a very robust economy. We are the fastest growing developed economy in the world. The talk of doom has proved not to be correct.’

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