Brexit: UK and the EU months of negotiations coming to an end
Brexit: UK and EU agreement
Months of negotiations between the UK and the EU ended during the past week with both sides agreeing on a draft withdrawal treaty.
Months of negotiations between the UK and the EU ended during the past week with both sides agreeing on a draft withdrawal treaty. Although Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet endorsed the agreement on Wednesday evening, hopes for the treaty’s eventual passage dimmed greatly after Dominic Raab, the man who negotiated the Brexit agreement, resigned as Brexit Secretary on Thursday. Raab said the proposed regulatory regime for Northern Ireland presents a “very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom” and that he cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement where the EU holds veto power over the UK’s ability to exit the customs union. Three other cabinet ministers also resigned and additional letters of no confidence from members of May’s Conservative Party were submitted, raising the threat that May could face an imminent leadership challenge.
Against this chaotic backdrop, it is difficult seeing the treaty, which many Brexit proponents perceive as a cave to EU demands, passing parliament in its current form. An EU summit to ratify the deal has been scheduled for November 25. The UK Parliament is expected to vote on that in mid-December.
The political uncertainty in the UK had a detrimental impact on the pound and the currency weakened against most currencies.
The price of Brent crude oil is weakening after spiking above $84 in early October, pressured by supply fears ahead of the looming re-imposition of US trade sanctions on Iran. However, an increase in US shale oil inventories overwhelmed the curbs on Iranian crude, sending prices tumbling nearly $20 over the past six weeks. Brent crude oil subsequently traded at around $67.38 per barrel.
The Automobile Association announced on Thursday that, based on current data, SA motorists could expect “massive drops” in the price of petrol and diesel for December. The Association is predicting a drop of R1.54 per litre for petrol, with diesel dropping by 92 cents and illuminating paraffin by 85 cents. This is good news ahead of the festive season when many people will be heading to holiday destinations across the country.
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