LONDON — Theresa May’s government has survived a no-confidence vote. Now, the hard work begins as the Brexit drama continues.
Although May won Parliament’s vote of confidence with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party and Tory MPs, the historic defeat of her Brexit deal on Tuesday evening leaves many questions unanswered.
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn could table another motion of no-confidence at any point and May has not yet made clear on what her plan B is for Brexit.
Despite the lack of clarity and the imminent March 29 deadline for Britain to exit the European Union, the pound held steady on Wednesday morning, rising to $1.29.
The FTSE 100 pared moderate losses throughout the day and closed with a 0.5 percent dip at 6,862.68.
“Government will continue its work to deliver on the solemn promise it made to this country and on the result of the referendum. It’s our responsibility to identify a way to secure the backing of the House of Commons,” said May, after securing the House’s vote of confidence.
She added she plans to start meetings with senior Parliamentarians as of Wednesday night and will come forward with “an amendable motion and statement on the way forward” for Brexit by Monday.
Corbyn, who tabled the motion of no-confidence on Tuesday, asked the prime minister to remove all prospects of “the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit” in order for the new discussions to begin positively.
The resilience of the U.K. markets is linked to British consumers’ continued spending and the population’s significantly low savings rate, according to analysts.
U.K. households’ saving rate is 3.8 percent, as opposed to 10 percent in Germany and 17.8 percent in Switzerland. In 2017, outgoings also surpassed incomes for the first time in 30 years.
Fashion retailers and brands at the higher end of the market are reporting strong sales, with Selfridges having a “record-breaking” holiday trading period and brands such as Cartier, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy continuing to invest in their Bond Street flagships.
However, the threat of a no-deal Brexit means the pound remains volatile and is likely to affect all small and medium-sized local designer businesses.
That’s why the British Fashion Council issued a statement earlier today, to back a call for the People’s Vote and avoid a no-deal scenario “at all costs.”
“The ongoing uncertainty and confusion that leaving without a deal creates will have a negative impact on our industry, where investment is already impacted from the uncertainty being faced,” the group said. “With an industry that is predominantly small and medium-sized enterprises, we would struggle to cope with the trade realities that it would bring. In light of the above, and the industry’s preference to remain, based on all polls pre- and post-referendum, we are supporting the call for The People’s Vote as the preferred current option to minimize the impact to industry based on there being no valid deal on the table.”