Trump “Day Two”: Preview Of Today’s Key Events In Washington

“Day two” on the job for Donald Trump is shaping up as another busy day for both the White House and Capitol Hill. Below is a preview of all the scheduled events of interest today in Washington.

WHITE HOUSE:

  • 9am: President Trump meets with CEOs of the U.S. ‘Big Three’ automakers: GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler
  • 10am: Trump meets with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
  • 11am: Trump signs executive order; White House schedule doesn’t provide details on what order may entail
  • 1pm: Trump speaks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
  • 1:30pm: Trump meets with CIA Director Mike Pompeo
  • 3pm: Trump meets with Senate leaders
  • 3:45pm: Trump meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

HOUSE:

  • 10am: House convenes
  • 10:30am: House Ways and Means Cmte Chairman Kevin Brady details panel’s 2017 agenda; U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H St. NW
  • Noon: House considers H.R.7, which would amend Affordable Care Act to bar expenditure of federal money to purchase insurance that covers abortion services

SENATE:

  • 9:30am: Senate Armed Services Cmte holds hearing on defense budget for FY18 and onward; 216 Hart Senate Office Building
  • 10am: Senate Judiciary Cmte votes on nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general; 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building
  • 10am: Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Cmte votes on nomination of Ben Carson for HUD secretary; 538 Dirksen Senate Office Building
  • 10am: Senate Finance Cmte holds hearing on nomination of Rep. Tom Price for HHS secretary; 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building
  • 10am: Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Cmte to vote on nominations of Elaine Chao for Transportation secretary and Wilbur Ross for Commerce secretary; 253 Russell Senate Office Building
  • 10:30am: Senate Budget Cmte holds hearing on nomination of Rep. Mick Mulvaney for OMB director; 608 Dirksen Senate Office Building
  • Related: Trump Budget Director to Say National Debt Needs Action Quick
  • 10:30am: Senate Small Business Cmte holds hearing on nomination of Linda McMahon for SBA administrator; 428-A Russell Senate Office Building
  • 12:15pm: Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, other top Democratic sens. hold press conference to unveil infrastructure proposal; Senate Radio-TV Gallery
  • 2:30pm: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Cmte holds hearing Rep. Mick Mulvaney for OMB director; 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building
  • Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Cmte pushed confirmation vote to Tuesday, Jan. 31, for Education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos; updates entry published in Jan. 20 Weekly Agenda

DEFENSE:

  • 8:30am: Center for Strategic and International Studies holds discussion “In Defense of the Arctic: Assessing U.S. Security Concerns” with speakers including Sen. Dan Sullivan and former Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for European and NATO Policy James Townsend Jr.; 1616 Rhode Island Avenue NW

A closer look at select events:

  • Finance committee hearing for health and human services secretary

Georgia Rep. Tom Price has already had his confirmation hearing with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Now, he testifies before the Senate Finance Committee at 10 a.m. The congressman and orthopedic surgeon has been a significant critic of the Affordable Care Act, and has worked to dismantle the law in the past. Price is now also under scrutiny after CNN reported on a questionable stock purchase.

  • Judiciary committee vote on attorney general

Also at 10 a.m. on Capitol Hill, the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to vote on whether to confirm Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. Sessions sat before the committee last Tuesday where he drew a number of Democratic opponents due to his record. However, Republicans hold a majority in the Senate and the nomination is expected to pass.

  • Commerce Committee vote on commerce and transportation secretaries

Another 10 a.m. meeting will be for the Senate Commerce Committee to vote on the nominations of Elaine Chao for transportation secretary and Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary.
Both had their hearings before the committee last week and while both are expected to pass, some are concerned about Ross’s business interests.

  • Budget Committee hearing for OMB head

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney is set to testify before the Senate Budget Committee at 10:30 a.m. after being nominated by President Donald Trump to head the Office of Management and Budget. Last week, it was revealed that Mulvaney did not pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a household employee.

  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship committee hearing

Also at 10:30 a.m., the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee will meet for their hearing on Linda McMahon, who Trump nominated to lead the Small Business Administration.
McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, gave millions to Trump to support his presidential campaign, including a $1 million donation just before the election.

  • Foreign Relations committee vote on UN Ambassador

At noon, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on the nomination of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Trump’s choice for UN ambassador. During her confirmation hearing last week, Committee Chair Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker said that Haley is expected to be confirmed “overwhelmingly.” The committee questioned Haley about her lack of dealing with foreign affairs, but commented her time as governor of South Carolina has made her ready for this position.

  • Closed Senate Intelligence committee hearing

A closed-door Senate Intelligence Committee hearing will take place at 2:30 p.m.

  • House vote on taxpayer-funded abortions

On Tuesday, the House will vote on H.R. bill “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017.” The bill would ban federal funding of abortions, as well federal funding for health benefits plans that cover abortions. It would also ban federal facilities and federal employees from providing abortions.

Source: Bloomberg, CNN

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With low oil prices in 2016, federal revenues from energy on federal lands again declined

In fiscal year (FY) 2016, the U.S. government collected almost $6 billion in revenues from royalties, rental costs, and other fees from activities related to energy production on federal and American Indian land, according to the Department of Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue. These activities include the production of coal, oil, natural gas, and hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs) as well as, more recently, renewables.

Frontrunning: January 24

  • Dollar steadies after stumble, sterling rides out Brexit ruling (Reuters)
  • After U.S. exit, Asian nations try to save TPP trade deal (Reuters)
  • U.K. Court Rules Brexit Trigger Needs Parliamentary Vote (BBG)
  • Brexit plans unlikely to be slowed by Article 50 defeat (Reuters)
  • Health Secretary Nominee Proposed Bill Benefiting Puerto Rico Investments (WSJ)
  • How Trump Would Rework Nafta—and What Mexico, Canada Want in Return  (BBG)
  • Trump calls for more U.S. auto jobs, factories ahead of CEO meeting (Reuters)
  • Belarus Businessman Said to Be Indirect Source on Trump Dossier? (WSJ)
  • Canadian Drillers Brave Deep Freeze as Oil Patch Revives Growth  (BBG)
  • A $90 Billion Wave of Debt Shows Cracks in U.S. Real Estate Boom  (BBG)
  • China pushes back at U.S. over South China Sea (Reuters)
  • This 36-Year-Old May Be Running America  (BBG)
  • China’s Efforts to Stem Capital Outflows Are Starting to Pay Off  (BBG)
  • Iran, Russia, Turkey say will jointly enforce Syria ceasefire (Reuters)
  • Generali Jumps on Report Intesa Plans to Mount Takeover Bid  (BBG)
  • Bankers Cash In on Postelection Stock Rally (WSJ)
  • BT Plunges After Cutting Outlook, Tripling Italy Writedown  (BBG)
  • After Bond Chief’s Exit, Millennium’s Englander Left Alone Again  (BBG)
  • Verizon Misses Profit Estimates as Holiday Promos Take Toll  (BBG)
  • At Wells Fargo, Bank Branches Were Tipped Off to Inspections (WSJ)
  • DuPont Pushes Back Expected Closing of Dow Merger to First Half  (BBG)
  • Goldman Hails Global Rebound as Currie Sees Commodity Demand  (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

– President Donald Trump started his first full workday at the White House focused on the economy, trade and jobs, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and promising to tax firms that move operations overseas. http://on.wsj.com/2klQzOb

– A federal judge Monday blocked the proposed merger of health insurers Aetna and Humana on antitrust grounds, a potentially fatal legal blow to the $34 billion deal. http://on.wsj.com/2klXsis

– The Senate confirmed Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, putting a Republican lawmaker in charge of the nation’s top spy agency. http://on.wsj.com/2km04wI

– A government watchdog group filed a lawsuit alleging President Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution by maintaining ownership of businesses that accept payments from foreign governments. http://on.wsj.com/2km3yzq

– Yahoo, subject of two huge data breaches that have cast a shadow over its deal with Verizon Communications., pushed back its expected closing date for the transaction, citing “work required to meet closing conditions.” http://on.wsj.com/2km3Ar2

– The lending arm of Ford Motor Co has tapped a San Francisco startup to make it easier for its customers to buy and finance a car without going into a showroom. http://on.wsj.com/2km2c7R

– Sprint Corp will buy one-third of Tidal, the streaming-music service run by rap mogul Jay Z, the latest content deal secured by a network provider. http://on.wsj.com/2klTrue

– The Syrian regime and the rebel opposition ended the first day of peace talks on Monday without reaching agreement on how to monitor a shaky cease-fire, but the sides continued trying to hammer out details of a potential deal. http://on.wsj.com/2klUZV7

 

FT

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday she was briefed about the successful certification of a nuclear submarine as she came under increasing pressure over her handling of reports its unarmed Trident missile misfired.

Bernie Ecclestone’s 40-year reign as Formula One’s commercial supremo ended on Monday with the sport’s new owners Liberty Media replacing the 86-year-old Briton with American Chase Carey.

British spy chief Robert Hannigan said on Monday he was stepping down as head of Britain’s intelligence eavesdropping service GCHQ. Sources close to Hannigan, 51, said the decision was taken for personal reasons

 

NYT

– President Donald Trump upended America’s traditional, bipartisan trade policy on Monday as he formally abandoned the ambitious, 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership brokered by his predecessor. http://nyti.ms/2jWq1lP

– At a meeting with the leaders of several construction and building trade unions, President Trump reiterated on Monday his interest in directing hundreds of billions of dollars to infrastructure investments, some of it from the federal government, union officials said. http://nyti.ms/2jWuEfE

– Yahoo Inc said on Monday that it now expected the sale of its core businesses to Verizon Communications Inc to close no sooner than April, a delay from its earlier intention to conclude the deal in the first quarter. http://nyti.ms/2jWzA4h

– A federal judge ruled on Monday that a $37 billion merger between the health insurance giants Aetna Inc and Humana Inc should not be allowed to go through on antitrust grounds, siding with the Justice Department, which had been seeking to block the deal. http://nyti.ms/2jWr05K

– President Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to falsely claim that millions of unauthorized immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote majority. http://nyti.ms/2jWyUf7

– Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas earned approval to lead the Central Intelligence Agency and Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state nominee, cleared a key Senate hurdle to all but assure his own confirmation. http://nyti.ms/2jWHDOn

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Japan-based automakers in Canada are urging the federal government to resume talks with Japan on a bilateral trade deal in the wake of the new Trump government pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. https://tgam.ca/2jTK6Ja

** Potential private equity buyers appear to be steering clear of hockey and baseball equipment maker Performance Sports Group Ltd, clearing the field for a $575 million bid for the company from Sagar Capital Partners LP and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. https://tgam.ca/2jTHk6P

** Vancouver’s Kindred Systems Inc has hired Jim Liefer, who was vice president of operations for Wal-Mart’s online business from 2004-10 before spending six years as COO of U.S. online furniture retailer One Kings Lane Inc. Mr. Liefer will work out of Kindred’s San Francisco office, where most of its 37 employees are located. https://tgam.ca/2jTKQ0G

NATIONAL POST

** An ongoing dispute between Uber Technologies Inc and its drivers has reached Canada, with a proposed class-action lawsuit that claims Uber drivers are employees who are entitled to minimum wage, overtime and vacation pay. http://bit.ly/2jTUpwH

** The federal New Democratic Party has scheduled a leadership debate for early March, even though there are still no official candidates to lead the party. http://bit.ly/2jTL2NI

** The department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs is one of two ministries – the other is democratic reform – that did not get a passing mark on a “deliverology” report card that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet were expected to review as they began two days of meetings on Monday in Calgary. http://bit.ly/2jTTcFH

 

Britain

The Times

* EDF has raised the spectre of delays or cost overruns to its 18 billion pound ($22.52 billion) Hinkley Point nuclear plant as a result of Brexit, warning that any restrictions to trade and movement of labour could hamper the delivery of energy projects. http://bit.ly/2jqJAPN

* Royal Dutch Shell’s exploration chief, Ceri Powell, is to step down after seven years, as the energy company cuts back on drilling new wells. http://bit.ly/2jqGWJI

The Guardian

* Amsterdam mayor’s office has been in negotiations with American and Japanese banks, along with fintech firms and other specialist finance firms, about moving staff and operations from London as a consequence of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, the city’s deputy mayor told the Guardian. http://bit.ly/2jqJZ4L

* Lloyds Banking Group suffered 48-hour online attack this month as cybercriminals attempted to block access to 20 million UK accounts. http://bit.ly/2jqFpUd

The Telegraph

* Sports Direct has cut its ties with three City banks amid speculation that tycoon Mike Ashley is reining in his appetite for dealmaking and conquering overseas markets. The sportswear giant announced that it had dumped Goldman Sachs, Citi and Haitong (formerly known as Espirito Santo) from its roster of brokers. http://bit.ly/2jqMbcA

* BP has started up one of its first major projects in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, almost a year ahead of schedule and $150 million under budget.http://bit.ly/2jqPNLu

Sky News

* Bernie Ecclestone is no longer in charge of Formula One after almost 40 years in the driving seat. The news was confirmed by Liberty Media as it said it had completed its takeover of the sport after snapping up shares from private equity firm CVC last year. http://bit.ly/2jqNBDQ

* M&G Investments, the giant asset manager owned by Prudential, will end its headline sponsorship of the Chelsea Flower Show after this year’s event in May, according to Sky News. http://bit.ly/2jqQXH5

The Independent

* British Prime Minister Theresa May will be ready to publish the key piece of legislation that will set Britain on the road to Brexit by the end of this week, according to the Independent. http://ind.pn/2jqHRdj

* Britain is facing three years of slow growth, rising unemployment and squeezed consumer spending as the Brexit-induced collapse in the pound triggers a radical rebalancing of the economy, according to a report by think tank EY Item Club. http://ind.pn/2jqyESo

 

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Trump Says “Illegal” Voters Cost Him Popular Vote

Sparking his latest confrontation with the media, mostly the NYT, CNN and WaPo, overnight president Trump told members of Congress on Monday in a private reception that he lost the popular vote in the election because millions of undocumented immigrants cast votes for his opponent.

Trump’s claim, which much of the mainstream press has determined to be “fake news” despite reported evidence to the contrary, was first made by Trump before his election, and drew widespread criticism by the press overnight.

According to a Bloomberg report, Trump told Republican and Democratic congressional leaders at the White House reception that he would have won the popular vote had three to five million undocumented immigrants not cast ballots for Democrat Hillary Clinton, three people familiar with the remark said. Two of the people said Trump used the term “illegals” to describe the alleged immigrant voters. As a reminder, Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by about 2.9 million ballots.

A White House spokesman, Marc Short, told Bloomberg that the administration would not comment because the reception was off the record. The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, later said that he would “look into” the report.

Naturally, it is illegal for anyone but citizens to vote in most U.S. elections. Various reports during and after the election, especially during the infamous Jill Stein recount, found irregularities in voting which suggested that illegal voters were indeed allowed to cast votes, however not to the extent claimed by Trump, who suggested that at least 3 million undocumented immigrants voted in the 2016 election. There were sporadic reports of people voting illegally, as there are in nearly all elections, but federal and state officials of both parties said that the election’s integrity was overwhelmingly secure.

Trump first asserted that illegal ballots had tilted the popular vote in Clinton’s favor in a Nov. 27 tweet. “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” he said. He provided no evidence for the claim. Elections officials in California, New Hampshire and Virginia said it was baseless. 

Subsequently Trump said he would have won the popular vote had he campaigned for the most votes in the election, rather than focusing on an Electoral College victory.

For now, however, the media has found a new Trump “scandal” over which to obssess, as the president continues to dominate the newsflow with secondary and otherwise irrelevant stories, which preoccupy the US press, while the important stuff remains largely uncovered and leads to increased “uncertainty” in markets about the future about Trump’s policies.

In fact, if there were even 1 million illegally cast votes (there weren’t), a president would be derelict to not order a major investigation

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 24, 2017

3-5 million illegal votes??? Why, if it were true, why would @SpeakerRyan and @SenateMajLdr not be talking about this every single day???

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 24, 2017

Unless of course it’s not even remotely true and we all know this but no one in the WH and no GOP Leaders are willing to say this to him.

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 24, 2017

Meanwhile, the NYT’s text and headline, speak for themselves :

President Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to falsely claim that millions of unauthorized immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote majority, a return to his obsession with the election’s results even as he seeks support for his legislative agenda.

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In Blow To Theresa May, UK Supreme Court Rules Parliament Must Vote Before Brexit Can Start

In a blow to Theresa May’s ambitions to implement a “clean Brexit”, on Tuesday morning UK’s Supreme Court ruled the UK Prime Minister can’t start the Brexit process without approval from Parliament, a decision that could potentially complicate her path toward a clear break from the European Union. Eight justices voted against the government and three voted in favor of it, in a decision that was widely expected.

The case had been brought by a group of British citizens opposed to Brexit with the help of some of the U.K.’s top constitutional lawyers. Spearheading the legal challenge were British businesswoman Gina Miller and hairdresser Deir Dos Santos. Grahame Pigney, a France-based expatriate who used crowdfunding from more than 4,000 people to pay for lawyers, joined the suit as a co-party

The government responded that the ruling wouldn’t affect May’s plans to trigger talks to leave the EU by the end of March and the opposition Labour Party said after the judgment it wouldn’t seek to stop Brexit from happening. But Labour said it would try to amend any bill introduced by Mrs. May to kick off the Brexit process, possibly influencing how the U.K.’s new relationship with the EU will look.

According to the WSJ, while a majority of lawmakers voted to stay in the EU, many have said they won’t seek to block Article 50, which formally starts Britain’s exit from the EU, given the popular vote, in which 52% voted to leave. “The British people voted to leave the EU, and the government will deliver on their verdict—triggering Article 50, as planned, by the end of March,” a U.K. government spokesman said. “Today’s ruling does nothing to change that.”

Lord David Neuberger said any change in the law to put Brexit into effect must be made by an act of Parliament. “To proceed otherwise would be a breach of settled constitutional principles stretching back many centuries,” he said. He said the Supreme Court justices were ruling on the process of legally bringing the result into effect, and that the ruling had nothing to do with whether the U.K. should exit from the EU or the timetable.

While the outcome was not surprising, the case has been one of the most politically charged in decades. After the High Court ruled against the government in November, pro-Brexit activists called the decision an attempt to overturn the will of Britons who chose to break away from the bloc in a June referendum. The Daily Mail newspaper said the three High Court judges who ruled on the case were “enemies of the people.” But the landscape has shifted since then.

As previously reported, in December, Mrs. May won lawmakers’ backing to trigger the start of Brexit by the end of March after promising to give Parliament, the majority of whom backed staying in the EU, an opportunity to scrutinize her plan first.

Mrs. May has outlined a plan for a definitive break from the EU, saying she intends to take the country out of the EU’s single market for goods and services. Leaving the single market will create uncertainties for U.K. businesses that rely on trade with Europe, particularly financial markets, auto makers and aerospace.

 

Asked in an interview with a German newspaper this month whether the U.K. was seeking to become a tax haven with low levels of corporate tax, U.K. Treasury Chief Philip Hammond said the U.K. could change its economic model if it isn’t granted access to trade in the EU after it leaves the bloc.

 

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, said in a statement after the ruling that Labour “will not frustrate” the process for trigger the U.K.’s exit.

 

“However, Labour will seek to amend the Article 50 bill to prevent the Conservatives using Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven off the coast of Europe,” Mr. Corbyn said. “Labour will seek to build in the principles of full, tariff-free access to the single market and maintenance of workers’ rights and social and environmental protections.” He added that the party would demand that the U.K. government lays out a plan for negotiations so parliamentarians could hold it to account.

 

Kelvin Hopkins, a Labour member of Parliament, urged his party not to seek to complicate the process of leaving.

 

“My colleagues in the House of Commons need to realize that if we are seen to frustrate the will of the British people, by opposing or delaying Brexit we could find ourselves in a position where we will never see a Labour government again,” Mr. Hopkins said in a statement.

Over four days of hearings before the Supreme Court last month, the government said it had the right to trigger Brexit because of the so-called royal prerogative, in which executive authority is given to ministers so they can govern on the monarch’s behalf.

The market’s reaction has been subdued, with the resulting modest decline in sterling – the opposite of what would be expected from the adverse ruling – suggesting that the court’s decision had been fully priced in by the market. In fact, as HSBC predicted ahead of the decision, “if ruling states that Parliamentary approval will be needed to start the Brexit process it will be “mildly negative” for the pound.” as the government is prepared for this and “should be able to table a short and simple Parliamentary Bill in the coming days” meaning Article 50 could still be triggered before the end of March.

Sure enough, GBPUSD is now modestly lower following the announcement.

And indeed, as Reuters writes, Theresa May’s plans to start the process of Britain leaving the European Union by the end of March are unlikely to be hindered or slowed by Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling the government must seek parliamentary approval. In the ruling, judges on Britain’s top judicial body upheld an earlier High Court decision that lawmakers had to give their assent before May can invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which formally starts two-years of divorce talks.

However, the legal defeat, while an inconvenience and embarrassment for the government, is not expected to delay its Brexit timetable or, as some investors and pro-EU supporters hope, make it possible to stop Britain leaving the bloc. Part of this is because the opposition is divided.

 

“We will not block Article 50,” Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party which campaigned against Brexit, said last week. “All Labour MPs (members of parliament) will be asked to vote in that direction next week, or whenever the vote comes up.” Not all Corbyn’s colleagues may go along, but May can get the votes she needs for overall passage.

 

However, what the decision could do is give an opportunity for Labour and other lawmakers who oppose a “hard Brexit” – an agreement with the EU that puts immigration curbs above access to the single market – to have a greater influence on what the final deal should look like.

The greatest potential threat to May comes from parliament’s unelected upper chamber, the House of Lords, where many peers remained strongly opposed to Brexit and do not have voters to worry about. If the Lords were to vote against approving the triggering of Article 50, the Brexit timetable could be severely delayed.

However, the government is confident the bill will pass through the Lords because there would be a constitutional crisis if unelected peers were to thwart the will of the people expressed both through the referendum and from their representatives in the Commons.

The post In Blow To Theresa May, UK Supreme Court Rules Parliament Must Vote Before Brexit Can Start appeared first on crude-oil.top.

In Blow To Theresa May, UK Supreme Court Rules Parliament Must Vote Before Brexit Can Start

In a blow to Theresa May’s ambitions to implement a “clean Brexit”, on Tuesday morning UK’s Supreme Court ruled the UK Prime Minister can’t start the Brexit process without approval from Parliament, a decision that could potentially complicate her path toward a clear break from the European Union. Eight justices voted against the government and three voted in favor of it, in a decision that was widely expected.

The case had been brought by a group of British citizens opposed to Brexit with the help of some of the U.K.’s top constitutional lawyers. Spearheading the legal challenge were British businesswoman Gina Miller and hairdresser Deir Dos Santos. Grahame Pigney, a France-based expatriate who used crowdfunding from more than 4,000 people to pay for lawyers, joined the suit as a co-party

The government responded that the ruling wouldn’t affect May’s plans to trigger talks to leave the EU by the end of March and the opposition Labour Party said after the judgment it wouldn’t seek to stop Brexit from happening. But Labour said it would try to amend any bill introduced by Mrs. May to kick off the Brexit process, possibly influencing how the U.K.’s new relationship with the EU will look.

According to the WSJ, while a majority of lawmakers voted to stay in the EU, many have said they won’t seek to block Article 50, which formally starts Britain’s exit from the EU, given the popular vote, in which 52% voted to leave. “The British people voted to leave the EU, and the government will deliver on their verdict—triggering Article 50, as planned, by the end of March,” a U.K. government spokesman said. “Today’s ruling does nothing to change that.”

Lord David Neuberger said any change in the law to put Brexit into effect must be made by an act of Parliament. “To proceed otherwise would be a breach of settled constitutional principles stretching back many centuries,” he said. He said the Supreme Court justices were ruling on the process of legally bringing the result into effect, and that the ruling had nothing to do with whether the U.K. should exit from the EU or the timetable.

While the outcome was not surprising, the case has been one of the most politically charged in decades. After the High Court ruled against the government in November, pro-Brexit activists called the decision an attempt to overturn the will of Britons who chose to break away from the bloc in a June referendum. The Daily Mail newspaper said the three High Court judges who ruled on the case were “enemies of the people.” But the landscape has shifted since then.

As previously reported, in December, Mrs. May won lawmakers’ backing to trigger the start of Brexit by the end of March after promising to give Parliament, the majority of whom backed staying in the EU, an opportunity to scrutinize her plan first.

Mrs. May has outlined a plan for a definitive break from the EU, saying she intends to take the country out of the EU’s single market for goods and services. Leaving the single market will create uncertainties for U.K. businesses that rely on trade with Europe, particularly financial markets, auto makers and aerospace.

 

Asked in an interview with a German newspaper this month whether the U.K. was seeking to become a tax haven with low levels of corporate tax, U.K. Treasury Chief Philip Hammond said the U.K. could change its economic model if it isn’t granted access to trade in the EU after it leaves the bloc.

 

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, said in a statement after the ruling that Labour “will not frustrate” the process for trigger the U.K.’s exit.

 

“However, Labour will seek to amend the Article 50 bill to prevent the Conservatives using Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven off the coast of Europe,” Mr. Corbyn said. “Labour will seek to build in the principles of full, tariff-free access to the single market and maintenance of workers’ rights and social and environmental protections.” He added that the party would demand that the U.K. government lays out a plan for negotiations so parliamentarians could hold it to account.

 

Kelvin Hopkins, a Labour member of Parliament, urged his party not to seek to complicate the process of leaving.

 

“My colleagues in the House of Commons need to realize that if we are seen to frustrate the will of the British people, by opposing or delaying Brexit we could find ourselves in a position where we will never see a Labour government again,” Mr. Hopkins said in a statement.

Over four days of hearings before the Supreme Court last month, the government said it had the right to trigger Brexit because of the so-called royal prerogative, in which executive authority is given to ministers so they can govern on the monarch’s behalf.

The market’s reaction has been subdued, with the resulting modest decline in sterling – the opposite of what would be expected from the adverse ruling – suggesting that the court’s decision had been fully priced in by the market. In fact, as HSBC predicted ahead of the decision, “if ruling states that Parliamentary approval will be needed to start the Brexit process it will be “mildly negative” for the pound.” as the government is prepared for this and “should be able to table a short and simple Parliamentary Bill in the coming days” meaning Article 50 could still be triggered before the end of March.

Sure enough, GBPUSD is now modestly lower following the announcement.

And indeed, as Reuters writes, Theresa May’s plans to start the process of Britain leaving the European Union by the end of March are unlikely to be hindered or slowed by Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling the government must seek parliamentary approval. In the ruling, judges on Britain’s top judicial body upheld an earlier High Court decision that lawmakers had to give their assent before May can invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which formally starts two-years of divorce talks.

However, the legal defeat, while an inconvenience and embarrassment for the government, is not expected to delay its Brexit timetable or, as some investors and pro-EU supporters hope, make it possible to stop Britain leaving the bloc. Part of this is because the opposition is divided.

 

“We will not block Article 50,” Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party which campaigned against Brexit, said last week. “All Labour MPs (members of parliament) will be asked to vote in that direction next week, or whenever the vote comes up.” Not all Corbyn’s colleagues may go along, but May can get the votes she needs for overall passage.

 

However, what the decision could do is give an opportunity for Labour and other lawmakers who oppose a “hard Brexit” – an agreement with the EU that puts immigration curbs above access to the single market – to have a greater influence on what the final deal should look like.

The greatest potential threat to May comes from parliament’s unelected upper chamber, the House of Lords, where many peers remained strongly opposed to Brexit and do not have voters to worry about. If the Lords were to vote against approving the triggering of Article 50, the Brexit timetable could be severely delayed.

However, the government is confident the bill will pass through the Lords because there would be a constitutional crisis if unelected peers were to thwart the will of the people expressed both through the referendum and from their representatives in the Commons.

The post In Blow To Theresa May, UK Supreme Court Rules Parliament Must Vote Before Brexit Can Start appeared first on crude-oil.top.