Saturday 19 August 2017

May hints at mutually assured destruction to win concessions

An employee changes the channels of televisions, on display in a store for sale in Liverpool, as they show a live speech by British prime minister Theresa May on her government’s plans for Brexit. Photo: Getty Images
An employee changes the channels of televisions, on display in a store for sale in Liverpool, as they show a live speech by British prime minister Theresa May on her government’s plans for Brexit. Photo: Getty Images
Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

There was some cheer for Irish business after British prime minister Theresa May's speech, as sterling rocketed to its biggest daily gain since at least 1998 to the benefit of Irish exporters and those competing with British imports.

There was not much else to cheer about, and the best that can be said about sterling is that uncertainty will continue. Until now, talk of a 'hard' Brexit has been bad for sterling, yet yesterday's speech was anything but soft.

Those Irish politicians, British Remainers and European officials who called on Mrs May to make her position clear should perhaps have been more careful of what they wished for.

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