Jan 17, 2017

U.K. starts filling in details on leaving EU

Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

British Prime Minister Theresa May gave the most detailed description yet for her vision of Brexit in a speech Tuesday, and her words triggered a bout of selling on London's FTSE index, which was down more than 1%.

What she said:

  • The U.K. will pursue an equal partnership between a fully independent Britain and the EU — no "half-in, half-out" arrangements will be sought
  • Her top priority will be ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain, and bringing back to Parliament full control over immigration policy
  • May would like to achieve these goals while still pursuing strong free trade arrangements with the EU and the rest of the world.

While the FTSE fell, the British pound rallied on the speech, rising close to 2.8% on the day. This reverses a trend in recent weeks of declines in the pound coupled by a rising FTSE as traders grapple with the competing forces: higher trade barriers for British companies will make the pound a less attractive store of value, but a cheaper currency will make British exporters more competitive in the global marketplace.

Money.net

What's next: European leaders are talking a big game in the wake of the speech. Czech Secretary of State for EU affairs Tomas Prouza said on Twitter that the speech confirms that May wants a "hard" Brexit, complaining:

These public reactions by EU leaders are to be expected. But as May said EU economies would benefit from a healthy trade relationship with the U.K. The only question is how strong the desire is to use U.K. negotiations to dissuade other wavering EU members from considering an exit of their own.

Go deeper

American carnage

Protesters race up a hill to avoid tear gas in Philadelphia, June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The list of victims has swiftly grown since George Floyd died in police custody just eight days ago.

The big picture: Protests against police brutality have turned into a showcase of police brutality, with tear gas and rubber bullets deployed against crowds. The police have the arsenals at their disposal, but we're also seeing law enforcement officers becoming targets.

McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump's actions against peaceful protesters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution introduced by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday that would have condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday in order to allow President Trump to walk to St. John's Church.

What they're saying: "Justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror. Those are the two issues Americans want addressed," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

George W. Bush breaks silence on George Floyd

Goerge Bush in Michigan in 2009. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush (R) wrote in a statement Tuesday that he and his wife, Laura, are "anguished" by the death of George Floyd, and said that "it is time for America to examine our tragic failures."

Why it matters: It's a stark juxtaposition when compared to fellow Republican President Trump's response to current civil unrest. While Trump has called for justice in Floyd's death, he's also condemned protestors and threatened to deploy military personnel if demonstrations continue.