Pound Rallies As Commons Pass Bill Requesting Another Brexit Delay By One Vote

Succeeding in their latest attempt to head off a no-deal Brexit, the Commons has passed the Cooper Letwin bill legally requiring Prime Minister Theresa May to request another delay of Article 50 if the UK looks to be on the cusp of leaving the EU without a deal.

After rejecting all of the proposed amendments, the Commons passed the bill by a margin of just one vote, winning 313 to 312. It now heads to the House of Lords, which is expected to vote on the measure on Thursday.

The pound climbed as the bill's passage appeared to lessen the chances of the UK leaving the EU without a deal (though, even if May does request another extension, the EU could still opt to deny her request, which European Commission Jean Claude Juncker has suggested would be the case).

 GBP/USD climbed as much as 0.2% to 1.3179.


However, while top officials in Brussels have insisted that the won't grant another extension unless the Commons passes the withdrawal agreement, anonymously sourced reports published earlier in the day on Wednesday said the EU27 was leaning toward an arrangement where they would grant an extension if the UK agrees to certain 'conditions' like participating in the EU Parliamentary elections next month. May is reportedly leaning toward requesting a nine-month delay, as reports published late in the day suggested that her talks with the opposition haven't been going as well as Labour said.

Unsurprisingly given the gathering momentum for a 'no deal' Brexit among the Tories and DUP, the vote to demand another request for a delay has prompted some to question the Commons' wisdom in so openly defying the referendum.