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The World In A Week

The World In A Week – Is This The Beginning Of The End?

11th November 2019

The election machines for the main political parties rolled into action last week, and with just 31 days until the general election, politicians are keen to get their messages across, while taking carefully worded pot-shots at the opposition.

This meant that Parliament was officially dissolved on Tuesday so electioneering could commence the following day.  However, the relief from Brexit and UK politics will be short-lived, as whatever the outcome of the general election, uncertainty will continue to prevail for the UK.

According to YouGov’s political tracker, the Conservatives lead in the poll with 39%, while Labour sits second with 26%, up from 21% at the beginning of the month.  It should come as no surprise, that with 59% of the poll, the most important issue to voters is Britain leaving the EU.

If the polls are correct, which based on recent experience is wildly optimistic, then we may see a Conservative majority.  That could mean Brexit takes place on or before 31st January 2020.  The uncertainty here is the original transition period is due to finish at the end of 2020, which does not give much time to complete a comprehensive trade deal with the EU.  Anything other than a Conservative majority would bring the uncertainty around Brexit front and centre.

Trade is also in the headlines across the Atlantic, with both the US and China having confirmed that if a phase one trade agreement happens, then it would include some reductions in tariffs.  Whether this is a reduction in the actual tax rate or in the number of goods being taxed, was unclear.  However, the time being taken around the negotiations does suggest a significant deal is in the pipeline.

It would seem the timing is equally convenient for both Presidents; one needs a good story to tweet about as his impeachment gains momentum, while the other needs to replenish his countries pork reserves.  According to UBS China’s pork prices have soared 100% over the past 12 months, as the country has had to cull its pigs in the face of African Swine Fever.  Pork is the most consumed meat in China and its importance cannot be understated.