The week ahead – week commencing the 1st of April

Theresa May is contemplating a fourth attempt to present her EU withdrawal agreement back to the House of Commons this week as pro-EU MPs seek to coalesce around alternative ways forward after the UK prime minister saw her plan voted down for the third time last Friday. Mrs May is now hoping to sway the remaining Conservative rebel MPs that if they do not fall into line — in a ballot that could take place as soon as Tuesday – then Downing Street will be driven into an even softer Brexit. The EU has deferred the UK’s exit until April 12 to support Britain seek to solve the deadlock over her deal, which MPs had hitherto repudiated by 230 votes in January and by 149 votes last month. To assess support for rival proposals, backbench MPs will hold a round of “indicative votes” on Monday.


US-China trade talks 

US-China trade talks continue this week when Beijing’s principal trade delegate, Liu He, goes to Washington for further trade discussions on Wednesday. The world’s two biggest economies wrapped up a lightning round of trade talks in Beijing on Friday, with the White House saying afterwards that the two parties “continued to make progress”. The timetable for working out the trade war has slid over recent months – US president Donald Trump has suspended tariff hikes, (originally due to take effect on March 1st), on Chinese imports hoping the two parties can achieve a deal.

Economic data

Retail sales estimates for the US and Eurozone are likewise out this week. The UK releases construction, manufacturing and services purchasing managers’ indices this week, with PMI’s also due in China and the US. And the minutes of the ECB‘s March meeting are out on Thursday.