In marking a year to go until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May vowed on Thursday to keep the United Kingdom “strong and united” after Brexit. The exit is scheduled for March 29, 2019, and British trade minister Liam Fox told the BBC on Thursday that he will not be likely to support an extension past the scheduled date. There is expected to be a 21-month transition period before the final exit arrangements are put into place.
Complicating matters are internal political issues within the UK, most of which are related to trade issues within the Kingdom. Mrs. May has promised to ensure that “no new barriers are created within our common domestic market,” though her plans on how to create a unified front have yet to be confirmed.
On Thursday Mrs. May will be visiting in Ireland and Wales in an effort to promote unity within the UK. Speaking ahead of her trip, May committed herself to regain control of “our laws, our borders and our money” and to help the UK “thrive as a strong and united country that works for everyone, no matter whether you voted Leave or Remain“.
In the meanwhile, UK retailers remain concerned about how the Brexit will impact their businesses, as the EU has already indicated that it will not build a new relationship with the UK but will offer a trade agreement similar to the one it built with Canada, which would raise the cost of doing business between the UK and the rest of Europe.
The British pound has fallen around 5 percent since the Brexit agreement passed. The currency eased an additional 0.19 percent as of 9:15 a.m. GMT on Thursday, trading at $1.405 against the dollar. The pound also declined 0.16 percent against the euro on Thursday, trading at 0.8755.