Mrs May advised to delay the 'meaningful vote' if heading for defeat of over 100

06 December 2018

A few developments have surfaced over the past 24 hours, but none provides huge clarity. According to news reports, Mrs May is being advised to delay next Tuesday's 'meaningful vote' if it looks as though she is heading for a defeat of 100 or more.

Presumably the Prime Minister would then ask the EU for changes to the political declaration on the future UK/EU relationship (an EU Summit is set for 13-14 December). Of course a vote in the Commons would still need to take place at some stage, but on this scenario, it could still be squeezed in ahead of the Christmas recess. 

Meanwhile there has been more talk of a cross-party (i.e. Conservative/Labour) move to present a motion calling for close ties with the EU, such as the so-called ‘Norway plus’ (EEA membership plus a customs union). Ironically this may to help to coalesce Tory right wing MPs behind the PM in next week’s vote. If it still goes ahead as planned on Tuesday, and the PM loses badly, the indications are that Labour may aim to hold a vote of no confidence in the government. However the DUP has indicated that it will continue to support the Conservatives in votes of confidence. Sterling is slightly weaker this morning, trading at 89.1p vs the EUR and $1.2710 vs the USD.

Cairn Homes: Seeking 622 units at Montrose site

Cairn Homes intends to apply for planning permission for 622 units at its Montrose site in Donnybrook, according to planning documentation submitted to An Bord Pleanala and cited in media reports. This would represent an increase on the 550-600 unit range indicated by the company last month and a significant increase on the 510 units initially earmarked for the site at the time of purchase. 

Cairn has now entered a nine-week pre-planning consultation period with the planning authorities and it is then expected to submit a formal application via the “fast-track” Strategic Housing Development process. The company has a strong record in securing planning approvals but the size and high-profile nature of the site is expected to attract plenty of scrutiny during the process. Should Cairn be successful in its application for 622 units, the average cost per unit of €173k would be €38k (18%) lower than estimated at the time of purchase (based on 510 units).

UK services PMI

November’s UK services PMI was much weaker than expected at 50.4 (October’s reading was 52.2), representing a 28-month low. Consensus for yesterday’s print had been for 52.5, whilst Investec’s forecast was 52.0. Survey compilers Markit reported that the fall was caused by ‘an intensification of anxieties over Brexit’, although it is probably valid to point out that both the manufacturing and construction PMIs rose earlier in the week. Sterling was largely unaffected following the release. 

Economic Releases


10.00 UK MPC Member Ramsden Speaks
13.30 US ADP Nonfarm Employment
14.45 US Markit Composite PMI
15.00 US ISM Non- Manufacturing PMI
17.15 US FOMC Member Bostic Speaks