MarketMinder

Headlines

Here we analyze a selection of third-party news articles—both those we agree and disagree with.

Please note: Though we make every effort to source articles from freely available sites, we will also regularly include articles on sites that have limited content for non-subscribers. Doing so is increasingly unavoidable, as more and more financial media is published behind paywalls.


Brexit: EU Poised to Take Legal Action Against UK Over Northern Ireland

MarketMinder’s View: Last week the UK decided unilaterally to extend some grace periods exempting Northern Irish businesses from new post-Brexit trading rules, citing the need for more time to help companies prepare. The EU warned the UK’s decision would trigger a legal response, and this article runs through what that would likely entail. “The commission believes it has established the legal basis for such a step, which would be launched by a formal notice accusing the UK of being in breach of EU law. Britain would have several weeks to respond but could face sanctions or even fines if it did not comply with an ECJ decision. The commission is also set to send a second letter, this time to the joint committee, accusing the UK of breaching article 167 of the withdrawal agreement, which requires both parties to consult and act in good faith in implementing it, allowing the treaty’s dispute settlement mechanism to be triggered.” Cut through all the harsh rhetoric on both sides, and this is the key point for investors: There are legal processes and dispute mechanisms to deal with Brexit agreement disputes, so little is likely to change overnight. Moreover, fines or sanctions aren’t inevitable, as politicians have a way of grandstanding before compromising. We don’t know how this particular episode of post-Brexit drama will play out, but little here is likely to take anyone by surprise, which is what moves markets most. We suggest tuning out the noise and monitoring the resulting actions—if there are any.