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The Analysis Editor’s Letter


The credit professional in a time of continued chaos


Stephen Kiely Editor, CCRMagazine stephen@ccrmagazine.co.uk


As I sit down to write this letter, it is the ‘morning after the night before’, but it seems unlikely to be the last one. The most- expected Brexit vote took place last night and, as we all know, and pretty much everyone expected, resulted in an overwhelming defeat for Theresa May’s proposal. The prime minister has responded by


telling the Commons: “The house has spoken and the government will listen.” This has led to Labour Party leader


Jeremy Corbyn calling a vote of no confidence in the prime minister, hoping to trigger a general election, and that vote is due to take place this evening. As things stand, the EU appears to be


continuing to take a hard line, unwilling to offer any further movement. European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted: “The Withdrawal Agreement is a fair compromise and the best possible deal. It reduces the damage caused by Brexit for citizens and businesses across Europe. “It is the only way to ensure an orderly


withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.” European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator


a morning


Guy Verhofstadt said it is now the time for Britain to decide what it wants: “The UK parliament has said what it does not want. Now is the time to find out what UK parliamentarians want. In the meantime, the rights of citizens must be safeguarded.” As a journalist, something else happens on like


this: my


In response investors seem to be biding their time and waiting for greater clarity before committing their cash. This is reflected in property markets where transaction volumes have reduced on account of a mismatch between vendors and purchasers’ expectations. In the longer term, the UK will quickly re-establish itself as an attractive place to invest once confidence returns to markets. “What investors and business so urgently


elsewhere around the media, one message is coming through loud and clear:


just as appears chaotic the inbox starts to fill


with proffered comments from different industry professionals. It is always interesting to see how these comments, coming from a credit-industry perspective, fit in with what the wider world is saying. And this morning, just as elsewhere around the media, one message is coming through loud and clear: the situation appears chaotic and that is not good for anyone. Tom Brown, managing director of real estate at Ingenious, spoke


for many when he said: “What started in June 2016 as a political and constitutional crisis has, with time, spread into the wider economy.


February 2019 situation


It is always interesting to see how these comments, coming from a credit- industry perspective, fit in with what the wider world is saying. And this morning,


need is clarity for the longer term before markets can return to normal, which may be some time away. We are sympathetic to those that think the Article 50 process should be extended to allow time for greater consensus to be reached on a cross-party basis which will enable the UK to go back to the EU with a clearer account of what it wants. This now seems all but inevitable.” John Phillips, operations manager at Just


Mortgages and Spicerhaart, added: “Last night's historic defeat shows that despite two years of negotiations we are no further on than we were after the Brexit vote. Brexit has split the country, but one thing most people are agreed on is that our MPs have let us down and we are in danger of switching off completely about the whole issue. “If Theresa May (or her successor if the


government is voted out following today’s vote of no confidence) does not get an extension to article 50 – or manage to negotiate a deal that does go through parliament – then we will leave the EU


without a deal on 29 March.” So, once again, the UK is looking to its credit professionals to act


as calm heads, to use your knowledge, competence, and skills to guide business through these troubled times. To understand the potential ramifications of such major geo-political events, and to methodically work through them, as so many have experience of working through other such situations in different countries and regions. The UK is looking to its credit professions – and I know that they will not be found wanting! Enjoy the magazine!


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