A fund manager from London-based investment house J O Hambro Capital Management shared his on-the-ground view on the reality of Brexit during a recent media event in New York.
Calling into the event from London, Clive Beagles discussed what’s happening regarding Brexit and the implications of such.
Beagles is co-manager of the JOHCM UK Equity Income Fund and one of the U.K.’s most highly respected equity income managers. J O Hambro is an active asset management company with $35.2 billion in assets under management, including about $12 billion in its growing U.S. business.
“Here we are, nearly three years on [since the Brexit vote], and effectively very little has happened,” Beagles said.
The U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29.
According to Beagles, Prime Minister Theresa May looks determined to pursue a strategy of brinkmanship. However, “for the moment, Parliament hasn’t agreed to anything,” he added.
Beagles said the next “most important date” to watch is March 12, when there is a parliamentary vote on May’s deal.
If May loses that vote — which Beagles thinks is the “most likely outcome” — there would be another parliamentary vote the next day to decide whether they want the U.K. to exit the EU without a deal. According to Beagles, it’s unlikely they’ll get the vote for that, either.
If Parliament rules out a “no deal” Brexit, it will vote on March 14 to delay the exit process. “That could easily be delayed by three months or maybe even longer,” according to Beagles.
At the moment, Beagles thinks the most likely outcome is an extension of the negotiation period.
Beagles also said that a second referendum is still a possibility at some point, noting that the opposition Labour Party now supports a second national vote.
Already, the uncertainty surrounding the U.K.’s exit from the EU is having consequences.
According to Beagles, uncertainty means the U.K. stock market is loathed by investors.
“Effectively, no one likes the U.K. market and no one owns it,” he said.