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Bitesized Blighty: December 20, 2019

Michelle Kundodyiwa

  • This morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a historic parliamentary victory for the Conservatives, a pivotal step towards leaving the European Union. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill passed the House of Commons by 358-234, a result made possible by Mr Johnson’s crushing election win last week. The toughened-up new bill has made a softer Brexit less likely as it prohibits extending the UK’s transition period beyond 2020. The British prime minister said the country was now “one step closer to getting Brexit done”.
  • On Thursday, the Bank of England faced a security breach after an audio feed of sensitive information had been leaked to traders. As a result, the audio feed was shut down after it was reportedly being used to offer some hedge funds a time advantage on news conferences. The FCA are currently investigating the issue.
    • Andrew Bailey, the head of the UK financial watchdog, has been named as the next governor of the Bank of England. Bailey will replace Mark Carney who is to stand down from the role after six and a half years in the job. The appointment comes after the government put the process on hold due to the general election and continuing uncertainty over Brexit.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out its legislative plans for the year in the Queen’s speech on Thursday. Just after a week since winning the largest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher in 1987, Johnson sets his sights on a quick Brexit, future trade deals and on transforming Britain to repay the trust of voters who handed him a landslide election victory. 

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