Citing “uncertainty” around Brexit, Moody’s has downgraded Britain’s credit rating hours after Theresa May announced she would be keeping the country in the European Union until 2021.
Announcing its decision just hours after her speech in Florence, Italy, the ratings agency downgraded Britain to an Aa2 rating from Aa1 in what German broadsheet Die Welt described as a “slap in the face” to the prime minister.
Explaining the downgrade, Moody’s said that “any free trade agreement will likely take years to negotiate, prolonging the current uncertainty for business”, and pointed to higher spending and how the UK’s debt reduction plans were already way off course.
“The government has yielded to pressure and raised spending in several areas, including for health and adult social care,” it said, noting that the agency expects weaker public finances in Britain as a result.
“While these additional expenditures will be funded out of current budgets, the pressure to continue to increase spending in the coming years is likely to remain high, in particular on health care and the public sector wage bill,” the ratings agency said.
— Oliver JJ Lane (@oliver_lane) September 22, 2017
On Friday, May outlined plans to keep Britain in the EU for a further two years beyond the promised March 2019 exit date, and left the door open to paying a significant bill, in a speech that Brexit leader Nigel Farage branded a betrayal.
“May’s vision for Brexit Britain is that we leave in name only and that all current arrangements, the status quo, is simply to be rebadged,” he told Breitbart London.
“In trade, security, science, she proposes no change whatsoever. And finally, most tellingly she said ‘we do not seek an unfair competitive advantage’. That statement is a sell out of our national interest, and a betrayal of Brexit.”
Following the speech in Florence, globalist French president Emmanuel Macron said negotiations around the UK’s break from Brussels should be put on hold until EU citizens’ rights, the Irish border, and the ‘divorce bill’ are ‘clarified’.