Brexit Update: U.K. Admits Uncertainty Is To Blame For Economic Fallout, May Reportedly Quitting In Summer
The U.K. unveiled official figures on Monday for the country's 2018 run, revealing that the economy grew by only 1.4 percent - the weakest yet since 2012 when the eurozone slipped into a climactic debt crisis and the worse yet since 2009.
The Associated Press reported that the government's official release indicated the British government admitted claims that uncertainty over Brexit has had a huge impact on businesses.
2018's growth rate was worse since 2009. At that time, Britain shrank by 4.2 percent as the global financial crisis took a toll on the world's banking system and impacted even the world's biggest economies.
Growth figures revealed on Monday further suggested that the U.K. economy only grew by 0.2 percent in the last quarter of 2018. The figures significantly dropped from the third quarter's 0.6 percent mark.
By the end of last year, business investments also slipped for the first time since 2009's financial crisis. Financial and political analysts have put the blame on a lack of clarity over how Britain will move forward following Brexit.
U.K. Treasury Chief Philip Hammond noted that while the economy is "fundamentally strong," the country's upcoming exit from the European Union (EU) had been affecting businesses across Britain. "There is no doubt that our economy is being overshadowed by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process. I'm afraid this has gone on longer than we would have liked," he told Sky News.
The Bank of England has referred to the uncertainty as for the "fog of Brexit." Most experts believe that this fog won't disappear anytime soon, especially since there are less than 50 days left before Britain walks out of the union on March 29.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May is scheduled to make another Brexit statement before Parliament on Tuesday. However, it is unknown if she will present new recommendations that could finally seal the deal. May has faced multiple difficulties as she tries to deliver Brexit with a deal.
Amid uncertainties and fears for a no-deal Brexit, May is reportedly leaving her post on summer. Two senior Cabinet members reportedly said May is preparing "to quit in the summer" so she can brief her successor, The Sun reported.
Furthermore, it is believed that May's reported exit plan is her way of stopping Boris Johnson, who has been her long-time rival in the political realm. Johnson and May have very contradicting views of how Brexit should be delivered.
May has yet to confirm the reports as the United Kingdom braces for one of the most historical exits from the EU.