As the Bank of England warned of a one in three chance of the UK dropping into recession at the start of next year, the new PM now finds his working majority in Parliament down to one.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on August 2, 2019

It has been a baptism of fire for the new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the first Love Actually PM.

With the pound sterling falling as Johnson prepares for a “No Deal” Brexit departure in October and the Bank of England warning of a one in three chance of the country dropping into recession at the start of next year, Johnson now finds his working majority in Parliament down to one after Britain’s pro-European Union Liberal Democrats won the parliamentary seat of Brecon and Radnorshire from the governing Conservatives in a by-election on Friday (local time), AP News reported.

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“Johnson’s shrinking majority makes it clear that he has no mandate to crash us out of the EU,” Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, whose party now has 13 seats in parliament, said in a statement following the result.

“I will do whatever it takes to stop Brexit and offer an alternative, positive vision … We now have one more MP (Member of Parliament) who will vote against Brexit in parliament.”

Jane Dodds’ victory will be seized upon as a sign voters are concerned by Johnson’s pledge to leave the EU without a deal if he deems it necessary.

“People are desperately crying out for a different kind of politics. There is no time for tribalism when our country is faced with a Boris Johnson government and the threat of a no-deal Brexit,” Dodds said in her victory speech.

“My very first act as your MP when I arrive in Westminster will be to find Mr Boris Johnson, wherever he’s hiding, and tell him loud and clear: stop playing with the futures of our communities and rule out a no-deal Brexit.”

Since Johnson became PM, replacing Theresa May, the pound sterling has continued to slide on the international currency markets. Sterling fell 0.2% against the US dollar to $1.2135 and by 0.1% against the euro to €1.0964 on Thursday (local time), its lowest level for two years.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said that if the UK quit the EU without agreement it would cause an “instantaneous shock” to the economy that the Bank of England might not be able to arrest

Carney warned the pound sterling would be sold off sharply, inflation would rise, while GDP growth would slow further.