John McDonnell questions ministers about short positions against the pound

30 September 2019

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell, has asked an urgent question to ministers on short bets against the pound during the approach of a possible no-deal Brexit.

John McDonnell has questioned ministers about short-selling – when traders bet that the pound will fall in value – in the run-up to Brexit. The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer asked the Government whether the falling value of the pound, as a result of the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, could constitute a conflict of interest.

Simon Clarke, The Exchequer Secretary told MPs,

"The United Kingdom will be leaving the European Union on the 31st of October whatever the circumstances. We must respect the referendum result. We will prefer to leave with a deal, and we will work in an energetic and determined way to get that better deal done."

Responding on behalf of the Opposition, John McDonnell MP said,

"Briefly Mr Speaker, can the Government confirm its estimate of the scale of speculation on the economic outcome of Brexit, placing bets on risk to our economy. Isn't there a danger that the promotion of a no deal scare by the Prime Minister resulting in profiteering by his friends and donors, could be seen as a conflict of interest by any standard and contrary to the ministerial code which says that Members must avoid real or apparent conflicts of interest."

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