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A referendum is one of the highest and truest forms of decmocracy. That is why they are absolute anathema to the unelected dictators of Brussels who would not recognise an election if they saw one staring them in the face. That is why the EU demagogues, those of them who remain sober and capable of standing up, have forced one European country after another to reverse the result of every referendum they have held. And now we have joined them in disgrace, as the destroyers of democracy. The British who have one of the longest histories of parliamentary democracies in the world, have seen their MPs refuse to accept the will of the people and overturn the common decision reached two years ago that there was a majority in favour of Brexit.
It matters not whether that majority was right or wrong. It is the principal which matters. The people were not only allowed to decide, they were asked by Parliament to decide. The government then descended into chaos as MPs began to jockey for position. Ministers abandoned their posts almost every week, looking for aggrandisement and opportunites for self advancement. Led by the weakest leader the country has ever seen since King Harold failed to turn the tide at Hastings in 1066, we became a laughing stock throughout Europe as country after country sought to avenge slights, real or imagined, such as freeing them at great cost from the horrors of fascist domination, with which so many of them happily collaborated.
The jostling for position amongst ministers over the past two years has been a disgrace. They resigned from government one day as a matter of principal, only to rejoin it the next day as they saw better opportunities to get higher up the ladder before they finally brought about the collapse of the government of which they were supposed to be such loyal members.
Ministers have never been so happy as they day on which they realised that Brexit meant the end of Human Rights legislation in the UK. Ministers could not hide their joy as they saw a possible end to the European court, little realising that before we joined Europe, we were the only country in Europe which had no statutory human rights. Did these empty headed numpties want to see Maggie Thatchers mounted police literally riding down unarmed miners fleeing from them across the fields of Orgreave, Did they really want to see Arthur Scargills hordes closing down pits, and power stations and much of British Industry as he plunged Britain into the darkness of the three day week and saw Downing Street as his weekend holiday home..Their faces lit with glee as they saw the emasculation of the European court. The very same Europan court which has just ordered thousands and thousand of judges to be restored to the positions from which newly elected governments in Poland and Hungary had illegally removed them.
There was far more to Brexit than trade and economics. The deliberate trampling down of the democratic rights of the British people in last nights embarassing farce puts those responsible on the same level as the unelected bureaucracies of Brussels and the toothless gravy trainers of Strasbourg, Brexit is now dead.
After the Brexit inspired sell-off, thanks to rising earnings, the FTSE 250 index has recovered sharply to hit record highs and post gains significantly in excess of the benchmark FTSE 100. At the time of the referendum, the slide in sterling was expected to be a disaster for UK plc, especially for those companies without significant dollar earnings. Even so the weaker pound has helped boost exporters’ orders, and although a mild pullback has been seen following the UK Election Hung parliament result, the recent trend shows the pound is continuing to strengthen against the dollar and euro, This stability has enabled midcap companies as diverse as Auto Trader (AUTO), Cranswick (CWK) and Greene King (GNK) to thrive.
These conditions haven’t suited all firms though, and there are plenty still suffering a weak sterling discount. Few pundits could predict the earth shaking political events of the past year, but with Article 50 triggered, and the UK Hung Parliament result, Brexit negotiations over the next two years coupled with European political uncertainty make it hard to identify opportunities. And for many FTSE 250 companies, the risks of a possible UK consumer slowdown cannot be offset by currency gains or outperformance in other parts of the world.
Despite the uncertain backdrop, one key element of the revival among FTSE 250 companies has been strong corporate earnings and positive news flow. Across the board, profits and sales are rising, dividends are being increased, and companies are expanding despite the obvious macroeconomic and political risk. Plus as of yet, consumer spending appears untroubled by recent political events.
Looking ahead, the pound looks stable and set to continue rising against the dollar and euro, a factor that could benefit companies without significant dollar earnings. A stronger pound could also take the sting out of the recent rise in inflation, which has hiked costs for importers.
While the wider global political outlook remains uncertain, financial markets have reacted in a broadly positive manner to the Hung Parliament result. This looks likely to provide backing to the ongoing stability and potential recovery of the pound, which in turn will further support FTSE 250 companies, and for some may even result in stellar growth performances, such as that delivered by Cranswick (CWK) and Cineworld (CINE) over the past year.