57% of brokers responding to United Trust Bank’s most recent Broker Sentiment poll don’t believe Theresa May can agree a Brexit deal acceptable to parliament by 29 March.
Only 31% felt that a deal agreed by both the UK and EU could be achieved by the time the UK has to officially leave the European Union, unless an extension to Article 50 is agreed instead.
62% of the 128 brokers from the fields of property and asset finance who took part in the survey would not have voted for Mrs May’s original Brexit deal.
Although it appears there would now be a sufficient majority in the House of Commons in favour of the current withdrawal agreement with changes to the backstop, European Council President Donald Tusk has said that the entire withdrawal agreement, including the backstop, is not open for renegotiation.
Harley Kagan, group managing director of United Trust Bank, said: “With less than two months until the UK must leave the EU under Article 50, it looks like Brexit negotiations are going to go down to the wire.
“Parliament has rejected the Northern Ireland backstop as it stands, and the 26 other EU member states are standing firm with the Republic Ireland of Ireland which insists there’s no other alternative. One side will have to concede some ground or risk a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, which all sides appear to agree would be the worst outcome for everyone.
“On a more positive note, UTB has had a busy start to the year indicating that many businesses are carrying on regardless. It’s worth remembering that a majority do not have a trading relationship outside of the UK. And although parts of the UK have seen a cooling of activity in the residential property market, there are areas experiencing a strong demand. The UK’s housing shortage will not disappear overnight.
“Despite the uncertainty, UTB continues to support SMEs, developers and housebuilders by providing a dependable source of funding and enabling them to seek out and seize opportunities to invest and grow.”