伦敦金融城不开心 英镑给英国首相的教训
日期:2016-10-09 11:49


In the confines of the Conservative party conference, Theresa May’s call to change the direction of our nation was greeted with rapturous applause.

在保守党会议内部,特里萨•梅(Theresa May)改变我们国家的方向的呼吁被报以热烈的掌声。

In the outside world, the vision of post-Brexit Britain that the prime minister went on to describe may have pleased her target audience.


But it drew a tough response from European leaders, dismayed the City of London and appalled much of the wider world.

但这引起了欧洲各国领袖的强硬反应,让伦敦金融城(City of London)不开心,也震惊了外界的大多数人。

This was not primarily about the substance of her proposals, although these imply a clean break with the single market.


It was because her rhetoric left the impression that Britain’s political culture is changing in more profound and troubling ways.


Mrs May has long made it clear she would prioritise controls on immigration over access to EU markets.


This week, she gave further clarity, setting a date to trigger formal exit talks and stating that the UK will not remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

本周,她进一步明确立场,设定了启动正式退欧谈判的日期,并声明英国将不会继续受欧洲法院(European Court of Justice)的司法管辖。

These criteria for Brexit, which effectively rule out remaining in the single market, may be unwelcome to many in business but they are not unexpected.


More telling was her dismissal of liberal-minded international elites, coupled with a proposal to make companies publish a tally of foreign employees in order to flush out any failing to recruit locally.


This language is dangerous: it panders to xenophobia and it has raised questions — from Spain to Sri Lanka — over her commitment to Britain’s long tradition of tolerance and openness.


It has also exposed the tension between the government’s professed commitment to open, globalised markets and its instinct to play to the gallery by excoriating foreigners — even those who pay to study here or work for the National Health Service.


Given the uncertainties that remain over Britain’s intentions for Brexit, let alone what it will prove able to negotiate, this is playing with fire.


The reaction in financial markets has been punishing.


The pound’s plunge early yesterday remains unexplained and may be no more than an algo misfiring.


Yet even after recovering much of the ground, sterling remains at its lowest level in more than three decades.


This represents a real hit to UK living standards, with little evidence as yet of an offsetting boost to exports.


Moreover, there are now signs of disquiet in bond markets: the yield on 10-year gilts, at record lows since the referendum, climbed this week.


This was partly a reflection of Mrs May’s ill-judged comments on monetary policy, which her aides later downplayed.


As Chancellor Philip Hammond says, no decisions on the terms of Brexit have been taken.

正如财相菲利普•哈蒙德(Philip Hammond)所说,有关英国退欧条款仍未达成任何决定。

He is a commonsense internationalist and should be heard.


Mrs May is entitled to address the concerns of her core supporters.


Indeed, she is right to address the inequalities and divisions in UK society that helped to fuel the Brexit vote, especially the urgent need for young, working class people to receive the training they need to advance.


However, language matters.


The prime minister may not mind alienating metropolitan liberals but she should be wary of antagonising potential and real allies abroad.


Whatever one makes of her social agenda, investors are unconvinced that her tactics will result in a good deal for Britain.


The prime minister has received a hard lesson.


She needs to be careful about attacking business and give a stronger signal of her resolve to defend the interests of the economy, especially the City, given its vital contribution to the public finances.


Mrs May will not be able to right the injustices she sees in British society unless she has the financial means to do so.