This has not been the best week of Theresa May’s life. And remember: It’s had some pretty stiff competition this year alone. Anyway, the mortally wounded British prime minister trudged up to Manchester this week to rally the Tory troops. Then, she trudged through just about the worst speech of her life—again, against stiff competition!—amidst the early stages of bronchitis, a collapsing set and a cheeky chappie handing her the U.K. equivalent of a pink slip, all the while looking over her shoulder at the shaggy-headed buffoon whose official position is Foreign Secretary but whose actually full-time job is to undermine her. Meanwhile, her negotiating strategy—such as it is—with her soon-to-be-former partners in the European Union isn’t going great, with the EU Parliament overwhelmingly voting against beginning talks on a free-trade and transition deal for the U.K. post-Brexit, which the EU’s chief said will now require “miracles.”
Well, miracles are exactly what Theresa May’s going to need if she wants to save the U.K.’s most important industry from trudging en masse for the Channel and then beyond, according to the head of Britain’s chief financial regulator. A Christmas miracle, in fact.
“If we get to Christmas and the negotiations have not reached any agreement on this topic, diminishing marginal returns will kick in,” Sam Woods, chief executive officer of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said in London on Wednesday. “Firms would start discounting the likelihood of a transition in the central case of their planning.”
In other words, in absence of a deal, the boxes in the City will start opening on Boxing Day, but in the bad kind of way. The learning to say “Fröhliche Weihnachten” by next Christmas kind of way.