We have had Brexit looming in the background, with its 11 month countdown, since we officially left the European Union on 31st January 2020. Will we see a deal brokered at the 11th hour? The most recent sticking point does seem to focus on EU fishing rights in UK waters, but this illustrates the difficulty in solving disagreements over fair competition rules and the UK demonstrating it has regained its sovereignty.

It is inevitable that Sterling will take the brunt of the short-term uncertainty, until we know which side of the knife edge the deal will fall. Fractured politics continues across the pond with renewed interest in the next fiscal stimulus package for the US. The much speculated $3 trillion economic stimulus package, that would have likely arrived if the Democrats ‘blue wave’ had landed, has been diluted to a very precise $908 billion deal. The compromise seems to be focused on stabilising the US economy, rather than stimulating it, with an increase in the unemployment benefits. It is hoped that this will reduce fear amongst those in work and perhaps encourage an increase in spending.

The difficulty in getting this deal across the line is having Congress agree, and whether President Trump will sign. His current tweets suggest he is being less than helpful in his last weeks in charge, threatening to veto the current defence bill being discussed.

Back to the UK where a quick decision was made, which has seen the UK become the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine will be available for inoculations this week, after approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Whilst this is undoubtedly good news, the bulk of vaccinations for at-risk individuals will take place next year. The original 30 million doses ordered in July has been increased by an additional order of 10 million, of which 800,000 should arrive in the UK this week.

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