Fitch affirms British debt rating, outlook negative
The Fitch ratings agency on Friday affirmed the AA long-term debt rating and negative outlook for the United Kingdom (UK) and the Bank of England (BoE), when they have been since June.
In the wake of the surprise vote in June to exit the European Union (EU), which touched off fears of slower growth, prompting a cut in the debt rating from AAA, Fitch said on Friday recent political events suggested Britain likely will seek to control immigration from the EU and reject the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
"In our opinion, and based on the stated position and interests of the EU, this would make it unlikely that the UK remains a member of the European Single Market after leaving the EU," the agency said in a statement.
Those developments also create uncertainty about the economy and new investment.
"Fitch assumes that private-sector investment growth will decline in 2017 as firms delay capital spending commitments in the face of the uncertainties about future trading arrangements with the EU and the regulatory environment," the statement said.