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"Automatic" rating change for UK in case of Brexit deal not guaranteed


Sept. 19, 2019

LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Fitch Ratings said on Thursday that an improvement in Britain's rating outlook was not automatically guaranteed even in the case of the government striking a Brexit deal with the European Union.
Fitch currently rates the United Kingdom at "AA" and put the country on a negative ratings watch earlier this year due to Brexit uncertainty.
Ed Parker, head of EMEA sovereign team at Fitch Ratings said that any change would be based on how much of government debt as a percentage of GDP would increase especially if Britain is expanding spending without funding for it.
"Any deal doesn't automatically get the UK back to a stable outlook," he told Reuters at the sidelines of a conference in London.
He added that if debt as percentage of GDP started rising then, "that is something that would tip the argument very much towards a downgrade."
(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Writing by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)
(( saikat.chatterjee@thomsonreuters.com ; +44-20-7542-1713; Reuters Messaging: saikat.chatterjee.reuters.com@reuters.net ))
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