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Brexit seems almost certain, what will it mean for ASX shares?

brexit decision

Brexit seems very likely to go ahead now with the UK currently holding its general election.

According to an exit poll commissioned by the BBC, ITV and Sky News, the UK Conservative Party is on track to win 368 MP seats, a majority of 86.

The main message from Boris Johnson’s election campaign has been “get Brexit done”, so it seems pretty clear what’s likely to happen. It’s likely to be a softer Brexit than no-deal considering there seemed to be a potential deal that was acceptable to the EU side.

What will this mean for ASX shares? Well, for the ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) I don’t think it will mean that much. The UK economy is a smaller part of the global economy than it used to be. So, unless global investors think Brexit will cause a global recession, the overall ASX is unlikely to move much.

But there are some ASX shares that have some, or most, of their earnings generated from the UK.

I’m thinking of shares like Virgin Money UK PLC (ASX: VUK), Janus Henderson Group (ASX: JHG), Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC), Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU), Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) and Reliance Worldwide Corporation Ltd (ASX: RWC).

Many of the anti-Brexit side said that the UK would see an economic downturn when it exits the EU, so we’ll soon see if that’s the case.

Foolish takeaway

I think now that there’s certainty in the path that the UK is going to take, BetaShares FTSE 100 ETF (ASX: F100) could see share prices rise because a no-deal exit is quite unlikely. I’d much rather buy the UK share focused ETF than try to play Brexit through most of the shares I’ve mentioned.

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Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and Reliance Worldwide Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Computershare, Ramsay Health Care Limited, and Reliance Worldwide Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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