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British pound lowest against dollar, euro in years

4 October 2016 13:37



The British pound has plunged to new lows against the euro and the US dollar due to growing concerns about Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU).

Sterling slumped to $1.2740 on Tuesday, its lowest in the past 31 years. This is almost 15 percent weaker than before the EU referendum on June 23, when nearly 52 percent of British voters decided to end the country’s membership in the EU.

The currency also traded at 87.66 pence to the euro, striking a fresh three-year low point against the European currency.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Saturday that the formal process of leaving the EU will begin by March 2017 and from there it would take two years to complete the process.

Britain and the EU are at odds over a string of issues, particularly the UK’s inclination to remain a member of the European single market after leaving the bloc.

Experts have warned that leaving the EU will severely hurt London’s position as a financial hub, unless the UK decides to keep its access by loosening its stance on immigration.

This is the only way that the UK can keep its access, which is contingent on countries agreeing to let European Union citizens live and work anywhere in Europe.

However, it is not likely that the so-called Leave campaigners would agree to trade tighter immigration control with access to the single market.

Speaking to delegates, May claimed that people who floated the idea of a “trade-off” between controlling immigration and trading with Europe were looking at things the “wrong way.”

“This is about delivering for the British people, and this is not just about leaving the EU, it’s about that essential question of the trust people have in their politicians. The people have spoken, we will deliver on that,” May told BBC on Sunday.

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