Ministers and government officials from both the UK and the EU will meet later today to kick-start the intense rounds of trade talks aimed at providing a trade link between the two inside a calendar year.
Although today’s meeting will only be termed as “a reference point”, as any agreement must be presented to Parliament on Thursday, sterling markets have been subdued as the feasibility of completing such a colossal task inside the ten-month window creeps back in. It is likely that the UK will present the vision of a ‘Canada-style’ free trade agreement, utilising parts of the treaty as a basis for Britain’s so as to not rewrite everything and waste time. Sadly, as this negotiation will always be a two-way street, Michel Barnier has already leapt to rule this out, stating “We have proposed a trade agreement with a country that has a very particular and unique close geographical proximity, not like Canada, not like South Korea and not like Japan”.
As mentioned yesterday, the Coronavirus outbreak in Italy has done enough to euro markets in the meantime to keep the pound above the 1.1925 mark for the time being, with sterling also making modest gains of 0.45% against the dollar as stock markets haemorrhage gains on the fears of a wider slowdown off the back of the pending pandemic.
Have a great day.
Author: Joshua Haden-Jones, Senior Relationship Manager
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