Sterling falls as Brexit impasse deepens

Pound notes of various denominations
UK pound notes

Prime Minister Boris Johnson rules out trips to France or Germany until EU agrees to reopen Withdrawal Agreement

Sterling fell to a 30-month low on Thursday, under pressure from a stronger dollar and concerns that Britain will leave the EU on October 31 without a deal.

The news will come as a further blow to Britons living in France who rely on UK-based income, such as pensions.

The currency has lost about 7% of its value against the euro since mid-May. In early market trading on Thursday, sterling was 91.1p against the euro, while money exchanges in London were offering holidaymakers €1.07 to the pound.

Analysts have suggested that the pound will fall further. Parity with the euro is a possibility, but highly unlikely, some have said.

There seems little chance of an end to the current impasse in negotiations in the short term.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out meeting French President Emmanuel Macron or German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Brexit until the EU agrees to reopen the withdrawal agreement and ditch the requirement for the Irish backstop.

Both leaders had issued invitations to Mr Johnson in the days after he replaced Theresa May as Prime Minister.

But a former minister in President Macron's government has laid the blame for the current Brexit situation at the doors of Westminster.

Nathalie Loiseau, who became an MEP in May, told BBC Radio 5's Emma Barnett: "Let us be frank - you created a problem, you fix it. We did not create the problem of Brexit."

And she rejected suggestions that the EU should change its negotiating stance ahead of the October 31 deadline, a date Mr Johnson has said the UK will definitely leave the union.

"Please bring [a proposal] to the table. What have you been doing for the past three years?

"The previous prime minister was not able to pass a withdrawal agreement she repeatedly said she would be able to pass in the Commons. We were not the ones in power in London. She failed.

"Now Boris Johnson says, 'I'm not willing to come until the EU27 change their minds'.

"But we will not change what we believe in - it's a matter of conviction. This is serious, it is not poker, we are not playing cards."

Ms Loiseau had earlier warned that the no-deal threat would not break the deadlock. She told Sky's Sophy Ridge that the EU would only grant another extension, "if there is something serious happening" such as a general election, or a people's vote.

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