The pound has suffered its biggest ever one-day fall as the results of the EU referendum became apparent.
It has dropped 7% against the euro at around €1.20 as UK markets opened. In turn the euro has dropped 3% against the dollar.
Against the dollar, the pound has dropped to its lowest level since 1985 - down to $1.34 from $1.50 at the start of vote count when Remain was still showing strong.
The fall is the sharpest drop in sterling’s history. Even on the day branded Black Wednesday when the UK withdrew from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism the drop was only 4%.
This initial reaction is before currency markets get into full swing, with further downward pressure likely to be exerted on the pound in what is now a climate of uncertainty.
The drop will hit the income of expats who rely on sterling as their source of income - although it has yet to hit the historic lows seen during the financial crisis in 2008.
The Bank of England has said it is “monitoring developments closely” and has “undertaken extensive contingency planning”.
The representative in France for hardship charity Elizabeth Finn Fund, Mary Hughes, said: “We’re worried about what’s going to happen now, about the healthcare we currently get and whether state pensions will be frozen in the future as they are in Australia and Canada.”
The charity helps British and Irish people in need. Mrs Hughes added: “We are still here to help people where we can. With the pound plummeting I think we will be really busy again. When the pound was really low before during the economic crisis we were incredibly busy.
“The exchange rate plummeting affects everybody’s income from the UK. Some people have already gone back, but most of us will stay, but there is the huge uncertainty. Nobody knows what it means.
“Nothing will happen overnight, nothing will stop immediately and everything is supposition.
“People have got to wait and see now, it’s all we can say.”