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Pound stumbles then recovers as Article 50 triggered

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Pound stumbles then recovers as Article 50 triggered

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By Alan Hill. Foreign Exchange Strategist at

A Historic moment from which there is no return

  • Low of 1.2376 seen prior to announcement
  • Reports of conciliatory E.U. response boosts pound and stocks
  • Hard Brexit Bad, Soft Brexit Good sentiment remains.

May confirms Trigger and says Britain’s best days lay ahead.

The Prime Minister called for a truly global Britain looking beyond the borders of Europe but working in partnership with the E.U.

Theresa May’s speech to Parliament repeated the targets that she announced earlier in the year. Her tone was one of appeasement which will have been noted in Brussels

Article 50 of the Lisbon Agreement has now been triggered. The Prime Minister had to deal with regional issues deflecting her from the issue at hand. She commented that on today of all days, the United Kingdom should be United.

Donald Tusk showed his “hip and happening” credentials by announcing that he has received the letter on Twitter!

European Brexit supporters Geert Wilders and Marine le Pen both stated that they had fears over how the U.K. will be treated. A German government spokesman has said the triggering of Article 50 has provided "more clarity" about the UK's plans and the future of the EU.

Tusk’s response short and downbeat.

In his speech confirming receipt of the letter Donald Tusk spoke of his disappointment saying Brexit had made the remaining 27 members of the EU more united. He went on, in an extremely downbeat tone, to say that there is no winner in the withdrawal of the U.K. It is his job to minimise the cost of Brexit to the electorate of the E.U. and that his task was one of damage control.

Contrasting Donald Tusk’s whole demeanour to Theresa May’s, it is clear that only one side in the negotiation is looking forward. The E.U. clearly feels that it is being presented with a “fait accompli” and will fight to ensure its sense of togetherness which seems to always to be under attack

Irish Border could become a major issue.

Northern Irish Members of Parliament have expressed concern that their border with the Republic of Ireland, could become a bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations.

The Scottish Nationalists bemoaned the fact that the Regional Governments of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland weren’t properly consulted. For the reason the Scottish Parliament voted for a second independence referendum.

Sterling reaction muted

The pound continued to trade within its day’s range following the announcement. Fears of a major fall were unwarranted although against the single currency it remained near its lows.

As the negotiations begin, it is doubtful that the pound is “out of the woods”. The biggest challenge will be to ensure that the level of liquidity remains high to counter any shocks that occur.


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