Pound rebounds as May sets course for 'hard Brexit'

The UK will go its own way and sever almost all ties with the EU

Pound rebounds as May sets course for 'hard Brexit'

Kirsty Wigglesworth PA Wire / PA Images

There was an instant spike in sterling values as Theresa May outlined the UK's core aims as it embarks on the process of leaving the European Union.

The series of announcements - the bones of which had been leaked to this morning's papers - offered some certainty to the market as the pound recovered lost ground.

One pound currently buys €1.15 and $1.23.

British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed Britain will leave the Single Market as it leaves the EU. 

Speaking in Central London, she also confirmed the final deal between the UK and the EU will be put to a vote in the two houses of parliament. 

Calling it a great moment of national change, Mrs May said negotiations will focus on getting the right deal in Britain and abroad, as well as embracing economic reform.

Opinion is split over the long term effect that this approach will have on the currency - JP Morgan has forecast that it will fall as low as 93p against the euro during 2017.

This would be bad news for Irish exports - as it makes their goods relatively more expansive in the crucial UK market.

Irish reaction

In a statement issued shortly after Mrs May's speech, the Irish Government said it shares Mrs May's goal to achieve the "closest possible future economic relationship for Britain with the EU."

The statement says: "Prime Minister May highlighted the specific and historic relationship between Britain and Ireland. In this context, she made clear that her priorities include maintaining the common travel area and avoiding a return to a hard border with Northern Ireland, both of which are welcome."