The pound has soared as British Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her vision for how Britain should divorce from the European Union.
Sterling rose almost 2% against the US dollar, reaching 1.227, as Mrs May said the final Brexit deal with the EU will be put to a vote of both Houses of Parliament, while stressing the need for Britain to strike strong global trading ties.
The pound rose as high as 1.145 versus the euro.
Speaking at Lancaster House, Mrs May said: “This Government has a plan for Britain – one that gets us the right deal abroad but also ensures we get a better deal for ordinary working people at home.”
Mrs May added that Britain will not hold on to membership of the European single market, but would aim to achieve the “greatest possible access to it” through a “bold new free trade agreement”.
She said Britain would aim to secure tariff-free trade that would be as “frictionless as possible”.
Focusing on the financial services sector, Mrs May said she would do everything she could to avoid a “disruptive cliff edge” by providing a phased transition for a “smooth and orderly Brexit”.
On the Customs Union, she said she wanted to remain part of a customs agreement with the remaining 27 EU states, but said she had an “open mind” over whether this would be through associate membership of the Customs Union or through some other arrangement.