London stock markets shrugged off Brexit uncertainties this morning and started the week on an upbeat note.
With the clock ticking down to Britain’s planned departure from the European Union on March 29, both the blue-chipand the FTSE 250, which is more representative of domestic UK businesses, showed gains.
The FTSE 100 was 0.61% higher in early trading at 7,272.62, while the FTSE 250 was 0.11% higher at 19,512.15.
Pound slides on foreign exchanges
Nor were London stocks riding a Europe-wide up-wave – continental bourses put in a very mixed performance as the week’s trading started. In Paris, thewas 0.06% higher at 5,408.41, while in Madrid the was 0.42% up at 9,381.10.
But in Frankfurt, thewas lower, as was the in Amsterdam.
It was a different story, however, on currency markets, where sterling was down against major currencies. It lost 0.44% against theat $1.3240, and dropped 0.64% against the at €1.1666.
Against the, the pound slipped 0.42% at 147.6050 yen.
This can be relatively short, up to June 30, or longer, in which case the UK will be required to take part in forthcoming elections to the European Parliament. Any extension will need to be approved by all 27 other EU members, and may come with conditions attached.
Boris Johnson suggests way ahead
Mrs May’s agreement has already been rejected twice by MPs, with the so-called backstop arrangements for Northern Ireland proving a major bone of contention. Pending a comprehensive EU-UK trade agreement, of which there is no guarantee, the backstop would prevent the return of border controls between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.
Objectors point out that this leaves the province with a different legal status from the rest of the UK and that Britain would need the EU’s permission to bring the arrangement to an end.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph this morning, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who resigned over disagreements with the Government’s approach to Brexit, stated: “Is there a way forward? Perhaps.
But the BBC reported security minister Ben Wallace as saying Mr Johnson and other opponents of the deal were "ignoring the facts".