New pressure on exporters as sterling hits a three-year low
Published 16/08/2016 | 02:30
Sterling hit a new three-year low against the euro yesterday, placing further pressure on Irish exporters.
The pound traded above 87 pence to the euro for a short period - for the first time since August 2013 - before dipping below it again.
Hard economic data for July is due to be released this week, giving the first indications of how the Brexit vote is impacting on the UK economy.
Meanwhile, Ulster Bank parent Royal Bank of Scotland would move its main office from Scotland if the country were to split from the UK after Britain's vote to leave the European Union, although moving would not mean major job losses, the bank's head has said.
"The Royal Bank of Scotland would just be too big for the economy, but that's around the plaque and not about where our people (are) because we have a very big business up here in Scotland," chief executive Ross McEwan told the BBC. "We will have the people in the right place, moving the plaque won't make any difference to that."
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to find ways to honour Scotland's vote to stay in the European Union, which was at odds with the overall vote in Britain to leave the bloc. As part of that she said is not ruling out holding a second independence referendum. Less than two years ago Scots voted to stay in the UK by 55pc to 45pc.
Royal Bank of Scotland has been based in Scotland since 1727 and employs 11,000 staff. In the wake of Britain's vote to exit the EU, there has been debate about the impact of Brexit on the financial services sector, which is key for Scottish jobs. Asked what his advice to Ms Sturgeon would be, Mr McEwan said: "Take account of uncertainty, that's what you're seeing after Brexit. It's uncertainty that slows markets down, make sure the long game is worth it, but that's going to be up to the people of Scotland."
Meanwhile, reacting to weekend press reports that a Brexit would not occur until late 2019, a spokesman for UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she was throwing the full weight of government behind her goal of winning the best Brexit deal for Britain but reiterated that she will not trigger the formal divorce procedure before the end of the year.
"The Prime Minister is providing the kind of leadership you would expect to confront this serious and very complex task," the spokesman said.
"Article 50 notification won't happen before the end of 2016," the spokesman added. (Reuters)