Growing likelihood of a hard Brexit sets pound sliding again

Downing Street has refused to confirm reports that Prime Minister Theresa May will set out plans for a 'hard Brexit' in a major speech tomorrow, signalling that the UK will pull out of the single market and the European customs union to curb immigration and end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

Prime Minister Theresa May will set out plans for a hard Brexit " tomorrow.   (Photo: Getty Images)
Prime Minister Theresa May will set out plans for a hard Brexit " tomorrow. (Photo: Getty Images)

Although the exact contents of the speech are not known, a government source was quoted as saying: “She’s gone for the full works. People will know when she said ‘Brexit means Brexit’, she really meant it.”

SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson MP tweeted: “Sunday newspapers full of reports that Theresa May backing hard Tory Brexit. Scotland did not vote for this. We will not accept it.”

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The pound fell to a three-month low last night as markets reacted to the growing likelihood of a hard Brexit. Deutsche Bank forecast that sterling could fall further, potentially reaching parity with the euro.

In an appeal for unity, the Prime Minister is tomorrow expected to say: “One of the reasons that Britain’s democracy has been such a success for so many years is that the strength of our identity as one nation, the respect we show to one another as fellow citizens, and the importance we attach to our institutions means that when a vote has been held we all respect the result.

“The victors have the responsibility to act magnanimously. The losers have the responsibility to respect the legitimacy of the result. And the country comes together.

“Now we need to put an end to the division and the language associated with it – Leaver and Remainer and all the accompanying insults – and unite to make a success of Brexit and build a truly global Britain.”

Preparations for the event take place as the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier offered the first hint of a compromise from Brussels to ensure member states continue to have easy access to the City, it was reported.

But there could be further Brexit drama this week, with the verdict from the Supreme Court in a case that will decide whether Westminster and Holyrood must hold votes to approve the triggering of Article 50 expected imminently.

Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary David Davis said he was willing to have a transitional arrangement that could potentially delay Brexit taking effect for years after the UK leaves the EU.

Writing in a Sunday newspaper, Mr Davis said the government “will consider time for implementation of the new arrangements” if necessary.