Brexit Currency fallout: Exchange Rate Tracker

Use our interactive currency exchange rate chart to track the impact that the latest and biggest Brexit events have had on the pound, following the EU Referendum Act 2015.

Jon Ostler

by , CEO

29 Aug 2018

On the 23 June 2016 the British people voted to leave the EU, ending Britain’s 43 year membership. Whilst the long-term impact of Brexit is still uncertain, what is clear is that the Brexit campaign and the outcome of the referendum have and are continuing to have a dramatic impact on the strength of the pound, leading it to fall by 19% post the referendum.

Use this page to find out how the value of the pound has changed since Brexit, what events might have caused these changes and to learn more on who are the winners and losers of the depreciated pound.

Our interactive chart below shows the correlation between key Brexit events and their impact on the pound.

Looking for an event in particular?

The table below lists the key Brexit dates included in our analysis. Use our search function to find the date of a particular event.

Date Event
03/09/2018 Boris Johnson: UK gets ‘diddly squat’ from May’s Brexit plans
29/08/2018 Barnier ‘failing to make himself available for Brexit talks’
23/08/2018 Secretary of State Dominic Raab’s speech on no deal planning
21/08/2018 EU citizens will not be ‘turfed out’ of UK in event of no-deal Brexit
21/08/2018 NHS unprepared for no-deal Brexit, leaked letter warns
19/08/2018 Brexit: Government set to publish no-deal advice
05/08/2018 Trade secretary Liam Fox says odds of UK leaving EU without a trade deal are 60-40
17/07/2018 Justine Greening’s call for new Brexit referendum rejected by No 10
09/07/2018 Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resign on the same day.
03/07/2018 Firms are seen as “running out of patience” on Brexit. Jaguar, Airbus and BMW have voiced concerns adn raised questions over Brexit.
18/06/2018 Theresa May announces plans for funding the NHS which include the “Brexit Dividend” and an “inevatible rise in taxes”.
12/06/2018 Amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill suggested by the House of Lords was voted on by the House of Commons. The Bill is in what is known as “Ping-pong” which is the to and fro of amendments to Bills between the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
07/06/2018 The UK’s proposed “backstop” plan for trade with the EU after Brexit has been published. An expected end date of 2021 was included.
30/05/2018 A group of major European companies inlcuding: BP, BMW and Nestle has warned they may pull investment without more clarity over the terms of Britain’s EU exit.
13/04/2018 Carmakers fear the worst after Brexit, stating “Brexit has derailed the industry”. Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s biggest carmaker will cut 1,000 jobs due to Brexit ‘headwinds’.
29/03/2018 The UK hopes to “roll over” 40 EU trade deals by the end of the Brexit transition period in 2020 according to the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox.
23/03/2018 EU leaders have approved guidelines for the negotiation of future relations with the UK after Brexit. The text on trade, security and other issues was agreed in “less than half a minute” – clearing the way for the next phase of Brexit talks.
19/03/2018 The EU and the UK have taken a decisive step in their Brexit process by agreeing on a “large part” of Brexit terms. However, issues such as the Northern Ireland bored are yet to be resolved.
07/03/2018 The EU has revealed their draft guidelines for Brexit trade deals, rejecting Theresa Mays demands for a comprehensive deal. After revealing the document Mr Tusk made clear that “No member state is free to pick only those sectors of the internal market they like, or to accept the role of the ECJ only when it suits their interest.” The proposal also calls for a zero-tariff trade on good that the EU has a surplus of.
07/02/2018 A document produced by the HM Treasury forecasting the 15 year impact of the UK staying in the single market, securing a trade deal or leaving without a trade deal. It has predicted that in each scenario growth would be reduced by 2%, 5% and 8% respectively, than under the current forecast.
01/02/2018 Theresa May has suggested that those who move to the UK during the post-Brexit transition period will not be given the same rights as those who arrived before, despite the EU’s opposing demands. Migrants may face rules such as legal requirements to register when arriving in the UK and mandatory work permits.
29/01/2018 The European Union has set out it’s guidelines for the Brexit transition period. Demands have made clear that all EU rules and regulations should continue throughout the period including free movement into the UK.
15/01/2018 A paper produced by the Scottish government which assess three potential outcomes for the Scottish economy from Brexit has reported that a hard Brexit could cost Scots £12.7bn.
15/12/2017 The EU’s 27 leaders have agreed to allow Brexit talks to move to the second phase. The details of the transition period after the Uk’s departure will begin at the end of January, followed by talks on trade and security in March.
13/12/2017 MP’s have voted to allow Parliament to vote on the final Brexit deal with the European Union, defeating the government by 4 votes. The vote saw 11 Tory MP’s rebel against their parties stance.
08/12/2017 The UK’s so-called ‘divorce bill’ has been agreed. According to the BBC the financial settlement will cost the UK between £35bn and £39bn. The deal also guarantee’s no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, as well as the protection of EU citizens rights to live, work and study in the UK, and vice versa.
29/11/2017 Reports that the UK has accepted its obligations to the EU and promised to fully honour its commitments to the current 2014-2020 EU budget period. Its now believed the UK will be pay an initial fee of around 50bn euros with this potentially rising to 100bn euros, although no official agreement has been made.
23/11/2017 The European Commission has cancelled the UK’s right to host the European Capital of Culture following the Brexit vote. Additionally a leaked dossier based on meetings between Irish diplomats and senior European government officials reveals lack of confidence from Europe in Tory party negotiations.
22/11/2017 Chancellor of the Excheque Phillip Hammond has promised to set aside an extra £3bn for Brexit negotiations over the next two years, on top of the £700 million already spent.
12/11/2017 Reports that 40 Conservative MP’s are ready to sign a vote of no confidence in Theresa May.
02/11/2017 UK raise interest rate for the first time in ten years
02/10/2017 European parliament vote against allowing the bloc to continue to the next phase of Brexit talks.
24/09/2017 German parliamentary elections
13/09/2017 European Commission president gives annual State of the EU speech, says Brexit is “not the future of Europe”
12/09/2017 The EU Bill passes its second reading in the House of Commons
07/09/2017 European Commission releases Brexit position papers on a range of issues
28/08/2017 Next round of talks begins
23/08/2017 UK asks for a post-Brexit transitional legal arrangement between UK and EU
16/08/2017 UK releases a position paper on its proposals for Northern Ireland
15/08/2017 UK proposes a bespoke, temporary customs union with the EU
27/07/2017 Government commissions experts in the Migration Advisory Committee to advise on UK’s post-Brexit border policy
17/07/2017 First full round of talks begin
22/06/2017 The European Council summit begins as a full EU28 meeting
19/06/2017 Negotiations begin
09/06/2017 Theresa May says she will form a government, supported by the Northern Irish DUP
08/06/2017 British general election: the Conservatives lose their parliamentary majority; Labour makes gains
22/05/2017 General Affairs Council of the EU authorises the opening of Brexit negotiations
29/04/2017 EU27 leaders meet to agree on guidelines for future Brexit talks
18/04/2017 Theresa May calls snap general election
29/03/2017 Government triggers Article 50
02/02/2017 UK Government publishes White Paper on the UK’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union
24/01/2017 Legal appeal rejected, an Act of Parliament is required before triggering Article 50
17/01/2017 Government announces key objectives for the Brexit negotiations
08/12/2016 Legal appeal against the High Court ruling that Parliament must vote on Article 50
07/12/2016 House of Commons vote to respect the outcome of the referendum
23/11/2016 Autumn Statement. Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, outlines his financial plans
09/11/2016 Donald Trump wins US Presidential Election
03/11/2016 The English High Court rules Parliament must vote on whether Article 50 can be triggered
28/10/2016 Belfast High Court rules Government does not need the consent of the Northern Irish Assembly
17/10/2016 Legal challenge: can the Government trigger Article 50 without an Act of Parliament?
13/10/2016 Nicola Sturgeon announces that a second referendum on Scottish independence is likely by 2020
03/10/2016 Theresa May announces Great Repeal Bill and that she will trigger Article 50 in March
13/07/2016 Theresa May becomes new UK Prime Minister
24/06/2016 Referendum result is to leave the EU, David Cameron resigns as Prime Minister
23/06/2016 Referendum polling day on EU membership
15/04/2016 Referendum campaigning begins
01/03/2016 Government introduces European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill to Parliament
19/02/2016 EU referendum date announced
09/06/2015 European Union Referendum Act 2015

What Brexit events have had the biggest impact on the pound?

Brexit has caused significant changes to the pound sterling, not only from key events but from speculation within financial markets. However, these events in particular have had a major impact on the pound.

  • Referendum result. Following the vote to leave the EU, the pound fell sharply. In the weeks following the referendum the pound fell by 10.4% against the Euro from €1.3017 on 23 June to €1.1663 on 6 July 2016.
  • Article 50 Legal challenge. In October 2016 negotiations took place to determine whether Theresa May could trigger Article 50 without parliamentary approval. It was during this legal battle that the pound fell by 4.6% from €1.1579 on 30 September 2016 to €1.1044 on 11 October 2016. The High Court ruled that the government must have parliamentary approval i.e. a law would need to be passed through the House of Commons and the House of Lords in order to authorise Article 50.
  • Single market speculation. The pound fell once again on the 16 January 2017 due to speculation surrounding Theresa May’s hardline approach to Brexit and the expectation that she would announce that Britain will be leaving the EU single market. The pound fell by 3.45% following these reports from €1.1767 Euros on 3 January 2017 to €1.1361 on 16 January 2017.
  • Article 50 triggered. Theresa May triggered Article 50 on 29 March 2017. This kick-started the formal process of Britain’s exit from the EU, and saw the pound drop by 0.65% from €1.1612 on 23 March 2017 to €1.1537 on 29 March 2017.
  • General election results. The sterling suffered its highest fall of 2017 following the surprise election result as Theresa May lost her majority government, sparking more political uncertainty in Britain. The pound fell to a seven-month low of €1.1287.

What key Brexit events could affect the pound in the future?

The value of the pound is set to continue to rise and fall as Brexit negotiations proceed forward throughout 2018, 2019 and beyond. All events that lead to increased uncertainty, changes to investor confidence and financial speculation will have some impact on the value of the pound. For example any statements made by EU or British officials on the speed and success of progress are likely to cause fluctuations in the currency.

Major forthcoming Brexit events with the potential to have an impact on pound include:

  • Negotiations. As the results of each stage of the negotiations are revealed and the future of Britain’s political relationship with Europe is shaped, the pounds value will fluctuate.
  • Deadline day. Mr Barnier the European Chief Negotiator for Brexit has stated that he wants all talks to be completed by October 2018 to allow ratification of the agreement. This leaves the UK less than 18 months to complete their negotiations.
  • Exit Day. EU treaties will cease to apply to the UK, two years after Article 50 was originally triggered, in March 2019 (unless all 28 EU members agree to extend it).
  • Transition period. Formal negotiations on the transition period began at the end of January 2018. Currently the EU hold that the transition should happen under existing rules and regulations, ending on the 31 December 2020. However, UK businesses have argued this will not leave them enough time to prepare for a post-Brexit economy, whilst Brexit supporters suggest the period is too extensive and will force the UK to follow EU rules without having any say on them.
  • No deal. With the progress of negotiations very slow, there are still questions as to whether an agreement will ever be made. Unravelling 43 years of treaties and agreements that cover thousands of subjects was never going to be a simple task.
  • Article 49. The European Commission has said that the UK can choose to reapply to join the EU using Article 49. A decision that would have a huge impact on the pound.

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If you’re interested in trading foreign currencies, a forex trading platform is the place to start. Compare some of the UK’s leading providers in the table below, or head to our forex section for more information.

Updated September 25th, 2018
Name Product EUR/GBP daily spread USD/JPY daily spread GBP/USD daily spread EUR/USD daily spread
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4 pips
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Plus500 Forex Trading
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Who benefits from a weaker pound?

The changing value of the pound will create winners and losers. So far since the decision to have a referendum on the EU the pound has seen a general depreciation, although its value has fluctuated significantly. The falling value of the pound essentially makes buying goods/services from abroad more expensive, but also means UK goods/services are now cheaper to those abroad – as a result of this certain groups will benefit from the pounds depreciation and others lose out.

Winners

While the falling value of the pound is generally perceived to be a negative consequence of Brexit, it does provide benefits to certain groups.

Exporters

The depreciation of the pound which makes UK goods/services relatively cheaper on the international market is likely to increase foreign demand for UK products. This will create huge opportunities for exporting businesses to capitalise on. Businesses that are net exporters are likely to be the biggest winners from the depreciation of the pound.

Online businesses

Many online businesses have managed to capitalise on the weakening pound by adapting their websites to allow customers to browse in their own language, and pay in their own currency. PayPal has confirmed that in the second half of 2016 it saw a 34% increase in overseas sales for small and medium-sized UK businesses.

UK tourism sector

As the pound has depreciated against the Euro and the US Dollar the UK has become a more desirable destination for foreign holiday makers whose money can now afford them more on UK shores. As a result the UK has seen a rise in tourism both from within the EU and other countries such as China. Domestic tourism has also risen as as going abroad has become relatively more expensive than visiting a location in the UK.

Losers

Importers

The UK is a net importer of goods and services. As the value of these imports are made dearer by a falling pound, the UK’s balance of payments will become worse off. All businesses that rely on foreign imports will suffer from the falling price of the pound.

Holiday goers

The UK is a net importer of goods and services. As the value of these imports are made dearer by a falling pound, the UK’s balance of payments will become worse off. All businesses that rely on foreign imports will suffer from the falling price of the pound.

Planning to travel?

If you’re off on a business trip or planning a holiday abroad this year, then there are a few things you can do to help make up for the falling value of the pound.

Prepare: Some travel money providers require you to pass an identification process before you are able to exchange any funds and this authorisation process can take a number of days to complete. So in order to be able to exchange your travel money quickly when the exchange rate is strengthening in your favour, you can prepare by registering with a provider today.

Prepaid travel cards. Prepaid travel cards allow you to pre-load your money and lock in the exchange rate, rather than using the live rate as debit and credit cards will. Take a look at the strength of the pound – If it is looking favourable or predicted to be worse when you’re away, pre-load your cash and lock the exchange rate to give yourself more bang for your buck.

For anymore help on getting your travel money options right, check out our travel money comparison page or search our site for one of our country specific travel money guides.

Sending money overseas?

If you or your business needs to send money overseas there are a few methods you can use in order to protect your money against currency shifts. Many international money transfer providers offer a variety of services which can allow you to transfer your funds when the currency is at your advantage, these include:

Spot contracts. These are ideal for one-off, fast, overseas payments, and allow you to agree an exchange rate with your provider based on the market rate.

Forward contracts. If you like the look of the exchange rate available at the moment but you don’t need to send your money just yet, a forward contract allows you to lock in today’s rate for a transfer at a later date.

Limit orders. A limit order allows you to send currency overseas at a guaranteed exchange rate. If you have a target exchange rate in mind for your transfer, you can set a limit order to automatically purchase the currency should this level become available.

Regular transfers. If you need to make regular overseas payments, some money transfer providers allow you to set up an automatic recurring payment plan to save you time and hassle. Whilst some variation in the exchange rate may occur, this option would provide you with an average exchange rate over time.

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