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Brexit Briefing: Pound Jittery on Fears of 2nd Scottish Independence Poll

Brexit Briefing: Pound Jittery on Fears of 2nd Scottish Independence Poll

2017-02-27 16:44:00
Oliver Morrison, Analyst

Talking Points:

- Pound falls on concerns of a new Scottish referendum

- GBPUSD dropped to a two-week low of 1.2382

- But Cable later recovers to claw back the losses

- See the DailyFX Economic Calendar and see what live coverage for key event risk impacting FX markets is scheduled for the week on the DailyFX Webinar Calendar.

The Pound was under pressure Monday after a report in the Times newspaper claimed British Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing for Scotland to call a new independence referendum in March, to happen with the triggering of Article 50.

Another report in the Telegraph suggested that May is planning to curb freedom of movement for EU citizens as soon as she triggers Britain’s formal notification of its withdrawal from the European Union.

GBPUSD dropped to a two-week low of 1.2382 on the news, while EURGBP rose to a five-day high at 0.8500. The moves indicate just how jittery the Pound is – despite remaining fairly rangebound against the Dollar and Europe of late -- to the slightest whiff of any Brexit uncertainty.

A spokesperson for the prime minister quickly reiterated that May is opposed to a new Scotland independence referendum, and that the threat of a fresh Scottish vote was creating unnecessary ‘uncertainty and division’. The spokesperson added that May has not yet set a timetable for her migration policies.

“Should there be a second referendum? Our clear answer to that is 'no,"' the spokesperson said. "In 2014, the people of Scotland made a clear decision to stay in the UK. It was a fair, legal and decisive result."

Scotland voted by 55% to 45% to stay in the UK in September 2014, though polls have suggested the gap has narrowed since the Brexit vote, in which a majority of Scots voted to remain in the EU.

But it’s worth remembering that any new vote would have to be authorised by the UK government, so therefore looks unlikely. The movement of the Pound for the rest of Monday suggests this morning’s selling pressure was an overreaction. GBPUSD currently trades at 1.2464, a rise of 0.0002 on the day, and the Euro's gains have been pared slightly.

The Pound faces a fresh test tomorrow with the release of house price and consumer confidence data. The week also brings important PMI data which will shed light on the health of the country’s services and manufacturing sectors.


Index / Exchange Rate

Change (Exchange Hours/GMT Session Rollover)

Market Close/Last

FTSE 100
















Date, Time (GMT)



UK Nationwide House Price Index (yoy)

Feb 28, 0000



UK PMI Manufacturing - Sept

March 1, 0930



UK PMI Construction – Sept

March 2, 0930



UK PMI Services – Sept

March 3, 0930



--- Written by Oliver Morrison, Analyst

To contact Oliver, email him at oliver.morrison@ig.com

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