The pound has fallen after Theresa May said Britain would continue paying into the EU budget until 2020 - but not expanding on the details - in her major Brexit speech in Florence.
As the PM spoke to propose an “implementation period” of “around two years” after Britain leaves the EU when existing market access arrangements would apply, the pound took a dive against the dollar and the euro by around 0.6 percent.
This defied earlier predictions that the pound, which has tumbled in value since the Brexit vote last June, would see a sharp rise after May’s speech.
Watching the markets react on Friday afternoon, financial journalists at Bloomberg noted May’s acknowledgement of the bill Britain would have to pay after leaving the EU was “helping the pound’s resilience” but “the lack of details is proving problematic for investors”.
The slide had left the pound worth around $1.35 and €1.12 by Friday afternoon.
May’s pledge to keep paying into the budget follows months of argument over what and whether Britain would pay a “divorce bill” for leaving the bloc.
“I would not want our partners to fear they need to pay more or receive less over the remainder of the current budget plan,” May said in her speech.
Keen observers of Brexit speculated how much it could be.
Bloomberg reporter Rob Hutton said journalists put it to May that the UK might pay the EU 10 billion Euros a year and she “didn’t knock it down”.