Pound falls on reports UK could quit Brexit talks next week

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson as fears grow Brexit talks could collapse. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson as fears grow Brexit talks could collapse. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

The pound slid on Wednesday, after a report that the UK government could pull out of Brexit talks as soon as next week if not enough progress has been made towards a deal.

Sterling had lost 0.8% against the dollar (GBPUSD=X) by mid-afternoon in the UK, trading just below $1.29. It shed 0.7% against the euro (GBPEUR=X), with the pound selling for $1.09.

The flight from sterling reflects investors fears’ Britain could face severe economic upheaval if no deal is reached. It would likely spark disruption and sudden new barriers to long-standing trade and other ties with most of Europe when the Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year.

Talks between negotiators are ongoing in London this week. The pound’s decline came after a source told Bloomberg the UK

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Demand for new cars falls to 21-year low, says Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

Demand for new cars fell to a 21-year low last month, industry data shows.

Some 328,041 new cars were registered in the UK in September, down 4.4% on the total of 343,255 during the same month in 2019, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This was the weakest September performance since 1999 when new number plates began being issued twice per year, in March and September.

Sales of battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars bucked the trend with rises of 184.3% and 138.6% respectively.

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Overall registrations during the first nine months of the year were down 33.2% compared with the same period in 2019.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “During a torrid year, the automotive industry has demonstrated incredible resilience, but this is not a recovery.

“Despite the boost of a

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