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UK on brink of Brexit deal as pound fluctuates

By Francis Jay

Pound braced for a rocky ride amid talk of imminent deal

The UK is on the brink of a Brexit deal, after negotiators worked through the night to negotiate a solution to the Irish border issue. The new solution – a customs border in the Irish Sea – would keep Northern Ireland within UK customs territory.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the cabinet at 16:00 GMT before a scheduled meeting of the 1922 Committee (an influential group of Conservative backbench MPs). An emergency sitting of Parliament is planned for Saturday 19 October.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May rejected the idea of a customs border down the Irish sea, describing it as something no British prime minister would ever accept.

Brexit news is already causing currency turbulence. The pound jumped to its strongest level against the US dollar in four month on Tuesday, but dipped again Wednesday morning. Analysts have predicted the pound could slump to as low as $1.10 in the event of a no deal, or hit heights of $1.40 if a deal is done.

The UK is set to leave the EU at 23:00 GMT on 31 October and Boris Johnson has insisted he will not request a delay.

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