The pound has seen a week of fluctuations against the euro following a series of votes in parliament set to change the course of Brexit. Though Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains firm to his word that the UK will make its European departure by the end of the month, a vote to secure the extension of Article 50 could change things. As a result of the uncertainty, sterling saw a shortfall yesterday amid “choppy” trading conditions. The pound is set for further pressure as the Brexit wait continues.
Ministers met in parliament yesterday for a long day of debates and a vote to extend Article 50 for an additional three months.
Though Johnson won a vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which is set to bring into effect the Brexit deal he has secured with the EU, he lost a second vote.
The additional vote for the Article 50 extension means that Brexit could be delayed way beyond the predicted deadline.
This was a blow for sterling which faltered in uncertain waters.
Now Britons are facing the possibility of a general election, which UK parliament will call should the EU propose pushing the date back.
The pound is currently trading at a rate of 1.1567 according to Bloomberg at the time of writing.
According to Michael Brown, Senior Market Analyst at Caxton FX: “Sterling dipped amid choppy trading conditions on Tuesday, as MPs voted in favour of the principles of the Prime Minister’s new Brexit deal, but rejected the condensed timetable for rushing the Bill into law.
“The rejection of the so-called programme motion resulted in the PM ‘pausing’ the legislation and a now likely pivot towards a general election. With a 3-month Article 50 extension having been secured from the EU, a poll now seems likely. The pound may come under some pressure if a poll is confirmed, as uncertainty begins to mount once again.”
With parliament entering what House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg calls “purgatory”, the future of Brexit is in the hands of impending votes.
So, what does this mean for travellers heading to Europe for Autumn holidays?
The Post Office is currently offering an exchange rate of €1.1206 for over £400 and €1.1450 for over £1000.
Travellers are advised to get their money changes in advance of their travels if possible.
Those considering withdrawing cash while abroad should be cautious of unexpected fees according to experts.
Cash withdrawals using a debit card can take up to three per cent of what is removed from your bank account.
Depending on the credit card, some charge interest on cash withdrawals along with a handful of other fees.
Furthermore, contactless payments can also incur their own set of charges.
Norris Koppel, Founder and CEO at banking service Monese, advises travellers to shop around.
He said: “There are a growing number of ways that holidaymakers can exchange and spend cash when abroad from using mobile-only alternatives contactless, to pre-paid cards and fee-free banking services.”
Meanwhile, Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, suggests opting for a specialist overseas credit card.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he said: “If you normally spend abroad on debit or credit cards, while the providers get near-perfect rates, most add an up to three per cent ‘non-sterling exchange rate fee’ on top – meaning something that costs £100 costs you £103.
“Yet specialist overseas credit cards don’t add that fee, so you get the same near-perfect exchange rate as the providers – smashing bureau de change – in every country, every time you go away.
“Just ensure you pay the card off in full each month to minimise the interest.”