London Markets: Pound slides after DUP says it won’t agree to current Brexit deal

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Wild gyrations seen this week for the British pound continued Thursday, with the currency falling anew after a key group of Northern Ireland politicians said they can’t support U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s current Brexit plan.

The pound GBPUSD, -0.2962%  slid 0.6% to $1.2755, from $1.2828 seen late Wednesday in North America. The pound has gained around 0.8% this week, but with plenty of ups and downs, while the FTSE 100 index UKX, +0.10% has fallen 1%. The index opened with mild losses at 7,162.83.

“We have been involved in ongoing discussions with the government. As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT,” said DUP leader Arlene Foster and MP Nigel Dodds in a statement.

“We will continue to work with the government to try to get a sensible deal that works for Northern Ireland and protects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom,” the politicians said.

The pound spiked briefly Wednesday on a report, later dismissed, that the DUP would accept the so-called consent element of the revised Brexit agreement, seen as the last big obstacle to a deal. The U.K. has said it is open to some flexibility on the mechanism that would allow those politicians to decide whether it remains in regulatory alignment with the EU as set out in the latest Brexit deal proposals.

The development comes as a two-day European Union summit gets under way. The U.K. and the EU had hoped to have a withdrawal deal ready for that meeting.

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