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Brexit just took the lead in the polls -- and now the pound is slipping

The pound is slipping on Wednesday morning, as a poll showed that the people of Britain currently favour voting to leave the European Union.

On Tuesday evening, a poll from ICM suggested that 43% of people now favour leaving the EU, compared to just 41% wanting to remain within the European bloc. That news has helped push the pound downwards, and in early trading on Wednesday, Britain’s currency is off by around 0.25% against the dollar, its most important cross. Here’s how that looks:

Gbp march 23

Uncertainty over the potential for Brexit — Britain leaving the European Union — has wreaked havoc with the value of the pound in recent weeks. For instance, when Mayor of London and Conservative MP Boris Johnson announced his intentions to back the “Leave” campaign in late February, the pound crashed, losing more than 2% in a single day, and hitting a seven-year low. It has recovered a little since then, but still remains severely depressed, and incredibly sensitive.

Yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels appear to have made some who back Brexit even more convinced that Britain should exit the EU. One UKIP spokesman, Mike Hookem, yesterday blamed the attacks on the EU’s Schengen free movement zone, saying that “open borders are putting the lives of European citizens at risk.”

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