- Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned, saying he cannot “in good conscience” support Theresa May’s Brexit plan
- Key cabinet minister Esther McVey also resigns
- Follow the pound’s movements live at Markets Insider.
LONDON – The British pound extended its declines in Thursday trading, down 1.5%, after a key cabinet member joined Brexit secretary Dominic Raab in resigning in protest of Theresa May’s plan to leave the EU.
Raab announced his resignation on Thursday morning with Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey following suit later in the morning.
“I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU,” Raab said in a tweet.
McVey, less than an hour later, said: “I cannot defend this and I cannot vote for this deal I could not look my constituents in the eye were I to do that. I therefore have no alternative but to resign from the government.”
Here’s how the pound looked at about 10.50 a.m. in London (4.50 a.m. ET):
Even before Raab’s announcement, the British currency seemed to take a wary view of May’s 585-page Brexit deal unveiled Wednesday evening, tipping into the red Thursday morning.
Even without additional Tory uproar about the deal, there are plenty of hurdles: President of the European Council Donald Tusk described the deal as a “lose-lose” situation, and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier warned of a “long road ahead.” There’s also a potential Parliamentary vote in early December, with the possibility of dissent from the Northern Irish politicians, Conservative Brexiters, Remainers, and the opposition Labour party.
“In other words, there is plenty of reason why the pound isn’t in any rush to celebrate Wednesday’s developments,” Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at Spreadex, said in an email.