The pound will be given a “much-needed and significant bounce” if a political agreement between the UK and the EU on the Northern Ireland protocol is reached, says the CEO of deVere Group.
Nigel Green, the chief executive, and founder of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations, is speaking out as the UK and European Union negotiators are reportedly closing in on a deal to end their long-running row over post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland.
The protocol keeps Northern Ireland inside the EU’s single market for goods, meaning trade can flow across the land border without additional documentation or checks.
But it also means there are further checks and more paperwork on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain, angering some businesses, and is opposed by unionists in Northern Ireland.
The deVere Group CEO said, “After sealing an agreement last week on trade data, the two sides are also nearing a resolution on customs aimed at reducing frictions between Great Britain and Northern Ireland since Brexit.
“It’s hoped that this could lead to a broader deal on the Northern Ireland Protocol and, ultimately, easing the political stalemate at Stormont.”
He continued, “Should this happen, we expect the pound to benefit from a significant bounce.
The hitherto hard-line approach on the Protocol has delivered a body blow to the British currency as it has hit businesses hard, impacting growth and investment, and the political uncertainty has whipped up market turbulence.”
Green said that a relief rally would be welcomed by many given the currency’s dismal performance last year.
He added, “A boost is much-needed as sterling was the third-worst performing major currency of 2022.
“As the mood music on both sides improves with negotiators preparing for intensified talks this week, the pound will react positively.
“If a solution is found, pound pessimism will have peaked, and we expect the currency to experience a decent rally.”