The Pound Is a Brexit Barometer. It’s Not Looking Great Right Now.

Amie Tsang

Britain’s currency sank to a two-year low last week, dipping below $1.24 as fears of a no-deal Brexit grew. Long seen as a symbol of Britain’s stability and national pride, the pound has in recent years become a barometer for concerns about the country and its departure from the European Union.

A cheaper pound could invite more foreign investment and tourism, but it could also hurt the country’s ability to buy goods from other places, especially at a time when it will need to negotiate trade treaties.

The currency’s fluctuations look set to continue. On Tuesday, the successor to the current prime minister, Theresa May, will be announced. If Boris Johnson, a hard-line Brexit supporter, is chosen, that raises new questions about how smooth the country’s exit will be.

Since May, when the beleaguered prime minister announced that she would be stepping down, the prospect of Britain crashing out of the European Union — leaving without an agreement on the terms of divorce — has started to look more likely.

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