The pound plummeted on Thursday against the dollar and the euro to €1.27 and €1.13 respectively, after the UK Prime Minister Theresa May saw several key cabinet ministers resign and her leadership called in to question following the announcement of her controversial Brexit agreement with the EU.
Investors’ fears of a no-deal Brexit were heightened further after Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg called for a no confidence vote in the prime minister, which helped weaken the pound and cause the currency to experience the biggest drop in more than 17 months.
FTSE falls amid Brexit fallout
The shares of Britain’s biggest housebuilders have taken a tumble as Brexit turmoil takes its toll.
Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey have both seen their share price fall more than 7% on Thursday, after May was forced to wave goodbye to Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey and Northern Ireland minister Shailesh Vara all resigning.
Vara, the latest cabinet minister to jump ship believes that May’s proposed Brexit plan will ‘leave the UK in a halfway house with no time limit on when [it] will finally be a sovereign nation’.
‘We are a proud nation and it is a say day when we are reduced to obeying rules made by other countries who have shown that they do not have our best interests at heart,’ he tweeted.
‘We can and must do better than this. The people of the UK deserve better.’
Royal Bank of Scotland also took a knock, with its share price sinking by around 9% and hovering at around 224p as of 4:40pm GMT on Thursday.
These and other key UK stocks sliding led to the FTSE 100 falling below 7,000 and the FTSE 250, which tracks companies that are more exposed to the UK consumer market declined by 1.7%.
Laith Khalaf at Hargreaves Lansdown commented: ‘The market has taken a big red pen to stocks which are heavily exposed to the UK economy like the banks, retailers and housebuilders.
‘These sectors were already under pressure, but the potential for an orderly Brexit to unravel in the next few days is causing further distress to be manifested in share prices.’