06/04/2021

Market report: Lockdown easing lifts GBP


GBP

Boris Johnson yesterday confirmed plans to ease lockdown measures from April 12th. This has further boosted GBP, which recently hit a new thirteen month high against EUR and is performing much stronger against USD. 

As of April 5th, 31,581,623 people in the UK had received their first dose, with 5,432,126 fully vaccinated. This is fueling a real sense of optimism for sterling. Especially as many EU countries head back into lockdown. 

The biggest talking point of the weekend, however, was ‘Covid passports’. The PM announced they “would likely become a feature of our lives” and a task-force lead by Michael Gove have been exploring the idea. The passport would allow a reduction of social distancing domestically for certain events and for  international travel. Denmark and Israel already have similar schemes in place.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi stated that piloting the scheme “is the right thing to do” but over 40 MPs have written to the PM, threatening to vote down the scheme in parliament.

The objecting MPs claim the system would create a “two-tier Britain” and would breach equalities legislation and privacy rights. Whether Johnson puts the scheme to a vote remains to be seen but it will be interesting to see how this one plays out in the coming weeks. 

Key announcements

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