The British pound jumps as the European Union announces further progress on the deal

The British pound jumps as the European Union announces further progress on the deal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street in Central London on November 26, 2020.

Jimmy Lauriman | Agence France-Presse | Getty Images

The pound broke the long-awaited $ 1.35 barrier on Wednesday morning after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said progress was being made towards a post-Brexit trade deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Von der Leyen told the European Parliament that while she cannot say whether there will be an agreement or not, “there is a way to reach an agreement now” and the next few days will be crucial.

“We have found a way forward with most of the cases, but two issues remain unresolved: equal opportunity and fisheries,” said von der Leyen.

“I am pleased to report that the issues related to governance are now largely resolved. The next few days will be crucial.”

However, a British official reportedly told Reuters that the two sides were still “very far apart in key areas” and that despite some progress, the deal “was still lacking.” CNBC was unable to independently verify the report.

The British pound rose 0.4% against the dollar after the comments, surpassing the $ 1.35 barrier for the first time since May 2018. The euro also rose 0.45% against the US dollar to $ 1.22 high for the first time since April 2018.

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