Pound hits 31-month high as Conservatives hold election lead – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as the Conservative party extends its lead over Labour to 14 points

9.02am GMT

Shares in UK focused companies are strengthening this morning too.

Retailers Marks & Spencer (+3%), Next (1%) and Kingfisher (+1.1%) are all among the risers, along with banks such as Lloyds (+0.8%) and RBS (+0.7%).

8.45am GMT

For all the talk of ‘getting Brexit done’, it’s inevitable that the issue would dominate UK politics in 2020 and beyond.

If the UK does leave the EU by the end of January, a new battle to define the future trading relationship between the two sides will break out.

Cabinet ministers admit privately they have barely discussed the future relationship question that would loom large once the UK had left the EU on 31 January. “All the focus has been on the election,” one minister said. “Boris is vague about the EU trade deal.”

Whitehall officials believe Johnson would soon have to confront the dilemma May faced: to secure close to frictionless trade needed to protect UK business, he would have to accept more EU regulation than he has been prepared to admit.

Continue reading…Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as the Conservative party extends its lead over Labour to 14 pointsIntroduction: Sterling hits €1.19Survation poll give solid Tory leadPound hits $1.318 against US dollar – a seven-month highPolitics Live: Labour sets out plan for first 100 days in office 9.02am GMTShares in UK focused companies are strengthening this morning too.Retailers Marks & Spencer (+3%), Next (1%) and Kingfisher (+1.1%) are all among the risers, along with banks such as Lloyds (+0.8%) and RBS (+0.7%). 8.45am GMTFor all the talk of ‘getting Brexit done’, it’s inevitable that the issue would dominate UK politics in 2020 and beyond.If the UK does leave the EU by the end of January, a new battle to define the future trading relationship between the two sides will break out.Cabinet ministers admit privately they have barely discussed the future relationship question that would loom large once the UK had left the EU on 31 January. “All the focus has been on the election,” one minister said. “Boris is vague about the EU trade deal.”Whitehall officials believe Johnson would soon have to confront the dilemma May faced: to secure close to frictionless trade needed to protect UK business, he would have to accept more EU regulation than he has been prepared to admit. Continue reading…