GBP EUR Exchange Rate Flirts with 2020 Highs

GBP EUR Exchange Rate: Weekly Review April 2nd  

The GBP EUR exchange rate saw a strong surge last week to trade at highs of 1.1997. The highs from 2020 are at the 1.2000 level and sterling will look for support to try that level again. Ministers in the UK are looking at cutting isolation times for the virus, while some say London has passed the peak of Omicron.

The GBP to EUR starts the week at 1.1960 after a pause in the second half of last week.

London may have seen the peak of Omicron woes

London’s public health chief, Prof Kevin Fenton, has said the Omicron variant “may have passed its peak” in the UK capital.

“Data from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) suggests that the peak may have occurred at or just about the New Year period. We’re seeing reductions in overall case rates across the city and the prevalence of infection within the community,” he said.

But he also warned that case rates are still “very, very high” and that more than one in 10 Londoners are still infected with the virus variant.

“It means we’re not yet out of this critical phase of the pandemic, although we may well be past its peak.”

Meanwhile, the EU ambassador to the UK has said that the foreign secretary’s reiteration of the UK’s readiness to trigger Article 16 is “not very helpful”.

Liz Truss said in the Sunday media: “My priority is to protect peace and stability in Northern Ireland. I want a negotiated solution but if we have to use legitimate provisions including Article 16, I am willing to do that.”

“The EU has already invoked this article to introduce a hard border for vaccine exports and, even in the act of withdrawing it, insisted on its right to do so again in the future,” she added.

Labour plans VAT cut and oil windfall tax for energy bills

Labour added further pressure to Boris Johnson’s failure to act over energy bills by saying they would cut bills by up to £600 for the worst off.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said they would scrap VAT for a year for a year and impose a windfall tax on North Sea energy producers to tackle the cost of living crisis.

The party’s £6.6 billion plan would include the removal of VAT on domestic energy bills for a year, as well as expanding the warm homes discount for those most at risk.

The North Sea energy producers would be forced to contribute £1.2 billion, via a year-long increase to their corporation tax of 10%.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves accused UK ministers of creating a ‘price crisis’ by responding to surging wholesale energy costs with ‘dither and delay’.

She told Sky on Sunday: “The Prime Minister was the biggest advocate for cutting VAT on gas and electricity bills during the European referendum. But now when cutting those bills would make more difference than ever, the Prime Minister says no.”