Who is affected by the falling pound?

The pound has fallen to its lowest level in more than 30 years against the dollar, following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. Who is directly affected?

SHOPPERS

The UK imported more than $625bn (£474bn) of goods and services in 2015; mainly from Germany, China, the Netherlands, the United States and France.

A falling pound means that these imports will become more expensive – leading to price rises on the High Street.

“The weak pound will have an impact on prices, especially clothing and electricals, where the majority is imported from abroad,” says retail analyst Maureen Hinton of Verdict Retail.

But this won’t happen immediately as retailers buy the foreign currency they need to pay for their imports in advance, she says.

The weaker pound is probably not going to hit prices until later in the year.

However, motorists are likely to find the cost of filling up with diesel or petrol is set to rise more quickly.

The fall in the value of the pound against the dollar is likely to make the wholesale cost to UK retailers higher.

A price rise of around 2p per litre is likely in the next week.

HOLIDAYMAKERS

When you travel abroad, your pounds will now buy you fewer euros or dollars after the Brexit vote. The cost of accommodation will rise and your spending money won’t go as far as it did last week.

How much you lose out depends where the pound finally settles.

Tour operators can impose surcharges when the cost of a package holiday rises because of currency changes or higher fuel costs – even after the holiday’s been booked.

The firm has to absorb the first 2% of any increase, though if the surcharge goes above 10% then you have the right to cancel the trip.

When it comes to how much your flights will cost, this situation is less clear and depends on the airline and whether the price is in pounds or euros.

Easyjet and Ryanair have argued that flights will become more expensive. But British Airways’ owner – IAG – says Brexit will not affect business.

BRITISH EXPATS

Nothing will change for British expats while Britain and the EU discuss divorce arrangements under article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

However, after Britain finally leaves the EU it all depends on what kind of a deal has been reached.

Working in the EU could become more difficult for UK expats if host countries ask them to comply with more restrictive rules when it comes to permits and setting up businesses.

They may lose their automatic right to work within the EU area and be asked to apply for Blue Cards.

BUSINESSES

The falling pound is good news for exporters because it means that their products become cheaper for foreign customers to buy, and thus more competitive.

However, uncertainty surrounding what happens now is unsettling firms, who are calling for the government to ensure economic stability.

Currently, UK companies are able to trade with the EU on a tariff free and quota free basis. What happens after the UK leaves the EU is unclear.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid is holding a meeting on Tuesday with business leaders from the British Chambers of Commerce, CBI and Federation of Small Businesses.

Mike Cherry, the national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said his members wanted the government to “provide economic stability, for small firms to get the confidence to continue to drive economic growth and create jobs.”

“We will seek to ensure that the confidence of the UK’s 5.4 million small businesses, which is already at its lowest level since 2013, does not fall any further.”

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