Sterling surges on Brexit news and the customs union is set to stay

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The British government and European Union have announced today that the text of a Brexit deal has been agreed. That news has offered encouragement to the international markets and given a filip to sterling, with has increased to its strongest level in over a year. It is also understood that the draft deal, which has still not been agreed by either the cabinet or the House of Parliament, will mean that the United Kingdom will remain within the European customs union for the foreseeable future.

Needless to say, any increase in the level of sterling is a mixed bag for ecommerce merchants. On one level, if you are buying stock from countries within the EU, its will mean that your buying power has been increased. But it could also dampen international demand for British goods. There has been clear evidence in the past year or so that the weakness of the pound has made shopping for items in the UK more attractive because overseas shoppers can get much more for their money.

For any merchant shipping goods from the UK to the European Union, regardless of how you voted in the referendum, this will likely be positive news. It means that come the 30th March 2019, when the UK will leave the European Union after the activation of Article 50, that there will be no disruption to shipping and exports. But more information is expected to emerge about details in the next few days so the exact terms are still unknown.

At 500 pages, it’s hard to see how politicians who haven’t seen the document are able to pass judgement so swiftly on what must be a nuanced and complex Brexit text. So the question that still looms over the next few days, is whether the this deal on the table will be successful. But from an ecommerce perspective, from what we know, it looks like a decent offering.

42 Responses

  1. More of a splutter than a surge, it will be up and down like a yoyo, the market is reacting if someone sneezes at the moment, it would be wonderful to see it gain against the dollar from import perspective as most things are made in China / paid in dollars but we have a very long way to go with this Brexit mess.

    I voted leave (don’t judge) but it has cost me thousands in exchange rate losses, hopefully in the long run it will be worth it.

  2. It will not get passed you only have to listen to the Labour party on the news this morning.

    All they want is a general election and will use this rejection to try and achieve that. They are not for the UK they are for themselves and will reject any deal even if every thing we want is agreed.
    Then when the election comes chaos again.

    I think Labour will win because he has offered everything the country needs.

    Hundreds of billions to buy back trains, water, electricity and gas. Hundreds of billions to the NHS. Billions to write off student loans and debt. Hundreds of billions to unemployed, disabled and the elderly.

    Very very commendable only problem is,where is the money coming from.

    OH YES working peoples tax again so business may go up but my money will go down and i can sit back and see people on benefits able to sit at home and smoke watching sky TV and on their mobiles instead of standing at food banks claiming they cannot feed their kids while stubbing out another cigarette before going in and pleading poverty.

    Didn’t Tony Blair and Gordon Brown cripple us by spending what they did not have before. It will just be going round in circles. Crony Tony looked good till the money ran out then Gordon the moron actually grabbed the chance to lead when he knew we had nowt left.

    Ha ha ha what a clever lot.

    Just hope our ebay can hold on till retirement.

  3. Hmmm, Fake news!?? A surge??? to a whopping $1.294453 ??? which gets me only just over $1.28 anyway – a far cry from the $1.50 – $1.60 preB rates… 🙁
    Top 10 Nov 14, 2018 10:40 UTC
    British Pound 1.00 GBP inv. 1.00 GBP
    US Dollar 1.294453
    Dusted off my file to pay ahead some bills but have put them back in the tray.
    Agree with Gav, had much better rates earlier this year and had just over $1.31 a couple of weeks ago…
    Well put, Mark but even ebay is not proving so good at the moment

  4. It’s important to remember that stirling has been over valued for many years, ask any decent financial person ( yes im a geek who follows all that city stuff and has done for many many years… but i import and export in my business so i need to).
    So yes it has hit imports… but helped exports. What we haven’t seen yet is a steady period where Stirling can find its correct place in the financial markets. It needs balance and then i think we will find it will proberly settle around the upper 1.30s to low 1.40s.
    I think i will stay out of the political side at the moment!

  5. We won’t be staying in the union at all. We voted to leave it.

    They’ll be a civil war before we stay in the union…

  6. No James no hypocrisy here.

    I was brought up to get our priorities straight.

    All the houses on benefit street were lined with satellite dishes and if you cant feed the kids surely that goes first along with the cigarettes and the mobile phones then if you cannot feed the kids you are truly skint.

    To have a child and then just another and another and expect the state to feed and care for it but keep money is wrong. Its a safety net not a way of life. working people say can we afford another kid and can our house cope with another kid. They just say how much more money will we get and can we have a bigger council house.

  7. James i guess you did not read the actual writing. As i actually said.

    I would like to see the parents stop spending their benefits and low wages on Sky TV subscriptions and Mobile phone contracts and Cigarettes and spend it on their Childrens food. Then if things are not good enough use a food bank.

    I speak from having a family member on £320 per week benefits before their housing and everything else . Who smokes and is an alcoholic getting disability for that fact as well which gives him more money and he even gets a free car tax which he sells for £50 per year to a friend. Would you want an alcoholic driving. Also the extra buys him more booze.
    He stops his medication before his appointments to keep up his appearance.

    So my statement was priority not hurting children.

    We cannot sustain the welfare state in or out of the EU.
    Every job created in a supermarket is actually a welfare bill of tax credits make them pay proper wages not just 16 hours to get benefits. Then they are on eBay sinkig the little man too.

  8. Well giving them cash to spend on booze, cigs and satellite TV is certainly not the solution.

    Anyone that has a child that they cannot adequately house and feed should be sterilised

  9. James as i thought you misread. Or i slightly mis-wrote

    It was i would be broke so able to sit at home watching the people at the food bank instead of working and seeing them at the food bank.

    At no time either now or in the future would i want children to suffer but someone needs to help where the money goes in the states you get food vouchers and when they began selling them instead of using them so they put their id on them. You see they always find the money for what they want to buy but struggle on things they want others to buy for them.

    As for needing a phone or internet that’s absolute rubbish they offer all the means in house for you to do your job searches and yes i do now people without either who still get their benefits.

    I live in an agricultural area where the farmers say they need to employ overseas workers cods the brits dont want to do it.
    Yet we have a queue at job centre which sucks either do the work or lose the benefits its not a way of life its supposed to be a safety net.

    Hypothetical for you.

    Me and you leave school at 16 and work for a factory on the same wage i buy a house you rent a social house.
    After 15 years they lay us off we both go to the job centre you get job seekers i get job seekers you get rent paid and council tax i get nothing for that.

    You are paying a subsidised rent all your life i paid my way. Now i don’t expect my mortgage to be paid but i do expect the same money towards it.

    Then at 60 you need to go in a home its free cos you don’t own anything and then i lose my home to pay for my care home.

    So if your system s correct we should all rely on handouts.

    After all we all pee in the same pot as they say.

  10. Never have you been more wrong if they sort it out the people that need it will get more.

    I work between 50-60 hours every week for myself and take home £150 clear.

    I have been on roofs fixing aerials in storms for £50 at 7,30 at night to make ends meet. I have worked in a factory and a garden centre all after leaving the forces as a qualified electronics engineer so when i went to the job centre i was told i could not pick what i wanted to do.

    you sound like a politician who resigns as a point of principle. Well thats easy when you are rich and can afford to resign.
    I do not begrudge anyone help but that’s the word help.

  11. I agree with most of what you’re saying, but at £150 a week you’re not even earning enough to be liable for any tax deductions. You’ll be paying about £20pm for your NI but that’s it.

    Doing 50-60hrs week, Mark, you’re on less than minimum wage. Not sure how’s that possible this day an age.

  12. Hi thats unfortunately all i can take and my partner takes the same its since eBay started dying on us we used to take 240 each but our sales are down 40 percent on last year so its just about hanging on in there.

    Used to give a lass 16 hours per week even that had to go and i go back two nights per week to do what she did.
    Luckily amazon is slightly picking up and other sites are picking up. I just want to make it to 67 only 12 years to go.

  13. Let’s talk about ecommerce ehh rather than general well rehearsed prejudicial rants about the welfare state and people you don’t like.

  14. James i said no such things.

    I said everyone pees i the same pot so everyone should get the same out of the pot. I did not say pay my mortgage i said give me the same payment you give the social housed person (£87.50 at the time). As for the buying of the houses in the first place i said we both left school and had the same job so i chose to buy a house an you did not so where did your extra go all those years.

    As for the NHS yes i expect them to get as much money as they need.

    I want a hospital opposite my house. I want a doctor available whatever time i ring for an appointment. I want an ambulance parked over the road to arrive in less than a minute. I want perfect food while i am in there. I want transport to and from the hospital.

    BUT NO ONE WANTS TO PAY!!! its all i want want want.
    The only way to get all these things is to make people pay more. Or do a Tony Blair and borrow till we all bleed.

    Most people on a basic wage pay around £10 per week NI. There are many that don’t pay that. Plus some who pay more.

    If that £10 person works from 16 to 70 a they pay in £22,880.
    If they then live to be 100 currently they would get £124 per week pension. £194,440. Oops a bit of an over spend.
    I know you will come back with some clever reply that some don’t live that long and some put more in i am giving an example.

    But here is the thing. Many are putting nothing in It may not be their fault.
    Also on that bill they may have gone to the doctors they may have had a few weeks out of work they may have needed an operation they may be on constant medication. That figure is still climbing.

    I was an asthmatic and paid £8 per prescription for years plus other items now and then for other ailments . (That is all fine i agree it needs to be paid).

    Then 3 years ago i was diagnosed with Diabetes and suddenly my prescriptions are free (not just diabetic medicines but all medicines inc my asthma stuff. Why???

    Because diabetes is life threatening well so is asthma the last time i read about it.
    Even my doctor said its mental. I

    Want everything for everyone but someone has to pay the bill was all i am saying.
    My mother needed an op and was told it was 18 month waiting list on the NHS as there was a waiting list so my dad found the money and paid £4,00 to go private.

    The op was done 7 weeks later

    BY THE SAME DR WHO HAD A WAITING LIST the same man who strikes as they are overworked but will spend his spare time in an operating theatre for more money.

    oh and i want students to have no loans and debt paid off sure give it all free. But when as a tax payer i need a solicitor i don’t want them to tell me their bill was £180 per hour when i was only earning £180 per week back then. I should be free surely as i paid their education i i can prove i paid tax during their education period.

    Oh no !!.

    4 bedroomed council house when i need it great have one. But when each child leaves home move down in size for another to have it.
    But they say oh no this is my house i should not have to move.
    But they will not paint their windows or doors (it’s not my house) they scream.

    WHEN IT SUITS !!!!!!!!

  15. Hi Alan

    Yes sales to the eu are up slightly on Amazon but well down on eBay.
    So we are just hanging in there as sales in the UK are dead. Maybe everyone is waiting for Black Friday like everything they need will be reduced to virtually nothing.

  16. The only thing up on eBay are returns- amazingly all are SNAD as well. Our sales and final auction prices are down across the board (antiques and collectibles)

  17. @ Alan P
    Yes I quite agree Alan, I think returns are up across the board for internet sales and eventually, somehow, this will have to be addressed by legislation. Also the whole eBay service metrics defects are woeful- I’m honestly surprised that it’s legal, but it’s ebays site, and ultimately they do as they wish. I’m glad that we only sell antiques- returns on shoes and clothes must be a nightmare.

  18. @Jonah What makes you think legislation will be brought in to stop it?

    Legislation is generally in the buyers favour, in fact it is due to legislation that has partly caused the high returns.

    If you claim an item is faulty then you get a free return, if you buy something from a shop in town, be it faulty or not, you have to take it back in your own time and expense.

    Internet shopping has become the consumers choice for “Try before you buy”.

  19. high costs of doing business for online traders are returns ,
    much like business rates, heating, staff, property maintenance, are for bricks and mortar retail outlets,
    all buyers must pay for these costs in some way ,
    or we all go down the pan be it high st, or online,

  20. of course online business has many normal business costs,
    try telling house of frazer or any other high street business that amazon have the same business overheads

  21. @Tyler
    Of course the government sets the rules out, but as an online seller I do have a choice. Any buyer who abuses my returns policy doesn’t buy from me again on the eBay platform, and that’s something that some larger online sellers in the industry are taking on board. I’m hardly going to send a buyer 25 pairs of different coloured shoes, accepting back their freely posted returns until they find the right coloured ones, unless of course that’s what your advocating we should do as online sellers?


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