The UK is making plans for a country or countries leaving the euro and the problems this will cause by the flight of capital into Britain. It will naturally strengthen Sterling and affect its exports.

Britain’s response to the possible break up of the euro would reflect measures taken by Argentina when it dropped the dollar peg in 2002, according to sources.

In addition to the risk of an appreciating currency, dealing with potential UK corporate exposures to the euro poses a considerable challenge for the Treasury.

Britain’s top four banks have about £170bn of exposure to the troubled periphery of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain through loans to companies, households, rival banks and holdings of sovereign debt. For Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, the loans equate to more than their entire equity capital buffer.

Under European Union rules, capital controls can only be used in an emergency to impose “quantitative restrictions” on inflows, which would require agreement of the majority of EU members. Controls can only be put in place for six months, at which point an application would have to be made to renew them.

Capital controls form just one part of a broader response to a euro break-up, however. Borders are expected to be closed and the Foreign Office is preparing to evacuate thousands of British expatriates and holidaymakers from stricken countries.

The Ministry of Defence has been consulted about organising a mass evacuation if Britons are trapped in countries which close their borders, prevent bank withdrawals and ground flights.

Source : Telegraph

 

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