Sterling soars after May promises parliamentary vote on Britain's Brexit deal

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Sterling has soared after Prime Minister Theresa May said there would be a parliamentary vote on Britain's Brexit deal with Europe. 

The pound was up more than 2% to over 1.23 US dollars, after she confirmed the Brexit agreement between Britain and the European Union would have to navigate both Houses of Parliament before coming into force. 

The UK currency was also up 1.5% against the euro at 1.152, despite Mrs May revealing that she will pull the nation out of the single market as part of her Brexit blueprint for Britain.

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said sterling soared on a "far less hawkish Brexit speech from Theresa May than many had feared". 

He added: "A wolf in sheep's clothing? Arguably Theresa May's greatest trick appears to have been to deliver what amounts to a fairly hard Brexit message without the markets going into a flat spin.

"Some judicious leaks in the last couple of days had primed investors for the UK to be leaving the single market.

"Many expected a tough sounding speech that would send the pound lower - that could yet happen as we progress towards invoking Article 50. And the looming Supreme Court judgment still matters a great deal."