A worker examines an electrical component on the factory floor of PP Control and Automation near Cannock, Britain, July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble
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The pound's plunge since Britain voted to leave the European Union is good news for factory boss Tony Hague. Hague has received inquiries from potential buyers outside the country tempted by the lower prices for his company's products, as sterling has sunk to a 31-year low against the dollar after the June 23 referendum, which sparked pandemonium in British politics and financial markets.But customers of Hague's company, PP Automation and Control, are also seeking something he cannot give: assurances about the future of British trade with the remaining 27 nations of the EU bloc and with the wider world.Almost all of its products end up exported either directly to machinery manufacturers in Europe or Asia, or indirectly through British firms who sell goods abroad.Manufacturers account for only around 10 percent of British economic output but employ 2.7 million people and create about 45 percent of the country's exports, nearly half of which went to European Union countries last year.Hague says he is optimistic not only because the weak pound will help sales abroad. He also says British firms supplying British clients who will be better able to compete in the domestic market now that imports are more expensive – because it will take more pounds to buy every dollar or euro-based product.
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