The UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned that a no-deal Brexit could lead to a sharp fall in sterling as he tried to rally European support for the UK’s plan for leaving the EU.

Asked about market reaction, particularly a fall in the currency, if Britain and the EU did not reach a deal by March 2019, Mr Hunt said at a press conference in Riga, the Latvian capital, “of course there will be significant short-term impact”.

He separately said that Britain would undergo a “choppy and difficult period” in the coming months, regardless of whether negotiations were successful.

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An accountant has admitted lying about employees having a workplace pension, in the first prosecution of its kind.

Hashmukh Shah misled The Pensions Regulator (TPR) by saying staff at Gran Caffe Londra, opposite Harrods, had a pension scheme to avoid an inspection.

Since 2013 employers have been obliged to set up a scheme for eligible staff.