The euro and the pound were on the defensive against the dollar on Tuesday as a new coronavirus strain spread across Britain, closing key trade routes and creating a supply-chain nightmare while time was running out to strike a post Brexit trade deal. Talks between the French and British governments to reopen their border, where hundreds of trucks are stranded, and reports suggesting movement in Brexit talks have however helped to take some pressure off both currencies. At 0802 GMT, the euro was down 0.31% at $1.2209 while the pound was losing 0.33% at $1.3422, recovering some ground after a fall as steeply as 2.5% during the previous trading session. The British currency was also flat at 90.95 pence against the euro after sustaining heavy losses amid the transport crisis on Monday. “New hope for a (Brexit) deal before Dec. 30 and talks between the British Prime Minister and the French President on the supply of goods to the island have again nurtured new hope and made EUR-GBP briefly look below the 0.91 mark”, said Commerzbank analyst Ulrich Leuchtmann.