Two weeks until EU Referendum

The Brexit vote, with just under a month left, has still left many people asking themselves what would happen, or how it would come about. The public seems to be pretty evenly split at the time of this writing.

Some believe that Britain is being held back by the EU, which they say imposes too many rules on business and charges estimated at £8bn for little in return.  The IFS said the UK could use its contribution to the EU to help shore up its finances if it voted for Brexit.

However, there is an overwhelming consensus that the economy would be smaller if it voted to leave. Many argue that being in the EU makes selling things to other EU countries easier and the flow of immigrants fuels economic growth and helps pay for public services. The IFS has said a vote to leave could result in a £20bn to £40bn hit to the public finances in 2019/20, if GDP was 2.1% to 3.5% lower over the period, as predicted by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, has recently joined the conversation while presenting the bank’s latest inflation report. He went on to mention that a vote to leave the EU could possibly send the UK into a “technical recession” and destabilise financial markets. Leave campaigners were outraged by the governor’s decision to show a bias as they believed it compromised the bank’s independence.

The leave campaigners believe an exit would allow Britain to gain a unique voice in world affairs, and improve the standing and influence with the rest of the world. However, most foreign policy analysts disagree with this sentiment.

In the end, most of the arguments for leaving the EU, as suggested by John Redwood, the Conservative former cabinet minister, is that “the UK could again make the laws it wishes, reclaim control of its migration and borders policy, and regain its own representation on important international councils such as the World Trade Organisation and at climate change conferences.”  Mr Cameron outlined the stay argument: “We are out of the things we don’t want to be in: the euro; we are out of the no borders agreement; we’re now out of ever-closer union. We keep the full access and the say over the single market, and the political co-operation to keep the people of our country safe.”


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Reuters: Business News

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