The UK Referendum debate has been carrying on thick and fast this week, with arguments from both sides of the political divide intensifying as we get a week closer to the June 23rd vote.
Owing to a decidedly mixed situation with UK and Eurozone economic announcements, the Pound Sterling to Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate has continuously fluctuated this week, having opened in the region of 1.2897 and closed around 1.2844.
Pro-‘Brexit’ Gove Counterattacked Obama Referendum Intervention on Monday
In counterpoint to last Friday’s considerable support offered to the ‘Remain’ group by US President Barack Obama, ‘Leave’ Co-Chair Michael Gove rallied campaign members by delivering a speech warning that if the UK remained in the EU, it would be overwhelmed by a ‘free-for-all’ of migration from potential future EU members, including Serbia and Turkey.
On the ‘In’ campaign trail, Home Secretary Theresa May made her debut speech for the ‘Remain’ group, arguing that the UK’s future security depended on membership within the EU. However, the positive message came with a sting in the tail, as May also advocated leaving the European Convention of Human Rights; a highly controversial stance that has been protested by groups such as Amnesty International.
GBP Exchange Rates Rallied on Tuesday, ‘Leave’ Labour MP Warns Corbyn against Pro-EU Stance
Tuesday was one of the best for Pound to Euro exchange rate movement, which came partly as a result of a Bloomberg article. The piece showed that due to the increasing power of the ‘In’ campaign’s argument, investor concerns about ‘Brexit’ were reducing, which in turn allowed the Pound to reach a high of 1.2921 against the Euro.
In other news, ‘Out’ supporter Iain Duncan Smith dismissed Obama’s intervention in the debate as part of a desire to leave a positive legacy, while Labour ‘Leave’ campaigner Frank Fields warned that Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on the EU risked ‘swathes’ of voters abandoning the party for UKIP instead.
Wednesday saw OECD Weigh In on ‘Brexit’ Referendum, UK GDP Disappointed
The middle of the week brought with it another announcement that benefited the ‘In’ campaign, in the form of a speech from Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Secretary General Angel Gurria.
In a warning-laden delivery, Gurria stated that:
‘’Brexit’ is like a tax. It is the equivalent to roughly missing out on about one month’s income within four years but then it carries on to 2030’.
Elsewhere, UK Q1 GDP fell from 0.6% to 0.4% on the quarter, a fact that alarmed investors and sent the Pound tumbling against the Euro.
Later on in the day, Vote Leave Spokesman Robert Oxley argued that the OECD was biased and ‘in the pay of the EU’.
Pound Sterling to Euro Stabilised on Thursday, ‘Leave’ Group Finally Offered ‘Brexit’ Forecast
The biggest UK Referendum news that came yesterday concerned predictions for a ‘Brexit’ and surprisingly, these came from the ‘Out’ side of the debate.
Having previously vowed against making a Treasury-esque forecast, the ‘Leave’ campaign reversed its stance and produced a group of eight economists from various fields who forecasted a 4% rise in UK GDP after a ‘Brexit’ vote.
Other ‘Out’ news included a statement from Vote Leave Chief Executive Matthew Elliott, who argued that due to the City of London’s economic clout, a deal superior to that of Switzerland’s could be made with the EU.
On the other side of the equation, PM David Cameron buried the hatchet with former union leader Brendan Barber to speak together in favour of an ‘In’ vote, while Mark Carney repeated his view that the referendum as a whole was damaging the performance of the UK economy.
In a legislative development, a legal challenge to allow UK expats outside of the country for more than 15 years being able to cast a vote in the Referendum was lost.
John Major and George Eustice Join Opposite Sides of ‘Brexit’ Referendum Argument
In stark contrast to the previous week’s heavyweight intervention by Obama, this Friday has ended on a far quieter note.
Away from any direct statements in the House of Commons, the battle for and against ‘Brexit’ has been fought on the airwaves, between former Conservative Prime Minister John Major and current Conservative Minister of State for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment George Eustice.
Both men were speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program; Major supported an ‘In’ vote, saying that:
‘I’m no starry-eyed Europhile, but I have no doubt where our future lies. In the UK, a better life depends on…overseas investment. What is more likely to attract that investment: the UK in the European market of 500 million people, or outside, with a domestic market of 65 million?’
In response to Major’s speech later on in the program, Eustice spoke in favour of a ‘Leave’ vote, saying that:
‘What we really want is more control over our affairs, we don’t want to have European courts telling us what to do, second-guessing the decisions of ministers.’
That’s it for the UK Referendum roundup this week, but we’ll be back next week with all the latest UK-EU news to keep you up to speed with the situation as it unfolds.
The Pound Sterling to Euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate was trending in the region of 1.2818 and the Euro to Pound Sterling (EUR/GBP) exchange rate was trending in the region of 0.7801 today.