Financial markets are increasingly concerned about the outcome of the upcoming Brexit referendum, and considerable attention is therefore focused on surveys of voting intentions. Using a Financial Times dataset covering 201 surveys conducted over the past five years, this column reveals that we can learn surprisingly little from these surveys. While in general they predict the vote will be in favour of remaining in the EU, the organisation that conducted each survey seems to be as important as respondents’ voting intentions in determining individual survey results. Moreover, there is a large number of undecided voters who are likely to decide the outcome of the referendum.
On June 23, British voters will decide whether the United Kingdom should
leave the European Union. For Germany, Europe’s largest economy, the
consequences of Brexit could be grave, with the costs far outweighing any
There is a degree of consensus among economists that a Brexit will make us worse off. The exception is recent work by Economists for Brexit. Their forecast of income gains from Brexit contrasts with all other economic analysis, explain Thomas Sampson, Swati Dhingra, Gianmarco Ottaviano and John Van Reenen.
Much of the discussion about Brexit has focused on the UK and has ignored the another party – the European Union. This column examines how the UK leaving the EU would affect the distribution of power among the remaining member states. The larger members such as France and Germany would likely benefit directly from Brexit, at least in terms of power.
For decades, the UK government has been very careful in ensuring a low-risk status for its public and private debt. This column warns that if the UK opts to leave the EU, uncertainty over the implications of Brexit would put this low-risk status in jeopardy. A depreciation of the pound could well generate an export boom, but this would not compensate for the damage to internal demand and to the UK’s ability to access external financing of its deficits.
The febrile behavior of financial markets ahead of the UK’s "Brexit" referendum on June 23 shows that the outcome will influence economic and political conditions around the world far more profoundly than Britain’s share of global GDP might suggest. In fact, for three reasons, a Brexit vote could catalyze another global crisis.
At least some Britons, and many other EU citizens, still want future
generations to come to think of themselves as Europeans. And they are right to
think that the world would be a far better place with a united, democratic
Europe as a major force for both stability and change.