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UP IN THE AIR WITH BREXIT ?


Britain’s vote on June 23 as to whether or not to stay in the European Union (EU) is a close call to say the least.

The polls have narrowed, with many featuring a high component of unsure voters, ranging between 10-15% of total responses. This presents a challenge for those trying to make sense of this issue. It also indicates potentially low accuracy given the error margins and high responses of unsure voters.

From our point of view, given the large error margins, number of unsure or swing voters and inconsistency between voting polls, needless to say, the outcome could swing either way.

The financial times posted the below poll today, indicating an even response between those voting to leave and to remain, with a 12% margin for undecided voters.

http://www.ft.com/eu-referendum

 

What is the potential impact if Britain decides to exit?

As usual the economists are split down the middle, with no clear view either way of the direct impact on the headline GDP number. The overall opinion is a negative impact due to the following:

  • Lower investment from Europe
    The European Union , for 48% of Foreign Direct Investment
  • Lower Trade.
    Nearly 44% of UK exports are to Europe. British exports would find European markets more difficult to access with BREXIT.
  • Financial impact of lower currency
    The Sterling is seen as vulnerable given a large current account deficit above -6 GDP which heavily relies on capital inflows.
  • A higher risk premium for UK assets.
    Britain’s share market would be sensitive to potential higher cost for banks wholesale funding and for corporate credit.

 

So more to the point……

The key lesson from the 20th century was that if Britain disengaged from Europe bad things happen. Bureaucracy is maddening but the UK is stuck geographically in Europe – it can’t just swim across the Atlantic.

The media is clearly forgetting one of the biggest overarching reasons for introducing the Euro was to prevent the next World War occurring.  If countries were tied together via currency, they would be far less likely to go to war with one and other. Given WWIII has not yet occurred, it is fair to say this strategy has been effective to date.  Stay tuned for the Trump effect however.

Those who are already clients of ours will understand that we think about these things, and they are already factored into our advice when we determine who your money will be invested with. The Brexit is not the first economical issue to come about, and certainly won’t be the last. It would be irresponsible to ignore it, but not necessary to lose any sleep over it. If you have any concerns, or would like to know more, give us a call!