Pound dips as support for Brexit grows

Just 17 days to go and the media are whipping up headline after headline, resulting in a frothy, common undercurrent of sensationalism. “Who do EU think you are kidding Mr Cameron” shouts the Sun. “Time to put Britain first again?” asks the Daily Telegraph.

With two sides fighting a case that lacks a clear and realistic manifesto, it is understandable that the public are scratching their heads, their pen stuck between the Leave and Remain boxes on the ballot sheet, like choosing the bonus number in the Euro Lottery.

The Pound has dipped and the Leave campaign has garnered support in several opinion polls; most recently shown in a YouGov poll released this morning. Leave is now 4 points ahead of Remain at 45% versus 41%. Bookmakers have increased the odds on a Leave outcome to 28%.

In the YouGov survey released this morning, over half of those asked had no trust in any of the four main political figures (David Cameron at 72%, Jeremy Corbyn at 61%, Boris Johnson at 55%, Nicola Sturgeon at 56% and Nigel Farage at 64%). Regardless of whether Britain votes Leave or Remain, these statistics highlight a lack of confidence all round in our political figures. Perhaps even in our political system. Support for Labour has waned and a civil disagreement within the Tories might leave it fragmented well after the results of the Referendum.

Putting political bickering aside, we should look closer at recent events.

A weaker pound might worry Joe public; the school holidays begin shortly, and Brits will be slightly worse off when exchanging their cash for Euros. Dad might have to go without his ice cream.

As of market close today the exchange rate between the Pound and Euro hovered at 1.2667. However, look at our stagnant economy. Growth has been slow, and many industries, specifically those in manufacturing have struggled as a result. A cheaper pound is likely to encourage greater British exports to our EU neighbours and beyond, injecting some much needed oomph into the British fiscal system, in which we currently import a lot more than we export. If the pound is indeed sliding as support increases in opinion polls for the Leave campaign, it might swing voters over to the Remain camp in a bid to keep a strong currency.

Taking into account the poll results from today’s YouGov, middle-aged and older votes are tending towards a Leave vote than that of Remain; a considerably more popular option among younger voters. According to the BBC, there are about six million residents who have still not registered to vote, with one million of them under 25 years old. They could be key to a Remain outcome.

The Bookies’ odds on a Leave vote may have increased from 16 to 28 per cent, yet the odds on a Remain vote sit comfortably at 72 per cent.

Three years ago David Cameron promised the public their chance to speak out in an EU Referendum if the Conservatives were re-elected, something that we haven’t had a chance to do since 1975, when a 65% turnout opted to continue to remain in the European common market. Regardless of which side of the camp you fall on, don’t settle for tabloid headlines and vague promises from either side.

Tuesday 7th is the last day to register for your say.

Demand facts, seek out reputable information, and make an informed decision.

– Sarah Maclean

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