There are only four weeks left until the UK decides on the future of their EU membership, and the headlines are full of the latest drama as the campaigns heat up:

  • –    The UK could face an extra two years of austerity measures if it votes to leave the EU, and the economy would shrink, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has said. However, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said that the IFS are biased, as they are part-funded by the EU.
  • –    Online polls are reporting that the EU referendum race is neck-and-neck while phone polls indicate that the “Remain” campaign is ahead – which method seems more accurate?
  • –    Betting companies, however, seem sure about a “Remain” victory as they are offering odds of around 7/2 on a Brexit taking place. This translates to a probability of around 22%.
  • –    Investors are jumpy as the UK referendum campaign enters the final month. The sterling options market is being closely watched for signs of investors’ worries, as there is concern at being caught out by a fall in the pound.
  • –    If we leave, household bills will rise by an average of £220 a year if we leave the EU, according to the Prime Minister. David Cameron warned of a 3% rise in food and a 5% increase in clothing prices.
  • –    NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens has warned that leaving the EU could damage the NHS. He added that it would be a “terrible moment” at a time when the NHS needed extra investment.
  • –    The Office for National Statistics has reported that net migration to the UK rose to 333,000 in 2015. These crucial figures are the last before the EU referendum.
  • –    The Leave campaign reports that “foolish” EU procurement rules cost the UK £1.6bn a year, and that an estimated 1.9 million days were lost a year in red-tape delays.
  • –    Ryanair has been accused of breaking electoral law with its campaign for the UK to stay in the EU. Anyone intending to spend more than £10,000 campaigning in the referendum must register, but Ryanair has not so far. Vote Leave has urged the commission to investigate, but Ryanair has replied by calling them “Leave Loonies”.

It seems that tensions are rising between both camps as the referendum date looms closer. What do you think of the Brexit news this week? Which side do you think is appearing more credible, and how will you be interpreting this information on the stock market?

Good luck,

Hannah

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