News Editorial

Sunday 4 December 2016

Brexit and the curse of nationalism

Published 29/05/2016 | 02:30

Front National leader Marine Le Pen Photo: AP Photo/Jacques Brinon
Front National leader Marine Le Pen Photo: AP Photo/Jacques Brinon

Voters in the UK will go to the polls on June 23 to vote in a referendum to either remain in, or leave, the European Union. The Group of Seven leaders has ranked Brexit from the EU alongside geopolitical conflicts, terrorism and refugee flows as a potential shock of a "non-economic origin".

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The G7 statement last week followed comments from the International Monetary Fund that there were no economic positives to the UK leaving the EU; the Bank of England has said the UK economy would slow sharply, and possibly even enter a brief recession; and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has also warned that UK voters risked paying a 'Brexit tax' equivalent to a month's salary by 2020 if they leave the EU.

Notwithstanding these stark warnings, the latest online poll has Remain and Leave tied on 41pc, with 13pc undecided and 4pc saying they would not vote in the EU referendum - although other polls have found increasing support for Remain, most hearteningly among Conservatives and older voters. It is clear the result will be close and the outcome crucial in that a vote to leave would represent the EU's biggest setback in its 60-year history.

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