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"Financial suicide" if older homeowners vote LEAVE, as more experts urge REMAIN

June 22, 2016 11:09 AM
By Peter Morris, European Movement

British home prices will plummet if the United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union this week, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross said Tuesday. The bulk of WL Ross & Co.'s business in the U.K. is in mortgage lending. Ross sees a home price collapse hitting older Britons particularly hard. "The average house in the U.K. is about 250,000 pounds, and if it went down around 10 percent, which I think could very well happen, that would wipe out half the net worth of most of the older people who own their own homes," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box…I think they would be committing financial suicide," he said: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/21/vote-for-brexit-is-financial-suicide-for-british-homeowners-wilbur-ross.html

According to recent polls, 72 percent of 16 and 17-year-olds support Remain (they can't vote but will live with the consequences), and 74 percent of 18-24-year-olds support Remain (they have a low turnout), reports Politico. Just 38 percent of over 65s do, and they vote at higher rates, meaning older voters could hand younger Britons a legacy they didn't want: https://dub129.mail.live.com/?tid=cmhrFQYzQ45hGtQAAhWtc_MA2&fid=flinbox

[I]n terms of international trade, it seems that the UK would struggle to act in splendid isolation, according to the economics think tank Breugel. The consequences of Brexit in this domain could be unpleasant, and re-establishing the UK's trade agreements and networks would be a long a complex process: http://bruegel.org/2016/03/fog-in-the-channel-brexit-through-the-eyes-of-international-trade/

Who Is to Blame for Brexit's Appeal, asks op-ed contributor Martin Fletcher in a New York Times headline. British Newspapers is the reply. Led by Boris Johnson, the country's news media have been smearing the European Union for decades: https://dub129.mail.live.com/?tid=cmC_qUSTY45hGU-AAjfePt4A2&fid=flinbox

A U.K. vote to leave will almost certainly have serious consequences on everything from financial markets to European policy decisions to political careers to the stability of the bloc, reports Politico. Politicians and diplomats from across Europe [said] they're already bracing for several scenarios, including the rise of Euroskeptic voices within their own countries, specific trade losses if the U.K. leaves the single market, and the departure of a free-market voice from the EU table: http://www.politico.eu/article/how-europe-will-break-on-brexit-brexit-map/

Germany's attitude toward Brexit can be summed up in a single word: denial, reports Politico. On the rare occasions Germany took notice of the U.K. referendum in recent months, it was to dismiss it as yet another British eccentricity, like baked beans for breakfast or cricket. With the polls too close to call and a decision just hours away, Germany is still hoping for the best. Trouble is, the EU's biggest country is nowhere near prepared for the worst: http://www.politico.eu/article/eu-referendum-germany-wakes-up-late-to-brexit-risks/

Not enough attention has been paid in the U.S. to the impact of Brexit on a rump EU, says Politico. Along with a weaker Britain, we'd have a noticeably debilitated EU. Overnight, the U.S. would go from having a notionally strong partner (the EU) to having two greatly diminished allies (the U.K. and the EU-minus-the-U.K). The EU may not last another five years without the glue of British skepticism that holds it together. Not many in America are alive to this potential strategic catastrophe. Do Americans really want a fragmented Europe, vulnerable to the blandishments and threats of anti-Western powers like Russia and China; or brittle and disunited in the face of an ISIL onslaught: http://www.politico.eu/article/eu-referendum-brexit-as-seen-from -america/

Politico also notes the damage that will be inflicted on Britain by the sudden need to undo the social, professional, cultural, economic and political habits of two whole generations of citizens: http://www.politico.eu/article/eu-referendum-brexit-as-seen-from-america/

The U.K.'s 73 MEPs would be under pressure to relinquish top jobs in the European Parliament immediately if their country votes to leave the EU, and this would have a major impact on two of the top three political groups in the house, says Politico: http://www.politico.eu/article/european-parliament-mep-dossiers-up-for-grabs-if-uk-heads-for-brexit/

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Tuesday (21 June) that the ECB is ready for every scenario after Britain's referendum on EU membership, but warned that liquidity was vital to prevent investor panic after a vote for Brexit, reports EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/draghis-ecb-ready-for-all-contingencies-after-brexit-referendum/?nl_ref=15348096

Over the short, medium and long term, members of the CFA Institute think [Brexit] would be extremely bad for all the three major economic indicators: the value of pound, the value of stock market and interests rates, according to Paul Smith, President and CEO of the Institute, which has 140,000 members worldwide in the investment profession. 'That is our view as a professional body. We make no comments on the politics', he told Euractiv: http://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/interview/cfa-institute-boss-brexit-would-be-extremely-bad/?nl_ref=15348096

Hong Kong's richest man stepped up his calls for Britons to vote in favor of staying in the European Union as the world braces for the outcome of this week's vote. "If Brexit happens, it will be detrimental to the U.K. and it will have a negative impact to the whole of Europe," CK Hutchison Holding Ltd. Chairman Li Ka-shing told Bloomberg Television's Angie Lau in a wide-ranging interview... "Of course I hope that the U.K. doesn't leave the EU": http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-20/billionaire-li-ka-shing-warns-against-brexit-as-referendum-looms

A Brexit with hopes for a Norway-inspired EU relationship would in fact leave Britain with a true democratic deficit and, certainly from a UK perspective, a far less attractive EU to deal with, writes Jonas Helseth, director of Bellona Europa, and environmental NGO, in EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/opinion/work-for-a-better-eu-as-you-see-it-or-suffer-a-worse-one/?nl_ref=15348096

As Britons head towards Thursday's stay-or-go referendum on the EU (23 June), countries in south-eastern Europe fear for the impact on their own hopes of joining the Brussels club if the Leave campaign wins, reports EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/please-dont-go-balkan-leaders-tell-uk/?nl_ref=15348096

Far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen wants a referendum for France to leave the EU, reports EUobserver. In a copycat move ahead of Britain's decisive vote, Le Pen told French television TF1 on Tuesday (21 June) that France and every other EU state should hold similar ballots: https://euobserver.com/uk-referendum/133937

Denmark should secure similar relations with the EU as the UK - whether it decides to leave the EU or negotiates new opt-outs with the bloc, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, the leader of the Danish People's Party has said. "Denmark should ensure the same advantages as Britain ... of course, after a referendum," he wrote. The Danish government depends on the People's Party votes in parliament to stay in power. EUobserver reports: https://euobserver.com/tickers/133936

T]he reinstatement of border checks in eight countries within the Schengen area is raising increasing concern that the surging costs of trading goods may threaten jobs and destroy passport-free travel, reports EUobserver. The economic price is already being felt, and every EU citizen will pay a price. The EU Commission estimates losing Schengen altogether could cost as much as an €18 billion drop in the EU's annual GDP: https://euobserver.com/business/133253

Number of people going by train between Denmark and Sweden dropped 12 percent since Sweden introduced anti-migrant ID controls, reports EUobserver. After 60 years of Nordic free travel, people hate the scheme: https://dub129.mail.live.com/?tid=cmt44Vkks45hGQZNidZ1zNng2&fid=flinbox

Courtesy of Peter Morris, European Movement in North east