The UK’s membership to the EU is set to be decided in June, with UNSW Business School fellow Tim Harcourt arguing that a Brexit would “shake the EU”.
Mr Harcourt said there is “unlikely to be adverse impact to the British economy if they vote to leave the [EU]”.
“The EU has distorted rather than created trade and the UK would do just fine with its major trading partners without the EU straitjacket of protection and subsidies, both in and outside Europe, for example with the USA, Canada, Australia and the Kiwis."
AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver disagrees with Mr Harcourt. He said a vote to leave would threaten the UK’s access to European markets, financial sector and labour mobility.
He said the size of the impact depends on the terms associated with the Brexit, but it has been widely estimated at between -0.6 per cent and -2.8 per cent of UK GDP.
“However, the real risk would be if a Brexit emboldened support for [National Front president] Marine Le Pen in France and a push towards a Frexit (French exit). This would seriously threaten the EU and the eurozone,” Mr Oliver said.
Both Mr Oliver and Mr Harcourt note that the outcome of the vote in June is hard to call. Mr Oliver, however, believes a “stay” vote is more likely.
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