Brexit strategies

By Tjibbe Hoekstra and Geoff Candy

Added 6th May 2016

Recent reports from those favouring Britain to stay in the EU suggest a Brexit of any sort would be severely damaging to the UK economy. We assess what will be in store for investors if Brexit happens, and how best to prepare your portfolios ahead of the vote on 23 June.

Brexit strategies

“If I were British and I had a vote on 23 June, I would be tempted to vote for Brexit, just to give a bloody nose to all those smug people in Brussels, and to David Cameron,” former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis admitted recently at our sister title Expert Investor’s Pan-European Congress in Rome.

Varoufakis is not the only one who has a reason to favour Brexit. While personal rancour may play a role for Varoufakis, some have accused the leading political face of the Vote Leave campaign, London mayor Boris Johnson, of merely backing Brexit to increase his chances of succeeding Cameron as prime minister.

Others, including a number of high-profile investment professionals (Hargreaves Lansdown founder Peter Hargreaves, Newton Investment Management CEO Helena Morrissey and FundSmith CEO Terry Smith), are more long-standing advocates of a UK exit from the EU.

Splendid isolation

Smith, who stood for parliament in 1997 on behalf of the Referendum Party, which had as its main aim to push the government to commit to a referendum on British EU membership, outlined in a recent interview why he believes the UK will have a better future outside of the EU.

“I think most of the arguments for staying in the EU are either facile, as in ‘I will have to queue up more at immigration to go on holiday’ or they are based on fear, as in ‘if we leave, we won’t be able to trade with Europe on the same terms’. I think this is utter garbage, frankly. We are the fifth-largest economy in the world.”

Smith admits that, while the UK will be “absolutely fine” in the long term, there will be “an awful lot of worry and disruption” if the country votes to leave.


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