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Quick comments: Robin Niblett and Martin Wolf on Brexit

Quick comments: Robin Niblett and Martin Wolf on Brexit
Published 20 May 2016   Follow @JohnMGooding

Next month, Britain will vote on whether to leave the European Union. How are both sides' campaigns affecting British politics? How would either outcome affect Britain's relationship with the EU? And if Britain votes to stay, what are the prospects for a similar referendum in the future?

Yesterday The Interpreter's Emma Connors spoke to Dr Robin Niblett, Director of the London-based Chatham House think tank. Niblett argues that balance of risks economically outweigh the opportunities of leaving, and that in particular the real cost of leaving isn't the prospect of tariffs but losing input into rule-making processes within the EU. However, Niblett also notes that British politicians have never really made a passionate case for Europe (instead historically choosing to tap into Britain's latent anti-Europe sentiment), leaving British Prime Minister David Cameron fighting uphill.

 Also yesterday, the Director of the Lowy Institute's International Economy Program, Leon Berkelmans, had a chat with Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at the Financial Times. Like Niblett, Wolf is a 'remainer', arguing that Britain remaining is in the best interests of both the UK and EU. The best reason for remaining, says Wolf, is that there's no compelling reason to leave, and that most of the alternatives are clearly worse than the current situation.

Wolf also outlines some of the historical content as to how the rising threat of the UK Independence Party and the desire to placate Eurosceptics within his own Conservative Party prompted Cameron to promise the referendum during the last parliament.

Photo: Getty Images/Christopher Furlong

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