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Going boldly

Vote to stay in the EU, and it's as you were. Vote to leave, and we head into the unknown. Exit negotiations alone could take more than two years

11 February 2016

One of biggest risks for 2016, particularly for UK assets but also for Europe, is the impending referendum on Britain's European Union membership. As we progress through the year, attention on this topic is likely to increase. In the market, the consensus is the referendum will occur at some point in 2016.

We agree with this expectation, although during the UK general election, the timeline provided suggested that it would not occur until 2017; markets dislike uncertainty and the sooner the outcome is known, the better.

The referendum has only two outcomes to consider. An in vote, and it is business as usual; an out vote, and the status quo will begin to change. A potential exit is covered by article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, but the exit negotiations could last two years or more.

During this time, uncertainty surrounding the UK's economic o...

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