EU Ref Comment from Michelle Niziol

13th June, 2016

“In an ever connected and interrelated world some powers  – such as those to do with climate change, international trade, organised crime, cultural terrorism and financial governance – increasingly have to go upwards beyond nation states; and others – such as housing, health, education, police, transport and employment ~will inevitably be further devolved down to cities and city regions. Few informed observers claim that the EU is perfect. Far from it. It staggers and stumbles in it’s decision making on many of the major challenges we face, especially migration and monetary policy. Nevertheless, the taxing tests of our time are no respecters of borders. Trying to tackle them in some form of splendid isolation would, in my opinion, be more complex and exacting than partnering in the admittedly deficient processes of EU collaboration. Most objective analysts and open-minded commentators I value highly, and whose views I respect, favour remaining in the EU and contributing towards its evolution.

Turning to the prospects for my own sphere of business, property and finance, the outlook is perhaps more conjectural and ambiguous. Below, however, are some of my present thoughts if we were to leave the EU.

  1. The government would be forced to extend ‘austerity’ measures for at least another couple of years to secure a budget surplus.
  1. In the short-term, the economy would shrink by more than the savings made from non-payment to the EU budget.
  1. In the longer term, the UK financial services sector would suffer severely with a significant affect on GDP.
  1. Residential property prices might be adversely influenced in the short-run, but will recover fairly quickly across most sectors of the market as the traditional forces of demand and supply hold sway; but commercial property, especially in London and the South East, will experience sudden and lasting decline.
  1. The value of Stirling could fall by as much as 20%, which could benefit overseas investors into UK property, but impact adversely on the savings and assets of homeowners here as well as triggering a rise in interest rates and mortgages.

Unashamedly, therefore, I take the view that it is not only good for the UK to remain as part of the EU project, and help strengthen it, but that it is good for Europe, and for the rest of the world!”