According to The Financial Times, many key City figures, including Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, have said they want an in/out vote cast as a quickly as possible to end uncertainty affecting the financial sector and UK companies. Others have come forward to urge David Cameron “not to rush the referendum on EU membership”, amid fears an early vote could undermine UK efforts to achieve reforms to the bloc. Matt Persson, the PM’s new advisor on Europe, has warned of avoiding a “quick win” at the expense of big reforms, while George Osborne has also urged caution on the issue.
The Bank of England is secretly researching potential consequences of a Brexit, said The Guardian. It reported how someone at the Bank contrived to send to a reporter a confidential email specifying that "the press and most staff in Threadneedle Street must be kept in the dark" about the project to assess Britain's prospects outside the EU.
At the end of May, David Cameron met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at Chequers ahead of a week of efforts to renegotiate Britain's EU membership. “David Cameron has said that ‘British people are not happy with the status quo’ in Europe”, said a BBC report, while also pointing out that a No 10 spokesperson said after talks that the EC president “reiterated that he wanted to find a fair deal for the UK".
Meanwhile, The Daily Express reported on how Cameron has begun nudging his European counterparts to reform the EU ahead of an in/out referendum. It argues that the Prime Minister needs to do more: "He should be pushing for us to regain full control of our borders and restore our Parliament's right to veto all legislation from Brussels."
Focusing instead on the logistics of voting on an EU referendum, the Daily Telegraph said foreigners living in Britain (other than Irish and Commonwealth nationals) will be barred from voting, and the government has ruled out extending the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds. It pointed out that eurosceptics had feared the franchise might be based on that used in the local and European parliamentary elections – allowing EU migrants to vote.
How would a potential Brexit impact UK business? Find out in tomorrow’s instalment of our Brexit series.