EU referendum: Fund manager Neil Woodford says economic arguments on staying in and leaving Europe are "bogus" ahead of EU Council summit

 
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Woodford said the fundamentals of the economy will be unmoved (Source: Getty)

Star fund manager Neil Woodford has thrown his two cents into the EU referendum debate, saying economic arguments about whether the UK should remain in the 28-member bloc are "bogus".

Woodford said economic arguments making the case for or against staying in the EU ahead of the referendum lack credibility.

"I think it's really hard to see any credibility in an argument to stay or to leave constructed around economics. I think it's a nil sum game. If we stay or we leave the fundamentals of the economy will be relatively unmoved," he said.

Read more: PM tries to woo eurosceptic Tories ahead of EU summit

Woodford said he had heard both views - that staying is beneficial or leaving would be damaging - but that based on research he had commissioned any argument constructed in economic terms over whether to stay or leave was unreliable.

While the fundamentals of the economy will be unmoved, Woodford said there was a chance sterling could be weaker if the UK votes to leave, adding that there will be some uncertainty.

"Politically if the country votes to leave that will be a significant event not just for the UK, but globally, and that would be reflected in the currency," he said.

Read more: Why the use of data by EU campaign groups should be taken with a tablespoon of salt

However, he added that if the currency became weaker it could be beneficial for British exporters and thus be stimulative for the economy.

Woodford's comments come after months of campaigning by pro-In and pro-Out groups, each of which have made claims over how the economy would react to Brexit.

He also spoke ahead of a two day summit of EU leaders in Brussels, where David Cameron is hoping to reach agreement with the other 27 member states on his draft proposals. If Cameron is successful the referendum could be held as early as June.

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