EU referendum: One big question but no easy answer. It’s make your mind up time

Christian May
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EU Referendum - Signage And Symbols
UK goes to polls in EU referendum (Source: Getty)

I won't tell you how to vote. I’m proud that this newspaper has hosted arguments from both sides of the campaign – from every conceivable angle. We’ve had the case for Remain and Leave from market analysts, lawyers, politicians, investors, psychologists, economists and entrepreneurs.

Now the time has come for you to make your choice. Despite appeals from such experts, for many people the decision will be driven by gut feeling. But I know that our readers have a sharper eye on economic matters than most. With this in mind, it cannot be denied that a period of profound uncertainty and disruption will follow a vote to leave.

However, you will have to judge for yourselves whether the wider warnings of economic catastrophe are reasonable or not. Personally, I believe that some of the economic forecasting, particularly the Treasury’s contribution, has been part of a concerted effort to stoke fear. The methodology has been questionable and the desired outcome nakedly political. Nevertheless, the fear now exists.

Read more: Declaration times to swing areas: The definitive guide to the EU referendum

Nervousness is palpable in the City and already evident in the markets. And for good reason, since the failure of the Leave campaign to outline what life outside the EU would be like – particularly for the City – has been deeply damaging to their cause. The question, therefore, is this: are the gains worth the risks? This is a calculation that, for many of you, defines your working life. Risk and reward. Upside and downside. Personally, I believe that there is no wholly risk-free option on the ballot.

The EU’s economic and political future is profoundly uncertain and so today’s decision should not be seen as a choice between the unknown and the status quo. I understand that the economic uncertainties will be forefront in your mind, and they warrant serious and careful consideration. But so too does the question of whether this debate should be about more than economics alone. All we can offer you now, as polling day dawns, is a final and direct appeal from the leading advocates of each side.

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