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Business concern over Brexit possibility

Friday, February 19, 2016 - 01:31

David Cameron spent the night arguing with European Union partners about concessions on the UK's membership of the bloc, as the British prime minister tries to secure changes ahead of a planned referendum on it as early as June. As Joel Flynn reports, if the country can't find a way to keep itself in the EU, it could spell trouble for British businesses as well as its economy.

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David Cameron and his European Union counterparts playing happy families for the press as this weeks summit in Brussels begins. But less than 24 hours later, as talks dragged on, they were looking far from friendly. The British PM trying to secure concessions on the UK's membership of the EU - from benefits to banking regulation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel. SOUNDBITE: German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, saying (German): "All of Britain's requests on the agenda were discussed, and it's true not everyone around the table has found it all that easy to agree to them, but there is a will." The business community is increasingly concerned over the possibility of 'Brexit.' Carolyn McCall is easyJet's CEO. SOUNDBITE: easyJet CEO, Carolyn McCall, saying (English): "We do need to see reforms in Europe but very much from an easyJet perspective it is very helpful to us to remain in Europe. What it really is, is it's helpful to passengers because as a result they get these low fares." In terms of trade, one estimate has put the cost of a Brexit at almost 500 billion pounds. But the cost for financial services could be even bigger. IG's Alistair McCaig. SOUNDBITE: IG Market Analyst, Alistair McCaig, saying (English): "There would be a real question mark over our ability to be able to maintain our status as the global hub for FX business, and I fear quite a lot of this business could migrate somewhere else...It would probably move to say the likes of Singapore, possibly Hong Kong." Many major British firms are said to be seriously drawing up plans for a Brexit. Whether that becomes a reality could be known as soon as June.

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Business concern over Brexit possibility

Friday, February 19, 2016 - 01:31