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Britain's pre-Brexit blues deepen

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 01:33

British inflation slipped in April for the first time since September last year, reflecting a drop in airfares and lower clothing prices. As David Pollard reports, Brexit uncertainties could be partly to blame.

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UPSOT (English) John McDonnell, UK LABOUR PARTY FINANCE SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "In just over a month from now, our country will make one of the biggest decisions it's faced in a generation ...." Thirty-seven days to go - and the debate over Brexit, says Britain's Labour Party, needs improving. UPSOT (English) John McDonnell, UK LABOUR PARTY FINANCE SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "What people want, they tell me on the doorstep, is the facts." But the facts also add to a sense of pre-Brexit blues. Amid a slump in manufacturing, consumer prices now slowing for the first time since September. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "There's a notable slowdown across the board in UK data ... It's hard to negate the fact that obviously there's a common denominator in terms of what's ahead of us and why the economy's slowing: we have the referendum." Nobody's certain how much Brexit is to blame. But the worry is of a bigger dent to UK sentiment - and that business might move elsewhere. Some US banks now saying that if Britain leaves the EU, some parts of their business might leave too. As could British jobs. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UK PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "There are three million jobs in our country that are dependent in some way on trade with the single market. Now, I don't argue all those jobs would go, but if we restrict our trade with the single market, clearly they're going to be affected." For Cameron, new opinion polls offer hope. The latest gives his campaign a 15 point lead - bookmakers chalking up a 73% chance that Britain will stay in the EU. Though even victory on June 23rd might not be enough. Out campaigner Nigel Farage now talking of a second referendum if the Ins get just a narrow win in the first.

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Britain's pre-Brexit blues deepen

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 01:33