LONDON, U.K. – Britain is a mere 24 hours away from the fateful vote on its European Union membership on June 23, and the last day of campaigning has reportedly seen anyone who is anyone pitching their two cents at the enormous mass of voters.
The campaign is split into the “Leave EU” side, headed by the likes of former London mayor Boris Johnson and Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn and the “Remain” side backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and footballer David Beckham.
As the air grows more pregnant with indignation and the mood more frenzied, the backdrop of the campaigns has shaped up to be the most unrelenting, often bordering on xenophobic, and rather unbalanced salvos in Britain’s history.
Ahead of the referendum, Big News Network brings to you a compilation of all that’s been happening in the 24-hour run up to the vote that questions economics, foreign policy and Britain’s very idea of itself.
“Scaremongering, Boris!” vs. “Take back control!”
Stakes were high, and so were tempers, as eleventh hour clashes intensified the run up to the June 23 referendum.
BBC’s The Great Debate reportedly saw both sides of the Britain Referendum campaign holding steadfast to their points of view, hammering home crucial arguments and focusing on the economy and immigration.
It was added that former London mayor Boris Johnson, backed by MPs Andrea Leadsom and Gisela Stuart, took up the lead for the ‘Leave’ campaign, arguing that “There is a very clear choice between those on [the Remain] side who speak of nothing but fear of the consequences of leaving the EU, and we on the [Leave] side who offer hope.”
The Remain side, which had ‘remained’ somewhat lacklustre over the months, picked up pace and was represented by current London mayor Sadiq Khan, supported by Ruth Davidson, leader of the Conservatives in Scotland and Frances O’Grady, leader of the TUC.
Khan reportedly claimed that Johnson was backing “project hate” by heightening fears about immigration, and added that the Leave side’s continuous focus of Turkey’s potential entry into the EU was “scaremongering, Boris!”
Davidson, the star of Remain, channelled her inner Tom Cruise by saying to the 6,000 people following the debate live, that “you deserve the truth!” and proceeded to hammer the Leave campaigners for misleading voters.
Brexit: The global economy’s Sword of Damocles
For months now, Brexit has had the global market dancing to its every tune and, even 24 hours before the metamorphic event, the story hasn’t changed.
Reports state that Wall Street stocks met their second straight day of gains as investors trained wary eyes on Brexit developments.
Dow Jones Industrial Average reportedly rose 25.86 points, or 0.1 percent, and S&P 500 gained 0.3 percent to 2099.90 points, influenced by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s cautious semi-annual testimony.
The markets has reportedly seen a massive swerve over the past week, with stocks falling sharply as support tilted towards a Leave vote, and rebounding when the Remain vote gained momentum.
Investors’ “safe haven” Gold, used as a buffer against Brexit risks, also saw a drop of 1.5 percent in June’s delivery to close at $US1270.50 an ounce.
As traders moved safely to the side-lines, reports added that Asian stocks fell, with Japan’s Topix index falling 0.9 percent from a 1 1/2-week high.
Further, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index reportedly dropped 0.3 percent, but Kospi index in Seoul added 0.5 percent.
Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird reportedly said that, “The focus of attention this week is on the U.K. vote on Thursday. It looks like overnight the polls tightened up a little bit… It’s a pretty nervous market. Nobody has any profits for the year. The last thing you want to do is get caught in a downdraft.”
In Europe’s papers
Reports state that many European newspapers saw MP Jo Cox’s murder as a catalyst in the referendum, with Le Figaro’s Julie Connan stating that “both camps fear being accused of exploiting or disrespecting” the catastrophe.
France’s Le Monde reportedly published that the MP’s death had ‘destabilised” the pro-Leave side, and this was backed by Liberation’s Sonia Delesalle-Stolper who reportedly sees Britain “tempted by the Remain” campaign.
In Germany, Frankfurter Allgemee ine Zeitung’s U.K. correspondent Marcus Theurer reportedly said that a “fissure” was running through Britain thanks to the referendum but, while it may reflect frustration and bitterness, it did not release an “English Donald Trump trying to capitalise on the tragedy.”
Some press bodies reportedly saw the referendum as an opportunity for Britain, and not a risk, and proceeded to pitch their two cents on how the EU should deal with the vote.
European affairs analyst Renaud Thillaye reportedly said that the possibility of Britain leaving the EU should incite leaders to “address the concerns of the people head-on and not ignore them.”
As the clock ticks closer to the momentous referendum, the world waits with bated breath to see the outcome of a vote that could make or break history.