‘Brexit would hurt pound, not euro’


BRUSSELS: Any British decision to leave the European Union, dubbed Brexit, would hurt the pound currency, but would not have an impact on the euro, the head of the euro zone bailout fund Klaus Regling told a financial forum on Friday.

Britain is to have a referendum on whether to stay in the 28-nation EU by the end of 2017, but officials expect it could hold the vote as early as June.

European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday that the EU executive was not including the possible effects of a “no” vote in Britain into its latest economic forecasts because it was not a scenario that was “in our mind”.

But Regling, who runs the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund of euro zone governments, was more open to discuss the Brexit option.

“I am very much in favour of the United Kingdom staying in the EU, I think it would be a big loss for the EU (if Britain left), but given that the United Kingdom is not a member of the euro area … I don’t see an impact on the euro, on the euro area,” Regling told the Belgian Financial Forum conference.

“I see a negative impact for the UK, on the exchange rate, on the willingness of foreign investors to go to the UK, because they want access to the single market, so unfortunately I think it would have a big impact on the UK,” Regling said.