Great Britain is in a quandary, and it’s got the numbers to show it. On June 23, Brits will decide whether to stay in the European Union, remaining both supported and hemmed in by its rules; or to bolt and stand alone once more.
On Saturday, two conflicting polls laid bare this national divide, with one showing more Brits want to stay in the EU, while the other favored what’s come to be called the Brexit. Just the day before, a vote favoring the “leave” decision registered ten points ahead. The disparate points of view reflect a country deeply struck by turmoil and ambivalence.
After Friday’s Opinion Research Business (ORB) poll tracked the “Leave” group ten points ahead, the pound took a 1.2% hit against the U.S. dollar. This supports contentions of the “Stay” faction, led by Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, that a Brexit would result in a severe slump in the British economy.
The opposing camps have taken to hurling what can best be characterized as irrepressibly British slurs at one another. In a radio broadcast, former Prime Minister John Major accused Brexit supporter and former London Mayor Boris Johnson, of being a “court jester,” and claimed the argument of “Leave” supporters in general “is verging on the squalid.”
The intensity of the argument stems not simply from an economic difference, but from profoundly divergent political points of view as well. Included within the laws governing the European Union, known as the Acquis Communautaire, are four economic freedoms among member countries: free movement of goods, services, labor and capital.
While comparatively tiny Britain facing a tide of immigrants and refugees from several parts of the world, its EU membership agreement prevents it from regulating the number of immigrants from other EU countries. Brexit campaign advocates regard this as a major shortcoming of Britain’s EU membership. But “Stay” advocates, like Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, feel the benefits outweigh any shortcomings, insisting, “It is through the EU that you exchange criminal records and passenger records and work together on counter-terrorism…..We need the collective weight of the EU when you are dealing with Russian aggression or terrorism.”
But in an editorial in the London Times, Colonel Richard Kemp, a former head of the international terrorism team at the Cabinet Office, begs to disagree. “By leaving, we will again be able to determine who does and does not enter the UK….Failure to do so significantly increases the terrorist threat here, endangers our people and is a betrayal of this country.”
It’s anybody’s guess what will happen if the Brexit comes to pass. Some, like the folks at Zero Hedge, feel gold “will be the world’s strongest currency” and take off to the moon. That’s a mighty ambitious prediction, but I wouldn’t bet against it – at least not with the money in my portfolio.
Some recently called for the shiny metal to tank when it hit $1,230 per ounce. When it easily passed that point, they quickly wiped the egg off their faces, and began touting $1,250 as the new resistance level. But at the intra-day spot price of $1,279 dollars on Friday ($1,284 as of this writing), gold is poised to go much higher. Time to fortify your portfolio with physical gold?
Don’t deliberate for too long. Nobody ever caught a plane after it left the runway.