Thursday, 24 January 2013

UK announces referendum on EU exit

The UK government has set the stage for it to leave the European Union. Reuters reports:

Prime Minister David Cameron promised Britons a vote on quitting the European Union, rattling London's biggest allies and some investors by raising the prospect of uncertainty and upheaval.

Cameron announced on Wednesday that the referendum would be held by the end of 2017 - provided he wins a second term - and said that while Britain did not want to retreat from the world, public disillusionment with the bloc was at "an all-time high".

While the prospect of the UK's departure from the EU creates uncertainty and could adversely affect the economy, data on Wednesday suggest that the latter is healthier than many thought.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell by 12,100 last month, better than the flat reading expected. The jobless rate fell to 7.7 percent.

Average weekly earnings growth in the three months through November slowed to 1.5 percent though.

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