Editorial – Do EU think Brexit will stop investment?

Voting. A right we take for granted and something millions around the world still pine for. It’s a little over 20 years ago that black South Africans got to determine […]

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By Sumit Bose

Voting. A right we take for granted and something millions around the world still pine for.

It’s a little over 20 years ago that black South Africans got to determine their government. The people of Burma only got that right last year.

On June 23 we will get to vote on the biggest decision for a generation. Staying or leaving the EU.

I’m not going to talk about the security or immigration issue here, we all have our opinions on that. But if you heard the prime minister’s speech yesterday you’d have heard a pitch based on one word – economics.

Stay in the EU or we will lose out on cash and wads of it.

He mentioned energy as one of the key areas where trading as a member of the EU had secured investment. There’s no doubt about it.

Obviously we have had the French, Germans and Spanish all grab a slice of the energy pie. But then again the Hong Kong Chinese own a huge chunk of it, as do the Australians, Arabs and plenty more nations.

Utilities across water and energy are a bit like premiership football clubs – plenty of foreign owners in the background. So would they all just stop putting in the cash if there was a Brexit?

A respected City commentator I know writes a column looking at financial sentiment and raised something very interesting. US shale companies financed by debt maybe bankrupted by their investors because the oil price is so low.

It made me think. OPEC has held the ransom on oil prices by controlling production. It’s now squeezing the US shale pipeline till it dries up. Could Brexit leave us at the mercy of such politically motivated skull duggery?

Would the rest of the EU gang up to pressurise us to hand over energy assets or blow our plans for growth by cutting off infrastructure cash?

Somehow I doubt it.

We are a very stable economic investment. We have lots of high potential growth and scope to make cash. We have technology and skills that so many would envy and we have a political system (like it or not), that will guarantee returns without major instability.

Whatever world we wake up to on June 24th, I doubt it would be one where the energy sector finds there are no investment coins in the pay for meter.

Let the electioneering begin!