Major US banks have bankrolled the campaign to keep Britain within the European Union to the tune of £1.5 million, prompting critics to label the referendum a “David vs Goliath” battle.
Yet the gesture may be futile – polls show that President Obama’s recent intervention, in which he called on Britons to vote Remain, has fallen on deaf ears.
Major banking firms Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Citibank have between them handed £1.5 million over to the official Remain campaign, Britain Stronger In Europe (BSE), according to official figures published yesterday.
The banks were at the heart of the 2008 global credit crunch which saw countless people worldwide lose their life savings, their pension pots and even their homes, between them having to pay nearly $30 billion in fines to the US government for mis-selling mortgages and other failings.
The banks have a history of backing globalist policies – Goldman Sachs was accused of “cooking the books” to allow Greece to join the Euro, a move which has seen the country plunged into debt with no way out. One in four Greeks are now unemployed; among young people the rate is one in two.
Similarly, JP Morgan, which has handed over half a million, warned Britain would be left isolated if it didn’t join the Euro.
Former Labour foreign secretary Lord Owen, told the Daily Mail: “The EU works in the interests of the elite – the 1 percent – so it is entirely unsurprising to find that the campaign to keep us in the Union is financed by big banks like Goldman Sachs and J P Morgan.
“With their unlimited cash, they are lobbying the British people to act in a way that benefits their profit margin. Remember, these banks are the very people who crashed the economy in 2008 – mis-selling toxic mortgages and cooking the books to allow Greece to join the single currency. Millions of ordinary people paid for their mistakes – and many are still suffering.
“These figures show again that we are in a David vs Goliath fight, but it is one we are determined to win.”
The figures also showed that Eurostar, which is 55 percent owned by the French government, and 5 percent by the Belgian, handed money to BSE, meaning that EU member states who benefit from the money Britain pays to belong to the EU are financially backing the campaign to keep Britain within the EU.
And industry figures such as Labour peer Lord David Sainsbury and PR man Roland Rudd, brother of Conservative energy secretary Amber Rudd have also handed over large sums – more than £3.7 million in Lord Sainsbury’s case.
Altogether BSE has raised £6,883,684 to Vote Leave’s £2,786,500. But despite the disparity in the size of the official campaigns’ respective war chests, the polls are neck and neck, with Leave gaining momentum.
It may be that the British are tiring of being told what to do by the elite, as evidenced by the fact that President Obama’s recent intervention. At the behest of Prime Minister David Cameron Mr Obama called on the British to vote to remain within the EU, warning of dire consequences in the event of a Brexit. Yet the polls remained steadfastly on knife edge, with no discernible swing towards remain.
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage suggested the President “butt out” calling the intervention an “unwelcome” one “from the most anti-British American president there has ever been.” He added: “Mercifully, he won’t be in office for much longer.”
It remains to be seen whether the British people will likewise tell the banking fat cats to butt out, come voting day.