Swiss Paper: Brexit Becoming Unavoidable

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Brexit is becoming increasingly likely as the Panama Papers scandal continues to damage the credibility of Prime Minister David Cameron, a major Swiss newspaper has said.

Mr Cameron’s authority is now “completely shaken” and, as the main public face of the campaign to remain in the European Union (EU), the more his image is damaged, the less likely people are to trust what he says.

Writing in Tages Anzeiger, Peter Nonnenmacher, the paper’s UK correspondent, says that although David Cameron has done nothing wrong, the way he has handled the Panama Papers scandal has severely damaged his credibility. He now looks like a “privileged, spoiled stockbroker’s boy”, Mr Nonnenmacher writes.

This is not only damaging for him but also for the “Remain” campaign:

“Cameron is the poster boy, the face, the motor behind the Remain campaign for Britain staying in the EU. The more credibility he loses, the less clout his office gives him. The less convincing his voice becomes, the faster the U.K. heads towards Brexit.”

The Eurasia Group has increased the probability of the UK voting to leave the EU from 30 per cent to 40 per cent in the midst of the fallout from the Panama Papers scandal.

“The Panama scandal is proving a disaster for Cameron,” said Eurasia Group analysts Mujtaba Rahman and Charles Lichfield. “Momentum currently favours the ‘leave’ campaign,” they added.

“The Panama revelations are likely to aggravate other underlying Eurosceptic trends in British public opinion.”

Bloomberg also reports Steve Fisher of Oxford University and Alan Renwick of University College London, who have also been estimating the likely outcome of the referendum, have dramatically increased the chances of Brexit from 13 per cent to 27 per cent.

Polls suggest the referendum is still too close to call, but one survey last month gave the edge to Brexit as its supporters are more likely to turn out and vote.

The ORB poll for the Telegraph found that when people’s likelihood to vote is factored into polling, the “leave” campaign led “remain” by 52 per cent to 45 per cent.

The survey found that “Remain” voters were especially complacent as they believe the country will vote to stay in the EU regardless of their actions.

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