A ten-week countdown to the UK Brexit referendum begins with the launch of the official campaigns by both sides in the debate. As Julian Satterthwaite reports, it comes amid more warnings on what it could all mean for the UK economy and financial sector.
A chorus of warnings against Brexit this week. The Bank of England saying Thursday that leaving the EU would hurt the economy and cause the sterling to tumble. The comments come hours after a similar analysis from the International Monetary Fund at its spring conference. And a cautiously worded warning from the World Bank chief. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD BANK PRESIDENT, JIM YONG KIM, SAYING: "This is an economy - given our projections of lower growth this year - that is not going to do well with more uncertainty." Britain's financial elite also on the same side. Brexit could cost 100 thousand jobs in banking over the next five years. That's according to a study released by The City UK - the body representing the City of London. But what about those who want to leave. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET ANALYST, CMC MARKETS, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: 'Probably the best reason, if you are looking to vote to leave Europe, would be more a political, democratic one. We've seen lots of evidence that Europe has turned into becoming a bit of an undemocratic institution. You only have to look as far as Greece and what happened in the bailout there, to see that actually countries have lost some sovereignty while joining Europe.' And then there's Barack Obama. The U.S. president due in London next week. The White House saying that, if asked, he will say the U.S. is strongly against Brexit. But some think it could all backfire on the REMAIN campaign. Bankers and their ilk hardly the most popular of people right now. And voters often dislike foreign politicians getting involved in domestic affairs. London mayor Boris Johnson - a leading Brexit campaigner - has already called Obama's intervention 'outrageous'.