Editor's Comment: Are you in or out?

stephanie-denton-2016

I’m a floating voter. I don’t consistently vote for the same political party.

I like to listen to all parties right up until the very last minute and see what they are promising this time, and I usually make my mind up in the polling booth.

So, it will come as no surprise that I’m yet to decide how to vote in the upcoming ballot over whether Britain should stay in the European Union. Usually my vote feels of little significance, living as I do in a strongly Conservative suburb. Yet in this vote where, according to a recent poll by The Telegraph, one in five voters is undecided or likely to change their minds come polling day, I feel empowered to make my mark.

Brexit is at the forefront is people’s minds even with some weeks to go until polling and, as well as being a panel debate at the British Insurance Brokers’ Association conference, it was a major topic of conversation at the evening events all over town.

Within the insurance world some heads of firms have come out to declare themselves in or out. The major feeling is that most insurers, especially those in the London market, would prefer in – Lloyd’s itself is very pro-Europe. Yet many brokers, especially the small ones who feel crippled by regulation, would opt to leave.

Debate is going on in every quarter and yet anecdotally we hear that some large firms have requested that employees don’t speak publically about the subject.

Melanie Hampton, managing director for broker Alexander Miller, told Post larger international firms had effectively muzzled staff who were pro-Brexit.

Hampton claims Brexit is about freedom and a letter she signed said London could be stronger outside the EU with more to gain than to lose. Those voting remain fear Brexit would “hurt” or “severely damage” Lloyd’s of London and uncertainly is touted as the enemy, but the reasons behind this are vague.

Someone is yet to tell me what we would lose from Brexit except that it wouldn’t be good for business. Passporting is mooted as an issue but then that seems to bring as many evils as opportunities. Insurers are conservative creatures by their nature so is it just that fear of not being able to calculate the unknown that is putting them off or are there really serious underlying business concerns?

So come on, remove the muzzles and let’s have a real debate about this. Let’s see who can convince me to vote their way as, after all, it could really be my vote that swings it.

Stephanie Denton, editor

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