Moody’s: Tory EU exit bigger risk to credit rating than election uncertainty

The prospect of Britain leaving the European Union is a bigger threat to the UK economy than uncertainty over the General Election, according to the respected agency

 

The prospect of Britain leaving the European Union is a bigger threat to the UK economy than uncertainty over the General Election, according to credit ratings agency Moody’s.

In a blow to Conservative plans for an in-our EU referendum in 2017, the independent credit ratings agency warned that while a period of uncertainty resulting from a hung parliament was unlikely to effect Britain’s credit rating, exit from the European Union could damage Britain’s credit profile and force Moody’s to re-analyse the UK’s growth prospects.

“As the EU accounts for around 50 per cent of the UK’s goods and 36 per cent of its services exports, a withdrawal from the EU could have negative implications for trade and investment, both ahead of the event and following it,” the agency said.

“While it remains unclear whether this would indeed lead to an exit, if the likelihood of the UK leaving the EU were to increase, Moody’s would analyze the impact on the UK’s growth prospects,” it added.

The comments come on the back of a warning earlier this week by former Labour prime minister Tony Blair that David Cameron’s proposed 2017 EU referendum was a “concession to UKIP” that risked leaving “a pall of unpredictability hanging over the British economy”.

James Bloodworth is the editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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