Although the polls suggest that British voters seem ready to vote “Bremain” in their June 23 referendum on European Union membership, the possibility of the “Brexit” caused Switzerland to withdraw its application to join, and other EU states to demand referendums. Win or lose, the EU seems to be going the way of the Soviet Union.
If a withdrawal agreement were finally negotiated, it would then need to be passed by a vote of the European Council, as well as by the full European and British parliaments. If any party voted against the agreement, then all the parties would have to go back to the negotiating table.
The Brits could just leave, but that would disrupt relationships with their largest trading partner and make the talks between London and Brussels even more difficult. There also is no provision in Article 50 that allows a country that had notified the EU of its decision to withdrawal to change its mind and decide to stay.
Citi researchers said on Wednesday they believed Britain would vote on Thursday by a close margin to remain in the European Union but that such a close vote could still undermine political stability in both the United Kingdom and the 28-member bloc.
"We see a 60 percent chance that the majority of British voters will choose 'Remain' in the 23 June EU referendum," Citi said in a research note to clients. "A 'Close Remain' (our base case) could still undermine UK/EU political stability."
"A vote to 'Leave' would have major repercussions in global financial markets, the economy and politics, triggering substantial downward revisions of UK and European growth forecasts," Citi said.
The implied probability of a vote to remain in the European Union was 75 percent, according to Betfair betting odds.
Britain’s right-leaning Daily Mail newspaper has come out in support of leaving the European Union, an emailed copy of the front page of its Wednesday edition showed.
Boris Johnson stole the debate last night with his closing speech urging voters to make Thursday Britain’s ‘Independence Day ‘ — a rousing call for democracy, self-belief and sovereignty which was booed by Remain supporters.
China's top newspaper strongly criticized the United States on Wednesday after it deployed two aircraft carriers on a training mission in East Asia where military tensions have risen amid China's growing assertiveness.
The U.S. carriers John C. Stennis and Ronald Reagan began joint operations in seas east of the Philippines at the weekend in a show of strength ahead of an international court ruling expected soon on China's expansive territorial claims in the contested South China Sea.
"The U.S. picked the wrong target in playing this trick on China," the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, said in a commentary.
It was published under the pen name "Zhong Sheng," a Chinese-language homonym for the phrase "voice of China" that is often used to express the paper's views on foreign policy.
"Behind this misjudgment is Washington's anxiety and arrogance, and it is the true expression of its hegemonic nature," the paper added.
Russia must boost its combat readiness in response to NATO's "aggressive actions" near Russia's borders, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
Addressing parliament on the 75th anniversary of Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union, Putin berated the West for being unwilling to build "a modern, non-bloc collective security system" with Russia.
"Russia is open to discuss this crucial issue and has more than once shown its readiness for dialogue," he said. "But, just as it happened on the eve of World War Two, we do not see a positive reaction in response."
"On the contrary, NATO is strengthening its aggressive rhetoric and its aggressive actions near our borders. In these conditions, we are duty-bound to pay special attention to solving the task of strengthening the combat readiness of our country."
The U.S.-led military alliance is increasing its defenses in Poland and the three Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as part of a wider deterrent that it hopes will discourage Russia from any repetition of its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea in 2014.
Russia sees NATO's deterrence plans as hostile.
Venezuela’s food woes are adding to a wave of violence and crime, energy shortages, and the grinding down of the country’s economic activity. More than 70,000 Venezuelans lined up on Monday (June 20), to validate their signatures calling for a referendum to remove Maduro as president. They have until Friday to prove that at least 200,000 people back the referendum. The original petition was signed by close to two million people.