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Financial Times, The Economist Back Britain in Europe | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People hold placards reading “No Brexit” in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 15, 2016. AFP

London-The Financial Times and The Economist have announced their support for Britain to stay in the European Union, saying quitting the 28-nation bloc in next week’s referendum “would seriously damage the UK economy.”

With a week to go until a knife-edge vote on Britain’s future, the FT, a global business daily newspaper, as expected came out in support of continued EU membership.

It argued that the “economic costs of withdrawal are substantial.”

“Constructive engagement” is vital when Europe confronts threats from extremism, migration, Russian aggrandizement and climate change, it said. “These can only be tackled collectively.”

“The referendum campaign is a contest between competing values: between liberal internationalism and a pinched nationalism, between an open-trading system and marginalization,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

“To abandon the cause of constructive reform of an admittedly imperfect EU would be more than defeatist. It would be a gratuitous act of self-harm,” said the FT.

“The sentiment remains resonant today. This is no time to revert to Little England. We are Great Britain. We have a contribution to make to a more prosperous, safer world. The vote must be “Remain,” it concluded.

The Sun, which declared its support for Brexit on Tuesday, has around 4.5 million readers.

The tabloid said it wanted Britons to “reassert our sovereignty” against a “relentlessly expanding German-dominated federal state.”

Most other national papers have not yet declared their support, although many are eurosceptic.
Long-running weekly The Economist came out in favor of remaining in the union, saying Brexit would be a “terrible error.”

“It would weaken Europe and it would impoverish and diminish Britain,” it said in an editorial published online.

“It would mark a defeat for the liberal order that has underpinned the West’s prosperity…and it (Britain) will become less influential and more parochial,” it added.